11.06.2012

Who I Am

Let me preface this post by giving you fair warning: this post will offend some of you. This post will cause me to lose friends. But if that's the case we weren't that good of friends to begin with.

This post is about religion.

All my life I've always had less-active, inactive, and nonmember friends. I've always tried to see the person for who they are, not what they believe. I don't always get that in return. But in order to make the friendship a little easier, I've tried to avoid talking about gospel related topics in order to make my friends seem more at ease.

Not anymore.

You see, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's part of me and who I am as a person. My entire belief system and moral compass revolves around that. Am I not supposed to talk about who I am? I also believe in missionary work. I believe in sharing what has truly made me happiest with others. Not because I assume people are sinners and need saving. That's never a thought I have. Like I said, I see people for who they are,not what they believe. I believe in the afterlife. I believe in receiving amazing blessings at the resurrection and living with my family and friends FOREVER in peace and happiness. Who wouldn't want that for those they care about? I've felt guilty for not sharing that with others because I truly want them to be happy and I want to spend eternity with them. But I know for many, it's a sensitive thing that will cause people to assume I'm "judging" them and that I don't like them for who they are. Not true. Not true at all. But, I know that's what will happen with many people. But now is the time to see who will take offense and who will still know the kind of person I am regardless of what I talk about. It's time to see who the true friends are.

Why? Because it hit me hard today that I'm going to get to the judgement bar and be asked why I didn't share the gospel with those around me. I'm going to be held accountable for all those missionary opportunities I let slip by. No, I won't go around preaching doctrine or calling people out on their sins. I teach better by example. The topic will come up, but I won't cram my beliefs down people's throats. That's not who I am and that's not what missionary work is. I will accept people's mistakes because I make many of my own. I believe the gospel is for anyone who tries to live it to the best of their ability. As long as we try, that's the best we can do. I can't tiptoe around this topic anymore. I can't brush aside a huge part of who I am for fear of losing friends. A true friend accepts all of me. A true loved one accepts all of me.

So world, you've been warned. I have work to do on this earth and I'm not going to stand idly by anymore. I will love those around me fiercely regardless if their beliefs or if they accept it or live it, and I will share what makes me happy. I will share what my life is about. I will try to get as many people to come to heaven as possible (assuming I make it there myself) because I want to be with everyone I care about. If your hatred for the church is going to blind you to the reality of who I am, then so be it. At least I will know I tried. I love you all and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it, I live it, I love it.

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