"...behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6).
We step into a large van. It smells like smoke. The smell gradually becomes a part of us as we listen to the woman's chatter. She has crooked yellow teeth. She loves family history. She is related to the King of Scotland, of England, of many 'lands,' gloating that she is royalty, this women in the van of smoker's fragrance. She is a very spoiled princess.
We walk into her humble palace in Bismark, North Dakota, floor scattered with noble granuals of the day to day accumulation of garbage, feeling the little pebbles of waste as we walked up the carpet stars with only hose on our feet. We are then greeted at the end of the tan carpet by the husband and King, Papa Murphy, whose crown was not on his head, but had fallen down to hang about his face in the form of a strange beard, white hair fat under his cheeks, his chin bare. Regal wrinkles were his suit as well as crude humor, but he treated us as guests of honor. After all, he knows we are royalty too.
The feast. Shining little platters of Tupperware dot the table, each containing ingredients to accompany a salad which undoubtedly was poured out of a store-bought bag. A pool of red marinara sauce houses little round pustuals of meat, each delicious and smashed in-between two pieces of round bread. Elbows knock, lips smack, swallows are not shy or bashful, and neither is the conversation.
"You know why they call it a meatball slider don't ya?" the King addressed, "Because it slides down your throat."
"No they aren't," the Queen retorted, "everything slides down your throat!"
"Not popcorn! Unless it's the popcorn you make. With all those oils."
"Oh, the chocolate and caramel popcorn. And cheese popcorn, mmm. But everything slides down your throat."
And agreeable conclusion is never reached concerning the intent behind the dish's name.
It is time to bid Adieu, but not before delivering a message, for we are royal messengers, and we will deliver. A thick book of scripture is opened, most holy and more ancient and true than the Queen's royal ancestors. I search for a message for them and I find one that is inspired, though I do not notice.
"Alright, the scripture of the night is 2 Nephi 32:3."
The wife cringes, though I do not notice.
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
The wife's unease dampens during the words, though I do not notice.
"Do you believe that Papa?" asks the Queen.
"Yeah, I do. If it's one thing I know, Christ's word has told us everything when we didn't know what to do. I believe that completely."
Back in the van of smoke. I gaze out the window, following the blurred fence as I listen again to the Queen, this time with increasing wonder and excitement.
"Let me tell you about the family. Papa doesn't have a religion, but he believes in Heavenly Father and Jesus. I've tried to get him to read the Book of Mormon and warm up to it, but he said, "I need a sign." He hates The Book of Mormon. Can't stand it. But not too long ago he finally said something to me. "I need to know it's true... in my heart." It went from up here in his head, to down here in his heart. And I'm thinkin,' '...wow....that's amazing.' It took him three years, but now, he needs to know in his heart. He still can't stand The Book of Mormon though. He doesn't believe in it, and whenever we have the missionaries over, they need to read from the Bible to him, because that's what he believes; he wouldn't let them read from The Book of Mormon. So when you said the scripture I cringed! Ooo! But the scripture that you shared is something that he believes in completely. Because all the characters are fictional characters to him, wouldn't believe it. But the one you chose.... the spirit was definitely working through you tonight, I can tell you that."
I smiled. It's been a blessing promised to me that I would always have the spirit to be with me as long as I always remember and please Jesus Christ. It's surprisingly difficult to recognize something that's always there. The Holy Ghost is always guiding me, though more often than not, I do not notice.