Yesterday I met with two friends of mine from the LDS church. One is the newly installed Stake President in Plano. The other is Bishop over the area in which I reside, with whom I served as Executive Secretary. We met at the church for about an hour to discuss the logistics of handling my recent resignation as well as to talk about what my thoughts and feelings are regarding church contact with my wife and children who remain on the membership rolls of the LDS church.
Both men I consider friends and both expressed warm feelings of love and friendship toward me, despite feeling a certain sadness about my decision (I told them I understood why, from their perspective, they might be sad, but I also explained why I think such feelings are misplaced). I extended words of appreciation to them for how they have treated my family, and for their continuing friendship. It was a productive meeting and while I don't care to go into all the details of what we discussed, I do want to say that I think these men exemplify what is good about Mormonism. I think they are setting a good example for how heretics or apostates can and should be treated: with dignity, respect, and true love. We left with positive feelings toward each other. They allowed me to express some of my thoughts and frustrations with church culture; I allowed them to express their testimonies without criticism. We disagreed agreeably. I am sometimes accused of only looking for or talking about the negative things I see in the LDS church. So I thought I would take this opportunity to tip my hat to these two fine men. I hope that members of the ward and stake over which they preside will follow their example.