I ride in a van to work. It's easy on the wallet, as we share the gas. It's also easy on me, because the commute to work is about 45 minutes one way. I can nap, read, or talk. I've already been through 3 books in the past 5 months.
And this is where the post gets difficult. How to say it, and how to say it and have the meaning carry over. There are times when I desperately want someone to see something exactly how I do, so that I can comfort myself in being understood. It's tough not being a good writer. It's also tough being a heart-on-your-sleeve kinda guy... Makes me feel like a wuss.
Yesterday I had a long conversation with a French/Swiss guy who happens to be in my van. He's a nice guy, and we've talked before. Yesterday I got the full story on why he is no longer a believing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's hard enough hearing someone tell me why Joseph Smith's polyandry, blacks and the Priesthood, and other common concerns have driven them from partaking in the blessings of the Gospel, but two things particularly stung yesterday.
First, I hate it when French folks turn away from the Gospel. It hurts a million times more than any regular other Joe. It hurts, and it hurts bad.
Secondly, I'm starting to see myself in a lot of these exit stories. People become disaffected and quit because they can't find the answers they're looking for. They complain that the Church doesn't tell people about the more obscure details of the history of the Church or of the lives of early Church leaders. One side of me says "Well, why should they? Do you or don't you have faith that Joseph Smith saw God?" We have a tendency to dismiss the things we do know because of details that suggest that it's all a falsehood. I can't blame people for feeling the immense and deep frustration they feel. And sometimes... though I'm afraid to admit it... It feels as though I'm bound for the same fate. That is not a friendly feeling.
And so I hold to the rod, trodding slowly onward until that day when I get to the tree of life. Where else am I going to go? To atheism? Hardly. There are too many things have convinced me of God's existence. To Islam, Judaisim, Hinduism, or another non-Christian religion? No... not possible. Too many things have convinced me humanity needs a Savior. To Catholicism, Protestantism, or Evangelicalism? I would still have concerns and worries with them, though a different set. So where shall I go? The answer is: nowhere. I will stay where I am, confident that all will make sense at some point in time.