Just Before The birthday of Joseph Smith:
So, here’s your task, my friend, and if you fail, well, puff! Up in smoke goes the entire world…ready?
At the age of 23, after being graduated from the New York frontier homeschool program with a certificate of having spent several years in study, and following that with a career selling gingerbread, felling trees, coopering, plowing, sowing, and sundry useful manual labors, including regular treasure digging, you will be visited by an Egypto-Hebrew-Indian spirit, who will direct you to a hole wherein is placed a stack of gold, diamond glasses, and some other treasures. But don’t sell them, even though, you know, you might be on the verge of eviction and starvation, ok?
It would be easier if you weren’t flat broke, if you had a name or influence, some education worthy of the name, property, or friends in high places, but, we’ll, you can’t have everything, right? What are taking with you, there? Muscles, good looks, don’t forget the charismatic anointing by the Holy Spirit, and, yes, see there, a whole lotta guts and, yeah, well, you’ll know a bit more than anyone else. So, you’ve got enough inside you to do some pretty cool stuff, don’t sweat the minor socioeconomicopolitical things.
The story on the gold plates is more valuable than the gold, believe me. What’s on it? No, not really a happy story. On the gold plates you’ll find a record of a ruined civilation written in part by said spirit. They sailed from, ahem, Jerusalem, and landed here in America, down south, probably. Etcetera, and so on. After enjoying the instruction and kingship of the resurrected Lord, this people held on for a few centuries before starting churches, and dividing into classes, and then exterminating one another for reasons not yet clear. They do that sort of thing alot, I suppose.
Yep, that’s the story. So you’ll have to translate their records…you don’t know Reformed Egyptian? Hmm, well, that’s what the glasses are for. You’ll figure it out. Why? Well, it’s complicated, but the Lord made some, you know how He is, some ‘incautious’ promises, fell in with a rough crowd…I know, right…yeah, so you’re going to help him make good on those promises.
Yeah, He could reneg on all of it, I mean, they’re pretty rotten down there, but you know how He is, right? Always love this, charity that, forgive, forgive, longsuffering, kindness…Here, you’ll need alot of those things, too, I guess. Take some more.
Anyway, believe it or not, most of your neighbors and friends and family won’t be terribly interested in your little translation project. I know, we tried to make it as cool as possible, Indians, Wars, Gold, magic rocks, intrepid adventurings, but some mortals, well, they just lack vision. So, you’ll get all this stuff one night, and then…no it’s not easy street from there. You’ll walk through the night, and arrive home with said treasure, and find that there is no money for procuring a chest. Get a nice one, about yea-high, and so wide. Sure, get one with a lock, it can’t hurt.
So, after somehow retrieving these treasures, and avoiding all the thieves round about you, you’ll have to walk another couple miles, and dig a well, to earn a few dollars so you can put a downpayment on a chest. And then you’ll have to walk back home. No, it won’t be a party for you, so much as a chance to continue the education of your hands. You know, pulling stumps, chopping wood, avoiding starvation and thieves. It is ironic, I know, that you can’t afford a box for your gold, but that’s how we work around here.
So, you’ll start up looking over the gold plates, which your neighbors will call the Gold Bible, just to be jerks. No, not really easy living after that. This one guy will help you, only to end up, ahem, misplacing everything you’ve done, and then you’ll have to start over. Oh, and he’s basically your only friend, the loser guy, but he may be in it for the money, so keep your eyes on him, OK? Oh, right before that guy loses all your work, and your soul seems consigned to eternal flames, your first born son will live about, like, three seconds, and then die. Pretty messed up. And your neighbors, most of them professing Christians, will mock your loss. Over and over again. You’ll see, they’ve got what will be called “issues”.
No, we’re still working on the details about housing, employment, and so on…but don’t worry, we’ll have it figured out by then, I’m almost certain. What happens after the book is translated? We’ll it’ll have to be published…no, probably not a run-away best seller. Oh, yes, there’ll be plenty of “buzz” about your Gol’ Bible, but you know how that can be, mostly negative, right? You’ll want to start a church…
I know, but all these Christians love their churches, and so we’ve got to play along. Yep, a real church, sort of. Right, well, you’ll be invited to remove yourself from one land, and then another, sometimes the invitations come with a bucket of tar, and chicken feathers, and so on, or a vial of poison for you to swallow, or just the usual beatings, but you’ll end up in a really great spot, near the water, neighborhood full of miasmic humors, a view of the cholera, a real gem…it’ll cost like a million dollars, too, but don’t worry about that one. And there’s a really a solid group of fellas, you’ll see.
Well, some of them sort of have a change of heart, and seek your own life, but that’s how friends, are right? There’s this one guy, Oh Boy, watch out…Bennett, I think. And some others will try to undo everything we’re setting up here, and there’s no shortage of trouble to find and avoid…ladies, um, we’ll get that figured out…yeah, well, trouble. Mostly from mortals in your church. I know, but that is how they run things down there. Anywhoo, that’s pretty much it…
How does it end? Ahem. Well. You know how these things are. After a life starting at zero…yeah, really less than zero, you’re right, you’ll eventually be a popular figure, something like a celebrity, a military leader, a prophet, a newspaper editor, a seer, a husband a few times over, a father, a son, a poet, a philosopher, a brother, a friend, and having sacrificed most of your basic pleasures, like food, health, and, oh yeah, one time your own people will rob you of your favorite silk ribbons, and fancy buttons…and there’s a jail called Liberty you’ll spend some time in…
Well after all these, ahem, ‘experiences,’ you’ll be locked away, betrayed, left for dead by your friends and family, and a mob, well, you know how mobs can be? Turn on a dime, you know, well the mob…Yes, some of your own people, maybe even friends and family will be mobbing with them, well, they’ll shoot you up, as you fall from the window of the jail, and that’s pretty much it.
How does it go after that? Oh, yeah, smooth sailing for the Mormons. Even a musical.
Yeah, it does kinda suck when they abandon almost everything you taught and died for, and then make uninspired art and fake histories about you, but, well, what’re ya gonna do? It’ll be worth it, really. Ready?
Oh, and seriously, don’t mess this up, or poof!
…Man, I can’t believe he’s really gonna do it.