I felt misunderstood then - as does probably every High School girl, and I felt so inspired by the Transcendentalist's. Their quest for truth through thought and nature was beautiful in a new way.
Then in college I took a class about Judaism and this was our text book. (Which does not read by a textbook at all.) It explained Judaism clearly and concisely and actually - very beautifully. My appreciation for the Jewish culture expanded and I began to really appreciate the history of this sacred and devoted people. Wouk says that his work is, "For people who have at least an open mind on God, and who would like to know something about the Jewish way to him." While reading I often thought to myself - if I were not Mormon, I would convert to Judaism.
I was thinking about both of these experiences on my long commute to work. About Transcendentalism, about Judaism - about Mormonism. It seems like every day I see a new article on Mormonism (many having to do with my friend Mitt). There seem to be a lot of people lately who have a lot to say about my religion. In some ways I think it is wonderful and it some ways I feel much like Emerson - - that we as a people are terribly misunderstood. That we are seen as maybe something we are not. The thing is though, I am not a Transcendentalist. I am not a Jew. I am a Mormon - and I am a Mormon very consciously, despite having been raised one.
I have explored other faiths, I have studied them and I find truth and beauty in almost all of them. In a time where many are afraid of religion or perhaps merely apathetic to God, I find need for Him more than ever. Wouk's title, "This is My God" is very appropriate for this time where Mormons seem to be misunderstood and sometimes judged because of "Our God." We get to choose our God and I have chosen mine decisively and resoundingly.
I think if we took the time to learn more about other faiths - other belief systems, we would understand each other much better because even though Emerson says to be great is to be misunderstood, I want people to have the chance to understand me and why I believe what I believe.