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Youth Conference
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Youth Conference

Saturday morning

At breakfast Annette was ecstatically telling everyone about Tony, her new boyfriend. She recounted how she met him and how she'd asked him to dance and all that. It turned out that he was in the Crystal second ward, so he wasn't too far away even if he wasn't right next door. And they'd already exchanged phone numbers so that they could keep in contact after the end of Youth Conference. We all congratulated her and gushed about how very cute he was. At this point I had no reason to be jealous since I had met someone too.

Not to be outdone, as soon as her story started to wind down a bit I launched into my narrative about Bill. I skipped the parts about not hearing him and about computer networking and went straight to telling them about how cute he was and how much he seemed to like me. All the girls who had seen him agreed that he was very cute.

On the schedule for that day we had two morning classes, and then the entire afternoon was set aside for team sports. Since I hated sports, and my two classes didn't look too interesting either ("Journal Writing," and "Prayer and Faith"), I figured it was going to be tough to pass the time until that night's dance. Comparing with the other girls, I found that Amy would be in the journal writing class with me. We were happy to have a class together, but we weren't too thrilled about the topic. How much is there to say about keeping a journal? And to make matters worse, we had just had a lesson about journal writing two weeks earlier in Sunday school.

The Sunday school lesson had been all about how Nephi had been commanded to keep a journal, and how his journal became the first part of the Book of Mormon, which is the most important book of scripture. Likewise, our journals might be used as scripture by angels in heaven if they're really good. Then to illustrate how hard it was to write scripture and to show the kind of effort required for such a journal, the teacher had had us each try to write a scripture ourselves.

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In fact I had found the exercise pretty easy. I'd already had a little bit of practice writing scripture since once when we were younger April and I had written something of a parody of the Book of Mormon. We hadn't really meant it as a parody. What had happened was that our mom had been having us read a chapter from the Book of Mormon together as a family every night. So one day when April and I had the idea to write a funny story, we did it in the style of the Book of Mormon because that was something that was fresh in our minds. We were so proud of it that as soon as we were done, we took it straight to our mom to show her how clever it was.

Her reaction, however, wasn't quite what we were hoping for. Basically she was angry with us because she felt that our response to her sincere efforts to edify us spiritually was to mock the holy scriptures. This of course was her punishment for raising clever children: the dim-witted ones don't cause you this kind of grief. We really hadn't meant to upset our mother, but maybe was just that the Book of Mormon was written in an unusual and challenging style that we wanted to try for ourselves. We wouldn't have done it if we'd found the Book of Mormon completely uninteresting, like Mark Twain who mocked it by calling it "chloroform in print," and joked that without all of the repetitions of "and it came to pass" the book would be a pamphlet.

So in the end, Amy and I decided to just skip our morning classes since we figured that they weren't going to do anything bad to us on the last full day of Youth Conference. We went outside and found ourselves a nice spot where we could sit down under some trees and chat. The sky was starting to cloud over a bit, but it was still nice out. We were discussing the situation with Tom and Greg when Mindy came over and sat down with us.

"Ah, I didn't think I'd find you two among the people I have to chase back to class," Mindy said.

"So during the day you have to play truant officer?" I asked.

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