Kirtland Temple
A National Historic Landmark

A Mouse in the House of the Lord

By Debra Bruch

Page 2

Boom! Boom! Boom! Philip ran from the mouse house in the basement on up to the third floor. Carefully, so the humans wouldn't see him. A rope ran all the way from the first floor lobby to the huge bell that crowns the Kirtland Temple. While the humans pulled the rope from the first floor, the mice kids rode the rope at the third floor. The boom of the bell drowned out their excited squeaks and squeals as they rode up and down and up and down. By the time Philip caught up with them, his heart was pounding. "Hey, come on, Philip! Jump!" At that, he jumped and grabbed hold of that rope and rode with the others. "Ya-hoo!" Finally, the humans stopped ringing the bell and the ride was over. The kids quietly jumped off of the rope and, without making a sound, listened until they heard the big green door open and then close.

The rope from the second floor
Photo by Debra Bruch
© 2010 Community of Christ
See Larger Image

"They're gone," whispered Jonah. "Come on, we haven't done the banister for a long time!"

"Look at that door!" exclaimed Philip. "It's green! That's pretty weird."

"No it's not!" squeaked Lisa. "The humans know the heritage here and green was the original color of the doors!"

"We gonna do this or not!" interrupted Jonah. "Come on!"

"Wait a minute, Jonah. Philip hasn't done it yet," said Allison, an older and wiser kid mouse.


"Yeah, so?" repeated Philip.

"He doesn't know the rules."

"Oh! Yeah!" Jonah exclaimed. "Listen, Philip. We can't use any fingernails or toe nails. No damage to the Temple. Got it?"

"Why not?" asked Philip.

"Because we're the guardians of this place!" Jonah said proudly. "We've been guardians since the beginning when our gazillion great grandfather Thaddeus heard Joseph Smith Junior ask the people to build it."

"Yeah!" squeaked Lisa, a very young mouse. "The humans started building the Kirtland Temple in 1833 and then it was dedicated in 1836," she recited. "I know 'cause I'm a historian."

"You can't even read yet!" said Jonah.

"So? I know lots of stuff! You wanna know anything, Philip, you just ask me," Lisa proclaimed.

"Oh yeah?" said Jonah. "What do YOU know?!"

"Hey!" said Lisa, defiantly. "I know that after this place was built, the humans thought it was one of the largest buildings in northeast Ohio."

"So what's northeast Ohio?" mocked Jonah.

"I don't know, but it's gotta be really cool! You can't bully me, Jonah. I'm a historian and I'm proud of it."

"So why do they call it the Kirtland Temple?" asked Philip.

"That's easy," giggled Lisa. "Kirtland's the city here, silly."

"Come on, Philip, before you ask any more stupid questions!" said Jonah. "Lisa, you can't do this. You're too little."

"That's not fair," said Lisa.

"Mama said you can't yet," said Allison.

"Okay, Philip," said Jonah, in charge. "You start here at the top of the banister and slide all the way down to the first floor. No toenails. No damage. Ever. I'll go first. Ready?"

"Okay," said Philip. At that, Jonah got on the banister and rode all the way down. Then it was Philip's turn. He looked all the way down to the first floor. He didn't realize just how high it was! "Come on!" Jonah called up. "It's great fun!" At that, Philip held his breath and let go. Down, down and down he slid, all the way down, remembering that he couldn't use his own natural brakes. At the bottom, he fell off and hurt his foot. But he was too proud to show it.

Philip looks down the bannister
Photo by Val Brinkerhoff
© 2010 Community of Christ
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"Oh, man!" exclaimed Jonah, shocked. "Look at this! There's damage here! Hey, Allison, get down here! Quick! Somebody's been in here!" At that, all of the mouse kids hurried down to where Jonah was pointing.

"Heh heh heh," came a voice from the shadows. "Got a problem?"

"Hey, Rex! Come out where we can see you!" demanded Jonah.

"Hiya loser!" Rex said as he stepped out onto the carpet.

"You're not supposed to be here, ya know!" stated Lisa.

"You talkin' to me, kid? Come a little closer."

Jonah stepped to Rex, "Threatening a little kid the best you can do, Rex?"

"I don't have to threaten, loser."

"You did this damage to the Temple?"

"What if I did? It's just a building. Besides, it drives you nuts. You babies and Big Jess."

"You better leave right now!" demanded Jonah.

"Make me!" said Rex, softly. Then he chuckled. "You can't, can you? Against the rules, ain't it? Come on, loser, make me."

"I'll tell Big Jess," Jonah said.

"Ooou, you really scare me." At that, Rex hauled back and hit Jonah right in the nose. The mouse kids yelled while Jonah fell down. His nose bled. Slowly, Jonah stood up and faced Rex. "You can't do anything about it, can ya?" mocked Rex. "Against your precious rules." And Rex left, laughing.

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A Mouse in the House of the Lord © 2010 Debra Bruch




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Engaging visitors in the legacy of the Kirtland Temple, embracing the sacred and secular significance of the historic site, and promoting religious tolerance and open dialogue among all people.

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