Reading Time: 2 minutes

Like most people in Utah Valley I was raised LDS. I had a great childhood and the Mormon church taught me a lot of values that have influenced my life positively, but somewhere along the way I realized I didn’t believe in the theology. It wasn’t one of those things where I’d found what I did believe in, I just knew I didn’t believe the story I’d been told all of my life: Jesus in America, Joseph Smith’s revelations, and the gold plates- I didn’t even know if I believed Jesus ever really existed. I wasn’t angry, but I knew I had to leave- I had to explore my own spirituality in order to define what it was about my life that gave it purpose.

It was hard on my family, especially my mom. We tried to talk calmly about the subject: I was confused and wanted to look for answers elsewhere—in other creeds and experiences. I felt like I was sacrificing the unity I’d have with my family for something that was true to me. But my mother, as wonderful as she is supported me regardless of her spiritual beliefs.

One day, years after my exodus from the church at age eighteen, I was up one of the nearby canyons on a Sunday afternoon in autumn. Digging a fire pit, I saw pieces of dried leaves and weeds slowly turning into soil, and in that moment I caught a glimpse
of the eternal cycle that runs everything: Life from Death, Life from Death, and so on. Those leaves will come back as a weed or a tree someday. It was so simple. Our lives are all connected, our actions like falling leaves influencing the cosmic tie we all have with one another—that was God, not a man or a woman but a kind of glue or fabric that con- nects all living things. From that moment on, God was music, God was love, God was hate, God was in the buildings that made up the city, God was the sun, the moon, God was me, God was you—and for me, my sanctuary became my imagination. From then on I knew the best way to worship was to make the most out of this incredible experience

of life. A great warmth sunk into my chest and my eyes watered; somehow it all made sense God had been there all along.

Jordan Freytag / HEX Writer