The Pacific Ocean glinted merrily below. The wing’s edge sliced through the mild cloud cover with ease. I took a sip of my Guava juice and swirled the ice around in my empty cup. As I stared out of the hazy plane window my mind wandered, mulling over my recent decision.
Was I really ready to return to the church? For real? I had revisited this topic an infinite number of times over the previous weeks. My mind bubbled with questions, launching them into my conscious at inopportune moments. Was I ready to make this change? To give up a piece of my so newly acquired freedom? Was I ready to accept the doctrine, in its entirety? Was I ready to move forward on this path? To be Mormon fully and truly?
Despite the tornado of questions circling in my brain, I was sure of my choice. It was the only way. I was tired of feeling confused. I was tired of being conflicted. I was done being flaky and broken. I was ready to commit to something solid. Gabriel had done it. Julia had done it. My whole world was Mormon and I was tired of living alone on the fringe.
The bikini would go, the piercing would come out, the tank tops would disappear and I would go back to church. And that would be that. But there was one more thing that would be required of me first. In order to wipe my slate clean and authentically return to the faith of my birth, I would have to confess.
Of the LDS faith’s many, many rules I had broken relatively few. I had enthusiastically utilized more than a few well-placed cuss words. While I had been good since arriving at college, I had gotten too intimate with a previous boyfriend. I had lied. I had harbored contrary beliefs. To an outsider, it would appear that I had done nothing out of the ordinary for a teen. But despite the number of my sins or their impact in an external context, I had broken rules and there was only one remedy for that.
As a Mormon youth, I was taught from an early age that, while I could repent of minor grievances on my own, the only way to truly erase the stain of sin from my soul was to confess my wrongdoings to my Bishop. The LDS practice echoes the Catholic form of confession, minus the Hail Marys and the luxury of anonymity.
It never occurred to me not to confess. I had made my choice and I was ready to go all in. It seemed like the next step in accomplishing that goal and I was even hopeful that the guidance I received there might be of use to me. It seemed like a good point for a fresh start – a new semester – a new me.
This is the latest installment in my story. If you haven’t yet read the previous entries, click here to start at the beginning. Then continue to read each post in numerical order.