There's that special moment. The one where truth is discovered, happiness ensues, and the desire to testify of the light becomes a priority. Bearing testimony is now part of life. Family and friends need to hear, they need to understand, and they need to come to the truth.
This swell of happiness contrasts with the despair of watching loved ones disregard the truth. They scoff at true joy. Someday they will receive confirmation of the beauty of the truth. Love them even though they sin. Be an example of the happiness they can come to know. They will experience the comfort eventually.
Then, it happens. A loved one asks about the joy. What sustains enthusiasm about life - even a life with trials? Seize the opportunity. Bear testimony.
They contemplate. Emotion is overwhelming, and they know. They know of the happiness. They know they believe. They join. Happiness and love expand beyond expectation. And finally, safety is achieved. Forever Family. . . accomplished.
I was taught this experience in many different ways. This is the experience every Mormon knows they are born to have. The day they get to share their testimony with a "non-believer," and get to see the work of God through the Holy Ghost. Testifying of truth is what Mormons stand for; live for. "Every member a missionary." The moment when that non-believer listens, feels of the spirit, and wants to come to the truth is fantasmic. It's a special moment to help bring someone into the fold of the everlasting gospel.
It's because of this moment that every member, in my opinion, should be able to relate somehow to my experience a year ago.
My church-going days had just finished. I couldn't handle it anymore. I spent my Sundays at the pool with my hubby and kids, or hiking, or visiting friends and family. We had a glorious Summer. Nothing out of the ordinary.
So, when my Hubby stopped going to church, I didn't mention it. I realistically didn't even notice for a couple of months. When my Hubby wanted to go run a Spartan race on a Sunday, I didn't protest; except for wanting to go too. (I don't really like to vacation separately) But, I couldn't go. When my Hubby came back from this trip, he stopped reminding me to wash the whites (I always forget to get to them; they are our smallest load), which left my insides to do the Carlton dance, but I didn't say anything. I was just going to let this one unfold. I didn't want to push. I wanted it so badly, I didn't want to disrupt the Universe by jumping the gun. I thought I would just let him tell me what was going on. When he was ready, of course.
Weeks went by. We fell into the normalcy of school, work, training, etc. Life was just happening. Then the last quarter of the year needed to be planned, and along with planning activities for the holiday season always comes the discussion of finances. Finances, when on a tight budget, are always hard to discuss. Even more so, when tithing is brought into the mix.
I brought up tithing.
Me: "Honey, I want to discuss tithing again."
Hubby: "Oh, yeah? What about it?"
Me: "Well. . . I don't want to pay it anymore. At all." (Keep in mind we are talking about his portion, since mine was already not going to the LDS conglomerate.)
It's here that I'm cringing in anticipation of his answer. Oh, no! What's he going to say? What are we going to do?
My Hubby: "Okay." Like it was nothing! He barely looked up from whatever he was reading. His peeking was probably only to see the shocked look on my face.
Me: "What?! Really?!"
From here the conversation moved to "what's going on?" and a WHOLE LOT of "are you sure?" I was stunned. Shocked. In disbelief. There is probably no one out there more surprised, than I was. I thought we were going to have a life of continuous struggling to figure out how to make a dual-faith family work. I was sure my Hubby would always be a believer. It felt like a dream for many weeks.
A dream that melted into reality.
The missionary moment when someone says "yes" to being baptized. The Mormon parent moment when your kid is baptized, confirmed, ordained, or sealed. The "every member a missionary" moment when a "fallen" family member returns to the fold. And... the ex-Mormon moment when your spouse tells you they're leaving too.
They are all the same. The same excitement. The same love. The same joy.
Don't be sad for us. I'm not sad for you. We have found our happiness, and are blessed to be able to do it together. Be happy we're happy. We're happy you're happy.
Side Note: This, along with all other posts, is completely my view of what happened. My Hubby is always willing to give his side of the story. Please feel free to ask him about it.