This is from Why I Believed: Reflections from a Former Missionary by Kenneth W. Daniels.  Just something to get your brain juices going this morning.  What are your thoughts on the story below?

My son Sam has a friend named Fred.  Imagine I were to go to Fred and tell him some things I want Sam to believe and practice.  Some of those things seem reasonable, while others are bizarre and don’t appear to correspond to reality.  I tell Fred to communicate these messages to Sam, and Fred does so.

Sam isn’t sure the messages originated from me, so he asks me each day whether I did in fact author them, but I do not respond.  He lives according to the parts of the messages that seem reasonable, which he would have done even if he hadn’t heard the messages.  However, he does not believe that the messages as a whole came from me, because much of their content does not fit with my character, which he believes to be benevolent, and because I never confirm directly to him that I gave the messages to Fred.  Though Sam tries to be responsible, he makes mistakes.  He faces hardships, but often there is no direct link between his mistakes and his hardships.  When he does wrong, I do not punish him in such a way that he links the punishment directly to the offense.

All along I am hurt and angered by his disregard for the messages I sought to communicate to him through Fred.  When he reaches 20 years of age, I finally open the veil and tell him that I did indeed try to speak to him through Fred, and that because he refused to listen, I must banish him forever from my family.  “But wait, Dad, I asked you almost every day if those messages were from you, and you never said a word.  How was I supposed to know?”  “How dare you talk back to me, insolent son!  Away with you forever!”

[Post image: Clouds by grzessiek on stock.xchng]


  1. Don Rogers
    Aug 11, 2011

    If this parable doesn’t point to the truth, then I guess I missed the whole point! What a surprise that this came from a former missionary!

  2. Elissa
    Aug 11, 2011

    Nope. You didn’t miss the point. It’s frightening, actually.

Leave a Reply