Monday, April 12, 2010

Here is the church and here is the steeple

So yesterday I went to church with my mother-in-law. It was my idea, and an idea that came up suddenly. I hadn’t even been thinking about it before I did it. I just noticed that it was Sunday and thought “Man, I kind of miss going to church.” Which led to “I bet Jan’s getting ready for church right now.” Which led to “I should text her and see if I can go.”

Jan, of course, was all for it. She really is a wonderful person. One might be inclined to think that, being a devout Mormon herself, she would go out of her way to try and force me to go to church and convert me and also bring her son back to the flock, so to speak. But no, she’s never been like that at all. She really does see the good in people and even when you can see that it’s hard for her, she does her best to understand and not judge people she disagrees with. She’s an incredibly strong woman and a great mother. I’m glad to have a mother-in-law like her.

Ahem, anyway, got sidetracked there.

I had a great time at the LDS church.I had totally forgotten that in the Mormon church you don’t go up to the front to receive communion (Or Sacrament as they call it, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same thing.) but that people come down the aisles and the bread and wine (Water, actually) get passed amongst the parishioners. I was all ready to stand up and get in line but then I was like “Oh yeah! I remember this!” I used to think the Sacrament was like grown-ups snack time. Haha.

Eh, I just realized that some of my readers might be confused right now. I was Mormon as a young child. That’s why I remembered some stuff.

I also got to go to the Relief Society class, which was kind of exciting because we left the church before I got out of Primary school (Relief Society is a church group for adult women.)

Now, obviously there were quite a few teachings I heard that I didn’t believe to be true. That was to be expected, but all the same, I had a good time. Even though I disagreed with many of the things being said, as I sat and listened I felt a great deal of peace building inside of me. Being surrounded by people who truly believe in their religion and who are so profoundly comforted by their belief is a wonderful experience. Religion is such a powerful force and it’s great to see people who experience it on such a personal level.

Granted, I very well may be way off. For all I know, many of the parishioners were political and fought for governmental change that I am firmly against. Many of them may have been suffering by going to a church that they felt was holding them back and trapping them in bad situations.

I’m sure not all of them were as peaceful as they seemed within the church.

At the end of the day though, we were all at church and what they did or how they felt outside of church wasn’t relevant. For a few hours everyone was quiet and humble and comforted.

It was a good thing.

I wish pagans had weekly church. Once a month to get together and celebrate the full moon just isn’t enough to build the kind of strong community I felt in the LDS church. As a kind of wayward pagan, with my perhaps unusual agnostic beliefs, community is something I crave on a deep level. So even though I will never completely agree with them, even if they never fully accept me, and even though those same people may be my “enemies” politically, I’d like to go to church  more often.

After all, any religion that brings people comfort and peace is valid and worth study, even if parts of it are contrary to your personal beliefs.

1 comment:

  1. I like this entry. It takes a lot of strength to get up and experience another religion. A good sense of community is so hard to find these days with our digital world. Keep up your crave for new experiences!