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Posted by: nonamekid ( )
Date: November 22, 2018 09:45PM

Quite long, but if anybody slogs through it, let me k now what you think

Finding the Land of Nephi
An adventure from the Foundation for Absurdly Ridiculous Terrible Science (FARTS)

Part I
It was a dark, rainy afternoon at FARTS headquarters located just outside Nauvoo. I was sitting quietly reading the latest edition of FARTS Journal when I looked over to see Professor Peter C. Danielson, our chief researcher, with his feet propped up on the desk and twirling the end of his mustache. He gave me a wink, and started to say something. Just then our secretary LaDeDah walked in with the day’s mail. Danielson quickly asked “anything there from the Smithsonian about our grant application? You know, the one to search for tapir fossils in Greenland?”

“No, just this”, replied LaDeDah, as she dropped a plain manila envelope on my desk. “Who is that from?” asked Danielson. I picked up the envelope and replied “I don’t know. There is no return address. It is just addressed to FARTS.”

“Well, give it to me” said Danielson. I handed him the envelope and he scrutinized it with the slightest of squints. “It doesn’t look like a bomb”, he said, and with that, he took out his Swiss army knife and deftly opened the top of the envelope and removed a sheaf of papers. “What have you got there Professor Danielson?” I asked. “Pete”, he replied, “just call me Pete”. I noticed a somewhat quizzical look cross his face as he read the first page.

“It’s a letter from somebody named Jack Schmitt” Danielson went on. “Who is Jack Schmitt?” I asked. Danielson replied “I don’t know Jack Schmitt. But he tells a very strange story. Seems he found some sheets of tinfoil in a dumpster behind a Burger King in Topeka.” “How does that affect us?” I asked. “Well”, Danielson went on, “it seems there was some sort of strange writing on the foil. He couldn’t make any sense of it, so he took it home to investigate further. He still couldn’t figure it out until one day he was walking his pet squirrel Earl. When Earl stopped to pick up an acorn, Jack looked down and saw an interesting rock. He describes it as being about an inch and a half in size, dark gray, with the surface full of small holes making it look like a sponge”

“Anyway, he took the rock home and one day stuck it in his underwear, and…” “Wait a second” I said “in his underwear? Why would he put a rock in his underwear?” “I don’t know” Danielson replied “he doesn’t say. But it seems that with it there, he was suddenly able to translate the writing on the tinfoil. He says it turned out to be the history of an ancient civilization known as the Nephites. He even enclosed a copy of his translation.”

Danielson looked at the next few pages and said “well, it looks scriptural. It has chapters and verses and everything.” He handed me a stack of papers and said “Here, read it. Out loud.” I looked down at the paper and started reading as follows:

Chapter 1
1. I, Nephi, the son of Nephi, the son of Nephi, the son of Nephi, the son of Nephi, do write a few things concerning the history of my people.
2. Now it came to pass that in the eleventh year of the reign of King Ogg, the people of the land of Lehi did become exceedingly wicked. They did practice many forms of iniquity, even drunkenness, gambling, and all manner of lightmindedness.
3. And an angel of the Lord appeared unto me, Nephi, saying “Thou must gather together all of the righteous people of the city, yea, even the entire Third and Fourth Wards, and thou must lead them out of the city lest they be destroyed; for the Lord thy God is exceedingly wroth with the wickedness of thy people and will destroy every living thing, yea, even down to the last yellow dog. Now thou must obey the commandment of the Lord lest the righteous be destroyed also.
4. And after he had said these things the angel departed.
5. And I did call the Elders Quorum presidencies and all of the Home teachers, even for the entire Third and Fourth wards to have them assemble all of the people in front of the temple at dawn the next morning.
6. And it came to pass, that all of the people were assembled in front of the temple at dawn. And I did speak unto them saying “the Lord God has commanded that we leave the city lest we be destroyed. For He is angry and is a God of vengeance and will destroy the city and every living thing in it. Thus sayeth the Lord. Now wither we goeth, I do not know, but have faith in the Lord that he will deliver us.”
7. And after I had spake those things, the people departed out of the land of Lehi, bringing only those possessions which they could carry in a cart.

Chapter 2
1. After the people left the city of Lehi, they did travel until they reached the land of Yayo which is by the river Remopo. And there they rested.
2. And in the land of Yayo was a large and spacious building. And in the building were a multitude of people who made an exceedingly loud noise.
3. And many of the people of Nephi were enticed by the noise and depart from our midst, yea, even the greater part of the Third ward did depart.
4. And they left and followed Elder Youngsmith and did travel up the river Remopo and dwelt in the land thereof. And they became Peoans and Marionettes.
5. And they did travel to the land of Miowang on weekends and did drink excessively and set off many explosions. And thus were they cut off from the presence of the Lord because of their iniquity.

Chapter 3
1. And after they had departed, I, Nephi, did inquire of the Lord whether we should follow them.
2. And the Lord answered “No, thou shouldest not follow them. Ye must go southward, for there is the land of your inheritance. And if ye should trust in the arm of the Lord, ye shall be delivered.
3. And it came to pass that we did then depart southward and traveled for many days through mountains and canyons until we reached the place called Weh-Ro-Nea. And there we rested.
4. And while the people rested, there came a great plague of turkeys which did vex them greatly.
5. And they did begin to murmur against me saying “why didst thou bring us out of the city into this place where we are attacked by turkeys. And they did attempt to stone me.
6. And I, Nephi, did flee from my people and did travel northward for a day, and did come upon a fountain of water in a green vale. And I did throw myself to the ground and call upon the Lord. Yea, for two days did I call upon the Lord asking for deliverance for my people.
7. And on the morning of the third day, the Lord did speak unto me, saying “Go ye unto thy people and on the morrow lead them over the mountains into the land that I have prepared for them, and they shall be delivered.
8. And as I arose, I found that I was not able to stand. Nevertheless, I did regain my strength and returned to the place Weh-Ro-Nea.
9. And I did speak to the people of Nephi that on the morrow we should cross the mountains and obtain the land that the Lord had given us.
10. On the morrow, we did proceed over the mountains and beheld before us a choice land. Filled with many trees and much grass, filled with clear streams and full of beasts and fowls of all kinds.
11. And the people rejoiced and praised God.

Chapter 4
1. And it came to pass that there came from the south a band of warriors dressed in beaver pelts, and the name of their captain was Wilford.
2. And the warriors did contend with the people of Nephi, and did drive us from our lands. And they did weep in sorrow.
3. Now, I didst gather forty of the strongest men and we did go forth to do battle with the warriors from the south. And we found them camped in a meadow.
4. We did wait until night, and then did attack them and strengthened by our faith in God did smite them severely, yea, so severely did we smite them that they did depart from the land in terror and flee to the land southward never to be seen again.
5. And the people of Nephi did rejoice in their deliverance and did dwell and prosper in the land which God had prepared for them.

“Well” I said, looking at Danielson, “that’s the end. What do you think?” “It’s five o’clock. See you next week” was all he replied.

To Be Continued in Part II

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Posted by: nonamekid ( )
Date: November 22, 2018 09:49PM

As I pulled into the FARTS headquarters on Monday morning, I could see Danielson’s BMW already in the parking lot. I entered the building and saw him again sitting with his feet on the desk, twirling the end of his mustache. “Well, well. You look awful today” he said. “Yeah, I had a long weekend” I replied. “What do you think about that story on Friday? Do you think it is a real history, or just the rantings of a disordered mind?” Danielson took a deep breath and replied “I’m skeptical. The tinfoil thing is a little odd, but mostly I can’t find any geographical location in the Midwest that could possibly fit the story.”

“That is true, but I found something interesting over the weekend” I said. Danielson replied “Really? What was it?” “Well”, I stated, “I spent the weekend in the library, and I found an article in an obscure journal that referenced a place called Lehi in Utah. Don’t know what it means, but I found it to be an interesting reference.”

Danielson stood up. “Utah, huh” he boomed. “I think I see an expedition coming up” The gleam in his eye was unmistakable - Professor Danielson was in his element now. “We’ve got to get out there and check this out. This could be the find of the century. Maybe two centuries” he continued. “Call Floyd and Elmer, and Merwyn, and Orville, and Roscoe in, and start gathering up the equipment we’ll need”
I wanted to point out to him that we were staking a lot on a pretty shaky story, but knew that when Peter C. Danielson got an idea in his head there was no changing his mind. “Yes, sir” was all I could squeak out.
The next two days were a whirlwind of activity as we collected and loaded equipment and supplies for a trip of unknown length and doubtful success. Finally the next morning everything was ready and our little caravan - two loaded U-Haul trucks and an old VW bus – pulled out of the FARTS lot and started west - to what, I could only guess.

Danielson was driving the first truck and I got to share the ride with him. As we rolled through the cornfields of the Midwest, and then the bleak plains of Wyoming, he regaled me with tales of his many exploits - translating a document in a strange foreign language (which turned out to be the back of an Italian cereal box), and leading tours to the Bible lands of Alabama. Just when I felt I couldn’t take any more, we arrived in a rundown burg called Evanston. “I guess this is as good a place as any to spend the night” Danielson said to no one in particular. As we got out to stretch our legs, we saw a handful of drunken cowboys stagger out of a bar, and start lighting off firecrackers.

Danielson suddenly turned to me and said “You’ve got that manuscript handy, haven’t you? What was the name of that place mentioned with the explosions?” Knowing what he was thinking, I thumbed through the pages and said “Miowang. It’s not even close” Danielson rubbed his chin for a minute and then said “what if that guy Nephi was a little dyslexic? What if he turned some letters upside down? Switch the Ms and Ws around and what do you get?” “Wiomang” I replied. “Close enough” Danielson said “spelling changes over time. I think we’re onto something here. We’ll start exploring this area tomorrow.”

After two days looking in all directions, we had found nothing significant. I asked Danielson if he had had enough, and if we shouldn’t go back home. “Not at all, my boy, not at all. We’re just getting started. Alright everybody, saddle up, we’re going down the highway." We drove silently down the freeway for the next hour, and then suddenly Danielson cut over and took an exit. After the shock wore off, I asked what he was doing. He replied “I just had an impression we need to go this way” “An impression?” I spat out. “That’s what you’re going on?” “I just feel it… like a burning in my bosom.” “That was just the burrito you had for dinner last night” I responded. “Just keep your eyes open for anything that fits the story” he replied as we drove onwards.

Suddenly we came upon a small village. The sign at the entrance said PEOA, but I didn’t give it much thought. A few minutes later we came to another small village. The sign at the entrance read MARION. Suddenly it hit me, and I sat bolt upright - “Of course, the Peoans and the Marionettes!” I blurted out. “We may be on the right track after all.” “Good” Danielson said, “keep an eye out for that river - what was it called?” I thumbed through the manuscript again. “The Remopo” I said. “OK” Danielson replied “Keep looking for it.”
After driving for a while longer, a river came into view. Eventually, we reached a bridge over the river. Danielson stopped the truck short of the bridge and asked “What does the sign on the bridge say?” I squinted into the sun and read “Provo River”. Danielson looked thoughtful and said’ If we again change the M in Remopo to a W, what do we get?” “Rewopo” I replied. Danielson thought for moment and said, what if the tinfoil got accidentally scratched and there was an extra mark by that character and it is actually a V. Then we have Revopo. We can transliterate that to Preovo, and if the E is silent, we get Provo”

“Hold on”, I said “that is quite a reach.” “Who is the expert on ancient languages here” he retorted. “Anyway, the road follows the river, so we’ll see where it goes."

We followed the river through a canyon for quite some distance before finally entering a valley. As we stopped briefly to allow the VW to catch up, Danielson looked out the window and suddenly exclaimed “Do you see what I see?” “ I don’t see anything unusual” I replied. “Up on the mountain there” Danielson said pointing. I looked in that direction and there it was - a large Y carved into the mountainside. By then the others had joined us. “Do you think this could be Yayo?” I asked excitedly. Elmer then shouted “look over there! Look at all of the large spacious buildings”.

“I’m sure of it” Danielson said. “Everything fits. Didn’t the story say they went south?” I replied “yes, it says they travelled for many days southward through mountains and canyons”. “OK, let’s get going” Danielson stated matter-of-factly “we’ve got a ways to go.”

We drove down the highway and suddenly Danielson said “look there’s a canyon. We need to go there” We turned left into the canyon, but soon realized that we were actually headed east. “No good. We need to turn around” said Danielson. But the road was narrow and we could find no place to turn around. Suddenly, I saw a road leading south up ahead. I quickly pointed that out to Danielson who responded “that’s where we’re going to go.” We turned onto the road and started south again. We soon saw several small towns with names that didn’t sound at all familiar - Indianola, Fairview, Mt. Pleasant. We finally turned onto a small side road and drove for another 10 minutes or so when we came to another small town called Moroni.

“I think this is it” Danielson said excitedly “Weh-Ro-Nea.” I gave him a puzzled look. He said “remember… change the W to an M”. “OK”, I replied, “that gives us Meh-Ro-Nea. Doesn’t quite match. “The vowel shift, boy, the vowel shift. The ‘eh’ becomes ‘oh’ you see” Danielson was now getting excited . “I’ve got an idea, you all get busy looking around for any evidence, I’ll be back in a while”

We all watched as Danielson removed the mountain bike from the back of the VW bus and took off up the road. We watched him disappear from sight and then Orville said “We ain’t goin’ nowhere notime soon, so we might as well split up and look around.” After spending the next two hours wandering around the area, we met back at the trucks and were sitting in the shade discussing what was found. “Well, Floyd and I did find a bunch of turkeys” reported Orville. Just then we noticed Danielson pedaling towards us as fast as he could. He jumped off the bike shouting “I found it! I found it! A few miles north of here is a place called Fountain Green, and it has a spring of water! Just like in the manuscript! This is it boys, this is it! This is Weh-Ro-Nea! We’ll spend the night here and go over the mountain tomorrow.”

The next morning we awoke and found Danielson already pacing. “Let’s go” he ordered. “Wait a minute” Floyd said, “we need breakfast”. “Well, hurry up then” Danielson snapped “we’re wasting time”. Merwyn quickly brewed some Postum and everyone had a cup and a couple of granola bars. “Alright, let’s get going over the mountain” Danielson growled. “But which mountain?” Roscoe asked. “There’s one to the east and west. Which way do we go?” Danielson growled “I don’t know. What does the manuscript say?” I quickly looked through the pages. “It doesn’t say” I said, “it just says they went over the mountain.” “Then we’ll flip a coin” Danielson said. He reached in his pocket and took out his lucky quarter. “Heads we go west, tails we go east “he said.
Danielson flipped the quarter … Heads! “West we go” declared Danielson “let’s get going”. We piled into the vehicles and headed west over the mountain range. When we reached the summit, we could see spread out below us a large valley. It was mostly scrub with scattered patches of green. “Doesn’t look like the place described in the manuscript” I said. Danielson just stared at me, then slowly replied “climate change. Desertification has taken place. This has to be the place. Look down there to the left. See that little meadow? We’ll go there.”

As the convoy pulled into the meadow, Danielson quickly climbed out of the truck. “OK, Elmer you and Floyd get out the metal detector and see if you can find anything. The rest of us will look for any signs of a past battle” Roscoe said “hey, we’ll be back in a little while”, and he and Orville jumped in the VW bus and sped away. “Where the hell do they think they’re going” Danielson grumbled. “Let’s see what we can find.”

After three hours of searching without finding anything we were all feeling a little out of sorts. Just then the VW bus came chugging up from the south. When it reached the meadow, Roscoe and Orville climbed out. “Where you been?” Danielson asked? Roscoe replied “we went looking around down south. We found a place called Beaver and one called Milford”. “Remember to change the M to a W” I chimed in. Danielson said “of course. Milford, Wilford. And Beaver. The land down south where the warriors came from. Now I know we’re in the right place. Come on, get everything packed up. I know where we are going.”

Danielson started the truck and started to move even before the others had completed loading the equipment. “They’ll catch up with us” he said as we pulled out onto the road. We proceeded north for several miles. As we reached the top of a small ridge, Danielson pulled over and pointed to a small town below. “We’ve done it. Man, We’ve done it! I may not know Jack Schmitt, but I know with every fiber of my being that is Nephi down there. Let’s go down.”

We entered the dusty town to find the streets deserted. We stopped in front of a rundown café, and went in. As we entered, the only person in there was a waitress who was lazily wiping down tables. Her nametag read BERTHA. “What can I do for you fellers?” Bertha asked. Danielson extended his hand towards her and asked “is this Nephi?” Bertha shook her head “no, this is Fillmore.” “Are there any Nephites around here?” Danielson asked. “Nephites?” replied Bertha. “Never heard of no Nephites There used to be a lot of Mormons, but they ain’t around no more.”

“Where did they go?” I asked. “Well, most of them just quit. I think they called it apotasizing or somethin’ like that. The rest… well their leader, Bednob or something like that, took ‘em all to Missouri” Bertha said. “Damn fools… traveled by handcart. Handcart - can you believe that.” “What happened to them?” I asked. Bertha gave a little sigh and responded “supposedly some of ‘em died from exhaustion and the rest got caught in a blizzard in Colorado and froze to death. Just senseless really. Handcarts. Hmph.”

Just then the other truck and VW pulled into the parking lot, and the rest of the team came into the café. “Well boys, looks like it’s time to go home” Danielson said softly “looks like there aren’t any Nephites”.
The End

I grant Concrete Zipper full rights to archive this, or to destroy it, or whatever he chooses to do.

Edited to fix a few typos, but there may be more.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2018 10:13PM by nonamekid.

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Posted by: Not lds ( )
Date: November 24, 2018 03:50PM

12/10 would recommend.

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