When Religious Naivety and Ignorance [Hurts]
I’ve said some naively ignorant things in my time. But, then again, I’m nearing my mid twenties, so I’m sure I’ve still yet to see the rest of the iceberg. Nonetheless, regrets are worth analyzing for the lessons they teach to help avoid the same mistakes in the future, so that hopefully, when I look back, I find that, contrary to what I often tell myself, I haven’t said quite the number of naively ignorant things that I’ve thought.
Here is one of mine:
“I should wear my Spiderman outfit and you should wear your white jumper (pants) to work — we can look stupid together.”
I jokingly said this nearly three years ago while I was in a particularly jovial mood after having been out with my best friend all day. Yet it was met by silence. Worse, it was met with a sort of bewildered insincere smile, which – as anyone who knows my best friend will tell you – is as close as he’ll come before he turns his back and walks way while shaking his head in disgust or coming back with some sarcastic one up-manship retort.
Undeterred I tried again – cleverish-ly (or so I thought) suggesting he wear his fanny pack to top it off. Again, silence appeared to be the name of his game along with that Mona Lisa smile. “You don’t think its a beyond brilliant idea?” That thin smile curved neither up nor down. Slowly, I had ignorantly dug a hole as I anxiously waited for him to take my hand and jump aboard my ship of providing a source of amusement with me at work. “Well do you have a better idea?”
To my great disappointment he settled on something along the lines of, “Perhaps another day.” Then he quickly and solemnly added, “And a different outfit.” Somehow I had naively missed the 180-degree turning of the tide. While I was lining up deck chairs for the firework show, my grand finale ended with, “You mean costume!?”
While I hadn’t recognized that I had taken the wind out of his sail with my first bout of ignorance — there was no mistaking it now. Tears glistened in his eyes. His ship had been sunk.
You see, I didn’t know what temple garments were at the time. In fact, I knew so little about Mormonism that whenever he used the acronym “LDS” it took me a second or two to recall what it stood for.
While this may seem like some small, benign incident, it had a galvanizing impact on me. Little did I know – it was the beginning of the end; the beginning of a headlong dive into Mormonism, and the end of more than two decades of considering myself a Christian.
Stay tuned for more in my series of “How Studying Mormonism Led Me out of Christianity!”