Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t grown up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church). My parents are Mormon and raised our family in The Church of Jesus Christ. Being a Mormon is the only life I’ve ever known. Some people may think that I’m narrow-minded to not have explored other ways of living, but for me Mormonism was and is key in shaping the person I am. It’s changed and affected everything about me for the better.
A Prayerful Home
We prayed a lot in my home growing up. We had family prayers in the mornings before school, over our meals, and in the evenings before bed. I would often see my mom and dad praying individually, and we were each encouraged to pray on our own every day. We had family lessons about prayer and witnessed miracles wrought in our family because of faithful prayers.
I don’t know what I’d do without prayer. Because of the role prayer played in my childhood, I felt better prepared for creating my own life in my adulthood. Mormonism taught me key life skills, prayer being one of the most important. My home life in Mormonism helped me develop a real and intimate relationship with God, one that I wouldn’t know how to cultivate in any other way.
A Family-Centered Life
I spent much of my free time with my family, even as a teenager. I had a wonderful group of friends, and I saw them often, but when it came down to it, I usually preferred to spend a Friday night with my parents and siblings watching a movie and chowing down on popcorn. Many of you may think that’s weird, and you wouldn’t be the first. But here’s the thing: Mormonism taught me that my family relationships are for eternity. Because of that truth, those relationships have always been the most important to me.
I moved away to college in a separate state after I graduated from high school, and I missed my family greatly. The miraculous thing about this time in my life, however, is that even though I missed my family, I never felt socially handicapped by the ties I had to my parents and siblings. On the contrary, because I was so sure in the security of those relationships, I felt more confident in branching out on my own and making new friends.
I realize that not everyone has had a family life that is conducive to loving ties. What Mormonism has taught me about those circumstances is that Jesus Christ can heal any wound and repair any injustice. He can heal your heart and help you move on from hurt and pain. It’s because of our Savior that loving family relationships are possible in the first place. If you did not grow up in a happy family environment, that does not mean that Mormonism is not for you. In fact, you can find that elusive peace through The Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one who makes it possible for you to build your own happy family for your children.
A Life Guided by the Holy Ghost
When I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ when I was eight years old (the earliest age a person can choose to be baptized) I was also blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Mormons believe that while the Holy Spirit can touch others’ hearts and be with them when on occasion, having the gift of the Holy Ghost is different and more profound. Having the gift of the Holy Ghost means that if you stay worthy and keep the promises you’ve made with God that you can have the Spirit with you all the time. That’s a big deal.
Because of the gift of the Holy Ghost, I’ve felt God guiding and directing my life, far more than I think I would have otherwise. The feeling of the Holy Ghost is sweet, gentle, and palpable. I have felt comfort when heartbroken and courage when scared. The bigger decisions in my life, while they have certainly been my own, have also been gently guided by the Holy Ghost, whose direction is one with Heavenly Father’s. I know if I live worthy to have the Holy Ghost with me that God will never allow me to direct my life in a way that is not for my good. I have had several experiences where what I wanted wasn’t what I needed, and I felt the soft promptings of the Holy Ghost leading me away from certain choices.
Because I’ve allowed the Holy Ghost to play an active role in my life, I don’t question or regret anything that’s happened. The only times I regret are the ones in which I failed to listen to the Spirit, making choices that weren’t what Heavenly Father wanted for me. And even in those situations, it was the Holy Ghost who led me to forgiveness and back to the right path for me.
Mormonism Has Helped Create Me
I wouldn’t be who I am right now without the influence of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. I know that this doctrine is taught in its fullness in Mormonism. All throughout my life I have had peace, strength, and security in my religious faith. Growing up in Mormonism changed everything for me in all the best ways. The Church of Jesus Christ has helped me learn how to ask questions with real intent and see others in the way the Lord sees them. I have realized more fully the power of Christ’s grace and understand the greatness that God has in store for my life.
If you are floundering in life and unsure about where to go or why you’re here, seek God. Talk to Mormon missionaries, because they can answer your questions. Just because you may not have grown up with Mormonism, that doesn’t mean that you can’t accept the gospel of Christ wherever you are right now. These blessings from The Church of Jesus Christ are available for anyone no matter their background or circumstance. I know that this gospel is true, and my life is evidence of that. Your life too can be proof of God’s infinite love and power.