Even those who claim they aren’t religious have some philosophy of life or explanation about how we came to be and why we are here on this earth. If you are a member of a particular church, tell the story of your conversion. If you don’t believe in deity or a higher power, explain why you came to that conclusion. I would love to know more of my ancestor’s feelings about church and God. What motivated them in living their lives? How were their religious views different from their parents? (Photo of me and my uncle Weston whose funeral was yesterday, died at age almost 90-he served in WWII. His brother, my father, died 66 years ago so I'm sure they've had a loving reunion after so many years.)
I have written a child-sized booklet for my grand children entitled “How Grandma Got Her Testimony” because I want them to know of my search for faith and meaning in my life. A product of Mormon pioneer ancestors, I was brought up by a widowed mother who wasn’t active in the LDS faith because of her upbringing. My life story tells of my search for a religion to meet my needs as a teenager. Attending other protestant churches, I finally returned to the Mormon faith. My conversion story is there for my grandkids to read and come to understand me better. Not all my family believes the same, so I feel it’s important to share my conversion. I also need to be accepting of their life styles though different from my choices.
How do you feel about death? What do you picture yourself doing after you leave this mortal existence? My stepfather Earl (in photo on the right) was very sure there was no life hereafter based on his WWII experiences. He said, “There couldn’t be a God that would allow men to kill one another like I saw in the war.” Your faith or lack of conviction certainly influences how you live your life and should be mentioned in your life story or anyone’s history that you are writing. If you’re compiling your own life story or someone else’s who is living, interview them and ask them open ended questions about their religious feelings such as: What convinces you that there is/isn’t a God? or What teachings do you treasure in your faith? or Why do you think people need religion? etc.
Your choice of religion influences so many other choices-a marriage companion, how you raise your children, goals you have in life, and morals that guide you. It’s an important part of one’s life. Even atheists have their own belief system that governs their lives.