My coworker got asked out by a man who worked at a cafe where we were getting lunch. She had never met him before & this was to be their first date.
So he asked if she wanted to go eat, and she said sure, and he suggested Panda Express. She was thinking that was a little weird for a "date" but figured what the heck. They sit down at their little table and as she goes to start eating he blocks her hand from her food and says - 'we have to pray first'. She was like Okaaaaayyyy (she is a member but even for her that's a little weird). So he insisted on holding hands while he said the prayer, and she said she was dying of embarrassment because people sitting right next to them could obviously hear the prayer.
As for myself, once at Bennihana (japanese steak house w/the big grill table) my aunt made us all stand up & hold hands while her husband said the prayer out loud, and he almost sort of sang it.
And on the subject of prayer, one thing I have always thought a little strange (even as a TBM) was putting peoples' names in the temple. My mother does this like every week for everyone she knows basically. When my sister's little boy was in the hospital my mom was telling her "and I've put his name in 4 different temples!" Like that is going to make any difference? Like the pleading prayer of a mother for her child is not good enough, but if you put his name on a piece of paper for strangers to stand in a circle & repeat a weird chant, and if you do it at least 4 different times in different temples w/different strangers, THEN he will get better. Sheeeesh
Prayer Talk - Journey
I was at a missionary farewell in which the semi-active grandpa was the only family member not asked to speak. He was pretty upset about it, so to placate him, he was assigned the closing prayer.
He gave his talk in the form of a closing prayer. It was like he was praying to grandson, giving him advice and so on and so forth. It probably lasted 5 minutes, which doesn't seem long for a talk, but is an eternity for a prayer.
Dinner prayer - Just Thinking
The multiple temple prayer roll entries reminds me of the Tibetan monks with their prayer wheels constantly spinning in the wind and each revolution is another prayer being sent out. The Tibetan God must have a severe case of short-term memory if he can't remember the prayer from one revolution to the next.
On to the prayer: a teenage Bishop's son is asked to say a blessing on the food and responds with: "Good food, good meat, good God, let's eat!"
New Missionary Praying Over Food - robertb
In the last area in my mission four us would get together for lunch. We had a new missionary arrive and when it was his turn to give the blessing he'd go on forever and our food would get cold. One day when it was his turn, he went on forever as usual, so during the sermon the other three of us took the food off his plate and put it on ours. His next blessing was much, much shorter.
Prayer to Kill People - Onslow
USS Constellation, ~1970, Gulf of Tonkin, every night we had a 2200 hr prayer over the intercom and these cretins would ask God that our bombs find the targets and destroy our enemies. Never could quite get my brain around that one.
My hubby's prayer "rub a dub-dub, thanks for the grub" - can't log in here
Jimmy Stewart special - bona dea
In the movie "Shenandoah", James Stewart offers a great blessing. It goes something like, "we planted the seed by ourselves, we watered the crops, we harvested the grain, we ground the wheat and we cooked the meal, but thanks anyway."
Speaking in prayer - Standby
This was really embarrassing for all present at the funeral. Old guy, nearing 80, decided to weave his own observations and advice into the opening prayer. It included sentences like 'And I can assure you that (deceased) has gone to a far better place.' What a relief when he finally finished.
Loud Amen Occasional Interloper
Some guy was giving a really long prayer to open a sacrament meeting, when a short one would have been fine. An indignant, and fairly outspoken, member in the congregation called out 'AMEN ! ' The prayer-giver got the message and quickly closed.
On 9/11, during a zone conference in my mission - Pompous S Monson
an Elder prayed for the Mormon god to forgive the terrorists, for they know not what they do.
Crazy?...yes. Funny?...no. - Rachel McAdams fan
2nd counselor of my singles branch gave the benediction for Elder's Quorum last Summer months before I left and was talking about the president leading the country and giving Dubya the answers to do what's right.
The closeted democrat in me died inside..and that's not the worst part. This was hypocritical to their "we don't endorse political parties" beliefs. Yeah, and Uwe Boll will win a best director Oscar one day.
Stupid freaking cult!
Prayer chains in several states - SusieQ#1
Was a great comfort to a close friend who survived a horrible accident (not expected to live) when her husband was killed. Many participated - from many religions.
For many, prayer is one of the kindest things others can do to show support. It does not matter what is said, it is the fact that someone cares enough to show concern and go the extra step and pray for you (no mater how that is done.) It is a long established, important, integral part of their faith -- religion, no matter which one it is.
It can be humorous, of course. I stifled a chuckle many times listening to the bedtime prayers of my children.
One of the funniest ones was the time a new "green" elder was asked to say the blessing on the food as they had joined us for breakfast. He realized he had forgotten to bless the food, so he started over and said something like: heavenly father, I forgot to bless the food. Please bless the food and closed the prayer.
A Cub Scout's Prayer - Skeptical
When I was an undergraduate student at BYU my wife was working as a medical assistant at an HMO in Orem. We had a young daughter. We did not like the BYU married students wards, so we attended the Provo Second Ward in the Provo South Stake. We rented a small house on First South and 9th West.
We were asked to be the den leaders for the Bears in the Cub Scouts. We had about seven or eight boys who attended, most were about nine years old. The boys would usually come over once a week for den meetings.
One meeting I will never forget. It began on the very date the United States commenced its military operations to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion. One of the boys in the Cub Scout den was the only child of two ward members who were both former US Marines. Yes, both mom and dad had been Marines. Their son had a buzz haircut was tougher than the other boys. Imagine that!
As we hurriedly met the boys at our door that day, we gathered in the front room for our meeting. We asked the Marines’ son to say the opening prayer. All the boys closed their eyes, folded their arms and bowed their heads in good Mormon fashion.
The little marine boy began his prayer: ‘Dear Heavenly Father, Please bless us that we kick Sadaam’s ass! In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Most of the boys were suppressing laughs, as were we. The little bishop’s son had a white sick look on his face. Several weeks later, we were both released from this calling.
Tile work - mav
Our SIL said they prayed on their upcoming tile work in the kitchen. Their God must be soooo busy with these requests.
Not crazy but timing was great - 2lazy2login
My dad told me of a Sacrament Meeing he attended where an older guy fell asleep during the sacrament (as usual.) He woke up just in time to hear his name mentioned from the pulpit to say the closing prayer. He got up, walked up to the pulpit, and said the closing prayer and the meeting dismissed. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the bishop was just saying how the meeting was to progress like he normally does right after the sacrament is finished.
Rupert Idaho - PM
I was visiting family in Rupert, Idaho in the mid 90's with my then General Authority dad and went to meetings just to kill time. The closing prayer for sacrament meeting was given by an older man and the prayer started normal but then he started talking about the bells that would ring for the other ward during their services and how his meditation should not be disturbed by the bells during sacrament and how could the Lord allow the bells to ruin his life.
He must have gone on for 10 minutes about the bells until the bishop got up and asked him to stop. I looked over at my mom next to me and even she was laughing and she is one who cries during every partaking of the sacrament. Out of the millions of prayers I had to endure that one I will never forget.
At a Stake Conference in podunk Utah - knee-fight
The somewhat eccentric semi-geezer prayed as normal for a while, then said, "as the song goes, Lord," then proceeded to sing the entire hymn he was referring to.
But my favorite is my mentally disabled brother-in-law, who is always in charge of the blessing on the food on holidays (the only time it's said). His mother has been trying to get him to repeat the lines after her for over twenty years. It goes like this every time:
Mom: "Heavenly Father..."
Mom: "Thanks for the food..."
Mom: "Bless it to make us strong..."
Mom: "Name of Jesus Christ..."
He's great. He also blurts out "Jesus Christ!" every time we drive past a church, as his embarrassed mom tries to hush him. Love that boy.
Two prayers - B.H.
First: Fairly normal guy in the ward. He meant to say, "We have been deeply touched." Instead, he said: "We have been deeped touchly ... ummm ... err ... I mean, we have been touchly deeped ... umm ... hell, you know what I mean." And then, he went right on with the prayer.
Second: Foreign speaking mission newby Elder not quite having the sentence structure down yet: "We are thankful that Joseph Smith appeared to God and restored the truth." (Maybe he was just a little ahead of his time theologically.)
From the "Craziest" perspective - NumLock
On my mission back in the mid 70's. I was in rural Arizona and an old guy gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting.
At the end of the prayer, he raised his arm to the square and said, "I seal this meeting closed by the power of the Holy Melchezedek Priesthood, and in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
Nobody had ever seen that one before and everyone just sort of sat there for about a minute trying to process what we had just seen.
He must have bee related - devashoe
To a friends mission companion who used to say the blessing on the food while raising his arm to the square then holding his elbow over the plate to direct the heavenly blessing-waves down his hand and arm onto the food...like a radio tower or something.
New convert (former minister) did something similar in our ward - Occasional Interloper
This guy was a fiery eyed, born again type. He had been a lay minister in his former church and when he was asked to give the opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting, clasped his hands firmly on either side of the pulpit and said, "Let us pray ! " He then intoned a mighty prayer - a real eye-opener for a young True Believing Mormon like me.
My Uber-Catholic grandpa used to bless the food by saying, "Thanks a bunch for the lunch, J.C. Let's eat!" - JackMormon'sWife
I have these kind of people in my own family and see them everywhere in the the church in North America. I call them the Mormon Elite. They are baby boomers who are mostly medical proffessionals but some are business people. They all have large homes and they all like to have a big concert grand Stienway in the living room. Some of these homes contain a home schooling classroom because all the children are home schooled or are taught by private tutors. These people seem to love oak and kind of a homey Utah look is always prevalent in the large kitchen and unformal dining area. If the children aren't home schooled they go to either charter schools or private schools. These families tend to be very musical with lots of violins, flutes, singing and if you really want to stand out, there's a harp next to the Stienway.
Dad always has a high calling in the church. These are the guys who are the bishop, stake president, mission presidents, and the lucky ones get to be a GA because this is what they all are shooting for. They all seem to have the same narcistic personality traits. These people are all about outdoing society and controling their environment. Their children tend to be naive, sheltered, and on a short leash. They all will most likely go to BYU Provo.
When I look back at my own family, my ancestors were poor immigrant farmers. The church was a community in Utah or Idaho. It wasn't about money but putting your shoulder to the wheel and working together as a community. A Stienway piano was something that was in a concert hall in a big city and nobody played a harp. Every home had a cheap upright piano of some kind usually. The church leaders were as poor as the rest of the ward.
Nowadays, you don't become a GA unless you have impressive business credentials and lot's of corporate experience. The church seems ever so obsessed by spending money on big projects that make people proud that they are part of something so wealthy and grand. Historical sites like Nauvoo and Martin's Cove are part of the family vacation agenda. At least for the people who still can afford family vacations.
What I see happening in the church is a new type of elitism. The church is evolving into a cultural/social club for rich proffessionals who have an ultra TBM mentality. They are so much the same it's scary! Their homes look the same, their children are the same, their wifes act the same. Apperances are everything.
I can't help but think that this will alienate the church members not in this club. Does COB even care? So they lose some low tithing payers, they want to keep the rich TBM's and for their loyalty to the socialist club, they will get high, visable leadership callings. To these types, being rich is important, but they would rather be the man on the stand than to have a free day of golf at the golf course. These people love the social recoginition they get from the church and they love to make their children like the Von Trap family in the Sound of Music.
These are the people who finance a good portion of the church and will run it. Gone are the days when the stake president is a Utah dirt farmer. Like Palm Beach, Florida where the nation's wealth throw lavish charity parties, the LDS social elite love to hear how the gospel is spreading in places like Africa. They sit around at the ward potluck and pat themselves on the back that the church is the only true church and they are part of it and look at the new $2 billion shopping mall we're building! Isn't it wonderful!
Welcome to Home Cooking. I'm y'all's host, Paula Deen, and today we welcome a special guest all the way from Salt Lake City. Boyd Packer is here to tell us about his new book, "The Unwritten Order of Cooking." Howdy, Boyd, it's a pleasure to have y'all here.
BKP: Excuse me, but it bothers me that you referred to me as "Boyd Packer." Can't we have the full names on your show? There is a formality, a dignity, that we are losing--and it is at great cost. There is something to what Paul said about doing things "decently and in order."
PD: Oh, OK, sorry, Boyd.
BKP: That's "President Packer" to you.
PD: Well, now, what are y'all going to show us today, Boyd--I mean, President Packer?
BKP: I'm going to demonstrate how to make a proper loaf of sacrament bread.
PD: Sounds yummy!
BKP: We need to treat the sacrament with reverence, Paula, and I don't believe the Savior would have used a word like "yummy" to describe the Atonement. And another thing, I am a little disturbed at your appearance. Your hair seems overly teased to me, like it hasn't been combed.
PD: It's not polite to criticize a lady's appearance.
BKP: Is that a second earring? President Hinckley has warned you not to decorate your body with pictures or symbols that will never wash off or to pierce your body with rings or jewelry after the manner of the world. Don't you want to follow the prophet?
PD: Those earrings were a gift from my husband.
BKP: And those pants you're wearing. Do you know what "Sunday best" means? It used to be the case. Now we see ever more informal, even slouchy, clothing in our meetings, even on cooking shows, that leads to informal and slouchy conduct.
PD: What do my pants have to do with--oh, never mind. Can we start cooking, President Packer?
BKP: I'm somewhat concerned that my bishop wasn't allowed to prepare the script for this program. Bishops should not yield the arrangement of meetings, such as cooking shows, to members and especially not to nonmembers. It is not the proper order of things for members or families or writers or producers to expect to decide who will speak and for how long. Suggestions are in order, of course, but the bishop should not turn the show over to them. We are worried about the drift that is occurring in our cooking show appearances.
PD: Well, I had no idea. Can we please get started with the recipe?
BKP: Yes, now for our first step, please look away so that I might be able to work in privacy.
PD: But we need to see the ingredients.
BKP: That's just it. These things are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared.
PD: But how will we be able to learn the recipe?
BKP: Look, Paula, there is an order to things that must be followed:
-Order—To put in ranks or rows, in proper sequence or relationship.
-Ordain—The process of putting things in rows of proper relationship.
-Ordinance—The ceremony by which things are put in proper order.
PD: No one said anything to me about ordinations or ceremonies. I think we've gotten a little off track.
BKP: Maybe it's you who has gotten off track. I believe you are a single parent who works outside of the home, correct?
PD: Yes, that's right.
BKP: I'm sorry, but this is contrary to the will of God. I cannot, because of your discomfort over your plight, abandon a position that has been taught by the prophets from the beginning of this dispensation.
PD: I've done just fine, thank you very much.
BKP: To point out so-called success stories inferring that a career out of the home has no negative effect on a family is an invitation to many to stray from what has been taught by the prophets and thus cause members to reap disappointment by and by.
PD: But how would I support myself if I didn't work?
BKP: You need to see the eternal nature of things and to know that your trials -- however hard to bear -- in the eternal scheme of things may be compared to a very, very bad experience in the second semester of the first grade. You will find no enduring peace in the feminist movement. There you will have no hope. If you know the plan of redemption, you can be filled with hope.
PD: Who said anything about feminists? I thought we were here to talk about cooking.
BKP: Absolutely not. In such meetings as this, the gospel is to be preached. I know of no meeting where the congregation is in a better state of readiness to receive revelation and inspiration from a speaker than they are when watching a cooking show. This privilege is being taken away from us because we don't understand the order of things--the unwritten order of things--that relates to the administration of the Church and the reception of the Spirit.
PD: But this is my show.
BKP: Not anymore. I should like to take for my text today James 1:5.
PD: Can someone call security, please?
On a few occasions in the past when I used to peruse liberal/intellectual Mormon bulletin boards like Times and Seasons and By Common Consent, I would see discussions about why so few Mormons seem to achieve greatness and notoriety in fields like science, art and music. Where is the Mormon Thomas Edison? The Mormon Georgia O'Keeffe? The Mormon John Coltraine?
I had to wonder just how serious the participants on those bulletin boards were about finding the answer to that question. Like so many other issues in Mormonism, it seems much less of a great mystery when you're on this side of the belief line. A narrow, conclusive, absolute belief system that strictly defines the order of the universe and the meaning of life is, by nature, going to have a stifling effect on creativity. Every idea, every realization and every discovery has to be made to fit within a narrow, predetermined framework. A power structure that claims absolute, divine authority over every aspect of life doesn't exactly inspire people to trust themselves.
So where are the great creative minds of Mormonism? I have my own theory. Half of them - the ones with the double X chromosome - are in their homes. They were raised to believe that they had a nobler purpose to fulfill in life, bearing and raising righteous offspring. Theirs is a supporting role, and they will only experience worldly glory and achievement vicariously through their husbands and sons. Never mind that many women in the real world find ways to succeed both inside and outside the home, or that many others make the choice between the two, but do so without anyone presuming to tell them that only one choice is right.
The other half - the ones with that faulty Y chromosome - are the proud holders of Masters in Business Administration degrees, and are achieving great things in the world of business. I know so many of these guys. I lived in a ward in Tokyo that was full of American MBA's from schools like Chicago, Harvard, Wharton and Brigham Young. They were all rising stars in investment banks like Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs or in manufacturing companies like General Motors and IBM.
I can acknowledge that the world needs some MBA's, just like the world needs attorneys. I can even acknowledge that these professions really are a calling for some people, and represent their best opportunities to contribute to making the world a better place. I suspect, however, that the world doesn't really need as many MBA's and attorneys as we have, that Mormons occupy a disproportionate chunk of both professions, and that their numbers include a lot of people who could have made far greater contributions to this world in other fields.
Mormonism equates material success with righteousness. The stake president always seems to be the guy with the nicest house. Everyone is strongly encouraged to put themselves in the best position to serve and contribute as early as possible. A profession becomes a means to an end, and that end is material prosperity. Because this life is just a blip on the eternity continuum, what you accomplish in mortality is trivial compared to how well you position yourself for the next life.
While those forces have always been present in Mormonism, they have been much more pronounced in recent decades. The trend parallels the increasing rift between the church's claims and academic and scientific knowledge. In the Forties, Fifties and Sixties, real-world learning wasn't viewed as so much of a threat. A lot of church leaders genuinely believed that they were right, and that the more knowledge that the world discovered, the more their beliefs would be proven true. Historical research by people like Fawn Brodie and the discovery of the Book of Abraham papyri were some of the first indications that things might not break their way. Secular learning increasingly became a threat, believers with a weakness for thinking were increasingly forced to bifurcate their brains, and the church moved more and more in the direction of collective insularity.
Nowhere is this better illustrated than in three generations of the Eyring Family. Henry Eyring (1901-1981) was a respected theoretical chemist and a recipient of the National Medal of Science in 1966. He was a faculty member at Princeton before becoming the dean of the graduate school at University of Utah. His son, current Mormon apostle Henry B. Eyring, studied physics as an undergraduate, then left pure science behind to pick up an MBA and DBA from Harvard. He pursued a career in education, albeit mainly in the employ of the Church Education System. Representing the third generation, Henry J. Eyring has pursued a career almost entirely in the business world after picking up graduate degrees in both business and law. He spent a few years running BYU's MBA program, another few years as a mission president, and is now a a vice president at BYU Idaho, working closely with Kim Clark, who was previously the dean of the Harvard Business School.
According to the New Testament, Jesus H. Christ said that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. While I personally don't regard the Bible as any kind of authority on morality, I do believe that Jesus was right about that point. The Mormon church as an institution and so many of its members as individuals pour enormous resources into the pursuit of the almighty dollar. To paraphrase Calvin Coolidge, the business of Mormonism is business.
We can put a price tag on things like the purchase of shopping malls and the collective tuition paid to business schools, but we will never be able to measure the real damage: the opportunity cost of all the things that might have been accomplished, all the discoveries that might have been made, and all the beauty that might have been created.
At the time the Mike Wallace - 60 Minute interview of Gordon Hinckley aired, my TBM (True Believing Mormon), BIC (Born in the Covenant), apostle-related (won't name WHICH one of the 12 we share genes with because it's too embarrassing) hubby and I were on a cruise ship somewhere in the Carribean.
Myself, I had been a "Golden" convert to the church seven years before and had, since my baptism, fanatically lived the commandments with exactness.
For reasons that are SOOOO understandable now (how 'bout being HUMAN???), TBM hubby and I had relaxed our standards during the cruise.
There's something about escaping from two toddlers for a week, exploring tropical islands during the day, and "rocking" on the ocean waves at night (tee-hee) that will put you into a deep state of Mormon denial.
So when the PROPHET Gordon B. Hinkley suddenly appeared on our television screen, I nearly spit my Jack 'n' Coke across the room!
We were at that very moment dressing for dinner in our room and preparing to go out for a night of overeating, drinking, gambling and dancing. I felt so BUSTED.
For an illogical second, I wondered if Gordon B Hinckley could peer through the television screen to see the drink in my hand.
I spent the entire interview riveted to the television screen, drink in hand, debating furiously with myself whether to pitch it down the sink (But alcohol is SO EXPENSIVE on the ship!And it's a fresh drink!)
I never felt so guilty in all my life. TBM hubby (with JackMo tendencies even then) didn't feel the least bit guilty about getting drunk while watching the Prophet. He kept exclaiming how "CUUUUL" it was that GBH was on 60 minutes.
Growing up and then particularly at BYU, I heard over and over that we Mormons had a special afinity to the Jewish people, what with our common ancestry and beliefs.
This always puzzled me. I grew up in a community that was probably 50-60% Jewish, and I can categorically state that Mormons are nothing like Jews in customs, beliefs, or worldview.
I wonder if Mormons actually tell this to Jewish people. I think it has more to do with Mormon self-identity than it does with reality, but it's an interesting phenomenon.
So, who are Mormons like? Roseanne Barr called them Nazi Amish, but I'd say they're more like a bizarre blend of conservative EVs and believers in alien abductions. What do you think?
Not Jews. I'd say Mormons are like the love child of the Southern Baptists and the Moonies. n/t - GQ Cannonball
Yeah, this went over real well when I told my MIL this. - SurfMom
Tolerant, lovely lady that she is, she educated me with books and pamphlets throughout my marriage to her son. I feel like I have a much better view of xtianity since exploring it's Jewish beginning.
(And yes, I was a typical Mo to her and explained how MY religion was the closest religion to Judaism. So embarrassing now.)
A lot of Mormons say - bobbytaylor
This has always made me mad. A lot of Mormons say it is because both groups have suffered persecution. But whatever the early Mormons did endure, it is nothing to the thousands of years of persecution that the Jews have gone through. To say they are comparable is to be ridiculously ignorant of what has really been going on in history.
Most mormons don't even know why they say this, but the answer is - wine country girl
that at the time of your baptism (into the mormon church) you are adopted into the house of Israel. When you get your P-blessing, it tells you which tribe you have been adopted into. I think.
Jews have power. Mormons pretend they do. Mormons are more like the Amish. Nazi Amish is dead-on. - anonymous
This is absolutely ridiculous - Skybolt
First of all, the Jewish people are not a homogenous group as there are Hassadic, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jews just to name the major, but not all groupings. Having grown up in the Northeast and known many Jewish people since I was a child I can state without qualification that there is absolutely no correlation between the groups.
The Jewish people tend to be creative, artistic, and intellectual, qualities that can hardly be ascribed to the Morgbots. Plus, their food is a lot better as a good Kosher deli beats out funeral potatos and green jello any day of the week.
Finally, I am sick of the Mormons bitching about their "persecution", as they have been "persecuted" (if you could even call it that ... see Cr@ig P@xton's excellent post about it) less than most other religions. And for Morgbots to compare Haun's Mill to the Holocaust is enough to make one sick.
Mormons love to watch "Fiddler on the Roof" in Seminary. - the man behind the curtain
Orrin Hatch said Mormons love Jews, because the Mormons were almost exterminated too - Polygamy Porter
Un-friggin-believable... few mormons are killed and Boggs threatens to kill em all as a way to scare them off and whOrrin Hatch draws a parallel to the near extermination of the Jews?
Mormon Utah you DESERVE him!
About 1:30 into this clip: www.youtube.com
There's a disconcerting sterility to Mormonism that I didn't notice when I was a member, but which is striking to me now, and the worst part of it is the sameness of everything. Members seem a little like clones, there's very little physical difference in most of the buildings and their interiors are bland and lifeless. The LDS seem make no attempt to adapt to the cultures of their members or conform their buildings at all to their surroundings.
On my recent trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, literally translated as "Holy Faith", I saw dozens of beautiful churches, both Catholic and Protestant. They were all different, yet reflected the culture and landscape of Santa Fe. Built in a beautifully simple Pueblo style, they seemed vibrant and full of life just like the mostly ethnic congregations they housed. On Sunday morning, as we strolled along the painted sidewalks of that artsy city, we saw inside some of the old churches. The parishioners wore the brightly woven ponchos, large silver and turquoise jewelry and fringed jackets that anyone would expect to see in the Southwest. The congregation was a lively mix of people.
Saturday night, my husband and I saw large groups of Santa Fe youth bedecked in traditional Native American and Spanish dress walking to a local Catholic church for a dance. They looked so lively and fun we wished we could join them!
In contrast, while driving though one of the nicer suburban neighborhoods, we spied a large, bland, box-like building which I immediately recognized as the local LDS church. The brethren had obviously made only minimal attempts to match the surrounding architecture or terrain. A lifeless, soulless building plopped sloppily amid the more expensive homes of the upper middle class, the Mormon church's preferred congregants. The parking lot was gated and locked, and in my mind I could envision the white shirted, white bread Priesthood holders leading their homogeneous families dutifully through the industrial looking doors on Sunday morning.
It's not just the case in Santa Fe, New Mexico - it's just the way things are all over the world. Mormonism is about sameness. There's no tolerance for diversity or cultural expression. Conformity is the mark of a faithful Latter-Day Saint; abandoning any ethnic or cultural dress, attitudes or activities that aren't traditionally Mormon or white and delightsome is an expected part of belonging to God's One True Church.
There is a cultural vacuum in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a hospital-like sterility that makes me more and more grateful every day that I no longer have to live in that environment and conform my self to the blandness of Mormonism.
Looking back at my testimony-building attempts I can see how "thinking positive" and baiting myself with the "dangers of negative thoughts" worked against me. It never occurred to me that optimism could be a harness. Or that there would be times when courage and honesty would demand that I acknowledge a negative stage in my journey.
I couldn't stop traveling in circles until I admitted that I was lost. But admitting that I was lost was admitting that I had negative thoughts about the church, which meant that I had no testimony, which meant that I needed to think more positively about the church, which meant everything it seems except that I was traveling in circles.
Any moment of recognition was disheartening and not knowing where to go next, left me vulnerable to self-condemning thoughts: "having a negative attitude" or "becoming a pessimist". "I can't do this." I stepped back, shut the door, ... sometimes locking it. I threw away my first Joseph Smith biography without getting a quarter of the way through it. I was 19 and only a few weeks away from my mission. It was a crisis point and I did what I was trained to do with the negative spirit, even though it was the negative spirit of Joseph Smith's life, the man who saw and spoke to God. I traveled in "optimistic" circles for 4 more years. "I can do this."
In fear of a negative identity, I twisted the most obvious of conclusions, and baked up a few logic-pretzels, "I think I can find yet another way for it not to be as impossible as the evidence proves it to be. ... But then, if it weren't impossible, how else could it be faith?" And with this "optimism," the Mormon harness tightened ... the depression deepened ... the depression of my "optimism."
The struggle to remain optimistic while trying to build a Mormon testimony was nearly fatal for me, in part because the transition to authenticity is easily confused with being "quitter". Depression and muddled thinking increased in proportion to my "strengthening testimony," and my refusal to "give up" increased the absurdity of my conclusions, which increased the suspicion that I was a phoney.
Here, I relish the opportunity to take apart a pretzel: No successful testimony can compensate for failure in the religion. This thought, as pessimistic as it is, is not as twisted as it is that the untwisting of the lie reveals all of the kinks in the illogic. It is a pessimistic moment, as is the discovery of all lies, but it is also the unseen and unfelt beginning of a happier outlook. I traveled in circles, for years, until I accepted the great negative. The "Everlasting No."
I have to ask myself, what is optimism? It should never be a belief than I am infallible. My religion even demands that I admit to my mistakes. But this moment between the statement, "I was wrong" and "this might be the next direction" is necessarily pessimistic. If I refuse to ask, "What next?" because it admits that presently I do not have a positive direction, my journey in life has stopped. I'm back on the guided tour, substituting personal discovery with a glossy brochure where everyone is smiling but the reader.
And when the mistake in question is my entire outlook for life, it is only natural that I would say to my former world, "That is all wrong." At this point why should I concern myself with this or that sign on the door. Even if the door says "You are a pessimist," if it is the way of a carefully applied honesty, I will take it. My experience has been that whether my decisions were correct or incorrect, just so long as I did not lie to myself in the process, I came back through the same door years later and noticed that the signs had changed: "An optimist passes through here." The education through the adventure taught me an optimist's answer to the pessimist's question, "What next?"
Many presumptions I had about how my post-mormon life would play out ended up being incorrect, and I had many bouts with pessimism that I now consider very positive times in my life. We say that hindsight is twenty-twenty. Why don't we also say then that optimistic foresight can be a little blurry at times? I look back and find that my "pessimistic admission" that Joseph Smith was a fraud, that my whole cosmic view was a sham, that my confidence in my community was misplaced, and that the loss of my "leaders" was actually a tremendously *positive* first move. And this is exactly what *honest* pessimism is, a first move toward a more optimistic course. The mind in good faith is a dial pointing out a half-dozen new possibilities, pivoting on a single "not this."
Part of the problem is that we imprison ourselves within the concepts handed to us -- like, "stay optimistic" -- and not that our reversals from concept to concept are as necessary to our progress as is letting the left foot fall behind as the right foot steps forward, ... and as if the right foot is not itself going to recede again as we "reverse" ourselves forward.
Where I am now, I find a value in pessimism and cynicism right up there alongside the value I place upon optimism and cheerfulness. And it doesn't bother me in the least if a fellow traveler rejects a concept or two from my pantheon of metaphors. It is all a part of the journey. I can learn by comparing notes with any honest traveler. Be an optimist. Be a pessimist. Be confused even. The important point is to let go of one concept and grab onto another when honest inquiry demands it. The mind will organize itself. We are built that way.
Well, for starters, Sister LaRynda VerJean Taylor is now prophet.
Elders Moroni Tyler Smith-Young and Chad Stevonne Lawrence are her counselors, and as life partners, they have at the top of their agenda, "Making all those temples so much more fabulous!"
They gave out everyone's tithing excess refund, but you had to sign up by last Friday. (Mine was enough for a motorcycle and some sweet threads!)
Sunday meetings are now once-a-month for an hour. Coffee and biscotti will be provided by the new wardhouse Starbucks outlets afterwards.
Home teaching's been replaced with e-mail messages, which also serve as reminders to get your oil changed every 15,000 miles.
The church is fully behind the Girl Scouts of America doing its Young Women's program.
The new hymnals have additional music for electric guitar, bass, drums, and for smaller branches, kazoo.
Garments have been outsourced to Victoria's Secret with their tentatively named "VerJean's Secret" line. Men's garments will be provided by International Male, Jockey, or JCPenney, depending on the size range.
Adult sacrament now consists of seasonal fruits, cheese, and usually a fine merlot. Along with the fruit and cheese, children get milk, fruit juice, or water according to their dietary needs.
Missionaries will now work normal 40 hour weeks and get paid. Their apartments will have full cable, and they can date whomever they want, including their companions. Protection will be provided by the Zion Prophylaxis Fund.
In fact, all clergy will be paid, and bishops will get all days off which don't start with the word "Sun".
Official apologies have been made to blacks, homosexuals, persons of mixed race, adoptees, Jews (in particular, Holocaust survivors), native Americans, Iowans, Missourians, Illinoisans, Indianans, Ohioans, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and Vermonters. Compensation has been paid with interest to Mountain Meadows survivors, and all families affected by Danites and their ilk.
FARMS employees have been reassigned to the DI clothing sorting division, though this is proving difficult ever since they started arguing if wool comes from cureloms.
See what happens when you leave! ;)
My grandfather is a lifer TBM (True Believing Mormon), I hear him rant, "I am a High Priest, Melchizedek Priesthood holder, I have more power than the Pope and the PRESIDENT. I am a Son of Israel, My wife, a Daughter of Zion, We will inherit the Celestral Kingdom, My calling made sure. All this given to me by the Lord's True Martyred Prophet, Joseph Smith." He says all this, while living off of social security checks and a Walmart Greeter.
I think the church likes to give men a make believe power, to massage their egos. I remember my days as an ELDER OF ISRAEL, it made me feel good while working at minimum wage. I may be poor, but I have unseen POWER......geez I bought into this for 20 years!
Mormons have certainly been open about the requirement to get into the Celestial Kingdom. There's only one. Surrender your total identity and float on in. (I guess that qualifies most mental patients.)
Besides, that's the only one that allows sex. All those eternal babies have to come from somewhere. Who changes the eternal diapers? Those poor angels. I hope those angels at least sneak in some good single malt scotch.
Eternal baby shit!! Whose idea of "incentive" was that? Now Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms are a little more vague. (How do you get Telestial through spell check? Maybe that's a clue.)
Angels in the Terrestrial Kingdom must be the ones who organize all the "almost made it" groups into family home evening. Over and over and over all through eternity. Those angels probably sneak in plenty of No-doze. What can they discuss? How wonderful they aren't. They probably talk it over while playing cards.
The Telestial Kingdom doesn't need angels. That's where all the bureaucrats will go. The bean counters will spend eternity taking attendance on each other and scheduling meetings. Some will be assigned pencil sharpening detail so the rest can keep those memos and reminders coming. Everyone will wear a white shirt and dark tie. With all of this perpetual joy and busy work no one will miss sex. Or baby crap.
How about Outer Darkness? Can't it have three levels and angels too? It's only fair.
On the first level we might find people who drank coffee, skipped meetings, and never read their scriptures. Bad, bad, bad, Their eternal punishment would be to eat nothing but green Jell-O, sit on hard pews, and listen to the entire Book of Mormon constantly played on a loud speaker. That ought to teach them. The supervising angels get margaritas and nachos.
The second level would naturally be for more serious offenders. Adulterers. Serial killers. Politicians. Paris Hilton. The usual people we see on the nightly news. Of course their punishment would have to be more severe. Their eternal lives would be spent listening to missionaries give their lessons, then they would all have to give their testimonies and keep giving their testimonies until they get it right.
The angels in charge of this level live on steak and potatoes with bourbon shooters. Set the scene:
"Hello. My name is Charles Manson, and I want to testify to all of you that I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, I know this church is the true church, and . .and . . Brigham Young . . Brigham . . .Dammit. Brigham! How did you get away with killing so many more people than I did! I ought to get my people and kick your . . .Sorry. . . Hello. My name is Charles Manson, and I want to testify . . ."
(Gotta love that image!)
"Hello. My name is Osama Bin Laden, and I want to testify to all of you that I know Joseph Smith is a true , , , death to the infidel! We will destroy you! Then we . . .oops. Sorry. Hello. My name is Osama bin Laden and I want to . . I want my virgins! And . . oh . . .sorry. . . Hello. My name is . . "
(Yep. I definitely want to be one of the angels supervising this group. Pass the Wild Turkey.)
Then we come to the lowest level of the nether world. The space that is reserved for the worst sinners of all. People who are evil beyond comprehension. The most disgusting and perverted that were ever documented in Salt Lake City. Row after row of people bent over tables busily working at their eternal task. Hands constantly moving. Little pieces of green paper never disappearing. All souls moving in unison.
Step One. Carefully scrape off the picture of Benjamin Franklin. No trace can remain.
Step Two. Meticulously and artfully create a portrait of the true master. (You know the one.) Then as the man himself walks by humbly hand him the bill that now carries his portrait. Silently bend to begin on the new bill in front of you. Again, Again. Again. Now aren't you sorry you didn't pay that tithing? The angels here just eat the money and cry.
Lucifer just sits and shakes his head. Who could have guessed that he could be replaced so easily! Who could have imagined these torments! All he had planned was some simple fire and brimstone. Doubt if he could make it past the green Jell-O. Now he just wanders the universe kicking rocks and looking for something to do. (sigh)
A few years ago I let a friend nag me into attending a "special" Relief Society lesson about homemaking. I was really busy but took the easy way out and went along. Too my horror there was a huge demonstration on canning tomatoes! I was in my first semester of law school and they wanted me to can tomatoes! Isn't that what Del Monte is for? I'm a hillbilly born and bred. I've been canning tomatoes since I was 14! All the way home I kept visualizing a "real" homemaking lesson.
"Oh, sisters. That was a lovely song and a prayer. Now we have to go outside for today's lesson. Yes, I know. The agenda says 'chicken and dumplings,' and I'm going to show you how to make them from scratch. Let's move along now." "Does everyone have a seat now? Can you see from back there Sister Brown? Good. Please note that I have already set the ring of bricks and built up the fire. We must always remember to have the water at a good rolling boil before we begin. Question?"
"No. We aren't making a really large batch, but I find that this number two tub is just about the right size. It is important to use the right tools for the task!" "No. We don't need to worry about seasonings yet. Now. Have plenty of old newspapers on hand and make sure your carving knife is plenty sharp. We don't want any accidents. We need to pay close attention here."
"Now our choice of the chicken in very important. This is a three year old red rock hen I call Ida. Is there a question, Sister Oswald? . . . Well, we do need to guarantee the freshness of our ingredients. Ida has been a good layer, but while she is past her prime as an egg producer she is certainly still useful. Are we concentrating?"
"Snugly cradle your hen in the crook of your left arm. If you are left handed just reverse sides. Move your feet back a little Sister Brady. That water is hot. Then with your right hand firmly grasp the hen around the neck thusly. Hold on tight because some chickens will resist. (Brethren. click the image on the left for the Joseph Smith - Fanny Alger perpective on choking the chicken.) Maybe you three ladies better lean back a bit. Now rapidly swing the chicken through the air four or five times using a violent circular motion! See! In no time at all the head and body just fall apart!"
"Sorry, Sister Oswald. A little cold water will take that stain out. As you can see poor Ida is still working out the fact that she is dead. This will take a minute or so. Can someone help Sister Martin over to those bushes? She's feeling a might peaked. Just toss the head onto the spread newspapers."
"Ok. Looks like Ida has made up her mind. Now use that sharp knife to slit the chicken open and clean out the body cavity. Separate the giblets if you want them, but toss the rest onto the newspaper. I'm sorry sister Brady but we aren't quite done yet. Now holding the chicken by the feet dunk it repeatedly into the boiling water. Watch your fingers. Where did Sister Brown go?"
"Now hold the soggy chicken between your knees and with a firm jerking motion rapidly pull off the feathers. If the feathers seem tough to pull just give the bird another dunk in the water. Sister Martin, there is no need to cry. You are just gonna love this dish."
"Now that the bird looks clean there is one final step. Carefully ease out a piece of wood that is still burning on one end and thoroughly singe off all the pin feathers. Ya just don't want those caught in your teeth. Don't worry. That smell is normal. Listen to those things pop!"
"See! Look at that fine bird. Cleaned and ready to cook. Let's pick up our stuff and go back inside and work on the dumplings! I can see that every single one of you paid absolute attention. Hasn't this been a special day! As soon as we have a hard freeze I can do another special lesson on how we get bacon! Won't that be fun! Does anyone have a husband with a chain hoist?"
"Who wants to say the blessing for the dumplings?"
Hello. You've reached the Corporation of Joseph Smith voice mail. Please note that your call may be monitored to insure proper member support. Pay close attention as we update choices often as new and unusual circumstances arrive. Please select one of the following options.
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Hello, St. Peter. I'm Evelyn and I'm looking for my dear, departed husbands. Have you seen them? I can hardly wait to spend a peaceful eternity with them.
Well, my first husband was Tom Who. Now he was a delightful fellow, but he had been previously married to Marjorie. I hear she was very nice, and she passed early and left poor Tommy with two sweet children. So, you see, I'm really Tommy's second wife. We had two lovely children of our own.
Then my second husband was Harry Watt. Things didn't go so well with Harry, and we were divorced, but I say let bygones be bygones. After we were divorced he married that hateful Corinna, and . . . what do you mean, Corinna is here?! That's awful. I can't stand her, and I don't care if Harry wants to be married to me too.
Dick? I don't anyone by that name. My third husband was Buddy Dunn. His real name was Bill, but there were eight other Bills in the family so we called him Buddy to tell him apart. We called the rest of them Bill. Now poor Buddy worked as a rodeo clown but he wasn't real good at it. Fortunately he didn't suffer.
That's when I married my fourth husband, Bill Guess. Now I called him Bill instead of Buddy because there were no other Bills around just then. No. I think you have me confused with someone else. I don't know anyone named Dick. Now Bill had two other wives. There was Trudy and Beatrice. I didn't know either one of them, but if he wants to be married to them I guess I can't complain, but that Corinna is out!
Oh dear. I'm really hurt that Bill has decided that two wives are enough. I was really fond of Bill, but that is his decision. So that leaves me with Tom and Buddy. No, I have no idea who Dick is. And why is Harry insisting on staying married to me?! I wasn't good enough for him in life. He had to go chasing that hussy Corinna . . .I'll calm down. What do you mean Buddy isn't here? Where did he go? He didn't make the cut? He was clumsy, but I liked him the best. I told him he had to pay tithing on those tips.
I'm really sorry none of Dick's wives made it, but why should I be married to him? I don't even know the man.
So I'm going to end up being married to Tom, Dick, and Harry. Now Tom is going to be married to Marjorie and me, Dick is married to just me, Harry is going to be married to me and that witch Corinna, and Bill will be married to just Trudy and Beatrice.
What is my last name?
Watt is Buddy,s last name.
Bill's last name? Guess.
No, Watt is Buddy's last name.
Do I know all their names?
Well I should, except for Dick, and Bill doesn't matter. He's Dunn.
I think my name depends on order. So Who is first.
Who? I'm telling you.
Who's the guy I marry first. Watt is the guy I marry second.
I'm trying to agree with you.
Who is the guy I marry first, and Watt is the guy I marry second. Third is Dunn.
Fourth is a Guess, but he doesn't count.
I'm not arguing! I know Who and Watt, but I don't know Dick and neither do you!
Just call me Evelyn, damn it!
Not Evelyn Dammit! Aren't you listening? Look, old man . . . Oh, fergit it.
Fluffy! I want my cat! Where's Fluffy?!!!
Version 1 of this assessment tool was well received, so we have made changes,
corrections and some further definitions. A handy dandy self evaluation scale is
provided at the end so you can rate your social level as compared to others. We
all know how important that is in Mormondumb. I know that no one here on RfM is
at all competitive, but take the test anyway.
Here is Version 2 – the new and improved Mormon Adult Status Scale (a.k.a. the ASS). This is an innovative, quantifiable method for determining where you fit in the Mormon social hierarchy. Your ASS score will help you determine whether you really are superior to that family who sits in the row in front of you or your next door neighbor. With the Mormon ASS method, there is no more guessing about who is better than whom - the numbers say it all! Callings and worthiness interviews are simplified, because the “best” and “most worthy” person will always have the highest score. Categories have been added for Grooming and Attendance as well as additional lines in several categories.
This scale has been tested for validity and reliability using the same scientific methods employed by FARMS. The Holy Ghost has testified to us that it is TWUE!!! It feels good. Nao Crer took the "new and improved" version and is a bigger apostate than before. He now has a score of -240 which classifies him as "Spawn of Satan" and since I am Lucyfer it all fits together. This is definitive proof that it WORKS! Please add your comments to help us improve this valuable assessment tool.
Mormon Adult Status Scale (ASS)
Starting score is 100 points – all members
of TSCC are assumed to START from the same place and then add or subtract points
as indicated. This scale provides a point in time or snapshot assessment. Your
score will change for the better or for the worse, depending on your life's
circumstances. If you pay, pray and obey, you too can watch your ASS grow.
The practical applications are many. Members could wear plastic nametags with their ASS score. Just think, a new person shows up at the ward and you would know their status immediately. “Look – that man’s ASS is so big, he could be a GA” -or- “Look that woman doesn’t have any ASS at all”
As clarification or additional information, someone who has resigned or is currently excommunicated is less than nothing in status, so you start with a -100 rather than a +100. Nevermos start at -0- because, while they have no status, they are certainly not as bad as an apostate.
No matter the church restroom setting, if I went into the ladies room my bladder closed up and posted sentries. Boggled my mind. Could urinate in crowded restrooms in theme parks, malls or crusty facilities on dark interstates, but not church. Sonuvagun. Short of seeking psychotherapy, I tried to use all manner of mindgames to circumvent what medical texts heplfully called "Bashful Bladder." No dice. Not a tinkle to be made in the House of the Lord.
Anyway, my very last hour ever spent in church was in a ladies room, as far away from the holy proceedings as I could manage. Lowered the yards of fabric, got comfy on the seat and tried not to be irritated at my distended, painful bladder who simply refused to pee in a pious place, no matter the risks of cystitis or stones. Just as I was feeling the urge,a spirit of tinkle so to speak, the door of the ladies room burst open and a regular gaggle of elderly women trooped in. They quickly realized that there was a locked door, so Sister BigPearls would have to wait while Sister OldMink and Sister ClackyDentures voided their Postum. For some reason, the occupent of the locked stall became the hot topic. "What's she doing in there?" "I dunno. But she's been in there a while." "Think she's sick?" "No, I think she's taking her time." "Shh. I think I hear her making water..." "No. She's gonna be in there forver I guess."
After an eternity, the gaggle skedaddled and I pulled up the layers of undies and hauled out of the john, straight to my car and right to the closest gas station, where I could haul the key on the snow tire to the crusty restroom and where I might read the graffiti, smell the scents of years of customers, and be relaxed enough to piddle.Say ahhhh with me, Brothers and Sisters. All is well.
When Citgo embraces your being but church does not, it is time to move on. I listened to my bladder and it spake the truth.Amen.
I miss that feeling you get when you're sitting in Sunday school, and your pantyhose starts riding down, and you can't pull them up, so you sit there and debate whether or not to get up and go to the bathroom just so you can pull them up, or whether you should just sit there and let it drive you NUTS.
Then I really miss the feeling I got when I just stopped wearing pantyhose all together, and the stake pres got up and said that NOT wearing pantyhose was disrespectful. I wanted him to show me HIS, but that probably would've been inappropriate. Then the most special feeling of all was when I would finally pull the damn things back up, and riiiiip. A run in my hose down to my ankles. Yep... those were the days....
I also miss the feeling I got when my butt would ACHE on those hard metal chairs, and yet I knew I had a good hour left of "blah blah blah blah blah". Aww.... sometimes I wonder if I ought to go back... just once... for old time's sake.
Good Friday changed everything. Prior to Good Friday, Jesus was really having trouble getting people to take him seriously. A lot of people disputed the outcome of the process that made him the Messiah. He had trouble overcoming the image of being a privileged son, whose success in life was mainly because of who his dad was.
After Good Friday, however, Jesus had a new lease on life. Some people say he was slow to react after Good Friday, but that didn't seem to matter to most folks. People were afraid. Nothing like Good Friday had ever happened before, and they united behind their Messiah as he promised to rid the world of evil.
Now as soon as Good Friday happened, everybody knew who was responsible. There was no question that the Jews did it, and that the radical Roman Regime was hiding them. Because that was so obvious, Jesus did make a token effort to go after them, but the real perpetrators slipped through his fingers. After a few days, Jesus began to turn his attention to the Nephites and Lamanites.
Jesus had wanted to attack the Nephites and Lamanites ever since he became the Messiah. His advisors had drawn up plans even before Good Friday, and after Good Friday they started looking for ways to blame it on the Nephites and Lamanites. Their evidence was pretty thin, but they knew it wouldn't take much to convince the followers. After all, the Nephites and Lamanites were part of the House of Israel, just like the Jews. For most of the followers, it was all the same. Jesus was invading America to punish those awful Nephites and Lamanites for the evil of Good Friday.
As an additional selling point, Jesus and his advisors claimed that the Nephites and Lamanites had weapons made out of steel, and that they were therefore a threat to the rest of the world.
So, Jesus headed across the pond. Just when the Nephites and Lamanites were at the peak of wickedness and thinking they didn't have anything to worry about, here comes Jesus, turning out the lights, taking names and kicking asses. He brought earthquakes, death and destruction, until there were only righteous people left. And although there wasn't any dancing in the streets, there were, apparently, some people who welcomed him with open arms.
Later on, people began to question whether it had been worth it to attack the Nephites and Lamanites. Even Jesus had to admit after a couple of years that the Nephites and Lamanites had had nothing to do with Good Friday. On top of that, they never found any steel weapons, even after searching for two thousand years. People wondered aloud if Jesus had an exit strategy.
Ultimately, Jesus claimed that attacking the Nephites and Lamanites had never been about Good Friday or steel weapons, but rather about spreading theocracy. He pointed out that Nephite society stayed happily theocratic for decades after he left.
In the end, though, it was all in vain - just a huge waste of lives and resources. Theocracy died out in the New World, and all the good guys were eventually killed as the people lapsed back into the foolish traditions of their ancestors. Fortunately, they left us a record on gold plates, so that we can learn from history and not repeat their mistakes.
Thus spake Mujun.
Good news and bad news....
Good News: Good Friday
Bad News: Not so good for Jesus
Good News: Jesus is going to visit the Lamanites
Bad News: He's coming to kick their ass!
Good News: They all turn Christian.
Bad News: Then, they all turn into Savages
Good News: Joe Smith got some gold plates with all this good news/bad news shit written on it, and he translated it so we could have testimonkeys.
Bad News: That crazy angel was an "Indian Giver," (no pun intended)and took the plates back to heaven.
The end. - - 03/30/2005 - wine country girl
You are one evil SoB, Mujun!
I laughed and laughed! The story has a familiar ring to it. Is it a parable or a simile? Was Jesus really gunning for Nephi because he had a Tower of Mass Perspective over which he could watch all the evil people?
I think he got away in all the commotion. - 03/30/2005 - brian-the-christ
As things stand now, you can disagree with Jesus all you want but bad-mouthing him only hurts his missionaries out there trying to protect our truth and freedom. They say our way of life depends on it. Every time you disrespect Jesus, you are only disrespecting our sons and daughters bringing the truth to the rest of the world. I don't buy it.
Also, they say we may never know if the Lamanites had steel swords or not, but we know they were dangerous people. They were killing their own people for God's sake! Destroying them left the rest of the world safer is the word on the street. Plus, it sent a message to the rest of the world that Jesus meant business. Did the safety and security of the rest of the world really depend on the southern hemisphere having the same kind of theocracy that existed elsewhere. Was that really worth dying for? If so, shouldn't the Nephites have been the ones to do it?
Jesus may have had to recant on his steel swords statement but they say he's a good man. Sure he may have drunk a little too much while he was younger, but he later straightened himself out and now he's more than a saved man; he's a savior for crying out loud!
What it comes down to is this: He pretty much did the job his father was unable to to do himself. You gotta give him credit for that, I guess. Still, he denies that his father's is the one that sent Him. Go figure. - 03/30/2005 - Fubeca
A little known fact
Judas did not hang himself, (that was a faked video)but got away and is reputed to be hiding in a cave in Afganistan. Jesus and his Angel Army will get around to capturing him once they take care of all those sinning Lamanites and Nephites and rid the Americas of traitors.
In the mean time, Judas and Satan are sending out for takeout pizza and beer and partying in their cave. - 03/30/2005 - Turnip
Arguing Plan of Salvation
According to the Plan of Salvation, enemy casualties have certain rights and should be sent to Spirit Prison. Jesus and his advisors, however, argued that the Plan of Salvation did not apply in this case. They took all the Nephite and Lamanite casualties to a special facility called Camp ExMo. Typically, only the worst spirits end up there. It's on the western tip of Kolob, but Jesus and his advisors argued that this facility did not have to function according to the usual commandments, Kolobian law or the Plan of Salvation.
Of course, the usual commandments, Kolobian law and the Plan of Salvation all three prohibit the use of eternal torment on spirit prisoners, but Jesus simply argued that none of them apply and that they have the right to use eternal torment as they see fit.
They do allow the spirit prisoners to worship and pray. In fact, they insist.
Thus spake Mujun.
Enter Apostle Paul
Yes! And Jesus was so impressed with the apostle Paul that he had to personally recruit him, just in time to have an apostasy! .... but what can you expect from a guy who is still trying to get calmed down from being crucified! - 03/30/2005 - around
Jesus' first mistake was to depend on rumors of steel swords .. rumors that proved false and seriously eroded his credibility with the whole rest of the world, people who mighta been allies but instead, by the time jesus got the invasion up and going, they wouldn't have anything to do with Jesus' blood-for-oil war in Lamanite country. With all the info and intell available nowadays, Jesus should have easily been 100% sure he was invading the right people under the right pretences at the right time.
Speaking of time, and timing, Jesus sure messed up there, too. Even his most fervent followers wonder aloud why in the he! He didn't go kick some butts right after Good Friday, instead of waiting soooooo o-o-o-o o-o-o-o-o o long afterwards. Since it's way obvious that waiting so long cost all sorts of support, at home and abroad. Oh, and He could have checked his intell better, too, and planned better.
Speaking of planning, he again feel waaaa a-a-a-a a-a-a aa-aay short. Totally He should have expected those Lamanites to fight his efforts tooth and nail, since He already had ample intell about their very blood thirsty ways. Yet there's no indication that He did anywhere near enough strategizing, since the Nephites keep getting their butts kicked over there.
Reminds me of those silly Redcoats who's attack plans just couldn't quite seem to keep up with the unplanned-for ingenuity of those pesky little Revolutionaries.
Speaking of not planning things out better, Jesus army should have been in and out of there lo-o-o-oooo---oooong before now. But we aren't supposed to worry our pretty little heads about any of these facts. For whatever Jesus speaks is The Word and NOONE is to mess with The Word. "If Jesus say jump, we gotta jump!"
Even if we have to keep sacrificing our men and women on the Jesus' altar ... wait, don't look at that stupid little man behind the curtain! - 03/30/2005 - anoni
Why is it Jesus ignored the disbelieving threat...
...for years and years before his crucifixion?
There were disbelievers masquerading as believers who were training other disbelievers in various parts of the world. Jesus didn't care. In fact, he even used them as missionaries even though they were spreading the steel sword technology; some of them even admitted to having the steel swords when the Lamanites and Nephites swore they didn't. Their disbelief and their spreading of steel swords was completely ignored by Jesus.
Then, after the crucifixion, he acted like they were always believers and didn't care about their steel swords and their passing steel swords to nonLamanites and nonNephites. One in particular even got welcomed back into the World of Believers although he was convicted by the Angels of Heaven Court in the Hague for complicity in the downing of Angel 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Jesus sucks. - 03/30/2005 - brian-the-christ
That Jesus guy was a real piece of work
Jesus DID appear to the Nephites and Lamanites in America after his crucifixion, but the true story about what He did after meeting with the people is rarely told.
He gathered the little children around and sat each one on his knee to play a little "Pull My Finger" with them. They ate M & M's while He told his stories. He had a hard time eating the M & M's though because they kept falling through the holes in his hands.
Then He decided to play a game of Hide & Seek with the children. Each child took his turn being "it" and closing his eyes while the others hid. When it was finally Jesus's turn to be "it," He held his hands up over his eyes and began counting to ten. While running to hide, one little girl turned back around to make sure he wasn't watching.
She stopped, put her hands on her hips, and with a look of disgust cried out, "Mom! Jesus is cheating!" - 03/30/2005 - Kim
Oh, by the way, his full name is Jesus H. Christ, but most of his friends just call him "H." - 03/30/2005 - Mujun
From a couple of years ago...
We were discussing the faith-promoting story that a General Authority (Gene Cook) once told about supposedly meeting Mick Jagger on a plane out of Mexico.
Well, that evening I looked into my personal seer stone in order to get a testimony as to whether the General Authority's words were true and behold a vision came to me in which M. Jagger sang the following song via speaker phone to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, who were gathered in the upper room of the Salt Lake City Temple, hoping to get confirmation of a high-profile celebrity conversion to Mormonism. Alas, they were disappointed.
Here is the song as it came to me, in an unstill loud voice:
(At first, I thought it was someone nearby playing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction", but as I listened closely, I realized that it was coming from the seer stone and there was a different spiritual message to the words.)
I can't get no testimony
I can't get no testimony, I can't get no testimony
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no
When I'm kneelin' on my knees, and the Bishop's on the phone
He's tellin' me more and more 'bout some Moroni promise
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can't get no. Oh, no, no, no. Hey, hey, hey
That's what I say
I can't get no testimony, I can't get no testimony
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no
Conference is on TV, da Prophet comes on and tell me
How happy I can be
If I pay, pray and obey
And have a testimon-ee
I can't get no. Oh, no, no, no. Hey, hey, hey
That's what I say
I can't get no testimony, I can't get no testimony
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no
When I'm in da temple and I'm token this and signin' that
I'm tryin' a secret handshake and I say
Baby, better come back maybe next week
'Cause this makes me feel just like a freak
I can't get no. Oh, no, no, no. Hey, hey, hey
That's what I say. I can't get no, I can't get no
I can't get no testimony, no testimony
No testimony, no testimony
[Fade out music, fade in conversation among the Brethren in the temple...]
GB Hinckley: Turn off the speaker phone. I've heard enough. This is quite a disappointment...
BK Packer: Obviously, he didn't pray with a sincere heart. It's the drugs and little factory abuse, you know. I'm not one to say I told you so, but....
T. Monson: No, no he was a golden investigator. Something hardened his heart to our special message. If only I had told him about the time I mowed the lawn for mean Mrs. Grumpsnitzel when I was 10 years old. That would have softened his heart. How are we going to reach the kids now?
BK Packer: We'll reach them with a hickory stick, that's what we'll do...
GB Hinckley: Shutup! Both of you! Can't you see I'm on the phone with the PR firm...
ET Benson: Where the hell am I? ... [fade out]
In the small town where I grew up, we had an unusual weekly activity. It was known as "Comedy Night". I suppose it was a small town's way of enjoying their friday evenings. The Comedy club had been a fixture for almost 100 years. Really ever since the town was founded. The Club sat on a hill overlooking our small but hard working town. Really, most people thought it was the most beautiful building around, and we were all really proud of it.
Only adults could attend Comedy Club. As children, we watched each Friday evening as our parents got dressed up in their finest clothes. The babysitter would come over and Mom and Dad would drive down to the Comedy Club for a night of fun. When they returned they always had smiles on their faces and Mom always commented on how wonderful and special comedy night was in thier lives. "It brighens up our lives... She's say. We work hard all week, but we always look forward to Comedy club! Soon you'll be able to attend with us! Aren't you excited?!!
Of course I was excited. I could hardly wait until I could attend comedy night with my parents. I remember that special day when it was deemed that I was finally mature enough and allowed to enter the Comedy club for the first time. I had saved for months to purchase a nice new suit. Got my hair cut, took a long hot shower and got ready for the greatest night of my life!
I was one excited and proud young man the first day I entered Comedy Club. The man at the door winked at my Dad.. So your son's first night eh? Yes, my father proudly answered, His first night!
My dad took me to the changing room and gave me a little suitcase. Don't look inside, he said, but there's something special inside. Cool I thought! I could hardly wait!!
Eveyone took their seats in the comedy club and out came the first act. We all had our little suit cases by our sides and I wondered, man I'll bet there is something hillarious inside our suitcases... This is going to be great!!
The guy slowly walks up to the stage and starts his joke. I could hardly contain myself. This was going to be good, I could just feel it...The old man goes up to the microphone...Ahh..Why did the Chicken cross the road? He waits a second then, in unison, everyones answers.. TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE!!
For the split second I thought.. WTF? But before I could say anything, the whole crowd then burst into laughter. My Dad looked at me and winked.. Funny huh son?
I tried to laugh and yea it was kinda funny.. well only a little funny because it was so damn dumb, but maybe it gets better I thouht to myself... Next the guy clears his throat and throws out his next joke.. OK everyone... Knock, Knock!! The crowd answers "WHOSE THERE?" Orange. "ORANGE WHO?" Knock Knock. "WHOSE THERE?" (Slower this time he again repeats.. Orange.... and then the crowd again "ORANGE WHO?"..(At this point while the old fart is yelling out Knock Knock for the third time, my dad's motioning to me to join along ..come on son .. outloud.. "ORANGE WHO?" and I'm thinking.. you have GOT to be kidding. The old man hestiates and then, one last time KNOCK KNOCK.... "WHOSE THERE?" ...... the old man smiles and barely unable to contain himself he blurts out "Aren't you glad I didn't say Orange?" And again the entire club bursts into uncontrollable laughter. My Dad's looking at me and well, I did start laughing a little. My Mom's slapping her leg in an uncontrolled fit and then I see Gramps,, over there sound asleep while grandma elbows him in the side.. Laugh you old fool....Oh yea... and Gramps grunts out a half hearted laugh.
I was trying to laugh, but I was getting a real sick feeling in my stomach. What in the HELL is this? Is this supposed to be funny? It's just plain stupid I thought to myself as I forced out another laugh for my Dad.
Then the moment came that we were supposed to open our suitcases. OK, now maybe this will be funny I thought to myself. I open up the suitcase and there's this big clown suit. And I had to admit it was funny. I start to laugh, but by now everyone was all serious so I quickly stifle my laugh.
EVERYONE... PLEASE PUT ON YOUR CLOWN SUIT. I look around and everyone's busy taking out their stupid ass looking clown suit and putting it on. Man, this was funny, I thought to myself. I started to put on the most ridiculous looking costume I'd ever seen. It consisted of big old brown shoes 3 times to big. Huge oversized bright colored clothes. A big funny hat, fake yellow hair and even a big fake red nose. Everyone's busy putting on their costume and some helpers are going around making sure we put it on right. My Dad's helping me and God he looked hillarious so I burst out in laughter.. My Dad glared at me ... Shuuusssee.. This isn't the funny part... he whispered. OK I thought to myself, but as I looked around, it sure seemed like the funny part to me.
Once we got all dressed up in our clown outfits, we sit back down. I'm looking around at everyone and Man, I'm really trying hard not to laugh. Everyone's got the exact same dumb ass costume on and it was funny. But for some reason we can't laugh. Everyone's all serious.
Well, for the next hour a stream of old wanna be comedians get up on stage and continue on with the same old worn out, stupid jokes and everyone's laughing their ases off, but the minute I want to laugh at the costumes, I get nothing but dirty looks.
After an hour and half of this dumb shit stuff, we all march down to the dressing area. My dad looks at me with a tear in his eye.. Well, how did you like it son? Your first night at Comedy Club!! Swell Dad.. Just Swell... I somehow managed to say. Well that's just great he beamed.. and the best part son.. is that it alway's exactly the same. Everytime.. Exactly the same.. word for word... isn't that something son? Oh ..ahh.. Yea Dad, That's really cool.
Later that night, my younger brother snuck into my room... Hey..Bro.. he whispered.. how was it? How was Comedy Club? I'll bet it was funny huh? I hestitated a moment, not quite knowing what to say and then I knew what I needed to say.. Yea, Bro.. It's really neat. It was more than just funny... Actually, it was hillarious. I can hardly wait until you're old enough to go with us.. We'll have a blast!
Great! My little brother beamed.. I can hardly wait either!
Elder Romney, you are called to labor and labor and labor and labor and labor in the France Paris Mission. Your call is to teach transient African illegals and socialized-medicated French lunatics living on state welfare in low-cost state housing (a/k/a HLMs). These you may baptize, but they won't remain active and they will not count on your tally of bringing one soul unto the Father. So your joy in them is not allowed to be so great.
Additionally, your call is also to knock doors all over the French countryside and accept door-slamming as the usual (if not preferred) result. You will also approach European French people in the street, but these simply shove their wrists in your face while pointing at their imaginary watches and screaming about how busy (pressé) they are.
Dogs will be sicced on you. Get used to it. These have been chosen to act as the only second estate for the 1/3 of hosts who followed Satan in the pre-existence, and your young tender missionary flesh is the price we pay to keep them there. The same holds for possessed bicycle chains.
As a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints laboring (and laboring ad nauseam) in the France Paris Mission, you are responsible for:
- American foreign policy
- Hollywood cinema
- all cults and sects
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- the Amish
- the CIA
- the Cold War
- protectionism and the unfavorable GATT treaty
- global warming
- arrogance and childishness
- all that is evil and imperialistic in the world
Your call is to be a scapegoat for all that is wrong with the Church in France, and your successes, if you have any, can only be attributed to the Lord taking a nap and none of your hard work, poor nutrition, sleepless nights, or Herculean struggles with the incomprehensibly complicated Parisian dialect of the French language.
This blasphemer is conducting a test of the Emergency Godcast System. The blasphemers in your area, in voluntary cooperation with the atheists, agnostics and other religious iconoclasts have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of a blasphemy. If this had been an actual blasphemy against a genuine deity, the blasphemous rantings you just heard would have been followed by divine natural disasters, plagues or other sacred punishment. This blasphemer serves the entire earthly realm. This concludes this our test of the Emergency Godcast System
Aberrations - ignore or assimilate
Accountability (eight year olds? right!!)
Adam morphing from God into Man, and back into God
Adam-ondi-Ahman (garden of eden in MO? Give me a break)
Adamic Language / Tower of Babel
Adolf Hitler baptized (over and over and over again).
Adolf Hitler sealed to Eva Bruan..
Altruism - only if there is hope of conversion
Amway (susceptibility to MLM)
Anxiety over perfect image
Anything Awry - self to blame
Aprons with green fig leaves
Archaeological evidence of BofM lacking
Artwork (glamorized, sanitized historical heroes)
Atonement (by suicide we are justified, say what?)
Bachelor dies (doomed to eternal singles ward)
Bachelorette dies (dating among the gods)
Bad Thoughts = Bad Person
Baptisms for the dead (repeated over and over and over)
Baptize !!! (at any cost, using any means -- baseball baptisms)
"Best two years of my life" (not !!!)
"Beware of so-called science."
Blanket between Joseph and Oliver
Blind sheep obedience
Blue-eyed/clean shaven Jesus
BofM Promise: "ask God if book is not true?!?!?"
Book of Abraham
Book of Mormon (Joseph trying to sell copyright)
Book of Mormon (Joseph's own reluctance to quote)
"Books of Mormon" or "Book of Mormons" (copies of …)
Boy's Clubishness - passwords, secret handshakes
BYU = Satan's plan?
Caffeine aversion (except chocolate is okay)
Cain still walks the earth
Calling and election made sure (elitism among the elite)
Callings (answer to should always be 'yes')
Callings inspired by vacancy more than heaven
Catatonic Trance - typical meeting status
Celebrations - few and meaningless
Celestial Kingdom (as described is it desirable?)
Changing Temple Endowment
Chaste = stopping before intercourse
Chastity Night - church in parents role
Child testimonies (whispered in ear)
Childless = useless
Choice and chosen generation
Choice spirits and the whole range of spirit ranking
"Church is perfect, its people aren't" (what crap !!!)
Church sponsored political movements
Compartmentalized Minds - "doublethink"
Conformance over independence
Connections - pioneer ancestry, GAs
Contention - never justified, always evil
Contradicting commandments from god (Adam's experience)
Contradicting Scriptures (i.e. Jacob 2:24, D&C 132:1)
Correlation Committee (dumbing down)
Correlated Church is just no fun
Corporation Mentality (= spiritual?)
Court of Love - one-sided "inspiration" as evidence
Courts of "Love" (no, really, they'd love to have you OUT)
Culture = Doctrine, Doctrine = Culture
Current revelation supercedes a previous reality
Curloms and cumons
Cursing-phobia ("crap", "heck" and "dang" is okay)
Danites (arm of the Lard?
Death before 8 years old = instant Celestial Kingdom resident
Depression - less frightening than anger
Deseret Alphabet (failed prophecies concerning)
Deseret Book (god's publishing company)
Disagreement (not tolerated)
Disapproval - know 50 ways to show it
Disapproval - rarely frontal attack
Discrimination (race, smokers, non-mormons)
Dissent - quash it, nothing uplifting there
Dissent = Contempt
Divine Conversion (Paul/Alma the younger --this sucks!!!)
Divorced Men - available
Divorced Women - questionable worthiness
DNA denial (where's the Lamanites)
Dungeons & Dragons of the devil (but Harry Potter is "great")
Dusting one's feet (condemn thy neighbor)
Earth "restored" to Kolob based orbit.
Earth becomes giant crystal ball.
Egyptian Book of the Dead = Book of Abraham
Endowments (where's the beef? secret knowledge?)
Endowments always changing.
Enish-go-on-dosh (fake Egyptian)
Enlightenment - swallowing the rhetoric
ERA - who wants equal rights in a patriarchy?
ERA - article: "Mormon Family Feud on Senate Floor"
ERA - slogan: "Mother in Heaven Loves Mormons For ERA"
Esaias (divine intervention of priesthood lineage D&C 84)
Eternal Family - which? Father's or mine?
Evidence - distortion of data to fit the myth
Excommunications directed out of Salt Lake
Face in hat revelation
Facial hair phobia (Um, most prophets had beards)
Failed Prophecies (i.e. BofM copyright mission)
"Fake it till you make it" encouraged
Faith promoting rumors (more faithful means more true)
Faith promoting stories - Affirmation of Faith
Family First - unless in conflict with church
Family-oriented (as long as "the church" is your family)
Fannie Alger (first plural wife and first of several orphan wives)
Fantasies have sinful potential
Fashion IS important (where's your suit and tie elder?)
Fast offerings - and mormon welfare policy
Fear of God's wrath
Fear of a Judgmental God
Fear of a Judgmental Priesthood Leader
Fear of facial hair (not allowed on temple workers)
Feelings (mine are right, yours are wrong)
Feelings as a witness of truth (as long as faith-promoting)
Fellowshipping (potential convert motivated)
First Vision Fakery
Five points of fellowship (pure masonry)
"Follow the Profit" (unprofitable servant comes to mind)
"Follow the prophet and we know where you stand"
Fonts on ox butts (probably most consistent of all practices)
Food Storage (god will save you if you help)
Free Agency (you are free to do what I tell you to do)
Free-Agency (but expect discipline, shunning)
Free Speech (what we do, not what other churches do)
"Fullness of the Gospel" (then why all the changes?)
Garments (dictated underwear)
Garments - the shear ridiculousness of them
Gathering to Jackson County (on foot)
General Authority Drone
General Authority Inaccessibility
General Authority Privilege
General Authority Worship
Generation (as in "This generation shall not pass away until ___")
Genitalia reserved for Celestial Kingdom residents
Geography of the Book of Mormon
Gifts of the Spirit (never saw any)
Gifts of Spirit - absence ignored
"Given to him in heaven" (Joseph's "line" to a married woman)
God as our neighbor - would we really like him?
God similar to General Authorities ?!?!?
Goodness (all attributed to god)
Guilt - being unhappy in "happy" Mormonism
Guilt - always: "What's wrong with me?"
Guilt as a tool of manipulation
Guilt over every "mormon" infraction
Gullibility (as a way of life)
Gush my guts temple promises
Half-Fast (not all day) Sundays
Handcart martyrs (Priesthood guided to death)
Happiness - if not, act the part
Happiness means having a "temple" spouse
Healing the Sick: when did this ever really happen?