Updated: 4 days ago
What was I thinking?
Could I, Valerie Douroux, be a Mormon? The thought alone made me cringe. My whole life I've thought: "Mormons are corny". I'm shocked that I'm genuinely thinking about becoming one. The moment I committed to being baptized, the moment I had serious doubts.
What the hell was I thinking?
Well, I liked the idea of being cleansed of "my sins", but Mormonism? Could I obey the strict ways of the Mormon church? No, drinks. No, drugs. Valerie, seriously? Would I change for the better, or become a judgemental jerk like practically all the Mormons in Utah?
Mormons were the only people excited about my baptism. I had support from the missionaries and my dear friend Kenzi since 7th grade, but no one outside of that. I grew up with the rebels of Utah. I was a heathen and the first of my girlfriends to smoke weed. I honestly feel no shame to say I met a lot of incredible people smoking weed. I never want to change the fondness I have for my fellow weed smoker, but I have to be honest, no one from that camp is going to understand why I'd even think to go this direction.
"It's a cult!" They said.
I looked up the word cult and the definition is: "A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded as strange by others.” We all think religion is strange. Which one isn't a cult?
"It's like a vacuum!" My girlfriend said: "It sucks you in!"
"Don't associate with those people." My dad said.
"Joseph Smith is a con artist!" My mom said.
"Mormons are lame!" My brother said.
Best of all: "You can't be a Mormon, Valerie!
You've been to Israel!" - My sister.
My family and friend's opinions weighted heavy on my mind. I didn't want to disappoint them, but I wanted to change. I wanted to change, I just didn't know if Mormonism was the right way?
It's the craziest thing. I can't even explain it, but the best I can try is: I was gravitating towards this religion with an E-Brake on. I was moving in the Mormon direction whether I wanted to or not! I sensed the good in it. I didn't want to associate with it. It was new, it was freaky, it was fascinating, and I wanted to know more.
I had to honestly ask: Who of these people lived a life that I respected? It certainly wasn't my parents who argued every day. Who of these people lived a life I could example?
Why should I care what people think?
I've lived a life doing whatever I've wanted to do. Things people said were "ok" because "everyone is doing it". I had a conscience that couldn't just allow me to do things without feeling guilt. I had a sincere desire to be physically, mentally, spiritually, and metaphorically be cleansed of all my sins.
It’s time to try something new. I want to change and I want to be a human that is delightful in the eyes of God.
I’ll admit, my desires at first were superficial. Living in Sandy/Draper and seeing the opulence of all my peers driving Mercedes and BMWs to school and living on the mountain made me open to being Mormon.
Yeah, but Mormonism?!
To me, Mormonism represented the exact opposite lifestyle and philosophy: Republican, prudent, conservative, and chaste.
I had problems with the church. The first being, Joseph Smith, the founder, a polygamist. The second, Brigham Young, a Prophet and a racist. The third, black men being withheld from the Priesthood. The fourth, the abrasive anti-gay political stance. The fifth, the disproportionate male/female leadership roles, and the seemingly unequal treatment of a woman’s voice in the excommunication of Kate Kelly and Ordain Women. How could I be apart of something I didn't understand?
I looked to the Mormon people that I knew. Some were cool. Some were lame. Some were conflicted with their beliefs. There were pure sheep and wolves in sheeps clothing. For the most part, I saw the good in the people. The questions I have about polygamy, gay rights, and women's rights are ones to take to the direct source. Yet, the ultimate question remained:
Could I be a Mormon?
Recollecting all the experiences I'd had ever had with Mormon peers, missionaries, and leaders; I finally came to this conclusion:
If I can accept Mormonism, I can accept anything, and this world needs more acceptance.
Whether I wanted to or not, I was moving forward with the E-brake crossing a threshold into the unknown.