Interview

PRESIDENT RICHARDS
(Directing Davy toward a simple chair) Have a seat David. (He lowers himself to the chair behind the desk.) I talked with your mission President. He’s filled me in. How are you doing?

DAVY
I’m alright.

PRESIDENT
You’re alright… Alright….well your family, they’re not alright. I talked to your aunt. I don’t think she’s all right.

DAVY
(perks up a bit) You talked to them?

PRESIDENT
Well, I have. Your family is pretty broken up about this.

DAVY
…I’m sorry.

PRESIDENT
You’re sorry? You don’t look sorry. I don’t exactly see a face of remorse David.

DAVY
…It wasn’t an easy decision to make.

PRESIDENT
Decision? You decided to sleep with a girl. You were a representative of Christ’s Church in these modern times and you decided to have intercourse with a girl. I BET such gross disobedience wasn’t an easy decision.

DAVY
Well, I lost faith in the church out there. For about the last year I was trying to figure out how to go home.

PRESIDENT
You didn’t consider praying, asking God for faith? You didn’t consider obedience to his commandments? Clearly you didn’t consider obedience after your display of gross misconduct.

DAVY
Actually, I think I gave it a good shot.

PRESIDENT

(mockingly) You gave it a good shot. Hmmmmm. You didn’t even complete your mission. (elevating his voice) A good shot! You have no idea what a good shot is David! You haven’t finished college. You haven’t gotten married. Kids? You think your faith was tried? Your patience?

DAVY
That was a large part of my decision, I wanted to leave before I had a family. I’ve seen what happens when a parent decides to leave the church after having kids.

PRESIDENT
Well that’s just ridiculous. You wanted to leave before a family was involved. Sounds like you never gave it much of a chance.

DAVY
I think I did.

PRESIDENT
You think you did. You gave it a good chance. You decided to leave the church a mere few months into your mission and that was a “fair chance.”

DAVY
Yes President, I think I was a very good missionary, and a very obedient missionary. And I did pray, and ask God for faith.

PRESIDENT
And…what did you hear? What was his response?

DAVY
I don’t believe I heard anything.

PRESIDENT
Hmmm. So after five months or so, you just throw in the towel?

DAVY
Well, yeah.

PRESIDENT
Yeah…Hmmm. You know the Lord doesn’t make it easy for us David. We don’t just ask him for a testimony in his Gospel and get it overnight.

DAVY
I know. I was very obedient before my mission though as well.

PRESIDENT
You were?

DAVY
Yeah, I think it was very important to me.

PRESIDENT
And how do you know you gave it this great effort, David?

DAVY
I saw the other missionaries out there. They didn’t take it as seriously as I did.

PRESIDENT
How on EARTH can you know such a thing?

DAVY
I just, I mean, I could explain, but I think it would be a waste of time…(more confidently) I was very devout President. I woke up on time every day. I studied the scriptures. I even filtered my thoughts. I made a great effort, and I just think that compared to most of the other missionaries, and members back home, I think I gave a lot of myself.

PRESIDENT
How do you have any way of making that determination? And even if it was true, you know the Lord doesn’t make anything easy for us.

DAVY
I know, but I had to make a decision. And I decided that this life we have is it, and I want to live it outside of the church. Now is the time… like I said, before I had a family to tear apart…I’m sorry President.

PRESIDENT
Don’t apologize to ME. Back to your decision. This “decision” you made. You decided to sleep with that girl. You made the difficult “decision” of having sex? You decided you were done with the church and that it would be a good time to engage in pre-marital sex.

DAVY

No…(shows he’s slightly irritated) I told you I lost my faith about a year ago.

PRESIDENT
Why didn’t you say anything then?

DAVY
I didn’t know what to say. I was afraid. Like everyone tells me, I’m so young. It’s hard to navigate this.

PRESIDENT
Afraid of what? How we’d respond? Don’t for one second think that a young man such as yourself can shake the faith of me, or your Mission President.

DAVY
I was afraid of how my family would respond- like you said, they’re pretty broken up. I knew they wouldn’t like it.

PRESIDENT
Your decision.

DAVY
Yeah.

PRESIDENT
So why exactly did you make your decision Davy? Why did you decide you were going to leave the church?

DAVY
I…it just didn’t make sense.

PRESIDENT
What didn’t make sense?

DAVY
I don’t know-

PRESIDENT
YOU DON’T KNOW!!!???

DAVY (A bit more assured)
Well, none of it made sense.

PRESIDENT
“None of it?”

DAVY
Blacks not being allowed to have the preisthood until 1978. Women’s roles. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being gay.

PRES
(sighing, frustrated) There isn’t anything wrong with being gay… Is that it Davy, have you been having homosexual thoughts?

DAVY
I don’t think I have to be gay to think there’s nothing wrong with being gay.

PRESIDENT
So that’s it. You just don’t believe in any of it. You reject it because it’s inconvenient.

DAVY
I think it’s the opposite really. I think it’s inconvenient to reject it.

PRES
Is that so young man? You reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ because you feel that it’s incorrect and you’ve figured out the truth on your own. Well, what do you believe then? Tell me, what have you found? Why are we here? Who put us here?

DAVY
I don’t know.

PRESIDENT
You don’t know. (shaking his head, sighing) You don’t know. But you know that (He authoritatively thrusts his index finger to the top of the desk) THIS church isn’t your thing and that you can sleep with girls now. Sounds pretty convenient to me. Sounds pretty arrogant actually. (He lifts his index finger from the desk and points it at Davy) You are very arrogant David.

DAVY
I have a question President

PRESIDENT
What’s that?

DAVY
During a stake conference “talk” you gave,  you went on about cleaning clocks.You were walking about your pal on the offensive line and you smiled and said “Boy we sure cleaned a lot of clocks.” Pure joy on your face President.

PRESIDENT
What are you talking about? What’s your point?

DAVID
Why was that necessary, to say that you sure cleaned a lot of clocks? It wasn’t a priesthood meeting. Families, little kids, toddlers crawling under the pews. And you cleaned a lot of clocks? Why say that?
And I’ve heard that before, arrogant. I know ya’ll like that one. You love the “it’s about you” line. I’m making it about me. I guess. I decided to think independently. I am selfish in that respect. What’s in my head is mine and you, nor anyone else will take that from me. And it leads to a confidence that can come off as arrogant. You think I’m arrogant, fine by me. People on the other sie of the fence give me a little bit of that too. I know I need to be humbled at times. That’s what my brothers were there for, you know, keeping me in line. Not you though, cochise. You don’t keep me in line, not any longer.

PRESIDENT
Now Davy you were disfellowshipped, NOT excommunicated. You watch your words.

DAVY
WATCH MY WORDS? WATCH MY WORDS “PRESIDENT”? Yeah, as a matter of fact I do watch them. You trying to call my bluff? I’m doing this for attention, huh? Is that it? I have some line drawn?

You know what? My old man, never heard him talk much. Not nearly as much as ya’ll. So I watched him closely, know what I mean? I paid attention. And one time, at dinner with some folks from out of town, my Dad was asked about church, you know cuz he was a member during the time he was married to my mom. The woman asked my Dad his status. My old man said he had no idea.

PRESIDENT
YOUR POINT, DAVID???

DAVID
(Stands up and points back at the President) I don’t give a shit what you do with my status, cochise. It’s a name in a FUCKING computer.

 

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