I never expected to become inactive, but I allowed it to happen. I was in college, and I had taught in the Nursery and then the Sunbeams two years in a row. That was almost three years of being in Primary right out of High School. I loved it, but the last year and a half, I had been going to church for about five hours each Sunday. I’d teach two hours in my home ward, and then go to the Young Single Adult ward. My close friends went to school one and three hours away. I was shy and almost every week, sometimes even from the same people, I’d get reintroduced. “Are you new here?” It became insulting. But that still isn’t what caused me to become inactive.
I met a non-member young man that I believe I settled for. I hadn’t had anyone show any interest in me, even at church dances and activities. I wanted a date! I had never had one. So, it started with an innocent comment, and then it became a relationship. I chose to be with him, instead of being at church. It was like I threw my beliefs out the window. In hindsight, I can’t believe I’d lost so much faith in myself to not have stayed on the straight and narrow.
Time passed and we eloped in Vegas, not telling anybody, including our friends. We eventually moved to Utah to be with my parents as his family was moving and it would have been too far to travel to our jobs at that time. We had also determined that the cost of living in Utah was much less compared to California. I went to church part of the time, and he attended a few times. After we had our twin boys, which were a surprise pregnancy, almost upon arrival to Utah, he refused to come to their blessing. I took that hard. To me, that meant, he would never become a member of the church. Not that I wanted to force him into it, but I was sad that window was closed.
I often found that when I wanted to attend church, something always came up. It was frustrating. I wanted so much to find my old self again. My love for the church never went away; I believe it was just buried deep inside. I had great faith in blessings and prayer, even tithing! I often times in my darkest hours have cried out unto the Lord and begged for forgiveness and peace. I had learned years before to always humble yourself before each prayer. At those times, I had certainly humbled myself. I was but a meek child asking my Father for forgiveness for things I knew was wrong. I was taught the values, I believed them, but I was a hypocrite unto myself.
I was able to attend church for a time, but then found another young man, years after my first divorce, that was a member. I’ll state this right now; my first non-member husband had a better grasp on religion than this person. Yet again, I followed the same pattern. The physical pain and mental anguish this man has caused me and my family is something I relive nearly every day. I still cry unto the Lord to bless me with peace and comfort. I don’t know why, yet I am unable to get over this. Sadly I am not the only one. Perhaps I still need time. I have begun piecing together a few things, and by attending church and reading the scriptures, it has helped to put things into perspective.
I sometimes feel like I have failed. I have failed my parents, my children, my Father in Heaven. My self-worth has been next to nothing a few times. But one thing remains the same; I know my Heavenly Father loves me. I know that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10). He has given us the Atonement to repent for our failures, or shortcomings. It’s never too late to start on our path back to righteousness. He is there to guide you. He has given us so many tools to help us come back to Him. Of course the fewer detours you have, the less of a trek it is on your way back. If you know you need direction, humble yourself and discuss it with Him. I know from experience, that He is always there to listen. Even when you feel as though you have failed him.
“If we repent and accept correction, these experiences will allow us to humble ourselves, change our actions, and once again draw closer to Heavenly Father.” Elder Claudio D. Zivic, April 2014 Conference Talk
I'm a Supermom and wife who works full time. I love cooking for my family and friends. But most of all, I love the Gospel and my journey back to it!