I'm afraid of a lot of things, but death is at the top of the list, without a doubt, without competition. I'm a little afraid of dying personally, insomuch as I don't want to die without ever having experienced certain things: giving birth, parenthood, Europe, the Pacific Ocean, Autumn in Maine, a lifetime of happy with Jimi experiencing each day by my side. But mostly, more strongly than I collectively fear just about anything else in the world, I'm afraid of losing the people I hold dear to life's inevitable end. I don't want the people around me, the people I love, to die. It freaks me out to even consider the idea for very long; I know it'll happen one day, but it's too scary to think about.
I get why people find solace, comfort, in religion. Especially the Latter-Day Saints; I mean, the promise of joining up with your Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters and grandparents and your husband and your babies too!, to live happily ever after with a loving Heavenly Father? Heck yeah! I want that!
I wanted so desperately to believe the Church was true, to have that promise of Salvation, to know that no matter what, I'd see those people I love most even after they were lost from me in this world. I wanted to bask in that warm glowy feeling I had when I prayed with the missionaries. I wanted that security, that promise.
The problem is, I don't believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet. I don't believe his first vision story, either version. I don't believe an angel stood over him with a sword of fire and threatened to kill him if he didn't take a second wife, just as I don't believe he was acting in accordance with God's Will when he later married a 14 year old girl, just like I don't believe God told him to marry women who were already married to other men.
If I can't believe in Joseph Smith, the Church, for me, can't be true. And the Celestial Kingdom, where I could live for time and all eternity with Heavenly Father and my family...well, it can't be true, either, can it?
But there's got to be something more. The Christianity thing, as a whole, doesn't really jive for me. So much killing and horribleness and nastiness, all in the name of a loving God? Nope. Not really my cup of tea.
Buddhism is more my speed. Treat others kindly because that's the right thing to do. Don't hurt anyone, anything, any place. Give generously of yourself and the things you are blessed to have at your disposal. Try to live without attachment; to things, to memories, to expectations. Live for today, and do the best you can to be the best person you can be and try to do right by everyone you touch every day.
Plus, when was the last time a Buddhist got snooty over some chick wearing pants to church?
I like the idea of an eternal spirit, too; one that grows and learns with each incarnation, each new plane of existence. I wish there was some promise, some way I could know for sure that I'll get to meet up with the spirits I love most in this incarnation...I console myself with the fact that whatever will be, will be. I'll live my every day as best I can; I'll love my hardest, I'll give what I'm able, I'll help where I can. I'll cherish every day I've got here, and I'll not worry about what comes next.
And then, when I'm 98 years old, nearly blind, mostly deaf, without much of an appetite, with a brood of much-loved great-grandbabies and BFFs surrounding me, I'll start to get nervous about the end and I'll convert. Just to be safe.