Opinion: Finding Meaning

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A Good News Story

One good news story is Laguna’s churches are resuming regular meetings, replete with the graces we have missed. Of Laguna’s public gatherings, I find few so enjoyable as attending our churches and meeting the friendly people. Worship provides relief from the minutia of life and boosts one’s spiritual journey. This past Sunday the Beautiful Wife and I were at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where we heard a young man, Luke Sine, tell of his spiritual journey.

When Luke was a boy his parents divorced and other conflicted relationships followed. At one point Luke stayed with a religious family where he enjoyed the peace and security found in their home. Adolescents often have a heightened desire for meaning and purpose in their lives and the good feelings experienced in this home made a deep impression; Luke wanted this in his own life.

Luke later moved to Laguna to live with his dad, attending Laguna Beach High School. They began attending church where he found friends who helped him begin his own spiritual journey. With this foundation he reached out, playing on the school basketball and tennis teams and successfully running for student body president. After graduation he started college, studying engineering.

It’s the practice of Luke’s church to invite young women and men during their college years to serve proselyting missions of 18 or 24 months. In the history of the Laguna congregation, perhaps 300 young people have done this, assigned to missions across the U.S. and around the world. Though they may seem young for such a calling, it does bring to mind the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “… and a little child shall lead them.” Their religious education is augmented during high school by a “seminary” or religion class in the early morning before school begins.

Scripture study is an important part of the mission, plus some missions require learning a foreign language. A mission is a spiritually transformative experience, requiring long hours of hard work and a robust tolerance of rejection. Many of the adults in this congregation had served such a mission and though it seems a contradiction, it’s typically remembered as the hardest yet best years of their lives.

Luke had received and accepted a calling to serve a two-year church mission to Pittsburg, Penn., and was giving his farewell address in Sunday’s service. He told of his spiritual journey, acknowledging the help of family, friends and caring people along the way. And he recalled the joys of his journey, of finding that peace and purpose he had sought as a boy. It’s a good story.

There’s plenty of bad news in the national press; the good often remains untold. One benefit of local press is the ability to focus on good news. The BW and I were touched by Luke Sine’s spiritual journey and his desire to serve his church. It’s a good news story that though it happens many times should be shared. There’s meaning in that.

Skip fell in love with Laguna on a ‘50s surfing trip. He’s a student of Laguna history and the author of Loving Laguna: A Local’s guide to Laguna Beach. Email: [email protected]

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