Varieties of Religious Experience

Craig is awakened by the presence of men standing near his bed. He cracks his eyes and blinks to clear the sleep and blur. Finally, he recognizes Thomas S. Monson and Boyd K. Packer standing shoulder to shoulder at his bedside. At the foot of his bed stands his father. “Um, hello,” Craig stammers. “WeContinue reading “Varieties of Religious Experience”

Murder Ward

The man’s son was dressed in his white shirt and tie and sitting at a desk in Paraguay; the man viewed him on screen through Facebook Messenger. His son coughed hard. “You sound sick,” said the man. “I’m not sick, Dad,” said Elder Laws. “I just went shopping, and they took my temperature and IContinue reading “Murder Ward”

Stop Snitching

Their cheeks were pink from the cold air, but they were both sweating from their run. “Lindsay was being a jerk, Dad,” said Grant. “Oh my gosh!” Lindsay exclaimed. She looked at the man. “He was soooo slow.” “It’s not my fault. I haven’t worked out in, like, six weeks.” “So the Missionary Training CenterContinue reading “Stop Snitching”

Homecoming

They left the minivan in central parking. The bridge to terminal A looked as it always did, with the moving walkway churning away and the “Welcome to Logan Airport” audio playing. But they were the only people on the bridge. When they entered the terminal, they were on the fourth floor, and as they reachedContinue reading “Homecoming”

You’re a Red Dot Now

The young man and Elder Smith have been together for nearly three weeks. Elder Smith is about six feet with dishwater blond hair; he’s skinnier than the young man, soft spoken, and hardworking. He is from Montana and speaks slowly and deliberately. After a week of being together, the young man jokes that Smith mightContinue reading “You’re a Red Dot Now”

Upon This Rock

The day begins with Elder Stone’s mirror routine. After starching and ironing his shirt, he stands in front of the mirror in the front room, puts his belt on, then his shirt, and then spends a couple of minutes fluffing the shirt around the waist to get it just so. When he’s finished fluffing it,Continue reading “Upon This Rock”

Remember the Massacre!

They have just finished the spiritual thought in ward council. The man looks down at the agenda, then up at the group in front of him. He’s about to ask Rachel, the Relief Society president, to discuss her organization when Katie, the Primary president, says, “Have you all watched the PBS documentaries on the Church?”Continue reading “Remember the Massacre!”

Just Saw an Alien Saucer

The young man and Stephen are staying at the night at the Hatfields’ house. MC is the young man’s age, and Japheth is Stephen’s age. The young man is the teachers quorum president at church, and MC is the counselor in their presidency. Stephen and Japheth played on a baseball team together and often hangContinue reading “Just Saw an Alien Saucer”

A Lot of Time to Think

The man shows up to the Massachusetts Treatment Center in a white shirt and tie. “Treatment Center” is a misnomer in most people’s minds–this is a medium security prison for sex offenders. The man is here because a stake president from the North Shore has told him of a resident named TG who grew upContinue reading “A Lot of Time to Think”

The Primary Program

The boy has the biggest part of any kid in the primary sacrament meeting program. The primary president gives him the script weeks ahead of time, and he spends hours each week memorizing his lines and learning his cues. They have two Sundays of rehearsals, and he delivers all of his dialogue without looking atContinue reading “The Primary Program”