One of the most important aspects of teenage life is feeling secure, accepted, and loved. I always had a great group of friends that accepted me for my personality, my talents, and most of all, my religion. I was never pressured into doing "evil" things in high school because my friends knew what I stood for and made sure that I was on my best behavior at all times because of my beliefs. The thought hadn't occurred to me, however, that my closest friends thought that my eternal destiny was rooted in a burning lake of fire and brimstone. They called it hell, to be precise. .
Graduation was approaching sooner than I had expected, and the events leading up to that glorious day were just about over. The last night before graduation, the Honors Convocation was held, and I was very excited and nervous about what recognition I would receive. More importantly, however, I was savoring one of the last moments that I would have with my fellow classmates. As I was approaching a group of my friends, I heard my name and the word "hell" juxtaposed in the same sentence. I turned and looked at one of my best friends and very calmly asked, "Do you think I"m goin" to hell?" She very solemnly nodded her head and began, "I have always thought that. You"re a MORMON, Lacy!" I turned to my other longtime friends and received basically the same responses, "I love you but yeah, you"re going to hell!" and " You"re not even Christian!" At that point I began to feel the excitement for the night's events leave me utterly alone. I was alone in my little world with no one to talk to but my Heavenly Father. I walked away and said a little prayer in my head, but the peaceful calm that I was expecting never came; quite the opposite occurred.
Throughout the entire ceremony, my mind was racing in circles. Were they ever my friends? Had I been living a lie my entire life? Why hadn't they tried to save my soul before now if they felt so strongly that I was going to burn? Why did they have to tell me the night before graduation? These were questions that I could not answer.