Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why I Believe: The Beginning of a Spiritual Explanation

More often than not, this blog serves as a secular space for the stories, musings, and phrases that strike my fancy at any given moment. In the past three and a half years, I’ve chuckled good-naturedly as I’ve penned embarrassing confessions or delighted in new ways to poke fun at myself. On occasion, I’ve cried tears at life’s confusion or in frustration at my inability to stop the world from turning and changing the things I love at that very moment. All of these experiences are memories or thoughts important enough to be remembered—things I want to remember—be they clever, painful, or nostalgic. I’m happy you’re accompanying me on this ride.

For whatever reason, conscious or not, there’s one area of my life I haven’t shared as freely on this blog as other areas of this circus I call daily living. If you’re at all familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or “The Mormons”, my references to visiting teaching, stake conference, or singles’ wards means something to you—either personally or by association. If you haven’t been able to read between the lines in the last 700 blog posts, I’ll spell it out very clearly:

Yes, I’m a Mormon.

Being a Mormon is more a part of who I am than any number of grand metaphors or similes could ever explain. At the very center of who I am, lives the knowledge that God has a plan for me—and for each of His children. We belong to Him, and he loves us divinely; because we are divinely His. The teachings of Christ’s ancient church have been restored again to the earth, and they offer all of the happiness and hope and joy afforded to mankind both in this lifetime and in the one to come. My inner light and positivity are deeply rooted in knowing where I came from, why I’m here on Earth, and the paradise and rest that await on the other side once this life ends.

I’m going to start a tagged series called Why I Believe. In 700 posts I haven’t once tried to explain why I do certain things (three hours of church, 10 percent tithe, callings, temple attendance, etc.) or why I don’t do others (smoke, drink alcohol or coffee, engage in pre-marital sex, etc.). Considering that being a Mormon is who I am first and foremost, this blog hasn’t been a completely accurate portrayal of who I really am, has it? I've been thinking about this reconciliation for quite some time, but the scales have finally tipped to include the spiritual aspect of my life in this little corner of my universe. I’ve been inspired by a post written by a good friend entitled “I’m a Mormon?”, a magnificent Education Conference with Elder M. Russell Ballard (who we believe is a called Apostle of Jesus Christ), and Fiddler on the Roof.

That’s right, Fiddler on the Roof. Last night, one of my best friends and I were able to attend the Broadway show downtown in the historic Boston Opera House. I’ve always loved the story of Tevye’s family and village as they struggle to maintain lives of spiritual tradition in a world of conflict and change. The moment that struck my heart was during the first act as the families all over the village of Anetevka were gathering at sunset on the Sabbath. I don’t profess to know anything about Jewish tradition, but in this moment of swelling music, I was afforded a brief inner glimpse at the spiritual customs and beliefs of a religion that were lived so completely and thoroughly that they governed every aspect of Jewish life.

Occasionally, I’d like to afford you a brief inner glimpse into the LDS spiritual customs and beliefs that are lived so completely and thoroughly that they govern every aspect of the Mormon life. Because as zany a picture I’ve painted of myself in the last 3.5 years, all of it means nothing if you don’t know who I am and why I believe.

Le'Chaim.

9 comments:

Kendall said...

You are much braver than I, Nat. I love you and I'm excited for these blog posts!

Jody said...

Kendall has good grammar.

I, too, look forward to it. I think 99% of my blog readers are LDS. You definitely have a unique demographic of followers.

HabbenINK said...

Great work Nat! I'll be reading :)

Alicia said...

Fantastically stated, as only you could.

I always seem to take a little piece of you away from here every time I read what you're doing/thinking/feeling. Can't wait to get to know even more about this dimension of you.

May your incredible ability to express yourself be your greatest asset going forward. Love ya!

Erica said...

I'm looking forward to this as well! Thanks.

ju said...

i are mormon too.

nice work!

Jan said...

When did you she getto be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? I don't remember growing older...

You are the best.

Rachel Eve said...

Yeah go Nat! I'm excited to read...

Annie said...

Natalie, you are the bomb. Way to be. That is all.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!