Thursday, July 12, 2007

On the Three Nephites

I’ve often wondered why urban legends flourish the way they do. I think it’s because the stories play upon some of our deepest fears and desires. One of the most popular urban legends among Mormons relate to the Three Nephites. Mormons believe that the Three Nephites are three disciples that asked Jesus if they could stay on Earth until his Second Coming. Needless to say, many rumors and legends have sprung up regarding the whereabouts and the doings of these three individuals. By far, the best anecdote that I have ever heard about the Three Nephites comes from a friend of mine back home. While serving his mission in France, he had risen to the level of district leader. One morning, the sister missionaries in his district came to meeting late. They excitedly told the district that one of the sister missionaries had gotten a flat tire and two gentlemen who were distinctly 'Lamanite'-looking came from out of nowhere and helped her to fix the flat tire. After being helped, the two men apparently vanished. One of the sister missionaries got it into her mind that they had been helped by the Three Nephites. My friend summed up her story perfectly however. “Sister Smith, you’re saying that you got a flat tire and that the Three Nephites came and fixed it for you, except that there were only two of them and they were Lamanites?”

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