I know a lot of people might answer that question a lot of different ways; here's the Jeopardy "answer" from Dec. 20th last week. (Category was "Prophets")
The Refiner's Fire
37 minutes ago
Q: As a Mormon, how did you end up at Oregon rather than BYU? — @c_drew
A: BYU blew it. They dropped the ball. (Laughs) At first they didn’t offer me a scholarship until somebody else did. They were like, “Ah, you’re a big LDS kid, you’ll just walk on.” As soon as Oregon and some other schools showed interest, they were like, “Hey, yeah, we want you too!” Then they said they needed to know right away, but I said I hadn’t figured it all out yet, and so they said they were going to give the scholarship to somebody else. Then they called me back, and visited my high school the next day, and basically told me I’d be a bad Mormon if I didn’t go to BYU. I was like, “Jeez, great, that really makes me want to come!” They just blew it. They did a terrible job of recruiting me. And Oregon didn’t. Oregon did a great job.
...Life seemed simpler before the events in my life caused me to question everything. Going to church was something I anticipated, and it felt like welcome relief. General Conference was a charging of my spiritual batteries, and I derived great comfort from things like the Ensign. It’s not so much that I was ignorant of the problems in the church, nor did I understand or believe every aspect of the Gospel. There were doctrinal struggles, even then. But I derived happiness from my certainty, from my feeling, from my intuition, or from the Spirit (whatever that might mean). It’s also not that I now constantly bicker with church leaders, or criticize each talk and lesson when I go to church. Indeed, at church I usually don’t say much, but listen carefully to try and learn. It’s really about what’s going on in my mind, the nagging voice that feels the urge to constantly correct, analyze, and thoroughly dissect each idea, sentence, and thought.
In short, I no longer feel when I go to church, I only think. And that, I’m afraid, sums up the problem when the analyst is the only one who shows up. And yet, I really do want to go to church and so I continue to go and slog through the analysis. I know what is possible there. I remember the feelings, the certainty, the truth. And still, even though I know (and don’t want) that certainty anymore, even though I’m happy with my outlook on life now, I believe I can allow myself to experience the feelings that were there if I can remind myself what it’s like to feel rather than analyze them....