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Mormon Ghost Stories

Does this count as ministering?

Cover Image for Does this count as ministering?
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost

Ministering sisters and brothers represent the Lord. They also help members feel the love and support of the bishop and Relief Society or quorum leaders. They are to “watch over” Church members and “be with and strengthen them”

General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Section 21.1

“Sister Fairfield! Would you be free for me and Douglas to come visit you sometime this afternoon?” Brother Larson asked in the foyer after church. He was a shorter man, with a messy head full of tangled black hair. He wore a hoodie over his white shirt and tie. Five children of various ages ran around him and tugged on his leg as he tried to initiate the conversation.

“Oh, umm, yes, we could do that. I think we would be free right before dinner. Say 4pm?” Sister Fairfield replied. I’ll have to tidy up the house a bit. She thought to herself.

“Alright, we will see you then, come on kids. Let’s skedaddle.” He quickly ushered his family out the door.


“Why are these people coming to visit us?” Woody asked as he scraped some two day old leftovers from a plate into the trashcan in the Fairfield family kitchen. He wore a baggy shirt that had the name of his favorite band, the Ramones, written across the front. Despite being 16, he was a huge fan of the 70s and 80s punk rock scene. A pair of headphones hung over his neck with the music still playing loud enough for Sister Fairfield, his mother, to hear.

“They are from church. They just want to get to know us. They just got assigned as our ministering brothers.”


“Ministering, you know, like visiting people and stuff.”

“Sounds weird.” Woody said. “You have fun with that mom.”

“Now, they want to get to know the whole family. I’d love for you to sit with us too.”

“Fine.” Woody said. “But don’t say I never did nothin for ya. And if they are here for longer than 30 minutes, I’m out.”

“Deal.” his mother replied.


Half an hour later, there was a knock at the door. Sister Fairfield swung open the door to find Brother Larson and his son Douglas standing at the door. Douglas was a scrawny boy who appeared to be about 15 years old. His tie was too short for his torso and his white shirt was untucking itself from the left side of his slacks. His hair was a tangled mess that matched his father.

“Hiya Sister Fairfield, thanks for letting us come over.” Brother Larson said.

“Of course,” she said, “come on in, please have a seat.”

Brother Larson and Douglas walked into the home and plopped down on the couch in their living room. Sister Larson and Woody followed suit, taking up residence in two plush chairs that sat across from the sofa.

“Lovely home you have!” Brother Larson said. “How long have you lived here?”

“Ever since we had Woody.” She reached over and patted Woody’s leg. “So about 16 years. We moved in when I was pregnant with him.”

Brother Larson whistled. “Long time,” he said, “we sure are glad to have had you join the ward.”

“I’m so glad too. Ever since… Well ever since Alex passed, I’d been feeling so… lost. I’m so grateful the missionaries found me. It’s been an amazing past 3 months.”

“I’m so sorry about your husband.” Brother Larson said. “Just know, if you ever need anything, anything at all, we are here for you. Any chores around the house. Priesthood blessings. You name it and we will be here. We all gotta look after each other. Isn’t that right Douglas?”

“Right.” Douglas grumbled under his breath.

“Well, do you mind if, to kick things off, I just ask you a few questions?” Brother Larson pulled out a notebook and pencil. “We want you to think of us like an extension of your family. And we’d love to know about any special occasions in your family so we can celebrate them too. What are your and Woody’s birthdays? We’d love to bring something over for you when it comes around.”


“Woody, the ministering brothers are coming again today. Would you mind joining us again?” Sister Fairfield said as she pulled off her high heels and took out her earrings.

“Ugh, do I have to mom?” He called back from his room. Faint guitar strums could be heard as practiced in his room.

“Yes please.” She called back.

“That Douglas kid was weirding me out last time.”

“He’s just shy is all. Please? So I don’t have to entertain them alone?”

“Fine,” he said.

A knock sounded at the door an hour and a half later. The Larsons made themselves at home and shared a quick message.

“Now, I do have a surprise for you Woody.” Brother Larson said. “I know your birthday is still a month away, but I found an awesome gift for you.”

He pulled out his phone and tapped it a few times. Then handed the screen over to Woody.

Woody looked down and saw an email confirmation. It was for a Sex Pistols concert that was coming to town in two months..

“Wait, are you, are you serious?” Woody said. “I love the Pistols. Is this, are these for me?”

“For all three of us!” Brother Larson beamed. “You, me and Douglas, all together! If your mom is ok with it, that is.” He turned to look at Sister Fairfield.

“That’s more than ok with me.” she said.

“How did you know?” Woody asked.

“I saw your Ramones shirt last time and, well, they aren’t touring anymore, but I figured you must like the Sex Pistols too. I guess I was right!”

“Wow,” Woody said, “thank you so much.”

“That’s what ministering brothers are for!” Brother Larson said. He placed a hand on Woody’s shoulder as he said it, jostling him around playfully for half a second.


“Mom, when are the Larsons coming again?” Woody asked about a month later. “Those guys are alright.” Woody had ended up talking music with Brother Larson for a while after their last visit. They had even exchanged numbers and he had sent Woody some new music that was pretty great.

“If you came to church with me you could see them every week.” She suggested lightly.

“Eh, maybe not…” he replied.

“That’s ok, I’m sure they will come and visit soon. At least once before your concert.”

“Just have them come today. I’m busy next Sunday. It’s Robert’s thing next week.”

“Alright, I’ll ask them today.”

After his mom got back from church, they waited a few more hours until the Larsons showed up again. Woody showed Brother Larson his guitar and was surprised to learn that he played as well.

“We will have to jam sometime.” Brother Larson said.

“Yeah that would be great.” Woody agreed.


Woody spent the next month texting Brother Larson a lot more. He had even arranged a few times to go over to his house to practice guitar with him. He had a drum kit and a keyboard as well. It turns out he was in a band back when he was in high school and he had tinkered around with a lot of instruments ever since. He even came when Woody’s band performed at a small gig they had booked.

Woody was eager for the night of the concert when it arrived. He rode with Douglas and Brother Larson there after grabbing some dinner together. Once Douglas had opened up, he turned out to be alright too. He went to a different school, but had invited Woody to a D&D night that ended up being a lot more fun than Woody had expected.

The concert went off without a hitch. Woody even got a t-shirt as another gift. The whole ride home they listened to even more Sex Pistols.

Brother Larson stopped in front of Woody’s house.

“Thanks for joining us Woody, it's been awesome hanging out with you these past few months. I’m glad that we got assigned to be your ministering brothers.”

“Me too.” Woody smiled. “Thanks for the concert, and the shirt, and everything. I haven’t had this much fun since…” Woody floundered. He felt a lump catch in his throat as an unexpected wave of emotion washed over him. A tear formed in his eye. “I’m sorry…” he finally managed to say “I just, it's been hard, ever since my Dad died. My mom has been there for me of course, but I used to play a lot of guitar with my Dad too. So our time together… it’s.. It’s meant a lot.”

Brother Larson looked moved as well. “We love you Woody, and we are always here for you.”

Woody leaned over and gave Brother Larson a quick hug, then hopped out of the car.

“We’ll see you soon.” Brother Larson called out as Woody walked up the steps to his house. Woody turned around and waved.


A few Sunday’s later, Woody’s mom came home from church once more to find Woody playing a video game in his room.

“Hey, you can play for a bit longer, but our ministering brothers are coming over in about half an hour.”

“Oh sweet, can we jam a little in my room afterwards?”

“Oh, well, actually, they switched around assignments. It’ll be Brother Hilbert and Brother Jergensen who come and visit us now.”

“Oh, wait, why did it change?”

“They just mix up assignments sometimes,” Sister Fairfield said, “but I am sure Brother Larson would still come and jam some other time. Sorry for the bad news.”

Woody came down a half an hour later and sat through the lesson with the new ministering brothers. They were both quite a bit older and Woody nearly fell asleep during their lesson. He texted Brother Larson right after they left to try and set up a jam session later that week.


A month later, Woody sat in his room when his mom gently pushed open the door.

“Hey, ministering brothers are coming today.” she said.

“No thanks.” replied Woody gruffly.

“Are you sure?”

“I tried texting Brother Larson a few times, no responses yet. He used to always text back right away.”

“Have you tried Douglas?”

“Yeah, I was supposed to go to another D&D night, but then he told me it was canceled. I tried asking when it would be happening instead, but he never said anything back either.”

“You could try calling?”

“Mom… no one calls anymore.”

“Well, I’ll mention it when I see him at church next week.”

“No!” Woody said. “Just forget it.” He huffed down and scrolled on his phone to distract himself. He heard the doorbell ring a bit later but didn’t bother getting up to join the conversation.


Three months later, Sister Fairfield was sitting in church waiting for Sacrament meeting to start. That’s when she saw Brother Larson walking by with his family. She waved at him, looked at the clock, and decided to sneak over to say hello before the meeting started.

“Sister Fairfield, how are you?”

“Doing alright, how about you?”

“Busy as always with his bunch.” he laughed. “And how is…” he paused as he grasped for a name.

“Woody?” She asked dryly. “He’s doing alright. He’s been missing your jam sessions though.”

“Oh yeah, I keep forgetting to text him back about that. I’ll do that today.”

“He’d love that, thanks.”

The organ music stopped and Sister Fairfield hurried back to her seat.


A few months later, Woody was scrolling through his phone, cleaning up storage space. As he reached photos from a few months back, he found photos of the concert he had attended with the Larsons. He paused for a moment as a small ache formed in his chest. He admired the photos for a few seconds, then selected all of them and clicked the delete button. His phone made the sound effect of something getting hucked into a metal trash can as Woody tried hard to forget the fond memories. Memories that made him feel as though someone had thrown him away as well.

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