I'm at BYU and I'm dating a guy named Brad. A few weeks ago, he and I went to a fireside about family history and decided we’d research our ancestors together a couple times a week so that we wouldn't, you know, make out so much. So we started going to the Lee Library.
I have a lot of Mormon ancestors, so it was pretty easy to dig up my stuff. And I already knew who a few of them were, like the guy who was one of Joseph Smith’s bodyguards and on the Nauvoo police force. But Brad’s parents were converts to the Church and hadn’t done much family history yet, so he didn't know anything about his ancestors.
After a few weeks, he traced his dad's line back to Illinois around the early days of the Church. And that’s when the first weird thing happened. I remember him turning to me from the computer and telling me his ancestor’s name and when and where he had lived. The second he finished, this amazing anger came over me. I felt like jumping up and strangling him right there and then. I had to actively fight the feeling back, it was so strong.
Brad must have seen what was happening because he got this scared look on his face and sort of scrambled backwards in his rolling chair. I finally got a hold of myself and dragged us off for a good make-out session. But it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. I kept gnawing at his neck like I was vampire Bella.
All of this has happened just in the last month or so, and it’s been freaking me out. If Brad is the guy I want to marry, why am I feeling and dreaming these things?
But I wouldn't have written to you if that had been all that happened. I mean, I was on my period at the time, so that may have been doing things to my brain. But just a few days after the dream (after my period), we were making out again—admittedly getting pretty friendly—when this strange feeling hit me. I looked up and standing behind Brad was this shadow that looked human. It seemed to have a hat on—like the hat that guy in 17 Miracles wears.
Anyway, the shadow reached out and I saw a big knife in its hand. It slowly drew the blade across Brad's throat and then disappeared.
I totally freaked out and it took a while for Brad to calm me down. He even gave me a blessing. I told him I wasn't going to make out with him anymore until we got married. Too much weird stuff happens when we do. Our bishop agreed when we told him about it. He thinks maybe we're getting to close to the edge and inviting Satan into our lives.
So the happy ending is that Brad and I are getting married in a month. I also haven't seen or felt any weird things since then. Well, except that when my family met Brad they had a strange reaction. I could tell that they were trying to friendly, but they stared at him A LOT.
Sticking with my policy of not giving out any identifying information in these stories, I’ve removed the names of both Brad’s and Sarah’s ancestors as well as any other information that might compromise their privacy. But out of curiosity, I did a bit of my own research into the names Sarah provided me and found some interesting things. For example, a few of Sarah’s ancestors could quite possibly have been Danites, a secret coalition of early Mormons dedicated to protecting Joseph Smith and possibly carrying out “hits” against anti-Mormons. I have a friend who has a Danite in his lineage; he tells me that his ancestor took an oath to destroy the murderers of Joseph Smith, and that he took the oath on behalf of his descendants as well.
Even though I couldn’t find much about Brad’s ancestor beyond birth and death dates, it seems that he lived either in or around Carthage, Illinois for most of his life. This means that there is a chance, though admittedly not a big one, that Brad’s ancestor and Sarah’s may have had some kind of contact around the time of Joseph Smith’s martyrdom. The experiences Sarah shares make me wonder if Brad’s ancestor was a part of the mob that attacked Carthage Jail. Could he have been on the Danites’ “hit list”? Would his descendants be targeted as well?
What happens when a Danite descendant develops a romantic connection with a Danite target, especially when the Danite took a multi-generational oath? My first reaction is to reject the idea that an oath made so long ago would have any claim on a descendant, but perhaps Sarah’s ancestor wouldn’t agree with me. What will happen if Brad and Sarah have children together? A Danite ghost’s head might explode.
I don’t mean to take Sarah’s story lightly. If my hypothesis is close to the truth, Sarah may have some strange encounters lurking in her future.