Joseph - a guest post
At scout camp, I accompanied Joseph to his environmental science merit badge class. The instructor was light-heartedly describing what he might do to the scouts who arrived *LATE* -- which involved a large walking stick he held in his hand. Joseph, ever watchful, and ever striving to do the right thing -- and ensure that every one else does too -- shouted out "NO! That's WRONG." When the instructor seemed to disregard his counsel, Joseph took matters into his own hands -- he grabbed the offensive stick, ran down the trail 200 feet, and threw it as far as he could into the bushes. I have tried to explain that it is not appropriate to force others to do the right thing, but he still loses control occasionally.
Elder Holland was giving a less-formal-than-normal fireside for the youth of several stakes. Joseph called him on his use of the s-word ("stupid") in describing his younger self. It wasn't very loud -- I'm sure Elder Holland didn't hear the rebuke -- but Joseph was very bothered by it.
Joseph knows that he will turn 19 on a Tuesday, and he knows that missionaries always go to the MTC on Wednesday, and is confident that he will be there the day after his birthday.
He also plans to become the king of Russia when he is 17. He plans to leave the kingship in the hands of a faithful servant while he serves his first mission at 19. (His second formal mission will begin at 65) He wants to preach the Gospel to all of the world, especially in Russia, and Iran (successor to ancient Persia/Babylon -- If Daniel could get Nebuchadnezzar to listen, why can't he teach the Shah?)
Earlier this year, Joseph decided, completely on his own, to read the Bible. He started in Genesis, was not the least bit deterred by Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, or Isaiah, but plowed on through to Revelation. Now that he has finished the New Testament, he is tackling the Book of Mormon. Yesterday he was reading Abinadi's ministry to King Noah, and he'll probably start Alma before today is over. How many 13-year-olds can say the have read the entire Bible?