Several religions are based on teachings from books, but the writers of those books are not here to teach us, so we have to read the book, learn/experiment safely without taking unnecessary risks while deciding which one is real, engaging and peaceful in your life. You might like to learn as much as you can about many religions. Are you a voracious reader? How will you decide in whom you may trust about your ultimate faith or belief?
1Keep an open mind. First of all, you should get away from things you've heard about and start with a clean slate. This is one way to learn Truth. Your first task is to learn about religions, not necessarily to pick one for yourself right off the bat. Go to the library and find books on some religions. After you get the preliminary information on each religion, go to their original texts if you wish. Keep reading and learning. Do not accept or reject anything at this point, just keep learning.
2Meet the religious leaders, preachers and teachers in your neighborhood and online. Ask them about their views on life, God(s), relationships, ethical conduct, and their daily practice of their religion. Use online forums to talk with people all over the world, do not confine yourself to just talking with friends and neighbors. Religion is not just facts but accepting a tradition, culture, and potentially important set of beliefs. Choosing a religion is similar to choosing who to marry. Follow your heart not peer pressure, it is a personal individual choice.
3Ask yourself,"Why do I need or want to follow a religion?"Remember that religion can be an escape, much like a drug. Cults can especially provide a drug-like escape. What is the real reason that you want to follow a religion?
4Beware of cults. Cults are social or religious groups that often control their members mentally, physically, maritally or sexually. Beware of their leaders that claim to have all the answers to life's questions. Beware of tight groups that ask people to strictly conform to certain behaviors, abandon their friends and family, ask for mandatory donations, etc.
5Don't make a quick decision especially as a young person. Take the time to learn about the world. Learn about life, faith, people, religion and seek education including history. Then keep reading about your favorite religions.
It may help if good friends or family members share what their beliefs are and why they believe in them; learn about the their religions if you find them desirable. Do not confine yourself to just following the beliefs of what happens to be in your area though. With the internet, you can connect with beliefs all over the world.
6Find a particular religion to follow if you can. These include Buddhism and Buddha, Christian and Jesus Christ (the Messiah), Islam and the prophet Muhammad, Judaism and the Torah, or others.
7Avoid assuming that"one religion is just as good as the other"for yourself. That very well may be far from true. Shopping for religious communities is like shopping for cars. Each model has pros and cons, some will fit your needs better than others, no model is perfect, most of them have common features that will all get you from point A to point B.
8Learn about the good and the bad aspects of certain religions. It is important to know about negative and positive actions done by people who claim a particular religion. Decide for yourself if these people were properly following the religion or if they were simply abusing their power.
9Think about what you believe about God or gods: If you believe there is only one God, then your choice of religions is narrowed down to monotheistic religions. If you believe in Gods (more than one deity), then your choice of religions is narrowed down to polytheistic religions. If you believe that God is all, and all is God, then your choice of religions is narrowed down to pantheistic religions.
10Check to see which religions fit your beliefs when discussing the physical presence of God(s). Some religions believe that God(s) is/are not a physical entity, while some religions do believe that God(s) is/are physical entities that have bodies of their own. Some believe that God(s) has/have been found in human form on Earth, while others believe that this has not happened.