(I exit my Time Machine in Brigham Young's Bedroom . . . )
Me: Brother Brigham (gently shaking him awake), I've come from the future ―
Brigham (rising from his bed): Has the Council of Fifty established the latter-day kingdom, then?
Me: Umm . . . not yet. It really didn't go anywhere after 1884 ―
Brigham: No, don't tell me! You might create a time paradox.
Me: Okay, anyway, I came to tell you that if you stay this course, your legacy will result in the Church ―
Brigham: I said, (cupping his ears) you could cause a chain reaction that unravels the very fabric of the spacetime continuum!
Me: Fine. I won't tell you anything about the future.
Brigham: Thank you, Brother . . .
Brigham: Brother Merrill. I appreciate it. Well (pause) maybe you could tell me just one thing . . .
Me: What do you want to know?
Brigham: In the future, does Mark Twain live in infamy?
Me: Well, sort of, but not for the reasons you would expect.
Brigham: Very good. Now, what did you come here for?
Me: Do you have a Book of Mormon?
Brigham (reaching to his nightstand): Yes, right here.
Me: Good, I want you to read Mosiah 18:24-28.
Brigham: What do you mean, Chapter Eighteen Verses Twenty Four thru Twenty Eight?
Me: Oh, that's right! It doesn't get chapters and verses until 1879, a couple of years after you . . . never mind.
Brigham: After I what?
Me: Here, let me find the passage for you (me hastily taking his Book of Mormon):
. . . the priests whom he had ordained should labor . . .
. . . not to depend on the people . . .
. . . receive the grace of God . . .
. . . teach with power and authority . . .
. . . impart of their substance . . .
. . . everyone according to that which he had . . .
. . . to him that had not should be given . . .
. . . of their own free will and good desires . . .
. . . to those priests that stood in need . . .
Brigham: Yes, that's right. That's how it should be done. I work very hard. It is the way of Deseret.
Me: Yes, but, my point is . . . how exactly did you become the richest person in the territory?
Brigham: What do you mean by that?
Me: For starters, who determines your wages, and that of your counselors, and your sons, and of the apostles?
Brigham: I do.
Me: Are you "all equal," as it says in Alma 1:26?
Brigham: No. But after all, I am the Trustee in Trust for the Church . . .
Me: Hmm. Yes, you are. Well . . . I better go. For now, please bookmark that passage and think about it.
Brigham: I don't have a bookmark handy.
Me: Here, use this (handing him a bookmark).
Brigham: Whatever is this thing?
Me: The wrapper from a Twix bar.
(Space time continuum explodes)