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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The New Testament Story That Scared the Cr@p Out of Me

by Ben Johnson (bio)

I'm surprised all evil spirits don't have a beard
Back in the early eighties (1981 I think) the LDS church came out with the Scripture Stories for Children tape series. I was about six when my parents bought me the New Testament version of these tapes. Every night I would go to sleep listening to the stories of Jesus and his miracles. There was one story, though, that scared me to death. It was the story of the man with the evil spirits (Mark 5:1-20). The pictures, the music, the narrator's voice--all these things terrified my little mind.

As the years went by my memory faded, and I wondered what I would think if I were somehow able to listen to these tapes again. Every now and then I would dig through my parents' junk or check Deseret Industries or search around online to see if I could find these things, all to no avail.

In June of this year our family moved to Phoenix. For some reason our records got sent to a ward we weren't planning on attending. Rather than have them moved again we decided to just stick it out. I'm glad we did. While wandering the halls of our chapel one Tuesday night (my son's pack meeting was too boring sit through) I noticed that the library door was open and no one was inside. I figured that since I used to be a librarian I had an obligation to go in and check things out.

After a few minutes of searching I noticed a box buried on the bottom of one of the shelves. As I opened it up my heart leapt into my throat: there sat rows of unopened New Testament Scripture stories on tape! I couldn't believe it. I grabbed the nearest tape player (thank you faceless librarian for keeping old tech around) and inserted one of the cassettes. My finger paused, hovering over the play button. Would this be yet another toy/movie/game/song that I thought was soooo great when I was young but when I revisit it as an adult I want to punch myself in the face for ever thinking it was awesome (I'm looking at you Flight of the Navigator...)? I had to know so I pressed play.

I'm happy to report that it was even better than I remembered. I have decided that it is so good I need to share it with the world. Enjoy my hacked together movie below.

By the way, when the narrator does the demons' voice doesn't it send chills up your spine? That dude deserves a Grammy for spoken word. And doesn't your heart break when Jesus tells the man he can't come with him? Too much for a six year old to handle.

Post script: I permanently 'borrowed' the audio tape from the library. Am I going to hell?

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