One of the writers of a blog that I visit (when I can steal the computer from my children or am staying up way too late) asked some questions for a project that really got me thinking. She is taking a class-I don't remember what it's called-something about religion and culture and identity. Anyway, the questions she asked really touched my heart and I've been thinking about them for the past many weeks. I thought I would share the questions and my responses with you.
1. Tell me about a religious experience you have had that made you who you are today.
2. Could you tell me a story or two that might attempt to describe your understanding of an Ultimate Reality or a higher power? (I answered these first two together.)
I don't know if you can call this experience religious or just plain spiritual- All my older children (ages 13, 11, & 6 at the time - I think) were present for the birth of their little brother. They were cheering me & the baby on. My midwife (at the hospital) had to tell me to quit paying attention to them and focus on having the baby-there was the most palpable feeling of love. Almost like you could cut it like a piece of bread. That boy came out and it just increased. It was like nothing I've ever felt on this earth before. Later my midwife told me that she felt the same thing and had attended many births, but this one was very special. Incidentally, that child is filled with love. It's his gift.
I've become a much more loving and forgiving person since then. I feel like we got to experience a small taste of God's love for us & now I want to live my life so I can return to live with Him again (not that I didn't before the experience-the experience just made it seem so much more real).
3. What might you tell other people about your religious or spiritual experience that is most important to know?
I would tell people that though my religious and spiritual experiences that I have come to know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us very much and wants us to return to Him after our earthly learning experiences are over.
4. Are your beliefs the same now as when you were a child? Or have you changed as you have matured?
I grew up in the church I attend now. It's not the same city or building, but my religion is the same no matter where in the world you attend services. I would say that I have definitely matured in the Gospel and my spirituality as I've grown older. My beliefs as a young child and teen were like small roots of a tree, growing and getting fertilized. Now they are very strong and help me weather the storms that try to topple me.
5. Explain a ritual of your faith that is important to you, signifies the core of your religion.
The Sacrament. We take the sacrament every Sunday. (bread -symbolizes the body of Christ & water the blood) We accept Christ's Atonement & we recommit to follow Christ, always remember Him & live as He would have us. When I miss the sacrament, I still live my life the same way-I just feel like something is missing that week.
6. Describe a symbol of your faith and what it means.
Temples- They are beautiful and sacred.
Here's an official Church quote about temples: "Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred promises with God."
Can I tell you how thankful I am that I could go back and blog-stalk this. (It's from 1/22/2011.)
(I do have to say--what a snazzy picture on her linky!)