It is Sunday. On Sunday I usually attend church. For 3 hours, to be exact. Not today. Today, I thought it wise to stay home and not infect the entire congregation with the cold the Queen, Manly, and I have. I missed not hearing the messages that kindle my Spirit and encourage me to be a better person. I missed the Spiritual enlightenment.
I am a Mormon. Yes, a Book of Mormon toting, alcohol and coffee abstaining, Christ-loving Mormon.
It is a piece of what makes me whole. A large portion that defines who I am.
How has being a Mormon influenced my life? I will provide one example (more than one would make this post ridiculously long).
There have been times in my existence when I felt confused about where I should be going. I have received promptings hinting in a certain direction. Like when I was deciding what college I should attend after high school.
“Apply for Brigham Young University (BYU),” the voice whispered.
“I can’t. My grades are no where near good enough. I can’t afford to live on my own” I stubbornly answered back.
After a week of indecision, I once again heard that voice.
“Apply for BYU,” the voice said, a little louder this time.
“Fine!” I snapped back.
I applied for BYU. In Hawaii. I thought I had my best chances in that direction.
I received the rejection letter a couple months later.
“Hah!” I scornfully replied to that voice. “I told you I would not get accepted.”
Again, I received the inspiration to apply for BYU. In Utah.
“No way, BYU Utah is the hardest to get accepted into!”
“Do it,” the voice commanded.
I relented. But, to make my point, I applied to all three BYU schools (Idaho, Utah, and Hawaii).
A month later, I received an acceptance letter for BYU Utah. I was astounded. All the evidence supported my theory that my grades were not to the caliber of their regular freshman acceptees. However, I had applied for Winter, not Fall. With admission requirements slightly lower for Winter applications, my chances were elevated.
I was also accepted into Idaho, and, once again, Hawaii rejected me. (My mother did not inform me of this until I was on my way to Provo. She is sweet like that.)
The voice that guided me was the Holy Spirit. I can recount numerous occasions, some big (like marrying Mr. B), and others small (help me find my wedding ring!), where I have been guided by the Spirit.
My experiences are described by Mel Gibson’s character in the movie Signs.
“People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance. I’m sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they’re on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there’s a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they’re looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever’s going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences.” (Courtesy of IMDB)
I see signs. This is a profound influence of my religion on my life.
Other influences can wait for another time, another post.
How about you, do you see signs?
Do you believe in coincidences?
If you’ve seen the movie Signs, what did you think?