One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about living here in Virginia is that my religious past is not of any interest to my coworkers, with the exception of one guy, a Lebanese Christian engineer who has on occasion asked me about Mormonism. Apparently, he didn’t know anything about the LDS church, other than the big temple in Maryland, until the Romney campaign last year. I have tried very hard to be fair about the church when he’s asked, but it’s clear he thinks the church is a little odd.
This morning, he asked me if I had seen the New York Times article about doubting Mormons, and I said I had. He said that 3 or 4 families in his neighborhood are Mormon, and his wife gets together to do “woman things” with them (English is not his native language).
His wife asked her Mormon friends if they had seen the article, and they had. They apparently told his wife that they had been dealing with some of these issues in their marriages, with at least one spouse expressing serious doubts. They also said they had gone to their church leaders, but “no one wants to talk about these things.” These women all expressed frustration and disappointment with the church.
He ended up saying (as best as I can recollect), “John, they hide things, they keep things secret, and they threaten people to shut up. What kind of religion does these things? They can’t do this forever. People find out the truth always.”
As I said earlier, the church will survive the more visible doubt, but it’s fascinating to me that what we’ve seen among members for several years now is becoming well-known, even among people who don’t have any connection to the church.