I didn’t expect that getting a boyfriend would also mean becoming a Christian Scientist. But that’s exactly what happened. On our first date, my boyfriend took me to church—the local branch Church of Christ, Scientist. And if you asked me why I’m a Christian Scientist today, I’d think back to myself as an 18-year-old, first-time Christian Science Sunday School student, and I’d give you one word: Truth.
Attending the Christian Science Sunday School was a revelation.
I had been raised in another Christian denomination and was baptized into the church at the age of 12. But even though I attended services regularly, somehow the whole idea of religious teachings being applicable to my life didn’t really register for me. Though I have fond memories of my church, my experience was more cultural than one of deep belief. Church was something that was part of my life on Sundays, but not so much during the rest of the week.
My dad left us when I was seven and my mother had to go out to work, so I had a lot of time to myself most days. I liked to go into our pear orchard and swing from branch to branch, making up stories. The problem was, sometimes those stories spilled over into real life—meaning that I got into a bad habit of lying. And even when I got into trouble for it, I still kept doing it.
So when I began attending the Christian Science Sunday School and found out that God was Truth—wow. That idea was amazing to me! Even more amazing was the fact that I had a relationship to this divine Truth. I was Truth’s reflection, meaning I must be created as honest, truthful.
For the first time, I really got it. I knew that the lying I’d been doing all those years was wrong, and that I had to tell the truth from then on. And there was more. I realized that I wasn’t just now becoming “Truth’s honest child, / Of pure and sinless heart” (Emily F. Seal, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 382). I had always been Truth’s perfect, honest child—which meant I’d never been that awful person I thought I was. After that, honesty came naturally, and I loved knowing that I was expressing Truth when I told the truth.
Attending the Christian Science Sunday School was a revelation. I could learn all these things about myself and God. Not just religious doctrine, but actual truth, because I realized that Christian Science explains the truth of being: what God is and what we are.
Christian Science grounded me in an understanding of my spiritual identity, and this was practical: It led to healing. Healings of indigestion, headaches, allergies, weak ankles, broken ribs, and many other problems. At first, I had no idea how I was being healed, but I loved what was happening to me.
Becoming a Christian Scientist changed me: the way I thought about myself and everyone else.
I loved exploring Jesus’ statement, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), because it offered such promise. Free from what? I wanted freedom from all my old habits and unproductive ways of thinking. And what was the truth that would set me free? The truth about God and man, which has infinite facets in Christian Science.
For example, I learned that God was my Father. Because my dad had left when I was so young, I never really felt like I’d had a father. So it was wonderful to realize that I’d actually never been without a father. My divine Father had always been there, and I’d always been fathered by God. My mother and I also hadn’t been close, so finding out God was Mother was a great relief, too. I’d always been mothered by God, and so had my mother.
Becoming a Christian Scientist changed me: the way I thought about myself and everyone else. The way I wanted to live my life. The way I wanted to behave in my relationships. And Christian Science connected me to the fact that I didn’t just do right, but I was right. I was Truth’s expression, so the good and right that I did, I did because it was what I was, not just because “it’s what you do,” or because “the rules say so.”
So why am I a Christian Scientist? Because it unlocked the truth of my being, the truth of reality. And once you’ve seen the truth, you don’t want anything else.