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Hong Kong – Chapter 3.4

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In the three months that followed Brig’s first run-in with the law, he was arrested three more times. Each time VII was traveling on business, and though VII got angry, he was able to manage the scandal with a few well-placed phone calls. The second time they released Brig into the custody of his grandparents, who arrived at the police station looking old and confused. Brig had felt awful putting his maternal grandparents, whom he still loved and respected, through such an ordeal. He promised it would never happen again, and was released under his grandparents supervision after VII called and persuaded the officer in charge to let Brig go.

A few weeks later, Brig was again arrested for being drunk and disorderly. He had shown up at a New Year’s Eve dance organized by young adults Brig had known since grade school. Earlier that evening he was out with a few of his newest friends and had gotten wasted on weed and whiskey. The adults chaperoning the dance were so overjoyed to see Brig taking part in a church event again that they didn’t notice his odd behavior and eagerly welcomed him in. Brig’s teenaged peers were more perceptive. They’d heard rumors that he had slipped off the rails and could see that he was struggling to remain standing. Brig ended up getting into a fight with one of the other young men who was protecting his girl, to whom Brig was in the process of exposing himself.

After that run-in with the law, VII let Brig sit in jail for two nights, hoping that the experience would frighten him enough to stop the self-destructive behavior. It did scare Brig, but it didn’t stop the behavior. Within hours of his release, he had picked up his drug dealer and two of the dealer’s friends. Their party ended abruptly when an intoxicated Brig drove his Range Rover into the back of an old station wagon, sending two children to the hospital. To make matters worse, one of Brig’s passengers was on probation. When the officer searched the man, they found crack cocaine and a pipe.

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VII was in Mexico City when he received the call from Brenda. She explained that Brig was uninjured, but the accident sent two young children to the hospital. The children would make a full recovery, but their parents were planning a lawsuit. VII canceled the rest of his business trip and flew home at once. Upon his arrival, he drove to the police station where Brig was being held. In a small cell that reeked of an industrial-strength cleaner, VII gave VIII an ultimatum. He could stay in jail until the police released him, lose his inheritance, and be forbidden to contact his family again, or, Brig could return home, stop the drinking and the drugs, and promise to go on a mission. VII swore on his name that this would be Brig’s last opportunity. There wouldn’t be “one more chance.”

It took Brig a nanosecond to give his father his answer. He knew it was time to clean up, and he was glad that his father was forcefully taking control. Brig wanted to change. He knew what was at stake but lacked the willpower and self-discipline to avoid the pull of that lifestyle. Injuring two children weighed heavily on him, and he was eager to make things right.

Although Brig had started down the path to alcoholism and drug addiction, his father and his doctor agreed that he had done neither long enough to require admittance into a rehabilitation center. His father sold the Range Rover (without complaint) and confiscated his driver’s license (also without complaint). Most of his climbing buddies were on church missions or had moved out of Salt Lake after graduating high school, making it easier for Brig to avoid temptation and prepare for his church mission.

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It took longer to get going on his mission than he expected. Because of Brig’s sinful behavior over the past year, his Bishop required proof of his sincerity. Brig needed to show genuine remorse and model the actions of a missionary for a time before his Bishop would approve and allow him to send in his paperwork to become a missionary. He attended Priesthood and Sacrament meetings again. He taught Sunday school to the younger Mormons in his ward and showed a local Boy Scout troop how to mountain climb. Brig studied the scriptures and worked part-time at Brigham Young International. All things considered, the hardest part about preparing for a mission wasn’t avoiding alcohol or drugs. It was overcoming the boredom. Brig experienced a few close calls when he craved the excitement and adrenaline rush of bad behavior, but the large, motivated support group, led by his resourceful father, made sure that he was occupied and observed 24/7.

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Chapter 3.5 (Coming 8/2) —>

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