Tonight we dropped by my parents' house and church came up. Papau and I discussed church. It started by discussing the YMP - Steve and I believe NV should make money off the deal and put it back into the community, especially with the rising number of foreclosures.
Which lead into a discussion on the homeless. Remember, Papau has owned his store for going on 10 years now and has become very personal with the homeless around his store. Papau currently believes people choose to be homeless and prefer to remain homeless. With some of the men who live around the store, and the examples they've set - I understand why he feels this way. But in comes, Jesus. The one who says that, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).
We were about to have our first serious, involved discussion about the gospel. He asked - what could anyone do for the homeless? I answered him - fill their physical needs and fill their spiritual needs. He sort of laughed, but I think he saw my serious face and kept himself from laughing harder. We discussed their need for Jesus, the discipleship program the City Mission runs out of TN, and what Jesus said above. It seemed, sadly, beyond him, that these people would change because of Jesus. What I've learned is that Jesus is concerned about the condition of our hearts, not the circumstances.
We went round and round for a little while - and I was floored by the total inability and unwillingness to believe that Jesus could or would transform someone's life.
The topic moved onto Christmas Eve plans and it came up that one of his employees might be coming to GP with me Monday night. He was shocked, then angry - then negative, "He won't come, he's just saying that to be nice to you..." He then told me he was trying to convert Eric to the LDS church - I wanted to speak my mind but held my tongue. I simply recommended if he really wanted to reach Eric with the Book of Mormon - to give him a copy of the The Book of Mormon (A Reader's Edition) since it has today's English used in the translation.
We then began a very hearted discussion about this particular book, whether or not it was approved of by the Prophet, and Bruce R. McConkie's, "Mormon Doctrine". Outside of the three additional cannons, probably one of the most apologetically defended books within the LDS community. It's controversial at best. I did my best to hold my tongue on this one since my Papau was saying he accepted this book as practically doctrine (regardless of the fact it's never been officially endorsed by the LDS church). He reminded me that this author had been the person who summarized and linked all the standard works. His work would forever be canonized in the quad, triples, and combination scriptures. I wanted to bring up the controversy within this book - but held my tongue. However, I did tell him the book was controversial and demeaning to others. It was like he heard me for one second and then purposly forgot what I said.
The whole conversation was so odd for me - I once agreed with them almost one hundred percent in our religious mindsets, however now I found myself feeling truly alienated from them. And while I maintained almost painful control over my tongue - especially in his offended reaction to a modern day translation of any scripture, I felt it was the first time I was that honest and even blunt with Papau. We went from never addressing the fact that Steve and I had left the LDS church to a very passionate discussion tonight.
It's late and we have a long day ahead of us - I'll blog more about this later.