Two Roads

April 21, 2017

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference

I have loved this poem ever since I memorized it in high school. Would I choose the right road?

Last year, I finally came to that place in my life where there the two roads of my life diverged, I had two distinct choices that lead in opposite directions.

For the first 39 years of my life, I had always made choices that kept me on the road that was most comfortable, the most planned out, the straight and narrow road. I committed to staying on that road at a very young age. It looked something like this;

Try to live the life that my Savior has for me, by following this plan;

  1.  Go to church (all three hours) every Sunday
  2. Attend scripture study (every morning, before high school)
  3.  Don’t drink alcohol, coffee, tea, or smoke
  4.  Don’t date before 16 (or have sex before marriage)
  5.  Get good grades and go to BYU
  6.  Read scriptures regularly
  7.  Say daily personal prayers
  8.  Meet the Mormon man of my dreams and marry him in a Mormon temple
  9.  Look to my husband and God for all guidance and direction
  10.  Raise my children with a strong belief in Mormonism
  11.  Teach them to go to church and live by the same rules and standards
  12.  Prepare my children to be powerful missionaries for the Mormon church

This was my road. It was going just as I had planned.  It was everything I had ever dreamed of. It was what God wanted for my life.

When my beliefs started to erode, I refused to step off of my road. I read my scriptures even more. I prayed with greater intensity. I reached out to others for spiritual guidance. I avoided reading and talking about things that would weaken my testimony.

Then in November of 2015 my church changed it’s policies on homosexuals and their children.

I was crushed.

It felt so un-Christlike to withhold life saving ordinances from a child, just because of their parent’s sexual orientation. Christ never preached that children should be punished for the sins of their parents, so why was my church punishing them? I didn’t even personally know or interact with anyone that was gay, but it still bothered me to my core.

It was the first time that I felt like my church did not represent who I was. I was not a bigot. I did not want anyone to think that I agreed with the way my church treated homosexuals or their families. It was the first time that I REALLY considered taking a different road.

I was afraid. The other road was different and scary. I couldn’t see where it lead. When I looked down the road of Mormonism, it was straight and clear. I knew where my life was headed. I was terrified to change course, but I did not want to stay where I was. I felt like a frog in a pot of water, with the temperature rising. Was I just going to wait for the water to boil and kill everything that made me unique?

So I just stood at the crossroads… terrified of changing the direction of my life. How could I change when my family was so deeply involved? My extended family and friends would be so disappointed if I took the other road. What if I made the wrong choice?

I had no idea that in four months my son would come out and finally give me the courage to choose the road less traveled by, and that would make all the difference.