So, to start off, I should admit that I’m a Mormon on paper, but in reality, I’m pretty agnostic.
And by agnostic, I mean that I don’t believe in much (if anything) in particular, but I’m not opposed to much (if anything) in particular either. I guess you could say that I’m a skeptic, but I don’t know if I think that fits well.
Recently, my younger sister got married in an LDS temple. I was not allowed to attend, so I stood outside in the rain, holding umbrellas for my family. Not ideal, but I don’t think I can be too upset about that because I knew this would happen as a result of my own choices.
After the ceremony, my Aunt pulled my aside to tell me about an experience she had in the temple. In her experience, she was given a message from my Grandparents and Uncle who are all now dead. The message was about me and gave her some answers about how God feels about people who have left the church, even though they were faithful members. She shared the experience with me, and I believed what she said. I believed that she saw my dead relatives, and that the experience was very real to her, and it felt good to me to hear about it.
And this got me thinking about religious experiences – mine as well as in general, and have started to form an idea about this.
I believe that there is some sort of higher power, if you will. I don’t know what it is. I’m not sure if it’s science, or nature, or universal energy, or maybe a combination of all of that. I do think, though, that there is something greater than us. And I think that something knows us. I guess. I don’t really know how to describe that, but hear me out and maybe it will make more sense.
When I asked my best friend (also an agnosticish person) what she believed about what happens after we die, she told me that she believes that everyone will get whatever they’re expecting. If you expect that life will just end and that’s it, then that is what you will get. If you believe that you will be in a heaven where everyone is walking on clouds and angels are playing harps, you’ll get that. If you believe that you will live forever with your worthy family members and creating new worlds, you’ll get that, In other words, your beliefs will become reality. Over time, I’ve considered this, and I think it’s something I can buy into. It makes sense to me.
And I think that belief explains a lot of other things, especially religious experiences. To my Aunt, she responds well to angelic visions, and so that is how her version of God responds to her. When I was Mormon, I responded well to warm feelings and comfort, and that’s what I got. I’ve always responded well to experiences in nature and beautiful places, and I would say that I’ve received insight or maybe even experienced “miracles” that I associate with nature. And so for me, nature is my temple, my place to find peace, and my way to communicate with whatever it is I believe in.
I guess this sounds abstract and obscure, and maybe it is. But I feel like maybe I’m on to something about this.
Maybe I should start my own religion?