Don’t worry. All is well. I’m sorry if I caused you any undue anxiety. I know there have been many voices speaking ill of the anointed. This last weekend these voices rose to a crescendo unlike anything I’ve ever seen. But you can rest easy, for my voice will not join theirs.

I know what is expected of me. I know the price that must be paid to build the Kingdom. I must be the Good Son. The Good Son of my family, but especially the Good Son of my Church. I must stand with the prophets no matter how my own spirit wrenches my heart and cries out in torment at injustice.


Especially then.

Only then.

What good is an effortless prophetic loyalty? No, I yearn for them to demand the last drop of my blood. I beg that they will require of me to sacrifice even my own children on that blessed altar of loyalty. Only then can I prove my faithfulness. Only then can I demonstrate to everyone’s satisfaction what I am really made of. Only then can I truly be the Good Son.

I feel sorry for other so-called “disciples” for whom the path is bright and free of thorns and for whom All is Eternally Well in Zion. They happily “follow” the prophets, but in reality do not know true discipleship. They are weak. Laughable, even. More than pathetic. Is there anything more effortless, any tautology more redundant than to agree to that with which one is always already in agreement? It is no different to say that you follow your stomach to the refrigerator. You are hardly worthy to be called Good Sons and Daughters.

No, give me the impossible road, the son on the altar without the ram, an unconscious Laban in the alley without a prickly Spirit. I will stab my son through the heart, Lord. I will cut off Laban’s head, my God, and I’ll do it without Nephi’s cowardly spiritual hesitation marks. He was weak. I will be strong. Just give me the knife. Just show me the sword. Just give me a chance. There is nothing I won’t do to show everyone that I am the Good Son.

My prayer is constant. My prayer is that I will be explicitly and obviously required to choose the Kingdom at all times and without hesitation. Show me the tares, Lord, and I will root them out. I will bear down upon them in righteous almighty testimony until they bleed out, quivering and weeping. They will never harm us again, my God, I can assure you. They will be torn from us like the noxious weeds they are and we will be purified. This I covenant. You have always known that I am one who can be trusted. I am one who can be counted. I am a Good Son.

This internal fire, melting my bones, boiling my blood. Everything about this screams at me to resist, to speak out, to denounce, to question, to stand with the suffering, to hold the lines of the margins, to look to the Jesus of the New Testament as my Christian example. But I will not. I will follow the prophets. Even into hell. Especially into hell. Only then will I know the authenticity of my loyalty. I will honor my tradition. My torn and and shredded insides, my strangled conscience, my defeated spirit, will be my gift to the Kingdom. I will turn away whomever I am told to turn away. I will rain blood and horror on anyone whom I am commanded to oppose. I will do what is expected of me.

For I am the Good Son.

Jacob is in a doctoral program in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University.

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