This interest in the here and now is connected to another point, their grasp of the springs of religion. From whence springs religion?
For these Mormons, religion springs from experience. Rather, from an emotional moment. From a very moving emotional moment. They each spoke of the emotional moment of the rites of the Temple.
Also, they asked me to read, and I did, from their Book of Mormon. The passage said something like (to paraphrase), “If you are moved, you know this book to be true.” Then one of them related his own conversion. From being very worldly, he at one point hit rock bottom and asked God if this world was all there was. Since his parents were Mormon, he decided to read from the Book of Mormon. He was deeply moved and began to believe that this world – honor, pleasure, money – was not all that there was. In relating this experience, he began to well up with tears as though he was having that emotional experience, or trying to have it, again.
I do think that he did have some moving experience earlier in his life. I do consider that he did convert to a different way of living. From a brutal, bestial way of living to a somewhat higher, somewhat more rational way of living. From the flesh of the body to the flesh of the emotions.
So, I believe that this was a step in the right way for him. However, I believe he is still laboring under ignorance and has not found that happiness for which his heart longs. Of course, I am a wicked theologian and no saint. Therefore, I could not be of as much assistance as he needs. But I showed sincere respect for him and his experience as well as for the other two. And they for me. We were friendly and courteous the entire conversation. They were sincerely engaged in the conversation. So I shall continue to relate it.
The conversation went on long enough that my wife and then my daughter had to bring us some refreshments of water and peaches.