Church felt good

I had always tried to lead a Christlike life. I read the scriptures and listened to my religious leaders. I dutifully obeyed. I didn’t question (very much).

I wanted the same belief and obedience for our children. My husband and I frequently and regularly taught classes at church to the youth. We frequently took our kids to Utah to visit the church headquarters. We took them to early morning seminary everyday in high school (a one hour religious studies class). We took them to (very expensive) church youth camps during the summer. We took them to church dances and activities. As a family, we read scriptures in the mornings together, we prayed several times a day, we fasted once a month and we constantly reinforced the “truthfulness” of the church.

When I loved others and showed compassion, it felt good, even Christlike. When I saw others teaching and caring for my family, it felt good. It felt good to go to church. It moved me to tears to sing hymns together. It felt good to serve. It felt especially good to see my kids serving others.

I loved participating in church because of the good feelings I felt when I was there. I believed that those good feelings came from Christ. It was His way of telling me that I was doing what He wanted. I wanted my kids to feel those same good feelings. I wanted my kids to have the same connection with Christ. I wanted my kids to have structure, morals, and guidelines. The church had everything I wanted.

Did it really matter that my church had mislead me, misinformed me and taught me lies? I wasn’t going to church for the historical accuracy of its beginnings. It didn’t bother me that the founders of my faith had scandalous relationships with multiple women, did it? That was not why I went to church.

I was going to church because that is where I felt close to God. It was how I learned to be Christlike. It gave me and my family opportunities to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We were working for Christ, trying to build up His kingdom. We were living the laws that Christ wanted us to follow. Our prophets had told us that the rules we followed, as Mormons, came from God. I couldn’t question God.