This I Believe

sarah - Norman, Oklahoma
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

It was not until this year that I fully appreciated my religious belief. I dated a Mormon for about a year. The problem was that I was a Methodist. My parents did not approve of me getting serious with a Mormon but since he was a really good guy and I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship I decided to go on a few dates with him for fun. I planned on only being friends with him but that turned out differently. In general we shared the same values and ideas. We both were against excessive alcohol drinking and partying. He treated me with respect and we very quickly became best friends because of our similar personalities. After getting to know him though we started to have talks about religion. I knew he would only marry a Mormon and could only be married in the temple. I was not interested in converting so I wanted to get out of the relationship we had before we got any closer. These talks always ended in fights. I believe everything happens for a reason and I believe the reason he came into my life was to be there for me when I needed someone. He was a good influence. He believed he came into my life to convert me. I do not believe there is one “right” religion. All different cultures all over the world think their religion is right because that is what they were born into and what they know. I think everyone should respect every religion. You do not have to accept what others believe. I believe a person chooses their beliefs based on what is best for them. I chose Methodist not only because it is what I grew up with but because I fell in love with it. My religion helped me deal with issues at school and at a home. My dad was a lay leader at church and I wanted to be just like him. I played the piano during church services, participated in bible school, went through confirmation and went on various mission trips. I prayed every night and whenever I felt I needed too. It helped me learn more about myself and goals I wanted. I felt it helped me handle situations better and make important decisions. I did not think it was right of him to judge or try to change what I had believed all my life so I decided we should spent more time separately for a while. Being around someone who brings you down or tells you what you believe (or have believed all your life) is wrong does not make you feel good. It is enriching and interesting to be friends with people with different beliefs but it is easier to have a companion that shares the same beliefs as you. This experience has made my beliefs even richer and has made me study my beliefs more.