Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Wild Man Versus the Mormon Prophet

Dedicated to Mark Byrnes, who has asked me repeatedly to do this.  

Michelle: Welcome back to MVSB Radio.  This is a very special interview tonight, firstly that it is at the direct request by our listeners, and secondly that it involves a true prophet of God.

Thoreau:  I see I'm outnumbered today.

Michelle: I'm a Mormon and I am also a great fan of your work, sir.

Smith: Smiling. We aren't fighting against each other, Henry.  We are just sharing ideas at our interviewer's request.

Michelle: Besides that, I can't help seeing so much in common between the two of you.  Mr. Thoreau, you are a true outdoors man, building your own cabin in the woods and living there alone for quite a long time to study how much a man really needs in order to survive.  This project is really so needed as a scientific experiment and I think we can all learn from your experiences.  President Smith -

Thoreau: I can't say I love titles.

Smith: Smiling good naturedly. People usually call me Brother Joseph, anyway...when they aren't tarring and feathering me.  Then they call me less respectful names. 

Thoreau:  You know, if more people took long walks - real walks, mind you, they wouldn't do things like that to other people.

Smith:  Nature has a calming effect on the human soul.

Thoreau: You've got it!  We spend so much energy fighting each other and that energy would be so much better spent in enjoying the world around us, and remembering what is most important.

Smith: I was praying in a grove of trees when God first showed Himself to me in a vision.

Thoreau:  I can well believe it.  It's the most holy place on earth - raw, beautiful nature.  Your temples are beautiful, as buildings go, but there is nothing like the cathedral of the forest with sunbeams drifting earthward through the branches like heaven's light through the most perfect of stained glass windows.

Smith: God is the ultimate architect.

Thoreau: I'd rather have a swamp than the most expensive manicured garden on earth.

Smith: Chuckling.  Then I'm afraid you won't be too pleased with me.  The state of Illinois gave the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a swamp in which to live.  We drained it, built a city upon it and called it Nauvoo the Beautiful.

Thoreau:  Perfect waste of a swamp.  I don't know how people like you sleep at night.

Michelle: If I may interject, both of you have spent time in prison and it has been a point of interest to those who have studied your ideas.  Mr. Thoreau, you spent a very short time in jail, I believe.

Thoreau:  I wasn't about to pay a tax that supported evil practices.  I wouldn't have had it paid either, but my friends paid my account without my permission.  I was making a point by being there.

Michelle:  And Brother Joseph has spent a great deal of time behind bars.  Would you care to comment on that, sir?

Smith: Sighs.  Well, the short answer is that I was not trying to make a point.  I told the truth honestly as I knew it and people didn't like what they heard.

Thoreau:  I can certainly sympathize with that.  People in this world are often blind and deaf.  They close their minds to the obvious truths around them.  Say, are you really a divinely appointed prophet of the Most Holy and Perfect Creator of Heaven and Earth?

Smith: Grinning.  Yes sir, I am.  Would you like to go outside and wrestle?

Thoreau: Raises eyebrows.  Pauses.  Thinks.  Then grins.  Yeah!

Smith rises and shakes hands with Thoreau and Michelle.  Thoreau also shakes hands with Michelle and the two men exit the scene, shoulder to shoulder, eagerly discussing sports and the overall benefits of excellent physical prowess.  Smith turns briefly around with a smile and nod to Michelle before disappearing out the door.

MichelleLooking a little defeated but smiling.  Somehow, I just knew that was going to happen.  Just knew it.

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