Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Judge....

Religion is not something that i talk about much on my blog. Not cuz im not religious, but because i like to keep my blog NEUTRAL. I dont want to loose followers because of my beliefs and i dont want to gain followers because of my beliefs. Religion is just something i tend to avoid here on my blog. So i apologize for this post in advance because my intentions arent to offend anyone or cause anyone to go astray from my blog.

This post wasnt intended to be religious it just is because of how i was raised and this state that i live in is KNOWN for a certain religion so it has a lot to do with what im about to talk about.

So lets start with the basics so you understand where im coming from with this post. I live in Utah. Yes the "Mormon" state. The "proper" term being Later Day Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ aka LDS. And i was raised very close to the church. And i am very proud and great full of how i was raised and of my religion.
We'll skip all the details but i guess you can say i would be considered "inactive" with the church. Just wanted to cover that so that im not perceived as "misrepresenting" the church. Whatever thats supposed to mean. Dont want to upset anyone here.

Ok now lets get to the point of this post. The BIGGEST issue with living in Utah and the BIGGEST reason for religious fall out (at least from what ive mostly heard from people who have fallen away.. and believe me, i know a lot of people who have fallen away or want nothing to do with the church because of this reason) is being JUDGED. Which is funny cuz one of the biggest things i was taught (in church) was NOT to judge.

If you are unfamiliar with the LDS religion, here is an overview of some beliefs that are a little different from other religions. Alcohol is bad, caffeine is bad, tattoos are bad, you are only allowed ONE piercing and it can ONLY be in your ear lobe. swearing is bad, shorts that are shorter than your knees are bad. Tank tops are bad, R rated movies are bad, and the list goes on. These "guidelines" were put in place for a reason and im not saying i disagree with them but obviously, in my lifetime, i haven't always abide by these guidelines nor has ANYONE. We all make mistakes.

A first impression of me, or an outside look on me from seeing my blog or FB or Twitter etc would be that i wear "immodest" clothing. I have tattoos, i have more than one piercing. I curse occasionally, i drink coffee, I dont go to church much. I might be perceived as a "partier" by looking at Halloween pictures or any other pic.

But what you dont see is that for both halloween parties i was the DD, but by looking at pic you might think i was "PARYING". You might view me a "non believer" due to my tattoos, piercing, pregnancy out of wedlock when i was 17 with my now husband, and lack of going to church but what you DONT see is that we get the Ensign (an lds magazine) sent to our house monthly and we try to ready it. We try to read a children's version of the scriptures/bible to Braylee. You might think we just hate going to church when REALLY the reason is that we are 22 and 23 and lazy and have a 2 year old that doesn't sit at church very well, she'd rather play. What you dont see is that me and Jeff want to eventually be sealed in the temple. Are we perfect? Not in the least bit but at least we are trying and have good intentions and want to do things because WE KNOW we are READY rather than just doing it because its all we know and its what we are "supposed" to do.

When me and Jeff first got married we tried to attend church in Jeff's ward and you wouldnt BELIEVE the looks we got and just the awkward vibes. Jeff had a hefty past with being a little delinquent and even a drug past. Very few came to say hi even though they all had known Jeff his whole life. We felt so low and needless to say, we stopped going. We didnt feel comfortable. When Braylee was born we wanted to get her blessed and were still new in our ward now and wanted to have her blessed at my moms church and my old ward. We had her blessed and afterward, my bishop got up in front of the whole congregation and said "although we love having others here with us, it is so important that you go to your OWN ward", bla bla. Um... what the???? Did that REALLY just happen? I was so shocked and hurt. I tried to justify it in my head and said he had the best of intentions and didnt mean it in a rude way but..... wow.

Things like that make me really sad. To know that a lot of people are missing out on such a wonderful thing such as being religious and being a member of the church because of certain people who make the decision to judge and be down right RUDE and IGNORANT. It puts a bad image on the church. And even non religious people can be judgmental on the church etc and put a bad image on "non believers". WHY do we continue this vicious cycle?? 

We now live 30 min from Jeff's home town and we LOVE our neighbors and our ward. We have never felt judged or out of place (if we have its due to my own worries). But what if they knew our past. Would it be different? I try not to think of it that way though. Our bishop is a REALLY sweet guy who makes us feel SOO welcome and he is so loving. He knows our past. And without hesitation said "who cares", we are moving forward. I have tears running down my face right now because from having such negative experiences the last 4 years FINALLY, finally someone who makes us feel WANTED and ACCEPTED. He never made us feel like we are bad people. I wish everyone in this world was like him.

Religion is besides the point though its just the biggest thing for me being an "inactive" LDS person. Even in a non religious way i might be viewed as a "bad person" or a "bad example" for my daughter having tattoos and such. When really i am probably the nicest most kind hearted person you'll ever meet. I accept everyone. Im nice to everyone even when i have every right to NOT be nice. I dont hold grudges, i forgive WAY too easily. I hate being on bad terms with people, like it seriously eats at me every single day. If i know someone is hurting or is sad i want to do everything i can to help, even if i dont know them. I have a huge heart and i cant help it.

My point to this post is WHY do we judge? We all have our imperfections. We all have flaws. Some are different than others and some are more or less than others. Who cares if someone isnt or is religious. Who cares if someone has tattoos, who cares if someone is gay or bisexual or whatever. Why make some feel so low or bad about themselves. Would you want to feel that way? Would you want to always be worrying what others think about you or what others will say? So why do it to others?

Im sorry if this post puts a bad image on anyone but it is what it is and as you all know, i keep it real. I stand by my religion and know its true it just breaks my heart knowing that there are people in this world that ruin people's views on other people or religions etc. Maybe we've had these experiences in our life to test ourselves. NOT saying it was God's "plan" cuz thats just absurd to say God wanted people to judge us and push us away. Just saying for ourselves, maybe its going to build us rather than break us.

Regardless of your religion i think if we are all striving to be the best we can be and love god and believe in him and try to make him happy then we have nothing to be worried about. Why would God be upset with you because you were Catholic? Why would God be upset with you because you were LDS or whatever religion? Through-out the years, yes, many different churches have formed. You really think God is going to send you to Hell just because you were raised in a certain religion and it was the "wrong" religion? I mean seriously? Get real.

Anywho, again i apologize for talking about religion i know its a really touchy subject but this is my public diary and its public because maybe there are people out there who struggle with the things i struggle with and that they might find comfort in knowing others go through the same things. That they might read this and think, wow, that's just what i needed to hear today. So take this post for what you will but please dont jeopardize me for my experiences and how i felt with my experiences.

The End. :)
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