I was never brought up as a religious child, my Mum was raised Catholic, and my Dad was against religion quite strongly. My Mum wanted to get me Christened, but my Dad wasn’t too keen on the idea.
So now, I’m 22, and I believe I am Athiest to some extent, but sometimes I wish I had that Religious community, a hub of people with the same beliefs.
When I was 16, It was approaching New Year of 2012. There was already a bit of hype over the ending of the world, which part of me may have been slightly worried about. I decided that maybe this was the year that I should join a religion, I felt like I was missing out on something in life. So, I did an online quiz to find my perfect religion (apparently the best way for an answer for life is a quiz) and the result I got was Unitarian Universalist; A faith that connects all religions to search for the ultimate truth which still today I felt was a perfect choice for me.
So, I looked online for the nearest Unitarian Church I found one 40 minutes away and went one Sunday on my own. My friends were worried, no one knew about this place, and there was fear I was joining a cult. I knew I was okay; I was just curious.
I went, there was the Minister, Piano Lady and one other man, that was it… It wasn’t the community I had hoped for, and they had said that there are usually more people. But, I wasn’t convinced, shames me to this day that I never returned. I sometimes wish I tried it a bit longer than one day.
Last year, I was on my way to walk already running a bit late as it was Saturday morning and had been up too late the night before.
I get stopped by these two young boys with Elder engraved onto their jumpers, very friendly and polite and they come up to me and ask me “What are your views on the wind?”
I was immediately thrown WIND? So I replied, “I love wind, it’s my favourite!” I never thought about my views on the wind before, so I was already curious about this conversation. So we discussed wind a bit, and whats good about wind. And then they said, “because you shared your love for wind with us, we want to share our love of Jesus with you.”
Now, I was all for it. I love speaking to people, and they were honestly lovely, but I had to apologise and explain I already am late for work, so they took my phone number and asked me to come and meet them at their church the next day, and gave me a little booklet to read over.
I arrived late for work and explained to my manager that I was stopped by these two boys who had Eldar written on their jumpers, but I’m going to church the next day to see them. My manager explained they were Mormons. Honestly, I didn’t know much about Mormons, apart from a tv show I had watched about multiple wives but I could tell there was already more to the religion than I had been led to believe, so I was excited. Much to the frown of my friends and colleagues.
So Sunday arrives, and I’m feeling nervous about the whole experience, so I take it slow through the day. People have questioned me the fact I was nervous, why would I still go? I was curious, and I don’t like the idea of being close-minded without experiencing, so I went.
It was an experience, and I don’t regret it at all they were the friendliest people I have ever met, gave me a tour of the Church. It was just the two Eldar Missionaries and me; they showed me where “women” study and where “men” study, and the pool where you would be baptised in. It all fascinated me massively. And we went into the chapel room and read some scriptures and discussed life mainly, and they explained to me why Jesus is important to them and it was all very touching. And I felt warm inside, and peaceful, it was lovely and idyllic. And they added me on facebook starting a Facebook group together, and they were excited, I was too! They gave me The Book of Mormon to read over, and we would arrange meetings or my teachings to be taught the way of Mormonism 3 times a week I was excited, I wanted to see the life from someone else’s perspective I didn’t believe, but I enjoyed it a lot.
We spoke on Facebook a bit, and I talked to my friends and family about it, and I was completely cut away from what I was saying. People would say I was being brainwashed, and why would I want to continue.
I got scared and regrettably told them I wouldn’t be returning.
It was a lovely experience, and I still feel guilty as I felt like I let them down.
The question is now, do I need religion in my life? I’m still intrigued, but maybe curiosity isn’t the best way to turn to religion.