Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Perfect" Mormon

I look the part of the "perfect" Mormon on Sundays. I've gotten very good at it. I show up at church dressed nicely, I smile at others, am cheerful and do (almost)everything I'm asked to. You won't hear me yell or cuss or tell naughty jokes. I even try to pay attention to the talks and lessons.
Sometimes, though, I think I should be less "perfect" at church. Maybe frown a little when I'm cranky? Die my hair pink? Get a noticeable tattoo?? Crack out some potty humor? Something that shows that I haven't always lived the life of a good church-going girl. Enough to let others who aren't comfortable with church know that I was them once. Some days I want to advertise the fact that I made huge mistakes in my life, because I believe that if I can overcome them, so can anyone else. I want to be an example of hope to those who think they're too far gone.
Sometimes I wish I had the guts to get up and announce that if you're a sinner, if you've made mistakes and done things you wouldn't want anyone else to know about, come sit with me because I can relate.
My dilema, though, is that while I'm quite open with most people about my past and will willingly share my story with those who need to hear it, I've found that the straight and narrow path is so much more comfortable and joyful that I don't want to step foot on the wrong path again, not even for a moment (because a moment can be so tempting.)
So for now I'll forgo the tattoo, dyed hair and anything else that would mark me as rebellious. I'm happy enough looking the part of a "perfect" Mormon because that's who I really am inside now. I may not be able to keep that wonderful, peaceful feeling all week long, but for those few hours each week I'm going to revel in the privilege of being in God's house and celebrate how Jesus Christ has changed me.
Come sit with me. Get to know me. I may not be the poster child for a "perfect" Mormon woman, but I've found something special in this gospel. It's life changing and amazing and I'd love to share it with you.


Mama D said...

I would love to sit by you at church once again. I think you're "perfect" just the way you are - the combination of your past, present, and future.

Regardless of how we "look the part" on Sunday, we all have need of repentance and we all have glorious potential. Some of us may cover the "warts" up better than others, but each one of us is only "complete, whole, fully developed" (ie: perfect) through the grace of Christ.

chelle said...

I need to sit by you sometime. :) Think we could squeeze 10 people in a row? lol
This is so true in so many areas of life. I am often told how great I am or how calm or blah blah blah...all if it kind of gets tossed aside by me because I know what my past is and I get a little hung up on it still.
I am glad you are who you are and that you have found the perfect place to stay comfy in.
I think that is one of the hardest things to over come; realizing that everyone at church isn't perfect. They may be (or at least appear to be) in a more "perfect" time in their lives than we are, but everyone falls short on some level.
I hope whoever needs to hear this reads it and can come to that realization.

Papa D said...

You aren't perfect, Patty - but this is about as close to a perfect post as I've read. I definitely will be linking to it in the future on my own blog. I hope that drives traffic here, so more people can read this perfect post.

It might be a year or so from now, but I promise I will link to it.

Patty said...

I should probably put a disclaimer on here that I'm not saying that I'm perfect... hence the quotation marks around the word. I know I've got a long ways to go still. But on Sundays I'm able to appear "perfect" to some who aren't as far along on their journey as I seem to be. It's all in the perception, as usual.

Dallas, Dad, Big D & I said...

You are so right. I feel that way as well. You put a nice suit on and wear a tie and voila the perfect Mormon man. Want to be, but haven't gotten there yet. Looking the part may be the easiest part. Thanks for your post.

Richard Alger said...

I love this. I think there is so much to share and strengthen each other. If we only can share what our real selves are.

The paradox is that we may add to the "they sinned and repented and they turned out ok. So I will be able to". It is dangerous to plan on sinning and then repent. So dangerous.

Maybe I should just get over this and be more open about struggles I have had. Maybe I could be of dome help.