Spirituality has always been high on my list of fascinations, fueled, in part, by we can never know, on the one hand, and I know this church is true, on the other (spoken, always, by someone who doesn’t know.)
My own background is somewhat unusual, having been born in a Mormon community. I’m aware of only two non-Mormon families who lived in Richmond, UT at the time. So naturally, I like everyone I knew, developed the steadfast, certain faith in God, which I would later claim (incorrectly) is impossible. We learned the surprising fact that there are non-Mormons, whom we were taught to pity.
My own family was rather unusual. My father never went to church but my mother went regularly. My grandparents went to church always, but not to the Church in Richmond. It occurred to me that this was odd, but I believe I was six or seven years old when my Grandmother told me that she, my Grandfather, and my dad were not Mormons! Talk about planting a wild seed!
I remained a Mormon and a believer, but I was troubled. My grandparents particularly were some of the finest human beings humanity ever produced. My Grandpa Bill’s generosity was over the top. As a pharmacist he donated thousands of dollars worth of medication to needy people. We weren’t aware of the size of it all until after he passed on.
Being a relatively normal boy I grew to despise the going to church routine. My father was always doing something far more intriguing and I finally fell away from attendance. Yet my fascination in human interests and motivation continued. This is, no doubt, what led me into becoming a Master Folklorist and a writer.
So, while the Mormon appeal fell apart (for reasons I’ll not go into here), my fascination with spiritual ideology grew. Particularly intriguing is the concept of Christianity. Christianity sprang from Judean roots and one can study the evolution throughout the Old Testament. A fascinating study! Much incredible wisdom and intuition resides there along with the introduction to Christian philosophy, which to me smells so sweet.
The “red letters” (words credited to Jesus), contain little that’s even debatable. It boils the complexities of life down to absolute simplicity. John 13:34 presents in a single verse, the solution to mankind’s problems, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
“…as I have loved you” being the tricky part. We can’t even comprehend what Jesus went through in the Garden of Gethsemane, but it’s not hard to imagine the horror of being stripped, whipped, nailed to a cross, all while possessing the power to end it in a moment. Instead, he delivers the ultimate expression of love.
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