Joining the Saints

About 5 years ago, I was baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I want to say it was the culmination of some spiritual journey, but it’s really more like the beginning.  In today’s blog, I want to talk about the path I took that led me to my church, as well as to talk about what my faith means to me.

I was raised by a practicing Roman Catholic mother, and a non practicing Jewish father.  As a result, I was always somewhat spiritually tuned, even though some people said I was too practical to be a believer.  As a science teacher, some people might say the same thing today.  But it’s never been an issue to me, my faith in God has never wavered.  I’ve never been a strict creationist, but I’ve always been able to appreciate the Bible as being something that could bring me closer to Heavenly Father.

Being raised in the Catholic church, I had all the major milestones of a Catholic upbringing, I had my baptism, first communion and confirmation;  all from the friendly confines of St. Johns church, on the shores of Lake Mahopac.  Some people might take my conversion as a kick to the gut of my former church.  This is untrue, I cherish my Catholic upbringing, and I learned much about the Gospel, as well as had many positive relationships with my church family.

I was highly involved with my church.  I was part of our youth group, I went through Sunday school.   As I got older I went on some retreats and other trips and activities.  In college I was an active member of our Catholic Church as well, volunteering for their soup kitchen efforts, and other events sponsored by our parish.  But I guess I have to say, senior year was when I started to fall away.  Colgate’s Catholic service happened fairly late on Sunday evening.  And by that, I mean really late.  I had to get up early on Monday mornings to go student teaching, so staying up late on Sundays was becoming less of an option.  I was busy in general, and already transitioning away from college, so for the last few months of college, I really didn’t go much.

Upon leaving college, I just never got set up in my new parish.  My first few years teaching were exhausting.  And weekends became about resting, having fun, or just exploring my new community.  At this point, I still considered myself a Catholic, even though I never went to Church, or read the scriptures.  Had someone I known invited me to go, I probably would have, and I don’t know if I ever would have left.  But other forces had already been set into motion that I wasn’t even aware of yet.

My next blog will focus on my transition from lifelong Catholic, to “free agent”, and will cover my first contacts with my eventual new home.

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About garybraham

I grew up in Mahopac NY, studied geology at Colgate University. I've moved to Queensbury NY to teach HS earth science. I also coach soccer and wrestling, take pictures at local sporting events, and am the Scoutmaster for the Glens Falls ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My wife and I will be married 5 years this October, and we have a two and a half year old little girl.
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