General Conference this last weekend, Scott and I went over to visit with friends for dinner and games. While we were playing the card game, Compatibility, the topic of faith and religion came up. Our friends are faithful members of another church and had heard rumors about our beliefs that they wanted to clarify. I was really grateful that we could have a non-contentious discussion about faith with our friends. We both came to the table with general curiosity and respect for the other couple's faith and values.
When I was younger, I was very shy about sharing my religion. Growing up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was familiar with being peculiar for my faith and standards. I love my religion, and it has had a major influence on my character and who I've become. I was too shy to share with anyone, because I felt that a negative comment against my faith would be like a friend rejecting me as a person. Once, when I was in high school, I got so worked up just to share a book with a friend called What Mormon's Believe. I didn't have the courage to share my testimony, though I felt like I should do something. So I gave my friend a book I hadn't even read before, hoping it would explain my religion in better terms than I could on my own. This story shows a whole other side of my peculiarity... the awkward teenager kind.
Thankfully I feel more comfortable in my testimony now that answering questions from curious friends doesn't feel like the inquisition. In fact, I would prefer for friends to ask me questions than to rely on assumptions or rumors.
In a world of declining values and faith, I am extremely grateful for the example and courage of friends who incorporate faith in their families. How has faith influenced your life?