Thomas (Part 1)

During one of the righteous Jaredite times, a time when prophets taught the people and they listened and obeyed, a happy time as the Jaredites focused on the coming of Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice for them, a time when the Jaredites lived after a manner of happiness, a healthy baby boy was born to David and Mary. Even though all seemed well for the Jaredites, there was still opposition, temptation, and trial.

Thomas was David and Mary’s first born child. They were young parents, David was 18-years old and Mary was 17, yet they were full of optimism for their son. Many severe complications occurred during the birth of Thomas, so much so that David feared he would lose both Mary and the baby. With the expertise of a gifted healer, prayers, and blessings, Mary finally delivered Thomas, a large, healthy baby. It was not without consequence as she was unable to bear anymore children. David and Mary were heartbroken; they desired to have a large family, but were determined to give Thomas the best childhood they could give a young boy.

David was a bow and arrow artisan by profession. He learned from his father and continued to work with him. Intricate bows and arrows were their specialty, however they made several other useful household items with wood.

From the time Thomas could walk, he loved to go into the workshop where his father and grandfather worked. He loved the aroma of fresh cut wood and watching his father and grandfather interact with each other. He felt the love and respect that they had for each other. Thomas often watched his father and grandfather craft bows and arrows for their customers and was always intrigued at the craftsmanship that went into each bow.

When Thomas was about 4-years old, David came home from the workshop at the end of his workday with a big smile hiding his left hand behind his back. Thomas, eagerly greeted him and tried to jump into his arms. Thomas was big for his age, taller than most of his friends who were his age. He had the build of a potentially strong athlete. His light-colored hair and eyes caught the attention of all those he met. Thomas, seeing his father’s hand behind his back, knew that his father had something just for him. He could not contain his excitement at receiving a gift from his father. David often brought gifts home for Mary and Thomas and Thomas loved every single gift he received.

Thomas unsuccessfully tried to peak behind David’s back as David turned his hidden hand away from his very curious son. He tried to pull at David’s arm to glance at the surprise, but David’s strong arms were no match for Thomas. He jumped up and down, begging to see the surprise. Mary came out of the cooking room to see what the commotion was. She greeting David with a hug and kiss and asked what he was hiding behind his back. Thomas immediately informed her that he was sure it was something for him, but David wouldn’t let him see it.

David slowly moved his arm from behind his back to reveal what he was hiding. It was a miniature bow and some arrows. It was almost the perfect size for Thomas’s hands and arms, a bit big allowing for Thomas to grow. Thomas could not hide his excitement! Finally! He had his own bow and arrow set.

The bow was made of a strong hardwood with intricate carvings in the limbs of the bow. The arrows were made of a softer, but strong wood. The bowstring was carefully made from spun flax. There were feathers at the end of each arrow to provide stability. Arrowheads were connected to the end of each arrow, but they were created with a dull, broad point while arrowheads fashioned for hunting had a sharp point.

Thomas was anxious to go outside to try out his new gift. Mary told them that dinner was just about ready, but they could go outside for a short time. They walked to a grass and weed covered field a short distance from their house where David had already set up a target for Thomas to practice.

David explained the importance of safety when using the bow and arrows. Thomas, at first, only partially paid attention to his father as he felt very impatient. David cautioned Thomas that if he did not heed his words, he would not be allowed to use his bow and arrows. He shared a couple of stories of family and friends that were injured because essential safety issues were not followed. Thomas immediately decided that he needed to pay close attention so he could use his bow; he really did not want to hurt anyone.

Handing the bow and one arrow to Thomas, David showed him how to correctly hold the bow, nock the arrow, aim for the target, and when to let go. David lovingly put his arms around his son, showing him the correct way to hold the bow and the arrow. After aligning the arrow to the target which was about 20 feet away, nocking the bow, David helped Thomas pull back on the bow, and instructed Thomas to let go of the bow when he was ready. David backed away then with a steady gaze on the target, Thomas let the arrow go. But, as he let go, he flinched, causing the arrow to go straight to the ground about 10 feet in front of him.

David smiled at Thomas and told him that he did well, especially for the first time using his bow. He assured his frustrated son that just about all of his customers had to learn how to use new bows for the first time and it was fine.

They walked back to the house for their evening meal, with the promise to Thomas that they would return to the field for more practice after eating. After Thomas hastily ate most of his meal –and with prodding from his father, all of his meal –he grabbed his bow and arrows then deliberately dragged David back to the field. David, laughing at his son’s enthusiasm, blew Mary a kiss and followed after Thomas.

After about four attempts, Thomas finally hit the edge of the target. He jumped up and down with triumph, finally feeling some success! Because the sun was about to set, creating long shadows, David informed Thomas that it was time to return home and they would practice more tomorrow. Thomas did not want to go back; he pitifully pleaded for one more shot. David could not resist the pleading eyes and allowed him one more try.

A determined Thomas picked up his bow, chose an arrow, nocked the arrow, precisely eyed the target, then let go of the arrow. The arrow shot directly to the center of the target! David, feeling proud of Thomas, picked him up and swung him around! They laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the moment. Thomas retrieved the arrow, picked up his other arrows and his bow and quickly ran home so he could share the great news with his mother.

After listening to Thomas excitedly recount his success at hitting the center of the target, Mary hugged him and told him how proud she was of him. Thomas beamed! He declared that he would become the city’s best target shooter and hunter!

(To be continued…)

5-year old Adam


Adam, a spunky five-year old with dark brown hair and eyes, is about average height and slender built, lives during one of the righteous Jaredite times. His mischievous smile endears all who meet him. He is clearly proud of his name because it is the same as Father Adam, the first man that lived upon the earth. He informs everyone he meets that he wants to grow up to be just like Father Adam. He wants his wife’s name to be Eve, and even if the girl he marries has a different name, he is determined to call her Eve. He desires hundreds of children. He names, well renames, animals with unique sounding names; he even renamed several of the small insects and bugs as well as the bigger animals. He intends to teach his children the truth about Jesus so none of them will kill each other, like Cain killed Abel. He recognizes that Adam taught his children about Jesus, but in his young mind and understanding, he assumes he can do better than Adam.

One of Adam’s favorite pastimes is teasing and picking on his two older sisters, Nediva, age 8 and Beula, age 6. Nediva has beautiful long dark hair that she usually wears pulled back in a leather tie. Adam will obnoxiously pull her tied-back hair and quickly run away with Nedvia angrily chasing him. This and other mischievous pranks Adam does to try to get them into trouble; however, after much complaining from Nediva and Beula, their parents finally wised up and realized that Adam instigates the trouble!

Adam has a younger brother, Reed, age 3, and a baby sister, Tahlia, just a few months old, that he absolutely adores. He loves to hold his sister and he sings to her as he holds her. He also enjoys teasing his younger brother, but not as much as his older sisters.

Besides teasing his older sisters, Adam’s favorite place to be is anywhere outside. He delights in exploring the grassy fields and woods next to him home. He especially enjoys helping his parents tend their flocks and herds. There is a particular large she-goat that adores Adam and comes to him each time he goes outside. The goat will let Adam carefully ride her, with a little help (Adam made sure to emphasize that point, a little help) from his parents. Adam would ride his goat all day if he could. However, he does realize that goats are not meant for riding, but that does not stop Adam!

Friends are a big part of Adam’s childhood. He savors his playtime with his friends. They have quite the imaginations! They sometimes pretend that they are on big barges crossing the great waters. They pretend that they are Noah and on the ark. They pretend they are Father Adam’s family, of course, Adam plays the role of Father Adam. They created many other imaginative games that they enjoy. Many of Adam’s closest friends are cousins that are about his age that live close by. They have a fantastic time and the parents appreciate how well the cousins play together.

Adam also loves to chase the wild animals that are in the forests! He will try to follow a squirrel or a deer or whatever animal that will cross his path. One bright sunny day while Adam was playing outside, a female deer slowly meandered nearby. Excitement lit in Adam’s eyes! He gradually and carefully walked toward the deer, desperately wanting to touch her. The deer, sensing Adam’s approach, starting walking away from Adam. He couldn’t let this deer go. He followed the deer through a grassy field and into some woods. As a five-year old, he did not think about getting lost, his only thoughts were to touch the deer. He continued to follow the deer until she decided to scurry off, disappointing Adam. That was the closest he had ever been to a deer and wanted to be even closer to her.

Adam’s stomach began to rumble so he decided he better go back home. He turned around and began to walk the way that he thought he had come. As he walked, he enjoyed the beauties of the woods while chasing a couple squirrels. He came to a field and chased some robins that were digging for worms. He found a particularly large ant hill that he stuck in stick in. Ants angrily scurried out of their protected home to see what the threat was. Adam decided he did not want ants crawling all over him, so he ran off, leaving them alone. He ate some wild strawberries that were growing on the ground. A brilliant blue and black butterfly fluttered near to him. So of course, he trailed the butterfly, trying to convince it to alight on his outstretched hand. While chasing the butterfly, he faintly heard voices calling his name; his mother and father’s voices. Adam quickly ran to where the voices came from, finding his parents. He hugged them and immediately informed them that he was hungry!

Adam’s mother embraced her son with tears in her eyes. Adam did not understand why she was crying. He asked her, she responded that she was very worried about him and then inquired as to what he was doing. Adam enthusiastically rehearsed all his adventures to his parents. His father gently, but firmly, reminded Adam that he needed to stay near his house unless a grown-up was with him. His father affirmed his great love for him and did not want him to get lost or get hurt. Adam promised his father that he would not wander off again.

Unfortunately, hat was not the first time or the last time Adam wandered off, despite his promise. His parents learned that they need to keep a close eye on him because of his immense love for the outdoors and the animals.

After Adam ate some delicious food, he grabbed his a favorite blanket and curled up on his mattress to rest. His grandmother made the blanket for Adam. It was made of soft woolen fibers dyed in beautiful bright colors. He felt protected with the blanket around him. It was almost like a magic blanket that gives comfort and reassurance. If Adam felt upset for any reason, he would retrieve his blanket, put it around him, and almost immediately felt better. Adam loved that blanket and his Grandmother for making it.

Adam wants people to know that he lived in a righteous Jaredite time and that he grew up to be a strong leader among his people and in the church. He wants us to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and to follow Him. And, none of his children killed each other!

Selma Part 2

Selma Part 1

Selma grew into a beautiful young woman. She traveled to far away cities to perform for large audiences. She traveled with a young married couple from her city who were renowned dance performers. Her parents were eternally grateful for this couple; because of other responsibilities they were not able to always travel with Selma. The couple gave her company and protection.

When she was about 16 years old, she and the dance couple performed for the first time at a theater several miles from her home. After the performance, a man and woman came up to Selma and congratulated her on her beautiful voice. The woman looked very familiar to Selma. In fact, she appeared as an older version of Selma. Selma and the woman immediately recognized the similarities. The man that was with the woman was shocked at how much they looked alike. The woman asked Selma where she was from, how old she was, and about her parents. Selma told her. The woman started to cry, sobbing. Selma inquired as to what was wrong. The woman informed Selma that she was her mother, that she gave birth to Selma. Now, Selma was in shock and in tears. The woman introduced herself as Elva and her husband as Jacob.

Selma was ecstatic! She desired to learn as much as she could from her birth mother. Elva invited Selma and her traveling companions to her home the next day. Selma could hardly sleep that night in anticipation of learning about the woman who gave birth to her.

After the sun rose, Selma and her companions quickly walked to Elva’s home. Elva and Jacob greeted them with hugs then a morning meal. While eating, Elva disclosed her story. She told Selma how she had been forced by one of the king’s guards. The guard threatened her and her family if she told anyone. Elva was young, only 15 years old at the time and felt so fearful that she did not know what to do or who to turn to. After realizing she was with child, she thought her only choice would be to leave the city so no one, including her parents, would know she was with child and then want to know how it happened. Her parents searched and searched for her, but could never find her. Elva, from a distance, saw her parents as they looked for her, but remained concealed.

After about four or five moons, the guard who forced Elva went to her parents’ home trying to locate her. Elva’s parents had no idea where Elva went. Unfortunately, the guard did not believe them. He mercilessly beat Elva’s father, but there was nothing they could tell him, except that she was gone. He threatened them that if Elva was not at their home in one week’s time, he would destroy them. He also warned them that if they told anyone that he was there, he would defile Elva’s mother then kill her. Elva’s parents quickly and quietly left the city that day without telling anyone, not even their closest friends.

From afar, Elva watched her parents, looking downtrodden, as they hurriedly left the city. Elva bawled. She knew she was to blame. She desperately wanted to go to her parents, but knew that would put all of their lives in danger.

Elva recounted to Selma how she lived in a cave, hunting animals and picking herbs and vegetables to survive. Sometimes, she would cautiously sneak into the city at night looking for leftover scraps of food. A couple times, when she felt extremely hungry, she stole food from people, but she did not take much. She hated doing that, but only took food when she felt desperate.

Elva knew that she would not be able to keep her baby. Even though she grew to deeply love her baby and loved feeling the baby move around inside of her, she believed that she would not be able to protect the baby from the king’s guard. She knew of a family whose mother was still nursing a young boy. She decided that would be the best family for her baby.

When the time was close for the baby to be born, Elva gathered up all that she would need for the birth. She found a warm, soft cloth that she could wrap her baby in and found a basket that was just the right size for a small infant.

Shortly after Elva gave birth, she lovingly wrapped her beautiful baby girl in the cloth she found, gently placed her in the basket, and under the cover of night, she carried the basket to the home. She gave her baby one last kiss and then with tears streaming down her cheeks, she departed the city determined to find her parents.

Everyone was in tears as Elva told her story. Selma went to her, hugged her tightly, and wept. In that moment, they connected as mother and daughter.

Selma desperately desired for Elva and Jacob to come home with her to meet the parents who raised her. Elva expressed hesitancy because of the fear she had for the guard. Selma’s traveling companions learned the name of the guard and told Elva that they would inquire about him then let her know when it would be safe to travel.

There was a knock at Elva’s door. Jacob and Elva knew exactly who was there. Jacob excitedly arose to open the door. Standing at the door were Elva’s parents, Bain and Pamuy. They rushed in, each hugging Elva, then Elva introduced them to Selma and her companions. Pamuy put a hand on each of Selma’s cheeks, looked closely at her, then tears began falling down her cheeks. She told Selma that she looked just like her mother at the same age. They hugged. They wept. Even Bain, a strong muscular man, had tears falling down his cheeks.

They spent hours getting to know each other until the time came when Selma and her companions had to depart. Selma sang a beautiful traditional song for her new family, when Elva joined her in perfect harmony. They sang another traditional song, crying while singing.

Selma and her traveling companions had four more cities that they needed to perform in before heading back to their homes. Selma found a courier, wrote a short letter to her parents telling them her experience of the day, paid the courier, and sent him on his way.

Once Selma returned home, her parents and siblings excitedly greeted her. They were all curious to learn about her birth mother. Selma rehearsed the story about her conception and birth. She recalled the name of the guard who forced himself upon Elva. Joseph remembered one of the guards visiting them after Selma was dropped off. He was very curious and agitated about Selma and demanded to know who dropped her off. Of course, Joseph and Nadie and no idea. They felt threatened by the guard, not knowing why he showed so much interest. Joseph, knowing a couple of the king’s servants, mentioned this guard to them and asked that he leave them alone. The guard never bothered them again. They wondered if that was the guard who forced himself on Elva.

Joseph did some inquiring and discovered that guard had been killed in a skirmish several years earlier, so was no longer a threat. Selma found some writing utensils to write a note to Elva informing her of the news. She found a courier, he put the note in the leather pouched tied to the saddle on his chestnut horse, and took off to deliver the message to Elva.

About two weeks later, Nadie and Selma were at the market shopping for various meats, vegetables, and fruit. Joseph came running to the market looking for Nadie and Selma. Once he finally found them, he excitedly told them that Selma’s birth mother was at their home! Nadie and Selma quickly finished their purchases and ran back to their home as quick as they could. There was a joyous reunion as Selma was once again reunited with her birth mother. Elva was ecstatic to become acquainted with Nadie and Joseph. She thanked them over and over again for raising Selma to become the beautiful young woman that she was.

Elva and Jacob, along with Elva’s parents, decided to move back to the city where Elva came from. Elva wanted to be close to Selma and also occasionally travel with her. The two families became very close, in fact, becoming like one family. Nadie and Joseph took in Elva as if she were a close sister. Jacob was also accepted like a brother. Bain and Pamuy were immediately accepted back into the community. They had family and friends who were very grateful and excited to have them back.

Selma continue to travel to other communities to perform. During one of her trips she met her future husband. After marrying and starting a family, she chose to limit her performances and her travel. She gave voices lessons to many aspiring singers and raised a beautiful family.