In my first post, I'll list reasons that apply to any Christian religion. My next post will be more specific to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- My Relationship with God. The most important reason I can think of for being religious is that my religion offers me an avenue to a personal relationship with God. One of the main topics I learn about in my religion is how to talk to God--prayer--and how to listen for his answers (which come in many ways and which collectively we call revelation). I've tried to do this, to pray and to listen for answers, and because of that I feel like I have a personal relationship with God. I really can't describe how awesome that is, how amazing it is to know that the person who created everything listens to me, and reaches out to me, too. I should add that I'm not always great at maintaining this relationship, that some times are better than others, but still--having a relationship with God is the first reason I am religious.
- Understanding Life. I recently read a book called "Turtles All the Way Down," by John Green (I give it 4/5 stars, definitely worth reading). The characters often discussed serious questions about the meaning of life--where did we come from? Why are we here? What is the meaning of all of this? They never came to any solid conclusions, but I sympathized with their existential angst. I know what it's like to look up at the stars and wonder what your place is. My religion gives me answers to those basic questions. I still have questions, for sure, but the big ones are covered. That gives me peace.
- Help to be More. If I were left to myself, I would live a very sad life. I'd be an emotional wreck and a slave to my appetites; I'd never do anything important or notable. My religion gives me a few things to help me be more than that: commandments, which help me know what I should and shouldn't do; a support system of other people who are trying to live the same way I am; and divine help, or grace, when my own strength isn't enough to get me there.
- Community. Whether I'm moving across town or across the country, I can count on finding a group of friends at church when I get there. I know these friends will help me as I try to be a better person, teach me from their experiences, and let me help and teach them in return.
Those are a few of the reasons I am religious. Like I said, even this isn't a full list--I'll write up part 2 of this blog post soon.