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What are you reading? Lent Edition

In February 2011, I was six months in to an LDS mission in Southern India, serving in a small congregation in a small town near an abandoned gold mine. Missionary work came with a steep learning curve. I had gone to church, read scriptures, and prayed for my whole life. I believed in God and religion had always been a major part of my life. But for the first time, I was immersed in the work of the church, spending day after day preaching the gospel of repentance and baptism, and worrying about conflicts and growth within the congregation I was part of. I stopped seeing religion from my own perspective and started seeing it through the eyes of the people I talked to all day, and through both institutional structure and sacred covenants. It became less about my own private experiences and more about the community of believers I was part of.

In India, religion was a more major and public part of almost everyone's life, and the question was less about whether to even believe in God, …

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