Thoughts That Go Bump In The Night

never-a-vacationAs my mother got older, she would retire each night earlier and earlier. She was not one to take naps, but strove valiantly to use every precious moment of her life in keeping active and doing good. An avid lifetime genealogist, she maintained a tremendous correspondence with thousands of people up until the day she entered the hospital a couple of weeks before she passed away.

Invariably, when one retires for the night earlier and earlier over the years – first at 9pm, then 8pm and finally 7pm – the waking hours also come earlier and earlier. Mother would find herself wide awake at 4am, then 3am, then 2am. And wouldn’t you know it? The same pattern has been developing in my life. My mind snaps awake too early now with a multitude of racing thoughts.

I call upon the Lord in prayer for relief, but lately have resigned myself to responding to what I believe are promptings of the spirit to write and to share. I don’t always know what the Lord wants me to write when I start, but the very act of letting my thoughts flow through my fingers brings feelings and ideas I believe are from the Lord. Such is the case this early morning hour.

Mansplaining Love and Romance

For the past few nights, my thoughts have turned to love. I’m not a young man, am happily married and wonder why such feelings would demand my attention at 2am. I think often during the day of the love of my Savior. My prayers each morning petition His presence in my walk through life. My prayers at night thank Him for His comfort and sweet influence each day.

These feelings of love are profound. Normally men aren’t very good at explaining love and I am no different. Men in our culture learn at a young age to be stoic and staid when it comes to such things as romance. Years of living with Carol, one of whose favorite stations is the Hallmark Channel, have introduced me to more shows about falling in love than any man should ever see.

Being married to a romance writer has enriched my life in ways I never thought possible. Even though I was raised with four sisters, I never understood just how strong the desire for romance is in a woman. Carol has demonstrated for me the idea that “happily ever after” is more than a fairy tale – it can be a reality. I’ve also learned of another type of romance – “happy for now.”

Happy For Now – a Daily Reality

Don’t think of “happy for now” as a lesser kind of love. Think of it as a daily goal, one that is achievable and desirable. It’s a skill I’ve noticed some women have – perhaps all women – that is not built-in to the male psyche, or at least not into mine. When I’m alone for extended periods of time, I’m a pretty miserable and irrational fellow. I do stupid things that I just can’t explain.

When I’m with Carol, even if only for a few hours in the evening after a long day at work, I am content to simply sit at Carol’s side either in front of the TV, watching yet another Hallmark show or side by side at our computers as we write or edit stories and essays. I can’t begin to describe the joy I feel when Carol asks me to read aloud to proof edit one of her latest chapters.

This woman can write. Her stories move me with empathy and compassion for her characters. My stories focus on action, adventure and danger, while Carol’s stories focus on the simple human experience of building a relationship. I confess I never thought about such things growing up. Based on my behavior, my sisters must have thought boys were pretty icky.

Conversations with the Lord

Where am I going with this? Stick with me for a minute and we’ll both find out. When I pray to my Heavenly Father each night, I often discover I am actually speaking with my Savior. This started a few years ago. At first I would catch myself and switch back to the more formal way in which I addressed Father. I would sense a smile from both my Father and my Savior as I did so.

I no longer try to make a distinction. I have discovered the Lord is happy to talk to me and has no qualms about guiding me in my thoughts as I pray. He doesn’t mind that I address him directly. We speak all day long anyway. Why should a kneeling prayer at night be any different? We talk about my work, about my worries and concerns and about the people with whom I interact daily.

Carol and I pray together morning and night. Well, morning prayers together are not as common because I’m often on the road before 7am to get to work on time. I am grateful for the lifelong habit of praying together each night as husband and wife. When asked if she would like to be the voice for our evening prayer, Carol always seems to be willing to let me lead out in our worship.

Sacred Moments as Husband and Wife

And worship it is. Feelings come into my heart when I pray with Carol that are significantly more profound than the feelings I experience when I pray on my own afterward. There is an added strength when praying together. A desire for unity enters my soul. Expressions that are tender and sweet escape my lips that I ordinarily don’t use in those personal, private prayers.

I was criticized a month or two ago by a reader who felt my discussion of married life with Carol was inappropriate. I conceded his point that if I shared something on my blog that caused Carol to feel uncomfortable then I probably should not share it. If this anonymous reader wants to take exception at this post, I am happy to hear what he has to say about his own experience in prayer.

There is a reason God said it is not good for man to be alone. Some men can do it, but I always had difficulties when Carol went away to visit family for sometimes weeks at a time. I would throw myself into my work and come home as late as possible to keep from feeling lonely. That’s another thing our culture frowns upon. If men get lonely, they go hang with the boys.

The Value of a Combined Effort

once-upon-a-timeI admit I’m different. If I am alone I would rather think, read, study, pray, ponder, write or otherwise do something with my mind on the computer that helps me interact with a large but unseen audience of readers. Creativity for me is best when Carol is around. I confess I try to outdo her in friendly competition, but when I’m alone, the creative muse seems to disappear.

Carol is my muse. I write for her, even though she has said she doesn’t care for my posts. I should listen to Carol more. Character development is where it’s at. Theories and ponderings on doctrine, commentaries on scripture which seem to generate endless arguments, or discussions, and explanations of the way I think things are, pale in comparison to building relationships.

I can just hear my women readers at this point… “Well, duh, of course relationships are the most important thing.” No seriously, men don’t naturally think that way, at least I don’t, or haven’t, until recently. It’s my observation most men love to write about things in a way that shows they have been thinking seriously about a subject and are now ready to tell the world how things are.

Spicing Up The End of the World

I’ve been working on an end-of-the-world type novel for over five years. It has been a very slow process. Some chapters are downright exciting. Others are still obvious first drafts. I set one goal this year or at least one goal I have shared publicly. I want to finish that novel. When I started writing fiction, it was at Carol’s request to join her in writing adventures. Our paths diverged.

I think the reason the Lord has been waking me up in the early morning hours is because that’s when He has my undivided attention. I’ve had just enough rest where, if I had to, I could write a few hours and still function normally during the day. These thoughts of love I’ve been feeling lately are causing me to ask the Lord seriously what He is trying to communicate. I think I know.

When Carol and I first talked about my novel, she got so excited about the possible romances that could blossom between the characters. My efforts to put some of those ideas into the story backfired. After all, this was a story of death and destruction. Who has time for romance? Well, the Lord has been telling me Carol was right. I need to try harder on the relationship aspect.

A Project to Strengthen a Marriage

Can writing a work of fiction together as husband and wife be fulfilling? I think so. I’m not sure how or when I’m going to carve out the time, but if the Lord is going to wake me up at 2am each morning until I pay attention, then perhaps He knows a whole lot more than I do about writing. Somehow, someway, He will help us work it out so we can get this book written … together.

I hope it’s not the Lord’s plan to continue waking me at 2am with ideas for the book, but if that’s what He has in mind, then I’m willing. I can give my drafts to Carol to edit and critique during the day, then edit them at night when I get home. You know what they say, “Don’t quit your day job.” I have no dreams of publishing a best seller. I just want to get this book out of my system.

They say everyone has a book in them, but they’ll never write themselves. Its hard work to write and edit, re-write and then re-write some more until a story really flows. I’ve completed enough chapters that I’m familiar with the process. If this is what the Lord wants me to do, then there must be a reason for it. I sure hope this isn’t beyond me with all I do each day at the airport.

But in the end, does anyone really say, “I wish I’d spent more time away from home on the job?”

Up On The Mesa

GrandMesa“They say there’s a special kind’a power up on the mesa,” Mark said in a heavy drawl while he warmed his hands at their poor excuse for a campfire.

Jonathan glanced at his new friend, a fellow traveler like him with no place to go. The thin wool blanket he’d pinched from a nearly cleaned-out hardware store was the only thing between him and freezing to death on this barren Colorado plain. He held his hands over the fire as the two men huddled close together. “What kind of power?”

“Don’t know.” Mark shrugged his thin shoulders. “Ain’t been up there yet.”

“Then how do you know?”

“Seen the lights. They ain’t comin’ from campfires.”

“Go on. You mean they’ve got electricity?” He hadn’t seen electricity since the big quake took the life of Connie, his wife of thirty years and flattened the hills of Santa Barbara.

“Don’t know. But it glows like ‘lectric power.”

“I haven’t seen cities with electricity in years.”

“What tribe you from?” Mark drew a thin windbreaker close around him.

“Santa Barbara,” Jonathan said.

Mark shook his head. “Whatcha doin’ all the way out here?”

“I’ve got a brother here–least I had one. The plague got him.”

“Too bad. You married?

Jonathan swallowed the lump in his throat. “My wife died in the big quake. I was at work. The house shook to pieces. I found her body in the kitchen, buried it in the back yard.”


His empty gut churned. “Two, but I don’t know what happened to them. My daughter was in San Francisco, my son in San Diego. I couldn’t get through the gangs in either city.”

“Tough break. How’d you get outta California?”

“Took a week to walk out.” He shuddered, seeing the destruction in his mind again.

“Been a while since the big quake. Whatcha been doing since?”

Jonathan bristled. “What is this, twenty-one questions?”

“Take it easy.” Mark held up his hands. “Just passing the time. I meant no offense, friend.”

He felt his back relax. It had been a long time since he trusted anybody he’d met on the road enough to talk to them about losing his family. “I’ve been wandering, keeping one step ahead of the gangs.”

The last gang had captured him, wrested his shotgun and Sig Sauer away from him. They didn’t find his Rocky Mountain knife or snub-nosed .38 strapped to his calves. Thank God. He wouldn’t have eaten without them.

Mark appeared thoughtful for a moment then sighed. “Hard to do. No matter where you’re from. They’re vicious.”

“How about you? Are you from around here?”

“Nah. Started out in Houston,” Mark said with a quick shake of his head. “Made it up to Kansas City, stayed there for a while.”

“Cedaredge is a long way from Kansas City.”

“Yeah. Friend ‘a mine said gangs won’t come up here.”

“That’s what I heard.” Jonathan leaned back against his backpack. “I’m tired of running for my life.”

“Walk all the way?”

“Every night. I had to stay off the main roads.”

“What’s left of them,” Mark huffed.

“That made it easier to find food. You know, in old farmhouses and such.”

“All alone?”

“Not at first. Everyone that walked with me from California voted to stay in Grand Junction. The city still has some semblance of law and order and not many gangs.”

“Funny, I didn’t see you there.”

“Lots of tribes staked out in different parts of the city. I tried to avoid most of them.”

“Yeah.” Mark got a faraway look in his eyes. “We pretty much kept to ourselves, too.”

“So why haven’t you gone up there yet?” Jonathan pointed toward the mesa with his chin. It was getting dark, but the prominence of the Grand Mesa was clear to see.

“Been thinking about it,” Mark said. “Gettin’ up the nerve I guess.”

“I hear they’ve got some sort of special protection.”

“Whaddya mean?”

“I don’t know. Someone said they saw aliens or something coming down from the planet when it got real close.”

Mark looked incredulous, snorted. “You believe in that stuff?”

Jonathan kicked at the burning log, sparks flew heavenward. “I don’t know what I believe any more.”

“Me neither. Nothin’s the same.”

Both men fell silent. The last pink glow of sunset faded behind them. With the sun rays gone, the glow from the top of the mesa reminded Jonathan of old Las Vegas before the dam collapsed. He pulled his blanket tighter around him.

Mark’s eyes were locked on the glow against the dark sky. “Look. There it is again.”

Both men stood on their feet.

“Ain’t that the darndest thing,” Mark said in an excited voice.

“I’m going up there,” Jonathan said. He had to know what was going on.

“What, now? Must be ten miles up the road.”

“I don’t care. I  want to know if the rumors are true.”

“You’ll freeze.”

“Maybe,” Jonathan said, his mind made up. “I’ll starve if I stay here. Are you coming with me?”

Long pause.

Mark frowned. “Why not? Got nothin to lose. Let’s go.”

The two men walked north in silence. They left Highway 65 a few hours later to pick their way through the sage brush and scraggly grasses.

“Hang on a second. I need to catch my breath,” Jonathan said, puffing hard because of the altitude.

“Yeah. It’s gonna to be a tough climb from here.”

A drop of sweat rolled down Jonathan’s back. “I swear it’s getting warmer.”

“And the glow is getting brighter.”

“Do you feel that?”

“Don’t know. Like what?”

“I can’t say. It just feels … different.”

“Yeah. I guess.” Mark shifted his weight.

“I feel … lighter, if you know what I mean.”

“’Spose so.”

“Let’s head for that bright spot. They’ve probably got food,” Jonathan said with more confidence than he felt. He was terribly hungry, couldn’t remember the last rabbit he’d caught and skinned.

“That’s a steep climb. You up for it?

“Yeah. I feel better. How about you?”

“It’s weird.” Mark scratched his head. “Like somethin’s drawing me up there.”

“It less than two miles up the Old Grand Mesa Road to the first reservoir,” Jonathan told his new friend. “I remember seeing it on a map back in Grand Junction.”

They trudged on. The road was steep, full of switchbacks. It was nearly midnight before they arrived at the reservoir. Mark paused, leaned over to catch his breath.

Jonathan rubbed his hands together, astonished they were no longer freezing. He paced forward a few more yards.

“Hey, get back down here.” Mark called out, frenzy in his voice. “There’s someone standin’ in the middle of the road up there.”

“I see him.” Jonathan reached down for his .38. It was still there. He hoped he didn’t have to use it. “It doesn’t look like he has a gun.”

“He’s looking right at us. I think he sees us.”

“Well, I don’t care. I’m starving. Let’s see what he’s doing here.”

“You’re crazy. He’ll shoot you for sure.”

“I don’t think so.” Jonathan felt only warmth and peace. “I swear it feels like he’s expecting us.”

“Go ahead. I’m stayin’ right here.” Mark crossed his arms over his chest, held his feet wide apart.

Jonathan marched the hundred yards separating them from the stranger.

“Hello, friend,” the stranger said before Jonathan reached him. He wore a long white robe open at the neck leaving his chest bare. Jonathan wondered if the man was cold without a coat. But he could have sworn the man and his robe glowed.

“Hello,” Jonathan said. “We didn’t expect to see anybody up here so late at night.”

The man smiled. “Why don’t you invite your partner to join us?”

“Do you have any food? We’re starving.”

“There’s plenty to share.” The man gestured down to Mark, “Come.”

Mark hesitantly hiked toward them. The stranger handed them both a simple loaf of bread from a cloth bag hanging at his side. They ate it quickly, thanked the man.

“Looks like you were waiting for us,” Mark said. “Did you know we were coming?”

“This is a common entry point to the mesa,” the man said. “We have watchers here every night, hoping …”

“Hoping for what?” Jonathan asked.

“Hoping more will be courageous like you. We hope more will come join us.”

“What?” Mark asked. “You got an army up here for protection?”

The man’s smile was kind, easy. “No army. At least not in the sense you mean it.”

“What then? We’re tired of running from the gangs.”

“The gangs won’t bother you up here.”

“I’ve heard they tried a couple times a few years back,” Jonathan said.

The man shook his head sending his longish hair swirling around his head. “Yes, it’s true. Those were sad days. So many troubled souls perished from their own foolishness.”

Mark shot Jonathan a quizzical glance. The stranger offered no additional details. That worried Jonathan.

“My name is Abraham,” the man said

“I’m Jonathan from California. This here is Mark. He’s from Texas.”

“Come. Let us go to the city. There is a place for you there.”

“What do you mean?” Mark asked. Abraham led them toward a nearby clump of trees.

He spoke over his shoulder. “There is work to do and plenty of food. You’ll have a warm place to stay. There is much to learn.”

“How far is the walk?” Jonathan asked, rubbing his sore thigh muscles.

“We have no need to walk. My vehicle will carry four comfortably.”

They entered the small grove of trees. Jonathan saw a car unlike any he had ever seen before. It looked like a cross between a DeLorean and a space shuttle from Star Trek.

“Where are the wheels?” Mark asked when he looked closer.

“Get in. You shall see we have no need for wheels.”

Gull wing doors opened when they approached, closed after they climbed inside and sat on comfortable leather seats.

Jonathan noted Mark’s eyes seemed big as saucers. Felt his probably looked the same.

Abraham waved his hands over some controls. The vehicle lifted silently, effortlessly.

Mark held tight to the straps beside him. “Who’s driving this thing?”

“I am. But it knows where we want to go. We’ll be there in a moment.”

The vehicle rose higher, sped through the air, headed toward the brightest area on the mesa. A glowing city opened up beneath the hovering craft.

Jonathan knew the city couldn’t be seen from below the mesa, but it was huge and teamed with life. It covered the finger of the mesa from side to side and for miles back.

Mark glanced at Jonathan. They both shook their heads in amazement, then turned away to stare out their windows. So this was the source of the green glow they saw from Cedaredge. The Mesa commanded a view of the surrounding countryside for miles around. They could see the campfires of Grand Junction fifteen miles to the northwest.

The vehicle came to rest without any noise or dust in a small clearing between pristine white buildings. Jonathan could see the entire mesa had been built with buildings in a uniform plan, with grassy areas every few blocks.

Every building seemed to glow. Some blue, some red, most were green.

“Why are the buildings of different colors?” Jonathan asked.

“The homes are green,” Abraham said. “Meeting halls are blue, work centers red.”

The gull-wing doors opened after they landed. Mark and Jonathan disembarked from the flying car. A small group of men, dressed in white robes similar to Abraham’s greeted them with benevolent smiles.

A tall man with short dark hair held out his hand. He glowed too. He smiled at Mark and Jonathan.

There was something about his face that looked familiar but Jonathan couldn’t place it.

“Welcome to Zion.”

Don’t Blame Me, I Just Report the News

ThisIsNotThePlaceEarlier this month, a Facebook event was created entitled, “This is not the place.” It is subtitled, “Mass resignation from the LDS Church,” and is to protest Kate’s excommunication. The event is scheduled to be held at City Creek Park on 24 July 2014 in Salt Lake City, which is Pioneer Day, a holiday in the state of Utah. I’m sure it will be well attended, at least by the news media.

Mass Resignations From the LDS Church

A similar event was held sometime after the Proposition 8 fallout. I knew some of the people who resigned at that time. I have kept in touch with many of them. They are still my friends on Facebook. They seem happy for the most part, but of course, I only know most of them from interactions on my blog over the years. I also have some friends who are resigning on July 24th.

We Are Losing Some of the Best and Brightest

From what I see, these are young people – well, young to me. I am an old guy, although not nearly as wise and experienced as those who lead this church. These young people seem smart. In fact, in my interactions with them, I know they are. They are, for the most part, college grads with good jobs, well-educated, many being returned missionaries, many married in the temple.

A Serious Step to Get Your Message Across

Why, we must ask ourselves, are these young people leaving the church? According to some estimates I have read, they hope to have thousands participate in the mass resignation. They are also encouraging those who are dissatisfied or disaffected by the disciplinary actions against Kate and John and Rock to ask their own priesthood leaders to hold a disciplinary council.

Understanding Why People Leave the Church

I’m just a blogger so don’t get upset with me for reporting the news. It’s not a secret. But I would like to point out another site created by John Dehlin several years ago specifically to help young people stay in the church, in spite of their feelings about being lied to about church history or about the discriminatory practices against blacks and women or other concerns they may have.

Consider the Contributions of John Dehlin

I have long been a fan or follower of John Dehlin’s work. I believe he has done more good to help those who are disaffected reconsider their desires to leave the church. He is an advocate for the LDS LGBT community and outspoken about marriage equality. I’m not saying I agree with his work as an activist but I do agree with his work to promote tolerance, acceptance and love.

You May Learn Some Things New at StayLDS

If you haven’t been to StayLDS lately, I encourage you to visit the site and view the presentation originally created by John. There is other good material on the site to help foster understanding about why people leave the LDS church. I especially enjoyed viewing the “Top Five Myths Why Committed Mormons Leave the LDS Church.” It may be an eye opener if you haven’t seen it.

Imagine Being Asked to Resign From the Church

John has been asked to resign from the church. He later reported he will be meeting with his Stake President in the next week or so. I met with my Bishop and Stake President earlier this week and am pleased to report we are working things out. I have a new appreciation from my dear bishop of just how my posts have affected some people I love and don’t want to hurt.

For the Record From Daymon Smith

In the spirit of Daymon Smith’s “For the record” posted Thursday, I would like to post my own official statement of disclaimers, specifically for those who want to know what my intentions are and why I write as I do. I record this late at night, in St George, on my way to a family reunion this weekend, after driving all day, so it may be a little incoherent, but I want to get it posted.

Question and Answer with Latter-day Commentary

Q. Do you feel you have changed your style or tone over the years?

A. I didn’t think so until a long-time reader pointed out some differences in the way I answered some questions put to me by a reader. I was much more church-centric back when I started.

Q. Can you explain what you mean by “church-centric?”

A. I started blogging in 2007. I specifically wanted to provide standard answers that I could use in answering all the common questions we were and still are getting on the Internet.

Q. Like what?

A. Plural Marriage, Blacks and the Priesthood, Mormons and Masonry, The peep-stone in the hat, Multiple versions of the First Vision, Book of Abraham, Adam-God, Mountain Meadows, Mark Hoffman forgeries, Elder McConkie’s treatment of George Pace, President Benson and Alzheimer’s disease, Kinderhook Plates, DNA evidence of American Indians, and on and on.

Q. So why do you call these “church-centric” issue and answers?

A. I tried to make my responses correlate as close as possible with what I had been taught as a missionary, what I had read in the correlated church handbooks and CES material when I was a seminary teacher and with the answers I found on official church websites.

Q. And now?

A. I am more focused on coming unto Christ.

Q. What do you mean?

A. I guess I’m not so concerned about all the historical issues the church has had. Most people who have studied them have concluded the church did not record them accurately, and in many cases, changed the record to make it look better. The church has acknowledged this and is doing something about it by publishing original documents from the very early days of the church.

Q. So you no longer focus on answering historical questions.

A. That’s correct. A few years ago I read a book that changed my life.

Q. You’re referring to Denver Snuffer’s “Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil.”

A. No, actually, I’m referring to his 2011 book, “Passing the Heavenly Gift.”

Q. You do know that’s the book for which he was excommunicated last year?

A. Of course. But still, it changed my life when I read it.

Q. How so?

A. I could not put it down. I picked it up to give it a quick perusal just before I went to bed one night to see what it was all about. A friend had asked me about it so I bought it and thought I would write a few words about it on my blog.

Q. And…

A. I stayed up all night reading it. It was a spiritual experience for me.

Q. What do you mean?

A. I mean, I had multiple sacred “ah-ha” moments of enlightenment as I was reading, and when I finished, I knelt down and asked the Lord to let me know what He thought about the book.

Q. And He told you?

A. In no uncertain terms.

Q. What did He say?

A. He said I didn’t need to continue my blogging efforts to answer everybody’s objections to the historical difficulties they were having with our church.

Q. Why is that?

A. Because Denver Snuffer had answered them perfectly.

Q. You do know, of course, there are many people who disagree with his conclusions?

A. Of course. But that means nothing when you get an answer from the Lord.

Q. Let’s move on to something else. You said you are more focused on coming unto Christ.

A. Yes.

Q. Can you elaborate?

A. I went back and read all of Denver’s books, including the other one you mentioned.

Q. “Conversing With The Lord Through the Veil?”

A. Yes. I decided the most important thing I could do with the rest of my life would be to live in such a way that I am prepared to receive a visit from the Lord in this life.

Q. And you believe that is possible?

A. Not only do I believe it, but the Lord has promised it in multiple places in the scriptures.

Q. Now, be honest. How many people do you know who claimed to have seen the Lord?

A. Less than a half dozen.

Q. And you believe them?

A. Why should I doubt?

Q. Because when you meet the Lord, you’re not supposed to talk about it.

A. That’s a myth, generated by those who can’t explain why it isn’t happening to more people.

Q. Let’s wrap this up. What are you trying to accomplish with your blog these days?

A. Let me do two things. Let me first state unequivocally what I’m not trying to do and then I’ll answer your question to the best of my ability.

Q. Please. Go ahead.

A. First of all, I am not trying to encourage anyone to leave this church. In fact, I am trying to do the opposite. Stay. We need you. We need your strength. We need your talents and abilities. We need your service, your help, your testimonies and your love of the Savior to share with us.

Next, let’s be clear. I am not the cause of anyone deciding to leave this church. Just because I report on events of the day or I write a book review about a controversial book, it is up to the individual to decide how they will take the news or if they like my opinion of the book.

And finally, I want to make sure everyone who reads this knows I have no doubts that God is our Heavenly Father, that He lives and loves us and answers our prayers. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior, our Lord and Redeemer. He is calling out to each of us to repent and come unto Him. I know Joseph Smith was called of God to translate the Book of Mormon.

He did this through the gift and power of God. It is scripture and we need to spend more time studying it so we can understand God’s will for us in these last days. I know the Lord established His church through Joseph Smith and restored priesthood authority and keys of the kingdom. I sustain the leaders of this church as prophets, seers and revelators and pray for their success.

Q. Thank you. And the last question: What are you trying to accomplish with your blog these days?

A. I am on a journey, a spiritual journey. I have questions I am trying to answer. I am sharing my journey with those who are interested. Sometimes the stuff I write may be mundane and boring. But it is my hope and prayer that something I write can help someone else who has asked the same question and is on the same journey, believing that D&C 93:1 can be fulfilled in mortality.

Q. And that concludes our interview with Latter-day Commentary by blogger Tim Malone since it’s now one o’clock in the morning. We hope to have future interviews and delve deeper into some of the subjects you raised, especially your contention that the scriptures about the Lord coming to visit men and women in this life are meant to be literally fulfilled in a physical way.

A. Thank you. God bless and good night.

They Shall Go Into the Caves of the Earth

MeteorBombardmentThey felt the first impact before they heard anything.

“Cynthia, Get down,” David said, “This is it.”

He crouched behind the seats on the podium, reached up and pulled Cynthia close. She wrapped her arms around him, buried her face in his chest. He held her tight.

The first meteorite fragment crashed onto the grounds outside the still-packed auditorium. David could see it scored a direct hit on one of the television broadcast vans. The uplink had already been severed about twenty minutes before, evidence of satellite destruction some 24,000 miles out. He figured the speed of these things must have been about 75,000 mph when they hit the atmosphere, where they broke into thousands of smaller fragments.

The lights flickered but held for the moment.

“Oh no,” Cynthia said. Where’s dad?

“He’s over there behind the front row of chairs,” David said.

Cynthia lifted her head to look just as another fragment came down, only this time it hit the building. It crashed through one of the large east windows. Most of the remaining audience had already moved toward the center of the building, away from the windows.

Several women screamed. The fragments of glass and window structure flew into the crowd, propelled with the intensity of an explosion. The meteorite fragment slammed into the floor of the auditorium at about a 45 degree angle, digging a hole the size of a soccer ball.

The lights in the auditorium went out at the same time. Another fragment must have hit a transformer on the campus. The street lights were still on and the TV broadcast van had burst into flames. The eerie glow of red and orange came through the now empty window frame, highlighting a scene of terror and confusion.

“David, some of those people are hurt,” Cynthia said.

“I know, but we can’t move just yet. Keep your head down.”

David reached back and put his hand behind Cynthia’s head, pulling her face back into his chest. He felt her trembling. He wished they had something more for protection.

“There’s more?”

“After they break up in the atmosphere, these things come down in swarms of dozens, sometime hundreds of pieces at a time.”

He looked toward the window at the end of the hall, the one over the main entrance, just in time to see another meteorite hit. This one was angled more from the southeast. It appeared to be larger than the first one to enter the building. An unusual blue glow accompanied the shock.

Not only did this fragment decimate the window as it entered the building, it also blew out a chunk of the surrounding structure. Glass, rock from the building and the meteorite, now shattered by the impact, sprayed the crowd with devastating precision.

David watched in horror as dozens of people were hit by the flying debris. The chairs behind which they hid were simply no protection. Pieces of rock and glass ripped through them as if they weren’t there. There was no way even he could comprehend the enormous power of something travelling at the atmospheric drag reduced speed of 30,000 miles per hour.

Cynthia screamed, along with just about everyone else in the auditorium. The sound of the crashing glass and rock almost drowned them out. Pushed by the force of the blast, David rolled backward off the end of the podium, Cynthia still in his arms. The curtain behind the podium came partially down with them and under them as they fell the five or six feet to the floor. David winced at the impact, grateful for the falling curtain.

Like bullets from a machine gun, pieces of rock and glass ripped into the remaining curtain above their heads, right where they had been crouching just a split second before. The rest of the curtain fell on top of them. David didn’t dare move.

In the dark, the moans and groans of the injured agonized David’s ears. How he wanted to get up and help them. These were his colleagues, his friends. But Cynthia needed him more. She had landed on top of him, the curtain covering them both. David felt her body shake as she cried and sobbed.

“Oh, David, will it never stop?”

David did not have time to reply. Another meteorite fragment hit the building, again from the east. Although he could not see it, David could tell this piece was bigger than the others. His ears rang from the deafening sound of the impact. It must have hit at least one more window, or maybe it was so explosive it blew out all the remaining windows.

Glass and rock rained down on them. The curtain had bunched up in such a way they could only feel the largest pieces as they fell after hitting the wall above them. They were well protected in the small space between the podium and the wall where they had fallen.

Just as suddenly as it had started, it was over. Sirens wailed from police and fire trucks all over the city. The sounds seemed surreal and unrealistic to David. His ears still rang from the many explosions. He felt something wet on his leg and wondered what it was.

“Cynthia, are you all right?”

“Yes, I think so.” Her voice shook, but David was happy to hear it.

“We’ve got to find dad,” she said and began the struggle to untangle themselves from the curtain. Pieces of rock and glass were mixed in with dust and, something wet and…fleshy.

“I’m glad I can’t see what this wet stuff is,” Cynthia said.

“Cynthia, don’t get your hopes up. Before the lights went out I saw some awful things out on the floor.” David finally got enough of the curtain off them that they could stand up.

“Don’t say anything. Don’t say anything. Just help me find dad.”

“OK, take my hand and don’t touch anything. Do you still have your shoes on?


“I’ll go first. Be careful where you step.”

Making their way to the side of the podium was difficult with the curtain bunched up. On the way, they ran into Stan Johnson – literally. He also had fallen behind the podium and was spared from the onslaught of glass, rock and body pieces.

“David, is that you?”

“Yes, and Cynthia.”

“Are you two alright?”

“We seem to be,” David said. “How about you?”

“If I hadn’t fallen into the curtain I would probably be dead.”

“I think we were lucky,” Cynthia said. “Will you help me find my dad?”

“I was talking to him before the first meteorite hit,” Stan said. “He had just walked down off the podium and was talking to someone in the front row.”

“Dad,” Cynthia shouted.

“Professor Volinsky,” David joined in. “Where are you?”

Moans, groans and calls for help emanated throughout the auditorium. It was still dark with only the light from the fires outside to guide them. Even the street lights were out. David could make out the shapes of others wandering around looking for loved ones. Who would have thought such destruction could take place inside such a large facility?
The trio rounded the front corner of the podium, still calling for Manny.

“Don’t look, Cynthia,” David said, still leading the way. He stepped over a dead body.

“I can’t see anything anyway,” Cynthia said. “I’ve got too much dust in my eyes.”

David pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and turned to Cynthia.

“No, don’t. Not now,” Cynthia said. “I’m OK. I’ve got to find dad first.”

“Here. Take it,” David said, pressing the handkerchief into her other hand.

“Doctor Volinsky,” Stan called out again.

“I’m right here. Don’t shout.” Manny’s voice sounded muffled.

“Oh, dad,” Cynthia cried. “Keep talking. We can’t see you.”

“That’s because the lights are out.” His voice seemed to come from their feet.

The three of them bent down. David reached out with his hands but felt nothing.

“Under here,” Manny said. He knocked on the wood of the front of the podium.

“How did you get behind there?” Stan said.

“I have no idea. One minute I was talking to Professor Hansteen about Birkeland’s Currents and the next thing I knew, we were both under here.

“Must have been the same blast that knocked us into the curtains,” David said.

“Don’t move. I’ll see if I can find an opening,” Cynthia said.

“Careful. Watch out for glass,” Stan said.

“I’ve got David’s handkerchief.”

“If you’ll just go a little to your right, I think there’s a broken panel.”

“Here it is,” Cynthia said. “David, help me move it out of the way.”

It took all three of them, tugging and pulling, to finally get the wedged panel unstuck. Once removed, Manny and professor Hansteen scrambled out. They all stood.

“Oh, Dad,” Cynthia embraced her father. “I’m so glad you’re alright.”

In the absence of light, David and Stan patted Manny and professor Hansteen in greeting.

A pair of small emergency lights on either side of the hall flickered on.

Cynthia put her hand to her face and stifled a scream.

“Oh, my God,” Stan cried out.

The scene of death and horror before them was incomprehensible. There had been thousands of people in the auditorium for the presentation. Very few had left in the twenty minutes it took from the end of the transmission until the first meteorite fragment arrived.

Most of the chairs, and people, had been pushed toward the west side of the hall by the force of the blasts. The blood ran in rivulets through the dust from a pile of bodies in one of the corners. David estimated several hundred dead at first sight. Those who were not killed were wandering around aimlessly, some with severe lacerations and others with hardly a scratch.

A man with a huge gash on his forehead was trying to punch numbers into a cell phone he held in the hand of his obviously broken arm. A woman pushed a chair in front of her as she dragged a broken leg behind her. She seemed determined to get to the blocked back exit.

Stan ran to her and tried to help but she fought him off, dazed and determined to get to where she thought there was safety. He finally convinced her to sit on the chair and wait for help.

“There won’t be any help,” David said when Stan came back.

“What do you mean,” Cynthia said.

“There are way too many scenes like this all over the city. Think of the movie theaters, the restaurants and pizza parlors. What about the malls, the people at the baseball game, in the hotels, the homeless on the streets, the tourists and the private homes?

“He’s right,” Stan said. “There’s nothing we can do for all these people. “Even if we could get all the injured into the cars and limos, we’d find the hospitals swamped.”

“Besides,” David said, “I doubt we could get through. Too many roads are surely destroyed with bridges down and chunks taken out of the street.”

Cynthia turned to her father. “Isn’t there anything we can do?”

“All we can do to see if the central emergency command is operational, “Manny said. “We can let them know of all the people here who need help.”

“It will probably be the military that gets the assignment,” David added.

“This is only the first wave of destruction,” Manny continued. “There’s more on the way. When the planet gets closer, the electromagnetic discharge will dig up huge chunks of earth.”

“Oh, Dad,” Cynthia put her hand on her Manny’s arm. “I’m so sorry I never listened.”

“Electric discharge machining will excavate the earth’s surface in places, ejecting material into the atmosphere. It then falls back as dust, sand, gravel, and finally boulders.”

“How much time do we have?” Cynthia asked.

“It should all be over in seventy-two hours,” Manny answered.

“Seventy-two hours,” Cynthia repeated. “Where can we go to be safe?”

“To the subways, along with everyone else who thinks of it,” David said.

Cynthia looked to David, then back to Manny, who had a faraway look in his eyes.

“And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”

Copyright Tim Malone 2014 – A work in progress – Red Sky

Through the Window of Life

ThroughTheWindowOfLifeThis is a short review of the second of Suzanne Freeman’s trilogy of books based on her near death experience (NDE) of 1999. I reviewed the first, Led by the Hand of Christ (2004) last week and hope to review her final book in the series, The Spirit of Liberty (2013) sometime in the near future. Through the Window of Life was published in 2006, “as told to” author Shirley Bahlmann.

A Trilogy of Books From One NDE

This book is different from Led by the Hand of Christ, which was more of a first-hand, “here’s what happened to me” sort of book. Through the Window of Life tells of a stopping point along the way in her NDE that is more of a vision and compares favorably to the book Visions of Glory by Spencer as told to John Pontius. This is not your typical NDE book. It is more of a vision.

A Vision of Potential Future Events

Many readers have shared with me their main difficulty in reading NDEs is the required faith or wiling suspension of disbelief to learn new and different things and even unique ways of looking at this life and life in the spirit world differently from what many people assume or are taught. Through the Window of Life is so well told it reads like LDS fiction, making it easy to consume.

The Book is an Easy Read

I read the 132 pages in about two hours last night. Carol and I had enjoyed a beautiful one-day trip to Santa Barbara to visit our son so I was tired and didn’t want to do any deep doctrinal study when I got home. Reading Through the Window of Life was just the ticket. I sat next to Carol while she read one of her romance novels. We listened to “The Voice” in the background on TV.

Some Things That “May” Happen

I was enthralled from the beginning. Having just finished her first book, she led us to the point where the Savior asks her to view some things that “may” happen before he returns to the earth. I looked back through Led by the Hand of Christ to see if she refers to the room where most of Through the Window of Life takes place. Maybe someone else can point it out. I couldn’t find it.

An Interesting Publisher’s Note

The publisher’s note of explanation is interesting. It reads in part, “Some generalized events have been condensed into one representative example for clarity.” Also, “…her interview included accounts of her consciousness moving back and forth between living through the events leading to the Second Coming of Christ and watching the action unfold through the Window of Life…”

Written as Though She Experienced it

“…her story is written as though she experienced all of it. This format provides continuity for the reader.” It then notes “…some lessons…are italicized so readers can differentiate them from the experiences that she personally experienced.” I had to think twice about this explanation. It can be easily interpreted, “what she shares is from her imagination, not necessarily what happened.”

“As Told To” Someone Else

I know that sounds a little harsh and I’m not saying Suzanne made any of this up. I’m just saying the publisher’s note can be interpreted that way. If you want to read the book as fiction, then it’s darn good fiction, just as some people have read Visions of Glory as a work of fiction. I’m not calling this book or Spencer’s book fiction. I’m just saying they both read as well-written fiction.

An Amazing Attitude Through Trials

I was extremely impressed with Suzanne’s faith. In her vision she lived through a deadly plague, generously shared her food storage, sent her husband and sons off to war, left her home forever, hiked over rugged mountainous terrain, dealt with death, threats by an unknown enemy, attacks of attempted terrorizing warfare on her group and lived with only a single change of clothes.

Pressing on to Jackson County

Suzanne and her group continue their journey to Missouri after getting through the mountains. But I had to ask myself, “Well, either the prophecies in the Old Testament are mistaken or Joseph was mistaken in declaring Independence to be the place for Zion to be built (section 57). There is a glorious future for Independence but Zion first gathers in the tops of the mountains.

Location of The City of Zion

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know I disagree with the location of the city of Zion. I do not believe it is to be built in the flat land of Independence Missouri, but somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. I have shared my logic and reasoning on this unusual position in a previous post. I differ from most LDS folks, including Carol who served her mission in Independence.

Return of Ten Tribes and City of Enoch

I guess that’s the only difficulty I had with the book. I couldn’t quite place the timing of when all the events portrayed were supposed to be taking place. I agree with the prophecies of plagues, invading armies, collapse of the United States, both economically and politically, but somehow all of a sudden, Suzanne is walking alongside the Ten Tribes and then the inhabitants of Enoch.

Everyone Shall See it Together

I know you’re supposed to give spoiler alerts for works of fiction, but according to the publisher, this is not a work of fiction, but a foretelling of “one way things may happen” in the future. If the Ten Tribes are already here, then I can accept them just showing up, but not the City of Enoch. The lack of anyone pointing upward at an approaching planet or piece of the earth troubles me.

A Few Concluding Thoughts

So there you have it. I won’t share much more other than these two objections: 1) The location of the gathering of the people of Zion along with the building of the City of Zion and 2) The lack of any notice by anyone in the vision that the City of Enoch has returned. According to scripture, it is a big deal. The Lord will come with the City of Enoch. Not so in Suzanne’s Window of Life.

Bottom line Recommendation

This is a great book to read and a fascinating story, but it doesn’t seem to jive with the scriptures, or at least my understanding of the scriptures. Still, I recommend you read this book, Through the Window of Life. You don’t need to read her first book before this one. It stands on its own. I found it an enjoyable experience. Just remember, things “may” or “may not” happen in this way.


Bringing On the Apocalypse

CoronalMassEjectionI was invited to join a panel of fellow authors who enjoy writing about the catastrophes of the last days. Randy Lindsay is the author of a recent work of LDS fiction entitled The Gathering. I must be candid and tell you up front I have not yet read it. I have a copy and have perused it. I intend to read it within the next month or two. The book was published by Cedar Fort in January and is available from Amazon or your favorite bookseller. Reviews on Goodreads are favorable.

Promoting Discussion of the Last Days

The idea behind the panel is obviously to promote discussion of the last days, the apocalypse, the end-times or whatever you want to call them. The bottom line of course is Randy and Cedar Fort want to sell copies of the book, as does any author and publishing house. Inasmuch as I also have been working on a novel on the subject, I agreed to participate on the panel. I’m honored but feel a little unqualified because my own book has not even been completed yet, let alone published.

Fiction Based on Prophecy

In any event, I took a few minutes to ponder and answer the first question presented to the panel. Randy proposes to present a new question each week. It’s a good idea. If you’re interested in this subject, you might want to pop over to Randy’s blog and add your two cents. Just remember, it’s a work of fiction, even though he’s asking us to comment on the premise or doctrine behind it.  In my response to Randy when invited to join, I wrote the following rather pessimistic stuff:

“I’ve got to tell you from years of gauging interest of the Saints in end-of-the-world type stuff, it’s woefully disheartening. To be frank, most LDS folks don’t want to think about it, don’t believe it will happen in their lifetime and are terribly uneducated on the signs of the times or especially what will happen when the Savior returns.

“To most, it is all very generic: ‘Oh, there’s going to be some destruction and the wicked will be killed, but then the Savior will come and all will be well.’ They either do not understand or believe what they read in our own scriptures, especially the books of Revelation, Joel, Daniel and other key sources.”

Recent Publications on The Last Days

I admit my assessment may have been a little harsh. There are those, like my High Priest Group Leader, who is extremely interested in the Last Days. He recently taught us on the subject using the book, 65 Signs of Times Leading Up to the Second Coming by David J. Ridges. The book is more than a checklist. I highly recommend it. Another LDS author I like who writes about this subject is Hoyt W. Brewster. His book is Behold, I Come Quickly: The Last Days and Beyond.

Earlier Publications on The Last Days

Of course we can’t forget some favorites from times past: Prophecy: Key to the Future by Duane S. Crowther and The Coming of the Lord by Gerald Lund. I would be remiss if I did not include the Prophecy Trilogy from my friend Anthony Larson: 1) And the Moon Shall Turn to Blood, 2) And the Earth Shall Reel To and Fro, 3) And There Shall Be a New Heaven and a New Earth. My novel, Red Sky is based on the opening scenario presented in Anthony’s first book.

The First Question to the Panel

Randy asked, “Which situation or event that is currently happening do you think most easily could result in the apocalypse?” And the response I posted over there:

My Definition of the Apocalypse

First, let’s agree on the definition of apocalypse. I’ll offer mine by expressing what it is not. The apocalypse is NOT the end of the world. Yes, it is a period of great destruction and catastrophe with billions of people killed by the natural events prophesied, but the world survives. And so do a lot of people. It is these natural events, including the close approach of another celestial body which Anthony has already described in his comments above that brings on the apocalypse.

We Cannot Bring On the Apocalypse

Second, the apocalypse is not something we can control or avoid. The Lord has warned us and warned us over and over again in so many different scriptures it is already on its way. The arm of the Lord is a phrase that has great significance. It refers to something happening in the heavens that the world will see. The Lord has told us he is returning with the armies of heaven, and with the City of Enoch, a piece of this earth that was physically removed and taken up into heaven.

We Can Observe Signs of the Times

We read terrible things in the news that are significant to LDS theology and say to ourselves, “Ah, hah. Another sign of the times,” and indeed we are usually correct. Wars and rumors of wars, economic turmoil, man’s loss of natural affection for his brethren demonstrated by deeds of atrocity, nations coming to an end, rampant wickedness, corruption, immorality and the list goes on and on. I have one thing to say about all these: “Man, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.”

You Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet

Obviously, Anthony and I are in agreement as this reflects what he has already stated. Even when we talk about hundreds of thousands killed by earthquakes and tsunamis, the size of these catastrophes are nothing compared to what will happen when a “great mountain burning with fire [is] cast into the sea,” or “there [falls] a great star from heaven,” or the sun moon and stars are smitten so that the sun is darkened and the moon glows red as blood with heat. Catastrophic!

Watch For Signs in the Sun

In my mind, the event that is currently happening is the sun is not following the normal pattern scientists are used to seeing for many centuries of observation. The eleven-year cycle seems to be a little out of whack. Watch the signs in the sun. Coronal mass ejections from sunspots are the thing we really need to be watching. One massive CME can produce an EMP that could wipe out power grids and communication systems all across the globe. Stay tuned to

You can read more about my work of fiction based on the close approach of a large celestial body under the Red Sky tab here on my blog.

A Conversation You Don’t Want to Have

SamAndRalph“I can’t see you, but I can feel your presence,” I said.

“That’s the way it was meant to be, “he said. “Besides, it gives me the advantage. But you already know that.”

“What do you want? Why are you here?”

“My job is to keep you from doing anything good. That’s all you need to know. Whatever it takes, I have the power to do it. You know I’m not here alone. Others are nearby ready to help. I only have to call out and they’re here before you can imagine it. I have as many as I need – specialists of all kinds to do the job. You get an idea, and I call them over to suck it out of you. You must be an important one. Or maybe I am. I’ve never had this kind of power before. Must be that promotion he promised if I took care of my last assignment quick like that.”

“Why is it I can feel your presence and talk with you this way?” I said. I’m fairly certain I already knew the answers but I wanted to get the basics out of the way. I know I’m dealing with a liar but I’ve had enough experience I know he must answer me, no matter what the question.

“I’ve been kind of wondering that myself. All I can figure is you’ve been given some sort of gift,” he said “I don’t think it’s particularly fair, but it’s not going to make any difference, I can promise you that.”

“What’s you name.”

“You can call me whatever you want. I’ve been called lots of things over the years.”

“So you’ve obviously done this before.”

“You can say that.”

“I know you have to answer me, so tell me how many times you’ve done this before.”

“It all depends on what we’re talking about. Do you mean have a conversation or go all the way and put someone in the loony bin?” There was something sadistic in the way he said it, as if he was remembering something with particular delight.

“Let’s start with the basics, “I said. “How many times have you had a conversation where the other person could hear and record you?”

“You’re the first.”

“I’m not the first you talked to…” I said.

“No, but you’re the first who doesn’t seem to be afraid of me.”

“Oh, but I am afraid. I have great fear and respect for what you can do. I know who you are and what you can do. Don’t put yourself down. I know your power. You put me in the hospital twice, in case you don’t remember.”

“I sensed a smile and a rubbing of the hands together if he had any. “I had some help back then. It was my first time. You almost had us.”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, come on, do I have to explain everything to you?”

“From what I understand, yes, you do have to answer every question I put to you. I’ve been told that’s a rule.” I said.

“Fine. Johnson kept your son and his friend busy. It wasn’t hard. A little weed will do wonders.”

“So it was you I saw when I was waking up.”

“If you say so. It was my job to watch you and keep you away if you moved.”

“I’m going to call you Sam.”

“Call me whatever you want.” He seemed a little annoyed.

“Want to know why?”


“It must be part of the gift. I can always tell when you’re lying,” I said.


“You remind me of that cartoon character, Sam Sheepdog, from when I was a kid. It was his job to watch the sheep and keep the wolf away. Ralph E. Wolf was always plotting a way to get at the sheep. He came up with all kinds of plans. That’s what made it funny each time.”

“You’re beginning to annoy me,” Sam said.

“You should be flattered,” I said.

“Why is that?”

“Sam was actually the smart one. He had it all figured out. In spite of his eyes covered with red hair, he knew exactly where the wolf was. He always had a plan on how to keep him away from the sheep. Remember that. Sam was the smart one.”

I sensed Sam mulling this over.

“OK, whatever. Like I say, you can call me Sam if it makes you feel better. But it’s not going to help. Nobody’s ever been able to talk to me like this before without me scaring the crap out if them. Don’t I scare you?”

“Oh, you scared me alright. Remember, the hospital.”

He brightened up. Yeah, you were a mess. You’d think you didn’t know anything about devils. Twice in one week. The boss was especially proud.”

“But you were just doing your job, weren’t you Sam? You say you’ve done this many times before.”

“I didn’t say.”

“Well, give. I want to know.”

“I don’t keep exact records. Let’s just say a couple thousand.” He was gloating, that was obvious.

“You must be pretty good, then.”

“One of the best. I don’t need much help. I’ve done this so many times I’ve got it down to a science. I specialize in drugs.”

“But not the hard stuff,” I said.

“Weed works better. It keeps the guy going, sometimes for a lifetime, but he never really accomplishes anything. What more could you ask for? He wastes his whole life and doesn’t even know it.” I could almost see a big smile cross his face.

“And your victims never notice that they’re slowly losing their edge – their desire to accomplish anything in life, their ability to remember things, their creative talents…”

“They don’t care. All they know is they feel good. Hey, that’s what drugs are all about. I told you I was an expert.”

“So why was I able to see you back then but can only sense your presence now?

“Hypnopompic Hallucination.”


“Just look it up.”

“You wanted to be in there, didn’t you? You wanted to be getting high too. I could tell by the way you looked over there.”

“Whatever. What do you want?”

“I just want to tell you thank you.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah, I mean it. I’m still in pain. The migraines and the anxiety are there but over time, they’ll go away. You know they will.”

“Yeah, so what.”

“You’ve been sent to me.”

“Say what?”

“Since you can’t lie, if you’re going to insist on hanging around, I’m going to use you. You been assigned to me, which means you can’t leave until either you defeat me or I defeat you. It’s a fight to the finish. I’m going to use you. You’re going to tell me things you don’t want to.” Now I felt like rubbing my hands together. “You know my gift helps me know when you’re lying. I think someone made a major mistake. They sent me one of the smartest and best. How does it make you feel knowing you’re going to be used?”

“Well, good luck. I can lie all I want,” Sam said. “That’s still mine. I can lead you on wild goose chases that completely waste your time. If you want to chance it, then more power to you. I don’t know what you think you can get out of this, but I can tell you I’m deadly serious. I will not give up until you’re dead, crazy or have been totally incapacitated. Even then, I’ll keep you out of commission. You’ll be no good to anybody.”

“Fine – it’s good to have it out in the open. We know where each other stands. You want to drive me crazy and I want to use you to get tactical information that’s going to help in this last great battle. You’re going to be sorry you decided to accept this assignment. Oh, sorry. I forgot. You have no power to choose, do you? You go where you’re told and do or die, isn’t that true?”

“You’re a jerk.”

“And you’re damned to hell. Don’t ever forget it.”

Update (Thur 11-7-13): I sent Sam to the light where he was met by a loving family member ready to teach him the gospel. Sam will no longer be visiting with us. He says the light is too bright here.


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