So I've just watched the Book of Mormon musical for the 4th time today - it still has me laughing in stitches throughout the show. I wonder if my friends actually get it as much as I do.
As I sat through the musical and the 95% accurate portrayal of Mormonism, I reflect in amazement that there was once a time I actually believed in the teachings of the Church. What now sound like a silly bunch of made up stories was enough to make me willing to dedicate everything I had to the Church (note - i consciously decided not to use 'God')
My friend asked me after the show 'did you really have to be in the apartment by 9pm?'
Yep - along with no TV, radio, newspapers, books, music - or anything that was not focused on the Church.... yet this only sounds a little brainwash-y to me now.
Taking the 'I believe' song for a minute...
- God lives on a planet called Kolob???
- The Garden of Eden in Jackson County Missouri??????
- Ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America??????
- Thomas Monson speaks directly to God??? - I actually truly believed this one!
- Me getting my own planet???
Okay so now that I've stopped singing the song.... yes, Mormonism is full of stories and really 'out there' ideas and beliefs yet millions of people out there believe in it... with every fibre of their being...
How can some people believe so freely some not? How can people believe so certainly with no room for alternatives yet have never experienced the contrary? Just like the point of the song, I felt like I was taught to 'just believe'. I'm also a strong believer in the power of verbalisation and the more we verbalise things, the more we begin to process them in our mind and some things just become real. Ofcourse this isn't always the case but it certainly helps some people process things and cope.
Well, my view now is - who cares what you believe in! As long as you're not hurting anyone and it brings you joy - have at it!
Despite my views now, I do not regret going on a mission. My mission taught me so much about myself, other people and the world. I learned so much about getting along with people, cleaning habits and approaching random strangers on the street to start a conversation. Plus, I totally would not have enjoyed the musical as much as I do now!
If you haven't seen it already - do yourself a favour a go see it!