When I was seven years old, I never doubted what was taught to me. I had a Heavenly Father who loved me and wanted me to be happy. If I prayed to Him, he could watch over my friends and loved ones, or bless our food, or make my headache go away. And someday, if I was good, I would go up to Heaven and be with my family Forever.
When I was twelve, I was a young woman of faith and integrity. I knew, as any faithful Mormon youth would, that the Church was true, that Jesus was the Christ, that the Book of Mormon was a true record of His visit to the Americas, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and that the president of the Church was a Prophet on earth in these latter-days.
When I was seventeen, I never failed to believe in and act upon what I knew was right. I recognized that many of my peers found my beliefs strange and different, and I thrived on that. Although I began to skip meetings and services, I still knew in my heart that the Church was true.
When I was in college, I began to open my mind to other ideas. I learned about Sociology and the history of the concept of religion. I learned about other belief systems. I roomed with an agnostic who completed her conversion to atheism during the very years I knew her. I stepped back from what I had known all my life. I realized that I didn’t truly believe it anymore. Maybe I never truly did.
Now, at the age of 26, I’ve come to an uncomfortable discovery: I’m ready to believe in something again.
The place that Church and Religion held in my life has not yet been filled with something meaningful. Don’t mistake me to mean that I’m actively seeking a Christian congregation to go join. Or Jewish, or Buddhist, or Islamic, or Wiccan, or Druid. I’m ready to find what I know is right, and true, and good. Maybe God exists. Maybe He actually watches us. (Maybe we’re His bowl of sea monkeys that He stirs up every millenium or three.) Maybe God is only a concept for a Unity that we as humans cannot physically comprehend. Maybe there is a Tao, or a Force, or some other universal power of which we are all part. Maybe we each have much more mental power than we realize. Maybe, when we pray, we make our own prayers a reality, due to our sheer force of undoubting belief. Maybe when we die, we’ll each wink out of existence and into oblivion and the impossibly profound concept of non-existence.
I don’t know.
I don’t pretend to have the answers. Diana’s Manual of Spiritual Consciousness doesn’t exist — and if it did, it would only apply to me, and me alone. You would have to determine what applied to you, and adapt the knowledge to your own beliefs. I don’t hold the answers.
…But once I figure something out, I’ll let you know.