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The coming years for Kyle could be fodder for a book. The relationship dissolved several years later, but Kyle stayed in town.He rambled for a while but eventually earned a master's degree in dance from a small fine arts academy. He worked various jobs, most recently as a consultant helping nonprofits streamline their organizations.This group, then, isn't representative of all Madison Mormons.But over the next two days, it offers a glimpse of the intersection between this unusual faith and our city.I'd say you were insane." On a lark, Kyle was researching his family tree on the Internet and kept noticing pop-up ads for the LDS church - no surprise, considering it operates the largest genealogical organization in the world.One day, Kyle clicked an ad to, as he put it, "make it go away." The next day, two missionaries - the church typically stations a dozen in Dane County - showed up at his apartment. While he believed in God and the divinity of Jesus, he figured organized religion wasn't for him.
His college years included the familiar Mormon detour, a two-year mission that took him to Santiago, Chile.
Nearby, two passenger vans are gased up and ready to take two-dozen young area Mormons five hours south to Nauvoo, Ill., a small town on the Mississippi River that is something of a mecca for Mormons. I am here to meet Mormons, a group that's in the spotlight this year as one of its own, Mitt Romney, makes a bid for the White House. I was invited here by the trip's leader, Reg Christensen, a 60-year-old Utah native who moved to Madison 14 years ago.
But what Dan means as a joke touches a nerve: I already feel a bit like a party-crasher, infringing on a trip to a sacred place that has no significance to me. Throughout the morning, Dan and others tell me how happy they are that I've joined them. A father of seven and grandfather of 10, Reg has an avuncular manner that befits a guy who teaches scripture to young adults at the 1711 University Ave. He's led this trip for a dozen years now, paying for it with money the ward collects selling parking spots to Badgers fans at nearby Camp Randall each fall.
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men...
We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things.After the latecomers arrive, Reg gathers us to talk logistics.