7/16/11 Gary, 34
We have raspberry bushes planted all along our sidewalk, and have been pickiing them every day to make raspberry jam and other goodies. This morning I looked out the window and watched a business-dressed man, who was walking his dog, picking berries and eating them like they were going out of style, so I went out to see what he would have to say for himself. He apologized profusely, claiming it didn't occur to him that he was stealing, and we went on to a lengthy "get to know you" conversation in which I found out his name is Gary and he is a divorced and under-employed Ivy League M.B.A. who has recently moved back from the East Coast and to our neighborhood because of the lower cost of living and lower rent. After about 20 minutes I asked about his spiritual beliefs. Gary grew up nominally Catholic but over the last two years has converted to Mormonism. Though I thought I knew all about Mormonism and view it as a cult full of false teachings I asked about Gary's view of their beliefs and practices anyway. I was kind of surprised at how knowledgeable Gary has become in such a short amount of time but also how similar to orthodox Christian belief he made it sound. He downplayed some of their more outlandish beliefs and focused on the biblical beliefs, and his discription of the sense of community he has experienced as a Mormon was hard to argue against. I need to do my homework if I want to make a case for biblical Christianity with Gary or any other Mormons I talk with in the future.