Greetings from , “Home of the largest Glenn Beck fan club in America.” I think in twenty to forty years Mr. Beck and his followers might break of and form their own church. I could see it sweeping like an epidemic. I see people making their pilgramidges to Provo Utah where Glenn Beck was instructed by the Angel Ronald Reagan to form his own religion. I suppose the Beckonians would call it the Dome of the Reagan. I could then see a religious outbreak occurring in the nearby city of between the Mormons and Beckonians. Both would make claims to being the rightful heirs to the city due to the fact that it was where Glenn Beck wrote his first memoirs that later would become scripture. I can see this all occurring.
Forgive me for my blatnt sarcasm. I suppose I have been associating with the cynics of for too long now. I suppose that I am becoming one. It is within my nature to be a cynic, but it is not within my spirit to do so. I despise the fact that I now look at individuals and dwell upon their faults. Not so long ago I completely rid myself of such childish and egocentric things. It has no place in my life. There is no value to my cynicism. While I am talented at tearing others down I am better at building people up. I am seeking to be better and I hope that I might be able to do so. I will do better.
Today my attention is to be drawn towards a certain inidiudal and friend who I have known for a while. I had a recent experience with her that I would like to share with you. When I was nineteen years of age I met a young, talented, increadibly bright, African American women by the name of Francis Lars. For sometime my relationship with her could only be deemed as a Sunday aquintance. Occassionally I would say hello to Ms. Lars and she would respond back in an equally respectable but trivial way. Eventually, however, the two of us were invited to go on a day trip to with our mutual friend David Smith. As I have stated in previous letters, that trip saved my life. I was in a depressing time in my life without many friends and it was at that point that I realized that I could have fun in my life. Needless to say Francis was a large contributor to the fact of me once again obtaining happiness I will forever be indebted to her for that.
From that point on Francis and I began to have a close friendship strengthened by the fact that we were both individuals who enjoyed a good conversation. As time progressed I began to enjoy Francis’ friendship more and more. She was smart, talented, witty, and funny. However, as time progressed I also viewed some of Francis’ less appealing attributes. While she was all of those things the girl was also a hot mess. Here this women was with all of the talent in the world and she was working a dead end job. I believed and still believe that she was the worlds most intelligent receptionist. She had all the brilliance in the world but for some strange reason she was not in school.
Eventually time progressed and so to did the lives of myself and Francis I was preparing to serve a mission and she was headed off to to do some humanitarian aid project or another noble interesting thing like that. She was always doing interesting things.
Francis left and we stayed in contact until I headed out tofor my mission. As time progressed I lost contact with her, but I always wondered how she was doing. After coming home from my mission and speaking with her I was excited to see that she wrote me on facebook. We met up once while I was in Provo and talked for a little while only to say goodbye. Yet I am now up here and now have been wondering for a while how Ms. Lars has been doing. I missed her and our friendship. I missed her joy for life and joy for the gospel.
Yesterday I texted Francis to see what she was up to. Surprisingly Francis responded to my text and we planned to meet up. It was about ten oclock when I reached her house. I was excited to see my old friend. We exchanged our hugs and greetings and began to talk. Within a few minutes of our conversation Francis headed over to the countertop and asked if I would like a drink. I replied in the affirmative and she then asked if I would like coke. I felt as though I was living on the edge and responded that I would like to drink a little bit of liquid sin. She poured me a glass of coke and I began to drink. I then looked over to her who was wrestling through the cupburds frantically looking for something. I did not know or understand what she was looking for but I was in no hurry and would wait for her. I finally asked if I could help find what she was looking for and a split second later she replied, “o there it is.” She pulled out a glass bottle filled with a liquid that was yellowish hue. Now prior to my mission I would have believed that this bottle was simply some fancy grape juice not much different to that which my father had had in his study, but the fact was that I had gone on a mission. I was proud of that fact and my ignorance had been swept away by the countless numbers of bottles containing a liquid with a yellowish hue (although I may say that Francis' bottle did not have a King Cobra on it and it was a tad bit more fancy than those who I knew previously). Nonetheless, my heart sunk with despair. The following moments were akward at best. It is impossible to describe unless one has had such an experience themselves. However, I was at Francis' house and she lived by her rules and I did not want to boss her around. I think one of the most akward things that a mormon can experience in life is seeing another person who you thought was still a good mormon pour a glass of alcohol. You attempt to remain cool and open minded. You try maintain eye contact with them and not look down at their bottle, but the shock is just too much. It is impossible not to do so. Both you and the Mormon drinking the alcohol know that things are akward but still you do your best to ignore the fact that it is akward.
The result of such a shock is not damning to a conversation, however, it simply impedes for a small time its progression. Eventually the two of us overcame the awkwardness of the conversation. We began to talk about the present and our futures. I found that Francis was not only attending school but progressing very well. She is now one of the top ranked undergrad writers in regard to the field of African American inequality or something along those lines. It was exciting to here that. She has even published a couple papers. With further questions I found that my dear friend will be headed to , , or in the coming year to study law. I was thrilled that she could be living out her dream and using her talents. It appeared that all was going right for Ms. Francis and I was indeed happy for her.
The conversation continued to evolve and became even more interesting. Francis asked if I would like to go outside with her as she smoked a cigarette. For some reason I replied with a yes. As she began to light up her Camel Crushes (a menthol tobacco hybrid which proves the fact that she is half black as well as half white) the conversation began to change. I asked how she was doing. I thought I that I had done that previously but I asked how she was feeling about life. Her demeanor began to change quite rapidly. While everything appeared to be going right for this women things were indeed wrong. I asked about her standing in the church and how she felt about it. She responded with a tragic story. Ever since she has been back in Provo she has felt a social pressure that has led her to believe that racism and bigotry against her is strong. She has felt as though the competitive life of Mormonism has been to great of a burden for her to handle. She feels judged and so she has left the church. A darkness came about my friend. A depression came about her. She was completely estranged from the church. With a few further questions I found that not only was she estranged from the church but she was completely sad and alone. Eventually our conversation ended and I left the house. As the day has passed I have reflected time and time again on the what has happened to my friend. Here is a women who is beautiful, talented, and successful. Here is a women who is achieving whatever dream she has had. Here is a women whose future on the surface appears to be bright, but she is alone. She is bitter. She holds hate in her heart. She resents a society who she has assumed has judged her based upon her beauty. She has allowed the trials that are intrinsic with everyday existence to become unsurmountable problems that she will never be able to over come. Currently she is depressed. Currently she is downtrodden. Currently she is a tragedy.
Family I am so grateful for the gospel and the power it has brought into my life. I am thankful for the knowledge that Jesus is the Savior. I am grateful for the hope and happiness that it has brought into my life. I thank God everyday for that. I am so thankful for you. I am so grateful for the things I have been taught and for what I am and have been experiencing. Allow me to shed the wretched cloak of cynicism and glory in the successes of my fellow man. Allow me to be happy and joyuss about the future instead of miserable about my present circumstances. I thank you all and hope that you have enjoyed this letter.