Monday, August 31, 2015

FRENZIED, COMPETITIVE MOTHERS RELIEVED CHURCH KEEPING SCOUTING

“If that isn’t your little Braedyn,
you’re doing something wrong!” 
Salt Lake City, UT—This week’s announcement that the church would continue its close ties with the Boy Scouts of America program came as a tremendous relief to Zion’s tens of thousands of frenzied and competitive mothers.

“Oh I know I let out a huge sigh of relief,” recounted Jennifer Brandeis. “I will never forget that President Benson promised that if boys like my Ryler would check off all of the right boxes, you know, Eagle Scout, seminary, mission, go to prom with a girl in a modest dress, then his place in the celestial kingdom would be sealed forever and ever!” Brandeis added that “now all I have to do is make sure he does exactly those things no matter what and then I’ll know I’ve been a good mom.”

Brandeis’ relief was echoed by mothers like Janet Young who explained that “not only does the Scouting program provide instruction and character-building activities, but rank advancements and merit badges give me a way to measure my son’s growth and value and also to see how well I’m doing as a mother.” Young went on to explain that “without scouting it could be impossible to know what moms to look out for, you know, because they are doing so much, and what moms are really dropping the ball when it comes to raising righteous sons and future stake presidents in Zion!”

In addition to providing sons and mothers with a clear measuring stick for growth and value, Scouting, according to mothers like Anne Parks, “gives my sons Stevyn, Wesley, and Kredence the surest guard against the evils of our day like exposure to pornography and experimentation with, um, you know, inappropriate things and activities.” 

Monday, August 17, 2015

CHURCH POLICY THAT I’M SURE WILL EVENTUALLY CHANGE: THEFT

Commentary by Daniel Perkins

We live in an exciting time in the church. The scriptures promise that the Lord will give us “liberally,” and let me tell you that that is just about to happen. Just like God lifted the ban on Black men in the priesthood, I’m sure he just about to lift the ban on women in the priesthood, gay marriage, and on enjoying whatever you define as love with whoever or whatever you want! Everyone knows that these policy changes are right around the corner, but one that not everyone is seeing is the restoration of communal ownership and the revocation of the former commandment “Thou shalt not steal.”

First, a little history lesson. God gave the commandment to not steal only because Israel was not ready for the higher principle of communal ownership. People back then were too greedy and selfish, so God wanted to keep the peace. That is why he gave the commandment. In fact, the Hebrew word “Schwindl” is more about deception than taking from someone what you think should be yours too.

Modern revelation, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, tells us that the day will come when “theft” as we call it now will not be a sin. Inspired poetic prophets, modern day Isaiahs, have, for years now, begged us to imagine a world with no possessions, but they so often wonder aloud if we can. This blessed restoration will usher in a world with neither greed nor hunger, a true human siblinghood! Some might hold, falsely, that such claims are fantasy, even dreams, but it will surely be a great day when I can share my neighbor’s food, car, house, television, wife, daughter, cat, and healthcare without having to break my back, slave away at school, make sacrifices, form exclusive relationships, or follow some narrow, old-law, demanding set of rules and restrictions set by teachers or employers. On that day everyone will speak in the name of the Lord, saying what the Lord inspired that person to say.

How do I know this? I have, like Moses, traveled to the mountain with my forward-thinking, enlightened friends, and there we have seen how God intends us to use all of nature’s gifts and plants so that young men can dream dreams and see visions. I hope one day you will join us, and then you’ll know the true, ancient, inspiration symbol: the burning bush.

Monday, August 10, 2015

UNEXPECTED RAISINS IN SALAD CAUSE EXMO TO RENOUNCE OLIVE GARDEN

Popular Anti-Olive Garden YouTube Video
American Fork, UT—In a move that he announced on Facebook, Gene Dyer let his family, friends, and acquaintances know that he is “no longer attending, patronizing, or affiliated with Olive Garden.” Making it clear that his decision “has not come quickly,” Dyer explained that after years of enjoying the “all-you-can eat soups and those tangy summer pastas,” he had “discovered deeply disturbing culinary errors.” Dyer went on to explain that he was “shocked to find out that what he had relied upon to be crunchy and fresh every time” was destroyed when he found “those four or five unexpected raisins in his all-you-can eat house salad.”

Dyer, who also happens to have recently left the Mormon Church, went on to clarify that he wasn’t renouncing the popular Italian chain “because he was offended” or because “he wanted to go off on some wild Republican and NRA-fueled meat orgy at Texas Roadhouse.” Instead he insisted that he had only sought what is truthful and lovely in every meal, but that finding “ugly, shriveled raisins where one expects lettuce, parmesan cheese, and maybe an onion” had led him first to question, then doubt, then “bravely move on” from a restaurant that had been his emotional and culinary home for his entire life.

Over 150 people responded to Dyer’s Facebook announcement. Some expressed shock and bewilderment. Others expressed support, adding their experiences with “squishy gnocchi,” “tilapia and shrimp that had clearly at one time been frozen,” as well as the shock and disillusionment of finding “three completely different preparations of the Citrus Chicken Sorrento at different yet supposedly participating restaurants.” In a similar vein were comments that featured YouTube videos of “Olive Garden Exposed,” “Top 10 Olive Garden Problems Explained!,” and “The Real Truth about Fake Italian.” Dyer himself mentioned how internet research had helped him see the truth about Olive Garden.

Other people responded differently to Dyer’s announcement. Some talked about warm, loving family trips to Olive Garden that Dyer would now be missing. Others tried to counter comments and videos with personal experiences, with accounts of people finding joy and satisfaction while dining and even working at the popular eatery, and with information to refute anti-Olive Garden claims, information taken from websites like FairGarden. 

Dyer mentioned that “at one time it all fit together, the breadsticks and pasta, the chicken, the beef, and the tiramisu,” but that all started to crumble “with those shocking raisins right there in the salad, and now the more that I look, the more I find it is all at best a quaint but deluded place if not a terrible dining fabrication.” This sense that Olive Garden must be complete, whole, and perfect, with no mistakes, flawless presentation and service, or be the restaurant that is “true and living” seems to have prevented Dyer from just forking the raisins out of the salad and enjoying his meal.

Monday, August 3, 2015

FRESH FELINE FURY: MINNESOTA DENTIST HUNTS, KILLS PRES. MONSON’S CAT

Completely real, unphotoshopped picture of hunters with cat, really
Salt Lake City, UT—In a move sure to spark renewed outrage, Walter Palmer, the same Minnesota dentist who recently killed the famous lion Cecil has, over the weekend, hunted and killed President Monson’s cat.

The prophet’s cat, whose full name is Mahonri-Moriancum-Puurrrrr, but who is also called the Cousin of Cecil or just Whiskers, was apparently lured away from its Salt Lake home to City Creek Mall, where it was dazzled by high end shopping and fabulous dining options, only to be shot first by a crossbow and then by a high-powered shotgun, assault rifle, and two fully automatic pistols.

Investigators, in piecing together the cat’s death, noted that the perpetrator “took the tour of Temple Square” and then went with “hired guides” in search of his latest highly-prized feline trophy. Investigators noted the dark twist in the fact that all three hunters initially met at the Lion House.

While he has not yet met with reporters to talk about the loss, President Monson posted this on his Twitter account: “Feline Friends R Lost; Hearts R Gritty Clumps of Sorrow in What Sometimes Feels like the Litter Box of Life.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

MINI MISSIONARY LESSON: IS THE CHURCH HOMOPHOBIC

With the lowering of the mission age, the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer is doing its part to help train young men for the rigors and blessings of doing God’s work. As part of this effort, Elder Kory Anton, who is hoping to clear things up and return to the mission field very soon, offers his insights to help others prepare.

Do Not Get the Wrong Idea from this BYU Art Museum
Installation Art Piece
Believe it or not, sometimes people ask missionaries questions that just seem so obvious that you might not know what to say. Never fear. Here are some tips for dealing with what some missionaries erroneously call “tough questions.” These are all pretty easy when you think about it. Today’s question is:

Is the Church Homophobic?

First, “homophobic” means afraid of gays, and clearly we are not afraid of gays any more than we are afraid of murderers, child molesters, or coffee drinkers. We know that so long as all of them repent of their terrible wickedness then they can get whatever glory might be available for them. Those who suffer from the grievous affliction of same-sex attraction should just trust God and He will take away their affliction just like He heals drug addicts, Democrats, and all of those brown people who come to this country illegally.

Second, the Church has a right to decide who should be in the church and members have a responsibility to make sure people only feel as welcome as God wants them to feel. We don’t want coffee drinkers or adulterers or Socialists to believe that God’s grace will cover them without lots of clear, public repentance so that we can all know their hearts. Therefore, when we see a guy with a pink shirt, or an earring, or who compares the Gospel to Broadway musicals, it is every member’s responsibility to make it clear to him that if he is as gay as he seems then he is not accepted by God. God’s disapproval of him should be clear in our every interaction with him! The same goes for girls with really short hair and who don’t seem eager to please others, especially men. Those women need to know that the pain of being a social outcast because of their same-sex attraction is how we all make sure they have sufficient godly sorrow for sin.

Third, missionaries should probably not waste their time teaching gay people. Missionary work is easier if you pre-screen people, so that if they already look like a nice Mormon family then teach them. Bringing someone that doesn’t really fit in in church is just an annoyance for everyone. Remember that the Comforter helps all of us feel safe and protected within our comfort zone.

Finally, remember back in the October, 2013 General Conference, when Elder Soares talked about an African saint named Brother Moses Mahlangu? That should be a lesson to all of us. Brother Mahlangu learned patience and meekness by not being allowed to be in church. Gays can also learn about those importantly godly qualities in a similar manner, and it is our role as saints to occasionally prop a window open for them. When the righteous know where they belong and when sinners know that they must repent of their chosen sinfulness then we can all say that, in truth, all is well in Zion, yea Zion prospers!

Some missionaries might be tempted by Satan to not accept the truths presented above. Such missionaries might believe that members should be compassionate toward everyone, that missionaries should share the gospel with everyone, and that all of us should leave judgment to those with a stewardship and with the Lord. Those people may also wonder, sinfully, if the day might come when gays are as accepted as Black people. That will never happen because God’s ways never, ever, ever change, because God wants everyone to be productive and have children, because of all of Jesus’ clear teachings in the New Testament about the evils of gayness (which I cannot seem to find right now, but they are there!), and because that is just gross. When it comes right down to it, if you have such sinful ideas, you at least lack faith in Church leaders and you’re probably gay.

Finally, have confidence in God’s work. Speaking about the truth going forth. Just like the hymn “High on a Mountain Top” says, we can trust that Zion’s banner and light will indeed “attract the gaze / of all the world in latter days.”

All the best,

Elder Kory Anton

Monday, July 20, 2015

MEXICAN CHILDREN USE ELABORATE TUNNEL TO ESCAPE NURSERY

Similar though far inferior tunnel recently found in Mexico
Guadalajara, Mexico—In a complex scheme involving hours of digging, reduced nap time, and perhaps dozens of Sunbeams, 4 children used an elaborate tunnel to escaped from the Guadalajara, El Rincón ward’s nursery.

“One minute I was working with the kids, I turned to see why one child was crying, and when I looked back they had vanished,” said Sister Eugenia González Molina, one of two women assigned to work in the nursery. “Lucky for us the Bishop installed a surveillance system just a few weeks ago, so we saw on the tape how they opened a trapped door under the snack table and slipped out.”

Ward and stake investigators have been called in to assess the situation. What they found was a sophisticated tunnel dug directly under the church building. Reported one stake leader who would not give his name, “when we sent our Valients to investigate the tunnel, they reported that it was equipped with lighting, air conditioning, and juice boxes.”

The escape plan seems to have targeted one particular child, a notorious boy who has been a ringleader in acquiring extra fruit snacks for some of the kids. Ward leaders had been keeping an eye on this boy, known as “El Chupito,” after finding stains on the carpet from where he had smuggled drinks with red dye in them into the church.

“We are worried that these kids are still on the loose,” reported one official, “but what really concerns us is how many Primary board members must have looked the other way or been too intimidated to say anything as this plot to free El Chupito was developing.” After some speculation about who might be involved, the same official added that “one wonders how high up the corruption goes!”

Monday, July 13, 2015

CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM DOESN’T REALIZE WHAT A GREAT MOTHER, WIFE SHE IS

This Sister May Have Reassured Shelton
DERRY, NH—Area woman Hannah Shelton, though a victim of still painful childhood sexual abuse, is a fabulous mother and wife and doesn’t even realize it.

“Oh, I work hard not to dwell on the past, you know, and I just try to do what I can,” said Shelton. What Shelton does not realize is that her heroic and faithful efforts to deal with that past have helped to make her the loving, compassionate, and courageous woman that powerfully blesses the lives of her 5 children as well as her husband.

Researchers over the past decade or so have seen more and more overlap with victims of childhood sexual abuse and traumatized soldiers returning from battle. Some of those common symptoms include long-term consequences like a higher incidence of depression, intrusive flashback memories, hypervigilance, maladaptive coping skills, dysfunctional social skills, and an overactive stress response. One would think that such weighty obstacles would destroy someone, but it some ways those very obstacles have helped sister Shelton grow.

It is common for Shelton to express apprehension at how often she feels “blue” or how she just struggles trying to do everything she thinks she should do. But for someone with a much higher risk for depression, Shelton tries to do what she can, and then accepts what she cannot do. As she commented during a recent Relief Society lesson, “you know, sometimes I feel so discouraged, and then I try to get quiet, you know, all over, and have faith enough to hear my Heavenly Parents tell me how much They love me and how they accept the offerings I can make, even if my efforts sometimes seem like the ‘widow’s mite’.”

Shelton also has to battle with intrusive flashback memories and hypervigilance. This has affected her relationship with her husband Matt. Said Hannah, “yah, it has been a very rocky road at times with Matt, and I worry, deep down, that he might be better off without me.” Wiping away a tear, Hannah continued, “we’ve had lots of talks and he has always been patient, kind, and loving, especially when I have had the courage to confide in him.” Hannah continued that, “we’ve had to develop some code words that let him know, um, where I am and what I need. One night, for example, I really needed to be held, you know, just held, and he was watching a football game that was a big deal to him. Well, it took some time, but he could see that I needed him, so he turned off the game and snuggled with me. For some reason, the code word I say in similar situations is ‘Omaha, Omaha’.”

Hannah worries constantly that her fears will have a negative impact on her children. In this, she has learned to trust Matt, and, working together, they do their best to combine Matt’s easy-going nature, seemingly eternal optimism, and confidence with Hannah’s eagle-eye for potential dangers. Matt works hard to always be loyal and supportive of his wife around the kids, especially the teenagers.

For his part, Matt has never regretted his marriage, relationship, and friendship with Hannah. As Matt put it, “I only wish she could see how amazing, how powerful, how faithful she is! I could never be that strong, and I’m glad I get to do my small part to support her. And I don’t think I’ll ever meet someone with a testimony as powerful as Hannah’s of the power of Christ’s atonement.”   

Monday, June 29, 2015

MORMONS SET ONE WEEK RECORD FOR NUMBER OF FACEBOOK STATUSES CREATED, DELETED

Menlo Park, CA—Facebook announced this morning that during the last week Mormons created a record 8,387,928 Facebook status updates that were deleted within 24 hours.

“What we saw last week was remarkable by any standards,” said David Dengate, spokesperson for Facebook. “To see over 8 million Facebook statuses posted and then so quickly deleted initially baffled everyone here,” elaborated Dengate. He went on to say that “when we looked at the analytics, we saw that it was Mormons who were posting a status, often followed by a number of comments, only to then delete that status.”

Facebook’s extensive analytical tools allowed them to group those statuses by content. What emerged from this examination was that the lion’s share were about Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, with others centered around whether or not Mormons could support that ruling, with other deleted statuses about the confederate flag controversy.

What Facebook researchers found was that some deleted statuses supported while others opposed the Supreme Court’s decision. A typical status of support read something like this: “Love God First and don’t fear men by allowing worldly standards to destroy the family as outlined in the Proclamation. And delete friends with that wicked rainbow picture.” A standard support status went something like this: “Love God First and don’t fear men, even if those men are respected, wise church leaders. You can believe that they are prophets AND that God is pleased with gay marriage, just like you could believe in 1977 that all worthy men should hold the priesthood. If you don’t have a rainbow profile picture, then you would have opposed Blacks getting the priesthood in the 70s.”

Researchers also found that a typical inflammatory status that might quickly get deleted could be “Set your clocks for 14 years; by then the church will accept gay marriage” or “Set your clocks for 14 months; by then we will see the calamities warned about in the Proclamation.”

One status that was very common on the east coast was this one: “All of us Mormons here in North Carolina would like to invite the Supreme Court justices who forced gay marriage on us to come down to our state and take a nice long swim at one of our beaches.” 

When asked to elaborate on so many Facebook statuses created and deleted, one researcher wondered if Mormons had really grasped how to have a respectful, public debate about controversial issues without being offensive or being offended, or how to do it in such a way that Mormons could have genuine difference and diversity while being of one heart and one mind.

Monday, June 22, 2015

I THANK GOD EVERY DAY DONALD TRUMP ISN’T MORMON

Thank Heaven Only One is Mormon!
Commentary by Linda Hollingsworth

Politics is back, and even though the presidential election is not for another year and a half, I believe that for the next 18 months I will thank God every day that Donald Trump isn’t a Mormon.

With Trump’s recent campaign announcement speech came all of the reminders about the last election. And I’ll just admit it—it was stressful for me having a Mormon run for president. We all know that not all of the attention that the church got from Romney’s campaign was positive. That said, at least Romney is not a stark raving idiot who believed he could get Mexico to build some huge border wall!

Romney’s campaign created some difficult conversations before the last election. I actually had a 30 minute conversation about if Mormons had strict smiling and hair standards. Thanks Romney. But at least Romney didn’t sport that pathetic comb over or whatever else Trump has on his lopsided skull!

I was glad when the last election was over—it was fatiguing. I’m sure that this next election will be tiresome, but one huge blessing is the guy who bragged about his net worth and flippantly claimed he could beat both China and ISIS isn’t a Mormon. I know that the “gospel net catches all kinds,” but I’m glad it has never caught him!