Danny's Dream -- Chapter 3: From the Beginning

That night, after Danny had finished saying prayers with his dad, he carried his Book of Mormon, his lantern, and his blanket over to the window seat. Danny carefully laid everything out like he was going to camp out under the stars. Then he sat down and started to read.

Since he'd already read the verses his brother Tom had asked him to, Danny decided to start reading at the beginning. He'd tried it once before, but it seemed like he could never get past "I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents".

This time, he really wanted to read the whole book. Pretty soon, his eyes started to close, and his head started to nod. Before he realized it, Danny was asleep.

Danny heard voices and started to stir. It seemed very hot under his blanket. Danny pushed it off of himself and opened his eyes. It was bright. He wasn't in his room. He didn't know where he was.

Danny looked around. He was in an alley, there were stone walls on both sides of the alley. One end of it opened out onto a street. Danny saw people on the street. They were dressed strangely, wearing what looked like robes and pajamas. The people looked busy. Some of them were carrying baskets.

A voice cut through the other sounds. "Dried figs! Come and see the finest figs in Jerusalem. Figs and Dates!" Jerusalem? What was the man saying? What was happening? Danny looked down. All of his things were gone; his lantern, his Book of Mormon, even his blanket. Then he noticed that he wasn't in his regular clothes either. Danny was dressed just like the people that he saw.

Danny was scared. He wanted to cry. What was he going to do? Where were his mom and dad?

Suddenly, another voice sounded above the others. "People of Jerusalem, repent! Jeremiah has spoken the word of the Lord and his words condemn you. Destruction is near if you will not set aside your sins and come unto the Lord."

Other voices, angry voices began to swell. "Joshua! Go back to your cave." "We don't want you here Joshua." "Why would the Lord destroy us? We're his chosen people. Jerusalem will stand forever!"

The new voices were saying things that didn't sound right. They sounded angry. Danny wished he could shut out these new voices and hear this Joshua guy. That didn't seem too likely though. People were starting to gather closer together. One of them stood apart from the others. The crowd looked mad. One of them bent down and picked up a rock. He threw it at the man standing alone. "Take that Joshua! All of you false prophets deserve to be stoned." Joshua, the man
who'd been standing alone, started to run. He was headed right toward Danny's alley.

Danny pressed himself back up against the wall. Joshua ran right past him. The crowd followed. Some of them threw rocks at Joshua as he ran away. They were shouting and laughing. Danny had thought he was scared earlier. Now he was terrified. The men chasing Joshua didn't even seem to notice him though. They were too angry.

As the crowd ran past him, Danny started to sneak back out toward the street they had come from. As he stepped out of the alley, he nearly ran into someone. It was a young man, but he didn't look angry like the crowd had. He looked sad, and suprised to see Danny. "Hi there. What is a child like you doing on the streets alone? What's your name?" He asked.

"My name is Daniel, sir. And I'm lost. Can you help me?" Danny asked, his fear of the crowd and his strange surroundings overcoming his normal shyness.

"Daniel, my name is Nephi, the son of Lehi. I'll help you. Let's get you to my father. He'll know what to do, he always does." The young man, Nephi, said. Nephi put his arm around Danny's shoulders and the two of them walked down the road together.

Later, as Danny and Nephi arrived at Lehi's home. They met another young man, a little bit older than Nephi. As they walked through a stone gateway into a yard filled with animals, Nephi called out to him, "Samuel. I've brought Daniel home to eat with us. He's lost and needs our help."

"I'll go and let mother know that we'll have another mouth to feed at lunch. Father's not here right now. He should be home this evening though." Replied Samuel, and he went across the yard into the house.

Danny loved the yard. There were goats and chickens running loose. A box, made out of stone, stood against a low stone wall, filled with water. One of the goats stood in front of it, drinking from the water inside. Standing in a shady spot against a wall of the house several large clay pots were stacked.

As he and Nephi walked across the yard, Danny looked at everything. As they reached the house Danny realized that there was no door, just a heavy sheet of fabric hanging in the doorway. Nephi pulled it aside and the two of them entered.

Danny spent the afternoon with Nephi. They had lunch soon after arriving. Instead of sandwiches and milk, they ate a strange kind of bread dipped in some kind of sauce and small chunks of cheese. The bread was round and flat -- Nephi would tear off a piece, scoop up some of the sauce and eat it like Danny would have eaten dip with potato chips. The cheese was white and hard, it tasted salty. As they ate, Danny and Nephi drank warm water. Danny wondered what Nephi would have thought about cold milk and fresh baked cookies.

After lunch, they went out and to gather wood. As they worked, Nephi and Danny talked. "What's it like having a prophet for your dad?" Danny asked.

"A prophet? You must be thinking of somebody else. My father is a merchant." Nephi replied. "Jeremiah, now he's a prophet. Some of the men who follow him are prophets too, like Joshua from the market today."

"Joshua is a prophet? But he said that Jerusalem is going to be destroyed! Shouldn't we leave or something?" asked Danny.

"He's a prophet all right. Jeremiah teaches the same thing.'' Said Nephi. "My father says that they speak the word of God. Samuel and I believe them too. My older brothers don't though. They think that because we are of Israel's line, Jerusalem will never fall."

"If a prophet says so, then it'll happen." Said Danny.

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