For my entire life, I’ve framed who I am within the contexts of the Mormon Church. I come from a long line of faithful Mormons. Those who crossed the plains as pioneers. Who were sent by prophets to settle areas of Utah and Arizona. My grandfather has many close personal friends within the quorum of the twelve. When my grandmother was sick, one of the apostles came to their home to administer to her.
At 8, I was baptized by my father. I had been taught right from wrong and now I was accountable. From here on out, my sins were on my own head. I had learned how to repent and was taught that it was the only way to truly be happy. The only way to be with my family forever. This was important to me especially, because at eight, my father had already been diagnosed with cancer. He would die shortly after I became a teenager.
I remember thinking that everything would change after I was baptized. That, like in Jesus’ time, the Holy Ghost would decend on me. I’d FEEL differently. I was confused when I didn’t. I remember my aunt asking me how it felt to be so clean. I answered, “good!” That was the first time I’d ever just said what I knew I was supposed to. I knew I was supposed to feel different than I did. But I didn’t.
I feared that if I told anyone that, they’d think that for whatever reason I wasn’t worthy to be a member of the church. That my family would hate me. I was afraid that maybe the devil had his hold on me, and that’s why my baptism didn’t make me feel clean.
I felt normal. I felt like me.
I’ve spent the last 22 years fighting the feeling of just feeling the way I do. Afraid that people would view me as lesser, as a child of the devil, as anything than just ME if I didn’t say what I thought I had to say, do as I thought I should do. I’ve always been afraid that people of the church would hate me for asking the questions that have burned within me for so long.
Honestly, I’m still afraid of that. That’s why I’m writing this on an anonymous blog, and not my personal blog. A blog that is frequented by those I love most in this world. The same people I’m the most afraid to say these things to.
I’m not sure where this will go. I only know that I’m better in writing than I am in any other form. I need to write this all out. I need a place to collect what I am feeling, and then judge from there as to how to move on.