I've had the opportunity to speak with men and women from belief systems around the world. Atheists from Russia. Medicine men from Africa. Catholic priests trained in the hallways of the Vatican City. Protestant ministers with doctoral degrees in divinity. Muslim scholars who travel regularly to Mecca. Jewish rabbis who can list all the commandments of the Torah.
And, after listening to them, watching the goodness in their lives, hearing them share their beliefs... I always feel the desire to share my own knowledge of the truth.
I believe in Christ.
I believe that God is my Father, and that He loves me more than anyone could ever imagine... and that His love is unconditional.
I believe that, because God loves me, He reveals the way for me to find happiness. Me. God knows me, understands who I am, and knows exactly what I need to find true and lasting happiness... and He will do anything to help me follow that path.
He sends angels to minister to men, teaching them the truth and revealing the principles that will lead them to happiness and peace.
He gives men His power - the power of the Priesthood... the same power that created the world, organized the universe, and can call down the powers of Heaven or exalt mortals to immortality.
He calls prophets to lead the work and teach the truth to all men... those who want to hear and are already listening for the voice of God, and those who don't... to give all men the opportunity to come unto Him.
He reveals commandments to show men the way to peace, hope, and happiness.
He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for the imperfection of mortality, and to make it possible for me to repent and change each day... to change the very nature of who I am into something better.
He gives me trials, blessings, talents, weaknesses, family members, and life experiences that are all perfectly designed to help me become who He sees in me. Life is perfectly designed to help me find happiness... if I am willing to shape myself according to God's plan.
In my personal case, I'm attracted to some guys, and no girls. But I believe that God intended me to have all the same blessings He promised to all His children (falling in love, finding a wife, raising a family). If I am faithful, everything He has promised will come true.
And when I falter, or struggle, or fail... God's love doesn't change. No matter what I do, I will always be His Son. He will never give up on me.
I believe based on personal experience. Revelation from God, conversations with Him in the day and at night. Direction that has saved my life and changed it for the better. Feelings and promptings and miracles and proof beyond what I could have ever imagined.
But, after all is said and done, I could still find ways to convince myself otherwise. Interpreting the scriptures in my own way isn't hard. Neither is picking and choosing from the words of the prophets or the promptings I get from God. No. The proof, the knowledge, the blessings, and even the miracles still leave me room. And it's there that I make my decision.
You can call it faith, optimism, zeal, or courage. I believe because I choose to believe.