The elders quorum president and I were visiting some lost souls, when they were found by the long arm of the law.

As we were preparing to say the closing prayer at the conclusion of our visit we heard someone pounding on the door and yelling, "It's the police! Open the door!"

I thought, "Oh, that old joke." Then there was more pounding. "It's the police! We have a search warrant!"

Before this woman's boyfriend made it to the door to open it, the police opened the door for him. Into the house stormed 10 police officers dressed from head to toe in black body armor.

Each had a submachine gun. When I saw the door burst open, read the word "POLICE" across the first officer's Kevlar vest and saw the large gun that he had, I thought, "This is going to make a great story."

The officer only got to "Get on the ... " and I was face down on the carpet with my hands above my head in full view. "Get down on the ground!" the officer again shouted at the president.

Because the room was small and had a coffee table in the center, there was no available space remaining on the floor, as the rest of us had already hit the deck.

The president stood up and tried to explain who we were. One very large officer stepped toward the president, who then found himself looking directly into the muzzle of the gun with a bright light shining in his eyes.

The officer placed his finger over the trigger and shouted, "I said get on the ground!"

The president decided to do so. As there was nowhere else to go, he laid on top of me, his first counselor. I never thought I would need to "support the president" like that. I really felt the "weight of my calling."

We were instructed not to move or speak, which was difficult, to say the least. I had eaten a little too much for supper, and the president is not exactly a small man.

After a time, the president whispered, "Are you OK down there?"

I didn't dare answer. But a few seconds later, the humor of the whole situation hit me full force and I started laughing, silently, mind you, which made my body shake. The president, being on top of me, was well aware that I was laughing and thought, "What in the world could he possibly be laughing at?"

After the officers finished handcuffing the two closest to us, they were ready for us.

"Stand up and keep your hands above your head!"

We arose and the officers searched us for weapons. They did a much more extensive search of the president because of his earlier noncompliance.

"Who are you?" asked the large officer who had gently persuaded the president to get down on the floor.

"We are the elders quorum presidency from a local ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," the president replied in one breath.

The officers looked at each other and their weapons lowered a little bit.

"Do you have any church ID?" one asked.

They gave us back our wallets and we showed them our temple recommends and drivers' licenses. Big smiles came onto their faces and they soon escorted us out to our car, wished us a good night and allowed us to drive away with a great story to tell.

I knew that my temple recommend could help me get into the Lord's house, but I never dreamed it could help me avoid going to the "big house."

This time, the lost sheep that we were hoping to bring back to the fold sadly ended up going to a different pen.


Daryl Zadok Budd lives in Clearfield, Utah.