Hello, my name is Rebecca and I am atheist.
Atheist, I know what you are thinking. “Wow!” “Wait!” “That is really strong… you mean agnostic.” Don’t worry even my friends that aren’t Mormon say this to me. One of my best friends, Yvonne, always stops me and in her, “Come on Rebecca” voice says, “No, you believe that there is something more out there. I know you do. Hello, of course there is.” And my favorite of all, “Don’t be silly, of course there is a God.” Silly is not what I am trying to be, avoiding hypocrisy is my goal. One of the partners at my work always tells me, “One day you are going to be Relief Society President, I can see it now… and you’ll be great at it… and when you are I am going to call you up and say ‘I told you so’.” He is Catholic and if he is right, so be it, but for now I am not and I don’t have any prospects, or thoughts or desires. If I end up there… that is fine too.
I have nothing against being Mormon, nothing at all… I would never allow any of my siblings to leave the Church, not one of them, or my parents, or most of my friends. I would be first in line to march right up to them and set them on the straight and narrow.
Here is my deal… If I was going to believe in God I would believe in my parents God, in the God that my entire family believes in, in the God that draws them all together and tells them they are going to live together forever as a family. I would believe in this God that makes my siblings, parents and nieces and nephews strive to do the right thing and remain pure and are happy and wonderful and perfect. (Yes, I recognize that I have simplified). This would be my God. But it isn’t so I am atheist. I believe when I die I become part of the earth and that is all.
At first I wrote a big long post about how I got to this point. I had the entire thing broken down into a timeline… at 5 I did this, at 14 this, at 16 this and so on… and in the end discovered it was a pretty simple step that took me from believing to non-belief. The rest, the timeline, was what convoluted the process with a lot of guilt and worry for others feelings and eventual hatred for an organization that never wronged me and then a return to seeing the goodness in it… but really that was just the process of dealing with no longer being a part of something that had defined my youth, my moral development, my community, my life, who I am.
The truth is I am not a practicing Mormon for the simple reason that the only reason why I practiced Mormonism is because I did. I did it because I did. I did it because every body else did. I did it because I was told I was supposed to. I did it because that is what good girls did. I did it because that was what many, not all, popular girls did. I did it because I liked my friends that did. I did it because my mother’s womb was Mormon. I did it because my dad is smart and he is a convert, so he must be right. I did it because it was easy… I promise being LDS in Provo, Utah is a lot easier then not being LDS. I NEVER did it because I knew.
So if you ask me why I am not a practicing Mormon my answer is just as simple. I am not because I am not. I am not because I am not going to live on borrowed faith. I am not because I am happier when I am not. I am not because, very simply I AM NOT. I didn’t find the answer I needed and I am not going to sit back until it finally comes. To me, for me, it is worse to do it simply to do it, than not to at all.
The funniest for me is how many people, Mormon or ‘Not’ tell me that they know I will return one day. Why would they say this? I think about this often and I think it has to do with the fact that I smile a lot, that I love my family more than anything in the world, that I love life and that I try to live it to its fullest. It is my demeanor that makes people think that I will return to God, which makes me believe that they believe that you must be God loving to have this demeanor. Possibly, but possibly not!!
My point? I was raised with a certain set of values, golden rule type stuff, understanding of community, especially family, understanding of right and wrong, etc., not uniquely Mormon, not uniquely associated with God. Goodness and happiness can exist with out believing in God and I believe to be a testament to this theory.
I may be wrong… all wrong…
But I have much love and respect for all of the individuals that I know that are religious and I am grateful that their respect for my choices is prevalent in our relationships.
btw... getting this in before Monday came to a close was a task... and be it known I only rushed for Fromage... possibly our only outside visitor so far... Still, After The New Year Is The Starting Date... All of this just be fun for us right now...