Religion and My Choices

I was brought up LDS. I believed so strongly in the religion until I was in my teens. At that time I felt like I never had a chance to see what else was out there, and also? I felt judged on a regular basis by other members of our ward. I, and my family I felt, did not fit their idea of a "good Mormons." It hurt my beliefs when I started to feel more empowered as a woman, because women in the church are not equal to the men. It bothered me.

Years have gone by. I have checked out other religions, and found none that fit how I feel and what I want. Most recently I studied the Baha'i faith. It was close to what I wanted, with talks of unity and peace, but I have a hard time believing in Baha'ullah or his son Abdu'l-Baha. I haven't delved deeply into the religion, simply because I don't feel that it is the right fit for me. I have had Rhayn in Children's classes offered by a friend who is Baha'i. The morals and stories taught in the classes have been good for her and something I was struggling with teaching her.

Tonight one of my nieces is being baptized into the LDS church. And I am happy for her, and glad that she feels, at ten, ready for that commitment. Rhayn asked us when she could be baptized, she knows the time that a regular member is baptized is at eight, and she is seven. I think it is a sweet gesture, but want her to wait, and find out on her own if it is the path she should take. Will and I decided that she may not be baptized until she is eighteen. When she is legally an adult, and able to make the full commitment to being LDS or not, then she may choose whatever her path may be. I don't feel like she is being hindered by our decision. I know that if it were up to me alone, she would have the opportunity to be baptized sooner, but I am not the only parent. Together we feel that this works best for the family. And as for Gwennie? Same rules apply. She will make her decision when she is eighteen, and fully understands the choice.

I am torn in life, because being taught one thing my whole life and then questioning that has left holes in me. And any time I make a decision, I look at it from the Mormon view, and my view is always skewed by that in some way. I don't think there is any thing wrong with the LDS religion, but for me? It does not make me happy, it does not make me feel loved or complete, in fact it often left me feeling like nothing I could or would ever do would be good enough. And I did not want to live that way for my whole life.


Alicia said...

I understand completely. I was forced into my religion as a child, and I don't want to do that to my daughter. Giving her a choice is the best thing I can do for her.

I think it's the best thing you can do for both of your daughters, as well. They'll thank you for it, I'm sure.

Doulala said...

I know *exactly* what you mean. I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. I could have written this almost word for word. I'm still searching for the right fit as well.
Hugs to you.

Christina said...

Totally NOT proselytizing here, but you *might* want to look into Unitarian Universalism. The principles are based on a personal quest for spirituality, taking care of the Earth and treating all people with love, kindness and social justice. The website is www.uua.org if you are interested. Again, NOT trying to push my religion on anyone, just thought you might enjoy it.

Destiny said...

I am in a similar position. I was raised in the Presbyterian church but have sort slipped away. Personally, I am not sure I buy any of it anymore.

Now my dd is 8 and seems to be surrounded by Christian friends. I have to walk the fine line when she asks me things like "is there really a devil that lives underground?" Part of me wants to laugh and say NO but I know that will cause her problems. So my answer is "some people think so". I do not want to push her one way or the other. One thing I will not do is force her to go church the way I was forced to.

Sara said...

Such a tough position you are in. I was not raised in any religion and I think it helped because I knew I could make my own decisions. I plan on raising my son the same way, although he was baptized Catholic at my husband's insistence. I want him to know everything he can and make his own choices. I chose no religion, but I still have faith. Tough thing to maintain.

Good luck with finding the best path for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in the discussion board at spiritualchildren.net

It is Baha'i-inspired but tries to explore the challenges that all face in raising children in today's world.

Mo said...

We went to church as children, but we also knew that our parents weren't really religious. They took us to give us a chance to explore it I think. I was never convinced, and I am still not, by any specific religion. Sometimes I wish that I was though because it seems like I am in such a spiritual void at times. I also have similar issues with the girls, wanting them to follow their own path, but also guide them spiritually a little.

HomeSlice said...

i felt most comfortable, like chrissi, within UU. but even then, i ended up lapsing back into my lazy form of spiritualism. i think you have a great approach to how you introduce your children to religion.

hairball said...

Maybe you should start from the most important thing...what do You believe in? Is there a great something out there? Does that great something have a name? I know are ward was a bit harsh growing up in all the judging crap but I was able to discover something, As Joe and I moved and went from ward to ward, people are different. Some wards we fit in and some not so much but the teaching was always the same. If you can find what you believe to be true and not focus on the other people and their beliefs and ideals than that is what is best.

Also you are a lot different than when you were a teeny bopper, the world is a different place as an adult and a mother, especially in the LDS stuff. The church is definitely not what I thought it was as a teenager, so I attended a few different religions and it took years and support from my hubby to find what I needed.

It even amazes me that aunt LVH is so strong when she has to do it all herself, maybe she is the one to talk to. If this is a major concern, go ask your dad for a father's blessing, he always seems to find the right words when they are needed most.

Sorry for writing a book but I want you to find happiness

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