Chapter 27

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

By pinning the curtains together, there was some hope that the morning sun would not disturb him. But even without the sun, Elijah had already been up for almost an hour, lying in bed. He had been awakened by a dream. Not a vision, just a dream. A dream about Jonathan and his father arguing with him caught in the middle. He couldn’t get back to sleep since. At least it was Saturday so there was no school.

Equally fortunate, he had no plans until the missionary discussion that afternoon. Until then he was hoping to get caught up on the Young Prophet’s website. There were tons of new posts he had been wanting to read through and hopefully there were some replies to his posting on Jonathan, but right now he was having trouble getting out of bed. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. He thought of the dream that had woken him. Was he responsible for Jonathan’s situation?

He knew that Jonathan had made his own choice. Heck, Jonathan knew just about as much as he did about the Mormons. He’d certainly read more of the Book of Mormon, and his testimony was every bit as strong. But still, Elijah felt somewhat to blame. Perhaps later he would try going the back way to the Roches and see how his friend was doing.

Eventually, he began to stir. Swinging his feet over the side of the bed, he slid his body to where he could reach the computer. Shaking the mouse turned off the star field screensaver and revealed the website that was still sitting at his post about Jonathan from the night before. Elijah sat down, hit the refresh button for the page, and waited for it to update. As he had hoped there were a couple replies to his posting. As anticipated, the first was from NoVoice.

NoVoice always seemed to be one of the first to reply to any post. Did he get email alerts that notified him of new posts or was he just always watching the site for updates? Elijah had tried before to imagine what the other people on the sites he visited were like. NoVoice, according to his profile, was young but the insight he showed in his posts made Elijah picture him as being much older. More like someone in his twenties.

Well, no matter what he looked like, NoVoice always had keen insight. Hopefully this time would be no different.

“WARNING: First, the preachy stuff! To quote St. Peter, ‘That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.’

“Your friend’s made a difficult decision. Everyone gets trials, but there’s a reason they’re more valuable than gold. Wealth comes and goes, but the experience you get from overcoming challenges stays with you forever. And, trials build faith. You cannot be saved without faith!

“Now for the non-preachy stuff. Elijah, your friend has made a tough choice. Where that choice will take him, no one but God knows. Don’t get preachy like me above, those words are for you – not him. Don’t try to push him in the direction that you feel is best for him, let God do that. Just be a friend. Peace – NoVoice”

It took a minute for Elijah to think about it. NoVoice, as hoped, was right. He read the other responses and they all agreed. Elijah felt somewhat responsible for Jonathan’s situation and wanted to do something, say something that would make everything better. But there wasn’t anything the Elijah could do or say other than just be there for his friend.

“Thanks for the replies everyone,” Elijah wrote. “You guys rock! Just what I needed. - Elijah”

Elijah went on to read several other new postings. More and more of the postings were about the visions leading other young prophets to the Mormon Church. There were tales of the newly converted youth leading their families, friends, and even some entire churches to be baptized. Sadly, there were also an equal number of threads from others that, like Jonathan, had been ostracized by family and friends for their new beliefs.

The one that touched Elijah the most was from Anonymous Angel, the young boy from the Middle East that had kept much of his information private because he feared punishment.

“I, too, have come to believe that Joseph Smith is the boy from my vision. I have been gathering bits and pieces from the Mormon Church’s website, but I fear that doing so is putting my family at risk. I am trying to use sites that keep my identity and location a secret and pray that God continues to watch over me. This is important and I cannot ignore it and do nothing. Pray that all this leads us to a time when Christ will come again and we no longer have anything to fear.” - Anonymous Angel

Elijah prayed.

********

Despite his hope to make it over to the Roches, Elijah had spent the rest of the day indoors at Dad’s and Gram’s request. After surfing around the web for a while longer, his growling stomach forced him to go downstairs and get some breakfast, after which he and Becca helped with laundry and cleaning up around the house. It certainly wasn’t their favorite thing to do, but it made the time pass more quickly.

“So, how do you think Jonathan’s like doing?” Becca asked as she carried a fresh basket of laundry through the kitchen, where Elijah was husking corn over the garbage can for Gram.

“I don’t know,” Elijah replied. “Gram and I’ve been wondering the same thing.”

“Where’d she get to?” questioned Becca.

“Ran to the store to pick up some chicken to barbecue,” Elijah replied. He paused for a second, mentioning Gram making chicken without some kind of wisecrack seemed incomplete. He knew that Becca was feeling down about Jonathan too and a joke just didn’t seem like it would help. “Oh, no. Does this mean I’m maturing?” he thought.

“It’s just that Jonathan’s such a good guy and I feel so bad for him. I want to do something to cheer him up. What do ya think? Should we?”

“I don’t know, Becca. What can we do outside of just being there for him?”

“I suppose you’re right. They’ll be here soon and I just want to do something to make things better for him.” Becca set the laundry basket down on a kitchen chair and sat on another. She picked up an ear of corn and began pulling the long green layers off. They both sat in silence, lost in thought.

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