With darkness passing outside the rattling train, I had little to do but contrast the differences between Washington D.C.’s public transit system (the Metro) and TRAX, Salt Lake City’s light rail. It didn’t take long for my wife—a lifetime resident of Utah and Idaho—to notice we were the racial minority in the area. But that wasn’t what struck me.
For years, I’ve ridden TRAX to and from work along with hundreds of other cattle in business suits. And with the executives sit others, obviously less fortunate or even homeless. With them, there are people with groceries and kids and ladies talking into their phones and sometimes a person with a seeing-eye-dog. Occasionally, there’s that guy who mumbles vulgarities to himself as spittle dances off his crusty lips. These things TRAX and the Metro have in common.
But what I didn’t find on the Metro was anybody reading religious scriptures or spiritual books of any kind. No Bible, no Koran, no Torah, no Blue Like Jazz, no Book of Mormon. Not even The Secret.
Despite the serious differences of theology, Christians could stand to learn a lesson from the commuting Mormons of Salt Lake City. On any given day, I can count at least seven people reading the Book of Mormon and a few more reading other LDS books. Sometimes even a couple Mormon-printed King James Bibles can be found. The percentage of religious readers spikes after LDS conferences, Pioneer Day, and the first couple of weeks of January; but even in the slow times, people are reading their religious books. Sometimes, there is even a Christian book or someone reading a translation of the Bible other than the King James.
As I sat there on the Metro, I wondered if Christians in other parts of America are seizing opportunities to get into the Word as much as the Mormons in Salt Lake get into the Book of Mormon. Either D.C. Christians are not reading on the Metro, or there weren’t many Christians on the Metro that week. Then I had to ask myself, “Are Christians even reading their Scriptures any more?”