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Journal of gratitude, entry #7: my church
This is day #7 of my gratitude spree. I am grateful for my church.

I generally don't post a lot about my religion here on my public journal. It's not that I don't have a testimony, because I do. I just don't like to get into contentious discussions. While I would never persecute anyone for their beliefs, I am sort of nervous that the same courtesy wouldn't be extended to me. So, I mention my church in passing, or a small comment about an activity or meeting, but I generally don't post doctrine related issues on my journal.

For those who don't know, I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

My testimony hinges on three main points: I believe in God; I believe in Jesus Christ, and that he atoned for my sins; I believe I am an awesome creation of God. In my heart, I can feel the spark that tells me I didn't get my start here on earth, and if there is one absolute truth, to me, it's that: I am a daughter of a divine being. I feel that more strongly than anything.

And while my main beliefs could fit into nearly any Christian church, I am extremely happy with the Church I am going to. It makes the most sense to me of any church. The stuff that's hard to believe (and I feel like there's hard-to-believe stuff in any religion) is not so bothersome to me. I feel like my church, as an organization, does so much good in the world -- humanitarian efforts, the building of churches, helping others to prepare for emergencies, the inclusion of so many people. It makes me feel happy.

I also like serving in my church. We have assignments given to us which are called callings. I currently have four of them: two newsletter callings (one for the branch and one for the women's group), website administrator, and emergency preparedness committee. All of these callings keep me busy, and that makes me happy.

My church also has a lot of activities which are fun and worthwhile. When I was a teenager, I wasn't into church so much, and I didn't like the weekly activities we had. I was never a very crafty person or a very baking cookies kind of person, and a lot of the activities seemed to call upon those particular talents. Plus, I just wanted to do my own thing back then, and I felt like I was being forced into doing church stuff. Now, however, I don't feel like anyone is making me make decisions, and I love going to the activities and doing things. I actually love going to church on Sunday, too. I look forward to it, and I enjoy being there, even though it's three hours long.

I know that the Church is a positive influence in my life. It helps me stay close to Christ, and it helps me do the most important thing in life -- which is to have charity and Christlike love toward my fellow humans.

Here I am with my sister on the day she got married at the San Diego temple grounds.