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Mormon Ghost Stories

Interview with the Bishop - Part III

Cover Image for Interview with the Bishop - Part III
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost

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“And it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it. And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled.”

3 Nephi 18:8-9

Bishop Abbott looked up at President Sutherland, feeling somewhat emotional. “That boy I found that day, that boy and mother I saved from the slaughter. You know him. He’s my son, Jacob.”

President Sutherland looked at Bishop Abbott with a penetrating gaze. He could tell that he was sizing up his story, deciding how much he was willing to believe. After a minute of silence, he finally spoke. “Are you trying to tell me that Jacob, he’s been alive for over a hundred years as well? I’ll admit he has your gift of not looking his age, but he’s not a 7 year old boy. I saw him grow up in young men’s. He’s got a family of his own now. If he’s cursed like you, how could he have grown up?”

“Yes, he is growing up now. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever gotten to experience, watching him finally progress. Finally putting an end to his damnation that I placed upon him. But, that is a very recent event in our lives, relatively speaking. You see… I cured him.”

“Cured him of your curse? How?”

Bishop Abbott smiled. “I’m glad you asked.”


After I found Jacob and his mother, Kima, that day, the next chapter of my life was quite blissful. I deserted the military and we escaped down to Arizona to restart our lives. I initially was only going to stay with them on the journey down. Help them get established in a new place, away from all the turmoil in the Cache Valley. But that trip from Utah to Arizona proved to be magical. And, well, I fell in love. Kima and I decided it was best we stick together.

With the skills I had acquired, I was able to join on at a ranch down there and start providing for our little makeshift family. The steady supply of animal blood was enough to help me and Jacob satisfy our cravings. And I was there to help him adjust to his new way of life. I ended up working that first job for 5 years before people got suspicious about Jacob never growing up. So we figured out a pattern. I would go somewhere else every few years to keep up appearances. Jacob was my son and Kima was my wife.

We kept this going for the next 20 years. But as Jacob and I stayed young, Kima started to grow old. People started raising their eyebrows when we told them we were husband and wife, so eventually we started saying we were mother and son. Then one day, it was grandmother and son.

She never truly got to see Jacob grow up. That is my biggest regret in this life… that I deprived her of that privilege. But, we were happy for the most part. As happy as we could be given our circumstances.

The day Jacob’s mother passed away, something changed in him. He mourned for her in the way that a child mourns. Despite that, he had learned much in his long life span. He now yearned to grow up in a way I had never seen before. He wanted to make his own life. To find love for himself. I had stolen this from him. In giving him life, I had stolen his progression.

The next few years were hard. She died in 1922. We continued to hop around. But life became dull without her. Seeing her live and grow old, it had given us our own sense of growth. We clung to her progress as if it were our own. Then poof, it was gone.

It was a few years later when I decided I would try and find a way to end this nightmare for us. I started digging and digging. While I knew Ammoron was the one who had cursed me, I had never seen him since. But I knew this had ties back to the Book of Mormon, to ancient American history. So I began my deep dive. I had nothing but time on my hands.

For the next 75 years I chased ghosts and rumors, looking for something that might lead us to answers about our curse. Where it had come from and how it might be removed. Eventually that search brought us here, to Rochester New York.

That’s the reason we moved here. That’s the reason I first met you all those years ago. I was searching for a cure. A cure for me and Jacob. It turns out that cure was here, right where the Restoration began.

I had found some old journal entries from individuals who interacted with early Mormon converts. You’ll remember the Whitmer family was one of the church’s earliest families. They had numerous friends who never joined, but the journal of one family in particular stood out to me.

In 1830, just a month after the church had been formally organized, one of these families had a daughter fall seriously ill. The doctors all said there was nothing they could do. But then Joseph Smith came to visit them at a request of the Whitmers.

I found a copy of the journal that belonged to the girl who fell ill when Jacob and I were living in the Ohio area. Someone had transcribed the events and carried them with them as a testament to the truthfulness of Joseph Smith being a prophet. The journal entry from the family said the following. I’ve committed it to memory due to its importance. This is what it said.

On the eve of May 10th, 1830, Joseph Smith came to our home at the request of the Whitmer family. I had fallen seriously ill. I had been unable to get out of bed for weeks due to muscle weakness. I had nearly no strength left within me. The doctors told me I was at death’s door. My family was already saying their final goodbyes when Joseph came.

He came to me and spoke in a gentle tone. He asked if I had faith to be healed. I told him that I was not sure. I believed in God, but I did not know much about his new religion. I was only 15 at the time and had not paid much heed to the religious occurrences in our community. He said that the spirit had whispered to him and that God would manifest his glory in me this day.

He asked for all others to leave the room, then pulled out from his bag a small wooden cup. It was an old looking thing, but simple. He poured some water inside of it, then gave it to me to drink.

Upon the water touching my lips, I immediately felt my illness depart me and my strength return. I asked him how it was done. He told me it was the power of the Lord, that His lips themselves had once been pressed upon this same cup long ago, but that I should tell no one of this thing. He quickly hid the cup once more the invited my family back into the room. My loved ones rejoiced at the miracle that occurred, but I kept my promise in not mentioning the cup.

I write these things as a testimony to myself. My parents at this time will not allow me to join the Saints as they have not been converted. But I write these things so I can remember the tender mercies of the Lord and the wonders done by his prophet here on earth.

When I read those words, I knew that this cup might be the solution to our problems. But no mention of it was ever made since. After careful study, I concluded this cup must have been that which Jesus himself used when he visited the Nephites. It must have been stored with the golden plates, the Urim and Thummim and the sword of Laban. If those things were kept in the stone box where Joseph found the plates, it might be there with them.

We relocated here to this area. That’s when I first met you. But I spent the next 2 years scouring those hills for the cup. I had almost given up when I finally decided to bring Jacob with me to start searching.

The sky was clear that day. I’d been bringing Jacob with me for a few weeks at this point. I still hadn’t told him the full motivation for doing so, he just knew we were looking for the ancient container, but I had not told him what might be inside of it.

We were walking through the autumn leaves as we searched when Jacob tripped and fell. I ran to help him up and as he was dusting himself off, he stopped in his tracks.

“Do you hear that?” he asked.

“Hear what?” I looked around confused.

“That, singing, someone is singing.”

I strained my ears to hear. “I don’t hear anything.”

“It sounds like a choir, it sounds like… angels…” Jacob quickly stood up then started running towards the sound he heard. I followed him as he ran.

We ran for several minutes until he finally stopped at a large stone that sat next to an old massive tree stump. I knew these hills by heart at this point in time, but I had never remembered seeing this location before. It was unique enough that I should have recognized it if I had ever seen it previously.

“There! It’s coming from there!” Jacob pointed at the rock excitedly. “Do you hear it?”

I shook my head no. I still couldn’t hear a thing. But I bent down to lift the rock from the earth. Jacob bent down to help me. As we pulled it to the side, we could see a rectangular cement looking box was underneath it.

Inside it sat only one item. A small wooden cup.

I bent down to reach into the box to extract the cup when I felt a bullet pass through my shoulder. I fell forward onto the large stone and managed to roll over to see what had happened.

Though I hadn’t seen him in 150 years, I knew him instantly. Ammoron stood holding Jacob in his arms with a gun pointed to his head. He smiled at me.

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it Brother Crosby, or is it Brother Baylor? Or Abbott? You’ve had a lot of names over the years, haven’t you?”

“What, what are you doing here? You’ve kept track of us this whole time?” I snarled through the pain in my shoulder.

“I keep my eyes open,” he said. “I try to keep track of those I’ve turned, just in case any of you does anything interesting. And you, well, you’ve done something quite interesting here haven’t you.”

“What’s that?” I spat.

“Well, you’ve found that cup. Now, that is interesting. It’s not the first time I’ve been this close to the cup though. No, back when I met that old wandering fool Moroni, he had it then as well. I nearly freed myself back then. But things didn’t go as planned. Then that boy found it so many centuries later. But Moroni quickly made sure it was placed back in its proper spot where I couldn’t get to it. You see, the cup can only be recovered by those pure in heart. You’re lucky I’m here. Had you tried to extract it, well, you would’ve dropped dead.”

I winced again in pain as he spoke, my mind reeling at what he was saying.

“But, thankfully, it looks as though we have someone who the cup has deemed worthy of retrieving it. Someone who has never cursed another with this curse of ours. Someone innocent before God.” He pressed his gun up closer to Jacob’s head. “Now there, boy, if you wouldn’t mind reaching in and getting that cup for me.”

“You can kill me first.” Jacob spat. “I’ve lived long enough to not care if I die. Who needs a dumb cup anyways?”

“Oh, you haven’t told him I see. He had no idea the cup this power holds does he?” Ammoron looked at me with a wicked smile as he said it.

“What’s he talking about?” Jacob asked, confused. “What is this cup for Dad?”

“I didn’t even know if the cup was really real…” I started.

“This cup could let you grow old.” Ammoron said. “It can remove the curse your father here gave you all those years ago.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about this?” Jacob demanded. “Even if there is a chance, you should have told me.”

“I didn’t… want to give you false hope.”

“False hope is better than no hope at all.” Jacob fumed.

“Well, this is all so touching.” Ammoron said “but really, I’d love to be on my way with the cup please.”

“Please, you can have it, just… let us use it first. Please….” I begged.

“Oh, I’ll let you use it. Just not now. But if you join me, I can promise you freedom if you demonstrate your loyalty.” Ammoron responded. “You see, I have quite a number of others like you. Others who have our gift. But, they tend to not listen to me and the things I ask of them. If I can promise them eventual freedom, though, they will be much more willing to do the things I ask. This cup will enable me to finally make use of this wonderful army I’ve been accruing. Dangling freedom in front of people can make them do some crazy things.” He laughed to himself, relishing the words. “Now, boy, please make haste.”

He pushed Jacob forward towards the stone box in the ground. Jacob looked at me, asking with his eyes what to do. I nodded at him gravely. Ammoron had somehow tracked us for years undetected. I had little hope I would be able to track him with my failure to notice. But at least this way we could continue on in our miserable existence.

Jacob started to reach into the box, then stopped and turned around to face me.

“There’s something I never told you about Dad. It’s… about Mom.”

“Jacob this might not be the time.”

“No, I… when mom was close to the edge, that night when she died, right before, I… I tried to save her. I knew if she just joined us, we could all stay together. If she took the curse upon herself, she wouldn’t die.” Tears started to form in his eyes.

“I, I bit her Dad. I tried to make her change. But I must have done something wrong. I drained too much blood. She never had a chance to change Dad. I’m so sorry.”

“If you bit someone, then why were you able to find the box?” Ammoron said, “the cup wouldn’t have reached out if you weren’t worthy.”

“I’m telling you, I can’t reach into that box just like you can’t.” Jacob said, spinning to face him.

“Well, we are just going to have to risk it I guess.” Ammoron said, he reached forward and shoved Jacob into the cement box below.

I sprang to my feet as he did so and wrestled with him for the gun in his hand. We fought for a few moments until I was able to push him down to the ground, only a foot away from the box.

Jacob stood up in the box, seemingly unharmed. He reached out and grabbed Ammoron’s hand and yanked him towards the stone box. His small body was no match for the grown Ammoron who flipped around onto his stomach as Jacob clung onto his hand for dear life. I saw Jacob’s plan and knelt down and pushed Ammoron from behind with all my might. Jacob pulled his hand as he rushed towards the box until it touched the cup resting inside.

Ammoron’s body immediately burst into flames. Every surface of him was ignited instantly. His skin peeled away as he was changed to ash in a matter of moments.

Jacob and I stared at each other for a few minutes, catching our breath after the struggle. We then looked down at the cup.

“You didn’t touch it yet, did you?” I asked.

“No, I managed to avoid it as I fell in.”

“Well, maybe he’s right, maybe you are worthy, since you heard it calling you. I’ve searched this place for years and never heard a thing. I think it means the cup wants to heal you. Despite what happened with mom.”

“About that…”

“No, I understand. That’s what we did to you.”

“I actually didn’t fully drain her. It would have worked if she wanted it to. I cut my hand for her to drink my blood, but… she refused. I didn’t understand at the time. But I do now. But I killed her.”

“She was already dying, son.” I said, “but her greatest wish was for you to live. Please, this is a way for you to finally live her wish.”

He paused for a moment, then reached down and picked up the cup.


Bishop Abbott reached down into his backpack that was sitting next to his chair. He unzipped a hidden compartment in the back of the bag and pulled out a small wooden cup.

“This is that cup we found that day,” he said. “This... is my cure.”

President Sutherland looked at the cup closely then looked back at Bishop Abbott. “If that’s true, what do you need me for? What was the point in telling me this tall tale?”

“Well, I’ve tried, you see. I’ve drank from this cup more times than I can remember. Jacob drank from it that same day we found it. He lost his lust for blood. He started aging. I did the same, yet my curse remains. I’ve been trying to cure myself for years but have never heard this cup sing. But just the other month, when I was chatting with you about my feelings about serving as Bishop, when I mentioned how I feel I have so many faults and failures... for a few moments, I heard it sing.”

President Sutherland blinked. “I remember that night, the spirit was strong.”

“Exactly.” Bishop Abbott said. “Like it says in Mosiah ‘whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.’ When I spoke to you that night, I was honest with you about my struggles. I was confessing a few of my shortcomings. I’ve never truly sought forgiveness for these past 200 hundred years of sins and misdeeds. Constantly lying to others about my name, who I really am, never really…”

Bishop Abbott paused for a moment. He had heard the faintest of music play once more in his ears, coming from the cup. President Sutherland stared at the cup in awe.

“I… I hear it too…” he stammered. “The cup, the cup is singing…”

“It’s working!” Bishop Abbott said, “Please, all I ask of you, let me tell you my whole life story. I've barely scratched the surface of what my life has been so far. Let me tell you every wrong I’ve done, every folly I’ve made. Then I’ll be right with the Lord. Then I’ll be able to drink and be free from this curse. Then... I can finally have redemption.”

President Sutherland looked down, then wiped his eyes. After a moment, he looked back up and spoke a single word.


Bishop Abbott smiled. “Thank you.” he said, “buckle up though, because I’ve got 200 years of sins to cover.”


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