There Are No Atheists (or Deists) in Foxholes

de·ism/ˈdēˌizəm,ˈdāˌizəm

  1. belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind.

I came to the conclusion after growing up in a religious household that I had a belief in god, but that he was more like a discovery channel documentarian. Very recently I realised that my belief came from feeling like I wasn’t living up to anybody’s expectations, especially my own. I felt like I needed to be perfect. I couldn’t discuss my problems because I didn’t have any, of course. 😉 I kind of gave up and said that I didn’t need religion. I didn’t care where I ended up after this life. I hoped that we just ceased to be. I figured that I would just do the best I could, try to be kind to others, and not worry about where I would eventually end up. Mediocrity appealed to me because nobody expects anything from you when you’re mediocre. The other reason Deism appealed to me was because I do believe there is a god, but I never saw why it would ever be important to my creator to take an active interest in me. Of all the problems in the world, what makes me worthy of being heard?

I keep promising a story, and it is a story that will never come, instead I will tell you about what I have been experiencing, maybe it’s a testimony. I can’t tell you what it is yet because I don’t know what it is, but it is life changing. If you’ve been following my story, you know that things haven’t exactly been going my way. My life has been extremely difficult, but the strangest things have been happening as to where I can’t deny that I am being watched over.

I realised it when I started hearing multiple versions of this phrase “If you are innocent, you have nothing to worry about.” I am naturally an extreme worrier. I had been getting anxiety attacks the last year or so, but I’ve been at peace lately and I seem to have extreme clarity. The other thing I keep seeing and hearing over and over again is different versions of “Faith not Fear.” (The Christian church right up the street from me has that exact phrase on their sign outside.)

My nephew had been called on his Mormon mission to Spain, but because of Covid, he was sent to Salt Lake City. The mission office is one house away from me. I get a knock on the door one morning. It is my nephew and his companion. My nephew tells me that he is waiting for his ride so he wanted to talk for a few minutes. He gets me to confirm that we will do a video chat the following Wednesday. I know it will be some version of one of their “discussions,” but I agree to it because I love him and I admire his enthusiasm. I am proud of him. Wednesday comes and he calls. It’s just as I thought it would be. He told me that he prayed about what his message would be and the scripture he chose was from the Book of Mormon. Ether 12:6

“…I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”
Ether 12:6

I have been praying almost everyday lately because “there are no Atheists (or Deists) in foxholes.” I am ashamed of that and feel guilty that I am only now seeking guidance. It makes me feel even less worthy than before, but I am receiving answers nonetheless. My most recent answer came today. I was wondering if I needed to stay where I am because I’m tired. Is this really worth it? My answer was yes, I need to stay, but not for the reasons I once thought. My brother has been inviting me once a week to go to his house for movie night. Earlier in the week, he and his wife invited me over, and because they weren’t telling me the title of the show we were going to watch, I knew it was religious. They had me watch the first episode of “The Chosen.” I got a text earlier today asking if I wanted to watch the next episodes. I really didn’t want to after my 12 hour shift, but I decided that I needed to. It might be something I needed to hear…and it was.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12: 14-21

I know that this isn’t over, and I will continue to seek guidance, whether I think I’m worthy of it or not. I know that things will work out one way or another. I know it’ll continue to be hard, but I do believe that this is a test of my faith. I am officially no longer a Deist.

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