Sunday, June 13, 2010

I See... My Mormon Carpool Buddies

It's almost a law of empirical physics on the East Coast that the more routine your Federal Government job is, the farther away from work you must live. In the People's Republic of Maryland where I live, that means a one-hour commute each way. Furthermore, the government salary means I have to get there with carpool buddies. Although I'm lucky that they almost all happen to be Mormon, they are kind of an eclectic bunch that make the ride entertaining and enriching. They talk a lot and I learn about their families during the ride.

First, there is Nephi. He is a really righteous, cool guy but his family is zany. His dad, Lehi, is way up there in the church but all the families in his neighborhood are nonmembers, and some of them even hate the church. His mom is also a great woman, but she can be a worry wort. His two older brothers treat him like dirt; they beat on him constantly, and most of the time he just takes it; I think they are jealous of how much the Lord has blessed him for his faithfulness. He has a hard-knock life but endures it well. I love hearing his stories over and over again; deeply spiritual dreams about the Love of God and holding fast to the Iron Rod. I remember him comforting me once with “ I don't know the meaning of all things, But I do know that God loves his children.” I'm so glad he's in the carpool.

Next, there is Alma Jr. He was inactive as a teenager, a rebel; what made it worse was that his Dad is a general authority! It was a miracle that he ended up going on a mission at all, and it was a rough one. He was spit on a lot and even thrown in jail! I never get tired of hearing of his conversion story. I think that if an angel had railed on me, I would have straightened out too. Anyway, he's a great guy with a wonderful story. He told me once that “the Lord brings great things to pass by small and simple things;” that was a great comfort to me when I was serving as a bishop.

Then there is Moroni- we call him Captain Moroni. He's in the military. He is also one of the most patriotic men I know. He fills our carpool many mornings with moving accounts of bloody battles protecting our freedoms. He is a man of integrity and honor who seeks the counsel of God often; he has a sense of mission that drives him to ultimate success. I once heard him say “ I seek not for power but to pull it down.” I think the church, and the world in general, would be a much better place if everyone were like him. I know I wish I were more like him.

He is kind of a hothead, however. He doesn't put up with disobedience from anyone, and he once falsely accused a leading politician of outright treason. I guess nobody's perfect, right?

What can I say about Korihor? He is really irritating, and honestly, I don't know why we keep letting him in the car. Not only is he not a member of the Church, he is definitely anti-Mormon. He's lucky we live in a free country that permits him to spout evil, vile, lies about the gospel. “Believing in Christ is a vain and foolish hope!” “Every man prospers according to his genius, and every man conquers according to his strength ;and whatsoever a man does is no crime! “ he says.

What a kook! Apparently, he and another guy in the carpool, Alma Jr. (did I mention that he is a judge? ) have had some really intense arguments about his crazy views. Personally, I don't know what his issue is. Doesn't he realize that all things are a testimony of Christ? Still, he doesn't believe. “Show me a sign!” he says. “Then I'll believe.”

He better be careful, He may get what he asks for. Sometimes he makes me so angry that I wish he would be struck dumb, be forced to admit he was wrong, then get run over in the street like the roadkill that he is. Ooops? Did I just say that out loud?

You've probably figured out by now that I make the long drive to work and back every morning and evening in an empty car; just me and an mp3 version of the Book of Mormon broadcasting from my Ipod through the car stereo. There are at least 20 other inspirational carpool buddies from the Book of Mormon that may teach me certain mornings, and it can be the highlight of my day if I want it to be.


  1. This made my day. It made me realize that I need to take advantage of my free time and remember to read my scriptures. I myself have the scriptures and general conference on my iPod. And I must say they are my constant companion. They are definitely great carpool buddies!

  2. Nicely written. A lot of fun to read!


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