Thank you for sharing your testimony

On Friday I finally read our department newsletter. A relatively new coworker was highlighted and I learned that we both would prefer the chalice from the palace. I also learned that he is has ended a journey that I feel like I am just beginning.

Thank you, Joe. Thank you for being brave enough, for caring enough to share your journey and your pain with complete strangers. One of my hopes is to be as brave and care as much as you clearly do.

I wasn’t sure what my title was going to be to this first article. And then it hit me, I wanted to say “Thank you” and my coworker had born the first testimony that has touched my heart in some time. Growing up LDS we are taught that a testimony consists of very specific things, namely belief in:

  • God, the Father and Jesus Christ
  • The Atonement of Christ
  • Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet
  • The Book of Mormon
  • The restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ

And that was exactly how I used to bear my testimony and how I always thought of my testimony. Until this weekend. My coworker shared his love of God and most especially of his fellow man and woman. He also shared his very real struggles with the religion that we both grew up in.

And it hit me! THIS! This is what a “testimony” can be and maybe what it should be.

I’ve thought a lot about my concerns and questions with the Church and with religion in general, but until now have avoided saying anything in any sort of public forum.

Today I’d like to officially come out and say it. Yes, I do believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I even believe in the necessity of a restored church. I also believe that religion in general and the Church specifically causes a lot more harm than any good that comes out of them.

How to reconcile my conflicting beliefs about what I believe about God and faith and what I see being taught and practiced by members of the Church? Honestly, I don’t know. Hopefully starting to write about my own questions and experiences will help me to find those answers.

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