Alasdair at the Theater
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“Alasdair at the Theater,” Friend, May 2014, 44–45

The author lives in Massachusetts, USA.

Can you feel the Holy Ghost at a theater?

“If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” (Article of Faith 1:13).

Friend Magazine, 2014/05 May

Alasdair sat up straighter in his red velvet chair as the lights began to dim. The people in the theater stopped chatting and looked up at the stage. Alasdair’s sister, Sutton, folded her program. Then she caught his eye and smiled. “Ready, Al?” she asked.

Tonight was Alasdair’s first time at the theater. His parents loved to watch plays, and when Sutton turned 10, they started taking her with them. Now Alasdair was finally old enough to go too!

The orchestra began the overture. Then the actors walked out on stage and the show began.

Alasdair loved the play. It had adventure, mystery—and even some great jokes! When the show ended, all the actors came out for their curtain call. As Alasdair joined the applause, he had a good feeling, like he sometimes got in Primary. Was he feeling the Holy Ghost? It can’t be. I’m not at church! Alasdair thought.

On the way home, Alasdair sat by Sutton on the subway. “Did you like the play?” she asked as the train rattled through the dark tunnels.

Alasdair nodded. “I loved it!”

“Me too,” Sutton said.

Alasdair thought about how good he had felt during the play. “Sutton,” he said, “when we were watching the play, I felt happy, sort of like I do at church. But the play wasn’t about the gospel!”

“That was the Holy Ghost,” Sutton said as the train stopped and they followed their parents onto the platform. “He can tell us what’s good for us to be around and what isn’t. Did you think the play had a good message?”

“Yes,” Alasdair said. “It was about being kind to other people.”

“Right!” Sutton said as they climbed up the escalator behind their parents. “The Holy Ghost is always there to tell us when things are good for us to be around—not just when we’re at church. We just have to listen.”

A few months later, Alasdair went to the theater again with his family. His mother smiled as they looked through the program together. “A lot of people have liked this play,” she said. “It should be good!”

After the show started, Alasdair started to get a bad feeling. The characters in the play weren’t very nice to each other, and some of them used language he knew wasn’t good. At intermission, he leaned over to talk to Mom and Dad. “I don’t like this play,” he said. “It isn’t making me feel good.”

“Me neither,” Sutton said. “Maybe we should leave.”

“That’s what Mom and I were thinking,” Dad said. “Let’s go.”

“I don’t get it,” Alasdair said as they left the theater. “Why did I feel bad during the play? The last time we were at the theater, I felt so good!”

“Maybe it’s because the Holy Ghost wasn’t there,” Sutton said.

“It didn’t feel very good,” Alasdair said glumly.

“It’s important to pay attention to how we feel when we watch things,” Sutton replied. “That’s how the Holy Ghost tells us what’s good and what’s not. He can help us know when we’re somewhere we shouldn’t be.”

As Alasdair walked with his family down to the subway station, he noticed that the bad feeling was starting to go away. Instead he was feeling happy that he had made the right decision.

Alasdair ran to catch up with Sutton. “I hope we go back to the theater soon,” he said to her. “But I’m only going to see plays the Holy Ghost can see too!”