Elijah held his Book of Mormon firmly on the drive home. He hadn’t noticed during the discussion with the missionaries, but sitting at the Roches’ had given his muscles plenty of time to stiffen from the accident. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this sore. Dad had opened his window slightly and Elijah couldn’t tell if the cool night air was helping or making things worse. He didn’t ask him to roll it up since his muscles would be sore either way and at least the cool air through his hair was helping ease the on coming head ache. It was definitely time for more ibuprofen.
Other than the sound of the wind rushing past the window, it was quiet in the car. Everyone seemed to be lost in thought. Elijah let his head rest against the cool glass window while his mind recounted the meeting over and over again. The missionaries didn’t teach him anything that he hadn’t at least skimmed over online. Although he usually preferred PC’s to people, it was different hearing it taught in person. It felt different.
The meeting went well as far as he was concerned. Still with all that had happened he had hoped that the Spirit would have whispered something to him. He wished it had told him that what the Elders had said was true and he should join the Mormon Church. He never expected the clouds to part or angels to appear, but shouldn’t something have happened to prove it was right? “It was right,” he thought. Maybe nothing needed to happen. He already knew in his heart it was true.
“Well, those boys gave us a lot to think about tonight,” Gram said, breaking the silence.
“It certainly went better than I expected,” Dad added. “What about you two in the back seat?”
It was getting dark, but there was still enough light for Elijah to see Becca grinning. “They were kinda cute. And Mark's much hotter when he’s not like being a jerk.”
Dad gave a little cough, “Watch it young lady!”
“Oh, you mean the lesson about the Mormons?” Becca laughed. “That was pretty interesting, too.”
“I thought it was perfect,” Elijah smiled. “I can’t wait to tell everyone at prayer group. And I can’t wait to meet with the missionaries again tomorrow.”
“I agreed they could come to our house, but I’ll be expecting some help with getting dinner ready and redding up around the house before they get there. I’m not having the boys and the Roches come to a pig sty!” Gram said firmly. “I’m thinking something with chicken.”
Becca and Elijah moaned at the same time. Everyone gave a laugh and then the car grew quiet again.
Once back at the house, there was little time for reflection. It was a school night and it was way past bedtime.
Stiff and sore as he was, Elijah still felt the need to go to the Young Prophet’s website. Just as sharing the vision had been important to him, so now was sharing his new discoveries about Joseph Smith and the Mormons. He wanted to do it now while everything was still fresh in his mind. The thread on the identity of the boy from the visions had generated a great deal of traffic. Feeling worn out from the day’s events, Elijah decided to skip reading other member’s comments and just post his own experience for now. He could read more after seeing the missionaries the next night. God willing, that is, that nothing else crazy would happen to get in the way.
Each press on a key seemed to press down on his eyelids. The posting was short and to the point. God had led him to Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church. He watched as the status bar showed his post being uploaded. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. It was quiet and sleep was about to overtake him when he was startled back to life by a loud dinging sound.
A pop-up message appeared on the screen. It was from Ben. Elijah laughed at how much the noise had made him jump, then groaned as the soreness that came from the sudden movement. He squinted slightly to read the incoming message.
Hey-B: Yo E!
Yo-E: Hey B
Hey-B: I actually show up for this prayer group thing and you don’t have the common decency to show up:)
Yo-E: HaHa Don’t be hating on me.
Yo-E: Car wrecks have a way of changing one’s plans.
Hey-B: That SUX!
Hey-B: What happened?
Hey-B: When Miss Freed came in and said you were in a wreck with Mark Roche we all figured he must’a tried to finish you off once and for all. Then she said you were in the same car?????
Hey-B: U 2 have hated each other mad long.
Hey-B: What up wit dat?
Yo-E: It’s a long story.
Yo-E: I’ll tell everyone in the morning, but right now I’m about to pass out.
Hey-B: BTW – Becca showed up with a hot betty this AM – called her Marty.
Yo-E: Yeah, Martha – she’s OK I guess.
Hey-B: The long black hair threw me at first.
Hey-B: Thought she might be goth or “emo” or something
Hey-B: I gotta hook-up wit dat.
Hey-B: If she’s there tomorrow you’ll have to introduce her to her future husBEN:)
Yo-E: LOL – will do
The school year was quickly coming to an end. The hallways were now lined with colorful, hand-made posters announcing the spring formal. Elijah barely noticed them as he limped along. Even if his muscles weren’t sore, he still wouldn’t go near a dance. Dances were more Becca’s thing. He had no rhythm, no moves, and no desire.
The hall seemed extra long this morning. He limped along as best he could, keeping his eyes on the open doorway to the music room. It had been a rough morning in general. Not only was his body aching, but Gram had woken him every hour during the night as prescribed by the hospital to check for any signs of a concussion. As soon as he fell asleep, Gram would wake him back up again. Thankfully, Becca offered to carry his book bag, which he eagerly accepted.
Still, there was a strong motivation to reach the music room. He couldn’t wait to tell Jonathan and the other students about the accident, Mark, and the Mormons. The message of the vision and the direction it was leading him had become much more clear. The clearer the direction became, the more he wanted to shout it out loud for everyone to hear.
The music room was arranged slightly different for the big end-of-year band recital. It took a second for Elijah and Becca to get their bearings on the new layout. They both noticed that the room was uncharacteristically quiet as they walked through the door. All eyes turned to them as they entered. Several students stood up from their seats and started walking towards the new arrivals. The screeching of the metal chair legs on the floors sent a shiver down Elijah’s back.
To Elijah’s surprise, Debbie was at the lead. She may only be coming over to offer him sympathy attention, but any attention he could get from her would be taken without complaint. He tried to cover the sudden rush of joy he was feeling inside with a faked cringe of pain on his face. Quickly well-wishers surrounded him, asking if he was O.K.
Jonathan was at his usual place at the front of the room. He looked distracted as he flipped through some papers on the podium. Pages were turned with purpose, but the look on his face clearly showed that he wasn’t paying any attention to what was on them. There was an air of tension around him. His face softened slightly when he looked up and saw Elijah and Becca enter.
Jonathan followed the others over to meet Elijah. Half way across the floor, Jonathan gave an odd glance towards the rear of the room. Elijah’s eyes automatically followed and saw that Mark Roche was sitting in the back row of chairs beside Miss Freed. “That explains why Jonathan’s looking so bent,” he thought to himself. Mark smiled and shrugged his shoulders slightly to signify he was aware of the feelings his presence had on Jonathan.
“Elijah, glad to see you’re relatively in one piece. Everyone was shocked when we heard about the wreck. Seems like trouble just has a way of finding you.” Jonathan leaned forward, purposely putting his back towards Mark. “And what on earth were you doing with him?”
“Jonathan, there was a reason for everything that happened yesterday and the day before. Mr. Herkimer, the principal’s office, gram’s car not working; it was all God’s way of leading me to run into Mark. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have found out who the boy in the vision was.”
Jonathan looked puzzled, “Mark told you who the boy in the vision is?”
“No! Sort of! Can I just talk to everyone?” Elijah pleaded.
“Well, O.K.,” Jonathan agreed with a look of uncertainty, “it looks like anyone that’s coming is already here.”
Jonathan took a seat in the front row where he had left his book bag. Elijah walked to the front of the room and stood behind the rickety music stand. He grasped the sides with both hands to steady himself and try to relieve some of the soreness from his legs. This was what he had waited for since he first received the vision and a little muscle discomfort was not going to stop him. Now he could not only tell them about the vision, he could explain what part of it was about and where the Lord was guiding him.
“Uh, good morning. As most of you know, yesterday I was in a car accident with Mark Roche. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt. But the accident isn’t important, it’s the events leading up to it that are the miracle. Each event was the Lord guiding me to one place. A place where He could finally show me what the vision was about. Tuesday after school, the Lord showed me who the boy in the vision was. A boy named Joseph Smith.”
There was a sudden gasp across the room, followed by a deep silence. Elijah looked out at a wall of stunned faces and quite a few dropped jaws. Unsure of the reason for the reaction, he started to feel uneasy. Looking for some insight, his eyes quickly turned to Jonathan. Jonathan’s jaw was slightly ajar and his eyebrows crinkled in amazement as he stared at back.
Finally, Jonathan stood. “Joseph Smith? You mean the Mormon prophet?” It was clear that Jonathan was struggling to find the words to say. He slowly took several steps towards the music stand, his eyes never leaving Elijah’s. “Are you sure it was him?”
“Positive. Why? What’s the matter?”
“It’s just that we believe the Mormons are a cult and that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Now you’re saying God’s telling you that he’s not. You can’t just drop a bomb like that and expect us to forget everything we’ve been taught from birth.” Jonathan stood for a moment still looking bewildered. “You’re absolutely sure?”
“Absolutely! As soon as I saw his picture on Mark’s wall I knew right away he was the boy from the vision.”
Jonathan glanced up at Mark, his mouth still hanging open. He raised a hand, pointing at Mark as he turned back to face Elijah. “Him, you got all this from someone that’s done nothing but ridicule us from the beginning?”
“It’s different now,” Elijah tried to explain. “If you’ll just give me a minute to tell you what happened.”
“I’m sorry. This is just a little too much this early in the morning. I’m going to have to digest this before I can hear any more.” Jonathan walked over, picked up his backpack, and tossed it over his shoulder. “I just have to step back and think this over. I’ve gotta go and think about this for awhile. Sorry, but I’ve gotta get out of here.”
With that Jonathan strode out of the room, his eyes focused on the floor in front of him. Several others gathered their belongings and began to follow. Elijah was at a total loss for what to do. He just stood for a moment and watched as the group began to disperse. Miss Freed, seeing that he was in over his head, quickly moved to Elijah’s side.
“May I have your attention, please?” she called out to the group. “Elijah has given us a great deal to think about. The best thing for everyone to do now is to pray about it. Jesus said, ‘Whatever you ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ There are still several minutes left and those who wish may stay and we’ll say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father for guidance. Those who would like to leave I encourage you to ponder and pray about what Elijah has said.”
Several students sat back down, but most left the room with their heads bowed and uncertain looks on their faces. A short prayer was offered by Miss Freed and the rest of the group dispersed. Mark and Becca approached the podium to join Elijah and Miss Freed. Mark’s face was down trodden, while Becca wore a look of total surprise.
“I’m sorry,” Mark said. “If I hadn’t been such a jerk to you and Jonathan that would have went better.”
“You don’t know that, Mark,” Miss Freed replied watching the students as they left the room.
“What did Jonathan mean by Mormons being a cult?” Becca asked.
“Well, many Christians believe that God doesn’t speak to people any more, that we don’t need prophets. They also believe that the Bible is God’s only word. They feel that because we believe in modern prophets and the Book of Mormon that Mormons aren’t Christians,” Miss Freed answered.
“When Mark told me about your experience and that you were going to tell everyone about it this morning, I was afraid this might happen, but there wasn’t enough time for me to warn you at that point,” Miss Freed continued.
“Gram and Dad had a similar reaction, but they didn’t get so bent. What I don’t understand is I’ve read in the Bible and on-line about there being prophets in the last days. It’s in the Bible!” Elijah said.
“Well, unfortunately, they don’t see it that way. You have to remember, there was a long time after Jesus came that the Earth was in darkness. Give them time to think about it. And in the meantime pray for Heavenly Father to soften their hearts,” Miss Freed encouraged. “Now off to class.”[Home] [Chapter 21] [Chapter 23]