Who doesn’t look back at their life and find something they’re ashamed of or shudder about something they regret?
Regret and shame are hard emotions for me to deal with. I will look back and turn my choice/decision/comment/action around and around in my head until I make myself sick; but it never really helps the situation that I’m currently in.
One of the choices I look back on with shame is actually one that has shaped the way I listen to people and make decisions today, so even though I feel bad about it and are ashamed to admit that I was such a close-minded bigot, I’m a better and more responsible person today because of that bad choice.
I read a quote that said something to the effect of, “You can’t make the same mistake twice, the second time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a choice.” so that’s what I’ve been trying to do lately: learn from my mistakes.
Ah, and now the sharing starts.
Once upon a time after high school, when I worked for the Wells Fargo batching center in Mesa, I heard a rumor about a group of religious people. Not just one rumor, LOTS of rumors. I had heard some of these rumors in high school, but dismissed them as stupid high school gossip, which there was A LOT of.
Oh, yes, people. I’m talking about, “The Mormons“.
Shall I list a few of the “truths” (bwaHAHAhahaha) that I heard?
I heard they held animal sacrifices in their temples.
That women were subservient, weak, and dominated.
That Joseph Smith was their “God”.
They practiced polygamy.
They weren’t Christian (didn’t believe in Jesus Christ as a savior).
They were racist.
They were forced to wear funny underwear at all times and even had to hold onto it while they were bathing or taking a shower and weren’t allowed to let these funny chonies touch the floor.
They were “brainwashed” from birth and were not allowed to go to church if they didn’t serve missions.
That they couldn’t drink soda pop.
They weren’t allowed to eat meat.
They had lots of kids because the more kids they had, the more sacrifices they could offer on the altar in the temple and the more blessings they would get. (seriously…someone told me this. and they believed it and everything)
Had enough laughs yet?
Ok, here comes the shameful part.
I…gulp…believed most of these things.
Not because I had seen them or heard a Mormon talk about them or because I had ever even TALKED to a Mormon about what they believed, but because I had heard it from someone that I knew and liked and took what they said to be true.
It’s sad. I feel embarrassed about it.
What I’ve learned from this experience, is get the information from the source.
I would never go talk to a carpenter about a plumbing problem, or ask a ballerina how to how to change the oil in my car. I would go the person who knows what they’re talking about and ASK them what they believed.
So I did.
When I got to a point in my life where I realized there had to be something MORE to everyday living than what I was experiencing, I looked in the phone book and started going to different churches to ask THEM what they believed. This turned out to be an awesome, though sometimes frightening, experience.
I went to every single church in the whole valley to learn about what they believed (except for the Mormon church, i wasn’t willing to change my life THAT much….i mean, how many sacrifices would I have to make?), and I learned so many interesting and sometimes even uplifting things. (i won’t share my stories here, because i’m not a Baptist/Catholic/Episcopalian/Life of Christ/Protestant/Jehovah’s Witness, so it would be hypocritical of me to say what i thought they believed, right?)
But it wasn’t until I talked to the missionaries for the LDS church that I realized that I found what I had been searching for all those long months.
And then I realized how wrong I was. YIKES!! How very wrong I was!
What a huge mistake I made, believing that thinking and even sharing untruths about an entire religion! I’m pretty grateful for repentance, that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Lately, there has been more said about what members of the LDS church believe (want to read an awesome and hilarious post about that? Click here! You’ll love it!), and it makes me sad that some ump-teen million people will listen and think that an entire religion is some wacked-out freaky cult.
But as for me and our home, we will go to the source.
(Thirty Day Challenge, Day 24- Share a story about your past that you are ashamed of.)