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Friday, September 6, 2013

My Foundation (small biography)

I shall start from the very beginning. In the beginning, "God created the earth... (insert a couple other events)... Then my parents had me. I was the first of my mother. I don't remember too much of my early life; my mother would, however. I can share with you right now what I remember. My younger brother was born soon after I was. We went through a lot together. Our parents weren't living in harmony with how the state wanted them to live. We were taken from their custody and placed with many foster parents.

We were young and could not remember too much of who they were. We were placed back with our mother. I remember a night where we were "ripped" from her custody. I was about 2 or 3 years old. My brother was with me. After, we were put in the custody of a family who previously had us. They were a good family. They taught us morals, values, and most importantly about God. They were a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (AKA: LDS or Mormons). We did everything with them. They (or rather we) were family. During this time, the state required the biological parents to have visits with their children. It was make sure the children remembered who their parents were, and to keep that "parent-child" bond between them. In these visits, I demonstrated a love for the values with which I had been introduced. My mother, as a result, was later baptized. I was too young to remember, however. All I remember is the feeling of love I had for the family with whom I was living. From the time I was 3 until they expressed a desire to adopt us at the age of 6, we lived with them. It was half of my life (more so for my brother). It was all we knew. There came a road block. It was there since 1972. A law was passed prohibiting a non-Native American family to adopt a Native American child (the Indian Child Welfare Protection Act). It was passed as a way to "preserve" the Native American culture. It did not, however, keep in mind the emotional health of children who would be affected by this law. As soon as a desire was express for the family to adopt us, the state got us out of there. It was hard for us. We were placed with a single mother who had two other daughters from a previous marriage. She was married to my biological father's brother (my uncle) which made her my aunt. She had custody of my younger sister, and was looking to adopt her. The state asked her to take us as well. Shortly after she adopted us, she made us a promise. "You will not be moved to another family ever again." This promise brought joy to mine and my brother's heart. We had experienced several heartbreaks from such moving. We brought all we could including the values and beliefs we had gained. The family gave us scriptures. They were "taken care of" by our "new mother." We had been taught to pray before our meals. When they didn't, we asked "why not?" They began to make fun of us. We grew ashamed of what we were taught and didn't do them for fear of persecution. They did not associate themselves with any religion. Later, my biological father contacted our "new mother" and told her he was coming back to get custody of us. Shortly after, he was murdered. I remember seeing him in his casket. He was not the same person I saw years before. He was "gone."

The time afterward was great. I allowed me to grow. I would not be the same person I am today without it. They are great people. I will, however, share with you what proceeded to happen from my view when I was a small child.

We (my brother and I) began to be used to clean up after them. The oldest of her daughters was not the best examples. Whenever we messed up, instant negative physical consequences occurred. I began to think God had forsaken me. I remember silently crying myself to sleep. Whispering to myself that I was "poor." I didn't even believe in God. Despite the fact I didn't believe in God, I still had very similar values and morals when I was with the Lds family. When I was nine, she decided to try to get back to her cultural roots. Naturally, she took me with her. I didn't know what to think. She was crazy for believing such foolish notions. But I joined her. I did it, not because I wanted to; I did it to prevent the possible negative consequences. I began getting a social life there (as did she). I began to believe in a supreme Creator again. I also gained a better understanding of our culture. I began to apply this knowledge in my attitude. I still valued education. When I was in the 7th grade, I began to learn about other beliefs. They seemed to make sense to me. So, If you could imagine a tree of the Native American (Shoshone) beliefs I was branching off of it. I began integrating all the other beliefs into my own. I felt we had existed before spiritually. I felt there was a purpose of our spirits being here. I felt there was a purpose of our life afterwards. I learned of reincarnation. I grafted that into my branch. I heard a phrase. It is pretty well known. "Knowledge is power." There is only one person who is all-powerful. That is our Creator. Which means, He is all-knowing. It is the knowledge which gave Him power. The Hindu's believe we will be reincarnated until we become "one" with the universe. I thought of this and came to the conclusion we are here to gain knowledge. This knowledge will remain with us until we become all-knowing. Just like our creator. All of these beliefs were grafted into my person. I respected all beliefs. I saw that ALL religions have some truth in them.

I went into high school just like any other normal teenager. Of course, through all of this life at home was increasing in excitement. "Mom" had fallen back into temptations of her passed life. She had joined her oldest daughter in her activities. Throughout my freshman year, they left for days on end. We (my brother and I) had to take care of ourselves and the ten-ish dogs. The abuse escalated. I had contemplated many (and I mean MANY) means of getting myself out of the distress. I found save a few that I was comfortable with. I tried to implement a few of the few. All ended without success. Near the end of my freshman year, Social services dropped by my high school. I told them everything was fine. After, they dropped by my brother's school. He confessed. I confirmed his confession. Elapse a few weeks and a lot of drama (there was a lot), and we get to the point where we are out of there and out of school (for the summer). We were placed in the custody of her brother, who was a policeman at the time. I gained more freedom when we were living with him. It was a bit of a shock. Being bound by the rules and responsibilities they neglected to do was what I was used to. With this new found freedom, I utilized it. I began to hang with friends (when school started again). The group I associated myself with was a small one. It consisted of (the main three) a Mormon, an Agnostic, and a Me. There were more who joined us. One who wanted to believe in the Greek (or Norse) Mythology, and a few more Mormons. I was re-introduced to the LDS faith, but didn't believe in it. I could see no point in the need of Jesus Christ. I believed we will all get the opportunity be better, not just those who go through Christ. Mormon Missionaries knocked on my door when I was 15. I didn't want to be rude, so I let them teach me. For three years they taught, and I had no desire to be baptized. People asked me "why not." I told them, "I don't see a need in having a Christ." I had heard the Bible plenty of times. I had seen many documentaries on the television. My stance was the same. Finally, in January of 2011 (I had just turned 18) the missionaries committed me to a date to be baptized.
"If you come to know these things are true, will you be baptized on February 19?"

"ONLY IF IT'S TRUE" I replied.
I didn't feel anything about it. I thought I was right. Time continued. I had read the Book of Mormon a little and it was only the passages they gave me. I didn't have a desire to learn of myself. This time was different. I thought I might as well find out what I am getting myself into. So, I locked myself in my bedroom prayed to God (Heavenly Father in the name of Christ) and began to read. As I read, I was thinking about religion (which you should be when reading). I was pondering my beliefs and the truths I knew. I thought and connections were being made. I thought about the fact all things are brothers and sisters. We were all created by our Heavenly Father (or Creator). Spiritually all who have lived, are living, and will be living are MY brothers and sisters. Then, I thought about what I had been through. I thought about my role as a brother in those situations. I was reminded of my duties as a big brother. I was to make sure my younger brother and sister were safe. I wanted him to be as happy as he could be. I had to make sacrifices. Christ was (is) our big brother. He was doing the job I was doing. I would take a bullet for my brother if I knew he would become better for my sacrifice. Christ did that same thing for me. As soon as I had come to this conclusion and pondered on the thought, I felt a void in my heart be filled. My heart felt like it did when I was 6 and living with that family, whom I loved. I felt safe, warm, welcome, and at home. I felt the love I used to have. It was the true love of Heavenly Father and Christ.

The feeling of it started out in my heart, but expanded until it had reached my extremities. I knew it was the Love of God and Jesus Christ which brought that feeling, not the love of the foster family. I know Christ is my Savior. I was reminded of that through the Book of Mormon. I know he lives and gives us direction today through his ordained servants. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of Jesus Christ, and the only way we can get to true happiness is though Christ. This news is what I am sharing with the world. I will continue to share and testify of it's truth as long as He needs me. These will be the experiences from my point of view of sharing them.

1 comment:

  1. The story of your spiritual journey to know of Christ and now to preach of Christ is so inspiring. I also know that because of Jesus Christ, our lives have purpose. Thank you for sharing, Mrs. C