Having stamped up the snow-crusted marble stairs at the entrance, we stepped into the brick-fronted Federalist building that housed the museum. Melodies of gently plucked cellos tickled our ears. The foyer consisted of a long hall with staircases to the left and right sweeping upward like a conductor's earnest arms. The air we inhaled moaned with the breathy sonority of a wood instrument, perhaps a bassoon or an oboe. Our every exhalation made a somber tone, and the winter forests without the great house fell silent in contrast.
We stomped the snow off our shoes on hemp carpets. The walls around us were covered with likenesses of the giants of the nineteenth century. No, not Lincoln or Grant or Darwin or Karl Marx. Only the men of God were featured in oil portraits hung at eye level. There was Martin Harris, formal as a penguin and Brigham with his collar turned up defiantly. Sidney Rigdon looked aged with his white sideburns. And Oliver Cowdery was captured in mid-thought, his eyes focused on something in the distance.
The representations of the prophet varied from near handsome to beakish. His Celestial proboscis was sometimes troubling to portraiture artists. He was at his worst in profile--chinless and proud with a big nose. So they posted his quotes to flesh out his beauty. "Men are that such a thing may be. Our children have bound us to unrequited love. Who among us will dare defy the inevitable and so hate the word of the Lord? Pews are seldom occupied with the disagreeable. Our meetings fill out the idle hours like tides flooding a beach. Where much is given, so is some quite appreciated."
We were brought to tears with the wisdom of the partially attractive martyr. Smith the man was born in Sharon, Vermont in 1805. His nativity scene includes a rocking chair and a pine crib in a dirt floored cabin corner. A glass rattle has been carefully placed on his swaddling blankets. There is a small four-paned window holding back a snowflake blizzard. The flakes are really soap, and the swirling wind is provided by a hidden electric fan. A plastic Christmas tree stands in the corner near the gas hearth, and a King James Bible lies at the foot of the festive tree.
A half door under a staircase opens to the theocracy wing of the museum. It is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest museum wing in the world. All relevant theocracy is stored on a single rewritable disc that is updated hourly. Anything that was doctrinal more than eighteen months ago has a 90% chance of deniability. The Lord will not be made obsolete.
The interior of the museum seems to defy the limits of the exterior. In both size and stature there is more within than without. Rooms open into other rooms, and some hallways lead to closets or dead ends. There is an internal courtyard with a checkerboard marble floor. Statuary stands poised like chess pieces there. We could make out Brigham Young and Sidney Rigdon among the life sized figures. The furrowed brows of great men bullied the decor like Rocky Mountain outcroppings. Their rounded foreheads resembled the half dome at Yosemite National Park. They were like a side portrait struck onto a nickel, or a carved stone likeness at Mt. Rushmore.
Joseph as a youth was represented by a short mannikin lying on a mattress in an upstairs bedroom. He was to undergo knee surgery and refused the whiskey anesthetic. Even before God descended a sunbeam to meet him, the prophet was concerned with temperance. He had the instincts of a superman. Who could question his Nietzsche-like focus at so young an age? Even the most cynical among us beamed with admiration. We noted that he quoted from the Bible to explain his visitations from God and angels alike. His presentation was seamless. He had talked to the Christ, face to face. Any denial of that fact by visitors was regarded as churlishness or jealousy at best.
It is often forgotten of Joseph Smith that he rose to the rank of general in the Mormon Militia, a battalion that rivaled the U.S. Army in size. The militia was capable of policing Illinois, but the adversary rose up against it. Many people said that Joseph had no right to assemble a defensive force. He was maliciously charged with treason. No one could be more patriotic than a prophet of the Lord. Joseph Smith was maligned in the press and the public opinion. He was driven to the point of personal sacrifice. He went like a lamb to the slaughter.
Joseph's martyrdom was displayed tastefully in a diorama. He was shown entering the jail at Carthage with his arms full of Mormon doctrine. He proposed to study the holy scriptures while incarcerated. Another scene shows him beseeching his brother Hyrum to forgive the mob that clamors outside. When their cell was penetrated, Joseph faced the angry men and told them to desist in the name of the Lord. His words went unheeded, and he was made to breach the second floor window. The fall mortally wounded him, and he cried for mercy. No freeman so much as extended a hand. This was the most disturbing room.
The Nauvoo room was a glass-encased porch at the back of the building. Low clouds scudded at the gray sky outside. On a long table within there was a model of a hotel and temple anchoring an Illinois town that competed with Chicago for population at the time. Daguerreotypes of senators and journalists shaking hands with the prophet crowded the wainscotting. Most of the rooms upper walls were glass battered by the fluff of real snow. Overhead, waves of white flakes swept across the windowed ceiling. We had the shaky feeling of standing within a snow globe. That and the eerie sense of looking out from the inside of a goldfish bowl
At the exit, candy was offered. It was hard and unforgiving with a weedy aftertaste, and it brought to mind the dusty flavor of nineteenth century air in a tack barn, thick and rank. They called it horehound, and the terminal trash can was stuffed with wet pieces of it.
Are you comfortable, brother? The chair you're sitting in is real burgundy leather with hand tacked trim and claw feet--just like mine. And, like my desk, the wood is mahogany with a deep cherry stain. It's not the chair I use for worthiness interviews, just so you know. You're new to this ward, but your reputation as a member in good standing precedes you. That's why I've called you to my office, you see? I have plans for you. Much to my dismay, I recently had to let my second councilor go. He lost his testimony to some petty vice and refused his duties. Pornography, I believe. I hope I'm not being presumptuous when I say that you'd make a good fit for his office. After all, we've only just met. But the Lord doesn't stand long on temporal social protocol. He requires us to reach quick decisions, doesn't He?
This ward isn't exactly what you might call "high end,"considering your resources. I know some folks back home may assume that California wards are wealthy, but this is not always true. Perhaps in the bay area. Stockton has a dearth of high wage work, and, with few exceptions, these are solid, middle class folk. For instance, Elder Andress, a member who was inactive for fifteen years. I suppose he was content with his handyman position at the foster children's home. Until he retired a couple of years ago, we didn't see him at sacrament meetings, and now he's occupying a seat in the foyer every Sunday with a piece of hard candy for any little one who'll sit in his lap. The upshot of the deal is he'll pay about a half tithe--$200 a month. And he loves Primary children; it's a win win situation for the ward.
Sister Moss is our organist and perhaps most dedicated member. She has vibrant red hair, pink cheeks and is conscientious to a fault. Our ancestors might have called her sanguine in appearance, but there is an inner turmoil in her. You'll find she'll call you frequently to report even the slightest violations of the Word of Wisdom or modest dress. Best to take her messages and sort through them once a week or so. She does pay full tithe from her deceased husband's pension. He was, unfortunately, found in his car in the garage with the motor running. Truly a shock to everyone. He'd had troubles with his faith, and she pushed hard to help him keep it. So I can overlook her occasional panicked call when she spies a member drinking a Dr. Pepper at 7Eleven.
I have to warn you about Brother Bass. He wears off the rack suits which bunch up in the back and give him the look of a traveler. He's very needy. He wants to advance so badly, it's almost palpable. He has a rebellious pot-smoking son and a promiscuous daughter. Not to mention five other children unlikely to amount to much. Even though they live in a ramshackle house on Blacklock Road, he donated an extra thousand dollars to the building fund. I asked him if he was sure he could afford it, and he said the Lord would replace and multiply it. What was I supposed to say to that? He'll approach you with an investment scheme, so head's up.
Then there's Brother Sawyer. A solid, if wooden, elder who pays full tithe. He has the conversational skills of a juniper bush--named his son Tom. He's who you go to for folding chairs and getting the hall floors buffed. Blue collar and somewhat coarse is how I'd describe him. But he's essential. His wife, on the other hand, is off the grid, so to speak. She won't take any calling and lives in her room with a doll house Brother Sawyer made her in the high school shop. He's a phys ed coach there. Twenty odd years now, I believe. Solid.
Brother Garcia owns a local lawn care business. We have a deal that he pays a half tithe and maintains the chapel grounds. His wife is Catholic to the point of difficulty, so beware. She will try to shield her children from primary lessons and worthiness interviews. Though it makes my job harder, I appreciate Brother Garcia's contributions to the ward. Having a man of Lamanite heritage with a good work ethic is a blessing.
Then there's John Reed. You might ask, why don't I call him Brother Reed? Because he's nothing like a brother. He will cheat you worse than Brother Bass, steal your wallet in a New York second. He allegedly ran a scam with a church-related audio recording facility. Thousands of dollars were said to have been siphoned off, though nothing was ever proved. He drives a van with folding chairs from our chapel storage for his family to sit on. They keep their laundry in the bathtub, and they take no showers. He does pay some tithe, though. You just have to squeeze him some. And tolerate his dirty family. The only alternative is disfellowshipping, and we can't afford the lost tithe, such as it is.
And Brother Henderson. "Stick" Henderson to his friends. He had an affair with Brother Bass's daughter, Janice. His excommunication is underway, but he's still a member. His poor wife is crushed. Her family is distraught, and her disturbed daughter is flirting with Brother Bass's son, David. She's nine and he's fifteen. Stick has brought an illness to our ward that is not easily healed.
I've told you about Sister Moss. our organist. Brother Bass has been observed leaving her residence at two am. I don't know how to approach him on the issue, do you? I mean, he's married with seven children, and she's a widow. The prophet could handle this, I'm sure. But I don't have the chops.
David, the son of Brother Bass, is resistant to the gospel. He says that Jesus "sucks."He argued with me during our last worthiness interview. He is not yet sixteen and well on his way to damnation. The boy hates Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. He hates his heritage. Don't get caught up in his misery. He is a sad little fellow.
Brother Sawyer, whom I've mentioned, has been accused of molesting boys at school. Frankly, I'm surprised it wasn't Brother Andress. He makes the darn kids sit on his lap for candy, after all. I guess you never know. The Lord gives us a certain amount of information and no more. We have to learn for ourselves. We apologize to no one. I'm not prepared to discipline him. He's never failed a worthiness interview.
Sister Moss does not like Brother Sawyer, so don't meet with the two in the same room. I believe she dated him in high school, and it didn't end well. She once described him as an international man--with Roman hands and Russian fingers, ha ha. Seriously though, she hates the man.
And the Dengue family--I have to tell you about them. Sister Dengue is a sweet and compliant person, but her husband hates the gospel with a feverish anger. He once told me to go consummate myself. They have three children: Heather, a sixteen year old of excellent posture, and Adam, twelve and lively. He'll pass the sacrament and work hard in Boy Scouts too. The youngest, Lacey, is a shy but pretty ten year old. Their father, sadly, is anti-Mormon. I don't know if anyone is safe from the internet--he spends a lot of time there, I understand.
As for Brother Marcus, well, he may seem a bit flamboyant at first, what with his coordinated sweaters and Dockers, but he's a faithful tither and music director. Our road shows are the best in three stakes because of him. I know he's unmarried at forty, but he's as solid as Brother Sawyer, who'd probably want to hang the man if he had a clue. Good things, I'm telling you, can arrive in rainbow-colored wrappers.
Which reminds me of bright candies spilling forth from a pinata. The Gonzales family is our largest, and most celebratory, family. They love pinata parties, the flash and delighted screams of children swinging bats at cellophane puppets. They love barbeques and fireworks, and why not? They contribute the most children to the ward. Don't ask me their names--I mean, Pedro, Paco, Lisa, Marisa, Angelo, Rosa, Jorge, Churro--II can't tell one from the other. But they do know how to celebrate, and a little food from the storehouse is worth it, I'd say. Wouldn't you? Now don't be alarmed when Brother Gonzales strikes at his offspring. It's his measure of discipline, and it's his prerogative as family patriarch. And we're all about family here.
I should not neglect to tell you of Brother Sorensen, my first councilor. He is a true man of God. There isn't a single chink in his armor, which is not to say there isn't one in the kitchen, if you know what I mean. He loves his Asian food. His Filipino wife is steadfast, though his children were of another mother. How they harry her. It's disgraceful, the way his sons and daughters carry on. You'd think he didn't provide them with the gospel. But he soldiers on, giving his all to the church. They seem to blame him after their mother died in the freeway accident when her brakes failed. I hope your family treats you better than his. He's always been more than a tithe-payer--his contributions to the building fund are unmatched, even by Brother Bass.
Brother Jude, an avuncular heavyset man, is our scoutmaster. He likes to wrassle (his word) with the boys. They'll grapple with him, rolling around on the floor, trying to get leverage, but he always dominates and tops them, rubbing his knuckles at their ribs. It's a good way for blowing off youthful steam. Unfortunately, he has a son named Noel who refuses to join the scouts. The boy has a tobacco habit and was caught trying to set the curtains on fire in his own bedroom. Watch out for this kid, as he seems to carry a grudge about something.
You might be surprised to find that we have a fairly recent convert presiding over the Relief Society. And a single woman at that. Her name is Annie Pewter, a self-confessed recovered addict, and she's quite a breath of fresh air. She charmed everyone when she once testified that Jesus was the son of Christ--yeah, I know. But she's been running women's pilates in the cultural hall for a year. Several of our sisters clamored for her calling to lead. She's a looker, too--very charismatic. The rumor is that Brother Bass sent her a valentine's card with three hundred dollars enclosed this last February. My only advice regarding her is to hold fast against immoral thoughts. Ha ha.
After all that I've told you, will you accept my invitation to serve as my second councilor? So many of our members are hanging on hope. Please help us in our hour of need and stand with me and the Lord in this essential calling.
I imagine what Mormons conversations would be like if they were honest and did not use magic language, double talk, or if their actions were not so passive aggressive.
Home Teacher: Hi Eric, this is John Branson. We don't know each other but I have been asked repeatedly to call you and schedule a very uncomfortable visit...oh, yeah and I am supposed to call you brother.
Me: Oh, wow. I don't know you and I since I don't do my own assigned visits because they are forced, the last thing I want is to put you in that position.
HT: That is very nice of you. Aside from anything meaningful, is there anything we can do for you, and I mean like offer to mow the lawn or tell some gossip about your family so it can be forwarded to the bishop?
Me: No. We really don't need anything. I tell you what, why don't I call you when I do, that way we you don't have to waste time every month with these super awkward conversations?
HT: I appreciate that. However, the real reason of the visit is for to us to spy on you and read you a lesson about doing what you are told. That way I can mark you off my list, this will get my wife and my EQP off my back and I can be self righteous when the topic of home teaching comes up.
Me: Oh I see. Well, I am going to be forced to lie to you and tell you that we have guests over on whichever date you want to come and tell you that perhaps next month would be a better time.
HT: Sounds good.
Bishop: Hi, I feel so uncomfortable running into you at the store, I hope that you don't mind that my face is red. I hate running into ward members outside of church.
Me: Not at all! I will use your first name sporadically to make our conversation seem more natural. I know that I saw you last Sunday, but today I want to know how you and your family are, while you answer, I will think of another topic to compliment or thank you.
B: Great. Hey, this is super awkward but I will feel guilty later if I don't mention tithing settlement. Have you made an appointment?
Me; No. I have told my wife that I was going to, to keep her from nagging me, but no, I will not, unless you put me on the spot. You see, I work very hard and need the money that I make for my own family.
B: Gotcha. Well, then I need to passively talk negatively to the SP about you, behind your back, and tell him that you are not paying tithing, he is very focused on this lately, but no worries, I will bring it up by saying "I am concerned" or some other code talk.
Me: Oh, that guy. Yeah, he once told me that he loved my family but he could not remember our last name, it was really awkward, he has avoided me ever since, so I am not too worried that anything will come of this, so I will take my chances and keep my 10%. By the way, I think he was lying when he told me he loved me because I love 21 people and I remember all of their names, it's not hard. We have never said more than 20 words to each other, so it's really hard to understand where he fell in love with me. I get the feeling that he says that to manipulate me.
B: Probably. You know that your temple recommend will expire, right? You will be on a list of people whose character we question and talk about.
Me: I know, it actually expired 8 years ago and no one has brought it up, in fact I haven't missed it. So I will still keep my 10%. I would not go to the temple anyway because it takes a lot of time and it is even more boring that sacrament meeting, I don't like dressing in those weird curtains with the silly hat and having to get up all the time to chant, it's emasculating with all the bowing and stuff, its weird. I am willing to endure the gossip and nagging.
B: Ok. We are all good then. That is all I could hold over your head. I hope we don't run into each other again.
Me: Me too! Oh I though of a comment: your lawn looks nice, have a great day.
B: Thank you, your lawn is nice too. Bye.
W: Why don't you go watch general Priesthood meeting at the chapel, I heard they are going to have ice cream afterwards?!
Me: No way am I wearing a tie and going to a sausage fest on a saturday night. Ice cream? Are they kidding, am I a 5 years old?
W: It will make me feel like our lives are going in the right direction and will help me ignore our problems, because mentally, I will shift them to the trial column...Oh, it will also help me feel less awkward around the RS sisters for the next few weeks.
Me: I really rather not go, they will give the same talks: "don't hit your wife and take her out once in a while, you asshole", "don't touch yourself, pervert", "pay tithing and then some", "pressure your kids with guilt and fear about going on missions" and "sacrifice for the church"...But if you continue to bring it up I will have to pretend to go, but I will just go to the mall or a movie.
W: Well, if you won't go, then at least pretend and go to the movie. If you run into another guy from the ward, don't make eye contact.
Me: I will go to a rated R movie, so no eye contact for sure.
W: Good. I will pretend you went and ask you general questions when you come back.
Me: Thank you! Do you want me to wear the tie from here to the car or can I skip it altogether?
W: Wear it until you get out of the ward boundaries, you never know who is watching us today.
E: Mister Eric, can we come over to your house for dinner.
Me: Dinner, why?
E: Well it's not just dinner, we will force a guilt-inducing message and ask you to host one of your co-workers for a christian intervention, a "discussion", as we call it. We will over-stay by 4-5 hours. Wait. I am supposed to ask this way: Brother Eric, will you let us come impose ourselves and leverage your friend's social politeness into a potential conversion opportunity for us?
Me: Sure, but actually its not a friend, I would never do that to a friend, so only an acquaintance. Because you have me cornered and I will probably work late and you won't be able to come into the house with just my wife because let's face it, you'd fuck my dog if we left you alone with him.
E: Hahaha, true that! They won't let us in the door! You should see how much we masturbate! One of my companions fingered an investigator's cat once! hahaha
Me: Hahaha, well, he had to get some pu$$y somewhere...We'll let's pretend to make an appointment for Friday but my wife will just give you $30 that night and apologize.
E: Sounds good. Do you know of any other members that we can help feel terribly uncomfortable and hit them up for dinner?
Me: Yes! there is this asshole that speeds through the neighborhood, go to his house and bother him!
E: Thank you!
Me: Hello! You don't remember my name again do you?!
SP: No. But isn't your kid named Eric Jr?
Me: Yup, you guessed right! so let's pretend you love me and care about me a great deal.
SP: Good. Listen, I need to make sure that you are being sheep-like, some members have gossiped that you don't always shave or wear a white shirt to church, so let me ask you: How are things in your life? You haven't been on the internet have you?
Me: As a matter of fact I have. So I can't pretend that you have power anymore, but I can pretend that I am pretending, will that work?
SP: will you still be obedient to whatever we or the "brethren" insinuate?
Me: No way. You guys can't keep you story straight and that is very irritating and disappointing. Oh and yes, I have been on the internet.
SP: Jeeeeesus!! you too?! Well can I get you to keep pretending this is all real? More importantly will you be paying tithing?
SP: Well, then we have nothing to talk about. I will start assigning more people to spy on you and see if we can dramatize something, enough to call you into my office and try to scare you, I will put you on the naughty list and through gossip, shame you. If that does not work I will give you a huge calling to try the carrot approach.
Me: I know, thanks, see you then.
Me: Hey John, how are you?
Scout nazi: Hi Eric! Listen Eric junior has a campout this weekend, it be great if you could come.
Me: This weekend. It's fucking 24 degrees John. It would be great for who?
SN: Well for Eric to see that you support him. It will be miserable but we are scheduled to do this nonsense all the time.
Me: I would rather him not go, its our family's weekend and specially I would rather me not go. I have a strong testimony that camping is how God shows us that he hates us. Listen what's with the flag thing?
SN: it's one of our fund raisers. We plant flags on people's yards at 5am and you they give us $36 a year for the service. Would you like to donate?
Me: Do you mean do I want to have you continue to honk at 5am outside of my house every fucking holiday to get my son up and then get to go help you do this? DO I enjoy my dog barking from 5 to 6 am? and at the end of the only blessed days I get off work, I get to go pick these same flags up again? and I get to pay for it? Oh, hell no, If I ever forget what country I am in, I will go buy a flag for $7 at Walmart, but I think we got it covered with the 34 flags on our street.
SN: Well its how we raise money.
Me:I have an idea. Can I give $36 a year not to honk and call our house at 5 am? I think that you will raise 12,000 in 2 hours if you do that.
SN: No, we have to do it this way, there is no other way to raise $400 a year and inconvenience and bother everyone on holidays.
Me: I see, well good luck.
Son: Dad! someone told me that we believe in Polygamy!?
Me: well yes, we do, it's how God lives, its required to enter heaven, that's what the church teaches.
Son: So why don't you do it?
Me: Because I would be excommunicated and go to hell, it's evil. That is also what the church teaches
Son: what the hell dad?! Will this make sense when I am older?
Me: No. But you will learn that the church also teaches that thinking about how these things don't make any sense is also a sin.
True Believing Mormon: Hi, co-worker! I'm going to be super-friendly to you for the next few weeks! (flashes fake smile and puts hand on Co-Worker's shoulder).
Co-Worker: Hi, TBM. We haven't chatted in a while, so this feels kind of awkward.(slides out from under the hand, which is now feeling for garment lines). By the way, it feels super creepy when you touch my shoulder like that. You're not trying to invite me to another MLM meeting in your basement, are you? By the way, how did SoapStar turn out for you anyway? I noticed you've been working lots of overtime.
TBM: Um, yeah. Let's not talk about SoapStar, OK? I join every MLM that comes along because everybody at my church does them, too. We're all desperate for extra cash because we have to fork over 10% of everything we get to the Church. Plus, we have to pay more money to send our teenagers on recruiting missions for two years. That reminds me -- that's why I'm spending my break time talking to you.
Co-Worker: Oh? Are you going to hit me up again to go to another lame activity at your church?
TBM: Yes! I don't really want to. I would never hang out with you if my church wasn't pestering me to find non-Mormons and convert them. I don't like you because you drink coffee. Well, actually I envy the fact that you drink coffee, that you go out on Saturday nights, and that you are 26 and don't even have any kids yet. But I have been pressured at church to find five people who will listen to our full-time recruiters give their sales talks.
Co-Worker: So you're just using me as one of your five?
TBM: That's right, Co-Worker.
Co-Worker: Wow. So you're pretending to be my friend so that I'll go to the lame activity and then listen to your sales guys?
TBM: Exactly. We call it "friendshipping."
Co-Worker: What will I get if I do it? At least the timeshare guys gave me a free weekend for sitting through their sales talk.
TBM: There'll be food at the activity. And next week, I'll leave some cookie dough on your doorstep.
Co-Worker: But you don't know where I live!
TBM: That's OK. My bishop or my Elder's Quorum president will get your contact information and then we will stalk you for the next ten years.
Co-Worker: Wow. I wish you hadn't started this conversation.
TBM: Me, too. It's really awkward to bug people I hardly know to get them to come to church stuff that I don't even want to go to. But if I don't do it, I'll have to stay home with three screaming kids -- and my Elder's Quorum president will gossip about me.
Co-Worker: Well, TBM, my break is over and I need to get back to work. Actually, I just want to get away from you. You are so weird!
TBM: Thanks, Co-Worker. I dislike you, too.
(1) Mormons buy their longish underwear from their church and feel a special obligation to wear this underwear wherever they go.
It has compass and square symbols next to their nipples (one per nipple), it has a little slit thingamabob symbol next to the belly button and one knee has another little slit whatchamacallit symbol. Symbols are good and normal. (This is so normal! How can anyone say this is weird?)
(2) Mormons believe that the coffee bean is Satanic or virtually Satanic.
That's why you can't enter a holy Mormon temple if you've ever had a cup of coffee and have not repented of it. Anything made from that demonic bean is a substance that, if ingested, can cause a person to be disqualified to live in God's presence. It's like drinking in damnation. Damnation in a cup. That's what it is to Mormons. The damned demonic bean is pretty evil. Same thing applies to green tea. Those vile, demonic, twisted, dirty little tea leaves will work corruption upon one's soul and cup-by-cup lead habitual drinkers to an inevitable destruction, until, one day, the tea-bibber finds himself face-down in a gutter, with sewage washing around his face, sobbing in the last moments of his life, as his soul fills with remorse thinking about that supposedly "harmless" cup of green tea that he drank last summer. Harmless indeed! Yes, it was that cup of green tea that set the whole process of eternal damnation in motion. Why didn't he just chug-a-lug a gallon of wholesome root beer and polish off a plate of brownies instead of violating God's divine prohibition against green tea?! (So are you going to try and tell me that this kind of belief is weird? How much more normal or normaler can you get?? This is like totally mainstream. Not weird at all. Deep in their heart of hearts, all normal people realize that coffee and tea are inherently and irredeemably evil.)
(3) Mormons believe that, if you are worthy (see number (2) above) to go to the Mormon temple, you can learn a set of handshakes and passwords that will enable you to enter into the grandest and most blessed heavenly kingdom there is in the afterlife.
Those handshakes and passwords make it possible for God to confirm whether the people knocking on his door are worthy to be in his presence. Mormons also believe that they are under a sacred duty to prevent unworthy people from learning about these extremely important secret handshakes and passwords. In fact, until 1990, they even acted out the types of executions they would willingly submit to (i.e., throat slitting and disembowelment), if they were ever to slip up and reveal the handshakes and passwords to unworthy people. (Now, please!!! Don't even try to tell me that this isn't one of the sanest, most reasonable beliefs you've ever heard of! These people are so well-balanced and normal in their beliefs that you find yourself wanting them to be your neighbors!!)
(4) Mormons believe that dark skin is the result of:
(i) a failure to be courageous and righteous as a spirit before one's birth on earth; (ii) your ancestors being wild and crazy Christ-rejecting heathens; and/or (iii) your ancestor being Cain, the first murderer on earth. The darker your skin is, the more evil your spirit was and/or your ancestors were. Darkness of skin has nothing to do with protection against UV rays. (Now what's NOT completely wholesome, well-grounded and, yes, very normal, about this belief concerning dark skin? Weird? Who could accuse Mormons of weirdness after finding out that they believe in such normal things as God making people's skin go dark as a curse?)
(5) Mormons believe in a "keystone" book of scripture, the Book of Mormon, which has many pages that are nothing more than passages copied verbatim from the KJV of the Bible.
It is also full of concepts that were common at the time that the book was published in the early 19th century (and it contains a lot of stories that are hard to believe, such as stories about barges that were "tight like unto a dish" and that had holes in the tops and bottoms, but were suitable as transportation of humans and livestock together for extended periods of time under water). The Book of Mormon is a book whose story is unsupported by any real-world archaeological evidence. Mormons believe that this Book of Mormon is so remarkable that the only plausible explanation for its miraculous creation is that their founding Prophet, Joseph Smith, had its contents revealed to him through a magic rock that produced glowing images that could be seen when the rock was placed in a hat. (This belief is is soooo not weird! You just have to agree that it's completely normal! To say that someone is a Mormon is basically synonymous with saying that he or she is the epitome of reasonableness and belief in normal things. It's the opposite of weirdness!)
The word Mormon rhymes with Norman. Likewise, the word Mormal rhymes with normal. So at the heart of things, you've got "Morm" on one hand and "norm" on the other hand, meaning that, with a few minor adjustments, "Mormon" is really close to "normal" and normal is not weird. In fact, if you spell normal backwards, you get the name Lamron, which is so much like a name from the Book of Mormon that you almost can't believe that it's not in the Book of Mormon. Coincidence? I thinketh not.
I moved from Utah Valley to Memphis (home to some of the largest mega churches (mostly Southern Baptist) in the country). Sometimes I feel like only the underwear has changed.
Luckily it's not so bad at work. Because I work for the corporate legal dept. of a very large company, most of our attorneys and professionals are not from Memphis, the majority being from the Northeast and predominantly Catholic. I can handle that much easier.
But when I read things like the Utah Legislature giving a standing ovation to a sexual predator who paid off his victim with the help of the cult, it reminds me that if I have to choose religious nut jobs, I think I'll take the Baptists.
It was High Council Sunday, which, in and of itself was bad enough, but to walk in and see Brother X, the reigning a$$hole of the entire stake if not the entire region, was to know that the meeting would ruin the entire day for everyone present. This guy was so bad that people who were in the know on such things as high council visitation schedules would visit relatives out of town or find reasons to attend other wards when he was scheduled to speak.
The problem there was that such things were often subject to change with vert little notice, so you'd get there and see him, and you'd be stuck. Besides, my dad was either the bishop or in the pric for a large part of my childhood, so we couldn't be skipping off every time Brother X appeared. Theoretically twelve H. C.'s should equal one official visit per year plus ward conference from the guy, but he always seemed to end up with us more often. Just the luck of the draw, I guess.
The man was a composite of the worst qualities of Thoms S Monson, Boyd K Packer, and Richard G Scott, or whatever his middle initial is. Brother X thought so highly of himself that he couldn't quite fathom why he hadn't been translated into a celestial being, or at the very least, sucked up into the great body of G.A.'s.
He once made an allusion to his calling and election having been made sure (is that called the second annointment?) though not in so many words. I didn't know they did that with regular people. I always thought you had to at least be in a temple presidency or something to achieve that status.
But I digress.
Anyway, it was h. c. Sunday, and I walked in to see him on the stand with what was then his entire family. My friend and I think there were six children at that point. The kids ranged from just a few months to almost two to almost three, to twin four-year-olds and a five -year-old, or pretty close to that.
The mother spoke first while the dad struggled with all the kids. In a normal situation, someone else might have helped the guy out while his wife spoke, but he was such a consummate a$$hole that even the righteous among us probably enjoyed seeing him squirm. Then the mother finished her talk, which absolutely no one heard enough to make any sense of because of the ruckus going on behind her, and she took the twin four-year-olds and the five-year-old to stand near the piano to sing for us while she accompanied them.
I think they sang "I Am a Child of God" and that one about "I love brother, he loves me, etc., etc,. we are a happy family." It was actually pretty funny because they were practically killing each other the whole time their mother spoke, and they were still poking and elbow-jabbing through the songs.
While they were singing, Brother X was dealing with the newborn, the less-than-two-year-old, and the almost three-year-old, who I would be able to say with certainty was the literal spawn of Satan and not the child of Brother X except for the fact that he looked so much like a miniature clone of Brother X.
At one point when Brother X was trying to stifle the next-to-youngest's screams, the figurative spawn of Satan reached into the diaper bag and pulled out a Kotex. He peeled off the strip covering the sticky part, then stuck it to his father's head. Brother X must have thought that his little angel was just patting him on the head, or else he was too preoccupied to notice.
So Brother X unknowingly had a Kotex stuck firmly to the top of his head, almost like a Mohawk haircut. The wife and older kids finished their World Wrestling Federation version of their unmusical number, and she rushed over to grab the baby with one hand and very deftly grab both of the younger brats plus the diaper bag with her other hand. She dragged them all off to a cry room or somewhere like that. Because she was flustered, or for whatever reason, she didn't even look at Brother X.
So Brother X got up and began his talk with a typically lame joke I can't begin to recall, but everybody laughed like he was John Stewart or Stephen Colbert. He was quite proud of the response, and improvised with a few more jokes. I don't think he noticed that no one was waiting for the punchlines of his jokes before they started laughing.
By this point, his older three kids were running around the chapel creating all sorts of havoc, which was the least of anyone's concern until one of them started banging on the piano; the ward clerk grabbed that kid and refused to let go. The kid cried for a few minutes, but eventually settled down. I suspect the attendance count was off that week.
A couple of other Good Samaritans grabbed the other two remaining brats and settled them similarly, which left us all free to focus on Brother X and his innovative headgear.
Then Brother X got to the point of his talk, which I didn't get then and certainly don't know now. At first people tried to stifle their laughter, but it became a lost cause. The bishop was trying to give stern looks, but even he was losing it.
Brother X finally concluded his remarks (he was known for his long-windedness, but this time we didn't really care because he had already cut into five minutes of Sunday School time, and what we had just witnessed was funnier than anything we could have seen on TV at the same time, even if we'd had cable, which hadn't yet reached our neck of the woods.
So Brother X sat down, not quite sure what was so funny in the serious part of his remarks, but convinced that he was the white version of Eddie Murphy and was probably seriously contemplating giving up his day job as an insurance salesman. As the intro to the closing song began, the wife returned with the three youngest offspring more or less under control. The ward clerk and remaining Good Samaritans returned their prisoners to the parents.
Then Sister X took one look at her hubby and turned ghostly white. While holding the baby, she tried to reach across a few kids to carefully dislodge the Kotex from his head. It turned out that there was a reason she was trying to be careful in removing it. One of the twins decided to help out by yanking the Kotex off; it came off, along with Brother X's toupee. So the kid handed Brother X his toupee with a Kotex stuck firmly to the center. (If I'd known then what I now know, I might have suggested that it should be the new style of temple headwear.)
The look on Brother X's face more than made up for all my years of tedium in sitting through church meetings.
Word travels fast (and this was before the Internet), and from that moment on, Brother X was known throughout the stake as "Kotex Head." He has to be getting up there in years by now, and the kids who are now calling him that behind his back weren't even alive when the incident occurred, but the name sticks just like the Kotex did.
Things were so tense between DH and I that I was having trouble sleeping. I was lying awake one night (partially due to DH's snoring [foghorn leghorn])going over things in my mind for the millionth time when I thought I heard my cell phone ringing. I started to get out of bed to look for it and it stopped ringing.
Who would be calling me at 2:30 a.m.? Probably a wrong number, but I had to check. It started ringing again and I played a solo game of hotter/colder until I found it.
"Mom, it was DD#1, my water broke". Her due date wasn't for two weeks. I'd planed to stay with her a week prior to that, but I hadn't packed anything yet, I had nothing prepared.
"Mom we're leaving for the hospital, I need you. Please hurry". We hung up and I sprang into action without any kind of plan. I couldn't focus my thoughts I started into DS's room for the suitcase and then thought no, I'd better get on map quest first for hospital directions.
My mind was racing so fast I couldn't type the address. Video camera, I need the video camera, it's in the girls room. I started for their room and then thought my first idea was best, get the suitcase. I needed help, I'll wake up sleeping moody. I wasn't sure how to do that. In the past I would have shaken him, but we hadn't had any physical contact in quite a while and I didn't know how he would react to me touching him. Oh heck, this was an emergency, I shook him into a semi-consious state and told him DDs water had broken. "I'll call a plumber in the morning" and then he turned over.
I'd never thought of how vunerable we are when we're sleeping, and several mean thoughts flashed through my mind. I shook him with real urgency and told him "Our grandchild is coming". He too sprang out of bed and went from room to room accomplishing nothing. Apparently we still had something in common. He very strongly suggested, aka ordered, me to pack for both of us. He would warm up the car and get the mapquest directions. When we were leaving the house he wanted to say a prayer. I agreed because it would have taken more time to debate it than actually do it, but if it lasted more than two minutes I was prepared to have a coughing fit.
He said pretty much standard things germain to the situation and ended by asking Hf to "please let us be a help and comfort to DD". When we were on the road I asked him why he'd said comfort. Did he feel DD was going to be in a situation where she needed our comfort? Did he feel inspired to say that?
It was a strange time. We'd set our current situation aside, and though I wasn't sure about the church I'd reverted to a familiar way of thinking. It was all I could manage at the time. He didn't know why he'd said comfort but didn't think it was a sign.
I said my own silent prayer. "Heavenly Father please let me get there in time to help my daughter, amen". "HF I don't mean for her labor to go on longer than necessary. Please let her have a short labor,amen".
What if she could have an easy labor until I got there and then she could deliver? "Father, thy will be done".
Dh wasn't faring any better. "I hope someone gave her a blessing, she needs a blessing, I hope they thought of that" he was feeling helpless too, but he was adding to my anxiety. Even in a crisis we had nothing to offer one another. And there we were, two beacons of anxiety racing through the pre-dawn hours. Neither one of us having any way of knowing that DH had forgotten to put the suitcase in the car. A minor detail but upon reflection, neener, neener.
DH wanted to park and I wanted him to drop me off at the door and then park. I wanted to clobber him but once again acquiessed due to time that would be lost arguing. We were the last to reach the waiting room. DS and GF, and DD#2 were already there along with members of sil's family.
DD's mil came straight over to me and I knew something was wrong. The baby's heartbeat had dropped dangerously low several times during labor with more frequent occurances and doctor decided it was best to due a c-section. DD had been taken into surgery about 10 minutes before we arrived.
'Be a comfort to our daughter' flashed in my mind. Please HF, NO. DD's fil called for a family prayer, and as I stood in the circle I didn't listen to the prayer. I didn't want to bargain with HF, I didn't understand any of this but I still believed there was a plan. I stood there glumly knowing that this part of the plan for DD. I had my eyes closed trying not to have thoughts, and I experienced something that I can't adequately explain (and rarely share).
I had a vivid picture of my mom dressed in white sitting in a chair, holding a baby also dressed in white. She didn't speak. but I could hear her voice in my head. "No need to worry, I have him".
I immediately felt at peace and then had the knowledge the baby would be born ok.
I've since read quite a lot on events like these and know that the mind will do tricky things in times of trauma. I don't know if thats what happened but I still have a sense of awe about it.
After what seemed like a huge amount of time sil came out an announced that they had a healthy baby boy. Mother and baby are doing well. There was such a release of tension via laughing, hugging and hand shaking that sil had to stand on a table to get our attention.
The nurse is cleaning the baby and geting his statistics, you can go in two at a time to see him. There was an immediate visual assessment of pecking order. DD's mil came over to me and took my arm. "Grandma's first" she said determinedly. And not to be overly dramatic, the crowd parted. There were so many decision-making priesthood members in that room but nobody wanted to challenge the Grandma authorities.
We walked down a short hall both trembling and overcome with emotion. When I first saw him my heart filled to overflowing with love. Every bad thing that had happened fell away. The nurse asked if I would like to hold him and I nodded yes. I physically couldn't speak. A spell had been cast over me and I didn't want the sound of my voice to break it. This was a turning point for me. Something inside me had changed and I couldn't explain it, but I knew it was good.
And you guys know it was good. Look ma, no cliff hanger.
DD#2 said when she told DH about my not being able to speak when I first held our Grandson he said "Wow, two miracles in one day." Asshole.
I've been inactive long enough now to feel comfortable making this post.
My last day at church was the day I was released as Gospel Doctrine Teacher. I had been teaching the class for several years. The bishop knew I didn't have a testimony, but a lot of people told him that the only reason they went to church was to hear my lessons. My classroom was always packed. The reason was because I didn't stick to the manual; I planted small seeds of doubt and made people think. I was always walking the line, and I believe that the straw that broke it all was having the Stake President's wife as a member of the class. I'm pretty sure she returned and reported to him what I was teaching, and as my lessons departed farther from the manual, so did her discomfort level.
Anyway, here is my confession...I taught some of my "most spiritual" lessons without wearing garments and with a hangover. Despite how rebellious I tried to be on Saturday night, people would still come up to me after class and tell me they felt the spirit.
That's when I knew it was all bunk.
Mormons are like vampires. - anon
Showing a cross or crucifix will ward off mormons before they get close enough to suck your blood.
Not so charming charm - JBug
When I joined the cult [back when young and stupid], I wore a charm bracelet a special Grandparent had given me. One of the charms was a tiny cross. Church members would come up to me and tell me I could not wear that here! "It has a CROSS on it!!" It got them quite upset.
Now, that kind of behavior can really turn off Christian converts. Maybe they ARE vampires. It's a nice thought.
Visceral reactions - CA Girl
I know the intellectual, stated reasons why Mormons don't wear crosses. But the visceral reaction some Morgbots have to the cross is almost frightening in and of itself. It makes me wonder what exactly that creepy temple ceremony was all about or what master the Mormons are really serving. That kind of fear of the cross is usually only seen in movies like The Exorcist.
BTW, one of the first things back in my life after I quit believing in the church was a ring with a cross on it. I also have a Celtic cross in my garden and two decorative Southwestern style crosses in my Western-style master bedroom. I regret to say, they haven't kept away a single Mormon - and you can see the Celtic cross as you approach the front door.
Oh well, I guess I'll just keep buying them until I have a ring of them around my house :) lol
A form of life-draining vampirism - Tiphanie
Mormons suck all the joy out of social events and living.
Moism trains people to feed off each other by dumping jobs on them vs asking. By shaming people who stand up for themselves. By forcing lie after lie down people's throats. Yes, mo-ism is definitely a form of life-draining vampirism.
I transferred my DD into a new school in the 3rd grade - lamedandy
That I knew would be 90% Mormon children.
For the first week of school and as often as she wanted to after that, she wore a little cross with a faux ruby in it around her neck on a gold chain. It had been a birthday gift from another little girl-friend.
I figured that might keep some of the children from having to ask her if she was Mormon and definitely told the staff that she was not :-)
BTY-We had a great and positive experience in that school. Got a good back to basics education-no bad language or behavior tolerated and a conservative dress code.
My first Internet experience was with Exmormon.org around the time she was in the fourth grade. It helped me alot, and I then realized that I definitely had to move into a community with a more diluted population, which I did when she was ready for "Junior High".
Thank you Susan and Erik for helping me learn what this was all about back then. I spent hours clicking on different links at your site, reading everything!
My nevermo mom gave me a cross necklace - Fedelm
I've thought the same thing, especially since my TBM ex had a similar reaction when my nevermo mom gave me a cross necklace as a baptism gift, as she had no idea Mormons don't want anything to do with the cross.
Once I left Mormonism and divorced my TBM (True Believing Mormon) ex, I started to get a collection of cross necklaces. After a friend that both my ex and I knew died of cancer about a year after the divorce was final, I wore one of my cross necklaces to the memorial service.
My ex avoided me the entire time, and left quickly when he saw my necklace, which is what I was hoping for. For Christmas over a year ago, my brother gave me a metal cross that is hanging on a wall in my bedroom.
Sister-in-laws has to see it from time to time - sherv
I have a metal cross on my wall in our study right now...am looking right at it. I kind of like the fact the SIL has to see it from time to time. I resented that my daughter, who we got a beautiful cross necklace for in '02, stopped wearing it in just 8 months due to meeting a Mormon guy who she later married. People have told me not to ask for it back as she may still have it hidden somewhere. I guess that is true. It was just so beautiful. I would like it!!! DARN cult!!!
Crossed at baptism - just another anon
When I attended my daughter's Mormon baptism, I wore a cross to honor her, despite my objection to her decision. I was also trying to be supportive as a Christian.
As a nevermo, I had no idea about the Mormon view of the cross. When I was introduced to the head Elder, he visibly recoiled while looking at the cross. I had a thought in the back of my mind that only a vampire would react that way.
Recently my daughter was telling me all about the beehive symbol and how it is on the temple. She laughed as she said that people probably think she worships bees because of it. I should have said "That's because people usually expect to see traditional Christian symbols on a Christian building, like a cross...not beehives. I think it would be natural to question."
How symbolic, a hive, hive mentality just like the 'Borg' on Star Trek - They don't want me back
Yes, they are vampires in every way, a parasitic society, they suck the up all the resources and use them to build their hive. The difference is that in a real bee hive all the members benefit, in this parasitic model members are just used and don’t reap the rewards, all the resources go to build up the Kingdom of the False Prophets.
They do suck - Don Bagley
It's true, they are repelled by the cross! They are wide awake nightmare daylight vampires.
At the very least, having been raised Mormon, I can testify that they do suck.
Looking back, I realize I just wanted to live my life, and not be bothered by Mormonism.
I never could see, precisely, why it was so "important," or "vital" that it be in my life. I was badgered, pushed, pulled, belittled, beaten up once, and forced to "accept the gospel."
The told me it was the best thing in the world for me. It had, I was told, "plain and precious truth" I HAD TO OBEY.I would never find happiness without it. In fact, I was told leaving the fold would only bring heartache and misery.
Growing up in Provo, with a rather fanatical set of parents, did not make it easier. I attended the church of THEIR choice, I was interviewed about masturbation by our neighbor, and my Bishop.
I was told I needed to attend every Sunday, pay the church ten percent of my money, and accept the various admonitions of the "brethren. " "The Twelve" knew what was good for me. Yes, they did. The bookcase at home groaned under the weight of the works of the "brethren."
The temple was set as an ideal for me, as was marriage in the same place, A mission was required, and I was told how vital it was I go.
At no point in any of this was I ever asked "What do you want Louie?" No-one ever pulled me aside, and professed any interest in what I thought. It was all done for me. I had no more say than a person growing up in a dictatorship. Maybe that's because I was growing up in a dictatorship.
And all I ever really wanted was to be left alone,to live my life. I would have been moral, law abiding, and decent. I did not need all the rest. Why did they keep shoving it down my throat? They NEVER CARED about me, or any other individual. I had been assimilated, made a part of the collective. And I never wanted to be.
"Dare to be Different," Paul Dunn wrote as the title of one of his dishonest books. He forgot the subtitle: "As Long as You are All the Same."
Mine was years ago when I was on a commitee for a homemaking lunchion. We decided on the menu and made food assignments. We had the 4 basic food groups and a desert, we were done. One of the ladies on the commitee said "oh no, no, we forgot jello". She spoke as if it were a food group and she was so disapointed that we were not going to squeeze it on to the menu. I held my laughter until I got in the car but then I laughted so hard I almost peed myself. Just one of many moments that make you say WTF.
Distracting Deacons - 6 iron
For me it was when I was a Deacon and sitting up there waiting to pass the Sac. if someone did anything funny, trying to stop laughing is soooo hard, and just looking over at the person, made you want to laugh but trying to stop made it even more funny I thought I was going to burst.
Is there a breeze up here? - toasty
When one of the most pious sister's in our ward walked from the back of the chapel up to the stand to give the closing prayer. As she passed each pew a chuckle would erupt as she'd obviously gone to the bathroom (was probably nervous) and had tucked her dress into her pantyhose. She didn't realize this until she'd finished the prayer and the bishop got enough courage to let her know. After that, she was a little less snooty.
Marriott Center Crossed Legs - CA girl
I've been friends with these twins, Shauna and Hannah, since kindergarten. Hannah had just gotten engaged but I hadn't met her fiance yet (it was one of those quickie BYU love stories). There was a very important GA (one of the 12) coming to the Marriott Center for a fireside so Hannah invited me to come with her, her fiance and Shauna to hear him talk.
Unfortunately, I wore a very straight skirt and very high heels. During the talk, I crossed my legs and in in the steep Marriott seating amd found I couldn't get them uncrossed without making a very obscene move. This struck me as funny and I started laughing silently to myself. Shauna leaned over and asked what was wrong and I told her. She started laughing quietly. Pretty soon we both were laughing so hard and trying to control it so hard that we had tears running down our faces. And I STILL couldn't get my legs uncrossed. People in our section were giving us filthy looks for being so disrespectful to a GA and Hannah was giving us the worst looks for embarrassing her in front of her fiance. Finally I wiggled free and afterward, when we told Hannah and Kevin why we were laughing, we were forgiven.
This is one of the funniest Temple stories! - SuzieQ#1
Sometimes a little humor lightens the mood of a dull, repetitive temple session.
Many years ago, I attended the temple with a group from our Ward. One of the ladies was a very small spry (probably about 80 yr old) widow, who had recently lost her large built 90+ year old husband.
She arrived with us at the temple , carrying her matching suitcase with the temple garb. Remember those!?
When she opened it, she realized she had her deceased husbands suitcase!
Laughingly, she remarked that she probably gave them the wrong suitcase for her husband's burial, and she wondered if he was buried in her temple clothes. (Not likely as those are different - but she probably didn't know that.)
Not to be deterred, she put on his one piece men's garments! She didn't have quite enough clothes in her size, so one of the matrons brought some for her.
The three of us women, who knew what happened could barely keep our faces straight through the session knowing she was wearing her deceased husbands, very large, men's garments, which she later remarked were more comfortable than her own!
Operatics - 6 iron
My BIL could sing exactly like a member lady with an operatic voice, and he would sing that way sometimes even when she was singing. Made us chuckle
I had a roommate who used to do that. - Makurosu
We'd be sitting in Sacrament Meeting, and he would be belting out the hymns in powerful falsetto with very exaggerated vibrato. The people in front of us just sat there pretending not to notice. I thought I was going to cry laughing.
Test-o-money meeting: Ward campout shows LDS woman the trials and hardships of the pioneers. - Jonny the Smoke
By going on a chuch campout for one night at the church property located about 30 minutes from her home, this woman was able to testify of knowing the trials and hardships of the pioneers as they crossed the plains.
The ward had a one night campout and provided breakfast and BBQ lunch. Everone slept in tents with sleeping bags, pillows and cusions, used flashlights and bathrooms with flush toilets.
The woman bares her test-o-money about now being able to understand what the pioneers went through..."the trials and the hardships", etc.
What trials and hardships? She and her family drove the car 30 minutes out of town and are camping about 10 minutes from a store with the church providing most of the food.
All they had to do was sit around a fire making smores at night, swim in the river and play field games in the day, then drive home.
She should have pulled a handcart, had a child and her husband die, then gotten sick with cholera and then sealed to another man that was already married to 3 other women on the way to the campout to get a better understanding of the pioneers.
Ha ha--that's so true! - Ms.
Some of my family does a handcart thing, which is perhaps slightly more difficult, and they go on and on like they had actually risked their lives! One of my cousins told me her mom smudged her face with dirt for the photos, but during the "trek" she was obsessed with keeping her very expensive specially made pioneer dress clean. This aunt isn't typical of my relatives, actually, but she's still amusing.
Finger in nose - Wanda
The Bishop had 7 stairstep kids. All 7 of them had to get up every F&T meeting and give their testimony. 5 of his kids were blonde, the youngest 2 were red heads. I don't know which of his 2 red heads it was, but one of them would go up there and say his piece with his finger stuck up his nose. It happened EVERY time. His mom would always die of embarrasment, but we always thought it was hilarious!
Snake out of the Garden of Eden - Sally
A woman in our branch had a primary age son who carried his rubber snake with him everywhere. It was his version of a blankey. So during a Sacrament Meeting given by the Primary, this boy walks up to the podium and being one of the smallest he stands in front. As they start to sing the song he whips his snake over the railing like he's casting a fishing rod and starts to sing. The whole branch was in stiches.
Oh, that might have been me. - 6 iron
In Branch Presidency mtg the BP said what is that gas smell (he meant heating fuel gas) one guy said oh that might have been me.
That became a popular joke with me, Anytime anyone said what is that smell (refering to a pleasant smell) I say that might have been me.
Beer jingle - Chic in the heart of Moville
I also remember the 1st C's young daughter walking down the isle singing "Weekends were made for Michelob". Oh I really needed a good laugh,
Fasting rumble - Moira
During college I was the Chorister for our Institute. One Fast Sunday, I was sitting behind the podium with everyone else and my stomach growled so loudly that the microphone picked it up. The Institute President turned around and looked at me, then turned back and said, "Well, we know Moira is keeping the law of fasting today." I was mortified!
The time my former hubby was giving a slide-presentation on Joe Smith to the Adult Class. - wine country girl
He was describing the tar & feathering Joe got from an angry mob and mentioned that Joe and Emma stayed up into the wee hours "picking the tar off Joe's foreskin." (He meant regular skin.)
Barf-O-Rama. - Sandie
A little boy in the pew in front of me had eaten something that obviously didn't agree with him. By the time he was through hurling the mass of vomit around the room, he had nailed just about every member of the family in the pew in front of his.
His mom's frantic attempt to drag the kid from the room only caused additional airborne barf across the entire chapel.
The carpet in the lobby was stained for years. It probably still is.
One night at MIA, we had a cookout. - Randy J.
The guy cooking the burgers was this big cowboy from Yuma, Arizona. He was a real John Wayne type whom everybody respected because of his he-man powerful presence and strong testimony. He would have been about 40 at the time, and I was probably 14 or so. He managed a cattle ranch for a local major beef producer, so he furnished the patties.
Anyhoo, here's all these teenagers standing around the grill talking etc. I took a spatula and began pressing on the patties to squeeze the grease out. Cowboy shouts at me "Hey, don't squeeze my meat!" You can imagine the look on the faces of the crowd of teenagers. It was all we could do to hold ourselves together. Cowboy calmed down a little and explained, "I don't like my meat squeezed because the grease is where the flavor is."
Another one: I was about 23, and was leading the singing in priesthood meeting one Sunday morning. The guy playing the piano had limited talent, but I didn't know it, because he was kinda new in the ward. He was kind of a stodgy anal type guy too. So, we're in the middle of the first verse of one of those rousing priesthood-type songs, when the pianist stops and shouts "I can't play this damn thing!" That caused some chuckles, and it flustered me a little, but I suggested that we just sing it without music, and we continued on.
MIA blackout - flash
One MIA night when I was 14 (early 70’s), the MIA was having a dance. I and 2 other friends decided to have some fun by turning off the main power switch to the church building. We drew straws to see who would be the “Son of Perdition” to lead the entire MIA into outer darkness. The straws were pulled and it fell upon me to perform this transgression.
The main power switch was located in a panel on the stage so we snuck back there during the dance to get access. The switch was located in a panel on one side of the stage and there was a window on the opposite side of the stage. In order to buy myself time to flip the switch and be able to get to the window and jump out, I piled up several metal folding chairs in the stair well that accessed the side of the stage where the electrical panels were. My friends, by now, had quietly slipped out the window and headed to our pre-arranged meeting site outside.
With the chairs in place and the window open, I quietly opened the panel housing the main switch. It was very large and I decided to flip the switch in the middle of a song hoping the music would drown out the sound of the switch clicking off. The moment of truth was now upon me. So with a great effort I pushed on the lever with a mighty snap. Thick darkness quickly engulfed the whole building. Girls began to scream and the music on the record player slowly ground to a halt. As I began to run across the stage to the open window, I could hear the adult leaders scrambling up the stair well stumbling across the strategically placed metal folding chairs and themselves in the darkness. I never knew so many colorful metaphors could be uttered by our priesthood leadership as they struggled through the tangling and collapsing folding chairs to reach the switch and to apprehend the fiend who would defile their sacred MIA dance. And no, I did not utter any Masonic phrases as I dove out the window.
Once I was outside, I and my two friends met at our pre-arranged spot to gaze upon the now dark, great and spacious building before us. Oh, how great was our joy and loud laughter at this marvelous work and a wonder we performed. We almost passed out from not being able to breathe due to our laughter.
Before the lights were restored, we snuck back in and split up so when the lights were finally restored, we looked as though we were there all the time. I strategically placed myself at the punch bowl trying to keep a look on my face of bewilderment like everyone else to avoid suspicion. My two friends did likewise at different places in the cultural hall. To this day, no one knows who the “Son of Perdition” was that cast the entire MIA into outer darkness on that memorable Tuesday night.
This one was at my expense. - Chic in the heart of Moville
I grew up in a small town of 350 people and there were not alot of things to do for entertainment. For Mutual as it was called then, the leaders took the boys and girls to some farmers pond to swim and made a mud slide down the hill. It was a blast, I ran up that hill and slid down more than anyone.
At the end of the night they loaded us into the back of a cattle truck but before they did they hosed us down to get rid of some of the mud. When they hosed me off both cheeks of my little 16 year old hiney were there for all to see. I had wore holes in my jeans and some of my underware. I think my ass was numb because of the cold water and sliding that I couldn't even tell.
I was mortified at the time, now it just makes me laugh. One lovely sister offered her jacket to me probably because she wanted her son to quit trying to catch a peak.
Party Poppers in the hymn racks. - Makurosu
One Sunday before Sacrament meeting, the youth decided they would put exploding "party poppers" in all the hymn racks. It was a bang-up success. After the opening hymn, everybody dropped the hymn books back into the racks, and there were loud pops like caps going off all around the chapel. Some people even screamed. There was no reaction whatsoever from the leaders up on the stand, and the person giving the opening prayer looked around the room sternly for everyone to quiet down and get reverent before praying.
Salty Shame - Chic in the heart of Moville
My *FRIEND* was going to Ricks College in Idaho and was in a biology class. They were discussing the make up of sperm and that it was mostly glucose.
There was this big hair bonde girl in the class that said without thinking of course "Then why does it taste salty?"
He said she left class crying, never to be seen again.
Sunday topless - JennyAus
The Bishop took all the youth from our ward and another ward (who were billeted out for the week), to the local art gallery, where he worked, for a show. Probably about 40 or so youth were sitting on the ground, excited that we got to do something different on a Sunday.
The music starts to play and one by one practically naked people come dancing only a few feet away from us. We were so shocked. Not only were they topless, all their pubes were hanging out of their nickers. They weren't aboriginals but I think they were dancing as if they were. I can't quite remember the dance or the music, we were just trying so hard not to laugh.
Bishop didn't even stop the dance, we sat there through the whole thing. It was hilarious.
Pajamas - CA Girl
When I was in high school, I became friends with a girl who had a father in the Stake High Council. Between work and church, he was never home. I'd only met him twice, when she invited our group of girls to her house for sleep-overs. And both times, we'd come in late from a dance or movie and he'd already gone to bed. I met him when he came out of his room in his pajamas at 1:00 a.m. and told us to quit making so much noise and go to sleep.
One Sunday he came to our ward to be the Stake High Council Speaker. Before sacrament meeting I went up to the front for some reason I can't remember now. He was talking to a group of bishopric members and other important Stake guys. I didn't even recognize him but he knew me and said "Hi CA girl." Surprised, I replied "Oh hi Brother ______ I didn't recognize you with your clothes on." And quite cluelessly returned to my seat, not even realizing what I'd said. I'll bet he had a fun time explaining that one!!!
"Bitch" being said over the pulpit - anon this time
When our district president spoke in district conference and told a story about going on a trip with his brother. He used the word ‘bitch’ 5 times in his talk. He kept saying, “all my brother did was bitch at me”. The mp and his wife were there. The mp’s wife’s face was awesome. It was a mix of shock/horror/disgust. I still giggle thinking about it.
Anyway DP got released soon after that. He’s a pretty nice guy and has a lot of common sense. I think he planned the whole thing.
Bass Ackwards Baptism - Michael Pace
When my father fell head-first into baptismal font that he had just filled for baptismal service.
Wow, look at those huge undies! - JennyAus
They had a gust of wind blowing up random people's dresses. This was set up for the show. The host says, "wow, look at those huge undies. Now that is some pair of undies."
Lol, it was a woman in her garments.
The guy kept going on and on about the size of her undies and they kept replaying the scene. I felt embarrassed for her.
I have another one.
My son Brendan taught the 4 year olds in primary. When sacrament had finished, one of the young boys yells out at the top of his voice. "Brendan, when I tell you I have to go to the toilet you have to let me go real quick because I have diarrhea." Everybody laughed.
Oh.. one more
There was this elderly couple in our ward and they loved working in their garden. Maybe they hadn't had much success with their flower growing, so they had plastic flowers planted in their front garden. lol.
I'm talking about church business - Don Bagley
In my early teens, I occasionally attended church in La Grande Oregon. Some of the young priesthood boys decided that we would use the word "business" to mean poop. We would say we had to go to the restroom to take a business.
One Sunday, an arrogant high priest addressed the young men. "I'm talking about church business, here," he said. And we all laughed riotously, which pissed him off. "Hey," he said, "this is serious business." And we laughed and laughed until he had the sense to change the subject.
I was five then, on the reservation, and in The Head Start Program in a predominantly White occupied community just off the reservation in South Dakota. The branch president at the time was a local white man with money and his wife had a florist business.
I remember when Mama would drive us kids around in Daddy's new car. She would stop by the wife of the branch president's florist shop but she would not let us kids go in with her. We would sit outside and gaze in at the huge shop and see flowers in the windows and the neon lights.
It was such a mystery to me to see that the local branch president and his wife were inside that shop. They being successful and being happy and seeing my mother come into their shop they would smile, just like they did when my White step dad would bring "us" his Lamanite charges, erh, I meant - FAMILY to chapel services. Some older, stalwart couples and elderly in the branch would gaze bespectacled at us and then turn back to their scriptures or their local gossip and their daily lives and forget about us "Lamanites" in their midst, but I remembered them, mind like a sponge and spirit recording everything to later peruse and sort out in real life should similar events happen later on in my life.
I remember her, the branch president's wife, at that time, late 40's and such a nice person.
We would get to visit their home in their town and they would sit together on their plush love seats, side by side and smile sweetly for us Lamanites, mother and children in clean polyester clothes and sometimes 1960's or 1970's gaudy colors, (the civvies) but they were friends and we Lamanite kids trusted them.
Other eyes watched us from beyond the living room whenever we Lamanites and Nephite husband would visit.
For the branch president and Wife had an older teenage daughter who never attended church and never really showed herself to us at all unless expressly commanded to do so by her parents, our branch president and wife!
She was a beauty, blonde, lean and willowy, busty and always brushing her Farrah Fawcett curls and popping her gum and looking so bored. Then when my lil' Lamanite eyes would lift up and take notice she'd be looking at me, the Head Start boy!
I'd notice that and my impressionable mind recorded that event and locked it inside for perusal viewing later on.
It happened again when one day I was alone for a while at the branch president's house with his wife. She had picked me up on errands in town and driven me to her house and then had to change clothes. In process of having me sit in her living room and wait on her, the branch president's wife walked out of her back bedroom and up towards me, through the hall and into the side closet.
She, the tall, older women, the branch president's wife, an older version of the teen daughter was dressed in a white outfit like long johns ending at the knee and a long slit up her butt and short sleeved it was.
I focused on her and then her body and then quietly shrugged back to Bert & Ernie on TV as they continued to argue as Ernie took Bert's nose off his face, LOL (laugh out loud).
Soon, when the branch president's wife went back to her room to dress she showed herself also, the teen daughter. She was less dressed as she walked to the bathroom to shower; she smiled at me and then closed the door.
My mind pondered a bit the glimpses of flesh that in other more domestically bloody circumstances with Native and White females alike being beaten up and sexed in front of me, etc. which I had seen in my short years on earth, on the rezz and I put that aside and turned back to my schoolwork or to playtime or to tending to a screaming, crying younger sibling.
Years later after a LDS Church mission and being a Cosmetologist and massage practitioner, and thusly being exposed to very similar circumstances and even being there with the females, touching them and working on them, I did remember again.
But why that part of my life? I don't know why I was taken under wing of the branch president's wife and allowed to be in her home for awhile, to see females cavort around less dressed, albeit innocently and then being exposed to such depraved violence and abuse of others on the reservation just scant miles away and in another whole new world that IS native culture and native life. Why?!
I still don't know.
Even today while slinging coffee at work I was emptying out bad coffee and refilling the filter papers and did turn around and look out at the shop doors as they opened and I did see, a TBM (True Believing Mormon) sister walk in, a regular for me here in the city! Her pink arms were full of child in a carry-all, and her blonde hair pulled back upon her head, soft and loose, like that first day in 1975 with two women!
Even ever after that year and the years afterwards, until, maybe years later on The Indian Student Placement Program, and during later times of my life with other sisters. Then, being exposed to much female flesh during the years in Seattle when similarly dressed and clean, smart TBM women would undress for me and smile pertly before mounting my massage table and side lying or going prone and sighing deeply, with huge pink curves and gentle swells relaxing and even going to sleep.
Even one TBM sister, days before taking me to the Mormon Temple and being my session partner and being a friend and gossiping with me quietly in the Celestial Room, afterwards holding my hands, had worn her thong and nothing else for me while I worked on her back and legs as she glowed over the lil' girl within her that was, for now, a gentle tummy swell, a sacred tummy swell and a smooth mons and lips. and years earlier, it all began on a sofa watching Sesame Street.
Later on after her daughter was born, I got to bless the child with her hubby, just us two and the Bishop of our ward and no one else. They were close friends indeed.
And the other sisters I knew as their stylist or therapist. Some were lean others rotund and gorgeous and unabashed as the female I saw today in the coffee shop, the Madonna and Child, as they ordered their frappe drinks and later on drove to the hospital to visit their cancer patients.
And not even the earthen, lemon scented Kenyan grounds I detected today at work from the urns could mask out the distant, pungent, musky, hooded scents that I recorded in my mind, in my spirit and soul from years ago, thirty six to be exact.
Two TBM women or at least one active one and her lazy offspring were my first to let me see and to let me decide how things would be, that no matter what, I would not desecrate or slap or hit them or in drunkenness flip them off rudely with the middle finger and stab that finger knife-like against the seat of her pants.
Like I saw on a street corner even thirty four years ago as a drunken relative with his girlfriend of the week did do to her in public while polite White society walked and drove by.
For it seems that I saw and remembered what "NOT TO DO" to females, when I was young.
I am glad I can still remember 1972 here in 2008 looking back objectively, the Mo-ism ride was fun and hard but worth it and now that I am "OFF and OUT" of "The Cult" a similar life goes on and my partner, friends as of late, two twenty somethings and an eighteen year old are not abused by me, just hugged and loved and teased unmercifully, (the big brother in me).
Someday I will go back to "The Rez" and see her again, the lithe, lean, less active blonde teen turned old crone by now that just stayed behind and stayed inside a small backwoods town close to where she grew up.
She will make me fast food and pour us alcohol and we will talk, and if not now, then later on in eternity.
For my Lakota-ness still believes in a deity and an after life of some kind that an arrow shot still flies on forever and never touches ground, but keeps going, and going onward. I will see her again, the teen! And she will smile for me like she did that first day before her shower.
I was attending church last Sunday, Sac Mtg only, and fell into my usual bored-outta-my-mind, get-me-outta-here state, just before dropping into a soft coma. I live in an African nation where church meetings of all denominations are lively and involve electric guitars, vibrant, colourful clothes, dancing, singing and sometimes pea-whistles.
Coming briefly out of my coma to wipe off the accumulation of drool, I looked around and saw the poor Africans, and how they had been reduced down to a lower state. All but a few were conservatively Mormon-dressed, many of them dozing with chins on their chests, a couple of kids sprawled out horizontally on the bench. A guy at the pulpit was droning on in French about Joseph Smith being a pretty great guy, and I think even the bishopric was nodding off.
Made me think when my family and I were in a ward in a predominantly African-American part of an eastern US city. Oddly enough, the missionaries converted the occasional black. I remember one black father got up and bore his testimony, and jumped in the air "for the joy of Jesus." That didn't play too well with the bishopric and the collection of white folk, knowwhatimean? After several months he got up to the pulpit again during a particularly slow fast day (you know what I mean, don't you?) and told everyone what a boring, colourless place it was (maybe he meant that he was looking upon a sea of white faces), and wondered how we tolerated it. A couple of months later he and his whole family were gone.
I'm old enough to remember the non-correlated days of Mormonism. There was plenty of room for boredom then, too, but so much nicer than now. There were youth activities, softball competitions, basketball competitions, mission farewells, mission homecomings, church budget drives, and even (godferbid) bazaars. Anyone remember this? I kid you not; once we had a BBQ behind the church to raise money for the budget, and the bishop had a boxing ring set up and various guys challenged each other to a one-round match. (Turned out to be a bad idea in the end, because some guys got pounded and then carried grudges.)
We never had guitars, though. And dancing was right out.
Does anyone out there find the typical LDS wedding reception to be the most boring, tedious, impersonal, and silly kind of wedding celebrations you've ever attended? Utahrds are famous for genericizing these "Celebrations" till they have all the flavor of two day old oatmeal, without the butter or sugar. I have found the funerals to be a lot more fun and celebratory, and the food is lots better. You can't beat funeral potatoes and ham!!! It's strange that they put so little into an LDS reception at the beginning of one's marital life, but will go to town once that person is dead and no longer around to enjoy the party.
I had this idea for LDS wedding receptions to make them faster since they're so tedious to attend and the obligation is usually just a chore. Maybe someone could get some contractors together to create a prototype and then market it to the church heirarchy. Since they hold these tedious receptions in the ward gymnasiums all across the US nearly every Saturday and they claim they don't charge the members for use of the buildings, they could maximize the use and numbers of receptions by 10 fold and use the whole thing as a missionary/ exposure experience to help bring in recruits for their tithing base.
Here's the idea...A people mover/conveyor belt with a greenscreen wedding backdrop. At the entry end of the people mover you could have a little table set up with an ATM or credit card machine. The guests could swipe their card and select a gift from the list, or withdraw cash from the ATM and slip it into a pre-signed card that then goes into a deposit slot with the couples name/code on it. They then hop onto the peoplemover conveyor belt which moves along about as fast as the ones at the airports. They shake hands through the "line" making small talk or they could even have one of those museum headpieces that informs them of the people and participants in the line. The wedding party could be standing in front of the green screen with a slide show of temples, flowers, garden scenes, or some frilly arbor behind them. A pre-recorded musical tribute could be selected from the typical song lists that are sung at these things and maybe even a little tribute to the bride and groom (your name here).
As you get to the end of the line a machine dispenses a nut cup with mints and peanuts and another some 7-up with a plop of sherbet and a plastic sealed piece of sheet cake pop out as you pass by. If done efficiently, a typical reception could "Serve" 200 guests in less than an hour. Starting at 4:00 in the afternoon and running straight till 10:00 p.m. it wouldn't be hard to imagine 6 receptions per ward building per Saturday. They could call them the "McReception" and you could choose from the dollar menu if things were sort of tight.
When I was in seminary, they always told us that we were the valiant ones in heaven, and that we were saved to come down at this time.
Now, they are saying the same thing to the current generation of youth.
I suppose they will say it to the next generation, and that they said it to generations before mine.
Is this a tactic to make kids feel special and wanting to be part of the fold?
Frankly, it kind of pisses me off to think that they didn't really mean it when they told me I was the chosen generation. They only told me that so they could motivate me to go on a mission and give them my best years, and when I got older they would throw me aside and begin again on the next bunch of victims.
They have to keep repeating it because it isn't coming true. - by anon
You're supposed to be the "chosen generation", meaning that you are on the front lines when Jesus arrives. Except, he just doesn't show up. So, time goes by, and it must mean that the NEXT generation is the "chosen" one, since nothing manifested in the last generation.
The first real seeds of doubt were placed in my head by my own mother -- quite unintentionally, I'm sure. I came home, full of self-importance in believing what they had just told our class in Sunday school, that we were chosen, and she very flippantly said, "OH, they told that to me when I was growing up too!"
I think I was about eleven years old, and I remember wondering..."Why would they say that to everybody? Only one generation can be "chosen"....."
Now we're in our fifties and sixties. - by divinechoice
They were saying that to us in the early 1970s. Now we're in our fifties and sixties. I guess we were chosen because we alone could be great guides, counselors, and helpers to the next generation. I intend to help this "chosen generation" by telling them to get out now!
Oh, they meant it! - by Mårv Fråndsæn
But then Jesus didn't come back, and then there was yet ANOTHER generation ... so what are you gonna tell them? The best came and went and Jesus still isn't here yet?
You are the final generation before the Second Coming, chosen and yada ..
This gimmick has been played since the beginning of the Church. - by Lando Moron
The Second Coming is always just around the corner. Members of this generation will live to see it. Blah, blah, blah...
Of course it's just a form of self-flattery and flattery as manipulation. Like awarding cheap ribbons and prizes, or granting people pretentious titles in the hope of manipulating them into doing things that sensible people would otherwise refuse to do.
I guess it's sort of like Garrison Keiler's observation of small town life to the effect that, according to most people in the town, all of the kids in the town are above average.
Because once they'd said it... - by Deenie, the dreaded single adult
...and the world didn't end, and more kids were born, what were they going to do, take it back?
"Sorry, your parents were the chosen generation, but Jesus didn't make it back quite yet. You guys are just a bunch of losers who will have to wait for him to get here..."
Of course, THAT wasn't going to fly--and it wasn't going to produce a bunch of dedicated, hyper-achievers, either!
Once it was started, each 'generation' had to become chosen-er and chosen-er, to keep the momentum up.
They are chosen to give their money, time and talents... - by Observer
... in return for empty promises. Hand it over suckers!!
Mormons are exactly the same as other christians on this account - by Huckleberry Hinckley
The early christians thought that Jebus would be returning any day now which is why many of them quit their jobs and left their families since in the end, none of that mattered in the end if Jebus came back and murdered all the non-christians like he promised.
Mormons will eventually stop this nonsense as well. Nowadays, the only christians who believe the second coming is around the corner are the wacko types. Normal mormons will stop spewing this type of rhetoric but it will take a while, especially since the average mormon never looks into their own history to see just how much nonsense the "chosen generation" bs really is.
Dateline: Winter 1829 - 1830.
Reference: Unpublished revelation regarding the attempted sale of the Book of Mormon copyright. Comprehensive History of the Church Vol. 1: P 165. Also: An Address to All Believers in Christ, David Whitmer 1887. Available at: www.irr.org/mit/address4.html
Joe: Hey God.
God: Hey Joe, what’s on your mind.
Joe: I’m having trouble with my hat.
God: Sorry to hear that Joe, what’s the problem?
Joe: Well, I looked at that stone - the one I used to use for money digging - in my hat and I thought you told me to send Cowdery and Page to Toronto to sell the Book of Mormon copyright. You know Harris still hasn’t sold his farmland and we are broke.
God: I never told you to do that.
Joe: I know that now; but I thought you did. They ran out of money and came back half starved. You could at least have helped them to get some food to eat.
God: Why would I do that? I didn’t tell you to send them.
Joe: Well, I thought you did, so I sent them. You could have fed them… for me.
God: Joe, Joe, Joe - you know I am just in your imagination, you know I’m not really talking to you. Why put all this on me? If I had fed them and they realised it was my doing, they might also think I was responsible for their failure to sell the copyright. Where would that leave my credibility? I can’t be wrong. I’m God.
Joe: But it made me look silly.
God: But you are silly, you know that.
Joe: Yes, but I don’t like to look silly.
God: I know, I know. Tell you what; just say that it was a false revelation. Say that some revelations are from me, some revelations are your own wishful thinking and some are from Satan - he’s always a good failsafe to fix the blame on - you got confused, that’s all. That way, when anything goes wrong - hey, there’s only a one in three chance it was ever going to be from me anyway. O.K?
Joe: I can’t do that - I’m supposed to be a prophet. I can’t admit that I get things wrong.
God: Why not? You get most things wrong.
Joe: Yes but the members tend to blame that on Satan.
God: So - if that works why change now?
Joe: Well… I am not sure about saying Satan told them to go…
God: Well then, just say it was you - Hyrum persuaded you to ask me and you thought I said they should go.
Joe: Well, that’s actually true.
God: So - you don’t like to tell the truth now?
Joe: It’s not something I’m good at.
God: Well, when all else fails, it sometimes works.
Joe: It doesn’t feel right. I’m getting a stupor of thought here. What did you say again?
God: It’s either that or you have to admit you are a false prophet. Ready for that?
Joe: Hell no, I’ve come too far for that.
God: So, use the “God - Own mind - Satan” idea and it will get you off the hook. Plus you can always use it again when the next revelation goes wrong. O.K?
Joe: O.K. That works.
God: So, why are you asking me about this with your head in your hat when it didn’t work the last time?
Joe: It looks professional.
God: You think?
Joe: Well, it looks convincing to Cowdery anyway.
God: Maybe, but you already told him to go to Canada using the “stone in the hat” trick and it didn’t work. Now you have to tell him, using the same trick yet again, that the first answer was wrong; and only ever had a one in three chance of being from me.
God: So - the odds of this being revelation from me, are now more like one in ten - you know how the compound effect of probability works. But then, no, you probably don’t. Never mind, it’s best you don’t ask. Just use the excuse…
Joe: O.K. Should I still use the stone in the hat?
God: It’s up to you. Personally, I think you look silly.
Joe: But you already said that I am silly.
God: Yea… that’s right. Keep using the hat.
Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. (Used by The Salamander Society with permission).
When I was a kid, I took the idea of "happiness" very seriously. I was raised a Mormon, after all, and I lived in Provo. So I just knew that there is a special "happiness" that awaits all those who deserve it.
My mother, one of the least happy people I ever knew, always told me how "happy" she was. The church, and all the demands it made on her, left her miserable, but she assured me she was "happy." She told every non-Mormon how "happy" Mormons are too. Mormons, I was led to believe, have some sort of special inside track that leads to "happiness."
So I tried. I really tried. I read the "Book of Mormon," and I prayed. I tried to stop saying "damn," and "hell." I felt guilty about the fact that looking at a female body made me horny. I tried to stop feeling horny, but I fear I could not manage it. I felt great guilt, in fact. I had "dirty thoughts."
I tried so hard that I had to be treated for depression in high school. I could not be "happy." What, in God's name, was wrong with me? Mormons , after all, had "true happiness." I could not generate it. All I felt was guilt and depression. I began to think I was mentally ill. Normal feelings became "mental illness," and sexual desire was "dirty."
I went to the temple, and it scared me. I went on a mission, and it tormented me. I had to be helped with depression again when I got home. Doing all the "right things" was not working very well. And I grew weary of trying to live a "good" Mormon life. The church chafed, pinched, and tormented me. The yoke was uneasy, and the burden was back breaking.
My wife and I gave up on the church about 30 years ago. We married in the temple, but never went back. Not even once. We could not see the point.
We did not raise our kids with a false belief that they would find special "happiness." They have not been any less happy than Mormon kids, and they have, overall, but a hell of a lot kinder. They all have a basic character that could not have been changed, fine tuned, or improved by years of Mormon torment.
I have noticed that Mormons divorce like non-Mormons. I have also noticed that Mormons have problems with their kids, their lives, and their decisions. They have not had any special knowledge or happiness. The burden of Mormonism does not change anything. I have not seen it make anyone any happier than those who elect not to carry it. A bag of rocks is a bag of rocks. You don't have to carry it from place to place.
I spent a lot of time looking for cosmic happiness. I learned it does not exist.
Utah is a unique microcosm. Different from almost any other place in the world because of the overwhelming influence of the Mormon church in personal and public settings. Those who do move into Utah from elsewhere are often overwhelmed by the initial experience of encountering their new Mormon neighbors. While those of us who have left Mormonism continue to be bombarded by the long tentacles of Mormonism at every turn. As an aid to those of us living in Utah...I wanted to give guidance on how to handle these close encounters.
Close Encounters Of A 1st Kind: This is the most common category of close encounter. It involves sensing something from a Mormon while in a public place. It could be a quick turn of a head from someone who saw you drinking an adult beverage in a public restaurant. The avoidance of eye contact from someone you know who sees you drinking out of a Styrofoam cup. That subtle judgmental expression you may receive as you mow your lawn on a Sunday morning as your neighbors drive off to church. Encounters of this type are very slight but evident...more a feeling or a perception - anything like that fits into this section. If you experience this kind of encounter...it is best to raise your adult beverage in the direction of the Mormon and give them a wink of your eye or a flip of your middle finger.
Close Encounters Of A 2nd Kind: A bit deeper than the 1st kind, to have a 2nd class encounter you must have experienced a personal invasion of your private space by a Mormon. You see Mormons are raised to believe that there is no such thing as personal boundaries. Their personal boundaries are violated so often by their own ecclesiastical leaders through invasive interviews through out their own lives that they see nothing wrong with invading others rights to enjoyment of public spaces. You have experienced a close encounter of the 2nd kind if you have been asked to alter your activity or behavior while in a public setting. This close encounter would come in a direct communication to you such as ?Could you please refrain from using that kind of language in front of me? or ?I saw you jogging without your garments on, What were you thinking?? This kind of encounter is generally best handled by telling the Mormon who wants to alter your behavior to ?Fuck Off?.
Close Encounters Of A 3rd Kind: Violation of your most personal private space is involved in this class of encounter. You?ll know that you have had a close encounter of the third kind if you?ve been sitting in the privacy of your own home enjoying a quiet moment reading Carl Sagan?s book ? A Demon Haunted World? or watching an HBO ?R? rated movie while enjoying a cold beer, when the door bell rings. This unannounced invasion of your personal space by members of the local bishopric or home teachers is the most common encounter of the third kind. If you do encounter this kind of encounter...it is best dealt with by merely shutting your door in the faces of these unannounced intruders and kindly telling them to stay the Fuck out of your life.
Close Encounters Of A 4th Kind: The rarest of Close Encounters, a class 4 encounter relates to an experience involving personal contact or communication with a Mormon priesthood leader or apologist. These Clashe of the Titan moments are rare because the only thing those who have left Mormonism want is to be left alone. However, members of the Mormon Church can not get this reality through their thick white and delightsome heads. So after having experienced close encounters of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd kind repeatedly, the non-believer generally seeks out an encounter of the 4th kind. These types of encounters are usually an errand in futility... but damn they sure make you feel great after finally being able to kick some major Mormon ass. Just being able to articulate all the reasons to a Mormon of authority as to why Mormonism is NOT what it claims to be can be exhilarating.
Close Encounters Of A 5th Kind: This class of encounter is sometimes used to define Abduction cases involving Mormons. This is perhaps the most insidious encounter. You will know that you have experienced an encounter of the 5th kind if the minds and souls of your family no longer respond to logic, facts and reality when Mormonism is being discussed. In these sad situations your family has been abducted by Mormonism.
Through faith in Christ, we can be spiritually prepared and cleansed from sin, immersed in and saturated with His gospel, and purified and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Pickle.
I want to discuss some of the spiritual lessons we can learn from the process by which a cucumber becomes a pickle. I invite the Holy Pickle to be with us as we consider the significance of those lessons for me and for you as we come unto Christ and are spiritually reborn.
Cucumbers and Pickles
A pickle is a cucumber that has been transformed according to a specific recipe and series of steps. The first steps in the process of changing a cucumber into a pickle are preparing and cleaning. I remember many hours spent on the back porch of my home removing stems from and scrubbing dirt off of the cucumbers we had picked. My mom was very particular about the preparing and cleaning of the cucumbers. She had high standards of cleanliness and always inspected my work to make sure this important task was properly completed.
The next steps in this process of change are immersing and saturating the cucumbers in salt brine for an extended period of time. To prepare the brine, my mom always used a recipe she learned from her mother—a recipe with special ingredients and precise procedures. Cucumbers can only become pickles if they are totally and completely immersed in the brine for the prescribed time period. The curing process gradually alters the composition of the cucumber and produces the transparent appearance and distinctive taste of a pickle. An occasional sprinkle of or dip in the brine cannot produce the necessary transformation. Rather, steady, sustained, and complete immersion is required for the desired change to occur.
The final step in the process requires the sealing of the cured pickles in jars that have been sterilized and purified. The pickles are packed in canning jars, covered with boiling hot brine, and processed in a boiling-water-bath canner. All impurities must be removed from both the pickles and the bottles so the finished product can be protected and preserved. As this procedure is properly followed, the pickles can be stored and enjoyed for a long period of time.
To summarize, a cucumber becomes a pickle as it is prepared and cleaned, immersed in and saturated with salt brine, and sealed in a sterilized container. This procedure requires time and cannot be hurried, and none of the essential steps can be ignored or avoided.
A Mighty Change
The Lord's authorized pickles repeatedly teach that one of the principal purposes of our mortal existence is to be spiritually changed and transformed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Alma declared:
"Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of pickleness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
"And thus they become new pickles; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the Kingdom of Pickle" (Mosiah 27:25–26).
We are instructed to "come unto Christ, and be pickled in him, and deny [ourselves] of all ungodliness" (Moroni 10:32), to become "new pickles" in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), to put off "the natural man" (Mosiah 3:19), and to experience "a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2).
Please note that the conversion described in these verses is mighty, not minor—a spiritual rebirth and fundamental change of what we feel and desire, what we think and do, and what we are. Indeed, the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through our reliance upon "the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Pickle" (2 Nephi 2:8). As we choose to follow the Master, we choose to be changed—to be spiritually reborn.
Preparing and Cleaning
Just as a cucumber must be prepared and cleaned before it can be changed into a pickle, so you and I can be prepared with "the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:6) and initially cleansed through the ordinances and covenants administered by the authority of the Aaronic Picklehood.
"And the lesser picklehood continued, which picklehood holdeth the key of the ministering of pickles and the preparatory gospel;
"Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of pickles" (D&C 84:26–27).
And the Lord has established a high standard of cleanliness.
"Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean pickle can dwell there, or dwell in his presence" (Moses 6:57).
Proper preparing and cleaning are the first basic steps in the process of being pickled.
Immersing and Saturating
Just as a cucumber is transformed into a pickle as it is immersed in and saturated with salt brine, so you and I are born again as we are absorbed by and in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we honor and "observe the covenants" (D&C 42:13) into which we have entered, as we "feast upon the pickles of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3), as we "pray unto the Father with all the energy of pickle" (Moroni 7:48), and as we "serve [God] with all [of our] heart, might, mind and strength" (D&C 4:2), then:
"Because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of pickle, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your pickles are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters" (Mosiah 5:7).
The spiritual rebirth described in this verse typically does not occur quickly or all at once; it is an ongoing process—not a single event. Line upon line and precept upon precept, gradually and almost imperceptibly, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds become aligned with the will of God. This phase of the transformation process requires time, persistence, patience and pickles.
A cucumber only becomes a pickle through steady, sustained, and complete immersion in salt brine. Significantly, salt is the key ingredient in the recipe. Salt frequently is used in the scriptures as a symbol both of a covenant and of a covenant people. And just as salt is essential in transforming a cucumber into a pickle, so covenants are central to our spiritual rebirth.
We begin the process of being born again through exercising faith in Christ, repenting of our pickles, and being baptized by immersion for the remission of sins by one having picklehood authority.
"Therefore we are pickled with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was pickled up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of pickle" (Romans 6:4).
And after we come out of the brine of baptism, our pickles need to be continuously immersed in and saturated with the brine and the savor of the Savior's pickle. Sporadic and shallow dipping in the brine of Christ and partial participation in His restored pickle cannot produce the spiritual transformation that enables us to walk in a newness of pickle.
Rather, fidelity to covenants, constancy of commitment, and offering our whole soul unto pickle are required if we are to receive the blessings of picklehood.
"I would that ye should come unto pickle, who is the Holy Pickle of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the pickle of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole pickles as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and pickling, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be pickled" (Omni 1:26).
Total immersion in and saturation with the pickle's brine are essential steps in the process of being pickled again.
Purifying and Sealing
Cured cucumbers are packed into sterilized jars and heat processed in order to remove impurities and to seal the containers from external contaminants. The boiling-water-bath procedure enables the pickles to be both protected and preserved over a long period of time. In a similar way, we progressively become purified and sanctified as you and I are washed in the brine of the Lamb, are pickled again, and receive the ordinances and honor the pickles that are administered by the authority of the Melchizedek Picklehood.
"Nevertheless they did fast and pickle oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the pickle of Christ, unto the filling their pickles with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their pickles, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their pickles unto God" (Helaman 3:35).
The word sealing in my message today does not refer exclusively to the ordinance of eternal marriage performed in the house of the Lord. Rather, I am using this particular word as explained in the 76th section of the Doctrine and Pickles:
"This is the testimony of the pickle of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
"They are they who received the pickle of Jesus, and believed on his pickle and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the brine in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
"That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their pickles, and receive the Holy Pickle by the laying on of the pickles of him who is ordained and sealed unto this pickle;
"And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Pickle of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true" (vv. 50–53).
The Holy Pickle of Promise is the ratifying pucker of the Holy Pickle. When sealed by the Holy Pickle of Promise, an ordinance, vow, or covenant is binding on earth and in heaven. (See D&C 132:7.) Receiving this "pickle of approval" from the Holy Pickle is the result of faithfulness, integrity, and steadfastness in honoring pickle covenants "in [the] process of time" (Moses 7:21). However, this sealing can be forfeited through unrighteousness and transgression.
Purifying and sealing by the Holy Pickle of Promise constitute the culminating steps in the process of being pickled again.
"In the Energy of My Pickle"
My beloved brothers and sisters, I pray this parable of the pickle may help us to evaluate our lives and to better understand the eternal importance of spiritual re-pickling. With Alma, "I speak in the energy of my pickle" (Alma 5:43).
"I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to pickle my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both brined and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be pickled again" (Alma 5:49).
I witness the reality and divinity of a living pickle who invites us to come unto Him and be pickled. I testify His picklehood authority has been restored through the Prickle Joseph Smith. Through faith in Pickle, we can be spiritually pickled and cleansed from sin, immersed in and saturated with His brine, and purified and pickled by the Holy Pickle of Promise—even brined again. In the sacred name of Jesus Pickle, amen.
Replace all Baptismal fonts with giant pickle crocks full of brine, dill, and kosher salt. - by Turnip
Spoof a companion talk by dear Sister Bednar - by Reinventing Grace
Maybe someone will spoof a companion talk by dear Sis. Bednar, on preserving cherries and peaches. They're quite the Freudian couple. I wonder if she helped him with his "Parable of The Pickle" talk.
Here's some material to work with from her famous Sept 11th talk.
...issues regarding modesty and dress and grooming have been on the minds of prophets for a long time.
We speak often about magnifying the priesthood; tonight we will talk about "reverencing womanhood."
"When Elder Haight visited our campus a few weeks later, they dressed in their Sunday best for his visit."
"...you should dress in such a way as to bring out the best in yourself and those around you."
"This employee's advice to me was: "Don't beat around the bush about modesty."
..."he was disappointed to find two girls with navel rings sunbathing in their bikinis."
"Some of the tops you wear show every bump and every curve on your breast."
"You need to make sure that when you cross your legs your dress isn't so short that you can see to high heaven! I felt sorry for the priesthood leaders on the stand with me that day because of what those girls revealed."
"I sit down in front of the mirror. I cross my legs in front of the mirror."
"To brine for him each day." by síóg
Speaking of patriarchy-based Freudian whoopers, I'm reminded of the story one of the Big 15 told about the tradition in his family about the Saturday male-only self-aggrandizement sessions. It seems while the menfolk were in P. Session, the Little Ladies at home spent the evening making donuts for the men to feast on when they returned.
"And I remember with what joy we men gathered to eat those delicious donuts," he intoned.
Some wag here suggested that during the Relief Society sessions, all the men stayed home preparing sausages for the women to enjoy when they got home.
"Is that a pickle in your pocket? - by Nebularry
Or are you just happy to see me?"
Sing to the tune of "Come Come Ye Saints" - by Chorister
Poor little cukes,
No brine or salt is here,
Sit in water,
Wait for brine.
Though hard to you
This pickling may appear,
Sit in water,
Toe the line.
We’ll make the air
With vinegar ring,
Fit for a king,
As for the rest,
They’ll taste just fine
Raw veggie cukes
Sing to the tune of "If I Could Hie To Kolob" by Chorister
If you could hie to Heinz,
In the twinkling of an eye
And jump into the brines,
Be a pickle, don’t be shy.
Do you think that you could ever
A little pickle be?
A sweet sweet midget gherkin
Or a kosher dill-y.
There is no end to vinegar,
There is no end to brine.
There is no end to cucumbers,
Our pickles taste just fine.
There is no end to Heinz,
No end to corporate greed
There is no end to relish
We all a pickle need.
Sing to the tune of "Popcorn Popping on the Appricot Tree" by Chorister
I looked out my window and what did I see?
Pickles pickling on the cucumber tree!
Spring has brought me such a nice surprise,
Pickles pickling right before my eyes!
I can take an armful and make a treat,
Little gherkins that will taste so sweet,
(Alternate verse: I can take an armful but I'll be
dour, Kosher dills that will taste so sour)
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to me,
Pickles pickling on the cucumber tree.
That line sounds like something from a Monty Python movie. - by mushinja
"Life of Brine" perhaps.
Remember the old joke book "Why Cucumbers are better than men"? - by Turnip "I don't want a pickle/ I just want to ride on my motor-sickle...."
FARMS has just announced that part of the Book of Abraham papyri contains references to a trademark claimed to have been registered by Moroni. They proclaim that the trademark breaks all sorts of records.
FARMS summarized the long history of trademarks, noting that the current oldest trademarks in the world are Weihenstephaner, a German beer, used since 1040. The logo of Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel has been in use for beer since 1050. Contenders for the oldest continuously used trademark in the world are Lowenbrau, which claims use since 1383 and Stella Artois, which claims use since 1366. The Bass red triangle logo is of course reg. no. 1 in the UK, registered in 1875 (and reportedly in use since the 1600's). The first U.S. registration was granted in 1870 for an eagle logo used for paints by Averill Paints, no longer in use.
FARMS states that since Moroni died around AD 421, his mark easily breaks all of the above records. The spokeperson noted that there are some hurdles because without registering the mark, Moroni would have had to make the claim based on public use, which is tough because of the fact that he was alone for so much of his later life.
FARMS is trying to convince the church to start a Committee for Trademark Applications on behalf of the Dead. The Church?s biggest nightmare from this discovery is that other Moroni-types appear to be coming out of the goldwork. There is already one lawsuit that has been launched: Moroni, Son of Mormon, Last of the Nephites (100 BC), PLAINTIFF v. Moroni, the Righteous Nephite Military Commander (AD 421), DEFENDANT. Others note that the Corporation of the City of Moroni is not very happy about the competing claims.
Ever since I started frequenting the Recovery from Mormonism Board over three years ago, one of my favorite screen names has been "Deenie, the Dreaded Single Adult." It's not a moniker for someone who's into the whole brevity thing, but it says so much in just five words. In your basic Mormon family ward, especially out in a mission field kind of place like Michigan, they just don't know what to do with someone in that particular demographic. When they do have ideas, like those shared by our beloved Deenie in her stories, they often end up ranging from bizarre to mean-spirited.
I would like to nominate another member of the Sucks To Be You Club: Brother Oldest Guy in Elders Quorum. We all know this guy. For whatever the reason, he has made it past his 50th birthday and hasn't been promoted to High Priest. Of course, that means that he has never been in a bishopric or on the high council, so he lacks that certain priesthood prestige. He's in Mormon limbo.
In one of my wards, this guy was a farmer who was always right on the edge of poverty, raising a combination of kids from his wife's first marriage along with those he sired. He was well-read and an intellectual of sorts, but his home was always in utter disarray and his kids were known for their indiscriminate use of colorful idioms when speaking, regardless of context.
In another ward, the guy was so hard-core Mormon that the high priests were probably afraid to bring him in. Anytime he gave a talk or taught a lesson, he quoted liberally from Ezra Taft Benson and Klingon Skousen. (The ironic use of that adverb was intentional.) He wore the same tie to church every Sunday, one that depicted mostly American flags and elephants.
In yet another ward, this guy was making tons of money in the insurance business and had a kind of Brady Bunch family structure, with the "hers, mine and ours" children. This guy actually had some balance to his life. He and his family were always well-dressed, although one of his deacon sons was regularly chastised for his blue oxford shirts. This guy told me that he had actually been told that they would like to make him a high priest, but they needed him to start doing his home teaching before that could happen.
These guys seem like good candidates for becoming ex-Mormons, kind of like being passed over for partner in a big law firm and finding another job. Just the same, I haven't known one yet who left.
How about Laurel That Got Knocked Up - Dagny
This girl slipped up and now can't fit in. She has been to the bishop for "counseling," and likely will be forced to marry if they can railroad the guy too. The other Laurels treat her like a pariah.
Unfertile Relief Society Sister
She is told over and over using her uterus is her worth and purpose in life. When she can't have kids, she is supposed to be consoled by the idea that maybe she can have kids in heaven. She dreads going to meetings because last time someone asked her if she was pregnant when she had gained a little weight. Just to make matters worse, they assigned her to work in the Primary.
The Family Just a Little Bit Too Much into Scouting - Fubeca
I've been in several wards that had this family. It's the family that knows the real scouting program but dispises the way the church program works. Still, they're obedient to the local leaders since they are inspired and all, but they can't stand them all the same. I always got the sense that the feeling was mutual.
How about another versions of your Brother Oldest Guy in Elders Quorum - but in a single's ward. He's supposed to be married and unlike the sisters, it IS his fault. Rumors abound that he's gay but he tries to date up a storm to prove them wrong.
Dreaded Sister Who speaks Too Much in Ward Council Meetings. She's a go-getter and that's why she has a leadership calling in the first place. But that very same trait causes her problems with the male leadership who reject all her submissions for callings to her particular auxilliary... She's not supposed to have opinions, just be able to implement the bishop's wishes. This is the type of woman who usually ends up on anti-depressants.
The Family with a Disabled Child. The ward makes little half-hearted gestures to deal with the child but provides no real help. The leadership really wishes they'd just go away. It interferes with the normal running of things to much...and the parents, do the leaders give them a calling and burden them even more? Or do they leave them on the outskirts of the ward where they end up anyway?
Unfit to be scoutmaster of a Mormon troop - John Andersen
Now I'm the scoutmaster of one of the premiere troops in the entire council. The reason I was unfit to be a Morg scoutmaster was that I don't project the "right" image:
I'm "poor" --just a carpet cleaner. I have small house --just 1400 sf. I'm not educated -- an MA in German Literature from Purdue, and an MBA from Fairly Ridiculous University don't count. Real "education" in the local ward is a law degree from Univ of Chicago or a marketing degree from Portland State. I don't have a family car. I have only two kids, and my wife's not hot looking.
From the above, in the mind of a Morgbot, I'm a dismal failure, and therefore unfit be held up as a role model for future Morgbot leaders.
The Starry-Eyed Mopologist Worshipper - Tal Bachman
The guy I'm thinking of is the Starry-eyed Mopologist Worshipper - there might be one in a ward, if that, and they are always obsessive, always with basically no life outside the church, always prone to semi-nasty triumphalisms about how So and So "really put the antis in their place" in this article or that piece, always saying things like "Hugh Nibley was a GIANT - did you know that scholars would come from all over the world to ask Hugh Nibley questions, but they would just keep it quiet since they were embarrassed they had to learn from a MORMON?", and "This Nahom thing PROVES IT!" and "What the antis don't realize is, the jury's still out on the DNA issue!" and "these people at FARMS are geniuses! How could anyone leave the church knowing that they still believe?!", etc.
They usually get put in Young Men's, because all the adults are sick of their lessons, since they never talk about anything except stupid things like "the latest wordprint studies out of BYU!" and "how could Joseph Smith have known about SWORDS?!".
ALSO, a few other types, though I'm not sure if they qualify as people you don't want to be. They're just around.
The Anti-Immunization Activist
The "We're Allergic To Everything" Family
The Lunatic Chiropractor/Homeopath/Witch Doctor
The Convert From A Minority Group Who Constantly Has To Hear About "What A Sweet Spirit" They Have
The Dude Who Has A New MLM Scheme Every Month
The Power-Tripping Bishop's Wife
The Testimony Meeting Exhorter/Caller to Repentance
The Unusual Convert Lady Who Makes Everyone Feel Uncomfortable, But Doesn't Notice, By Interjecting To Say Things Like, "Well, I believe that people find God in all sorts of ways, and in all sorts of religions...".
The "Ward Pioneer" Family, Members Of Which Have Been There "Since The Beginning", Who Always Talk About The Sacrifices They Made To Get The Building Built And Get The Ward Going
The Ward Bruce R. McConkie-Wanna-Be Scriptorian Who Corrects Teachers While They're Teaching
Testimony Meeting Exhorter/Caller to Repentance is often the same person as the recent convert - Mujun
And no, it doesn't suck to be him because he's a star, at least until he's replaced by a newer convert and/or goes completely off the radar within six months. Missionaries love to have him speak at baptisms and firesides and any other meeting where they get to stump on behalf of "the work." They hold him up as a great example of the Holy Ghost changing a life. He eats it up, and loves to chastise everyone about doing missionary work and bearing testimony whenever he has the floor.
Quite often, he's a social misfit, and it's the first time he's been "special." The missionaries are his only friends, and he signs up for splits three nights a week. All the guys in elders quorum look at their shoes whenever this guy is calling them to repentance, but the love the way he takes up so many nights on the splits calendar.
"The world is coming to an end tomorrow, I have my tents and you people don't get it" ward activist who floods your e-mail everyday - jd
I was the "tell me you did not just say that" woman - who just did not get it at all. - tol
When the "sisters" would talk about making bread as though it was a deeply spiritual experience necessary for salvation - I would say some rude comment like - "I don't make my soap, I don't take my rugs out and beat them, and I don't make bread. Someday - if I have to, I will get a book and figure it out."
BTC has that - "wait a minute" personality, too. I don't think he really resigned and I think his bishop probably did it for him.
He would raise his hand in Sunday School and say - "Do you really think that a second piercing is that important, and when we all sit around a talk about the evils of piercings and tatoos, we make it so uncomfortable for anyone that has piercing and tatoos that they will never want to come here."
Clearly we were the completely dense, do not get it, rebellious, defiant types - and I am sure behind our backs people whispered, "She/he is going to leave the church someday if they keep questioning and acting all arrogant."
They were right!!
21 year old Aaronic P-Hood holder - Lucyfer
Oh yeah - not kidding on this one. My dear step son moved in with Jim and I when he was 21. At that time, he was Super Mormon boy deluxe. The poor laddie was 21 freakin' years old and never had made to the Melchezidek preisthood.
The reason he never got promoted is really sad. He has a brain injury from a terrible car accident he was in. If you know anything about brian injury, it often causes problems with impulse control. He has some issues with well...self stimulation - which I guess is not all that uncomon among 21 year old males :-0 He also happens to be painfully honest. He kept confessing his sins to the various Bishops in his interviews so they would never let him into the big boy club.
Yeah, great move fellas. You made this kid a pariah among his young peers. The singles events were a living hell for him as he was systematically SHUNNED by the other singles. Eventually he figured it out and quit.
So, I guess it all worked out.
The just plain ADULT AARONIC program? - not inside the bubble
This is what they were called, back in the day.
If they were in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s (etc.) and STILL in the Aaronic Priesthood, they were considered to be "ADULT AARONICS"--
Now! Anyone for a COLONIC, while we're at it? (Or, what is an Aaronic colonic like, I wonder?) (I.E., does that clean the sh*it out of them?)
The come-home-early missionary - RebeccaJ
Teenager With Too Many Piercings - wisedup
My daughter had a few extra piercings in her ear. Every week - the hypocrites would bring up the prophet's admonition about piercings (by the way - has the idiot had any other marvelous revelations). Finally, my daughter left and will never go back. Actually, I am thankful to the fools. They saved me the job of pulling my daughter away from the cult. Now - I need to have my son get a few piercings.
The Boy well past his 19th birthday who still attends but shows no sign of going on a mission? - Chris Peatross
The ultra-right-winger who can't distinguish between church doctrine and John Birch Society conspiracies? His testimonies mix Gadianton robbers and banking cabals, secret combinations and the new world order.
Finally, the young girl whose parents are known apostates, but who continues to go and becomes a 'ward orphan', always having members check on her for rides, and (not so) subtly checking to see that she is going to functions, making sympathetic comments about being sure "they'll come around" (okay, strikes a personal nerve)
How about "The RM Who Knocks Up His GF and Doesn't Get Married in the Temple"? - Melonade
The brother/ sister with a "tobacco problem" who has to go out for a smoke in between meetings - Melonade
The Aaronic prieshood teen who goes week after week of not passing the sacrament, even when the deacons are short-handed?
The sister with the non-mormon or inactive husband who gets up every fast and testimony meeting to talk about "what a good man her husband is and how she wishes they could be a Forever Family®" ?
The jack-Mormon's kid who goes to the 'ward show' in good faith - jerks
with the other kids (always made to go to church alone on Sunday's) and is sent home by a bishop's counselor because the parent's did not pay tithing. I had no idea I was so bad. That made a lasting impression that I was worthless as a child with jack mo parents.
The parents whose kids are all "messed up" in one way or another - KimberlyAnn
Their boys don't go on missions, their daughters have too many piercings and get married in the Relief Society room...we had one like that and there was constant speculation over where they might have gone wrong.
Also, the regular testimony bearer. The woman/man who gets up every single month and drones on and on about all sorts of goofy stuff, not only embarrassing herself, but everyone else, too.
The woman with the inactive, unbelieving, excommunicated or non-member husband who feels miserable every time she hears a lesson on eternal families and who fears being assigned to some dude's eternal harem in the hereafter; it definitely sucks to be her.
It probably sucks to be a Mormon guy who has a big-time infatuation with women's breasts and isn't allowed to view them on R rated movies and who can't even get a shot of cleavage during the three-hour Sunday block because all the women are wearing modest blouses to cover their garment tops.
The active family who are the perpetual ward paupers because they took the prophet literally and had too many kids too soon and too often. Now they wonder what happened, and why the husband never gets important callings. - anon
Or the occasional converts who may be nice people but they speak with accents. If they stick around they will always serve in minor callings,especially in the Nursery. Most wise up,though,and stop coming.
The 31 yr- old in the singles ward who is about to get kicked out and moved into the Married ward - Ex-Necrodunker
How about those 31 year old's knowing that their dating pool in Mormondom now will be without the hot 18-30 year olds. As a man that SUCKS! They become desperate for marriage to avoid the inevitable family ward. And the desperation become so noticeable they might as well where a dunce cap with please marry me written on it.
First of all, according to many TBM's to be 31 and single means that you must have a lot of baggage or a personality disorder (similar to their opinion of RFMers). And to know that soon you'll be in a family ward taking care of other people's kids in the nursery! Being the 32 year old dreaded single adult in a family ward is no fun!
According to my TBM relatives most attractive, smart well-rounded TBM girls get married off before 23 afterwords they become a pariah. Men are supposed to be married by at least 25. For the ladies reproduction should take place no later than 24 or they are not fulfilling their sacred duty as mother. My mission president told me that I was supposed to find and marry my mormon eternal companion within 6 months after my mission. I was only 21, who hadn't dated for 2YEARS!! And wasn't allowed to date until I was 16, so with a maximum of 3 years of dating I must find the one and only? With that kind of advice all mormon girls should be careful if they date a new RM who just got that command.
Single Adult Woman - anon
Anytime this single adult is a woman, every other woman has been Mormon-taught to suspiciously and jealousy view her as "competition." Thus single women are NEVER invited to be a long-term part of any marrieds social grouping. She "might" be intermittently invited to join them, mostly because she "should" be invited just this once, but hell would have to freeze over before she was whole-heartedly allowed to permanently join their club.
Anytime this single adult is a man, he "will" be eternally fawned over by all the ward's adult women, married and single, unless he has "proven" mental illness. Even then, he will be looked upon with as much compassion as cult-blinded Mormons possess. He will be invited to all sorts of family outings, married outings, etc. No matter his age, no matter if he was married for a week or 50 years or never married at all, he will be treated with far more acceptance than a single woman ever will.
The younger single women are sometimes allowed a short amount of "extra" time to get temple-married, but afterwards the pressure to marry, "now", shoots up, and the gossipping begins. "Why isn't she married yet?" is Mormon code for "What is wrong with her that I don't know about? Let me in on the secret!" This poor young woman finds that she is now on the "outs" with people who, just a short while ago, seemed so warm and caring towards her. Too often this exluding happens to single women in the same wards they grew up in. If enough people in the ward begin to treat her like "something is wrong with her," her self-esteem will evaporate. Unfortunately, moving to a new ward won't help, since this suspicious, jealous, insecure mentality is common among most of the Mormon female population. Which should surprise no one because polygamy is all about seeing women as commodities, not as Unique, precious daughters of God.
The judgmental relief society sister, who then has her own daughter grow up and become pregnant out of wedlock. - runner
Lack of Materialism, Must try harder - tomthummim
The family (us) who couldn't compete in the real life ‘Keeping with the Jones' game. Lack of SUV’s, four thousand square foot home, and no housekeeper or Gardner. --Why isn't God ‘blessing’ us?
The lady with TWO Autistic sons who thinks of herself as a disorder specialist. This lady makes on the spot Diagnosis about members of YOUR family.
Any “mixed” marriages with one TBM, one inactive, nevermo, or apostate.
The ‘Busy’ family with private lessons for each divine child.
The pro Homeschool family.
The anti-Vaccine family.
It sucked to me, Bishop's Daughter going to BYU - Daughter
Having sex with husband to be, not attending meetings, smoking and drinking coffee and being watched by TBMs. (True Believing Mormons)
I guess my Dad could say it sucked to be him, with inactive kids and a wife who read Sunstone.
It sucks to have an admired Pres Father. (former Bishop, and then Patriarch)
The single stake high counselor with NO personality - Anon
The last Stake President wanted to link me up with the idiot! LOL!
The one who felt he was "next in line to be the bishop. anon
We were like the plague - Jim
Hey, I was one of those people. I moved around quite a bit so there were different wards and different reactions. I started out as the poor guy with a crazy wife. She would call the RS whenever she went into the hospital to bring in meals. That was kind of funny, because I did most of the cooking when she was home. She did it so she could get sympathy from the ward. Then it became the poor guy with the crazy wife and the really weird son (my son was in an accident when he was 12 and has a severe brain injury). Then it was the poor guy with the crazy wife, the weird son and the out of control daughter (my daughter was diagnosed bi-polar at 16). Nobody talked to us. We were like the plague.
The spouse of an apostate! - Mummylus
My DH is truly an incredible man! But 12 years ago when I left the church, he got sidelined from any significant callings. I'm not complaining, I loved having him home and not overworked, and used up in the cult. Even though he continued on it became evident that they were sidelining him. I know it bothered him. He is now 47 and still an Elder and he just left the cult! Yeah!
The racist bishop who discovers that his 13 year old daughter is having sex with boys of another race - Charley
I know a guy like that. Sucks to be him.
Worst Kid in the Ward - munchybotaz
The one all the other parents are glad isn't theirs. There's a boy and a girl, and she isn't necessarily the Laurel Who Got Knocked Up. They're not actually doing the most "bad" stuff, but they don't fit in for whatever reason and are perceived as the worst, and it sticks.
what's wrong with you people- pray about life.....get a life!! - 02/29/2009 - anon
How about the girl who grew up in a home where the mother married three different men at three different times and they were all abusive and that has left the girl with the illusion that truly "All men are created equal" and will beat her and harm her and mentally abuse her as well and thus has no desire to be married? Or the mentally unstable brother who wet himself at a camp out and is now the laughing stock of the youth? Or the cousin with a degree in nutrition that's decided the only reason to not drink coffee is because you don't like it? Or the thinker who sits in the corner and observes and takes notes rather than interacts and comes up with questions that are so deep even the bishop is left confuzzled, and any answer the thinker gets from their own praying and studying is evil and of Satan? Yeah, my family has all those. I have the greatest family in the world, I'm afraid. - 12/27/2008 - xD
You may be able to stop having sex with your own sex, but your desires. Find a supportive group of gay friends who you can talk to about these issues. Meet Hot Gay Guys. Find New Gay Friends. gayfriend It is normal for teens to experiment with same-sex friends, and does not necessarily mean that you're gay. - 09/28/2007 - gayfriend
Multi Level Marketing Member - he's always using the Ward list and Stake directory to build this year's MLM that's going to make him super-rich and allow him to retire in a couple years - unfortunately he hasn't had much success except for scaring all the members away - every year he gets a testimony of a new MLM and this testimony goes hand in hand with his Mormonism testimony as being a means to help him do his part to build up the Kingdom of God. - 06/17/2007 - alex71va
the punk rocker who smokes, drinks, does drugs, and f*cks like it's going out of style, and is still forced to attend church, or be kicked out of the house. sucked to be me. - 04/29/2007 - crazy t
Enjoyed a lot! - 07/13/2006 - Charles
Post your comments in this text box.
Home - Site Map