I’ve been thinking recently of people I met in my twenties. Where we are now—that memory thing. A post a few weeks back by your own Jim Faulconer sent me on this most recent tour down memory lane. Jim was a person I met in my twenties—in the honors program reading room at BYU. At BYU I also met Mike Quinn, Lavina Fielding Anderson, Janice and David Allred. . . . . We were all idealistic, faithful, bookish Mormons, beginning our adult lives. From what I know, I believe that we’ve all “kept” the faith.
By that I mean, it’s still with us all, held very close. Mormonism matters to us in a way that has structured the plot of our lives. We’ve all expended a prolifigate cache of psychic energy on Joseph Smith and Mormonism, on The Church. We’ve all striven to keep our intellectual lives (remember we’re all bookish) in synch with our moral lives, with our religious inclinations. We love our familiest (etc. etc.) And I suspect we’d all say we’ve won a certain congruence in our lives that keeps us striving after truth, good, life—God?
And of course we’ve ended up (variously) on either side of what is easily imagined as a gaping divide. In the fold. Without. Faithful, lapsed. Members, excommunicants. Increasingly, I find that relying on this self-evident gap to tell me anything very important about people—and faith–is quite simply lazy, obtuse.
Jim talked in his blog about how he used to struggle more. How he now finds peace at where he’s landed. It feels congruent, peaceful. I can identify with that feeling. You take it a day at a time. Confront what you see. Check deep inside. And go where your heart, your integrity, your life, your past, leads you. You keep the faith. There is something so very mysterious about this to me. . . . .