Growing up in the LDS faith, I've been taught that 'being active' means weekly church attendance. One became 'inactive' when they stopped showing up each week, or started coming very infrequently.
According to those standards, I became inactive from January to May of this year. In the 5 months I lived in Florida, I went to church 3 times.
The exact opposite of inactive occurred. I have never been stronger in the church than those 5 months.
I lived with 7 other girls, all members of different religions, and at first, these girls were weary of me. They had a few misconceptions, and some were worried I would try to convert them.
Luckily these girls were open to me and my oddities, and never cast me out because of my religion. They let me bring the missionaries into our home, and some even participated in lessons.
I got to share my beliefs with character friends, and character coworkers. When people found out I was from Utah, the next question seemed to always be "are you Mormon?" To which I always confidently answered "I am" with a smile.
I got to teach people about my religion. I got to clarify rumors, and let them hear church music. I told people about church structure, and about modesty. I explained temple marriage and baptisms for the dead. I told people about mormon.org almost every day. It was almost a mini mission. I got to serve my Heavenly Father through word of mouth.
For the first time in my life I handed out a Book of Mormon (most stressful moment of my life) a few weeks before going home. I don't know if it's been read, or if I made it home from Florida, but handing it over, and not being laughed at was a wonderful feeling.
I lived my life as an example of the church, and it was a fantastic feeling. Going to church those 3 times was a wonderful experience, and the long bus ride home was filled with happy feelings and church music playing in my head. Those 3 meetings proved to me that I love my religion, and there is no doubt in my mind that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true.
I felt the spirit every single day. I strengthened my testimony and learned how to share my religion with others. I learned how to open up to others regarding something I hold so dear. I got to see how the choices I had made all my life were for the best, and living without my mom a few hours away proved to me that I do what I do because I want to do so, not because my parents tell me to.
2012 taught me that being an active member doesn't mean weekly church attendance. It means holding to one's beliefs, strengthening a testimony, and being a representative of the LDS church every day of my life.
I am a Child of God. Every person on Earth is a Child of God. I am so grateful to know who I am, where I'm headed and what my purpose is.
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