A Latter-day fable patterned after Luke’s New Testament account

  1. Look: when we were boys being boys, we goofily riffed, “But wait, there’s more!”
  2. Then, by glowing tongues of campfire, our youth trek learned we were New Testament hearts pumping Old Testament blood—crowned elect; by this we came to see the world as both the foe and field.
  3. Fast, while our leaders made the world jump like a lame man—how high!—we heard them say, “It’s all Lord Jesus; accept his love or be destroyed.”
  4. Men of olden faiths made our president a prisoner of conscience for a time; in court, he sat chained with pride to our treasured cornerstone. Knit in the unity of hunkering down, our rich spread their wealth among our poor; we alone sanctified socialism, even salvation in this life.
  5. As new elders, we placed ourselves in the president’s shadow for strength. When called, we wrapped and buried a Middle Way couple caught lying during tithing settlement. These were the days of signs and wonders, when a game evangelical gave us the space to prove our worth or come to naught.
  6. As the old school vied with the new, we added a layer of authority beneath our one true, to feed the many joining our holy few. Fearing the loss of their loyal poor, one shrinking sect set to public shaming of our viral-posting bishop. Unpersuaded, we called them liars for misunderstanding us and for thinking the worst of our founder.
  7. A pack of “lone wolves” dragged the bishop from his podcast studio and killed him, painting the beloved man a liar, claiming he sought to overturn the values of their fathers. Yet, all he’d really said to them was, “We come not to corrupt, but to restore.” Now about our archenemy Redd…
  8. In spite of Redd’s ceaseless attacks on our religious freedom, or perhaps because of them, baptism became a joyous, impulsive thing offered by priceless men. This was a time when the true power of god entered liberally by the laying on of hands, when miracles followed close.
  9. When Redd came to us of a sudden, claiming miraculous conversion, we didn’t know what to do with him—the optics of it shined too good to be true; however, we began to see that by great and cunningly-prepared instruments is a world religion’s sustainability brought to pass, even as our president carried on in miracle making.
  10. One afternoon the president took a nap and dreamed a dream in which the Lord commanded him to open a door which had to be opened, and invite all those in who clamored to be let in, who had never ceased to give alms outside a locked temple—by this we see how the foe becomes a field of white.
  11. Not surprisingly, the president took some flak for this change, but when he testified of his dulcet ruminations, the devout stayed in line. That said, it was in a land far from church headquarters where lay members established the nickname by which true followers would be known until the Second Coming. Likewise, prophecy came as dew on distant branches, embraced by tested farmers nourishing the soil of grass roots.
  12. Then, when a worldly king threw our president into prison, an angel of the Lord sprung him and assassinated the wicked ruler—for ours is neither a god of political neutrality nor of endless diplomacy, no. Ours is the God of Daniel; and of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; and of Peter, Paul, and Silas; and of Alma and Amulek.

Questions for Discussion:

Which parts of this fable read plausible? Which seem far-fetched? Why?

Looking at the corresponding first 12 chapters of Acts in the New Testament, which events stand out to you? Why?


Notes:

This fable was developed by reading Acts in three translations: The King James Version, in particular the audio edition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the New International Version; and Thomas A. Wayment’s The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints.

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