Sandy, a 25 year old youth who recently declared her belief and is now an enrolled member shared this about herself, when asked “what changed for you [to want to become a Bahai]?”
Oh man! That is a talk we will have in person. Lots of things. Mainly the fact that I was never a "devout" Christian to begin with. After a lot of research and reading about the foundations of the Baha'i faith, I really agree with a lot of them. I think one of the ones that stood out for me is that we are all one. Not necessarily segregated due to religious beliefs. I remember at Christmas, my uncle was asking why I didn't bring [my Bahai boyfriend home] with me. He was out of town visiting family, but also he does not celebrate Christmas. Then of course the whole family surrounded me, and asked me what his beliefs were. When I said he was a Baha'i, they were really confused and made some jokes about it. My mom and I have also talked about it, and she seemed to be really put off at first, and she said, "Well, I don't really know what that is . . . But if he doesn't believe in God, then . . . ." I interrupted her, and corrected her. I think it just scared her a bit because she was afraid I would end up with someone who does not believe in God! LOL. But I really like the fact that it unifies all social classes, nationality, culture, and religious beliefs.
I feel like [the Bahai Faith] focuses a lot on peace and kindness. Practicing patience, and serving your community, which are all things that I am very passionate about, as opposed to condemning people for their wrong doings. [Some in] my family are extreme "Bible thumpers," (that's what I call extremists, LOL) who see any kind of sin as the worst thing in the world! I hate it. It's caused a divide in our family, and I don't think any type of religion should do this to anyone, ESPECIALLY your own family.”