For Sister Schafer,
her son was the second coming
of Joseph Smith,
the prophet who was,
according to them,
second in line to Christ.
For it was Tony who rediscovered
the Urim & Thummim–
the seer stones the Prophet Joseph used
to translate the golden plates–
those plates that were taken back by the angel Moroni,
lest any archaeologist might discover them.
They were the Interpreters,
glowing in the dark like cat eyes,
even as Tony was a cat-eye–
a tool with hands
& a tool with a voice,
whose genes were being replicated
inside the womb of a woman
whose conception was far from immaculate.
They prayed with bowed heads,
& closed eyes–
as if they were getting ready to be assassinated.
Such was how they presented themselves to the Mormon God–
a God who became more mysterious
the more I was told of Him.
There were “Amens” all around,
“Pay Lay Ale” was uttered thrice,
& a minty mist imbued the air.
It made my breath cold,
for a vapor pass my lips–
as if a spirit was escaping
My dying body.
like the verdant earth after the rain,
& the chanting in tongues–
not a foreign language,
but something guttural,
made my pulse quicken,
yet I felt paralyzed.
The floor beneath me shifted,
like plate tectonics.
My world wasn’t turned upside down
&, like a baby,
I was never the same again.
David held my hand,
& I was transported.
My heart was not troubled,
& neither was it afraid.
From 4 walls to a woodland,
the ceiling opened up & disappeared,
& sunlight streamed through the treetops;
birds were singing sweetly in the breeze.
I was not beside myself
but outside myself,
& it was a good place to be.
Family Home Evening–
the Monday installment of the Mormon life–
consisted of prayer,
to open the lines of communication with God,
for it was not His job to initiate contact;
to praise this God who gave us his First, Last, & Only;
of a talk or lesson,
to further His global agenda
of building temples & spreading the Book of Mormon;
& to go over family business & family schedules.
It was all about “the family”–
like some kind of Anglo Mafia.