1. Never refer to Joseph Smith as "Horny Joe."
2. When she bears you her testimony, never point and laugh.
3. When she is on her knees, praying in the bedroom, don't sneak up behind her and yell "BOO!"
4. When referring to Gordon B. Hinckley, say "Presidient Hicnkley," or "Gordon B. Hinckley." Never call him "Gordo", "Wrinkly", "Flash Gordon", "the Hinkmeister", or any combination of those names.
5. Never call Thurl Bailey "the token black guy."
6. The proper term is "polygamy" not "multiple sex partners."
7. Never use your old garments as grease rags, or to wax the car.
8. To spice up your love life, role playing can be fun. "The pool boy and bored housewife" is a classic. "The boss and secretary" role playing game is also fun. "Joseph and Fanny" should never be suggested. And don't even think of suggesting a polygamy themed role playing game.
9. When attending church with your wife, it's best not to participate in classroom discussion, and never, ever do the "bullshit" cough.
10. If you get in a church related debate, and your wife starts crying, don't mock her by faking a cry and saying "Waaaa, I want my mommy."
11. Jesus's full name is Jesus Christ, not Jesus H. Christ. Never use the middle initial.
12. Never make your wife breakfast in bed on fast Sunday.
13. Boyd K. Packer only has one "K", not three.
14. When she says, "Don't you want to be married to me in the Celestial Kingdom?" Never reply with, "I don't want to wait in line behind Joseph Smith to get sloppy seconds."
15. Never, ever add www.exmormon.org to your favorites.
He was driving home from work at midnight in Atlanta, Georgia. It'd been a rough day and he was looking forward to having a beer, relaxing, maybe watching a little TV. As he drove along, keeping pace with the traffic, he noticed a familiar sight. The Mormon temple, off to his right, rising in the distance. It always struck him as something otherworldly, this building glowing in white light. He wondered if people cleaned the exterior walls regularly. Then he thought, "I haven't stopped to take a look at the grounds for a long time," and he found himself veering off at the appropriate exit.
As he drew closer to the prestigious neighborhood the temple was located in (Mormon temples are seemingly always located in Prestigious Neighborhoods), he reflected on his own years in the Mormon religion. His youth was spent as a true believer, but as his knowledge and experience had increased his faith had waned. He didn't feel sad about it, as if he'd lost something essential or precious. In fact he seldom thought about it that much at all. But on this night, perhaps because he was a little tired and a little lonely, he found himself looking forward to seeing the grounds with a sense of curious nostalgia.
He pulled up next to the curb and climbed out of his car. As expected, the temple grounds had been locked up hours before. There was no one in sight as he walked idly alongside the tall fence which ringed the structure. He noticed a couple of cars in the parking lot. "Temple workers," he thought, "staying late to clean up after the daily rituals." He remembered participating in those strange rituals himself. The promises, the penalties (acted out graphically with a symbolic drawing of the hand across the throat and bowels, penalties meant to discourage infidelity or betrayal of temple Secrets), the signs and tokens (he now simply thought of them as the 'secret handshakes'). All signs that you'd made it; you were part of the inner circle of Mormonism, you'd gained entrance to the Holy of Holies. He reflected on how much Mormonism had in common with ancient mystery religions and more recent Freemasonry both, a peculiar melding of these two elements with good old-fashioned Christianity.
His eyes were drawn to the Angel Moroni, standing atop the tall spire. Gilded in gold, the angel stood with a trumpet pressed to his mouth, proclaiming the gospel to all who would hear (and those who wouldn't as well). It, too, looked as though it were cleaned regularly by temple workers. The man wondered briefly how the hell they got up there and if anyone had ever fallen. The golden statue continued to stand silently, reflecting the light from below.
The man lit a cigarette and leaned against the fence. Sighing, he took a deep breath of the fresh night air and coughed.
"Those things'll kill ya, you know."
He looked around, both startled and relieved at the thought of some human company. But there was no one to be seen.
"Up here," came the voice again. He looked up in the direction of the sound and saw the Angel Moroni on top of the temple spire, waving his trumpet at the man exaggeratedly.
"Yeah right here!" the angel called. "How's it going?"
The man's mouth fell wide open but no sound came out. The angel laughed. "Don't be so surprised," Moroni said. "People have visions all the time. I know you've read your Book of Mormon."
The man struggled to find his voice. "We--, wha-- I'm hallucinating," he said, and he closed his eyes and shook his head.
He opened his eyes to see the angel Moroni on the spire, shaking his golden head on his golden neck, his golden eyes tightly shut. The angel opened its eyes and said, "Nope, not a hallucination. You're still there."
"Look," the man said. "This isn't happening. My mind must be going but I know you're not really speaking to me."
"Alright then, as long as it's happening, why don't you just go with it? You can always make an appointment with a shrink tomorrow morning. And anyway, I could use some company." Moroni stretched his arms and moaned with pleasure. "Ahhh, I haven't had a good stretch since six hundred years after Christ was born." He looked down on the man below him disdainfully. "You really should stop smoking you know. Those things are little death rolls."
The man self-consciously dropped his cigarette and stomped it out. "Sorry," he said.
"No sweat. We get onlooking sinners around here all the time. People just hang around outside the fence and stare. It is a pretty building. It's a shame none of those sinners are good enough to get in."
"Look," said the man. "I know this isn't really happening. If you're really the angel Moroni, show me a sign. Tell me something profound."
"I just did," said Moroni, shrugging. "I told you to stop smoking 'cause it'll kill ya. What, do you want some sort of secret knowledge, maybe a prophecy about the immediate future or something?"
"Well..." said the man.
"Get thee behind me, Satan. I don't give out signs and you shouldn't be asking for them. What you need is faith, not signs."
"Well then, can I ask you some more general questions?" said the man. He was certain now that none of this was really happening, but as long as he was going to hallucinate he might as well make the most of it.
"Nah, go on ahead," said Moroni.
"Okay. For starters, how come there's absolutely no evidence for the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon?"
"Easy. God shifts all the evidence around."
The man stared blankly up at Moroni. "What?"
Moroni nodded. "You know. Like He does with the dinosaur bones. He shifts things around all the time to fool people. It makes having faith more of a challenge." He wagged a finger at the man. "You should know better. You've read the Book of Mormon several times. It's full of stories about God making items 'slippery.' People always losing their swords the minute they put 'em down. That sort of thing. God just sort of slides stuff around to keep it hidden from the archaeologists. It keeps things interesting."
"Isn't that sort of shifty behavior?" asked the man doubtfully.
"Literally," said Moroni, examining his gilded fingernails. "Hey, you don't happen to have some nail clippers, do you? Haven't cut these things in ages."
"No, sorry," said the man, thinking. "Where'd you learn English?"
"Sitting up here, day in and day out, for all these years? Man, I've learned more than just English. Being a statue isn't the most effective way to get an education maybe, but at least I get plenty of time to study."
"Say, you know that story in one of the books of Nephi, the one about how Nephi cut that guy's head off with his sword?"
"Laban," said Moroni. "Cut Laban's head off with a sword. And yeah, I know it. It's in the first book of Nephi, FYI. What about it?"
"Well, I've heard some of my Mormon friends talking about how barbaric the Muslim extremists are, kidnapping Westerners and then beheading them."
"Yeah, pigs," affirmed Moroni with disgust.
"But how is that any different from what Nephi did?"
"Well, Nephi did what he did because God told him to cut Laban's head off. It was for a greater good."
"But the Muslim fanatics think that they're doing what God wants them to do, and that it's also for a greater good," said the man.
"But the difference is that the Muslims are wrong and Nephi was right," said the angel. "Look, I know it doesn't make any sense, but who said it has to make sense? We're talking about God here, and who are you to question God?"
"Well technically, I'm NOT questioning God, I'm questioning an angel," said the man.
"Look, if you're going to be a smart ass, I'm going to become an inanimate statue again. I'm patiently giving you good answers to your questions here."
"But they don't make any sense!" complained the man.
"I didn't say they were rational answers, just good ones," said the angel. "Anyway, who needs smart-ass skeptics like yourself, always asking questions that make sense? I'll give you a choice, mister. You can either bend the knee right now and confess faith in Christ as believed in by the Mormon church, or you can move along. I'll be quiet. You'll never hear from me again. Until you die of course, and then I'll be standing there while Jesus sends you off to Outer Darkness for eternity, where you'll weep and wail and gnash your teeth."
"But I don't believe in Christ," said the man. "Especially as taught by the Mormon church. And what's with the scare tactics? Do you really think I'm so weak as to fall down on my knees because you threaten me with Hell?"
"I didn't say Hell," said the angel with some annoyance. "I said Outer Darkness. Mormons don't believe in Hell, as you ought to know."
"But they're both places of eternal suffering and separation from God," the man pointed out. "What's the difference? It still sounds like Hell to me, by any other name."
"Fine," said Moroni, angry now. "You are clearly a stiffnecked, wicked man. I'm sorry I ever started talking to you. Go on now, smoke your Devil's Weed and think that all you've had tonight is a vivid hallucination. You'll find out the truth eventually, I can guarantee you that."
"Look," said the man. "I'm just trying to have an in-depth conversation here. Why are you getting so upset? These are honest questions that I've been wondering about for years. Why is a little doubt so upsetting to you?"
The man waited for a response, but none was forthcoming. The manifestation had departed.
The angel on top of the spire now stood inanimate in traditional pose, holding up a trumpet with one hand. The gold leaf covering it reflected the artificial lighting hidden around the top of the building. Clearly a contrived effect on the part of the designers.
He walked a little ways up the sidewalk, pondering. "What if it wasn't a hallucination?" he thought. "What if it was real? How sure am I that it couldn't happen? What if I just had a conversation with an actual angel? Am I making a mistake to stubbornly cling to these doubts? In the face of evidence from my own eyes and ears? How can you get any stronger evidence than that??"
His natural skepticism shaken, he reached impulsively for his cigarettes. He lit one and took a long, deep drag, holding the smoke in his lungs for maximum saturation.
"Those things'll kill ya, you know," came a voice from a squirrel climbing a nearby tree.
Christmas greetings and best wishes to our dearest loved ones and friends in the only true Gospel of Jesus Christ:
I thought I would take a minute to drop you all a short note and catch you up on all of our goings-on.
We are all so grateful and humbled by the many miracles the Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into our lives this year. Christmas is so special. It is our favorite time of the year and our testimonies have grown in leaps and bounds from all the special blessings we have received.
Lamar has had a challenging year. After he retired from NASA, he was besieged by requests to speak in Sacrament and Firesides about the secret plans to send exploration to Kolob.
You can imagine how thrilled he was to share his special knowledge of this inspired program. Of course, he could not tell everything he knows, (all top secret and very hush-hush).
The Lord inspired the Bishop to call special brothers and sisters of our Ward and Stake to drive him and his nurse, (after his accident -- more on that later) to speak in 25 Stake Firesides in five states. We can't find words to express our humble gratitude for their sacrifice.
You may have heard that Lamar fell off the roof while taking down our Christmas display in February. He was so proud of the display this year.
He added a new manger scene with all new Joseph and Mary and Jesus figures with completely mechanical, (he retired as a mechanical engineer for 50 years) moving parts and a light display.
Someone said that the strobe light made it look like a Disco dance. How rude! I was busy, as usual, making our usual 100 dozen cookies and 60 banana breads to serve to our guests who came to see the display!
Well, Daddy broke his pelvis, shattered his left leg, and was paralyzed for several months when he missed a step and fell off the second floor roof. It had something to do with those electrical lights he was carrying and the change in his medication for dizziness that he takes after he went through the Betty Ford Center.
But, all your prayers and the blessing given to him by his cousin, Peter Packer (who is an assistant to the 12 and such a spiritual giant), brought him out of it and we are just grateful he is alive.
Of course, we had to redo our whole house for the wheelchair and the live-in nurse who stays by his side day and night. We took out a wall so the kids have had to bunk up but they said they didn't mind. Whatever Daddy needs, Daddy gets! They are so considerate.
He says he doesn't know what he would do without his nurse and thanks Heavenly Father every night for her.
I have taken up residence in the little room in the basement. I miss being with Daddy, but, I am just not able to keep up with all of his needs after the accident.
As long as I have my scriptures, and my crafting boxes, I am happy! Oh, and my computer. I was blessed with a computer as a gift from one the dear brothers (our Home Teacher) in the Ward.
He has had to spend a lot of time teaching me how to use it -- teaching a old dog new tricks you know, haha, and fix all the messes I make. I am so grateful for his help. He comes whenever I call.
In fact, I am typing this letter on the computer right now and Brother Peterson is here right by my side in case I make a mistake. Such a sweet man!
His wife died last year and he says I am such a comfort to him. Isn't the Gospel wonderful?
Our oldest, LaRue has finally been able to come home for Christmas She is an Elvis impersonator and we all get such a kick out of her act! She was Mary in the family Christmas play this year, and (except for the mustache) she was very convincing!
She tells us she attends church every chance she can get. No marriage plans yet, but we keep her in our prayers.
Our twins: Lamar Jr. and Loretta are busy, busy, as usual! They both play the piano, organ, trombone, and cello, and take karate, which keeps me busy as their chauffeur.
They perform in the high school marching band and the local symphony (youngest to ever be accepted -- we are tickled pink) and take turns playing the piano and organ in church for Priesthood, Relief Society, Primary, Sunday School and Sacrament meetings.
They love Seminary and we are so blessed to be able to fill our van each morning for the 30 miles to the Church for class at 5 a.m. They are so diligent, they want to get there an hour early! They are such responsible kids.
I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you all anymore -- haha.
We send you our best wishes and bear our testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on the earth and hope you see you all in the Celestial Kingdom. Ha ha!
XOXOXOXO = Love and kisses:
Lois, Lamar, LaRue, Lamar Jr. Loretta and our three dogs: The Three Nephites -- We gave them all the same name so when we call them they all come at once! It was Lamar Jr's idea. He is so clever! We get such a kick out of him.
UPDATE: January New Years Letter.....
Hello dear friends and loved ones.
For those of you who do not know, we had a very challenging month. Daddy died right after the New Year, something about a mix-up in his medications damaging his liver.
We were surprised, as I am sure you all are, to find out he left everything to his nurse, Sister Iletta Pugh, which held up the estate as it is in litigation (more on that later.) She is being a real stinker about all of this.
My dear Home Teacher, Brother Peterson recommended a wonderful Mormon attorney.
It is such a blessing to know that the Lord looks out for us in our trials.
All we can do now is pray she will soften her heart and let go of her claim on the estate.
Now the wonderful news: Brother Peterson (he says I can call him LeVon now) has asked me to marry him.
He says it is the least he can do for me for sitting with him at his wife, Cumorah's bedside when she was taken home to preach the gospel in the Spirit World last year.
He said she always wanted to be a missionary but never got the opportunity on this earth because of her mental illness.
She was my dear friend and such a sweet spirit.
You probably remember from my last letter, Brother Peterson, (now my fiancee - gives me the giggles at my age-thinking I have a fiance) gave me a computer. Well, just recently, he upgraded it for me.
I have so much more memory. The computer, not me! haha (LaVon says it is good that I am able to laugh a little.)I am so grateful for LaVon. He is such a wonderful blessing.
He asked if he could use the computer for some of his special letters and files, and of course, I told him: "yes." We both have our own special passwords now. I don't know his, but he knows mine.
We use the computer for genealogy and -- you won't guess -- but LeVon and I are cousins! We were so surprised. His great grandma was the 7th polygamous wife of my great great grandpa LaGrande Hyrum Smith! Of course, we have different grandma's but we feel related and so special to have connected in this special way.
LaRue came home for the funeral and told us she had something to tell us. We were all so worried, she looked so pale, we thought she had cancer or something.
She confided that she was born in a man's body. I can't figure it out but I do remember she had to shave her upper lip a lot as a teenager. Maybe it's a hormone problem, I hope it is not hereditary.
She needs money for the operation and we promised she could have her inheritance when it goes through the courts. We have to prove that Daddy was not in his right mind when he changed his will.
We cleaned out the house, and Daddy apparently had not been able to keep the Word of Wisdom like we thought. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
He had hidden a bunch of fancy bottles in the garage. Some were still full, so it looks like he was making a valiant effort to get his temple recommend back before he died.
He was able to be buried in his temple clothes and we were all so happy for that special blessing.
The Relief Society sisters and I dressed him for burial and I was so thrilled to finally see him in his temple garments.
I kept all those fancy bottles and covered them in decoupage and entered my best one in the County Fair and won first prize. It was like having Daddy spurring me on! I know he would be so proud of me.
I put the ribbon with my collection of ribbons. I have 27 County Fair ribbons now.
It was a wonderful funeral service. Brother Nephi Packer, his cousin, gave an inspiring talk on the Plan of Salvation. I just don't know what we would do without him.
We were worried about Daddy's Word of Wisdom problems but Brother Packer assured us Heavenly Father knew his heart. It is such a comfort to know that Daddy is teaching the gospel to the spirits in Spirit Prison.
Everyone is doing just fine. The twins are busy, busy, busy in school and Seminary, band, orchestra and Karate. I am so proud of them. They still have perfect attendance.
I went to see our family physician; Dr. Thayne Grant and he gave me some pills to help me feel better. I am not laughing as much and he thinks these will help.
XOXOXOXO = Love and kisses:
Lois, LaRue, Lamar Jr. Loretta and our three dogs: The Three Nephites. LaVon says I can add his name too now.
LETTERS #3 and #4
Hello dear friends and loved ones.
We are all so grateful and humbled by the many miracles the Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into our lives. Our testimonies have grown in leaps and bounds from all the special blessings we have received.
This was such a wonderful month. LaVon and I were married in the temple. We had a very special triple ceremony.
First, LaVon stood in as proxy for Lamar and so he and I could be sealed for time and all eternity.
Then I stood in for Cumorah so she and LaVon could be married for time and all eternity.
He and Cumorah had never been able to be sealed in the temple for all eternity (because of her mental illness) so I had the special blessing of standing in for her as proxy.
Then LaVon and I were sealed for time.
My heart is so full. The spirit was so strong. I know that Cumorah and Lamar was there with us.
Daddy's estate is still not settled and we might have to sell the home to pay the taxes. Daddy always took care of things, so I had no idea the house was in foreclosure before he died.
Sister Iletta Pugh (his full time nurse) was very upset to find out she was not getting anything, so she gave up her claim on the estate.
Unfortunately, there is no money for LaRue's operation so that is on hold how.
LaRue insists we call "him" Ronnie (after President Reagan - whom she always loved) but I just can't seem to get used to it.
She is taking some new hormones and is looking more and more like Elvis every day. Oh, there I go again. I am supposed to say "HE",now.
Ronnie thinks that he can get more work now as an Elvis impersonator because he looks so much more like Elvis, that is, in his later years. Loosing the weight is no longer an option. It would hurt the career opportunities, I am told. v The twins are busy, busy, busy. Lamar Jr is following in Daddy's footsteps and going to college to become an engineer, plays his trombone in the college band and plays the piano and organ for church. He is going on his sixth year playing the organ.
He has recently called off his engagement. He found out his fiancee, Allison was pregnant with his best friends baby. He said that would not change his promise to be his friend's best man at his wedding. He made that promise long before all this happened and he said he is a man of his word.
They will be married next week in the Relief Society Room at church. Then in a year, they will to go to the temple to be sealed. Loretta made Allison's wedding dress. She says she hopes she can still get into it by next week. She all ready had to let out some seams.
Loretta is working full time, and going to college full time and has been doing volunteer work at the hospital. She is thinking of becoming a medical examiner. At first, she wanted to be a veterinarian, but changed her mind. She said she has been inspired reading Patricia Cornwell's books . She says she feels a special spirit working on dead people.
She handled all the arrangements for the reception we had in the park when LaVon and I were married. She is such a blessing.
One of the Three Nephites had a bad spell this month and we thought he was not going to make it. He ate the remote to the TV and it really made him sick. But LaVon and Lamar gave him a blessing and the doctor did surgery and removed the remote and he is his old self again. Of course, we have to keep the remote on top of the TV now.
We send you our best wishes and bear our testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on the earth and hope you see you all in the Celestial Kingdom. Ha ha!
XOXOXOXO = Love and kisses:
Lois, LaRue, Lamar Jr. Loretta and our three dogs: The Three Nephites. LaVon says I can add his name too now.
UPDATE NEWSLETTER - about eight months later...
Hello Deal Friends and Loved Ones:
We have had several challenging months.
Several months ago, my sister Iris called and asked me to take her to a computer class at Adult Education. They were short people to meet their quota to continue the class, so I signed up too.
I didn't plan to keep up with the classes as LaVon said he could teach me everything I needed to know and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. More about LaVon later. Hint. It is not good.
I decided to stick with the computer class and went home to work on the new things I learned. I was thrilled to learn how to do research on the Internet. I could look up anything I wanted to know. I felt like a kid in a candy store!!
Well, something terrible happened when I was looking at the files on my computer. I was shocked beyond words to find that LaVon had downloaded naughty pictures on my computer! I called my computer teacher immediately and he came right over and showed me how to delete the files and get rid of all those awful pictures. Then I had a good, long cry.
Then, I found out that my deceased husband, Lamar is the father on another birth certificate, which explained the woman no one knew at his funeral. So, I had another good cry.
I was getting up my courage to talk to LaVon when he collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital. He died three days later of liver damage. When I cleaned out his things in the garage, I found the bottles he had been hiding, just like LaMar.
That was the last straw. I went to bed and did not want to get up again. Well, my sister Iris (who never liked Lamar and particularly detested LaVon) finally, after much coaxing, persuaded me to go see a counselor.
I had a really bad spell there for a few months, but when I started feeling better, the counselor suggested I take more Adult Ed. Classes and try to get out more. He also suggested I take up a hobby or do something for myself that I loved to do.
So, this last semester, I have been taking swimming classes. Those that knew me when I was a teenager knew that swimming was the love of my life. I was on the swim team in high school and wanted to become a life guard, but my father nixed that. He didn't approve of the bathing suits.Then, of course, I got married and that was the end of that.
I also took Self Esteem for Seniors and have met some swell gals. We have been going to movies once a week and have started a book club. We are all widows and have a lot in common.
While I was making changes, I decided to start using my legal name, Maureen - again. Now that Lamar and LaVon are gone, there is no need to use my middle name, Lois anymore. I am tired of having matching first letters of all our names. My counselor said it was a good sign.
The twins, Lamar and Loretta have moved away from home, but call regularly and are so supportive. They tell me they are so proud of me.
Ronnie (LaRue) moved to San Francisco and became a Democrat. "He" is living full time as a man and hopes to be able to save enough money for the "operation" in a year.
Iletta Pugh, Daddy's full time nurse-47 yrs old and never married, is pregnant and claims Lamar is the father. She was evicted from her apartment, so we moved her into our basement rooms. I told her she could stay until the baby was born. Then, I would insist on a blood test to show whether Lamar was the father or not.
I still have bad days but I am learning to live as a single female.
Updated NEWSLETTER #5
We have had a few more challenging months.
I have good news. Iletta's baby was born and Lamar was not the father. So, she moved out. What a relief. I never liked her anyhow.
The twins, Loretta and Lamar Jr are busy in school. I only see them about once a month now. I am so busy, now we can't seem to coordinate our schedules. Loretta has changed her mind about her major and now thinks she wants to be a hair stylist at a funeral home. Lamar Jr is engaged again.
I took a trip (my first one in an airplane) to see Ronnie (LaRue). He opened a new act in San Francisco.He has some very strange friends, but he put me right at ease. They sure are fun.
My counselor is helping me understand how LaRue became Ronnie. I am still not sure but I love him and am happy for him and his new special friend.
I am still taking Adult Education classes and have started a new job. I can't believe it myself. I am working for the first time in my life.
I am a receptionist at the Recreational Center for the swimming classes and I have been asked to be an assistant swim coach for the seven year olds. I think I am happiest when I am in the water! Mama always said I was a little "fish" when I was a kid.
The house sold last month, and after the bills were paid, I had enough money to move into an apartment in the same complex with my sister Iris. It was hard to move out of the house and say good-bye to it. I had to give the dogs away. I found a nice family down the road that would take the Three Nephites.
My sister does not drive anymore, so I am her chauffeur. It's good to be able to spend time with her. She and Lamar did not get along so we rarely saw each other. We have over 30 years to make up.
Iris never believed in Mormonism, so I have been going to Catholic Mass with her. I was sitting in the car waiting for her and she said I might as well come in, so I did. I am not sure what to think about it, yet.
A very nice man in one of my classes asked me to go out for coffee. I started to tell him that I was a Mormon and didn't drink coffee, but then I thought, oh, my goodness, what difference does it make. I will try it. Well, surprise. I love coffee!
He asked me to dinner a week later and ordered wine, but I drew the line at that. I didn't mind trying coffee, but wine was out!
I got up the courage to tell him that my sister was right all along about my husbands. They were alcoholics and I would not believe her for the longest time. Finally, I realized that I knew all along, but would not admit it to myself. I probably won't see him again. I think he drinks a little too much. I hope he understands.
I still have bad days but I am still learning to live as a single female. I think it is getting easier.
Aloha friends and loved ones.
This has been another challenging year full of surprises and heart ache.
I bet you are wondering about that greeting. Well, I went to Hawaii this last summer because (I know this sounds too good to be true, but it is) I won a trip for two for five days.
I filled out one of those little contest forms when I went to the market and I got the surprise of my life when I found out I won.
I wanted to take my sister Iris with me but she was not up to it -- her arthritis was acting up and she is was not able to fly.
So, I talked to one of my new gal-friends, Cora that I met at the Rec. Center where I am a part-time receptionist and teach a swimming class to the youngsters.
She also attends the same book club that I do. We just finished reading Carl Sagan's "Demon Haunted World" . That was quite an eye opener. I don't know what he is talking about much of the time, but I am going to keep reading it and try to figure it out.
Cora said she didn't know if she would like all those Hawaiian leis with her allergies, but I convinced her she would be OK if she made sure she took her medication so she decided to go along. After all, the trip was FREE!
The plane trip was quite exciting. I had a very strange experience. I asked for a soda and somehow, got an alcoholic drink, (which I figured out later!) and it made me giggly and sleepy! Tasted kind of funny, but I thought maybe it was just because it was Airplane food.
We had a very interesting time in Hawaii. It was a very different experience, bunking with her. She snored-- a lot --and even though she brought those nose strips, she must not have put them on right, because I had to wake her up half a dozen times a night to get her to be quiet so I could sleep. I don't think I will travel with her again.
I was a little taken back by all those-- practically naked girls dancing! They are rather "suggestive" you know. Cora was not concerned at all and had a ball learning the dances herself. My goodness,she danced with the men and the women and had a terrific time.
I was really worried one night though. I lost track of Cora and I could not find her anywhere. I asked the clerk at the motel if she had seen her and she gave me a rather strange look and just told me "not to worry."
Well, Cora showed up for lunch the next day-- looking really happy. She didn't stop smiling. I asked her what she was so happy about and she said: "never mind": and giggled. Then I caught on and said: "Cora, shame on you. And at your age too." She said that age had nothing to do with it and dropped the subject.
I came home with some of those Muumuu dresses and I have to say, the Hawaiians have a good idea with those. They are very comfortable!
I had a challenging month when I returned from my little trip. The toilet must not have flushed right, when I used it last (right before I left) and when I got to my apt, I found four workmen in there cleaning up all the water. I guess the toilet ran continually for four days! I didn't know they could do that! I thought they would eventually stop.
Two pieces of furniture got soaked and they put down all new carpeting and flooring -- and a new toilet that works better!
I should mention that Iris has been lending me her books from her Mormon history collection and, I had another challenging month after reading: "In Sacred Loneliness the Plural Wives of Joseph Smith." Actually, I still have not finished the book. It just breaks my heart. I have had a good cry after each woman's story. I have been so shaken, Iris suggested I call my counselor -- again and I thought I was doing so well. I picked out "American Massacre" but Iris said that because I was so upset reading the Compton book that she wouldn't loan me anything else until I felt better.
Enough about me. LaMar Jr finished his degree in engineering and minor in music and got a good job --2000 miles away. He married a lovely girl, Lucille (she is not a Mormon) and she has four boys from a prior marriage ages: 15, 12, 10 and 4. She teaches "Rieki" -- I never heard of it, but she told me all about it and she would give me a treatment when I came to visit. I am not sure I am ready to lay on a table with just a towel. I guess it is OK. We are both women!
Anyhow, it was quite an adjustment for LaMar -- becoming a husband and father all at once. Well, she became pregnant with a little girl, but miscarried at the fifth month. It was very hard on all of us, but they are doing OK, taking it one day at a time.
"Ronnie" is doing "great" he says. He got a part in "Jesus Christ Super Star", but I had to miss it as I went to Hawaii. He told me it was OK. I could see him in another production! He is always so supportive of what I want to do. I still can't get over his wild outfits and strange friends but I do laugh a lot when I visit him.
Loretta is living in the funeral home in San Francisco, not far from "Ronnie." . The owners made an apartment for her in the basement. She finished her hair dresser classes and loves working on dead people. She said she feel so close to them. I did notice, the last time I saw her, that she smells a little like embalming fluid. I had hoped it would wash off but she says she doesn't notice it. I didn't want to tell her but, I think that might be the reason that the only guy who she had a date with worked at the funeral home too. He probably smells like embalming fluid too.
I have had a bad year with the bishop and I don't mind telling you about it.And, yes, I have been rebellious!
I was really upset when the bishop said, (after LaMar Jr and Lucille's baby died) it was because the little one was too righteous to live on earth so she was taken home to Heavenly Father. That just did not seem right to me. How could he be so insensitive?
The bishop also told me I was expected to pay tithing on my social security checks from my deceased husband and I told him that there was no way I could make it financially if I did that so he said he could not give me a temple recommend. And it was a test of my faith.
I told him that I didn't mind paying the tithing on my little part-time wages, but that was not good enough for him. He told me that I needed to pay all the tithing and be a full tithe payer and if I needed help, financially, I was to ask my children. Well, I could not do that. They are struggling as it is. I can't be a burden on them.
After that interview, I went home and had a good cry.
Then I thought about it and realized that it had been so long since I went to the temple, that I surely would not miss it!
God knew my heart and if the bishop didn't that was just too bad. Iris said she had read all about the temple on the Internet and told me where to look and I was surprised at what I had forgotten. Right then and there, I knew that I did not want to go there again. It struck me as very strange, I had never felt like that before, but I was repulsed by it! There, I said it!
I was so upset that when the bishop wanted to give me a "calling" to teach Primary, I turned him down. I just told him: "No thank you!"I know he was shocked beyond words because he got really quiet and didn't know what to say. He has not called back. Iris had been telling me I needed to be more "assertive" and I guess I practiced on the bishop. haha
I told my counselor about my conflicted feelings about my Mormon upbringing and I think I am beginning to see that I have more choices than I thought I had. He said he was real proud of the way I was handling my life as a widow; independent female, he says! Gives me the giggles but that is what I am. I never thought this would happen to me, but I guess I am doing OK.
I am enclosing a new photo of me in a Hawaiian Muumuu. I know it does not look much like me, but that is because, with all that swimming, I lost 35 pounds and my sister, Iris introduced me to her hair dresser so I got a new "do." Now I am a "bottle blonde" ! haha-I;m laughing a little more now. Iris and my counselor says it is good to hear me laugh.
I still have my bad days, but I am learning to live as a single female. I think it is getting easier.
PS: I bought a coffee maker! If that no-good bishop won't give me a temple recommend , I decided I didn't need that silly Word of Wisdom either so I am experimenting ! I hope I don't get sick!
Hello friends and loved ones.
I have had such a wonderful year. I have found so many great new friends.
I have dropped my little job at the Rec Center as receptionist and am only teaching one beginning class in swimming for the six and seven year olds. I really do love that age.
I don't need the money -- and this is the big surprise -- LaMar had a savings account that I knew nothing about. He got some money from an inheritance from his grandfather William Scott Smith that was put in an account years and years ago and it earned so much interest that I do not need the income from the job.
Iris, my sister, and my counselor are so pleased with me. I am not crying as much, and I feel much more confident.
I do not go see the counselor anymore. I have "graduated" he said! Even gave me a little card with his name on it; for emergencies he said. He has my name, and Graduate on it! He said I could call him anytime if I really needed him, but he did not expect me to call.
Well, I did go see the counselor once this year. I was having bad dreams. In one of them, I arrived in heaven at a fancy gate and I was told I was not allowed in. I was so upset that I woke up screaming: "let me in, let me in."
I was spending the night at my sister's Iris's apartment (she had some minor surgery and didn't want to be alone). Anyways, she woke up and thought there was a burglar or something in the house and came racing into my room with her bat she keeps under the bed for protection. I don't know who scared who more!
When I explained it was a dream and what it was about, she said: "that's it. You are calling the counselor first thing in the morning." And I did.
My counselor helped me understand that for so many years, I thought I was not worthy of love or anything else and my fears were coming in dreams. After that session, I am pleased to report that I have not had another bad dream like that one.
Well, I did have one other bad dream. I dreamed that II could not get the temple garments off. I pulled and tugged and they stuck to my body like glue. When I woke up I told Iris about it. (I didn't know if I should call my counselor about it or not.)
Iris told me that she thought I could handle the problem by myself and suggested I take the "damn things" (her words exactly) off and buy some fancy underwear. She even volunteered to go with me to Victoria Secret.
Well, I was shocked beyond words at her suggestion, but after I thought about it for a week, (and just happened to walk by that store when I was in the mall and peaked inside) I decided she might have a point! But, I could not make myself go inside. So, I went over to Penny's and got some nice, comfortable, (not quite so suggestive!) underwear.
I kept them in my underwear drawer for several months before I got up the courage to wear them. I was afraid that something awful would happen if I took off the temple garments.
Besides, that silly bishop had made such a fuss about not paying a full tithe on my social security checks, and I was drinking coffee (with mocha!) and loving it, I figured that because I was doing fine, (didn't get sick!) that I would try some different underwear. Well, I am happy to report that nothing bad happened, I felt just fine. They felt a little strange at first, but I like them much better.
Iris is still teasing me about going to Victoria Secret, but I won't go!
I had been wrestling with Mormonism and how I felt about it for many years. A lot of things just did not make sense. I feel so rebellious: drinking coffee and not wearing the temple garments. And yes, staying firm on how much tithing I would pay.
I expected to have a lot of things go wrong in my life because I was not being a good Mormon, but just the opposite happened.
My goodness, gracious, life has never been better.
I am still going to the book club, and because I am don't get so upset anymore, Iris loaned me: "American Massacre" by Sally Denton and I have stated read it. Of course, I have had a good cry now and then, but I don't tell Iris or she won't loan me anymore of her books!
I have been visiting with a nice man who goes to the book club and he invited me out for coffee but made sure I knew it was not really a "date." I told him that was just fine. I was not ready to "date" either! He is a very sweet man. His wife died nine years ago. He says he is getting ready to consider seeing other women now. He has the cutest smile!
I know I have bored you -- again -- haha! This has been a letter all about me, but I won't even apologize! I just feel so much better, I had to share the news.
And before I forget, all the kids are doing great, couldn't be better and I have enough money to take more plane trips and visit all of them! I am just tickled pink!
LETTER # 8
Hello friends and loved ones of Maureen
This letter is from her sister, Iris.
I know you will want to know the latest. She has been such a wonderful letter writer, keeping her loved ones and friends up to date on all her goings on.
I am writing to let you know that Maureen was in an minor auto accident and then, while in the hospital, she had a mild stroke. She is making progress and the doctors are very encouraged, however, she still does not have full use of her right side.
I know she would appreciate any cards and letters. You know how she loves to laugh, so send her funny ones, OK?
We are doing fine. Her kids have each come out. Most have to return in a few days to their work. Loretta has been doing her hair. She says it is not much different than working on dead people but Mom wiggles a lot more! haha
Iris, Maureen's sister
Hello Friends and Loved Ones
I have had several challenging months.
I am finally home from the convalescent hospital, able to type again and use my computer! I am a little slow, have to hunt and peck with one finger on my right hand, but I am getting better every day. I am so happy to be home.
I want to thank all of you for the funny cards. They were a real pick-me-up when I was feeling so useless!
Everyone says I have a lot of spunk and are surprised at my recovery. I even surprised the doctors. But what do they know! I think they paint a grim picture just to get their patients fired up! Of course, I got right back in the water and did a lot of swimming and I think that helped me get better faster.
The Bishop called and wanted to know if I wanted a blessing, but I told him "no" I was doing fine on my own!
The "kids" have been wonderful. They made me a ramp so I can get in and out of the house and take walks in the neighborhood so I won't be housebound.
I have had visitors coming and going. Some of the ladies from the Mormon church came by and brought me some casseroles and funeral potatoes. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I hated funeral potatoes! My next door neighbors have a little dog and he loved them. haha.
Iris's Catholic friends from her ladies group brought me some delicious desserts and one came by for a few days and fixed my breakfast and lunch until I could do it myself.
My goodness, people are wonderful. It was hard for me to accept the help at first, but everyone was so nice, I just could not send them away.
Nobody from the Mormon Church even raised an eyebrow at my coffee maker. I considered hiding it in the cupboard, but then decided that I was not going to sneaky! Better to be honest and up front.
Iris has been loaning me more and more books on Mormonism, and her collection of Agatha Christie mysteries now that I am doing better. I have not had a good cry in several months now! I am having a lot more "good" days. It was difficult getting through Mountain Meadows Massacre without a good cry, but I did it! I have not called my counselor once!
It has been nearly eight months since my accident and tiny stroke and have finally thrown that walker out . Well, actually, I loaned it to a friend in our complex who needed it more than I did. I have a little cane that I use just for balance and it gives me a little more confidence.
I am working on getting my driver's license back so Iris and I can gallivant around again. Iris said I better study up on the manual because they keep changing laws and are really hard on seniors. Guess they think we forget how to drive.
I got to laughing about Mormonism the other day and all the silly things I used to do to please the Mormon God. Iris says it is good to hear me laugh again.
Iris still wants me to go with her to Mass but it just does not appeal to me. She says she understands.
I am not sure what I believe now that I had that health scare, and was told that I could die. I think I will be content to enjoy every day I have now and not worry about anything that might happen in the future or when I die. Life is just so short. It goes by so fast.
There is a very nice man in the apartment complex that has been visiting me from time to time. He says he thinks I am beautiful. I have to laugh at that. His eye sight is not the best but even if he can't see me very well, at least his heart is in the right place. We have a lot of common interests. He loves to read also. He said he was raised a Mormon but had not attended or thought much about it in over 50 years. It is nice to have another friend.He also makes delicious coffee! He makes me laugh!
I will close this letter for now as I am getting tired. Have to take more rests these days.
Thank you again for all of your thoughtfulness and help during these trying days.
LETTER #10 (Update 11/09)
Just a quick update, dear friends and loved ones:
Iris reminded me I have not written an update for several months, and she has been getting phone calls! The gals at the book club wondered what happened to me.
Well, I've been busy!
I had to drop the book club because I have been in "the zone"! I heard that phrase the other day and decided it fit me right now. I am writing my life story which meant I needed to do a lot of research. I found some things that were very upsetting and decided to take a break and come out of "the zone.".
I saw an advertisement in the paper for Salsa Dance Lessons, so I signed up. I'm definitely not going to get that hip swing and kick like the teacher wants, (that stroke was a bummer) but it's fun anyhow.
The truth is -- , I met a swell guy at Salsa Dance Lessons and he has been taking me lots of new places. His name is Delbert. He's a little sensitive about having the same name as the cartoon, so I had to hide my collection of Delbert cartoon books! He's 77 which is a little "old" for me, but we have such a good time and laugh a lot.And, he's Lutheran. I'm not sure what difference that makes, but he talks a lot about his church folks back home in Minnesota.
I know you are all going to want to meet him, but he's just a little shy about meeting family right now. He is Old Fashioned -- and he wants to take me home to meet his mother (who is 95 and still lives on her own), back in Minnesota, and get her approval-- when the time is right, he said, before I introduce him to my family. . Besides, his wife of 52 years died five years ago, and he is not ready to "date" yet he said. So, we're just friends.
Before I forget, I got some bad news. Ronnie really wanted to have the operation to finish changing him into a man -- even though I told him he looked fine to me, I thought he had it down pat.
But he is short on money and had to cancel his scheduled operation. His last show folded and he has been on unemployment for two months now. He said he didn't want to tell me as I would worry. Well. Of course I would!
He is convinced he can get a better job if he has the operation and is a "real man". His words, not mine. He is determined to go to the police academy and lost weight and has been working out. He told me that the money he saved on food paid for his gym membership. I hardly recognized him when he came to see me! I saw this buff young man in my peep hole at my door and almost didn't open the door! haha
I asked him about his career as an impersonator. He said the Elvis thing was just a phase and he is over it. He really always wanted to be a policeman. That's understandable, I told him. You were the one (when you were a girl) giving out tickets for all kinds of infractions for "breaking the law" in our home -- ! I think he has found his "calling."
I consulted my financial adviser and decided to give him a little more money so he could have the operation. Now that he has lived a year as a man, he can be approved! He is so excited! I'm still getting used to LaRue turning into Ronnie (and that Democrat thing) and can't figure out what happened, but I guess it's OK. He's happy and if he's happy, I'm happy.
I told him I couldn't talk long, I was just going out the door to my volunteer job at the Soup Kitchen. I volunteer twice a week. Now that I can drive again, I am going around to the grocery stores and picking up donated turkeys. We are planning for a big thanksgiving dinner in a couple of weeks. I volunteered to contribute 25 of my homemade sugar-free Pumpkin Pies ! (So many of the homeless are diabetic these days.)
LaMar is doing so well - he was promoted to a senior position. I forget the title but it sounded very impressive and important. The grand kids are all on OpenBook,. They are trying to get me to get on it too. I'm still thinking about it. I'm not sure about giving out my information on the Internet.
Loretta has been promoted to Head Cosmetologist at the Funeral Home. She took some classes and now teaches classes. She said it's not hard: See one, do one, teach one! That's an old medical joke, she told me.
She has been practicing on Ronnie - teaching him how to do his hair and help him buy clothes. I didn't want to mention it, but I thought that Ronnie's hair-do looked familiar. It's one of Loretta's favorites for viewings.
I see I have rambled on and bored you all again. haha
Hope you are all doing well. I send my best wishes.
Excerpts from a interview with Larry King following his final address in General Conference and calling to emeritus status.
King: So Mr. Hinckley, are Mormons still Christians?
GBH: Jesus Christ has left us an impressive legacy, much of which may have been a figment of Pauls imagination. We accept and embrace the principles that he taught of love and goodwill to one another. What else is a Christian?
King: So you still believe in God?
We believe in a creator, some may refer to him as Providence, Allah, God, the Big Guy, the Big Bang, it doesnt matter what we call him or her or it, there was a prime cause or causes that produce intelligent offspring. We are here, what more evidence would you have? All are welcome to choose whatever form of deity they wish to believe in.
King: Is the Book of Mormon true?
There have been studies that have attempted to verify the literal history of the Book of Mormon. The results have not been encouraging. As for the Golden Plates, you know, I havent seen them. Its beginning to look like by and large that the stories are parables created by a truly inspired Joseph Smith with heavy borrowing from the Bible and other fiction writers.
Please dont misunderstand me. I testify that there are many true principles taught in the B of M. However, I believe the truth is presented as allegory and parable. We shouldnt try to take the BofM or PofGP too literally. Not even the Bible. So both the Bible, Book of Mormon, along with all other sacred writings should be accepted as books that contain metaphorical truth, not much literal truth.
Is prayer still important in the Church?
Id like to say a word about humble prayer. I really dont think that the all powerful creator cares much for groveling supplication in our prayers. He is not so insecure that he needs to have adoring sycophants repetitiously mouthing professions of adulation coupled with submissive obeisance.
. . .What do I think is the true order of prayer? If you think it will really do any good to speak to the big guy, get up off the ground, be a man, and speak to him man to man, or woman to woman, just as Moses did. I dont see how it would please him to view displays of abject humility. . . . And do it in your closet.. . .
King: So Mr. Hinckley, many of the Saints are a little confused. Your comments seem to indicate a radical departure from previously held core beliefs.
GBH: Larry, it may appear that way to some, but if those suffering from confusion would remember what the core principal of the gospel has always been, the teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the writings of Matthew:
Matthew 22:37 . . . Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Thats it: Love the Lord and Love thy neighbor. And in Matthew 29 we learn that the way to serve the Lord is to serve those in need. So, the cornerstone principle of Christianity is service and Love. Love can only be expressed through acts of kindness, consideration, and helpfulness which is again service. All the details of the rest of our theology is simply to help us to learn and remember, and carry out, those two basic principles.
King: Well now, much has been made of the special underwear that Mormons are supposed to wear.
GBH: Larry, like most instructions in the temple, the prayer that we should wear them throughout our lives is simply a symbol that we should live a good life. (I mean be good, not necessarily possess goods, although theres nothing intrinsically wrong with a little prosperity)
The original intent was to establish a visible daily reminder of our commitment to live by correct principles; the fundamental principles which I just explained. At one time given the general clothing styles of the pioneers, it was not a great hardship or inconvenience to put them on in the morning under day clothes since most people, especially in colder climates, were likely to wear what used to be called long johns anyway. We need to be careful not to confuse a symbol with the principle that it represents. If we put the symbol before the principle, the symbol loses its original meaning and can in fact begin to represent the opposite of what was originally intended. For example, if our special underwear is supposed to represent our devotion to God, but we become so obsessed with wearing it at all times, our devotion has become focused on our underwear and not our god. Our underwear has become our God. This could be called idolatry. I believe this was the intent of the first commandment against other gods or graven images. Simply put, we are not to place too much respect, reverence, or zealotry towards mere physical objects. Again they can be used as reminders, thats the purpose of a symbol. We just must not confuse the symbol with the principle.
I can imagine the creator cringing every time a married couple retire to their bed room while wearing clothing of any kind, or for that matter anyone wears excessive underwear in the heat of the summer.
King: Now Gordon, your comments about chastity and sexuality are surely one of the most startling, some may even say shocking revelations in your final Conference address. Is this a complete reversal of a previous Church Doctrine that Sexual Sin is next to murder in seriousness?
GBH: Dammit Larry, Sexual Sin is next to murder in seriousness. It always has been and always will be. The confusion is about what constitutes sexual sin. I guess our embarrassment in discussing the matter has led to some unholy and improper interpretations of the sixth commandment. Let me be perfectly clear. Sexual sin is rape or any other form of sexual assault or abuse. Period. All else is a personal matter between consenting individuals and no more a sin in and of itself than smiling or shaking hands with strangers.
Mr. Hinckley, some may be surprised to know that a prophet cusses.
Larry, this is another area where a commandment has been completely misunderstood causing unnecessary guilt for harmless expressions. In the first place the commandment to not use the name of the Lord in vain cannot be broken by anybody because he never even told us his name. All Moses ever got out of him when asking the question was I am that I am.
God, Lord, Jehovah, etc are simply our nicknames that we have come up with for purposes of discussion. Even the name Elohim that Mormons are fond of using is simply the Hebrew word for God. It is not his actual name. Using man made nicknames as expletives and intensifiers in our speech may serve to effectively clarify our emotions when speaking. Cussing is the seasoning of speech. It can enhance the flavor of our verbal expression when used sparingly. Unfortunately we often see examples in modern literature and film where writers mistakenly mix salt and pepper into the entertainment meal in proportions similar to the flour and sugar. The result is an unpleasant indigestible pile of poop, if youll pardon the expression.
King: I will indeed (laughing). I must say, even though I am not a member of your church, I personally feel a breath of fresh air tonight. But I do have one more matter I would like to discuss, one which has to do with the future of the LDS church. Many of the traditions that you have now repudiated as false have, shall we say, been viewed by most of the active members as key integral structural components giving the church its shape and form. What is left with all that has been removed. What do you say to those that suddenly feel lost?
Larry, you touch upon the area of our greatest concern. I supposed this is the very reason my predecessors could not bring themselves to correct some of the misconceptions and misrepresentations that have crept into our doctrines. They were worried what would happen to the testimonies of the weak and the young. Let me tell you, the church has weathered many doctrinal upheavals. The revelations instigating polygamy. The revelations revoking polygamy. The revelations instigating the United Order. The revelations repealing the United Order. The revelations that some people could not be allowed to hold the priesthood. The revelations that the priesthood would be available to all. We have always had disagreements about doctrines and beliefs, even among the quorum of the twelve. The church will weather this storm and be the stronger for it. I believe that now that the world has seen that we have jettisoned much of the dark and loathsome baggage we have unnecessarily carried, they will be more open to considering the value of the good that we offer: a framework for a happy and fulfilling life on this earth. A happy and fulfilling life is the best preparation for whatever follows mortality.
Oh, there will be confusion, there will be struggles, but then those things have always been there. Now we can bring them to the surface where they can be discussed and tested. There will be no more excommunications for any reason except for serious criminal behaviors such as assault, robbery, or fraud. All doctrines however are now fair game for discussion in any forum.
We may see more branching off of fringe groups. We wish them well. The big change now is there will be no more borrowed light. No more false testimonies. Anyone is free to have and to share whatever beliefs they wish without fear of condemnation.
Thank you for being with us tonight Mr. Hinckley.
It has been my honor and pleasure Mr. King.
....................................................................... One week later on 60 minutes, an interview that did not take place.
MW: So Mr. Hinckley, Did Joseph Smith actually see God the Father and His son Jesus Christ as he reported?
GBH: I really dont know. I know that I have never seen them, although at times I have felt what I believe to be the presence of some great power which I call God. Insights have come to me that I personally attribute to Deity. You know, I think Joseph Smith really believed what he said. But we need to keep in historical perspective his personality and culture that he was raised in. He was a very creative, imaginative young man. He certainly had a flair for expressing himself in scriptural prose. Of course he borrowed heavily from other sources, including the King James version of the Bible.
MW: So you admit that the foundational roots of the LDS church might very well be false?
Mike, I admit no such thing. I am simply saying that Joseph Smith probably invented most of his revelations in his own mind. But that does not say that he did not receive real inspiration or many brilliant true insights. The nature of God is a mystery to mankind. Almost all churches say that. But many of Joseph Smiths teachings do have a solid feel of truth. Our challenge is, as with all learning, to winnow the truth from the conjecture and error. Nobody, including me, is going to speak 100% truth 100% of the time. We arent that smart and God could not and would not even try to tell a prophet everything to say so that no mistakes were ever made. It would literally fry the prophets brain, not to mention destroy his agency.
In one sense we can all be prophets in that we are all entitled to receive inspiration and insights if we will put forth the required effort.
MW: And what is the required effort? GBH: Some call it prayer. Its really just taking time out to clear ones mind of extraneous thoughts, to focus on the one thing or few things that are unresolved. It requires an attitude of genuine humility, that is a willingness to discard old cherished false beliefs before one can receive new and enlightening truth. Our tradition says Search, Ponder, and Pray. A humanist might say study, contemplate, and think. It amounts to the same thing.
MW: Now thats an interesting comment, I always assumed that religions were antithetical to the humanist position, yet you speak almost somewhat kindly towards their way of thinking.
You know Mike, we really dont have any quarrel with humanists. They may or may not believe in an intelligent higher power which I call God, but they are absolutely right to question that which is not proven and to regard that which is not provable with some skepticism. The only real difference I have with some of them is whether there is a possibility of enlightenment beyond empirical evidence and logical deduction. The human mind clearly has the ability to exercise inductive reasoning processes, to make inferences from limited evidence. Many times such inferences are wrong, sometimes deadly wrong, but never the less, sometimes grand insights are gained that prove to have tremendous value to us as human beings. So while I understand their skepticism, (indeed I have a healthy measure of it myself) I choose to look at the grandeur of the universe, of the human mind, of what I sense to be our spiritual purpose as something that transcends mere physical observation and logical reasoning.
Now physical observation and logical reasoning are the foundation of our humanity. Too few people pay much attention to these essential human attributes. They are the pre-requisites for our physical survival. But the spiritual part of our nature is that intangible realm that while inseparably connected to the physical foundation that supports it, rises higher, including the ability to appreciate beauty and to attain higher moral judgement, and somewhere along the way creates the possibility for an emotional state we call happiness.
MW: So lets talk about happiness. Are you of the opinion that we can only be happy through others?
GBH: Well many have said so. I believe that many are confused. It is a popular opinion in the Christian world that the only virtue is in what we do for others, not what we do for ourselves. But the fallacy of that thinking should be obvious with just a little, shall we say, logical reasoning. To try to sell a concept as good and desirable, there is always an implied benefit to the person receiving the sales pitch. Why should anyone want to do the virtuous thing unless there is some benefit to them? But lets turn it around and say when we do good for ourselves, we will generally be behaving virtuously. Acts that hurt others are certainly not virtuous and they do us no good as well. There are many acts that we can do to serve others that will definitely increase our well being. But there is always something in if for the doer. Otherwise, it is a rather pointless exercise.
I do believe that service to others is indeed the key to our satisfaction and happiness in life. Sometimes the rewards are tangible in terms of a larger paycheck or other reward. Sometimes its a simple satisfaction of helping someone unable to help themselves. But to say we should serve others with no thought for ourselves is an act of dishonesty and emotional abuse.
MW: What about body piercings and tattoos? You have spoken against them. Is this a prophet speaking? Or just a man?
Well dammit, its both. Anyone can be a prophet with just a little introspection, humility, and exercise of logical reasoning skills. I have thought somewhat on this matter and feel in some sense it is sound wisdom. I also admit that I have some strong personal opinions about it as a man.
Maybe what you are really asking is does God really care what we do to our bodies? Well of course he cares. If you created a great work of art and gave it away to someone that you thought would appreciated it but they then either neglect it or intentionally mar it, would you be pleased?
So it is with our bodies. They are naturally beautiful, in all the shapes and sizes that they come in. If we are healthy, they need no modification or mechanical adornments. It is your right and privilege to invest in your body that it might serve your needs, or to abuse and desecrate it so no one cares to be in your presence. It is your choice. Im just suggesting a little rational thought before you make permanent modifications to what you have been given.
Exotic makeup and fashions are not too serious offenses since they are at least reversible, but injuring our bodies is foolish and unattractive. Even piercing of the ears is so unnecessary. Our bodies are beautiful without penetrating or permanently coloring our flesh. These are just my thoughts. Its what I think God would recommend, but as always, the choice is yours. And as I have said elsewhere, we really only please God through the free exercise of our agency, wherein we learn and grow, not by blindly keeping some obtuse commandment or other. Its just my recommendation that you think about it carefully before you make irreversible decisions. My main point as in other areas is: Try to think a bit about the long term.
MW: Now with regard to your comments about the churchs oversight of acceptable sexual behavior. You seemed to have reversed a number of previously emphatic polemics on what is and is not acceptable. Is this perhaps opening the door to a return to polygamy?
GBH: Mike, you know this issue is perhaps one of the most sensitive matters the church has had to deal with since the early days of its history. The outside world saw the practice of polygamy as licentious and immoral. Im afraid that we bought into that assessment a little too far in trying to reverse that perception. We not only abolished polygamy, but began to accept the most repressive beliefs of other churches and groups with negative views on sexuality, in general to prove we were not a sexually obsessed church. So we traded one obsession for another nearly opposite in its effect.
Pregnancy outside of marriage and the spread of venereal diseases were somewhat valid reasons historically to discourage sexual relations outside of marriage. But applying the same moral stigma to harmless acts of masturbation was way beyond reason or necessity.
With todays medical technology, we can certainly prevent unplanned pregnancies. We can do a more thorough job of screening for disease. We need to teach responsible behavior, but we should not preach sexual abstinence as a virtue. With that said Ill answer your question.
Is the church going to bring back polygamy? No, like the united order, it was a failed social experiment. However, those who choose to practice polygamy will be welcomed back into the church with out moral judgment or stigma. (Let me add that any man older than 21 married to a woman under the age of 17 will not be welcome at church and should probably be thrown in jail.) Likewise polyandry or other marriage forms will be left up to the participants to freely choose. The one thing that will not be tolerated is any form of abuse. Otherwise, except for the protection of children, such matters are left to individual judgment and not to be judged by the church.
MW: So will the church now recognize same sex marriages?
GBH: Thats like asking will we accept dry rain? Rain is wet. By definition rain is not dry. However, we will accept using umbrellas and raincoats to remain dry when standing in the rain. Marriage by the definition that I have always understood is a union of at least one male with at least one female. Beyond that we make no judgments. Ive already said, the private behavior of adults is their own business. Adults are free to enter into whatever contracts they wish. Same sex relationships are no concern of mine. But trying to force changes in the meaning of our language can cause a lot of confusion. If we are going to use oxymorons like same sex marriage, well have to come up with another word for marriage. However languages do evolve and if everyone wants to use the word marriage to describe a same gender union, Ill adapt, if I live long enough.
MW: Weve covered a lot of ground. Will you continue to practice the priesthood ordinances that in the past have defined the Mormon experience?
GBH: Our ordinances will continue to evolve. Blessing one another has proven to be a socially bonding and spiritually affirming practice, particularly fathers blessings. Now Mothers blessings will also be acceptable and encouraged.
As rumor has long held, we removed some of the unnecessarily demeaning and violent metaphors from our temple ordinances a few years ago. I think its time we likewise revised our sacrament prayers and other ordinances that are not relevant to the culture we find ourselves in today. Sacrament prayers in particular do not need to be so gruesome.
All the Sunday sacrament songs about blood, mutilation, and suffering seems in conflict with the principles that I see as the only meaningful and constructive part of the Christian message, love and service. The Crucifixion/Atonement was a badly recorded and poorly taught metaphor that needs to be put to death, if youll pardon the expression. Also, the temple ordinances need additional significant re-definition and re-composition. President Perry and others will be working on that.
Mr. Hinckley, with all these changes, considering everything you have said tonight, what then is left?
GBH: What is left is what was always there; to do the Lords work.
MW: And what is the Lords work?
Its to help ourselves and one another to grow and develop into independently thinking rational well adjusted sentient beings capable of having meaningful wholesome relationships with each other. It has very little to do with specific abstract rituals or practices that have been called ordinances. Rituals and ordinances are just the scaffolding, not the essential structure of happiness. Like any scaffolding, they can, if artistically and wholesomely scripted, help us to build satisfying and fulfilling lives. We need to evolve more meaningful ordinances and symbols that help us to further these goals. Symbols are made for the benefit of man, not man for the perpetuation of any particular symbol. It is my prayer that we all will seek for that which is virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy. That which is uplifting and life affirming. That is, after all, why we are here. Men and Women are, that they might have joy.
MW: Thank you Gordon for your candid and forthright answers this evening.
GBH: As always Mike, it has been my pleasure.
This Mormon thing keeps crossing my path. Just the other day I'm sitting in Dick Cheney's office discussing the impending presidential debate when Orrin Hatch walks in unannounced and un-escorted. As you may know, Cheney is well guarded as the commander-in-chief-by-proxy.
'Oral' (as the VP calls him) is the water boy and communication link between the Mormon Church and state HQ's located in SLC and Washington, respectively. More on that connection in a minute. So Oral barges in with his scriptures in one hand and an iPod in the other jabbering something about the immorality of tongue piercing.
I was caught off guard as he's usually ranting and raving about how he and Metallica have been robbed of their living because Satan has been telling the youth of America that sharing MP3's across the Internet is okay. Of course I have to refute his claims, but like most religious wacko's they are reluctant to risk obscurring their faith with facts.
But don't worry about Oral, he's not going hungry. The Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America have both planted several lobby groups deeply up his squeaky tight asshole. You knew that he and Ashcroft are semi-professional musicians, didn't you?
Sorry to get off track, what I'm really writing to you about is to scoop you on the news that Dick Cheney has been 'called' to be the 13th apostle of the LDS Church in a private revelation meeting with Hinck, Monson, and Jesus. Seems the Church is wedging itself to be first in line in the imminent land-grab of Arab states once this Iraq occupation is complete.
Cheney was the only man who could promise such a position. In exchange Cheney demanded some wilderness land the church owns in Wyoming, 66 million in cash, and a seat on the highest council on Earth. This proposition led to some new and interesting problems for the mormon church.
While the change to 13 apostles wouldn't be such a problem to convince church membership of, inducting an apostle who openly admits he told a fellow politition to, 'go fuck himself' would be more challenging. For this reason they decided it would be in the best interest of church followers that they not know, but would ultimately benefit somehow when temples, churches, and church-owned factories sprouted up all over Iraq and Afghanistan... FYI: McConkie once claimed that Adam Smith was a Danite.
The tidy council all agreed that Cheney fit the bill of an apostle; obviously old, delightsomely white, a sneer and furled brow from years of deflecting evil, and a reflective bald dome to blind followers with. It was suggested that Cheney be a third councellor instead of an apostle so it wasn't so obvious, but he declined as it had been a childhood dream of his to someday be an apostle who would usher christ's return. Jesus and I were windsurfing the other day and I asked him about the whole Cheney/Apostle arrangement. He claimed that he owed the mormons a favor for not returning on 12/31/2000 at midnight.
Apparently Jesus got drunk at a poker match with the world religious leaders back in '98 and made a pinky promise with Hinck that we would return to Earth at the end of the millenium and declare mormonism the true church... in exchange for borrowing Hinck's Rolex. What else are you going to do when you're holding two pair and you've got nothing left to bet with? I'd have done the same, wouldn't you? Anyway, Hinck drops a full house but gives Jesus his Rolex if he only remains true to his promise.
Of course Jesus didn't return to Earth on that night, and it's a good thing for mortals. J was mellowed out on E that night, and it's pretty difficult to do anything in a 'blaze of glory and destructive wrath' when you're passed out on a pile of bean bag chairs. He'd planned on getting cranked on Jagermeister and Red Bull to fuel his triumphant return, so much for the plans of diety.
As you can imagine, Hinck was all pissed off about the aborted 2nd coming and called in the morning shrieking at Jesus to return his Rolex. Jesus apologized and explained his situation the night before. After Hinck calmed down Jesus apologized again and said that he 'owed him one.' Agreeing to put Cheney on the Mormon board of directors was payback.
So, that's the scoop. Cheney is the secret 13th apostle and the Mormons are preparing to invade Iraq. I told Jesus about your website and he said he would check it out, but I haven't heard anything yet. I'll keep you posted.
Your elder brother,
The Prince of Darkness
Hey guys, Satan here. Just wanted to let you know that I stumbled onto your site and spent a good part of the day laughing my ass off! (Actually, I was googling on 'deception' and this popped up... I've been working on the Bush/Cheney campaign lately doin' a little research). Anywho, I'd all but forgotten about them Jell-O eatin' idiots in Utah, as I've had bigger fish to fry these days. Ya gotta admit, there's hardly any funnier religion on the planet, sort of makes for an easy target though. I just love those underwears!
I thought you might be interested in a little background on Mormons. It was more of a mutation on an accident that stemmed from the original spat between Jesus and myself. And just to set the record straight, the 'war in heaven' was little more than a card game (similar to Uno) gone awry. That's right, Jesus and I are still brothers and we still get together quite frequently to discuss the planet. That 3rd hosts of heaven bullshit was simply a handful of buddies who got pissed and left when J and I started arguing. Like most folklore, it got blown all out of proportion.
So let me cut to the chase. Jesus argued that organized religion would provide the means for people to help one another during the unpredictable and uncontrollable event called life. Of course, I being the more pragmatic of the siblings laugh in his face. I remind him that humans are a bunch of chickenshits who couldn't care less about each other when the stakes (no pun) are critical. He gets all pouty and storms off to tell the old man about his altruistic delusion.
Dad thought it was an interesting idea and agreed to create us a world where we could examine who is right about human nature. I really didn't give a rats ass but was bored enough to see what would happen.
The irony is that I haven't had to lift a goddamn finger! Jesus' religion scheme backfired so terribly that he even tried to live among his so-called followers and they kicked the shit out of him. The whole time I was laughing and thinking to myself, 'what a fuck stick!'
Rest assured, I'm not whispering in anyone's ear and I'm not funding Larry Flynt and I'm not telling the youth of society to smoke pot. (Actually, that's not true... I do advocate the use of marijuana for both medicine and recreation.) Truth be told, I've been watching re-runs of Gilligans Island for the last 20 years.
I only recently got back into politics because of the unusually high tension between parties. These days ya gotta give a wonder to what the partisan boiling point actually is. (FYI: I'm solid in the Dubya camp. I just love the fundamentalist right, they are absolutely insane with nutty ideas!) If only I really had the power that people claim I have, I'd make Cheney and Ashcroft start wildly humping when they see each other.
Back to the Mormons. These were just a band of misfits who couldn't make a decision on their own. They followed Brigham Young out west and settled in that godforsaken desert wasteland with promises of riches (both heavenly and earthly.) Not much has changed in a hundred and fifty some-odd years later. They're still looking for some sort of rapture or escape from the responsibility that comes with accepting the true experience of life, just like every other religion on the planet. It's really a waste of life, but remember that I had nothing to do with it.
The only regret I have about the mormon church is that I wish I'd thought of it first.
Your older bro, -Beelzebub
When George M. joined the church in Scotland as a teenager in the 1850s his family was not amused, to say the least. He was disowned, ostracized and came to Utah to became the patriarch of a large Mormon family of which I am descended. Grandpa George refused to tell anyone about his parents or his siblings, because he specifically did not want their temple work done as punishment for their treatment of him. Several generations of the best genealogists have never been able to uncover his history and this is a great embarrassment to certain members of my extended family. All we have is his name, birthday and his place of birth. Numerous trips to Scotland have been made yet every traditional attempt to unravel this mystery failed.
At a professional meeting in San Francisco a few years ago I meet a most remarkable woman. Several of my cousins have a certain family resemblance, curly red hair, high flat cheek bones, tall and majestic. When I first saw Sarah, I mistook her for one of these cousins and went up and started to talk to inquire when she had become interested in this field. Sarah turned and with a look of absolute distain said: I have no idea what you are talking about. I apologized and moved on. But she was accompanied by several British chaps and they would not leave me alone. It was subtle and sarcastic and funny in a way but they really got on my nerves and if you saw Sarah and my cousins, you would realize how easy it would be to make this mistake. I found myself in their uninvited but outwardly polite company between presentations and then for lunch, the constant target of their clever biting wit which I seldom understood.
A group of us went out for dinner away from the hotel into a run down area of the city at the end of the day. I was uncomfortable but they didnt seem to care and were bent on going to this one particular place to eat. Suddenly out of the shadows this large young hoodlum pointed a revolver right in our faces and demanded our wallets. You should have seen the British fellows scrambling for their pockets and practically falling over each other out of sheer panic, begging for their lives. I dont think any of them had ever seen a gun before.
I am quite familiar with guns having grown up on the street and I could not help but to notice that the cylinders on both sides of the barrel were empty of cartridges and I know that revolvers turn as you pull the trigger before they fire. So I could see that the cheap little gun wasnt loaded and the guy looked young and pretty nervous and his choice of victims, a group of several adult males reflected his inexperience. So I called his bluff. I stood there right in front of the gun and said: go ahead tough dude, shoot me. He got this scared look in his eyes and took off running away. I followed him a few yards until he turned up into an alley where I caught him and kicked his ass right good and threw him into a dumpster. They wanted to call the police and I told them that if they did I might end up in jail for assault. Did they want to make several trips back to the States to testify for me? So we just left it there.
These cavalier heroics impressed Sarah and her attitude changed. She started to defend me and take my side. They accused her of being attracted to me and I suppose it was true. After dinner we slipped off alone together and it was rather forward and sudden but I took hold of her hand and we walked around the streets for hours talking. She admitted that she was staying in the hotel under the most scandalous circumstances, sleeping with three or four of the guys each night and she had not found it to be as pleasing as she had anticipated. She had agreed to it out of anger and revenge for then unclear reasons and she felt frankly sleazy about it and wanted out but could see no way to break the news to them since they had all chipped in for her airfare and hotel bill. Otherwise she would not have been able to come.
The week long meeting was 4/7ths of the way over and I told her that she was selling herself short. A common street whore would cost more in this city and her friends had received more than what they had bargained for. I offered her the couch in my room if she wanted it. No strings attached. So she stayed with me and her friends were furious but they did nothing about it. We spent most of the remaining 3 days together.
The last night we went out to this 50s place to swing dance and had a wonderful time. We came back to my room and I really did not want to get any more involved with her. But one thing led to another and we ended up sleeping together. I was married at the time and in the Elders Quorum Presidency and extremely burned out with too much church work and the marriage was very stale. My wife was already telling her friends that it was over which I was yet to know and going to the Bishop but he never mentioned it to me. As it turned out Sarah was in the process of going through a divorce and technically was still married too but didnt tell me about that until later. Our last night together was like a dream from another world, a happier and far better place. Even though I have been programmed to feel much guilt and shame over my actions and I gave up any hope for a position in the celestial kingdom that night for her, it was a beautiful experience in ways I can not describe.
She almost missed her plane the next morning and she lost her job but found a better one. We corresponded and to my surprise, I discovered that although she was working in London she was born in Scotland in exactly the same place that grandpa George was from. Even more remarkable, she had a keen interest in genealogy as did her grandmother and they had traced her family line back deep into the middle ages. And as we compared notes, she discovered that one of her ancestors had a brother who went to America in the 1850s because of some unmentionable disgrace. The name, birthday and place of birth match exactly with grandpa George. So Sarah and I are cousins about 6 times removed. I was able to give all of this additional genealogical data to my Aunt, dozens of relatives had their work done vicariously in the temple, with the permission of Sarah of course.
We both were soon divorced, but ironically she joined the church about the same time I was excommunicated. We discussed the possibility of dating seriously and maybe even getting engaged. But she dislikes America and wants to stay in Britain. I can not realistically earn a living over there and I dont really fit in socially. And in a way it feels sort of incestuous, after finding out that we are related.
We go through life and the joy and pleasure is fleeting, the pain and heart ache overwhelming. We soon grow old and sleep in the grave. The happiness we found in 3 days is, as a memory, cherished by me no less than that experienced by many over decades of marriage. Life is a gift from God, love a miracle. I am grateful for my portion of it no matter how great or small.
And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
I am lounging naked on the loveseat on a Sunday afternoon, watching "The Red Violin." My wife sits on the couch shooting craps and wearing socks.
The doorbell rings.
I quickly hit pause and set my coffee and bagel on the table.
"Damn!" I say.
"It's fast Sunday!" she says.
"Fast offerings!" we say.
I jump up and she jumps up and she hides her game and I hide the movie cover because "The Red Violin" is R-rated.
"What should we do?" I say.
"Tell them the truth," she says.
"No way," I say. "Just go tell them we'll pay it later."
"I'm not answering the door!" she says.
"But you're dressed!" I say.
"I'm wearing socks!" she says.
"Just put your robe on!" I say.
"I'm a woman! You're a man! There are two little boys outside demanding money! Now go!"
"But I've got bedhead."
She folds her arms and says, "I'm not moving."
"Well neither am I," I say and I fold mine too.
There is a hard knock on the door and we make a mad dash for the office and peek like prisoners out the window at our own front porch.
"Funny," I say. "Those don't look like deacons?"
"I think that's the Bishop," she says.
"No," I say. "I think it's the Stake President."
"Nope," we say, looking closer. "I think it's both."
"What should we do?" she says.
"Pray that they go away?" I say.
I see their bodies turn and I get the sense that they are about to leave when our daughter wakes up.
"Mommy? Daddy? Mommy?" we hear her say.
She throws open her door and heads straight for the living room.
"Mommy? Mommy? I hungry. Mommy? Ooooh! Movie!"
I hear through the wall that she has found the remote control and pushed play. Sounds of Corigliano bleed through the walls like a fanfare of trumpets announcing our bluff.
I see the Bishop curiously turn and reach for the doorbell.
"Door!" my daughter says.
"No, sweetie!" we say and we both run in to the living room to get her.
"Don't answer the door!" I say. "Don't answer the—"
"Door!" she says and swings it wide open.
We quickly duck behind the arm of the couch.
"Well hello there, little one," we hear the Bishop say. "Is your mommy or daddy home?"
"That's right," the Stake President says. "Your mommy or daddy."
"No mommy. Watch movie," she says and slams the door.
We breathe a sigh of relief and jump up from behind the couch to grab her.
Mid-step, the doorknob turns.
This time we dive behind the loveseat.
A gentle push and the door is forced open.
"Knock knock?" the Bishop says and steps into the house.
"Anybody home?" says the Stake President.
My wife and I lay motionless behind the loveseat as the two men enter.
"Don't move!" I whisper in her ear. "Stay down!"
"But this is my house!" she whispers back and is about to cry when I pinch her. "Ouch!" she says.
"Shh!" I say.
"Is this coffee?" the Bishop takes a sip.
"Looks like someone's been watching a little TV," the Stake President says, then shuts it off as if he owns the place.
"Maybe they're still asleep?" the Bishop says.
"We'd better go check," says the Stake President.
"Come on little tike," the Bishop says, hoisting my daughter. "Where's your mommy?"
"Mommy!" she says, pointing to our bedroom.
"That's right, Mommy," he says. "Mommy's in a lot of trouble, isn't she?"
They leave the room.
"Nice going!" I whisper.
"Oh yeah, this is my fault?"
"Well it isn't my fault!"
"Come out come out wherever you are!" we hear, along with the sound of our closet door opening.
"My hell!" my wife says. "What are they doing in there!"
"Looks like somebody forgot to iron their white shirt," the Stake President says.
"And look here," the Bishop says. "Unpolished Doc Martens. With unblacked-out yellow laces."
"Tsk tsk," says the Stake President and I see his head shaking back and forth in my mind.
"What are we gonna do!" my wife whispers. "What if they keep searching the house!"
"I don't know! Shh!"
"Well think of something!" she says.
"I'm working on it!" I say.
"Are you sure your mommy and daddy aren't home?" the Bishop says to my daughter.
"Did they step out for a moment?" the Bishop says.
"Oh no—" the Stake President says.
"What?" the Bishop says.
"Just as I suspected. See?"
"I don't believe it," the Bishop says. "Hanes Her Way," he says.
"Hanes Her Way," says the Stake President.
"They're going through my underwear drawer!" my wife whispers in disgust.
"Oopsie doopsie. Looky here. It's a wittle thongy wongy," says the Bishop.
"That is a thong indeed!" says the Stake President. "Give it to me!"
"Stop them!" she says.
"What do you want me to do!" I say.
"Stop them!" she says.
"What? And just walk out there?"
"Ope, and here's a penis pump."
"Looks like somebody’s got a bad case of the limps."
"A little sexual dysfunction, perhaps?"
"All right!" I say, "That's it! Nobody messes with my penis pump!" and I stand erect and march myself straight into the bedroom, nudity or no nudity.
I am surprised to see that the Bishop has removed his suit and has slipped my wife's bra over his white shirt and tie. The Stake President is desperately trying to snap it on for him and wears my wife's light blue thong over his head like a thinking cap.
"Daddy!" my daughter says and runs to me.
"Brother Walters—" they turn and say, surprised.
"We were just... looking for you," the Bishop says, frozen.
"We wanted to see why you hadn't... been to church," the Stake President says peering through the leg holes of my wife's light blue thong.
"Drop the pump!" I say.
I stand there naked with my hands on my hips as my wife steps up behind me, slightly more perturbed than myself.
"Get your goddamn hands off my underwear!" she thunders. "And is that my thong on your head!?"
She bolts toward the Stake President and snatches her thong from his head. "Shame on you!" she yells.
She heads for the Bishop and yanks her bra off him. "Get out of my house!" she yells.
"Now just calm down, Sister Walters—" the Bishop says.
"I said get out!"
She plants her foot in the Bishop's crotch and he coils over in pain.
"Okay, okay. We're leaving," says the Stake President. "But don't think you've heard the end of this. Come on Bishop."
The Bishop waddles after the Stake President through the living room and out of the house. My wife follows them outside and raises a fist.
"And if I ever see you knocking on my front door again," she says, "I'll sever your first fruits and burn them up as an offering! How do you like that!"
She slams the door and folds her arms in a huff.
"Mommy!" our daughter says and claps her hands.
"Woohoo!" I scream and join in the clapping. "I'm so proud of you," I say.
She dusts her palms and reaches for her crap dice while I lounge naked on the loveseat and press play.
And they were both naked and the man and his wife were not ashamed.
I knew someone who was abused by her father for years. When it finally came out, the church disfellowshipped him. Although the father admited freely to having done the awful deed, he remained disfellowship (not excommunicated!) until he was actually sent to prison. It was then that the image-conscious LDS excommunicated him. Why did they wait? What other reason could it be other than the image they want to keep?
I know the church policy is that anyone who goes to Prison must be excommunicated.
I guess it makes me wonder what happens if someone goes to jail for something they didn't do? And what happens if someone who is guilty of an awful crime somehow escapes being sentenced to prison? Why does the LAW affect a moral punishment?
btw, the father was rebaptized this year.
The girl had to write a letter to the First Presidencey...I guess any time a pedophile wants to return to the church, the offended has to write a letter about what she wants. She stated clearly that she didn't want him to be allowed back and that her beliefs would be severely challenged should he be re-admitted.
But it didn't matter?
Why? - 12/21/2003 - Donut
If you don't believe in the Mormon Church, then what does it matter if deceased people are baptized by proxy? Isn't it all null and void if it's not a true doctrine in the first place? I don't expect an answer, and won't be looking for one, since I doubt you would post this. - 10/12/2003 - anon
The following is written as a response to an email one of my friends received that told her, in so many words, that because she left the church she was going to hell. He also told my friend that the reason she never received an answer to her prayers was because she "didn't have enough faith." She came to me asking how to properly respond to the email, so instead I simply wrote it for her.
Have you ever gone to school, and had that one teacher who just annoyed the hell out of you; the one who just had all these rules that are completely unfair, and for the most part, rather absurd? I submit to you sir, that the Mormon Church is that teacher in the School of Religion.
You see, the teacher in my analogy doesn't believe that the students have any self-control, or for that matter common sense or intelligence to speak of. The Judeo-Christian God is exactly like that teacher. Take, for instance, the fact that women are, despite how any church authority may deny it, a kind of lesser citizen in the church. A woman, no matter how intelligent, wise, experienced, or of otherwise goodly virtue cannot hold any position above a man in the church.
The teacher in my analogy also has a seating chart, boys are allowed to sit wherever they want, they get first pick. The girls are then left to pick whichever seats are left. The boys may talk as much as they would like during class, but if a girl talks then she is immediately disciplined. You may say that women are supposed to be the wives and mothers of the church, that is the divine mandate. But, my question to you is, how many women do you see in the Sunday sessions of general conference? I think I've seen one...and that might be too many! The very fact that it is divinely mandated that women are supposed to be wives and mothers does, in my opinion, tell women that they are in fact supposed to be subservient to the men! There is certainly a problem with this.
Now, you say that the fact that my friend lacks faith is the reason she doesn't "feel" anything when she prays for an answer to her prayers. So, I have another question to ask, are you saying that since you DO receive confirmation of your prayers that you have MORE faith then she does? Faith in my opinion is fear. Fear that you cannot survive without some supreme God to guide you. Fear that you are some sort of evil being because -gasp- you had a lustful though! Faith is Fear, and more so, Faith is ignorance, and the phobia of commonsense and reasoning.
I am sure you are going to read this and say I'm just another of the devil's minions and I'm going to hell. Well, obviously, I do not think that that is what's going to happen. But you do. Why? Have you ever taken a moment and though about what hell really is? Hell is the place that people who don't have "faith" go. But, I have to ask, why did God love the world so much that he decided to damn the vast majority of us to a prison eternal?
I am reminded of what Albert Einstein said in reference to Christianity as a whole, "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, we are a sorry lot indeed." What Einstein is saying, is that if we are not good because we are good, then we aren't good in any way.
I believe that any man who follows an organized religion is a man who fears what others say, even though what they say really has no solidity behind it. There is no way to validate heaven or hell. Nor, I must admit, is there a way to disprove it, but I prefer to make myself a happy man here, and live my life outside of the shadow of religious slavery. Instead of worrying that death is going to bring the ultimate retribution on my head, I am going to live my life as I feel I should live it, my way, by my own rules that are chosen by the dictates of my own conscious.
To close, I have to say only this: Religion is Fear. Religion is Ignorance. Fear is thus Ignorance. Once we abolish Ignorance, the rest of it all falls away.
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The L.D.S. church and its automatons leave themselves wide open for criticism. They pursue political influence while benefitting from a tax-exempt status; they choose to breed like cockroaches while us "gentiles" foot the bill for their lack of social responsibility; they perpetuate a culture that fosters ignorance and racism and are actively hostile toward those of us who can actually read and write reasonably well. I am proud to be non-mormon - TAX THE CHURCH!!!
January 11, 2003 from 1:00 p.m. to approximately 3:30 p.m. (2.5 hours of torture and mass hypnosis)
Verbatim quotes from the Brethren are in quotations. My comments are in parenthesis.
Those in attendance were led to believe that this was a live satelite broadcast. Actually this was filmed on Saturday January 4th in the conference room of the Church Office Building. Is this "lying by omission" for the Lord.?
Boyd Packer conducted at request of Hinckley (grooming the future prophet)
All 15 apostles present except for Dallin Oaks and Jeff Holland who are in the Philippines and Chile.
Packer (with that restricted hypnotic drone) laid down the gospel basics of the restoration and how power and authority works (Packer’s favorite topic) and how the spirit works.
“The language of the Church is the language of the spirit.” As an object lesson Packer showed an actual sextant and likened it to the spirit to find direction. He handed the sextant to Neil Maxwell as Maxwell rose to speak. (Packer’s talk was Gospel Basics 101. Very dry and condescending.) Packer said, “The Pearl of Great Price are the writings of Abraham and are translated from ancient records.” (Hey Boyd, it’s a fake document!)
Neil Maxwell spoke on how revelation works. “Even angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost.” “Revelation come by feelings not through the ear drums.” “Experience with revelation builds on itself.” “Never mind if the world mocks this process.” “The Holy Ghost will keep you from fainting and falling by the wayside. We have quite a few who have fainted and need to be revived.” (Yeah, like about 2/3 of the flock!) “It’s imperative that our members learn how to receive revelation.” (Neil, they are receiving revelation, that’s why they are leaving in droves.)
Maxwell told of receiving his own revelation while fighting leukemia. (He did not say how long ago he got the revelation, but he contracted the disease seven years ago.) “The Lord spoke to me in a revelation that consisted of thirteen words. ‘I have given you leukemia that you may teach my people with authenticity.’” (Neil, I’m sorry you got leukemia and I’m even more sorry that you served as an un-authentic apostle and special witness of the Lord for years prior to the Lord smiting you with leukemia. Will you have all of your pre-leukemia General Conference talks stricken from the record and repay Deseret Book all of your royalty monies from your pre-authentic years? What diseases have your fellow apostles contracted from the Lord to assist them with their integrity problems?)
L. Tom Perry spoke on how to use scant resources in smaller branches to expand the work. Perry is 80 years old and told of being a missionary in Marion, Ohio and starting a branch there based on the only LDS family there. He told how they struggled and grew to a few more families. Perry said, “I had the privilege of visiting that small little branch in Marion, Ohio again recently.” (Hey Tom, if the Church is so hot, why is the branch still tiny?)
Perry’s talk was a “pep talk” to the small units of the Church. “We’ve seen some local leaders requesting separation of Church units too soon. Some are too eager and encumber our members with too many callings. This causes them to withdraw. Members should only have one calling in addition to being a H.T. and V.T.” (Tom, sorry but many small units will now fall apart without the smaller percentage of actives holding multiple callings.)
Perry cited his experience is Peru (He didn’t say when.) when the country was in political turmoil and the non-resident Mormons had to flee the country for their safety. The Area Presidency focused locals on family prayer and scripture study. From this temple and church attendance increased. Keeping to the basics brought the members closer to our Heavenly Father. It doesn’t take long to complicate the programs of the Church. Get the members to hold a temple recommend. As the Lord increases the pace, Satan increases his.” (Tom, the moral of the story is for white and delightsome leaders from Utah to back way off and let the locals do things simply. Who needs SLC anyway, they just complicate things!)
Henry Eyring raised the standards of baptism for converts and for temple recommends. Regarding temple recommends, “Members must be pure enough to go where the Lord goes.” (Sorry Hank, that rules you and all 11 million out of a temple recommend. Shot yourself in the foot there. It’s a good thing TR interviews are only every two years, the Saints only have to lie half as often now.)
Henry told bishops to not ask any questions of married couples about their sex life. He went on some convoluted meandering about how to deal with single members and youth about their sexual behavior and that there was help in defining chastity in a new church booklet called, “For the Strength of Youth.”
For new temple attendance wannabees he referred bishops to new booklets, “Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple” along with the teacher’s manual, “Endowed from on High.”
Henry discussed each TR question in general terms and told bishops to use their power of discernment and that it was okay to decline a recommend just based on a feeling such as, “I just don’t have a settle feeling about signing this recommend tonight. Let’s meet again.” (Yes, Henry, like the bishop wants to spend even more time dealing with members petty hang-ups while his wife is complaining to him about all the time he spends at church neglecting her and the kids.) Henry invited bishops to pause in between TR questions and ask members to express their feelings on the principles the questions are about. (Yeah, sure. The bishop just wants to get the hell out of there without stirring up any mud.)
In his “raising the standards” theme Henry closed with this gawd awful warning. “If we fail then the sins of the members will fall upon us.” (Henry, when did you start practicing voodoo magic? (Take your guilt trip and shove it up your pompous self-righteous ass.)
M. Russell Ballard really put the audience to sleep with a review of the Proclamation of the Family while plugging the Ensign and Liahona as underutilized tools. (Gee, subscriptions down Russ?) Every member family is supposed to have a copy of the Proclamation.
Gordon Hinckley concluded the training.
“The Brethren suggested I speak about missionary work.” (Gordon, you’re the prophet! I thought the Lord would tell you what to speak about. Do you every take personal responsibility for anything?)
“We are raising the standards for missionaries. Some of you will be disappointed. Some parents will be upset and confused but going on a mission is not a right of passage but a call to be worthy in every respect. I am confident that with the bar being raised our missionaries will be more effective although fewer in numbers.”
“Some parents say, “If only we can get Johnny on a mission, the Lord will bless his health.” “We can’t send unhealthy missionaries out. Missionary work is too rigorous.
One mission president recently had to send three missionaries home due to health problems. One had lung problems and could not keep pace. One had kidney problems and could not do the work. One young sister missionary had a mental collapse. She came from a family with a history of emotional problems. All of these situations were know to the local leaders beforehand. The mission president tried valiantly to keep these missionaries on their missions but he was spending so much time with these sick ones that he was neglecting the other missionaries. We’re spending too much money and time with failing missionaries. I recognize that to some our raising the bar may seem harsh and unreasonable but it is better not to go than return early. Those who don’t go can find other wonderful opportunities to serve the Lord locally.” (Gordon, isn’t that sexist to point out the mental case with a sister missionary when most mental cases are actually with the Elders? It’s about time unhealthy missionaries are NOT sent out. Is it inspiration or lack of cash flow causing you to save money by not having sick mishies head out to the mission field? Is this a disguise to cover up the downturn in missionaries by blaming the youth of Zion to not be “healthy” enough physically and spiritually to go? )
Hinckley pleaded with the members to raise referrals for the missionaries to teach. He also directed members to fellowship and convert families with those potential priesthood leaders as fathers. Hinckley wants missionaries to not memorize lessons but to have basic principles they can teach from as directed by the Spirit. He doesn’t want “wooden presentations.” (So, the old tried and true method used for 50 years has failed? Is this what Edleman World Wide PR directs you, the prophet to do?)
Hinckley in the course of his talk cited two example of how missionaries succeeded by abandoning the memorized lesson material and going with the spirit. “Missionaries were tracting in Europe and a woman answered the door in tears. The elders did not use the usual door approach but asked what the matter was and if they could help. She let them in and told how upset she was at losing her newborn baby and that she was told it would not be in heaven with here. The elders comforted her by reading out of the BofM about the innocence of babies and that she could be in heaven with her baby. (Note: they didn’t take the time right then to tell her she had to stop coffee, pay 10%, wear funny underwear and spend endless hours in church meeting to even have a hope of seeing here baby again.) She was comforted, they came back and taught her and she was converted.
(What happened to the husband and priesthood holder here, Gordon?)
In Preston, England the elders came upon a drunken man named Eddie in the street. Instead of tracting him out (Wow, now that’s revelation!) They asked him what he was upset about. The intoxicant cried about losing a loved one and resorted to drink to deal with his grief. Well, the elders listened and he felt the spirit (or is that spirits) and was taught by the elders and became a true blue convert and attend the temple in Preston. “I know this because the man recently came to General Conference and I spoke with him at length about his conversion.” (So, when will you issue a prophetic edict for elders to hang out in local taverns seeking people with sad stories so the elders can prey upon their sorrows and convert them to the gospel? And where is this man’s wife and kids as far as converts. Go?)
Observations: I attended in a stake center that combined two stakes of leaders. The chapel was full, so about 200 or so came. All brethren. The warm up video shots prior to the actual training showed lovely shots of nature and then warm fuzzy shots of international actors acting blissfully happy as families. 2.5 hours of church training obviously too much for many as they were snoozing on and off. Packer’s death drone was a terrible way to start off. Hinckley finished in strong voice and did damn good for a 92 year old man. Even though his message is totally hokey and goofy, he does better than most men his age. Too bad he’s wasted his life preaching nonsense.
The simplicity of the presentations seemed like it was to grade school or junior high age people. The “spiritual stories” shared seemed so Dr. Suess – ish. The lack of sharing their own personal stories of revelation and feeling the spirit was glaring. And when Neal Maxwell shared his great revelation, it was absurd. The Brethren steal stories of normal life events and spin them as something unique to Mormonism. This is a cheap shot.
The lack of vitality and personal touch from the Brethren combined with the constant haranguing, “do this and do that lists,” and threats of eternal punishment if they don’t perform up the “raised bar” must be getting mighty old. Under the guise of a worldwide training series (the next on is scheduled for June 21st and may include the auxiliaries) Mormons may feel they participated in something special, but it’s just the same old training and duty marching orders all over.
The word is that the bar is being raised. Harder to get on a mission and ostensibly harder to get a temple recommend. Gordy wants people converted before they are baptized even if it takes longer and fewer are dunked. The world will mock but the world just doesn’t get it.
The Brethren are not only boring the faithful they are confusing them. Gordon says, “Hey, let’s just be nice and mainstream things here.” Then he tells them, “You’re not performing up to “the bar and standards.” So what is it Gordon, relax or work our asses off? And besides ward and stake and general conferences to attend, now we get to have semi-annual satellite training that last 2.5 hours on Saturdays. Whoopee!
So glad to be out of there!
I Am Tired
We live in a world rife with superstition and mysticism. True thought and reason is so often replaced with the magic and folklore which makes up our world religions. Irrational dogma and doctrine is unexamined, unrefuted, and uncorrected. The thinking has been done by those with undisputed direct conduits to a higher power. God's thoughts are not our thoughts, how could we hope to understand or challenge? Compartmentalization becomes the byword as intelligence, research and honest thinking is set on it's head. Then public policy and the very social laws which govern our lives are forged by those who would rather decide the truth first and refute all evidence to the contrary as heresy. Who needs a president, a prime minister or a monarch when all we really need is for Granny Clampet to go back in the possum patch and whip us up a potion to solve our social ailments. As Sagan has so eloquently taught us, we live in a world haunted by demons, the Gods that fill the gaps of our understanding. Of that I am tired.
So we find otherwise intelligent thinking people defending and supporting superstitions. Often holding up as evidence the profound works of FARMS. If ever there was the antithesis of intellectual discovery it is this organization follows carefully the edicts of Boyd Packer in knowing the truth first, and then promoting only the evidence to support that inerrant truth. All the while these FARMS "intellects", most of whom are on the payroll of a great self serving purveyor of superstition and metaphysical doctrine, ignore the obvious evidence to the contrary, or spin it into un unrecognizable conflagration of nonsense. Of that I am tired.
But when all the sophistry and dogmatic reasoning is stripped away, the truth will emerge in the minds of those willing to think critically and challenge the pompous authority of those that claim to know all truth. Let the honest evidence rise and the chips fall where truth places them, unhindered by irrational thought the gems of truth prevail. The most likely hypothesis when supported by the evidence is the most likely answer to the questions that trouble our thoughts. Did God place a perfect man and woman in a garden he'd prepared for them some mere 6,000 years ago with a convoluted plan that they should error and in that error condemn all mankind if not for the savior He would provide or did mankind evolve to it's current and vaunted state? Honest inquiry will lead to honest and unhindered evidence, a rational mind can devise a most likely theory or the evidence can be compartmentalized and rationalized to fit an irrational presumption. Of that I am tired.
Did a small band of Hebrew travelers some 2,600 years ago grow into a population of millions on the American Continent. Did they evolve quickly into to separate and distinct races, contending with one another in wars and armed with steel swords, chariots and horses whilst refreshing themselves with wheat and grapes? Did these factions fight a massive battle in a place called Cumorah where millions died leaving their battle instruments behind as a testament that they gave their lives defending their God, their families and their religion? Or perhaps this too is a fable spun in the mind of a charismatic opportunist. Certainly the archeological evidence will lead and honest researcher to the truth. Irrational belief passed of as unyielding faith seems the antithesis of truth.
Did a prophet called Abraham pen the truth as revealed to him by God, and though a Hebrew prophet writing in Egyptian hieroglyphics, then somehow conspire to hide his truths in the sarcophagus of a minor functionary of the Egyptian kingdom who lived some millennium later, to be discovered by a prophet some millennia later? Or did a religious charlatan just make that up? Again, honest review of the evidence will lead to the most likely truth of the matter.
Did a prophet called Joseph Smith really see the one true God and his Son and then restore the one true Church, or did he see angels, or a multitude of angels, or just hear a voice or see just God or just His son? Or did he just make that up and evolve his story over years into it's final and unquestionable version which we must accept as absolute truth in order to obtain spiritual salvation? Unbiased and thinking examination is again called for. Did this same prophet reveal the meaning of plates found in Kinderhook, or did his faithful and well meaning personal secretary just make that up and lie? What is the most likely answer? We can never know the truth of these things, but we can devise the most likely hypothesis and then act according to the most likely.
We live in a world of scientific illiteracy. Superstition and pseudo science reign supreme, the anecdotal mythology the engine of our demise. Religion is the antithesis of progress and is as preposterous today as it was millennia ago. The pope of today opposes the scientific research of the fetal stem cells, just as his predecessor opposed any fact refuting man and earth as the center of the universe. Scientific and honest progress is thwarted in that it dares to challenge to doctrine of the dishonest and uninterested. The clouds of an unseen and oft unfathomable god fill the minds of men, darkness gathers, ignorance roars with a deafening thunder, the demons awake. Of this I am tired.
I know all of our experiences and situations are different. More than likely, we've experienced different phases too. But do you think there are some common threads in recovery from Mormonism?
In a rough outline of steps, how would you describe the steps you went through for recovery?
For example, here's my experience, in a nutshell:
1. The Itch - I started feeling like I didn't belong in the church anymore. I kept thinking to myself in church, "I don't belong here anymore." Something was bothering me, but I didn't know what and didn't think it was the church. I was still in denial.
2. Discovery - I began studying church history, doctrine and scripture and was shocked at what I discovered.
3. Anger - Inside, I was mad as hell at Joseph Smith and the leaders of the church for perpetuating the fraud.
4. Fear - I didn't dare tell anyone what I had learned, not even my wife. I thought doubting could unravel my life.
5. Reaffirmation/Suppression - I started teaching more in the Priesthood Quorum, attended the temple more and tried praying my doubts away. In some ways I became more fanatical than ever.
6. Closet Doubter - My doubts continued, so I just started playing along even though I had serious doubts.
7. Depression - I felt trapped. I dreaded church. I didn't know how long I could go on like this.
8. Confrontation - I finally shared my doubts with close friends and my wife, who joined me. I began to feel better as I felt their support. I still avoided telling my family because I knew how they would react.
8. Rejection - I stopped feeling accepted by the church and lost interest in trying to keep up the facade.
9. The Break - We stopped going to church altogether, informed the bishop we wanted "no contact." He agreed.
10. The Siege - Church members started calling and visiting us. Some were blunt, others were subtle. We started getting upset at all the harassment.
11. Standing Ground - We stopped wearing garments, did what we wanted on Sunday and began to shed our Mormon habits.
12. New Boundaries - We told our families about our decision to leave the church and faced their reactions. Very painful, but healthy as we set adult relationship boundaries with our parents and siblings.
13. Experimentation - We tried wine, coffee and tea for the first time and enjoyed trying many of the forbidden things of Mormonism. Some of them we liked, some of them we didn't. This was a fun time of exploring.
14. Rebirth - The real fruits of the whole process begin to blossom. We found a new community that shared our new values. We took what we felt was good about our Mormon past and kept it, and dumped the bad. We feel more self-confidence, self-awareness and family closeness than ever before in our lives.
I was talking to a stripper from SLC that does bachelor parties and she told me she did a party for Mormons, She told me that at bachelor parties they do a dance (I don"t remember the name of it) but they take the bachelor and lay him on his back on a table and the stripper squats over his head and she pours a beer over her breasts and it pours down her body and goes off her bush and into the bachelors mouth. Well the Mormons wanted to do this dance but they didn't want to use beer so they had her pour caffeine free Dr Pepper, No alcohol, nocaffine, but it was O K to have a naked woman straddled over his face and it was O K for his buddies to watch this event.
Confucianism: Confucius say, "Shit Happens"
Buddhism: If Shit Happens, it isn't really Shit
Zen (Rinzai): What is the sound of Shit Happening?
Zen (Soto): Shit just Happens
Hinduism: This Shit Happened before
Islam: If Shit Happens, it is the will of Allah
Nation of Islam: Don't take no Shit!
Hare Krishna: Shit Happens, Shit Happens, Rama Rama *ding ding*
Agnosticism: Does Shit Happen?
Atheism: No Shit!
Catholicism: Shit Happens because you are BAD
Protestantism: Catholics are full of Shit
Methodism: Let Shit Happen to somebody else
Calvinism: Shit Happens because you don't work hard enough
Lutheranism: Shit Happens, but as long as you're sorry, it's OK
Anglicanism: Shit Happens, but only to Lutherans
Mormonism: Excrement Occurs
Baptist: You're Shitting all wrong, and you're going to hell for it.
Christian Science: Shit is all in your mind
Existentialism: What is Shit anyway?
Hedonism: There's nothing like a good Shit Happening
Jehovah's Witness: Knock knock. Shit Happens!
Televangelism: Your tax-deductable donation can prevent this Shit from Happening
Fundamentalism: There's no Shit in the Bible
Judaism: Why does Shit always Happen to us?
Moonies: Only happy Shit really Happens
Mysticism: This is some weird Shit
Unitarianism: Go ahead, Shit anywhere you want
Vegetarianism: If it Shits, don't eat it
Scientology: All this Happens to be Shit
Seventh Day Adventist: No Shit on Saturdays
Amish: Shit is good for the soil
Stoicism: This Shit is good enough for me
Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this Shit
Voodoo: Let's stick some pins in this Shit
Twelve Step Program: Shit Happens one day at a time
Environmentalism: Shit is biodegradable
New Age: It's not Shit, it's feldspar
1. _____________________ (Given name)
2. _____________________ (SURNAME)
3. Descendant of:
A. Adam and Eve _____
B. Cain and Abel _____
C. Laman and Lemuel _____
D. Laurel and Hardy _____
4. Tribe: _____________________
5. Number of occupants residing in home in each category: (Listed in chronological order)
A. Nursery _____
B. Junior Primary _____
C. Senior Primary _____
D. Young Women's _____
E. Young Men's _____
F. Relief Society _____
G. Elder _____
H. Dearly Departed _____
I. High Priest _____
A. Amway dealer _____
B. Shaklee dealer _____
C. Nonie juice dealer _____
D. NuSkin dealer _____
E. Melaleuca dealer _____
A. Station Wagon _____
B. Van _____
C. Suburban _____
D. School Bus _____
E. Double Decker _____
8. Favorite place to eat the night before Fast Sunday:
A. Chuck-A-Rama _____
B. Hometown Buffet _____
C. Sumo Sam's All You Can Eat Feeding Trough _____
9. Favorite Hero:
A. Nephi _____
B. Abinadi _____
C. Samuel the Lamanite_____
D. Steve Young _____
E. Johnny Lingo _____
10. Which of the following do you bring to church:
A. Scriptures _____
B. Daytimer _____
C. Pen/Pencil _____
D. Lifesavers _____
E. Tic Tacs _____
F. Game Boy _____
G. Big Gulp _____
H. Cooler _____
I. Sony Walkman _____
J. TV Watch _____
K. All of the above _____
11. Do you prepare your lessons:
A. A month in advance _____
B. A week in advance _____
C. While in the bathtub _____
D. While on the toilet _____
E. During Sacrament Meeting _____
F. During the closing prayer of Sacrament Meeting
G. During the opening prayer of the class you're teaching _____
H. Just wing it _____
12. Do you think pews should be permanently equipped with Big Gulp holders:
yes___ no ___
13. How many years has your family sat in the same place for Sacrament Meeting:
A. 10-20 years _____
B. 20-30 years _____
C. 30-40 years _____
D. Over 3 generations _____
14. How much time does it take for you to fall asleep during a high council talk:
A. 1/100,000,000th of a second _____
B. 1/999,999,999th of a second _____
C. 1/999,999,998th of a second _____
15. Which day of the month do you go home/visiting teaching:
A. 31st ______
B. 31st ______
C. 31st ______
D. 31st ______
16. How many church basketball fights were you in last year:
A. 1-10 _____
B. 10-20 _____
C. 20-30 _____
D. You'll have to ask my lawyer _____
17. Which of the following has been your most effective Family Home Evening:
A. Arguing about getting along
B. Having an opening and closing prayer with dinner
C. Gathering around the television to watch, "Everybody Loves Raymond?"
18. How many times a year do you make:
A. Jell-O salad _____
B. Funeral potatoes _____
C. Cabbage and Top Ramen salad _____
D. Turkey, cashews and grape-stuffed croissants_____
19. How many water-filled two-liter bottles do you own:
A. 1-2 thousand _____
B. 2-3 thousand _____
C. 3-4 thousand _____
D. Enough to fill the Great Salt Lake _____
20. Which of the following do you feel is the most secure facility in the nation:
B. Fort Knox
C. Ward Libraries
21. How many structural engineers do you hire annually to insure you'll win the pinewood derby: _________
22. Keeping the Word of Wisdom in mind, how much of the following do you consume:
A. Chocolate:___pounds daily X 365 days annually= ____
B. Cola: ____gallons daily X 365 days annually = ____
23. If you had to choose between witnessing the Second Coming or attending a BYU/UofU football game, which would you choose?
A. Second Coming _____
B. Football game _____
My mother worked in the office of a construction business for many years. Her job was to handle subcontractors.
Her company got a contract to build a Mormon church. She was amazed to learn the number of restrictions they imposed on the workmen who were to build their church: They couldn't smoke or drink, they had to be people of good character, they had to promise not to use bad language, and so on.
"And these are CONSTRUCTION workers are supposed to agree to this!" my mother told me in amazement. I'm sure that there are morally upright, mild-mannered construction workers to be found, but honestly . . .
Well, my mother started calling around to find subcontractors. Most were amused by the requirements. One place she called, she had hardly launched into the list of requirements when the man said, "We don't do Mormon churches" and hung up.
I'm pretty sure my Mom thought that was the sanest response.
A nine year old violinist met with her non-member accompanist in a quiet room some 15 minutes before Testimony Meeting. They had been through the musical piece several times but never even distantly approached perfection.
A dignified man in his sixties poked his head into the room and gently informed the two musicians that it was time for Prayer Meeting and their presence at it was mandatory.
"We need to practice," the little girl answered, and with her nose in the air she put her bow to the strings.
"You need to pray," the man firmly replied.
"Music is a form of prayer," the little girl retorted. "You shouldn't be interrupting OUR prayers to drag us off to YOUR prayers. And stupid prayers at that."
"You will come to this Prayer Meeting or you will not play in Sacrament Meeting," the man slowly stated.
"If I don't practice this music right now, I won't be able to play it anyway, so I am not coming," the little girl countered contemptuously. "Besides, the Bible teaches that there is a time and season for everything. A time to live and a time to die. A time to laugh and a time to cry. Right now it is time for me to practice my music."
"You should have practiced it earlier," the man suggested. "The time for practicing has past. Now it is time for praying."
"You should have told us earlier about your lame Prayer Meeting," the little girl replied. "Then we would have been here even earlier. Like we don't have a piano at home."
"The Scriptures, my dear child, teach us that we are to be obedient in all things to our church leaders who represent Christ. Is this how you talk to Him? Now, you close your little mouth, put that thing away and come with me," the man instructed as he extended his right hand and moved closer to the little girl.
With fire in her dark eyes the little girl glared at the man as he approached. Then swiftly she raised her bow and whacked him smartly across his bald head.
"Ouch," he shouted as the shattered pieces of the bow tumbled to the carpet. The man grabbed the little girl by the arm and spatted her three times. "Someone needs to give you a right good lickin', you sassy little brat," he muttered.
"That bow cost two hundred dollars," she sobbed. "And my mama is going to make me pay for all of it out of my baby sitting money." Then she stopped crying and snarled, "I will get it back. Every last cent! Because I will take it out of my tithing some day."
"And when my father finds out about what you just did to me, he is going to...."
A few minutes later the old man quietly explained to his sleepy congregation that there was an error in the printed program. There would be no musical number before the bearing of testimony as listed. Perhaps another time. He did not mention how he had acquired a thin but obvious red diagonal mark across the top of his head. No, that was left for spontaneous discussion among the children of the Senior Primary.
Non-Home Teaching Assistant - everything you need to be an in effective and inefficient Home Teacher in the palm of your hand. Non-HomeTeachingAssistant is designed to assist every Jack Mormon wannabe to avoid home teaching. Keep track of your companion, families, family members so you can avoid the little suckers.
MIStakes - Disafected Ward Clerks can use this to send bogus and misleading stats needed to put together a fake quarterly report to submit the Church Headquarters.
No-Minutes 2.0 - For those hidden apostates who need to fake minutes during sacrament meeting, they might find this software useful.
Convert Baptism Stopper Checklist - ConvertBaptismStopperChecklist is aimed toward helping unwilling ward missionaries, the apostate bishopric, Fake TBM stake leaders (ir)responsible for missionary work, and backsliding ward mission leader, to keep track of and put a stop to as many convert baptisms as they can. All on their palm handheld.
Now, aren't these versions much better? ;oD
I think that the more intelligent and learned you are, the more apt you are to leave the church. I think the church fills a need in members who otherwise would not be "anybody" in the regular world. In the church they can be leaders and have followers. I have also found that my craziest and most disturbed male relatives are the most fanatical mormons. They are pretty much misfits in society, but in the church they are somebodies. In fact, anyone can be an important "inner" if they will be total mindless followers to the "nth" degree. The ones who leave the church seem to be the self-respecting, more intelligent, well-adjusted normal people. I hope that I am in that category.
I like my majic underwear! Lay off. You're just mad because you don't know the
secret handshake or they don't make temple garments in your size fatty.
I know that someday, my new name I was given in the temple (Shakakahn) will
be called at the end. My husband will call me up by his new name (Spanky). There, in the celestial kingdom, I will be content to share my husband with his nine other wives. It makes me upset when people say us Mormons aren't real Kristchens because we believe Mary was God's concubine. It makes me mad that people say we're not Kristchens even though we don't believe most of the basic Kristchen doctrines. Please stop talking about us. We want to live in our ignorance. We want to stay brainwashed and revel in the freedom we have by not being "of the world". Take that, you, you , bad bad person. Stop!!
Looked at www.findagrave.com , and was amazed by the banner ad at the top for PublicData.com. It said "Criminal Records, All States" for the sample name it said "Joe Smith" Does it go back that far? - 05/17/2001 - anon
I had always heard the "Martyre Story" told like Joseph and Hyrum were cornered in the room at the top of the stairs, and were minding their own business when a group of 3 or 4 people charged the stairs and killed the two "unarmed" brothers. I have since learned through research that the brothers were armed and Joseph did get off a couple of shots from a gun he had in his coat pocket. Naturally the church whitewashes the story to make it sound that they were murdered in cold blood. Lillian, who believes that they reape what they sow.
12/04/2000 - Response to Duck and Dodge
You are guilty of the same crime you identify in church historians. Its amazing how we see our own faults best in other people. My version of the Murder of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith:
These four Mormon men were in jail for charges related to the destruction of a certain little newspaper that bears some resemblence to this website. They were suppose to be under protection of the State. I will leave it to the lawyers to argue with you the merit of the charges. (Dalin Oaks for example).
Joseph had a handgun smuggled to him that didn't exactly work very well, but he managed to get a couple or three shots off and probably wounded somebody but no other deaths were reported. The four Mormon men were trapped in a small room and they were attacked by a mob of Missouri militia of 150 to 200 men.
I have stood in that room and looked at the blood stains on the floor. Its a creepy thing to see the blood of a murdered man whether you like him or not. Joseph and his brother were shot multiple times. John Taylor was hit four times but survived. Willard Richards survived without a scratch.
This was not a fair gunfight by any stretch. Had Joseph been with his three best gunmem he might have stood a chance. Orin Porter Rockwell escaped some equally harrowing predicaments. But the mob killed them in cold blood. > Most mobs are anonymous. This mob was not because they had registered in the militia. So their names were known to certain men. Joseph Smith suspected that he might die a violent death. (Duh, this wasn't the first time he had faced the barrel of a gun). And so Joseph secretly ordained a few loyal but extremely dangerous men as his Avenging Angels. He promised them that they would never be injured revenging the blood of the Prophet of God.
Whether you believe this promise or not is not the point. The fact is THEY believed Joseph, and this conviction gave them enormous courage and steady nerves in crucial moments. These Avenging Angels hunted many of the men down in that mob and murdered them one by one. How many they eventually killed and the exact circumstances are shrouded in secrecy and historical controversy.
I have read much on both sides of this putrid chapter in American and Mormon history. But the most convincing stories to me have come down through my family history. Not the flowery spiritual stories written down and told in church. But the stories that are whispered from the lips of cranky old Uncles on the back porch. Stories about an ancestor who was an 'Avengin Angel' and what he did.
Supposedly it was a hereditary gift. So you better learn how to duck and dodge, Lampooners. We're gonna get cha in the end. AA.
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