This I Believe

Jennifer - Carrollton, Texas
Entered on September 11, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

“Books cannot always please, however good;

Minds are not ever craving for their food.”

I can never remember I time when reading was not one of my favorite pastimes. It was just something I always did. I never had many friends as I grew up, so I found my friends in the characters I would read about, and learned of the other worlds that one could only wish they could find. Understandably these books were just fiction, but I read them like I would read a story of my own life and learned a lot about life in general. Watching others go through all the experiences that I might eventually have to go through had given me the knowledge to not have to go through most of the situations of life. My only regret seems to be that I do not have the personal experience that most do, but I have been in enough situations to know that there seems to always be something more to learn. Especially considering that there is more twist and turns in life than even the most complex minds can create in a story.

Slowly over the years, I started reading less and less, and in life I experienced new twists that I had never read about. The new twists started with the mentally unstable, druggies, and girls with fewer morals than I had met or read about. I find it slightly ironic that the first real growing period of my life had to deal with its darker side. I had never read anything that had to deal with the mentally disturbed actions, drugs, or girls that lowered their standards dramatically around guys before, so at the moment I found myself in a situation with them, I did not know quite how to react.

All my life I had been taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter – Day Saints, and with all its morals and ways of life, one would think I would have been able to withstand involving myself in their darker world. Alas, I learned by example (which happened to be my reading), and did not really “know” about my church. So, as there were no examples in any books I had ever read, I involved myself in their lives. I never engaged in any morally wrong acts, but engaging in that type of friendship was bad enough, and I got involved in some sticky situations. I eventually changed a great deal as a person. I started cursing, and didn’t care about the things I was doing quite as much, but then I turned 14. I went to a church camp/school, and learned more about my church, and where my life was headed.

After that experience I changed many things, but still I was not there. Then our Prophet issued our members a challenge; to read The Book of Mormon within the year. This book defied the laws of not being able to prepare you for any situation. It wasn’t fiction or written by people that weren’t inspired to write what they did, which made its lessons far different than those of the books I had been reading. The books I had been reading would not have been able to tell me how to turn my life around, or make me realize that I needed to. Therefore, all I can say is that I believe that you can’t learn everything about life from a book that you aren’t meant to and is not inspired.