I have been thinking back recently and thought I would write a little about my life in the 60s and 70s. I spent my teen years at the end of the 60s and half way through the 70s. I wasn’t always very aware of what was happening around me in the world, but I remember “Flower Power” I wasn’t really into the hippie scene, but I realise what it was about along with the Vietnam war and Ban the Bomb. The very real threat of Russia using radio active weapons. I can remember hearing on the television that people should be thinking about making bunkers or shelters just in case. The world was changing and so was I. I also remember the day that President Kennedy died. It was a time of uncertainty and change. That was what was happening in the world. My own personal world was changing a lot too. My parents divorced when I was 13yrs old. I used to stay with a lady who was a neighbour in the summer holidays, because my mother had to work. My neighbour was Canadian. She used to live with Mormons as a child in Canada. She married and moved to the UK. When the Mormon Missionaries came calling at her house one day I was there. The young men were only 19/20 and 21 yrs old when they came on a mission. Little did I know it then but I was to become a Mormon myself.
I was a Mormon for nearly 10 yrs. I was baptised at 13yrs old and left at 22yrs old. I remember the day I was dunked under the water in a baptismal Font in London. I do not have a bad word to say about my time with the Mormons. They were some of the happiest days of my life and of course I was in love with the young missionaries. I used to write to one of the missionaries brothers in Utah. My head was in the clouds and I was only too willing to pray to my father in heaven every day. After a while I wanted to visit Utah myself. Just before I was 21yrs old I worked day and night to get money together for the trip. I used to work in an office during the day and a cinema at night. I became very ill just before the trip. I had Hepatitis B and Glandular fever together. Fortunately I got better in time to go. I stayed with a Mormon family in a little town called “Fountain Green.” in Utah for a month. It was amazing to see The West side of America. I loved it so much that I did not want to come back. But of course I did. I still remember all the lights over Salt Lake City as we flew out. Now when I look back it feels like a different time altogether. I decided to leave the church about a year later because something happened that made me think there was more to the world. I used to dream about them at least for a year or more after because it felt like I was leaving my family, but I knew it was the right thing for me to do at that time. I was searching for something, like we all do in life when we are young and I wasn’t through with religion because many years later I was baptised into the Methodist church. However, people started telling me that if I couldn’t accept Jesus as my saviour I would not be saved. Well that was like a red rag to a bull for me. I asked questions. Like, “What about all the Jews and Muslims and Buddhists in the world” to name but a few. “They will not be saved.” was the reply. I finally left that religion too. I do not belong to any religion now. I listen to what is inside me and I know there is something far greater than all of us that does not judge. Oh! there is so much more but I am going to stop there.
Salt Lake City.