This has been on my mind for awhile now, saw a few things on some other blogs that got me thinking even more, and then finally last night during some quiet, introspective time, I think I got some answers. Okay, maybe not complete answers since I think we are all 'works in progress' but at least some clarification for where I am now.
It's no secret that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints. Heaven knows, I've linked back to the church's website often enough. We have some pretty high standards in our church and if we are temple worthy (meaning we are living a certain standard high enough to qualify attending the temple - determined by meeting with leaders and truthfully answering some worthiness questions), then we are living pretty clean lives. BUT - we are not perfect.
I believe with everything I have inside this ugly, ole body of mine, in all the doctrines my church teaches. To me it is true gospel stuff. I believe it, I know it. I try hard to live it. I understand what is required of me, and while I have a hard time doing everything I should, I really do KNOW..
But do people really believe that about me? I swear like a sailor. It's true. I have a pretty bad potty mouth. And I can crack some highly inappropriate jokes. I have no filter when it comes to my thoughts and things that strike me as funny. No filter whatsoever. Now, I'm not out on the town carousing about, living the high life, imbibing in things that I believe I shouldn't. But at the same time, I fall short of the daily efforts that are necessary on my part to keep in the straight and narrow each and every freaking day.
So I suppose, some may take a look at me (or a listen), and think, well, she's a nice enough girl, but really? Is she really the church going, temple worshipping,spiritual type? Nah - she just likes to crack jokes and have a fun time. But she isn't really that serious about her religion.
I think I need to set the record straight. First off - to those who may think I am NOT that type. It's okay, I get how you could. I don't have the best "presentation". But, in my heart, I am good. As the song goes, "I am trying to be like Jesus", but we all have our downfalls. We all have our little quirks that keep us from perfection. Mine happens to be my mouth. Big, Loud. Crass and Cursing. At least in some groups of people, I can sorta keep it down a notch enough to not get publicly skewered. But then, does that mean I am a two-face? Does that mean I am a chameleon that knows when to behave and when to let loose and just adapts herself to the situation and to who happens to be around her?
I don't think so. I think I remain pretty true to myself (much to the chagrin of Splenda) more times than not. I think sometimes I just get extra help from heaven during those times that it is PERTINENT that I behave. And then there are times when I just need to blow steam. I have learned when those times are safe and when it's not. I don't think that makes me a fraud. A fake. A show.
I did go to the temple last night. My sweet niece has been faithfully working on our family lines and getting names temple ready. For those whoare not LDS - let me explain. As in Jesus' time, we have temples where sacred ordinances are done, covenants are made and families are sealed for all eternity. It is a goal that every active, LDS saint sets. To receive their own endowments in the temple, be sealed to their families and then we go back often to worhip, and to do the ordinances for loved ones who have passed on and didn't get the opportunity to have theirs done. Why do I believe in this? Little side explanation: Jesus established his gospel while on the earth. He gave the priesthood authority to his disciples. They were one by one killed. Thus his gospel and his priesthood were lost. Though there were many with good intent, the ones who had the actual authority had been killed and so it no longer existed.
Enter the restoration of Christ's gospel through Joseph Smith. Slowly more and more gospel doctrines were revealed and restored. One of those being the ordinances performed in the temple. However, for all those MILLIONS of people who lived while there were no operating temples and no restoration of the gospel, well, is it fair to them to not get those? Not in my book. So, we do them for them in their behalf. They still have the choice whether to accept them or not. No one forces it on them, but at least, the work has been done and then they get to choose. That makes sense to me. That is what I believe.
So, I went to the temple last night to start getting some of the work done on these family names my niece has been working so hard on. At one point in the endowment ceremony, a person was not in their place to do their job. Everything came to a stop. A worker had to hunt down this person and explain that we were all waiting on him. It took several minutes.
That's when it hit me. We all make mistakes. Sometimes they are BIG mistakes, that cause others to also suffer the consequences, and some of our mistakes only seem to hurt our own progress, BUT we make them. And while mistakes cause delays in our progress, we still can get right back on track and keep going. Exercising Christ's redeeming atonement also means we can keep going as if nothing ever happened. Which is what ended up happening last night in the temple.
I am pretty sure I am the last person on the face of the earth to figure this out. I'm slow that way. But as I have been thinking over the question who am I really? I keep coming back to the same thoughts: Am I just a big fat potty mouth who is crass and abrasive or am I a deeply spiritual being who loves her Lord, who tries to become better despite her shortcomings. And if I know who I am, do I accurately portray that to everyone around me or does everyone around me have the wrong idea about me? These are the things that have been weighing on my mind.
After last night, I realized that I am actually both. I am a deeply spiritual person, who loves the gospel, her Savior, her family and her church. Who also happens to have a big, fat, loud, crass potty mouth. And I am okay with that. Sure, I need to work on the potty mouth, crass part, BUT this I know: just because I can be two polar opposites does not mean I am not true to myself. Internal battle with myself sure. But at least I'm true. Not fake. Not a hypocrite. Not a 'show".
And just like that temple worker, sometimes I am not exactly "where" I should be, but I can hustle up and get there and then keep going. Sometimes, I have to hustle a lot. Every day.
So as you may or may not ever visit this blog again, just know that what you see is what you get. I may have a very spiritual post one day, and then something completely crass and inappropriate the next. That's how I roll. And maybe, as I grow up, there might be a little less crass. Maybe. I wouldn't hold your breath, just remember that I know - "I am a daughter of God who loves me and I love him."