There Once Was a Man from Boston

They are having family home evening, and the young man is sitting on the couch with Stephen and Ruthanne. They have moved past the lesson, and their parents are telling stories of their early courtship. “So your dad invited me over to dinner to meet his parents for the first time,” says the young man’sContinue reading “There Once Was a Man from Boston”

His Son Is Trying to Kill Him

Their son does not like anything the man does for him. He hates having his diaper changed, cries like he is being killed. When the man goes to give the boy his first bath, the man’s mother in law insists, “Babies love their baths!” But Grant does not: he screams bloody murder through it. OnContinue reading “His Son Is Trying to Kill Him”

His Reason for Fasting

All his life, the young man’s mother referred to a story of a couple she knew. The man had gone on a mission, and partway through his mission, he developed a crush on a girl in one of the wards. He started writing to her. This was against the rules: missionaries cannot write to someoneContinue reading “His Reason for Fasting”

That’s What They Expect You to Do in the Church

The young man has been fasting today. He wants to confirm that he should marry Lauren Elliott of Massachusetts, a sister he knew from his mission and has been dating since coming home. The day has not gone as he expected. He and Lauren got in an argument at church. He has had a splittingContinue reading “That’s What They Expect You to Do in the Church”

I Hope He Doesn’t Die

The boy lies in bed with his hands behind his head, while his father sits at the foot of the bed near his feet. The disappointment of pitching and losing the first of two possible clinching games has mostly passed. They will just have to clinch the championship Friday night instead, and while he can’tContinue reading “I Hope He Doesn’t Die”

You’ll Thank Me Later

They are here because of preeclampsia. Lauren is a type 1 diabetic, and at 37 weeks, her blood pressure has gone up, and protein has been found in her urine. She called Gordon away from work that afternoon, Lauren’s mother, Marti, met them at the hospital, and they have been preparing for a C-section allContinue reading “You’ll Thank Me Later”

Christmas Dinner

It is their first Christmas as a married couple. They are spending it in Corpus Christi with the man’s parents. Stephen and Lydia are planning to stop by in another hour or so. The presents are all unwrapped, and everyone is now exhausted from the excitement wearing off. Around 3 pm, Lauren says, “I’m supposedContinue reading “Christmas Dinner”

A Van Down by the River

The man sits at a long table next to Lauren. Across the table are all Grant’s teachers, the speech therapist, the occupational therapist, and the head of special ed for the school. It is his third grade review of his IEP—a critical evaluation to determine if services will continue. They all have copies of theContinue reading “A Van Down by the River”

So This Is It

Right after the session they are seated next to each other on a couch in the celestial room. It is summer before what he thinks will be his final two semesters of college when he will finish with an English major and a Spanish minor. But as he sits next to her, he can seeContinue reading “So This Is It”

Alone in Everett on a Hot Summer Day

Knowing how to receive revelation does not make it easy. He is home by himself in the third-floor, two-bedroom apartment on Union Street in Everett. A hospital is over the hill. There are no woods to flee to where he could find quiet. Lauren has taken Grant, age six weeks, to California to see herContinue reading “Alone in Everett on a Hot Summer Day”