Mormons have a bit of a reputation for talking about their beliefs….a lot. In many ways this reputation is deserved. We currently have 52K+ fulltime missionaries who dedicate all their time to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ . There are tons of things like this blog where we are sharing our beliefs. If you’ve had a Mormon friend chances are it has come up.
What I find interesting is that among this heavy culture of sharing our beliefs, most of the time I am scared to death to open my mouth and say something about my religion. I’ve talked to many people that feel the same way. It’s a bit easier writing for a blog than talking to someone in person but still difficult.
I had an experience today where I wanted to say something to a friend about my beliefs but I didn’t. I froze and then the moment passed me by. I’ve been thinking about why I’m so afraid to say something about who I am. I wasn’t trying to convert her; I really just wanted her to understand me better. And then I realized that is exactly why I am so afraid. Because being Mormon, belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is more than just belonging to a religion, it’s who I am. It is hard to put yourself out there. Especially when you know there are lots of people who strongly disagree with who you are and everything you stand for.
To share a part of me with friends (or in this case, strangers on the internet) is difficult because it makes me so vulnerable. Now everyone knows exactly who I am and what I stand for and I can’t control what people do with that. I can’t control if they will be understanding or violently disagree.
So why do I want to make myself vulnerable by sharing this piece of me? A few reasons. Life in general presents a lot of open-ended questions. I have found answers here. Having answers leads to having purpose and direction in life. I have also found happiness here. I feel peace knowing that I have a Savior that loves me and has made a clear way for me to keep that happiness with me for this life and the next. It’s not fun feeling confused, lost or unhappy. I want other people to have the answers and the happiness they are looking for.
So next time you come across a Mormon, either in person or on the internet, who is sharing their beliefs maybe you can look at it from a different perspective. They are either wanting to be understood or trying to help people with questions. It’s not easy but most of us feel that it is worth it.