068 - Warm Bricks

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

Have you ever noticed how children, when they reach a certain age, want their own space? They even become militant about it? Well, Brent was no different. At age sixteen he wanted his own room badly enough to move his bed into a tiny dark unheated room in the basement. Wintertime was especially challenging, and since there was no heat and winters were bitterly cold, he developed an interesting ritual of speedily changing his clothes and hopping under the heavy quilts in bed before he got cold. Now, once under the covers, he would roll up into a “tight little ball” to conserve heat.

These circumstances were no small strain on his evening prayers. I mean, who wants to kneel to pray and be a Popsicle before the “amen” is said? So, Brent took to saying his prayers under the covers. Well, you know what happens when you do that. More often than not, sleep overtook him and prayer was missed. Brent says, “this failure to talk regularly with my Father in Heaven came at a time in my life when I really needed extra guidance.”

You see at that time, some of Brent’s friends were a bad influence, and Brent had acquired some of their habits, among which was the habit of swearing. Now, around his family he talked the way he was supposed to, but around his friends – well, that was another story. The double standard became a “real struggle” for him.

Then, one night the volcano blew! His mother woke him up at midnight telling him that his father needed him to help haul some fuel oil to heat the church in a nearby town, or else the building would be cold for church the next day.

At midnight? Fuming, Brent crawled out of bed and began to dress, growing more angry by the moment. By the time Brent reached the top of the stairs “that temper often attributed to redheads” was in full flower. He “exploded” on the first person he met, which turned out to be his mother. A look of “shock and dismay” graced her features as Brent went out the door shouting and hollering the kind of abusive language you just don’t use around your mother.

By the time he finished helping his dad, he had cooled off considerably, even enough to feel some degree of satisfaction at having gone the extra mile for someone else. But, his conscience made the prospect of facing his mother oh so very uncomfortable. So you can imagine his relief when he got home and saw all the lights out. Quickly, he ran down the back stairs to his room. Now came the freezing ordeal of getting into bed. And finally with teeth gritted, he “leaped into bed” and rolled up into his customary ball. But – but wait, the bed was warm, toasty warm! Well curious, Brent reached down into his bed, only to discover two bricks fetched from a dark cold back yard, warmed in the kitchen oven, and lovingly wrapped in fluffy towels, and placed in his bed.

Brent’s life was forever changed after that, when he came to realize the Christ-like love of his mother.

Adapted from “Fuel Oil, Rebellion, and Warm Bricks” by Brent Cooper, Ensign, August, 1979, pp. 57-58.
Glenn Rawson – January 1998
Music: O How Lovely Was the Morning, track 2 – Lex de Azevedo
Song: One Heart in The Right Place – Liz Draper