"To anyone who feels they don’t fit in at church—you truly do. We all have imperfections, and we all need each other’s support. Your experiences and faith are a needed part of the Church," Katie Steed writes.
Never before had two flights of stairs seemed so long. I was coming back to church after a long absence, and my excitement had been replaced with fear. My desperate hope to believe in core doctrines of the Church, like Jesus Christ’s Atonement and the sealing power of the temple, had driven my return, but I worried that with a visible tattoo and extra piercing I would no longer fit in with my peers in the young adult congregation.
While my time away from church had some extremely dark moments, I honestly consider it as one of the most important times of my life. Never had I prayed so hard, examined myself and my beliefs so thoroughly, or faced my uncertainties so head-on as I did then. Once I came to terms with my struggles and questions, I realized how much I wanted to believe in the things I had been taught in the Church and decided to go back.
After making the decision, however, I started to worry about what others would think of me. I had a tattoo, and I wondered how I’d be judged because of it. I wondered if my questions about the gospel would seem silly to others and if I’d be labeled as undateable, unfriendable, and ignorable.