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I Can't Believe What I Used to Believe

This title has dualistic meanings. First, read I can't believe what I used to believe in an astonished tone as in "I have no idea how I actually once believed some of the things I used to believe." Second, read I can't believe what I used to believe as a matter of fact in that I can't go back. My eyes have been opened and I can't unsee all the reasons why I no longer believe what I used to believe.

As I wrote yesterday, I believe we already have everything we need within. We don't need a Holy Ghost, teacher, prophet, bishop, or parent to tell us what to do. We need to find a quiet place to think, ponder, meditate, or pray. Looking back over my life, it's all so clear why I never received answers to my prayers. I was looking for those answers to come from without instead of looking for the answers within. I remember praying to know which college to attend. I had received scholarships to a couple of universities and felt that surely God had a plan and purpose for me so I should seek his direction. I prayed and fasted much, but didn't feel impressed one way or the other--essentially, I didn't get a divine answer. So I just did what all my friends were doing and what sounded like the most fun. I packed my bags and headed for USU.

I can say the same thing about everything I've ever prayed about. I would pour my guts out to God, hoping for some divine manifestation, and when none came, I'd just make the logical choice--following the advice of Benjamin Franklin and making a list of pros and cons. What I wish I could go back and tell my old praying self is this: "Stop asking God for answers and instead ask yourself. You are a God--a whole, complete, divine being with infinite possibilities. The world is your oyster. There is no one right way. Choose what you want and then go make the best of it. Love and serve others along the way and feel and see good and God in everything you do."

Additionally, I no longer believe that individual salvation lies in some other being. Nor do I believe that someone else can atone for my sins--mostly because I no longer believe in sin. I believe in learning, growth, and progress. I don't believe in evil. I believe that all beings are good and want to do good. Seriously, only hurting people hurt others. One day we will understand more about the brain. Not everyone is blessed with a healthy brain. Those who suffer from mental illness--or who are under the influence of drugs and other substances--make bad choices. As we continue to improve health care, increase love and compassion, and help people overcome addictions, we will create a Zion-Utopian society. There is SO much good in this world. I am ever optimistic about the future of our planet. Everywhere I look, I see amazing, incredible things.

I am so excited to continue my life journey. I have no idea what lies beyond this life, but I'm not one bit worried about it. I have the utmost confidence that if I continue to live a life of service, love, and gratitude, everything will be well with me in the here and now and forever in the eternities. What I now believe makes me declare with certainty I can't believe what I used to believe!

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