Hope–A Breathtaking Virtue


Three Years ago, I KNEW that God existed.  Today, it’s a beautiful hope.  No longer do I KNOW with certainty.  Fortunately, I have some backup from the Apostle Paul who said, “Whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

He followed that up with, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”  Over the past few years, I have been in the process of putting away childish things.  And embracing that which Paul said will abide, rather than vanish away.

Paul’s three great & enduring virtues are faith, hope, and charity.  Here’s my current interpretation:


I have placed my faith in the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.   I don’t KNOW if Jesus is real.  But, I do KNOW that the teachings and example ascribed to him are the “way, the truth, and the life.”  In other words, it is true that they provide a way to live a good, productive and fulfilling life.  The very kind of life to which I aspire.

When I speak of faith in the religious sense, I only place it in Jesus Christ.  I have 64 years of experience to KNOW that His teachings and example contain the truth for how to conduct my life.


I hope that Jesus is real in every aspect.

I hope there is a God.

I hope that there is a life after this.

I hope to be with my family and other loved ones in the next life.

Regardless of whether or not the things I hope for are real, I will pursue what I KNOW to be true…the teachings and example of Jesus.


According to Paul, this is the greatest of the three abiding virtues.

I am working towards having charity for ALL.  Perhaps it’s the greatest virtue because it requires the most conscious effort.  It may be easy for others…good for you.  For me, I learn to love one group and then I realize I’ve started to love another group less.  It’s a work in progress.

Charity never faileth.  Often mine does.  When it doesn’t, I witness marvelous and majestic things happen.

Why I am I writing this today?  A video.

For my family and most of my friends, the concept of not KNOWING that God exists is startling, weird, and frequently off-putting.  I had similar reactions…to myself, as I felt my knowledge “vanish away.”

But, something beautiful has now happened on two occasions.  These occurences would have been impossible if I had not stumbled into Paul’s footsteps.  These two transcendent experiences would not have occurred if my knowledge had not vanished.  If I had not put away my childish things.

A couple of months ago, my wife and I saw the movie ‘Dr. Strange.’  One of the main characters had lived for centuries.  A pivotal scene arrived where she was about to finally leave her earthly existence.  It was poignant.  Tears came.  Then the thought, “How beautiful is the idea that there is a God.”  More tears.

Today, a son-in-law shared a video.  It was a compilation of family events from the past few months.  The center piece being the birth of their third child.  As I watched, tears flowed.  Then the thought, “How beautiful is the idea that there is a God.”  More tears.

All my life, I have taken for granted the existence of God.  My former KNOWLEDGE was a gorgeous childlike belief.  But never once had I experienced the overwhelming awe and wonder of the thrilling possibility that there is a God.  Now that my knowledge has vanished…Now that I have put away childish things…Now that I’ve become a man…It really is breathtaking to experience the abiding virtue of hope.  Time & time again.

A Compassionate Caution to My Dear Mormon Friends


Over the past 2 years, I have seen a particular scenario play out many times. People question.  They study and ponder in silence.  They reach conclusions.  They leave.  Parents, spouse, and siblings are caught unawares.  Family rift and strain sets in.

I would love to share the following message with ALL of my adult friends at church:

Our history, our doctrine, our current policies and especially the stigma and prohibition of even discussing these matters….is coming after your children, your grandchildren, your siblings and your spouse.  The sad part is that you won’t even know it until your loved ones have been eaten up by what WE are so anxious to hide from.  

Now is the time to talk and prepare.  Now is the time to build bridges of safety, trust and understanding.  If we don’t engage the discussion here, INSIDE OUR CHAPELS, our loved ones will KNOW that it’s not safe to discuss at church or with faithful church members.  Instead, they will turn to a community where it IS safe to discuss history, doctrine and policy.  A community where there is no stigma or prohibition.  That community is populated by a small minority of faithful members and a huge majority of people who no longer believe.

I have talked to many members who have not shared their transition with their loved ones.  Especially family.  Only when the transition is complete and irreversible is their story revealed.  Today, that’s pretty much the only safe way to pursue questions and doubts.  It reflects very poorly on the culture of our church.  And that church culture permeates our families.