"I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me."
Today I found myself in a conversation on a topic that seems to find its way into my talks with friends and family a lot lately. Actually, just about anytime I've talked about Mormonism with a non-Mormon.
"I just don't want you making decisions based on what someone else wants" or "I just hope you're not feeling pressured or being talked into doing something" or my personal favorite "So, if you and Sterling broke up tomorrow, would you still want to be a Mormon?"
This has probably been, by far, my least favorite subject when it comes to being asked about my conversion. Maybe I shouldn't, but I tend to take it pretty personally. I understand the concern behind the questions, and I can see how they could seem legitimate considering the situation. But, I feel like these people who know me the best shouldn't even have a doubt in their mind as to whether I'm doing this for the right reasons. They should know me better than that. They shouldn't think that I'm just willing to do whatever makes the guy I like be happy. This makes me feel like a twelve-year-old girl who starts wearing Abercrombie purely because her crush likes girls in Abercrombie. And I feel like no matter what answer I give, regardless of how sincere it is, people are still going to have their own misconceptions about it.
Yes, joining the Church has made and will make my relationship better. Yes, when it comes down to it, Sterling is the reason I'm making this decision…..because, well, I never knew much about Latter Day Saints before meeting him, so I don't know how I'd ever really find my way into the faith if it wasn't for him.
However, Sterling and our relationship is far from my only driving force behind this whole thing.
I have learned so much about myself, what I really want, and what I need, and I feel like I have grown so much from this experience so far. I have found a level of faith that I've never even come close to reaching before. Most of all, I feel better about myself and how I'm living my life. I know I've made far too many mistakes and bad decisions, and they've weighed me down without me really even realizing it. And now I'm able to start letting go of all that. I'm able to forgive myself and let go of various grudges I have held against myself over the years. I have realized that someone much greater than myself is who is ultimately going to judge me, and if He can forgive me, I need to follow suit. And you know what? That's pretty dang liberating to feel that greater power touch you and help you learn and let go.
When it all comes down to it, I'm happy. Regardless of whether people choose to believe if I am doing this for genuine, "right" reasons, I'm happy. I feel good about what I'm doing, and I'm becoming a better person. How can you possibly find fault in me for wanting to do that?