My Friend Of A Different Faith Face to Faith Competition Winner: “Friends and Different Faiths”
Alexia from Bennion Junior High, Utah, USA, was one of a number of students from our Face to Faith programme who took part in My Friend of a Different Faith writing their own stories of how they have lived with and learned from their friend of a different faith. This story was one of our prize winners. You can find the work of other prize winning Face to Faith students on the My Friend of a Different Faith resource page in company with others like Eboo Patel, Joel Edwards, and many more.
I had grown up in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) family all my life. I have always gone to the same church, and have had mostly LDS friends. I had never questioned my religion until I started junior high. Once I started junior high I made many different friends and met many new people of different faiths. After hanging out with different friends throughout my three years of junior high I questioned the religion I have grown up in.
I started to have my own thoughts and opinions on how I thought life should be and what happens after. I had talked to friends about my opinions and sometimes they had the same opinion or their own. We never fought over who was right or wrong but simply discussed our points of view. Even now I still question what I believe in. I would like to identify myself as a Christian, but sometimes believe I’m simply agnostic.
It took me a lot of courage to tell my parents what I really thought. I didn't know what they would say when I told them I don't want to go to church any more. One day I finally told my parents what I thought and I didn't want to go to our church every Sunday anymore. They told me they still want me going to church and going to the activities they hold. I was angry they wouldn't let me do what I want and let me explore something that I want to be part of or not be part of.
They gave me one exception though. I was allowed to go to a Christian youth group I had joined and started attending a few years ago. This youth group is called “Ignited Life”. They hold services every Wednesday at seven o' clock every week. There we will sing, pray, and learn about God. The only down side to the deal is I could only attend Ignited Life every other week so I could still attend my LDS mutual activities every other Wednesdays. I may have been disappointed then, but I can be a little more understanding of my parents now. They want what they think is right for me and I respect that. I just don’t agree with everything.
I think it is Important to have friends of different religions and viewpoints on life because that is what could help you find or become who you are. You should never unfriend somebody because of their faith because they are still the same person no matter what they believe in. Diversity in religion and race is something I think we all need to have a healthy life.