A Mormon Nativity Story
“And the Lord spoke through Jeremiah, saying, “Baldness is come to Zion.”Jeremiah 47:5, Fellow’s Translation of the Holy Bible
Jeremiah filled his tent with weeping. Then he gazed into his seer stone, and he beheld another world wherein the gospel had found some meager foothold:
“There, the Primitive Church’s high priests prayed mightily, seeking as humans do, to skip to the good part. So, Jeremiah sighed and said, ‘Bros, just go into Babylon already. Nobody gets to skip their turn in captivity.’ And the Mary of this world looked out upon the swaggering, self-deceiving priesthood brethren, giggled, and said: ‘It goes, boys!’”
Then the vision within Jeremiah’s seer stone shifted, and he beheld Heaven growing lonely.”
1. A Pooch Noble and Great
Heaven’s nursery stood empty. All the head God’s offspring had gone to their mortality, save one. This left Tex to wander alone along the Celestial shore, sniffing the golden sand and panting the ether in and out of his lungs. As he trotted aimlessly, his spirit tongue draped out the side of his mouth. His drool, made of matter that was fine and pure, dropped silvery on the sand.
Whenever Tex could briefly wrangle his thoughts, he found himself missing his premortal master, Alvin. Alvin had departed Heaven several dispensations earlier to become an eternal angel. Sometimes Tex’s separation anxiety became too much. But then, mercifully, a random wisp of Creation’s old light would pass by, blissfully distracting him. He busied himself sniffing the micro-nebula, following close as it floated along the shore. Eventually, when the tiny cloud passed mindlessly back out into space, he would hasten it on its way with stern barking. And then he would sit down in the sand, content he had kept Heaven safe yet again.
Somewhere behind him, Tex heard Eve Allegra’s voice: “…and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come…”
Tex’s head jerked to the left. A bright explosion flashed from a distant galaxy’s arm. The violent light shined briefly. Just as soon, it was gone, replaced by a spreading reddish haze. Tex cocked his head to the right, trying to understand. He barked once, panted, then huffed when the galaxy failed to answer him. Usually, these latter-day galaxies moved slowly and predictably. Tex tried to play with them. To his utter frustration, they never reciprocated.
Footsteps echoed on the sand behind Tex. He turned to see Eve Allegra trudging toward him. He barked hello. Silently, Eve Allegra began scratching behind his spirit ears. Tex looked up into her eyes and could tell she was about to leave. She smiled, but even simpleminded Tex could discern how the rest of her face was frowning. He had long ago learned the face of goodbye. So he plopped down on his belly, buried his muzzle in his paws, and pouted.
Eve Allegra crouched down beside Tex. She brushed her right hand through the sand. His eyes tracked as she scooped up a clump of the golden grains. In her palm, the sand melted into a dark gray ovoid.
Tex lifted his head, stretching his neck toward the newly organized stone. Eve Allegra smiled, opened her palm, and gracefully side-arm threw the stone out into space. Quickly, it sailed beyond Kolob’s gravity well, heading directly toward the distant galaxy where the explosion had occurred.
Tex barked at Eve Allegra. “It has,” she replied. Tex barked again, more eagerly. She answered: “Oumuamua, which being interpreted, is messenger from afar.” Almost understanding, Tex gazed as the stone flew farther and faster. Next, he rose onto all fours, shifting his hulking spirit frame onto his front paws. Tex’s stubby tail wagged eagerly, shaking his hindquarters left and right.
Eve Allegra also stood, and she said, “We will go down.”
This was as clear a command as Tex had ever received. He leapt from the Celestial shore and hurtled toward the galaxy. Oumuamua, the new stone, remained far ahead as it soared on the strength of Eve Allegra’s throw. Despite Tex’s almost godly leap, Oumuamua soared too fast for him. He lost sight of it as the nearly cylindrical stone buried itself in the red haze now gushing from the galaxy’s arm.
Tex thudded clumsily onto the galaxy’s bright disk. Instinctively, he slammed his paws down on the sparkling core as it whirled around a blackened center. His swatting caused no damage. Smoothly, elegantly even, the entire galaxy continued its slow spin. Turning back to face Heaven, Tex expected to see Eve Allegra land gracefully beside him. But she was not there.
2. A Queen and Priestess
Far back, much nearer to Heaven, Eve Allegra glided down into an Oort cloud near Kolob. Tex lunged back out into space and followed her. He descended through a hailstorm of old sleeping comets—soot-covered things, no tails at all.
Eve Allegra descended into the atmosphere of a small late-born world. She passed over the terminus into a wooded landscape beneath a partly cloudy night sky. The scene held a bluish glow which Tex loved. For a brief moment, he recalled curling around Alvin’s feet on Heaven’s shore. Bored with the War in Heaven, they had napped even as God’s offspring warred into the early morning of mortality.
Now, Tex shrank his form down and landed in a clearing near an abandoned garden. The place was lit by a single flame near a tree. The flame belonged to an angel’s sword. Tex could smell that the angel was not Alvin, so he ignored the mighty and statuesque being. Instead, he trotted over to a rock-pile altar just outside the garden.
Two human adults and a fidgety boy stood near the altar. The mother, sweaty and haggard, with legs covered in blood, placed a small bundle on the altar. For a second, she seemed to change her mind and reached for the bundle. The dirt-covered man swatted her hand away and the boy giggled. These humans gave no notice to Eve Allegra, whose personal glow had faded from sun-strength to moon. Neither did they appear to notice Tex.
Drawn by the piercing sound of crying, Tex lumbered toward the altar. Rearing up, he plopped his heavy paws on the edge of the crude pile of stones. Inside the cloth bundle, he saw a tiny face. Tex leaned in and began sniffing the infant. It fussed, its limbs pushing out against the sloppily wound cloth. Tex started mouthing the cloth, wanting to free the baby. Then the angel struck.
The luminous guardian leapt to the altar. His flaming sword sliced through the muggy air, stopping only when the blade reached the atom-thin space between Tex’s and the baby’s noses. A brief moment of silence, then Tex began sniffing the length of the broadsword with a puppy’s eagerness. It never occurred to him to be afraid of angels.
In contrast, the man, woman, and boy had scattered the moment the angel descended on the altar. The angel swatted Tex with the sword, trying to shoo him away. Tex removed his front paws from the altar, but only so he could begin sniffing the cedary aroma rising off the angel’s bronze sandals. The angel backed up a step and swatted him again. Tex barked gleefully, convinced he had at last found a play partner. Nearby, Eve Allegra giggled.
Flustered, but obviously forbidden from harming Tex, the angel turned and stormed back over to the tree. In the interim, the man had approached the tree and was about to grab a piece of fruit. When the angel raised his sword, the grimy human scurried away groaning and fruitless.
Tex reared back up onto the altar and gazed wide-eyed at the baby. Suddenly, it took a big breath and opened its eyes. For a moment, its hazel irises shimmered with starlight. The infant smiled at Tex. Quickly though, its irises clouded over. The tiny being resumed struggling against its cloth wrapping.
Soon, the infant cried louder than before. Tex leaned closer, licking its nose and forehead. Having freed its arms from the cloth, the infant began to swat aimlessly at the air. Tex looked around and barked at the humans, but they continued failing to notice him. They milled about as if waiting for the angel to deal with the infant.
“It’s after midnight,” the woman whispered. “Hush!” the man replied through grinding teeth.
That was the moment Tex realized Eve Allegra had disappeared. As far as Tex could sense, she was nowhere to be found. Now he left the altar, ran over to the angel, and barked impatiently. Why won’t you help it? Why won’t you feed it? Tex barked on and on, but the angel remained insensible.
3. An Adamic Visitor
The baby wailed louder. Tex joined in. Their howling duet surely echoed all the way to Heaven’s towers. But in that place, no ears were left to hear. All around Tex and the baby, the universe stretched and creaked with unforgiving old age.
Tex thought to jump onto the altar and curl himself protectively around the infant. He tensed his legs, poising to jump up. Just then he noticed a new figure move out of the nearby trees—a very tall and dark man.
This visitor approached the altar and looked down at the baby. Tex trotted closer, uncertain. The tall-dark man looked right at Tex. “G’boy!” he said with a smile.
Tex sat back on his haunches, panting moonlight in and out, watching as the visitor moved his left hand toward the infant. Gently, the visitor stroked a tuft of curly amber hair before laying his hand on the baby’s head. Its crying ceased. The tall-dark man cooed a little before saying, “Good morning, Alba, for so you shall be called in the kingdom during this little season.”
Nearby, the woman collapsed onto the ground, turning away with a moan. The boy moved to stand over her, though his eyes offered no pity. Further off, the filthy man exclaimed, “Why you?!”
Taking Alba off the altar, cradling her, the tall-dark man replied, “Because, my brother, the time is at hand.” Turning away from everyone, the visitor walked toward the nearby forest opposite the garden. Tex whimpered, unsure what he should do.
The visitor looked back at Tex. Opening his eyes and mouth wide, he donned the most playful expression Tex had ever seen. He said, “Thus says your Lord and your God: Oumuamua! Fetch!”
Remembering, Tex envisioned the new stone sailing through the distant galaxy’s arm. “Fetch, boy!” The tall-dark visitor laughed with encouragement. Tex leapt into the sky. As a being of light, he rose and grew into his mightiest self. Ahead of him, the slow-spinning galaxy grew closer. Tex watched as Oumuamua passed silently by a ringed planet, falling toward a modest yellow sun. Tex felt himself speeding up, gaining on the stone. And he began to wonder, to hope. Maybe Oumuamua was leading him back to his long-lost master, Alvin.
Notes and Discussion Questions
. In real life, the quote “It goes, boys!” comes from climber Lynn Hill. She was the first person ever to free climb the Nose route on El Capitan. When I first heard Lynn utter this line with a giggle in the irresistible documentary Valley Uprising, it instantly became my favorite athlete quote. For a quick rundown of her accomplishment, watch this Inside Edition clip.
 ‘Oumuamua is an actual deep space object which passed through our solar system beginning in 2017. Of course, its origin is likely not the Godhead’s celestial oceanfront mansion. To learn about the object, read this NASA article.
Thank you for reading! For any interested in Tex the Eternal Dog’s backstory, try Angel Alvin and the Storming Lights. Reactions are welcome in the comments section below. Even if only for allegory’s sake, what might a dog-loving personality imply about Heavenly Mother? More generally, what might we gain by musing on the divine feminine as an approachable being?
Beautiful piece. Still trying to wrap my head around the full meaning, but I loved the interplay between the Divine Feminine and the “Divine Dog.”
Thanks so much, mat! Wrapping my head around the full meaning is something I attempt as well. This and some of my other recent pieces muse on the question of what to make of the atonement in the context of worlds without number? A speculation I heard in the Church when I was younger is that Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on our Earth was for all God’s children on the many worlds they populate. I’ve also heard/read speculation that if we accept Joseph Smith’s plurality of gods, than we also accept that there are a plurality of saviors (one for each world?) Whose to say? This particular piece hints at that idea, albeit via a potential Heavenly Mother going on a cosmic walk with her spirit dog. They end up on a barbaric world where the big events (fall, advent, atonement) seem to be happening within a couple generations. Bottom-line: Tex the Eternal Dog was a 2020 lockdown creation for my own mental catharsis and well-being. He’s been fun to revisit.