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  1. Nephi Smith was born on April 10, 1980 at the University of Utah Hospital in downtown Salt Lake City. Nephi’s parents raised Nephi as a typical member of the Church. They were good parents. Nephi’s father was a salesman and his mother stayed home taking care of what would eventually become Nephi’s 6 brothers and sisters. Nephi was a well-behaved boy who did well in school. Nephi fell in love with computers at age 8. By 14 years of age he, like his father and grandfather, had become an Eagle Scout. Nephi learned to program in high school, becoming proficient in C, C++, as well as Java. When Nephi graduated high school, he attended the University of Utah and majored in Computer Science. At the age of 19, and after finishing his first year at the University, Nephi went on a two-year mission for his church. Nephi was assigned to the Russia Rostov-on-Don Mission. Nephi spent the majority of the first half of his mission learning Russian. Nephi became conversational in Russian quickly and found some success in converting the people of Rostov-on-Don. One day his mission president came to him with a unique proposition. Nephi was asked if he would help open a new mission in the nearby state of Chernarus. Proselytizing was not to be Nephi’s main concern during the mission. It was June of 2000, and it had been observed that Chernarus had stabilized enough since its creation a decade earlier. Nephi was tasked with focusing on bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Chernarus. Since Chernarus was now a democratic state the government was more tolerant of various religious groups providing aid in their country. Nephi spent a year serving the people of Chernarus. Not a day went buy where he was not helping feed the poor or doing the odd job for the family that needed help. Despite his best-efforts Nephi was not able to convert any Chernarussians. The people were still wary of being associated with religion. They would tell stories of parents and grandparents sent to the Gulag for merely being accused of religious affiliation. Nephi could feel the political tension in the country during his time there. He once aided a family where the father, a member of the CDF, had been killed in action a couple of years earlier fighting a “terrorist organization” known as the Working Man’s Defense Alliance. Nephi could sense that Chernarus was a country divided. Stable now, but with deep divisions at its core. He returned to the USA the following summer and returned to his studies in college. He fell in love his junior year and married his wife Sarah. Nephi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in cryptography. For the next two decades Nephi spent his time raising his three sons, working in the cybersecurity industry, and volunteering at his church. He was dismayed when the country he had spent so much time serving fell into civil war in the winter of 2009. Nephi’s nightly prayers often included a plea for peace to come back to Chernarus. In late 2019 he was given an opportunity. The church had been experiencing a decline in membership in Russia since the anti-terror laws passed in 2016 which prohibited most religious proselyting. Nephi was asked if he would be willing to serve as a mission president in Russia. Nephi agreed and began to prepare to move his entire family halfway around the world. It was decided that he would fly out ahead of his family to set up a residence for them. Nephi had just arrived in Russia when the news began talking about a resurgence in the Caedesviridae infection. It was not long before the entire world was back in lockdown and Nephi was stranded in Russia. Over the next few months society collapsed. Global communications networks failed, and Nephi realized that he was on his own. After a month of failing to find a way back to the USA and his family Nephi gave up. He climbed to the roof of an apartment building and stood upon the ledge, tears streaming down his face. He stood there for what felt like eternity, not knowing what was worse. The gnawing pains of starvation, or the mental anguish of knowing that he would never feel the warm embrace of his Sarah or his sons ever again. As his right foot left the edge and hovered over nothing a strange feeling came over him. Suddenly Nephi felt himself surrounded by light. His mind was transported to a small farming town that felt oddly familiar. Nephi then heard a voice speaking to him. Its words were simple. “Go there, they need you.” Nephi’s foot came back to the ledge. He did not know why but he felt peace for the first time in months. Leaving the city Nephi went to the coast and found a ship bound for Chernarus. Having lost everything and seeing no way to return to his family Nephi chose to do what the voice commanded. He did not know why he was going, or what he was supposed to do when he got there. But as the ship sailed into port, Nephi knew that he was where he was needed.
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