Q: Do you believe in God? Because you are going to hell if you do not change.
A: Life has a funny way of changing us by our experiences. I remember the night when my mum locked my dad out of the house because he was drunk. I can still hear him screaming in my memories. Is this exactly what took place? In my memories it is, but I could be wrong. I remember a lot of things before we were Mormons. Are all of them bad? NO.
I have always held a belief that you are welcome to believe in whatever way you feel is right for you. I spent years in the Mormon Church I would not call it a cult. Why, it changed my family in many positive ways. Some others that are still very negative. I don’t think my dad would have been the man he is now if it would not have been for the Mormon Church. But I am NOT singing their praises because my dad became a better man. We all make choices in our lives when faced with becoming something better than what we are. He was not happy with his life so he changed his own direction. It was not because of the Mormon church, it was because he saw his own failures due to what was being told to him. His poor choice was to think that they were the only answer. He was given plenty of reasons to change (4 to be exact, our family) that he never took. But his choice to join the Mormon Church changed all of our futures.
I grew up in that church hearing and seeing so many different things over the years that did not always sit right with me. I did not leave because I was fearful due to some of their teachings. The things I felt that were wrong to me still do and are. I saw something that once I did I never looked the same at those who believe. But that belief is not exclusive to Mormonism. I have seen it in so many different belief structures not just Christianity. Does this thing that I saw make them bad? No. We are fallible, we make mistakes because we have not learned the lessons to avoid those mistakes. My dad was a drinker because he hid behind the bottle due to his experiences in war. He could have talked it out with someone. But the times were different and his reaction to the pain of war was to drink. Someone offered him a bit of hope, a light in the darkness so-to-speak. It could have been any belief structure that would have lite the match for him but it was Mormonism. My dad still makes mistakes, some he is unwilling to light his own match for… Some he cannot even see the mistake. Those are his losses.
I once was a heavy closet drinker. I was good at hiding my pain I had a great teacher. I lied to so many people just to keep the secret that I was burdened with (being Transgender). I went through a war that I was in since a young age (6). I did not have a teacher to help me sort out the issues. I was also met with even more pain when I tried to talk it out. Times were different. Like my father the pain even though being a part of a belief structure did not fix it. My dad saw it overflow time and time again until he was forced to get help. I was the same way. Both of us wanted out of the pain that was our wars. We tried to end our lives but neither one of us could tell the other what was going on. I got help in 2008, I was born in 1969, 33 years is a long time to carry pain and confusion. I stopped drinking in 2000 due to a life changing event (that is private). I went through detox without help and cold turkey. I lost a part of me due to even hiding that. Mormonism did not solve that problem for me, I did. It could not do that, no belief structure can solve your problems, you must do that.
When my marriage fell apart I made the ultimate choice for me in my life. I stopped acting like everything was “fine” when it was not. I stopped covering up for someone else and their problems. I also stopped trying to act like I was something I was not. I even walked away from being a Mormon. Believing in something greater than you is not wrong. For million of years humanity has done this. We are all fearful of death and not finding something at the end of the rainbow. So many people make the same mistake and assume that a book should tell them about morals. When all we have to do is just listen with our hearts. So we all hope that by believing in something will grant us hope. I know I said it twice because hope is so important. If something doesn’t give hope you are looking for the wrong answer in the wrong place. It is then time to go. I was at that point and I left both the relationship and religion. I have friends that are “believers” and I am happy for them. Being Transgender and Mormon do not work hand in hand. We both believe in something diametrically opposed. Neither one willing to change our views of existence.
Do I believe? I believe in the existence of something greater than we are. But I do not believe that “They” can change us for believing in them. Nor do I believe that “They” can do anything. They cannot stop death that is coming for all of us. They cannot tell us right from wrong. But I do believe? Yes, we are far to great of a creation to just end. What you call hell I have already lived in it since I was 12, until I was 45. That is a war that many will never understand and I hope they will never need to. I lost so much just to find what a lot of belief structures could not give me. That is harmony with my view of Self and Life with me in it. I hope this answers your question and comment. Have the day you deserve.