Embarrassed Out Of Church
EMBARRASSED INTO ENLIGHTENMENT

"EMBARRASSED OUT OF CHURCH"


By
Jared Six


"A really religious upbringing ends up causing some really embarrassing things to happen to a young boy, and forces him to have to come up with a less embarrassing belief about life and his place in the universe..."



1.
"JUDGEMENT DAY"

When I was a kid my Dad used to say that on "Judgement Day" everyone who ever lived was going to come together in a giant movie theater, and one-by-one everyone's entire life from start to finish would be played on the big screen for everyone to see.

And he told me that every single thing that I ever did in life would be revealed to everyone. (All the good things I ever did, all the bad things I ever did, and "everything in between".)

What scared me most about this scenario was the "everything in between" part.

I mean, I had never committed any of the major sins like murder, adultery, or blasphemy, and I went to church on Sundays and felt that I was a good person, but at the same time, there were a lot of things that I did on a daily basis that I would be totally uncomfortable doing in front of other people. (Much less in front of everyone who ever lived!)

So whenever I would change my clothes, use the bathroom, or take a shower during my childhood years I would always turn the lights off first and do it in the dark. (That way when my life was shown on "Judgement Day" everyone wouldn't be able to see me naked, and... well..."Judge" me.)

Because of this belief about "Judgement Day" I ended up developing such a strong phobia of being seen naked that when I heard the news that my Grandpa was going to have to be moved into an assisted living facility due to his health getting so bad that he could no longer change his clothes, use the bathroom, or bathe without having someone help him I instantly became the "health nut" in my family!



2.
"A SHELTERED CHILDHOOD"

I grew up with parents who were really religious. (They were "Mormons" to be specific.) And they went out of their way to shelter me from a lot of things in my youth.

We had a TV when I was a kid, but we only had one channel (The PBS Channel) so the only TV shows I saw as a kid were things like "Sesame Street" and "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood".

We also owned several movies, but the only movies that were allowed in our house were "family friendly" films like "101 Dalmatians", "The Wizard Of Oz", and "Star Wars".

And before I could watch a movie my parents would watch it by themselves first, and if there was anything even remotely "sexual" or "vulgar" in the movie they would edit it out by setting up 2 VCR players and putting the original film in one VCR and a blank VCR tape in the other, and then they would make a special edited copy of the movie with all of the parts that they didn't want me to see left out.

We lived on a farm that was way out in the country where neighbors lived miles apart from each other, and other than going to church on Sundays we almost never left the farm. (We grew most of our own food, my dad was really good at building and fixing things, and my mom did all of the cooking and even made most of our clothes, so we were a very self-sufficient family.)

My parents also "home schooled" me because they didn't agree with some of the things that they teach in public schools, and they worried that "Non-Mormon" kids would have a bad influence on me.

So I didn't have any friends growing up, but I actually liked the way I was raised...

Our property was over 600 acres of mostly forests which I was free to explore, and I was scared of people anyways, so I was happy to spend my childhood alone and in the wilderness.

But then one day when I was 15 years old a mysterious black car drove up to our house...

Our driveway was literally 8 miles long, and it was an unpaved dirt road that was full of holes and dangerously steep hills, so it was extremely rare that a stranger would just show up at our house unexpectedly.

It would always terrify me to see an unknown car slowly coming up our long and treacherous driveway, because anyone who would even try to drive up it would almost have to be "crazy".

Plus we lived so deep in the country that it would take the police at least an hour to show up if we had to call them, and my dad would even get his shotgun whenever we heard the sound of a car coming up our driveway just to be safe.

So for me, an unknown car coming up our driveway was the ultimate "Stranger Danger" as a kid!

As the unknown car got closer I ran and hid in the house while my parents went outside to see who it was and what they wanted, and I watched through the window as 2 men and a woman who were all wearing business suits got out of the car and informed my parents that they could no longer "home school" me.

I remember that the woman seed really upset and kept saying that the way that I was being raised was "child abuse", and she asked my parents how they expected me to ever be able to face the "real world" as an adult if they kept me out of it for my entire childhood.

Then they told my parents that I had to start going to school the following Monday, and that if I didn't show up my parents would both be arrested and put in jail, so I had no choice but to start going to school...



3.
"GOING TO SCHOOL"

For my first day of public schooling my mom suggested that I wear my church clothes so that I could make a really good first impression on all my new classmates. I thought it was a good idea, so I put on some black dress pants, a white dress shirt, and a black tie, and I waited at the end of the driveway for the school bus.

Because I had never been to school before I imagined that the other kids at school would be dressed up like this as well, but when the bus came and I got on I immediately noticed that all the other kids on the bus were just wearing T-shirts and blue jeans, and they were all looking at me like I was from another planet!

I felt so embarrassed and so nervous that I didn't dare to make eye contact with anyone, and I just looked for a place to sit down by myself.

The seats on the bus were built so that 2 kids could sit in each seat, and there was only one seat that was completely empty, so I sat in the empty seat and just looked out the window while trying to ignore the feeling that everyone was looking at me and judging me.

Then about 10 minutes later the bus made another stop and a really big teenage boy who was wearing a football jersey got on the bus and sat in the seat with me.

I nervously smiled and said "Hello" to him and luckily he was nice enough to smile and say, "Hello" back to me. (Although when he smiled it looked like he was trying really hard to keep from laughing at the way I was dressed.)

I then went back to just looking out the window and minding my own business, but then it occurred to me that it would be really smart to have this big kid as a friend, because nobody would dare pick on me if they knew that he was my friend, so I tried to think of a way to strike up a conversation with him...

I looked down and noticed that he had a book in his hand so I pointed at it and asked him, "What book are you reading?"

He told me that it was just a book that he had to do a book report on for "History Class" about the Native American Indians. He then handed me the book so that I could look at it, and on the cover of the book there was a drawing of some Indians sitting in a circle around a camp fire.

I had never seen Indians before, and the first thing I noticed about them was that they weren't wearing any shirts. (Which is technically not "immoral" because all of the Indians in the picture were males.) But because the Indians also had long hair (which I had always thought that only women were allowed to have) and because they were also wearing loincloths (which looked like skirts to me) I thought that they were women with no shirts on!

I was so in shock that I gasped and put my hand over my mouth, and my heart started pounding out of control, and my eyes almost bulged out of my head!

I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and I wasn't quite sure whether I should look away or keep on looking...

Then the big kid noticed that something was wrong and he asked me, "Are you OK?" and I pointed at the drawing of the Indians and nervously whispered to him, "Are those girls???"

He then burst out laughing really hard, and turned to the kids sitting behind us and said, "Hey, this new kid saw this book cover and was like, "Oh my God are those topless girls???" and everyone started laughing.

Then one of the boys sitting behind us leaned his head over the seat and said to me, "Hey man, can I ask you a serious question?" So I said, "Yes" and he asked me, "Have you ever seen a pair of boobs before?" and because of my wholesome upbringing I had honestly never even heard the word "boobs" before so I got really confused and asked him, "What are those???" which made everyone burst out laughing even harder!

By the time we got to the school everyone on the bus had laughed about the incident (including the old man who was driving the bus) and by the end of my first day of school everyone at school was referring to me as "The New Virgin".



4.
"GOING ON A MISSION"

When I went to church the following Sunday the president of our local church ("Brother Smith") came up to me after church with a big smile and said, "So I hear that you are going to a public school now." and then he asked me, "How is it going so far?"

I wasn't quite sure what to say, so I just put on a fake smile and told him, "It's OK." but I guess that it was obvious to him that I didn't really mean it because he then frowned while putting his hands on his hips and said, "Tell me the truth."

I really believed back then that "Brother Smith" had the power to read minds because he was the president of the church, and unlike the president of the "United States" who gets elected by human voters, the president of a "Mormon" church is personally chosen by God himself to be in charge, and is also in constant communication with God, and since God knows everything it seemed impossible to keep a secret from "Brother Smith".

So I confessed to him that I was actually having a lot of difficulties at school, and I told him that even though there were about 1,000 kids at my school I was the only "Mormon" there. And then I even went ahead and told him about how the other kids at school were teasing me because I was still a "virgin".

"Brother Smith" seemed very concerned about what I was telling him, and he told me that he wanted to have a special meeting with me about it in his office the following Sunday after church.

Normally when "Brother Smith" wanted to have a meeting with me in his office it was about me going on a "mission".

For those who don't know, once a "Mormon" boy turned 18 he is expected to devote 2 years of his life to God by serving as a "missionary" for the church.

When you become a "missionary" the church will send you to a location of their choosing (and often to a foreign country) and for the next 2 years your job will be to go around knocking on doors and trying to talk to people about the "Mormon" church and get them to start going to church.

I didn't want to go on a mission, but "Brother Smith" had put an unbelievable amount of pressure on me to do it. Plus my parents would be heartbroken if I didn't do it, and I of course didn't want to anger God by not doing it, so I figured that I would go on a mission just to avoid having everyone be ashamed of me. (And to avoid having to spend the rest of my life with the stigma of being the "Mormon" guy who didn't go on a mission.)

When I walked into "Brother Smith's" office the following Sunday he had a big smile on his face and he told me, "I have a big surprise for you!" He then reached under his desk and pulled out a huge box that was wrapped up like a present, and he told me, "The Lord personally asked me to give this to you!"

I got really excited and opened the gift with anticipation, but it ended up being a big box containing 1,000 small paper booklets entitled "For The Strength Of Youth".

In confusion I asked him, "What are these?" and he said that they were small informational pamphlets that I could give to each of my new classmates telling them about the "Mormon" church.

He then went on to say that the booklets were specifically made for teenagers, and that it talked about the moral standards that all young men and young women my age should strive to live by in order to keep the "Law Of Chastity". (Like not wearing revealing clothing, waiting until you are at least 16 to start dating, getting up and walking out of a movie theater if the movie you are watching starts to get sexual, and of course waiting until you are married to have sex!

I felt as if every cell in my body was cringing!

I knew full well that if I actually gave these booklets to the kids at school I would be mocked and ridiculed relentlessly!

But I also believed that if I didn't do it God would be mad at me for being too embarrassed to tell people about him, so I tossed and turned all night trying to decide what to do, and because I was so "God Fearing" at the time I ended up deciding that I better just do it.

The following morning I put all of the booklets in my backpack and took them to school with me. Then during lunch when everyone was in the cafeteria eating I took out the booklets, and without saying a word I simply started passing them out to everyone.

All I did was hand them to people, and if someone asked me, "What is this?" I would just shrug my shoulders and act like I didn't know because of how embarrassed I was!

I hoped that everyone would just throw the booklets away without even bothering to read them. (That way I wouldn't have to face the ridicule of my classmates for giving it to them, nor would I have to face the wrath from God for not giving it to them.)

But everyone was so confused that they ended up reading it just to see what in the world it was, and just as I feared I became the complete laughingstock of my school! (And I was now being referred to by everyone at school as "The Mormon Virgin".)

And because of how embarrassed I felt as I was handing out these little "Mormon" booklets, it suddenly hit me that there was no way that I was actually going to be able to spend 2 years of my life doing this kind of work and trying to convert people to the church!

I still believed that the "Mormon" church was true, but there is a saying that "God works in mysterious ways" and the "Mormon" God worked in such mysterious ways that I knew that going on a mission would result in a lot of people looking at me like I was either crazy or really gullable for actually believing the "Mormon" church was true.



5.
"MORMON UNDERWEAR"

Because my parents were married in the "Mormon" temple they wore special underwear known as "Mormon Temple Garments" to serve as a reminder of their sacred vows.

In the past "Mormons" actually believed that this underwear served as protective armor much like a bullet proof vest!

As a matter of fact, when the founder of the "Mormon" church "Joseph Smith" died in a shootout back in 1844 an autopsy revealed that he wasn't wearing his temple garments when he was shot, and many "Mormons" back then claimed that if he had been wearing his underwear that day he wouldn't have died.

Now-a-days most "Mormons" don't actually believe that this underwear offers that kind of physical protection. (Although every once in a while you may hear a story about a "Mormon" being in a car wreck and claiming that their underwear is the only reason they survived.)

This special underwear is very large (it covers half the body) and it is going to look really weird to any "Non-Mormon". So the "protection" that this underwear actually does provide is keeping married "Mormons" too embarrassed to wear revealing clothing in public, since their strange underwear would result in a lot of strange looks.

And I imagine that this underwear has even prevented some married "Mormons" from having an affair when they found themselves in a situation where they were alone with an attractive "Non-Mormon" and there was a mutual desire to do something, because they knew that once the clothes started to come off the other person would get really weirded out by their underwear, so they ended up just telling the other person, "I'm sorry but I'm married and it would be wrong."



6.
"SWIMMING LESSONS"

When I turned 16 I still didn't know how to swim and I really wanted to learn.

There was a big pond on our property but I was always to scared to try to swim in it since there were snakes, snapping turtles, and God knows what else lurking inside of it.

But whenever me and my parents would go to church on Sundays we would drive past a beautiful lake, and my Dad told me that since it was my birthday and I still didn't know how to swim we could go to the lake and he would finally give me swimming lessons.

I was super excited about it, but unfortunately when we got to the lake there were several other people there that day swimming and having cook-outs, which made me really uncomfortable because it meant that a bunch of strangers were going to be watching me learn how to swim even though I was 16 years old and was already a taller than my dad.

I was also too shy to take my shirt off in public (or to even wear shorts in public) so I knew that people were going to be looking at me weird for swimming with a shirt and pants on as well.

When we got out of the car my Dad told me that he was going to change into his "swimming clothes" in the bathroom, and that while he was changing I should try to find a nice spot for us to have our swimming lessons.

So I started walking along the river and luckily I was able to find a spot where we could actually have some privacy, but then I looked back and saw my Dad coming out of the bathroom wearing a pair of swimming shorts with his "Mormon underwear" still on underneath.

The shorts that he was wearing only covered up about 1/4 of his underwear and the other 3/4 were completely exposed, so I got really embarrassed and hid behind a tree so nobody would know that he was my Dad.

But because my Dad didn't see me anywhere he got concerned and started shouting my name loudly, which of course made everyone look at him, and I was so embarrassed that I ran back to the car when he wasn't looking.

My Dad had no idea where I was or what happened to me, and I knew that I was probably going to get in trouble for going back to the car without even telling him, but his underwear was showing so bad that there was simply no way that I could go back out there with all those people around, so I ended up just waiting in the car until he eventually returned to the car looking for me about 30 minutes later.

When he finally found me he looked so happy and relieved to know that I was OK, but then he got really mad and started shouting at me... "WHY DID YOU COME BACK TO THE CAR WITHOUT EVEN TELLING ME??? I THOUGHT THAT YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED OR FELL IN THE LAKE AND DROWNED!!!"

I had never seen him get this mad before, so I was really scared, but I couldn't just tell him the truth about his underwear being super embarrassing because to him the underwear was a sacred symbol of him and my Mom's wedding vows.

So I lied and told him that when he was in the bathroom changing some bully kids wanted to beat me up, and I had to ran back to the car to hide from them.

He then stopped being mad at me and instead shifted all of his anger towards these imaginary kids who didn't even exist, and shouted... "WHAT???" WELL COME ON, I'M GOING TO GO HAVE A TALK WITH THEIR PARENTS ABOUT THIS!!!"

I then said, "No, No, No, No, No. It's OK Dad. Let's just go home. I forgive them and we can just let God punish them on "Judgement Day"..."

But my Dad refused to let it go and told me, "You can't let people treat you like that in life, and I as your father am definitely not going to let anyone get away with treating you like that, so come on!!!"

He then grabbed my arm, pulled me out of the car, and dragged me back to the lake where all the people were at.

As he was dragging me and we were approaching all the people I started saying everything that I could think of to get out of this situation like...

"They were just some 8 year old kids Dad!"

and

"They just wanted to squirt me with water guns!."

But it didn't matter, my Dad was determined to turn this into a "life lesson" that I would always remember. (And that I would want to teach my own son someday if I ever had one.)

As we got closer to the people he asked me to point out the kids who were bullying me, so I looked around and told him that I didn't see them anywhere, and that it must mean that they already left and that we should probably just leave too, but then he told me, "Then we'll ask around and see if anyone knows who they were!"

He then dragged me over to a family which consisted of a Mom, a Dad, 2 little boys, and a beautiful teenage girl who I recognized from school as "Laura" from "Health Class".

I panicked because I had a really big crush on "Laura" and I knew that even if my Dad didn't say a word the sight of him in his "Mormon underwear" alone would cause my chances of "Laura" ever wanting to date me to be less than zero.

But of course my Dad started talking...

He then told "Laura" and her family that he was looking for a group of kids who were about 8 years old and who had been harassing me with water guns!

I was so embarrassed that I desperately tried to hide behind my Dad so "Laura" wouldn't see that it was me, but it didn't work since my Dad wasn't a big guy and I was already bigger than him.

And to make matters worse "Laura's" Mom saw that I was trembling fearfully behind him, and got so concerned that she said, "Oh my goodness they must have really scared the poor thing because he's shaking like a leaf!"

Then my Dad proceeded to tell her about how I had just spent the past half hour locked in the car just to hide from them, and I knew that from now on instead of feeling really happy and excited any time I saw "Laura's" at school it was now going to feel really awkward and uncomfortable whenever I saw her!

We ended up leaving the lake that day without having any swimming lessons, and because of how humiliating the experience was I definitely wasn't interested in ever going back and trying again, so I continued to not know how to swim.



7.
"BAD WORDS"

Once I started going to school I was exposed to all of the "bad words" that my parents did such a good job of keeping me from hearing up until that point, and when I looked these words up in the dictionary to find out what they meant I laughed and thought that swearing was the funniest thing in the world!

One of the reasons that people use vulgar words is for "shock value" and because these words were NEVER used in my house and were so "taboo" when I was growing up they had about 100 times more shock value to me than they did for everyone else.

And because I was raised to believe in things based on faith alone and to not question anything that I was told I was also very naive, and I would take things a lot more literally than other people due to not developing enough skepticism in my youth to realize when people were being "sarcastic".

For example, When someone would say something sarcastic to me like, "Hey that's a nice shirt you're wearing" when there was a big mustard stain on it I would take it as a sincere compliment, and would then wonder why everyone started laughing when I said, "Thank you".

And if someone was making a joke that wasn't intended to be taken seriously at all like, "It's so cold outside that I saw a bear wearing a jacket." I would think that they were being serious. (Or I would have just enough skepticism to think that maybe they were on drugs, and that's why they saw a bear wearing a jacket.)

So whenever I would hear someone use a swear word I would think about the literal dictionary definition of that word rather than understand that swear words aren't meant to be taken literally and are basically just used to help express strong emotions.

And if you look up the actual dictionary definitions of swear words and you stop and think about it, you will notice that it really makes no sense at all to shout one of these words just because you stubbed your toe or you can't find your keys.

So for me personally "swear word" were so shocking and so nonsensical that I couldn't help but want to laugh whenever someone started swearing!

But as much as I got a kick out of hearing words like that at school, I also developed an intense paranoia that someday I would be somewhere in public with my parents and someone would start using vulgar language like that around us.

I knew that if something like that ever happened it would be the most embarrassing experience ever. So once I learned the "bad words" I always stayed home instead of going with my parents to town on the rare occasions that they needed to buy something, and the only time I went with them to public was to church and to family reunions where it was very unlikely that anyone would say a "bad word".



8.
"BAPTISIMS FOR THE DEAD"

Shortly after I turned 16 the president of our church "Brother Smith" drove me and five other teenage boys from the church in a van all the way to the "Holy of Holies", the Mormon temple in "Salt Lake City Utah" so we could perform a special ritual known as "Baptisms For The Dead".

Mormons believe that being baptized is necessary for one's salvation, and they also believe that if a person dies without ever being baptized a living Mormon can actually be baptized for them as long as they are the same gender of the dead person.

Each of us were going to get baptized for 10 dead people, and on the drive there "Brother Smith" kept telling us that while we were getting baptized the spirits of the dead people who we were being baptized for would be there watching us and rejoicing as we saved them and got them into heaven!

The problem was that I never learned how to swim due to my dad's underwear, and I was afraid to be baptized since I would have to go underwater.

Even when I would wash my hair at home by putting my head under the bathroom sink I would get this scary vulnerable feeling like someone was going to sneak up on me when my head was in the sink, and I even had bumps on the back of my head from times when I would be washing my hair and I would suddenly hear a strange sound and get so startled that I would accidentally hit my head on the faucet.

When we got to "Salt Lake City" and we started approaching the temple it looked like a beautiful castle to me and I got super excited about getting to go inside of it, but once we got inside I thought the temple was really weird and creepy!

There were a lot of strange statues and symbols throughout the temple that I didn't understand, and there were also a lot of areas in the temple that I wasn't allowed to enter. (And the people who were allowed to enter these areas were required to take an oath swearing that they would never reveal what they saw to anyone.)

The rooms that I did get to see looked incredibly expensive (they had fancy furniture, gold framed paintings and crystal chandeliers) and because I lived way out in the country and had never seen anything that extravagant before in real life I was amazed by what I was seeing at first.

But then I went to sit down on a chair that looked like it was made for a king and "Brother Smith" freaked out about it and said, "That's a really expensive chair! Don't sit on it!" (Which made me wonder, "What's the point of a chair if you can't sit on it?")

And then in front of everyone he joked that the chair looked like it cost more than my parent's car and everyone started laughing.

My family was viewed as the "poor" family in the church while "Brother Smith" was easily the most wealthy person in the church, and sometimes he wasn't very good at hiding the fact that he saw himself as superior to everyone else.

I got embarrassed by his joke and no longer felt impressed by how expensive everything looked, and I instead started to think to myself, "Is this really what people's tithing and donation money goes to?"

I then started to wondered why there were secrets about the temple that I wasn't allowed to know about...

The only money I ever had growing up was when my grandma would send me a birthday card with a $5 dollar bill in it, and I had to give 50 cents of that money to the church every year as "tithing", so it seemed unfair to me that even though I helped pay for the temple it was being used for things that the church felt I had no business knowing about.

When it was time for me to do my baptisms they had me go into a changing room and put on an all white outfit, then I was taken to the "Baptismal Room" which had 12 life-sized ox statues that were standing in a circle, and the "baptismal font" (which kind of looked like a swimming pool) was balanced on their backs.

It was all so strange, and looking back it's easy to see why baptisms for the dead are often performed by young people who don't really know what is going on, but are so amazed by how expensive everything looks that they don't doubt that we are in a "Holy" place.

"Brother Smith" (who was going to be baptizing me and the other boys) was standing in the middle of the baptismal font with a very serious look on his face and he motioned for me to enter the water.

I slowly got in the water (which felt kind of cold to me) and when I got to where "Brother Smith" was standing he held my wrist with one hand while raising his other hand in the air and then he said the following prayer...

"Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you for and in behalf of "Frederick Cooper", who is dead, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

He then attempted to lower me backwards into the water but as soon as I felt the water start to touch the back of my head I freaked out and messed up the baptism, which caused us to have to do it all over again.

According to the temple rules a baptism doesn't count unless the entire body goes underwater, so even if just one hair on your body doesn't go under water you have to do it over again until you do it right.

"Brother Smith" was very upset at me so he grabbed my wrist again but this time he squeezed it kind of hard to let me know that he was upset and with an angry whisper he said, "This is the Lord's water! Be still!" so I apologized and did my best to recompose myself.

He then said the prayer again and went to lower me underwater but I freaked out again as soon as my head was about to go underwater and I messed up the second attempt too...

Then I messed up the third attempt and the fourth as well because I was simply too afraid to go underwater...

To make matters worse I then began to think to myself that the spirit of this "Frederick Cooper" guy who I was getting baptized for was probably cringing as he watched this. (I mean, his eternal fate was literally depending on this, and even though I was his "hero" I wasn't acting very "heroic" and brave as I tried to save him, and I imagined that even if I did save him it would probably be super awkward anytime we ran into each other in heaven!)

"Brother Smith" then made a 5th attempt to baptize me but this time he was so frustrated that as soon as he finished the prayer he forcefully pushed me underwater!

Because my whole body went underwater it meant that the baptism counted and I had officially saved "Frederick Cooper", but as soon as "Brother Smith" lifted me back up and out of the water I had water in my nose, in my eyes, in my ears and even in my mouth, and I was coughing so bad that I accidentally threw up in the water! (Which resulted in them having to cancel the rest of my baptisms that day so they could drain, clean, and refill the big baptismal fount!)

I felt so terrible about what I did, and I worried that all the spirits who had come to the temple that day thinking that they were going to be saved must have been really mad at me at the moment.

When I went back into the changing room to dry off I felt so ashamed that I knew that I could never show my face at church again, and although I was always scared of the thought that God might not exist it was the first time in my life that I actually would have been relieved to know that religion was all made up, and that I didn't actually just prevent a bunch of dead people from going to hell!

When it was time to leave the temple me and the other young boys were sitting in the lobby of the temple as "Brother Smith" was filling out some paper work at the front desk before we could leave and apologizing to the staff for my behavior, and I felt so bad that I couldn't imagine ever even being able to smile again.

Then there was a sudden and loud commotion as a bunch of temple workers started running down the hallway and into a bathroom across the hall.

The toilets in the bathroom were overflowing and there was so much water that it was flowing into the hallway, and the smell was absolutely horrible!!!

To make matters a million times worse they said that it was all my fault! So I asked how it was my fault and they said that all the excess water that was coming out of toilets was due to the "baptismal font" that I threw up in having to suddenly be drained unexpectedly!

So now I felt like I might literally end up going to go to hell for all of the damage that I had caused to "Holy Temple"!

As the reality of what was happening started to really sink in I felt completely immobilized by an overwhelming feeling of shame, unworthiness, and doom.

But then one of the other teenage boys who was sitting next to me looked over at the overflowing bathroom and put his hand over his nose to cover up the smell, and then he leaned over to me and jokingly whispered... "Holy Shit".

I then burst out laughing so hard that all of the depression and anxiety that I was feeling instantly went away.

I then had a life changing revelation in the temple.

I realized that I could either go on believing that the church was true and feel terrible, or I could view the "Mormon" church as one big joke and laugh about it, and after everything that I had seen that day I simply could no longer be a believer!

And deep down I kind of liked the fact that I was raised in such a weird religion!

But I didn't want my parents to be ashamed of me, and I also didn't want them to have to deal with the judgement from other church members if I left the church, so I decided to keep going to church on Sundays, but I went for the comedy!



9.
"I'M NOT RACIST, BUT..."

A lot of my family members are racist. (Especially my Grandparents!)

I think that this is mostly due to the fact that everyone in my family is a "Mormon" and the "Mormon" church used to preach that black people were the descendants of "Cain", so my older relatives grew up literally being taught that.

Fortunately my parents didn't "hate" black people, but it was painfully obvious at times that they were scared of them.

Because I grew up in the country where everyone was white, the only time that I ever saw black people in real life during my childhood was ironically when me and my parents would visit my racist Grandparents who lived in the big city where the population was roughly half white / half black.

One day me and my Dad went to visit my Grandparents, and shortly before we got to their house we had to stop at a gas station.

It took several hours to drive to my grandparents house and there weren't any other cars getting gas, so when my dad was putting gas in the car I went ahead and got out of the car too just to stretch my legs a bit.

When we were at the pump there was a very charismatic old black man who was singing and washing a car about 10 feet away from us, and at one point he stopped singing and greeted us by waving and saying, "How are you gentlemen doing today?"

So my dad responded, "Oh very well, and how are you on this fine afternoon?" and the man looked over at the long line of cars that he had to wash, shock his head, and jokingly said, "Same shit different day!"

I was so shocked that he said the word "shit" in front of my Dad that I actually ducked as if he had thrown something at me, and I yelled, "WHOA!!!"

Then the black man looked at me with a confused grin and said, "What the HELL?"

So I panicked and said, "Dad, I really have to use the bathroom!" and I took off running towards the gas station bathroom as fast as I could...

(I didn't really have to use the bathroom, but I was just so scared that the black man was going to keep using "bad words", or that my dad would confront him about his language in a very "Mormon" way by asking him to please refrain from using the profanities and to please use words like "Stuff", or "Doo Doo", or "Number 2" instead of "shit", so I just wanted to get away from them as fast as possible!)

But as I was running I was so focused on just getting away from them that I didn't even think to look for on-coming cars, and I suddenly heard my Dad shout to me, "LOOK OUT!!!" so I turned and saw that a car was pulling into the gas station and it was about to hit me!

So I screamed and put my hands up in front of me, and luckily the man who was driving the car saw me and slammed on his breaks just in the nick of time. (Although my hands actually slapped the hood of his car!)

Then the driver stuck his head out the window and yelled, "WHAT THE FUCK KID???"

I immediately looked over at my Dad and saw that he was running over to us, so I took off running for the bathroom again out of fear that I was about to hear a lot more "bad words" in front of my Dad!

I ran to the bathroom (which was on the side of the gas station) and locked myself inside, and I could hear the angry driver outside yelling at my Dad because I had ran out in front of his car, and he was using the "F" word so much that I didn't dare come back out until I was sure that the man was gone, and when I finally came out of the bathroom I felt so traumatized by all the "bad words" that me and my Dad had just been exposed to that when I got in the car I got in the back seat instead of the front seat, and I told my Dad that I was really tired and needed a nap. (Because I was simply too uncomfortable to have a conversation with him after hearing all that.)

But when my Dad started the car and we were about to leave the gas station the old black man who was washing cars walked over to our car and tapped on my Dad's windshield. So my Dad rolled down the window (but only about an inch) and the man asked him if I was OK.

I pretended to be asleep and not hear what was going on, but then the man walked over to the back door and started knocking on my window, so I opened my eyes and looked up at him with a frightened deer in the headlights stare as he said, "Hey young man, I just wanted to tell you that you really have to be careful and look both ways before you cross the street, because that man almost ran over your ASS!"

I cringed when he said the word "Ass" and didn't want my Dad to know that I knew what it meant since him and my Mom had spent so many years doing everything in their power to make sure that I never heard words like that.

So I pretended to still be innocent and not know what it meant by acting really confused and asking, "He almost ran over my WHAT???"

And the man told me, "Your ASS son!" I said he almost ran over your ASS!"

I didn't know what to do next so I just put my head down and said, "Oh... Well... I don't know what that word means." and the man was so shocked by my apparent innocence that he shouted, "ARE YOU SERIOUS???" and then he went back to my Dad's window and told him, "Hey my man, you better have a talk with your boy if he don't even know what "ASS" is yet!"

At that point my Dad could no longer hide the fact that he was scared of black people so he quickly rolled up the last inch of his window and sped away from the gas station so fast that he almost hit someone too! (And I just went back to pretending that I was asleep until we got to my Grandma's house to avoid the "Ass Talk" that the man suggested he have with me!)

When we got to my Grandma's house she asked us how the trip went and my Dad told her about how a man almost hit me with his car when we were at the gas station, and right away my Grandma asked, "Was it a black guy?"

So my Dad told her "Yes", and she asked him why he didn't call the police and have him arrested. (As if the black man had tried to hit me with his car on purpose.)

So I told her that it was actually my fault because I wasn't looking where I was going, and that he slammed on his breaks and did everything he could to avoid hitting me, but my Grandma was convinced that he tried to hit me on purpose, and when we had dinner that evening and she said the prayer she actually thanked God for causing the black man's car to stop before he could run me over!

We spent the night at my Grandma's house and the next day we went to the nursing home to visit my Grandpa. (Who could no longer live at home due to his health problems.)

When we got to the nursing home my Grandpa was in a room with some other elderly people and they were all watching the News on TV, and there was a weather man on the TV giving the local weather forecast... And the weather just happened to be black.

As soon as my grandma saw the black weather man on TV she got mad and asked one of the nurses, "What channel do you have this on?" and the nurse told her that it was "The Weather Channel", and in front of everyone my Grandma said, "Well he belongs on "B.E.T." ("Black Entertainment Television") not on one of the regular channels!"

My grandma was so upset about it that she demanded that get grandpa and just leave, so we loaded grandpa in the car and went to a restaurant to have our get-together, but when we pulled into the parking lot my grandma wanted to park in the handicapped parking space since my grandpa was disabled, but we couldn't because there was already a car there.

Then my grandma noticed that the car didn't have a handicapped parking permit hanging from the rear view mirror like you legally required to if you park there, so she got really mad and said, "Some black guy parked in the handicapped spot illegally!"

(She didn't even know who the car belonged to, but in her mind she was certain that it had to be a black guy, and she insisted that we go to a different restaurant because of it!)

Once we found another restaurant we went inside and found an empty table, but when the waiter showed up to take our order I got really nervous because he was a black man and I was afraid that my Grandma was going to end up saying something really racist to him!

But luckily when he asked her what she would like to order she managed to tell him what she wanted without saying anything racist...

But then the waiter turned to my Grandpa. (Who can be even worse than my Grandma about saying racist things since he has "Alzheimer's" and he often believes that he is a kid again, and since he was a kid back in the pre-civil rights era AND he was raised Mormon!)

And when the waiter asked my Grandpa what he would like to order, my Grandpa (who must have thought that he was 8 years old that day) completely ignored his question and instead just started telling everyone at the table about how his parents had just bought him a big black dog for his 8th birthday, and then he said that the dog's fur was so black that they named it "Nigg**".

I felt so ashamed that the flimsy paper menu that I was holding became a shield that I raised up high to try to hide my face from the waiter!

Although I no longer believed in the church, I still kind of defended it by telling myself that "Mormon's" were "nice" and that the church brought people together and provided them with a "moral compass" in life.

But when I was at the restaurant with my grandparents (who actually followed the church's original teachings 100%) I realized that the nicest "Mormon's" I met in church were the "casual" ones who had probably never actually read "The Book Of Mormon" before, and who were just there because going to to church just seemed like the right thing to do and because the "Mormon" church just happened to be the closest church to their house.

I then started to really question the idea of the church providing society with a "moral compass", and below is a brief history of the "Mormon" church which demonstrates how society actually helped set the church on the straight and narrow way...



10.
"THE EMBARRASSING HISTORY OF THE MORMON CHURCH"

"BLACK PEOPLE"

The "Mormon" church used to teach that black skin was a curse that God had put on the wicked and inferior race, and that "race mixing" was a sin that should result in the death penalty!

And my grandparents even used to say that the only way a black person could go to heaven was if they were going to be a slave in heaven!

As the civil rights movement grew the church started to be seen as a "hate group", so the church made some public attempts to no longer be seen as "racist", but in many cases this backfired and just made the church look even "racist"...

In an interview with "Look Magazine" the "Mormon" profit at the time "Joseph Smith Jr." tried to let readers know that the church had nothing against black people by saying, "Darkies are wonderful people."

Then the "Mormon" leaders started inviting black people to join the church, and even claimed that if a black person becomes a "Mormon" and follows the teachings God would eventually take away their dark skin curse and make them "white and delight-some" looking like the righteous!

And then finally as protesters began to surround the "Mormon" churches and temples and News crews were showing up to film it the "Mormon" prophet at the time "Spencer W. Kimball" suddenly made a public announcement that he had just received a revelation from God, and that God had told him that black people were no longer cursed.

GAYS

Back when I went to the "Mormon" church as a kid being gay was considered one of the worst "sins" that you could possibly commit.

And my grandparents would even blame major natural disasters like floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes on gay bars!

To make matters worse the church used to teach that being gay was a "lifestyle choice", and that anyone who is gay could be straight if they wanted to, but they instead choose to live in sin because they are not good.

As society became a lot more accepting of homosexuality the church began to be accused of preaching "homophobia", and were once again getting protested, so the church suddenly received another revelation from God, and this time God said that being gay was no longer a "choice" and that if you are attracted to people of the same sex you can't really help that, and therefore being gay was no longer a sin.

However, the church later went on to say that even though you can't control who you are sexually attracted to, you CAN control whether or not you act on your sexual desires. And although being gay was no longer a sin, having gay sex still was a sin.

So in other words, if you are gay you can technically become a member of the "Mormon" church, but you must either remain celibate or marry someone from the opposite sex and have straight marital sex only in order to avoid living in sin. (And as of writing this the church is still asking their members to do whatever they can to try to stop the legalization of "gay marriage" from happening.)

WOMEN

The "Mormon" church has built the largest genealogy database in the world, and it is used primarily to find the names of people who died without ever being baptized, so that they can be baptized in "Baptism For The Dead" ceremonies.

My dad used this database to trace back our family tree several generations, and when he did this a really interesting pattern emerged...

- The number of kids my father had... 1

- The number of kids my grandfather had... 6

- The number of kids my great grandfather had... 14

- The number of kids my great great grandfather had... 29

- The number of kids my great great great grandfather had... 47

- The number of kids my great great great great grandfather had...63

The reason my male ancestors had so many kids was because the "Mormon" church used to practice "polygamy", and it used to be common for a "Mormon" man to have multiple wives.

And how did "Mormon" women feel about the idea of having to share their husband with other women? They felt blessed just to have a "Mormon" husband, because they were taught that being married to a "Mormon" man was the only way that they could become a "Goddess" in Heaven.

The belief was that "Mormon" men would become Gods in the afterlife, and each "Mormon" man would have countless planets which would be populated by the countless spirit children that him and his wives would produce in heaven through never-ending sex!

So the church was basically a big "Sex Cult", and because polygamy was against the law the government eventually stepped in and threatened to shut down all the "Mormon" temples and put all the "Mormon" leaders in jail if they didn't stop practicing it, so the church suddenly had yet another revelation from God, and this time the revelation was that polygamy was now a sin, and that any members who continued to practice in it would be banished from the church.

CONCLUSION

After the embarrassing incident at the restaurant I started wanting to distance myself from the church, but because I was an only child and my parents were expecting me to keep the family tree and family tradition going by having lots of Mormon kids, so I told myself that I would keep going to church with them on Sundays and that as soon as I got out of school and moved out of my parent's house I would move far enough away from them that I could stop going to church without them knowing about it.



11.
"TELEVISION"

When I finally moved out of my parent's house I left the country and moved to the big city, and I felt an overwhelming temptation to do all the things that the chuch forbid!

When I got my first apartment I suddenly had cable television with over 100 channels instead of just 1 "family friendly" channel like the TV that I had growing up.

I couldn't wait to finally be able to watch the kind of TV that my parents didn't want me to see, but when I turned on the TV I wasn't ready for what I saw!

The sexuality and inappropriate language was so over-the-top that I couldn't watch anything on regular television without imagining how awkward it would be to watch it with my super religious parents!

Even though I was by myself I kept imagining that my mom was sitting to my left and that my dad was sitting to my right just like when we would watch TV together as a family on the couch, and it totally creeped me out!

And what was even more disturbing to me was the thought that other families out there actually would watch this kind of television together as a family and not even feel awkward about it!

As a matter of fact, at one point when I was flipping through the channels a movie was about to start and it had a warning that said "THE FOLLOWING FILM CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED BY CHILDREN WITHOUT PARENTAL SUPERVISION!" And all I could think to myself was, "Wouldn't watching a movie that has strong language and strong sexual content in it with their parents traumatize a kid for life???

I couldn't enjoy anything on regular TV because I was constantly cringing at the thought of watching what I was seeing with my parents, so after "channel surfing" for a bit I turned the TV off and decided to just get rid of it and live without one!



12.
"INTERNET"

They say that children today are starting puberty about 5 years earlier than children 100 years ago did, but I actually had the opposite problem. I didn't start to grow facial hair until I was 26, people never believed me when I tell them how old I was, and even to this day my voice is still kind of stuck in the high pitched prepubescent stage.

I'm not sure if my upbringing somehow stunted my growth and caused me to become a "Late Bloomer", but something caused there to be an unusually long delay.

My parents never talked to me about sex (not even once) and it wasn't taught at school either since I lived in a super religious area where it was such a taboo topic.

Sometimes I would overhear other boys at school talking about sex, but it was usually nothing more than them just bragging about how big their penis was, and because I had never seen another man naked before, and because I was so naive, I actually believed their wild and exaggerated claims, and it made me feel that there was no sense in trying to find a girlfriend, because once things got "serious" she would find out about my embarrassing problem.

Sometimes at church during "Priesthood Meeting" (which was a class for teenage boys) "Brother Smith" would talk to us about sex, but it would usually just be him talking about how bad and immoral sex was, and warning us about premarital sex, pornography, and masturbation. (Especially masturbation!)

He would tell us that sex was intended for procreation only, and that if you masturbate you are "toying with the tools of God" and committing an unforgivable sin!

He would also give us creepy tips to avoid the sin of masturbation such as...

"Never admire yourself in the mirror when you are naked."

"If you find out that a friend of yours masturbates stop being friends with them."

"When you go to sleep at night wear multiple layers of clothing so that it will be more difficult to do it if the devil is trying to tempt you at night."

All of this really messed with my head as a young boy, and I was literally too afraid to even scratch an itch if it was on an intimate body part.

And because of my lack of sexual education, when I started to grow hair around my private area I honestly had no clue what was going on, and I actually thought that the strange hair growth might be a "Sexually Transmitted Disease" of some kind even though I was still a virgin. (After all, my grandparents used to say that you could get A.I.D.S just from shaking hands with certain types of people, so if that was true then anything seemed possible!)

I was too embarrassed to go to a doctor about my hair growth or my size problem, so for years I thought that something was wrong with me, but then the internet came out, and I knew that a lot of people were using it to look at pornography, so I saved up my money to buy a computer just so I could get on the internet and finally figure out what was wrong with my body.

As soon as I got on-line for the first time I did an image search for "Naked Man" and within only a few seconds I was relieved to discover that not only was the hair that I was growing between my legs natural, but my size was average too.

I was so happy that I didn't have a disease, but unfortunately my new computer got a bad virus due to the kinds of websites that I had to go to in order to see what a naked man looked like, and after just a few minutes of web-surfing my computer went haywire and a bunch of pop-up ads started coming on the screen, so I turned my computer off, but when I tried to turn it back on it wouldn't turn on.

I had an uncle who fixed computers, but I was way too afraid to let him look it because I imagined that he would be able to view my "browser history" and would think that I was gay. (And if he told my parents or grandparents about it they might literally have a heart attack over it!)

I was also too uncomfortable to take the computer to somewhere like "Best Buy" to get it repaired, because I heard stories about people taking their computer there to get it fixed and the employees going through their personal files and finding illegal pornography of some kind.

There was nothing "illegal" about the type of pornography that I had viewed, but you have to remember that it was during a time when being gay was still considered "wrong" by most people, and if anyone in town found out that I was looking at pictures of naked men on-line rumors about it would quickly spread, and I probably wouldn't have been able to go anywhere without judgmental looks from people.

So I ended up just throwing the computer away and before I threw it away I soaked it in my bathtub for a few days to make sure that it would never work again because of how paranoid I was that one of my neighbors would go through my trash and find it.

I felt frustrated that I had spent a lot of money on a computer (over $1,000) and that I ended up just throwing it away, but it also made me feel sympathetic to anyone who actually was gay back then and who had to go to even greater lengths just to avoid having anyone find out that they were gay, and it inspired me to become an advocate for "gay rights".



13.
"THE PROSTITUTE"

When I was 30 year old I still had never had a girlfriend, and everyone could tell that I was a virgin just by looking at me.

Any time I would start a new job somewhere one of my co-workers would come up to me within my first week there and say, "Can I ask you a personal question?" And I already knew that they were going to ask me, "Are you a virgin?"

Whenever someone would ask me this I would just say something like, "I would rather not discuss my personal love life at work." but it would just make it even more obvious and funny to people that I was still a virgin!

Because of the serious lack of "Human Touch" in my life I developed an inability to accept any kind of human touch from people (like hugs, handshakes, and pats on the back) without getting all jumpy and weirded out about it, and this problem was continuing to get worse and worse the longer I stayed a virgin.

I dreamed of someday meeting a nice girl, but it felt completely unrealistic to me since I suffered from "Social Anxiety Disorder" and spent all my free time alone. So I eventually came to the conclusion that the only way that I could ever have an experience with a woman would be if I paid for it by hiring the services of a prostitute.

Then one day I found a flyer on the ground for an "escort service" in my city, and while browsing though it I found a picture of a red headed female escort who was stunningly beautiful and who I instantly felt was "the one" for me.

It said that she charged $800 an hour, but I had the money and felt that it would be a small price to pay to finally have this experience that everyone talked so much about. (And to have it with someone who looked like a super model!) So I decided to go for it!

I wrote down her phone number and spent the next few days writing a "script" for when I called her.

I made up a fake name, a fake job, and fake hobbies that I thought would impress her, and because people would always tell me that I looked really young for my age I decided that I would tell her I had just turned 18. (That way if it was obvious to her that I was still a virgin it would be at least a little bit less laughable to her than if she knew that I was 30.)

After lots of rehearsing I finally picked up the phone and called her number...

The phone rang 4 times and then she answered...

"Hello"

I was so intimidated by the sound of her voice that I almost just hung up the phone, but I managed to take a deep breath and in the most masculine voice that I conjure up I said "Hello" back to her.

But I guess I tried a little too hard because after I said it there was a really long and awkward silence until she finally asked, "Are you calling to make an appointment?"

I then looked down at the script that I had written and started to panic because even though I had spent days writing down different things that I could talk to her about over the phone I actually hadn't thought about her asking me something like that! So I had no pre-written response, and was going to have to answer this question completely off the top of my head, but I was so nervous that I started stuttering out of control and she ended up just hanging up.

"I knew I would mess it all up!" I thought to myself as I hung up the phone.

I was of course way too uncomfortable to try calling her back after that, so I just got up and started to walk away from the phone, but then it started to ring. (Keep in mind that this was back when "Caller I.D." had just come out and a lot of people like me had never even heard of it yet, so it didn't even cross my mind that it could be her calling me back.)

So I picked up the phone to see who it was and said, "Hello". (But this time when I said "Hello" I said it in my real voice which is very shy and soft spoken.)

It was the prostitute calling me back, but because I had answered with my real voice she thought that I was a woman this time (and she thought that I must be the girlfriend or wife of the nervous man who had just tried to call her) so she got just as nervous as me and said, "Oh... I'm sorry I must have the wrong number." and quickly hung up.

I immediately tried to call her back but she wouldn't answer because she thought that it was going to be a jealous woman demanding to know why she was talking to her man!

So I once again gave up, but the next day my phone rang again, and I thought that it might be her again so I picked up the phone and answered it in a masculine sounding voice again, and sure enough it was her, and she nervously whispered, "Is now an OK time to talk?"

Because we were both so nervous, and because I didn't want her to think that I was the kind of guy who would cheat on his girlfriend or wife I decided to just go ahead and tell her the truth...

I confessed to her that I had tried to call her the day before, but that I was really nervous because I was a virgin.

She then became very sympathetic and told me that there was nothing wrong with being a virgin, and when she told me that I suddenly felt a incredible feeling of calm come over me because it was the first time that I had ever actually told someone that I was a virgin, and it was also the first time that someone didn't laugh when they found out that I was a virgin.

We continued talking, and as the conversation went on I started to really loosen up and feel super excited that this was actually going to happen, and we agreed to make an appointment!

She then asked me where I lived and when I told her the apartment complex that I was living at she said, "Are you serious? I actually live not that far from you, so I guess that I could be there in half an hour if you'd like." and I immediately shouted "HALF AN HOUR???" in horror!

I then looked around me and saw a million reasons why there was no way that I was going to be ready to have a beautiful woman come over to my apartment in only half an hour. (I mean, I had to clean my apartment, I had to figure out what I was going to wear, I needed a hair cut, etc, etc, etc...)

So I apologized to her for freaking out a bit and told her that half an hour was a little too soon for me to be ready to finally have this experience for the first time, and she said, "Oh... OK... Well... I could come over later this afternoon if you'd like."

But "later this afternoon" didn't really sound any more realistic or less scary to me, so I told her that later this afternoon was still way too soon for me to be ready, and I then asked her if we could plan to meet a month or two in advance...

There was then a really long awkward silence until she started to laugh, and then she told me, "It sounds like you're never going to be ready for something like this!"

I wasn't sure what to say so I said nothing, and then after another long awkward silence she said, "I'll tell you what, you have my number, so why don't you call me back whenever you do feel ready, OK Babe?"

So I told her that sounded good, we said "Good-bye", I put the phone down, and I started dancing for joy!

"She called me "Babe"!" I thought to myself. (No woman had ever called me anything like that before, so it was an incredible natural high for me!) And I was actually going to meet her..."someday"...when I was ready!

But several months went by, and I never did call her back because she was right about me. (I was never going to be ready for something like that!)

I would often tell myself that I wanted a girlfriend, but deep down I knew that in order for me to even go on a date I would have to step so far out of my "comfort zone" that I would rather just stay single.

I later learned that there was a word for people who would rather stay single than be in a relationship, and it was then that I realized that I wasn't really a "heterosexual", nor was I a "homosexual", but rather I was an "asexual", and once I accepted this my sex drive basically disappeared.

Some would see losing your sex drive as a big problem, but I actually found it to be liberating!

Instead of being in relationships and thinking about sex every 6 seconds like the average man does I was able to be alone and concentrate, and because I was no longer religious I started to wonder how life and the universe might have really began, and I fell in love with the feeling of wonder that can only be experienced when you can admit that you don't know everything, and that everything is a mystery.

In my time alone I began to ask myself "Why am I here?" and since I was always into health (because I didn't want to end up in a nursing home and go through the awkwardness of having someone help me change my clothes, bathe, or go to the bathroom) I put together a website where I shared health tips that I had learned over the years (to help others not end up in a nursing home and go through the awkwardness of having someone help them change their clothes, bathe, or go to the bathroom) and I actually started getting e-mails from people saying that I inspired them to eat better and exercise!

I was usually too shy to talk to people, but once I realized that I was having an influence on people I not only became more confident and more vocal, but it was as if I wanted to make up for all the times that I was too shy to talk in my youth, and although I may not have gone on a mission for the church, I was definitely on a mission, and it was all thanks to my embarrassment!



EMBARRASSED INTO ENLIGHTENMENT