Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chapter 2

Interview with the President

As the elders walked home that night they had a lot to talk about.

Do you think Chris really did see the cave with all the Book of Mormon plates in it,” asked elder Edwards?

I don’t know. But he really seems to be sincere, and for a non-member, he certainly knows a lot about the Book of Mormon,” responded elder Thomas. “But next time we’ll have to teach him a lesson. He talked so much we really didn’t have a chance to get a lesson in.”

I know. It was almost like he was bearing his testimony to us about the Book of Mormon. You don’t hear that every day from a non-member.”

As they walked home they wondered about all the details Chris had told them about his experiences, and made plans for their next visit. Fortunately they had remembered to make another appointment before they left. They were to return in two days. Chris seemed eager to have them come back. They weren’t sure about Concha. She hadn’t said much all evening and had just sat observing. But she had been friendly.

With all Chris knows about the Book of Mormon, and the way he seems to believe in it, why do you think he has never joined the church,” wondered Elder Thomas?

I was wondering the same thing. Maybe there is more to his story than he told us. Or maybe he has some worthiness problems. We’ll just have to wait and see how he responds to the lessons. But on the surface he appears to be a great investigator.”

They were so engrossed in their conversation that they never even noticed the neighbor’s dog that always came out and barked at them. He was a perpetual annoyance and they usually picked up some rocks to ward him off in case he got too close. But this night they forgot all about him and fortunately the dog kept his distance.

That night for their evening study they looked up Mormon Chapter 6—the part where Mormon relates how the Nephites retreated to the Hill Cumorah and prepared for the final battle. It tells of Mormon hiding the Book of Mormon records, and finally recounts the last battle. Although the scripture didn’t give many details, everything Chris had told them seemed to match what they read.That evening the elders had a new appreciation for Mormon’s role in writing and preserving the ancient record.


The next day the elders had a quarterly interview with their mission president Carl Johnson. Pres. Johnson was a retired archaeology professor from BYU who had specialized in research related to Mesoamerica. He was considered an authority on Book of Mormon geography and had written a number of papers and books on the subject. He had been called as the president of the Texas Houston Mission a year after his retirement.

Elder Thomas could hardily wait to tell him about their meeting with Chris Castillo. “President we have something really strange and interesting to tell you,” he didn’t even wait for the president to iniciate the conversation. “We have tracted out a man who claims to have found the cave where Mormon buried all the records before the Nephites were destroyed. We don’t know whether to believe him or not, but he really seems sincere. He’s studied the Book of Mormon and seems to have a testimony of it.”

Pres. Johnson: “I’d be careful of him. There are a lot of crackpots and crazies around who try and discredit the church, and persuade gullible members into believing they are prophets, or have some special authority. Was he selling anything, or trying to convince you to follow him in any way?”

No he seems to be very humble and only wanted us to believe his story. He even seems to think that God has punished him for visiting the cave. I didn’t mention it, but he is blind and feels that he was blinded by an act of God.”

Well tell me a little about what he told you–give me some details of his story. What’s his name?”

His name is Chris Castillo. We were only there for an hour so he didn’t have enough time to tell us the complete story, but he claims that he and a friend had been looking for the cave for a number of years. They had studied the Book of Mormon and figured out the geography, so they were able to locate the Hill Cumorah where the last battle took place. Anyway, after searching the mountain for some time, they were able to locate the cave using a high-powered metal detector. Originally they had only wanted to locate the cave, but when they found it, the friend became obsessed with seeing inside and finally broke into it. It was full of records and artifacts just like the stories in church history describe. But then the friend decided to take just one of the plates as a souvenir. That is when everything started to go wrong. Chris was at the entrance trying to get his friend to leave things alone and come out when there was an earthquake and the entrance caved in. Chris panicked and started to run down the mountain to try and get help to get his friend out. It started to rain and lightening was striking all around him. That was the last thing he remembers. Those that found him told him he had been struck by lightening. He has been blind ever since. They never did find his friend, and he can’t remember the location or any of the details of where the cave is.”

Did he tell you where the this ‘Hill Cumorah’ is located?”

Yes. He said the hill was in southeastern Guatemala, near the ocean, and by a beautiful lake.”

Well that clinches it! He’s a fake! The Hill Cumorah is located somewhere in Southern Mexico. I’ve been studying this for years now, and that is the only logical place it can be. Southeastern Guatemala is way off the mark. Cumorah has to be in the land northward, and the land northward is above the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico. I don’t think I would believe a word he says.”

Well, what shall we do? We have an appointment with him tomorrow and I’m sure he’ll keep it. He seems very interested. We need to give him the first lesson. He talked so much last time, that we weren’t able to give him a discussion.”

All right! Keep your appointment and teach him the discussions, but don’t talk about his fantasies, all right?”

OK we’ll try, but he is rather insistent.”

All right Elders, enough of that. Now let’s talk about your goals.”

1 comment:

  1. There is a formated line in the middle of this and I don't know how to get rid of it. Does anyone?