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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series

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"...Choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices...Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable."
For The Strength of Youth

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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series
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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series
    Ch. 44 The Wisdom of the Wise
Submitted by Steven ODell on 12 January 2009 - 4:18pm.

A Temple To Our God
Steven G. O'Dell © 2008

Alexi stood in line, staring with awe at the magnificent structure before him. This was the day that he would actually walk through the new temple. Thousands would take part in the 'open-house' here in Kiev. Alexi had watched the progress for many months. Before the building could begin, there had been the problem of finding sufficient land to accommodate the space requirements. Land was not easy to obtain in such a large parcels around Kiev. And then came the actual land preparation and the ensuing erection of the building. It seemed to be painstakingly slow in its progress, but Alexi would walk by the site several times per week and dream of the day that it would be finished and dedicated. And now, the day had arrived that he would see it from the inside.

Every detail of the edifice bore witness to the love and respect of the craftsmen who had labored to erect the temple. It was exquisite—there was no other word adequate.

“I hear that they have many wives and they sacrifice animals in their temples.” The voice broke harshly through his reverie and Alexi turned about to face the direction the voice had come from.

“No. It is not true.” said another standing next to him in line. “There are many lies told about them, just like the lies told about the Ukrainian people. Will you believe them also?”

“Harumph!” The negative man turned away in defeat, a sour look still on his face.

Alexi reached forth his hand to the man who had spoken in defense of the LDS people and faith. “My name is Alexi. What is yours?”

The man took his hand eagerly and shook it. “I am Viktor. How do you do?”

“Very well, thank you. I heard what you said. I have studied this faith for some time and I know, too, that many lies are told of them. It is difficult to get accurate information on them, unless you meet with their missionaries.”

“You have done this?” Viktor's eyebrows raised in surprise and he was all attention.

“Yes. I was told they would be here and the only way to know the truth of what they say would be to meet with them. I have done this many times now.”

“And what is your impression of them?”

Alexi reflected a sudden serenity that told as much as his words. “They are an amazing people and I believe that what they teach is truth. There is a special spirit about these young men and each time I meet them I want to do so again. They make me want to be a better man.”

“Ahhhh....” He nodded his head. “One cannot say this about many people, yes?”

“Yes. That is true. How do you know of these people?”

“There are the news stories, of course, but I had a most remarkable experience that led me here. A man knocked at my door a few years ago, unannounced and uninvited, claiming he must talk to me. He had a manner about him that made it difficult to turn him away, so I let him in.”
Alexi shivered with the sudden chills that ran through his body. He was getting 'goose bumps' as he listened to the tale. “Yes, yes. Go on, please.”

“He told me of this temple, that it would be built here soon and that I must show a great interest in it, for the sake of myself and my family. He also told me to find the missionaries of this church and be taught by them. He promised that if I would do this, my life would be happier than I had ever known it to be. It was such an odd thing to promise that I took him seriously...and here I am.”

“Viktor, will you search for the missionaries now?”

“I have done so, but have not yet found them. Perhaps those who are teaching you could also teach me?”

“I am certain they would do so. You are welcome in my home, if you wish to meet with me when they come again.”

“That is very kind of you, my friend. May I bring my wife and son, also?”

“Yes, of course! Bring anyone you wish.” Alexi paused in deep thought for a moment before continuing. “Viktor, I feel in my bones that something wonderful is about to happen in our country—and that we are to be a part of it, just as John told me.”

“John? Did you say John?” Now Viktor had chills running throughout his body, as well.

“Yes, he is the man who came to me and told me of this temple to be built.” He knew instantly that he was about to hear something truly remarkable when Viktor's eyes began to moisten and his lip started to tremble.

“Alexi, the man who came to my door is named John—John Servant. Is this the man who found you?” He waited expectantly for the answer.

Now Alexi was crying, too. It was true—all these many months he had wondered if he had been visited by an angel, a messenger of God, who had found him in the wilderness where he had attempted to hide from the world. And now, here was the proof. Again Alexi's hand went out to Viktor. He stood and held on for a long moment before he could speak. “Yes, Viktor. That was the name he gave me.”

Viktor began to scan the line of people slowly and wondered aloud how many others had been brought here the same way. It was impossible to know and perhaps not important. What was important was that he now had another witness to his experience. And he sensed that there would be many more before long. He turned his eyes again to the building before him, as did Alexi. This must truly be the temple of the most high God. Many lives were about to change in his country. Praise be to God.

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