My childhood home was godless, devoid of any religious sustenance. Both of my parents had been raised in devout Mormon homes, but that religion wasn’t practiced in their adult life. However, my mother made a half-hearted attempt to expose my brother and me to that religion by sending us to Sunday school. The weekly excursions to the LDS Third Ward had no connection to any parts of my life, and as soon as I could wiggle out of going, I ceased making the two-block trek. I don’t recall talking to my brother about it so I don’t know what his reactions were—however, neither of us became Mormons.
I brushed up against Catholicism and Christianity by sporadic attendance to services with a friend, Catholic, my aunt, Central Christian.
I remained unchurched until well into my forties. I gradually picked up dribs and drabs of spiritual food wherever I could. The concepts of Spirit and “Higher Power” didn’t solidify for me until my introduction to them through attending 12-step meetings—Adult Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon—that I attended while in graduate school in Philadelphia and later still, the Science of Mind, a New Thought spirituality.
During the next twenty-five years, through three states, another country, the deaths of my parents, and reunification with my daughters, I bounced back and forth between the Unity and Unitarian faiths.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself in the telling of my story. I must weather multiple spring rains, droughts, and floods before I am able to develop beliefs and practices of my own that will fulfill my spiritual quest.
What I’ve come to realize is that:
- Mom and Dad didn’t deliberately deprive me of God. By sending me to Sunday school, Mother was attempting to expose me to religion/God the only way she knew how.
- In that thwarted effort, I ended up having an important part of my growing self neglected.
God enters by a private door into each individual. – R. Waldo Emerson
Stay tuned. Next episode: “Survivor.”