Sunday, January 26, 2014


I'm going to take a break for a few days until I can wrap my head around the Jan situation. Life really isn't all that horrible, but it feels like it is right now, and I don't want this blog to become a perpetual gloomfest. I'll be back soon, I promise!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Phoning Home

During the twenty minutes or so that Jan was conscious today between healings, she called me to say hi. I guess that's something.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Lottery

I don't even know where to start. I've tried writing this post about ten times in the past five days, and I just couldn't. So here goes try number eleven, I guess.

Jan is gone. Not dead. Gone. Gone from my life. I'm sad and lonely and angry, but I don't have anyone to be angry at. Except myself, maybe. And maybe if I weren't so selfish, I'd be happy--for Jan, and for the world.

It was Sunday morning when she woke up. She just opened her eyes, sat up, and said, "I'm hungry." I laughed, gave her a hug, and got the nurse to bring Jan some food. A few minutes later, she was scarfing down a plate of scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast, and apple juice.

"Did you know that was going to knock you out for four days?" I asked.

"It happened the last two times I tried something this big." She took a big bite, then continued while chewing: "What, did you think I was just ignoring you for three days after I healed you at the Wilk?"

I shrugged. "Yeah."

Jan laughed. "No, it just wears me out. I guess that's the price, you know? Everything comes with a price."

"Another reason not to go around using your power all the time, then."

She nodded. "Yeah. Except..."


She turned to me, her face glowing. "X, I've never felt this good in my entire life. I mean, I feel like I haven't eaten in days because I guess I haven't, but spiritually, I feel like I just won the lottery. I saved Lucy's life. It's what God wanted me to do, I know it. You were right. God wants me to use my power to help people."

I couldn't help smiling. Her mood was contagious. "Everyone's going to want to be your friend. The best life insurance around."

Jan set her fork down and her smile faded. "You don't understand, X. My power isn't just for me, or even just for my friends and family. God gave me this power to bless the world. I can't go on living my life while people are dying. Life is a precious gift. Our Heavenly Father wants me to preserve it--every life I can."

"What are you saying?" My smile was gone now too. "You're just going to go around..."

"Finding people to heal? Yeah. How many people in this hospital are dying? How many can I save?"

"What about school? What about your life?" I didn't ask what about us because I didn't want to hear the answer.

"This is going to be my life, X. I'm dedicating my life to God, to serving his children."

Suddenly the chair I'd been sitting in all week felt oppressively confining. I jumped to my feet. "And you just decided this now, in the ten minutes since you woke up? You're not thinking clearly, Jan."

"No." She offered a loving smile in return for my anger. "I made the decision while I was unconscious. My body was here, but-- I don't want to say I had a vision, but it was definitely a spiritual experience. I know more than anything I've ever known in my life, this is what I'm supposed to do. This is my calling."

With that, she stood up, gave me a warm but annoyingly sisterly kiss on the cheek, and walked out of the room. I was left there reeling, unable to make sense of what had just happened. By the time I gathered my senses enough to go after her, she had found a coma patient down the hall. The patient was awake and healthy, and Jan was on the floor, unconscious. Again.

When Jan woke up again yesterday, news reporters were waiting. You've probably seen the reports. When she explained her new life purpose to them, someone got a helicopter to take her up to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake, where she healed a kid with Leukemia. I guess there's a waiting list now, of people for her to cure each time she wakes up from the last one. I see people on Facebook and in the news talking about how her power is of the devil and it's unnatural and it's a perversion of the priesthood, but as far as I can tell none of the people she's cured or their families are complaining. People on the waiting list are happy to pay for Jan's stay at the hospital, for her food and whatever else she needs, just for the chance that she'll heal their loved one.

My attempts at anonymity are increasingly meaningless as Jan's real name is spread across the internet, but I'm going to keep calling her "Jan" here because... well, I guess because I can't let go of her. Her real name belongs to the world now, just as she does, but "Jan" will always be mine.

It's barely been a day since this all went public and already I saw an article saying that public opinion of mutants in Utah is on the upswing, all because of Jan. So not only is Jan dedicating her life to helping people who need it, but she's also indirectly helping all of mutantkind. She's a hero. I should be proud of her. And I am, really. But I also can't help feeling that I've been left behind. Maybe Jan won the lottery, but I definitely lost.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jan Update

Jan is still unconscious. The doctors say she'll be fine, but I'm starting to get nervous--it's been more than 24 hours. If anything happens to her I'll feel horrible. This whole thing was my idea. But I keep reminding myself that we did the right thing.

The nurses kicked me out at one point because it wasn't visiting hours and I'm not related to Jan--an annoying reminder that with Utah laws where they are currently I couldn't be legally related to Jan if I wanted to be--but Greg showed up a little after that and used his next-of-kin status to get them to let me back in.

...And I've just been told that I need to leave at 10. Oh well. I can sit in the waiting room. Whenever Jan wakes up, I won't be far.

A New Beginning

I just noticed as I clicked the icon to write a new post that this will be my 51st post. That seems appropriate. I feel like I'm at a new beginning. Everything has changed. My entire world transformed with one single touch.

As I mentioned last night, Jan agreed to heal Lucy, but only if that's what Lucy wanted. On our way to the hospital, Jan reiterated over and over that she would do nothing without Lucy's consent. She was not about to be accused of shoving her mutant power down anyone's throat. So we got to Lucy's room and found her parents there. We chatted with them for a few minutes--they've gotten to know me well in the past two months--and then I asked if Jan and I could have just a moment alone with Lucy. Jan did not feel that Lucy's parents needed to be involved in the decision or in the healing itself; as far as Jan was concerned, the decision was between Lucy and God. Her parents said they needed to grab a bite to eat at the cafeteria anyway.

Jan sat down next to Lucy and took her hand. Lucy gave her a blank stare. Lately, it's hard to tell how much she even notices what's going on around her. Jan took a deep breath. "Lucy, I know X told you a while back that he has a special power." She actually used my real name this time, as Lucy wouldn't know who "X" is. "Well, I have a power too. I'm a mutant, just like X."

 No discernible reaction from Lucy.

"I want to assure you," Jan went on, "that both X and I have strong testimonies of the gospel and of the power of the priesthood. I know the church teaches that those of us with unnatural power proclivities should not use our powers. Generally, I follow that rule, just like I try to follow all the commandments. But X thinks we might have a special situation. Maybe an... exception to the rule."

Jan looked to me and I motioned for her to continue. Still no sign that Lucy was following along.

"See, the power I have is to heal. When people are hurt or sick, I can make them better. Some people... My dad says this is blasphemous. That my power makes a mockery of the priesthood because it mimics something the priesthood does, but comes from an unholy source. I used my power on him once, after he'd been in a bad car accident, and he hasn't forgiven me since." Jan sniffed, then continued. "But X thinks that maybe my power does come from God. That Heavenly Father made me this way for a reason. That maybe I can be a tool in his hands, to help you.

"What I'm saying, Lucy, is that I can heal you. I can make the cancer go away. I've never healed something this big, but I know I can do it. But I won't do it without your permission. If you believe it's wrong, I won't do it. Do you understand, Lucy? If you can hear me and you want me to do this, I just need you to let me know. Maybe squeeze my hand, or blink twice, or something."

We both stared in silence while Lucy stared back at us. I just about jumped out of my seat when Lucy's mouth moved. A nearly inaudible whisper came out, hardly more than a breath of air. Jan leaned in closer and I followed suit. Lucy's mouth moved again, and this time I heard it: "Please." A tear formed at the bottom corner of her left eye, then dripped onto the bed.

Jan nodded. She was crying now, too. She left one hand in Lucy's, then put the other on her forehead. She shut her eyes to concentrate. I expected some kind of glow or aura to come out of her hands, but there was no visible manifestation of her power. The healing itself, however, was quite visible. It started out slowly, with color returning to Lucy's cheeks. Then her cheeks slowly expanded, making her all-too-prominent cheekbones disappear. Her hair grew back--apparently Jan was healing not only the cancer, but also the effects of the chemotherapy. Her wrists filled out, returning to a healthy circumference. Finally, she took a deep breath, smiled, and sat up. It was like she was a brand new person.

That's when Jan collapsed onto the floor. "Jan!" I called as I crouched down beside her.

"Oh no," Lucy said. She hit the button on the side of her bed to call for a nurse.

The nurse was shocked, of course, to see that Lucy was sitting up and looking healthy as ever while a different person lay unconscious on the floor. But he recovered quickly, called in other nurses, and got Jan into a bed.

The next few hours are something of a blur. Lucy's parents came back and were so overwhelmed with joy to see their daughter healthy that they didn't care how it had happened. A doctor checked on Lucy to verify that she really is as healthy as she looks. They did tests and won't have results for a few days, but those results will just confirm what we already know. A doctor did a full check-up on Jan. I was worried the cancer had somehow transferred to her, but he said the symptoms suggest she is simply exhausted. He thinks that using her power wears her out just like running a marathon would any other person, and he says studies suggest this is common among mutants. She's still unconscious but seems to be otherwise healthy, and they have her hooked up to an IV to speed along her recovery.

I should be more concerned for Jan than I am, but the thing is I know we did the right thing. Jan performed a miracle, and even though she didn't use the priesthood, she did it in God's name. He'll take care of her. Lucy thanked me a million times, and apologized for freaking out when I came out to her in November. She remembers everything Jan said, and she says she felt the Spirit confirm to her that it was true--that God did give us our powers so that we could help people. She wants to go door to door and tell everyone what we did for her, to help people understand that mutants aren't bad people.

But that will come later. For now, she's celebrating with her family, as she should be. And I'm content to sit here next to Jan's hospital bed, watching the sun rise over the mountains.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jumping Off Cliffs

A text exchange between me and Jan just now:

Jan: how do u know she even wants me to heal her?

Me: Why wouldn't she?

Jan: she freaked out when u just siad the word mutant. she wont want me touching her w/ my dirty mutant hands

Me: There are no atheists in foxholes and no mutant haters on deathbeds.

Jan: u dont know that

Me: Then let's her decide. If she says yes, will you do it?

Me: *let's let her

Me: Jan?

Me: Are you still getting my texts?

Jan: fine

Jan: lets do it

So, I guess we're gonna do it. Jan's on her way to pick me up now. My fingers are trembling as I type this. Excitement, nervousness, fear, you name it I'm feeling it. I feel like we're on the edge of a cliff and getting ready to jump into a dark void. I hope we land on solid ground. Whatever the case, I'm glad Jan's jumping with me.

Image source:

Final Plea

I'm writing this from the hospital. I skipped class to visit Lucy. She lies on her side and stares at me with pleading eyes, sunken deep into the sockets. Her skin is stretched tight over the bones. I can't believe she looked so healthy just two months ago. She twitches occasionally. Sometimes she coughs and a little bit of yellowish, clear vomit comes out. Sometimes she closes her eyes and lets out a hoarse cry.

I can't even imagine the pain she's in. She's just waiting to die now.

Please, Jan. I know you're reading this. Please.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Power Outage




That's Jan, every time I even try to bring up the idea that maybe God wants her to use her mutant power to heal Lucy. To be fair, she reads my blog so she's already heard my argument. But she won't even discuss it with me.

"If it's God's will for her to live, she'll live. It's not my place to intervene."

And that's that.

Mysterious Ways

Think for a moment about sex. (If you're like most people, you were already thinking about sex, so I'm not asking much.) Sex can be a bad thing. If a man rapes a woman, it's bad. If a teenage girl who isn't ready to raise a child gets pregnant, it's bad. If a guy has a porn addiction, it's bad. If a woman uses sex to manipulate her lover, it's bad. But sex can also be a good thing. Sex can strengthen the intimacy between a married couple. Sex can create bodies to bring spirits into the world. And, I hear, sex can be a lot of fun.

The more I think about it, the more I think mutant powers are like sex. If you use them to hurt people, or to gain fame and glory for yourself, then they are bad. But if you use them to help people and you give the glory to God, maybe they can be good. I mean, God made me, mutant power and all, and God doesn't make bad things. If I hadn't used my power to fly myself, Chenry, and Tara out of that explosion on Christmas Eve, we'd all three be dead. And if Jan hadn't used her power to heal us, we could just as easily be dead, or crippled, or scarred for life. No matter how I look at it, I cannot see how using our powers that day was a bad thing. Our mortal existence is a precious gift from our Heavenly Father, and I believe he wants us to do whatever we can to make the most of it.

I've been thinking about the blessing I gave Lucy back in November, and the one her father gave her not long after that. We both promised her that she would be healed. On the one hand I could look at where Lucy is now, literally on her deathbed, and say, "Boy, were we wrong. I guess priesthood blessings don't work." Or, I could trust that God inspired us to make that promise, and ask how he plans to fulfill it. Sometimes a blessing promises that you'll be healed, and then bam, you're healed--as if by magic. Other times, a doctor is inspired to prescribe the right medication or do the right test, and that's how God heals you, through the "magic" of modern science. And maybe sometimes, God heals you through his sons or daughters who happen to have mutant powers--powers that he gave them. Maybe sometimes, through a random chain of events that involve your home teacher coming out to you as a mutant and later introducing you to his mutant girlfriend, God puts the one person in your life who has the power to fulfill his promise to heal you.

Now I just need to convince Jan that she is that person.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Last Days

Greg and I visited Lucy this afternoon. She's worse than ever. The doctors expect her to pass any day now. She doesn't even have the strength to speak. She just lies on her side and stares at you while you talk to her. Still, her mom said she's sure Lucy knows we're there, and appreciates it. Greg shared a brief message about eternal families. Lucy's mom cried. A whispered grunt escaped Lucy's mouth, like she was trying to say something.

All I could think was, Jan could heal her.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thoughts From Jan

A guest post:

Jan here. First I need to apologize for the lack of posts this week. That's my fault, X has been spending all his time with me. I guess he likes me more than blogging. :)
Second I want to say that I don't want to hide our relationship. I love X and there's nothing wrong with that. I respect the honor code office and I know I've made mistakes but dating X is not one of them. He is the best part of my life. He makes me want to be a better person. If the honor code office asks I'll tell them that. If I get kicked out of BYU then so be it. God will lead me where I need to go.
Third I want to say to all the mutant couples out there who lost your right to be married this week that I support you. I know my church doesn't approve of mutant marriage and I support my church but I also support the right of everyone to choose. Trust in God and He'll take care of you. No enemy will prevail.
Fourth I want you to know that X is super cute. I've read every post and he never mentions that. He won't let me post a picture of him so I'm going to post a picture of another cute boy and you can just imagine that it's X.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Um. This is difficult. I really want to tell you who showed up at my door Sunday night, but I need to be careful not to say anything incriminating. This blog is still technically anonymous and everyone has a pseudonym, but anyone who knows me or is familiar with recent events in my life--say, for example, people from the Honor Code Office--would have no problem connecting the dots. So I'll just say that life is good again.

That's all. I'm going to return to enjoying my good life now.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Steadying the Ark

Spent yesterday feeling bad for being so negative and critical. I like BYU, I know the Honor Code Office exists for a reason, and it's not my job to tell them how to do theirs. And above all, I believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that this is the true church and that the priesthood restored through Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery is the only true and legitimate power of God. Reading over some of my posts from the past few weeks, I'm not sure that testimony comes across, so I want to make it clear. I do have my doubts now and then, but I do my best to follow Elder Uchtdorf's counsel to doubt my doubts.

This morning I took Brother Simmons' advice and confessed to my bishop that I had acted out on my mutant power last week. He was very kind and understanding, and assured me that Heavenly Father loves me and had already forgiven me. I told him about my (now-defunct) relationship with Jan too, since her bishop had been so concerned about us dating. My bishop says that while he understands the other bishop's concern and Jan should definitely follow her priesthood leader's counsel, he doesn't think it's necessarily a bad thing for me to date, even to date other mutants. He reminded me that it is not good for man to be alone, that it's natural to want companionship and to want someone special in my life. While the Church currently does not condone mutant marriage (yes, he used the word "currently"), he thinks it's healthy for me to form positive relationships with members of the opposite sex, so long as we respect appropriate boundaries. He even said it makes sense for me to date other LDS mutants, since they cannot marry either and we can support each other in our goals to control our powers righteously.

I left that meeting with my bishop on a spiritual high. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and that he will prepare a way for me to find happiness within his kingdom.

Friday, January 3, 2014


I arrived early at the Honor Code Office, temporarily set up in the administration building while the Wilk is being rebuilt. I wanted to make it clear that I was happy to meet with them, that I had nothing to hide. Maybe it's not usually like this when they have their own office, but the poor lighting of the small room, with one single bulb shining down on me from behind a man who refused to sit down, made me feel like I was in some cheesy interrogation scene in a cop show. The man, who introduced himself as Brother Simmons, was unusually tall, had a fading blond comb-over, and wore a white shirt and tie. The tie was decorated with little blue BYU logos.

"I understand you struggle with unnatural power proclivity," Brother Simmons said.

"Yes," I said. "I'm a mutant." Members of UUPP have assured me that it's not technically against the rules to say this.

"I see." He scribbled on his notepad. "And have you used your 'power' recently?" He didn't actually make air-quotes with his fingers, but his tone made them for him.

"Yes. I was caught in the explosion in the Wilkinson Center on Christmas Eve, and I instinctively used my power to fly myself and two of my friends to safety."

"Is that the only time?"

"Yes," I said, because I had already repented of the bell tower incident and if that's good enough for God, then it should be good enough for Brother Simmons.

"Can you tell me what you were doing in the Wilkinson Center on Christmas Eve?"

"I was meeting with my writing group. One of the members of the group has an office in the Wilk." I didn't offer Tara's name in case letting her friends into her office during off-hours would get her in trouble, but the truth is he probably already knew all of that.

"I find it interesting that three self-proclaimed homosuperiors all happened to be on campus on a holiday, at the time of a homosuperior terrorist attack." He spat the word "homosuperior" like an insult. And in reality, no one really uses the term anymore unless they mean it as an insult. "Are the other two also members of  your 'writing group'?" Again with the intoned air-quotes.

I took a deep breath, doing my best to remain calm in the face of his attack, of what he was insinuating. "No. One was my girlfriend, but we're no longer dating." I wondered if that wasn't part of the purpose of calling me in today--to check on Jan's promise not to see me anymore. "If the other mutant you're referring to is Stan Kirby, I didn't know at the time that he was there. I didn't know him well at all, but I know he was not a terrorist." My hands were trembling now, probably more than anything out of fear that my bold defense of Stan would cost me the college degree I'm supposed to be getting in April.

"Mm hm." Brother Simmons nodded and jotted down a couple of notes. He peered down at me for what seemed like an eternity, then seemed to make a decision. "Well, I would encourage you to talk to your bishop about the flying incident, if you haven't already. Thank you for coming in."

"What?" I had been prepared for the worst. This was almost disappointing. "Are you going to put me on probation, like Jan?"

"No. You made a mistake, but as you said it was an instinctive response. You acted out of self-preservation. Contrary to popular belief, we are not heartless here. I understand why you did what you did, and I trust that you will not do it again."

I stood up. "What about Jan? She was trying to help other people. All I cared about was saving my own butt!"

Brother Simmons gave me a tight-lipped frown. "Jan is not your concern. You should worry about, as you say, your 'own butt.' Thank you again for coming in." He pointed to the door.

POST-SCRIPT: In searching for an image to go with this post, I came across the above on the Honor Code Office's homepage. As BYU students, we become intimately familiar with this quote from Karl G. Maeser. I find it ironic that the quote is associated with the Honor Code Office. The HCO, in my opinion, is all about building walls and trying to prevent students from escaping. They don't give us a chance to prove our honor by choosing on our own to stay within the chalk circle. Jan is one of the most honorable people I know.

My Turn!

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I've been called into the Honor Code Office. Wish me luck! (Or, you know, shoot me.)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In The Middle

Greg got back from his Christmas break today. I was nervous about things being awkward between us because, well, it never occurs to you that dating your roommate's sister is a bad idea until you kind-of-sort-of break up with her because she used her mutant power to save your life and then had to vow to the Honor Code Office and her bishop never to see you again, all while your roommate is at home visiting the family who has more or less disowned his sister. But it turns out that Greg doesn't do awkward. "Hey dude," he said when he got in, "I heard about everything that happened. Just so you know, it doesn't change anything between you and me. We're still friends. And hometeaching comps too." He held up a finger and declared, "There will be no drama in this companionship." He laughed. "I've been caught between Jan and our dad for the past ten years--heck, my entire life--and I have a strict no-taking-sides policy."

Then I updated him on Lucy. Then we ate ramen. And that was that.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Remember Thy Suffering Saints

I checked in on Lucy today. She's not doing well. As the doctors predicted, the chemotherapy has done little good, if any--the cancer was too far spread already. All the chemo has done is mess with Lucy's body. She's skinny, weak, tired, has no immune system, and no hair. Her family spent New Year's Eve with her at the hospital. The sad thing is, it will probably be her last.

If I have any non-Mormon readers, you're probably wondering why I don't just ask Jan to use her healing power on Lucy. To be honest, I've considered the idea more than once. How can I see one friend suffering, know that another friend has the power to heal her, and not consider it? But it's just not an option. Even if she were talking to me right now, Jan wouldn't do it. She's already on probation with the Honor Code Office and I don't know what came of her bishop looking into a potential disciplinary council--meaning not only her status as a BYU student but also as a member of the Church are at risk. But all that stuff aside, what it comes down to is Jan's core faith in a God of order. Our Heavenly Father has an established way of doing things, and that includes the holy priesthood that he restored through Joseph Smith. If Lucy is going to be healed, it will be through the power of the priesthood. Otherwise, it's not God's will. For Jan or anyone else to step in and do something using a power that doesn't come from God would go against his will, and would be a corruption of the natural order of things.

I know this is true.

But still, as I sat next to Lucy and looked into her eyes, red from crying and sunken into a face slowly wasting away, I can't help but wonder how that much suffering could ever be God's will.