Monday, July 28, 2014

AREA WOMAN TAKING CASSEROLE TO WARD MEMBER PRAYS TO BE KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT

BARSTOW, CA—Jan Ellison was glad to take her famous cauliflower casserole to a woman who recently had a baby. “On my way to drop off the meal,” Sister Ellison reported confidentially to the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer, “well, there I was again, hoping that God would send that truck across the line and right into my Camry.”

When asked about the desire to see her life come to an end, Sister Ellison said that, “I don’t think about it all of the time, you know, just a few times a day.” Sister Ellison continued, “and I don’t want to put anyone out, I mean, I even buckled in the casserole with the address so that the EMTs could still take it to Sister Anderson.”

Sister Ellison was quick to point out that “it seems like others probably imagine everything is perfect with me and my family, but the truth is that when I hear about someone near my age dying suddenly of a heart attack or something, I just wish that it could have been me.”

“It is odd,” remarked Ellison, “since I guess I used to think optimistically about [redacted] and [redacted], but now that that has just become so bleak and miserable for me, now I fantasize about having a stroke or brain tumor.” When asked if she had ever done anything more than hope for an “end to her mortal probation,” Ellison said, “well, no, I guess I just use the old Shakespeare phrase, ‘If chance will have me dead, why chance may deliver me, without my stir’.”

When asked if she had ever confided her thoughts or feelings in others, Ellison said, “oh, I could never tell anyone something so terrible and dark, I mean, my husband and church friends would never have or even understand anything like what I’m thinking or feeling, so I don’t tell anyone how badly I want to move to the next stage of my existence.”

“I just stay busy,” concluded Ellison, “you know, doing things like preparing this month’s visiting teaching message, fantasizing that this might be my last.”

Please reach out to someone if you find a connection with how Jan feels and how you might feel. We are all here to help bear one another’s burdens and to help comfort those who need comfort. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

POINT: INSTEAD OF GOING TO THE RAINBOW FAMILY GATHERING, I’D LOVE TO GO TO MORMON YOUTH CONFERENCE / COUNTERPOINT: INSTEAD OF GOING TO YOUTH CONFERENCE, I’D LOVE TO GO TO THE RAINBOW FAMILY GATHERING

It is unclear if this is from the Rainbow Family Gathinging,
or a Constitution-themed LDS Youth Conference
POINT: INSTEAD OF GOING TO THE RAINBOW FAMILY GATHERING, I’D LOVE TO GO TO MORMON YOUTH CONFERENCE
By Sean Ghirardelli

Again this summer my parents are dragging me to the Rainbow Family Gathering. We fill the minivan with crap and head off to some national park to spend weeks with free-loving, hippie potheads. I just want a summer where I can do something with some structure and organization, something with a little less old person advice (and old person nudity) and something fun. That is why I hope that next year I can go to those week-long summer camp things that Mormons call Youth Conference.

Now, I don’t know very much about Mormon Youth conference, but this year’s Rainbow Family Gathering was in Utah. I didn’t know anything about Mormons or Utah, so when I met Trenton at a convenience store it was pretty interesting to talk to him. He told me about Mormon Youth Conference, and it sounded awesome.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that if we let the plants grow then “the food and medicine will just appear from the ground and Mother Earth will abound.” Yes, I love singing about it every year with a guy playing on his homemade guitar, maybe a pan flute accompaniment, but, really, after three days of that @#$%, I would stab that guy in the neck for tacos, a Mountain Dew, and some Twinkies.  

Sure, they are nice enough people, but if I have to spend another big chunk of my summer vacation watching children named “Star Halo” and “Celestial Karma” in Kid Village, where neglect is called “letting them do their thing,” I might just have to strangle someone with her Greenpeace scarf. I guess it is just that ever since A├»sha Dawn Chakra (whose real name is Ashley Palmer) told me that Grandfather David, the Hopi Elder who told the story of the White Buffalo and the end of the world, is actually an accountant from Omaha, well, let’s just say that I see the whole thing differently.

It might not be so bad, really, if the old people didn’t just insist on telling you all of the time how wonderful it is there, how spiritual it is, and kept saying “welcome home.” Really, I don’t even know you people, and please, I know how free you feel and everything, but could you just shower and put some clothes on? Is that too much to ask?

What really sounds like fun are the games, the fun, the structure and the organization, the food, and the good times at Mormon Youth Conferences. I hope I can go there next summer!


COUNTERPOINT: INSTEAD OF GOING TO YOUTH CONFERENCE, I’D LOVE TO GO TO THE RAINBOW FAMILY GATHERING
By Trenton Sanborn

Again this summer my parents are forcing me to go to Youth Conference. I pack up some dress clothes for the dance and the testimony meeting and head off to some college to spend a week with all of the wierdos assigned to work with the youth. I just want a summer where I can do something free and out-of-the box, something with a little less old person advice (and maybe some nudity) and something fun. That is why I hope that next year I can go to the Rainbow Family Gathering. 

Now, I don’t know very much about the Rainbow Family Gathering, but this year I met a kid who was going to it. I had never even heard of it, so when I met Sean at the convenience store it was pretty interesting to talk to him. He told me about the Rainbow Family Gathering, and it sounded awesome.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe that the youth of Zion will not falter and that someday I will both grow a foot or two and be called to serve.  Yes, I love singing about it every year along with someone’s dinky IPhone speaker with the accompaniment of other apathetic youth, but, really, after three days of that stuff, I would smash that stupid IPhone for some free time and an uninterrupted walk in the woods. 

Sure, it is great to serve, but if I have to spend another big chunk of my summer vacation doing church history indexing or preparing hygiene kits for Guatemalan refugees, I might just have to strangle someone with his BYU tie.  I guess it is just that ever since I heard about Paul H. Dunn and found out the South Park has a more accurate depiction of how the Book of Mormon was translated than the church pictures, well, let’s just say that I see the whole thing differently. 
 
It might not be so bad, really, if the old people didn’t insist on telling you all of the time how wonderful it is there, how spiritual it is, and saying “this is Zion.” Really, I don’t even know you people, and please, I know how important obedience is and everything, but it seems like some sexual curiosity is natural, even healthy. How about if we drop the idea that fooling around is second only to murder? Is that too much to ask?

What really sounds like fun is the freedom, the closeness to nature, and the healthy food at the Rainbow Family Gathering. I hope I can go there next summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

THAT THOUGHT-PROVOKING FACEBOOK STATUS CAUSED ME TO IMMEDIATELY LOSE MY TESTIMONY

Commentary
After reading the status, I tried to buy
an oil drum of Starbuck's coffee

By Nadja Bigslby

I’m 17 year’s old, and have been a church member my whole life, but this morning I lost my testimony when I read a Facebook status. No, I didn’t lose my testimony last year when my uncle died unexpectedly. In fact, that experience only strengthened my faith in the Plan of Salvation. And no, I never wavered when my boyfriend pressured me to be more physically intimate than I was comfortable with. But today, when I read an opinion expressed by a faithful member of the church, I just could not bear the pressure. Sure, the Facebook status was reasonable and thoughtful, but seeing a different view was so overwhelming that I immediately lost my faith that Joseph Smith saw the First Vision, I internally denounced the Young Women values, and then I ran to the nearest Starbucks to buy the most coffeest coffee that they sell. Oh and I bought it with what was going to be my tithing money. 

Now of course I could have just read the status and moved on. Heck, I could have even read it within the context of everything else this person had ever posted. I could have seen the view as part of this person’s faith, a faith evident in post-after-post about love of the Savior, the Book of Mormon, missionary work, and the joy of knowing that families are eternal. It could have been thought-provoking and could have encouraged a stronger, better faith. But that clearly and respectfully stated view was just so overwhelming on my young, teenage spirit that I immediately smoked a pack of cigarettes, sent my resume to be a Miley Cyrus backup dancer, and made myself gay.

Some of you old people, like the person who wrote the Facebook status, may not realize who reads what you write. Of course I attend school, leave my house, and go on the internet. Of course I’m daily bombarded with powerful temptations to set aside the joy that the Gospel brings me. But you need to understand that youth today, in spite of having to be strong in such a world, can only deal with cat pictures with scriptures on them from other members of the church when we get on Facebook. Of course our non-member friends, who we love and respect but who may have different standards than ours, can post the most troubling and difficult things, but when a faithful member says anything that is not just gospel milk and toast, well then the youth of Zion immediately falter and we all get tattoos.

Oh, and it isn’t just me. Sure, my younger sister read the status update and felt relieved that a faithful member could have such a point of view. And some could have even felt comforted to not be alone in faithfully drawing such a conclusion. But such status updates usually immediately destroy the entire fabric of the church. My older sister, for instance, is at BYU, and the entire BYU community is now in ruins because of that update. That sister, who served a mission, married in the temple, and was a student and mother struggling with a newborn son, read the update, put on a spaghetti-strap dress, and left her husband to join a Mexican drug cartel.

So, if you thoughtful, faithful older people on Facebook put anything up, make sure it is either General Authority quotes with a sunrise background or boring, old person stuff like how much your back hurts. Anything else and our weak souls will immediately be destroyed.  

Monday, June 30, 2014

NEW BYU STUDENT TEACHES STUDENT WARD SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON—ON DAVID AND BATHSHEBA

Spritzetoni's father suggested she use images of the story
by artists like Rembrandt to illustrate it. She didn't. 
PROVO, UT—Brand new BYU student Regan Spritzetoni volunteered to teach the Sunday School lesson in her new student ward before she realized what that lesson’s topic would be: David and Bathsheba.

“I’ve never been all that shy, so when they asked who might be able to teach, I just said that I would do it,” explained Sister Spritzetoni. She continued, “And then I realized that we were doing 2 Samuel 11, and I thought that that might be a really bad idea.” Spritzetoni initially worried about how she, as an 18 year-old first year student who decided to start in the summer, would address the topic of sexual purity in a class with other, mostly older BYU undergraduates.

When he found out about his daughter’s pedagogical and theological challenge, Sister Spritzetoni’s father had plenty of advice. As a way of addressing the lesson’s central doctrines in an engaging manner, he suggested that she purchase a small, plastic kiddy pool and then encourage class members to act out the story. He also sent along a list of discussion questions that she could use. Some of those questions included, “how would David have had time to wander around on the roof with so many wives probably already nagging him about repainting the dining room?,” “how could David be an example of the dangers of poor planning?”, and “how many soldiers could have ended up dead and their wives pregnant if David had had the Internet?”

In spite of such feedback, Spritzetoni decided to simply follow the manual. In a moment of inspiration as she began the lesson, she also felt guided to “limit comments made by the three awkward returned missionaries in the third row.” Class members seemed to find the lesson a success, partly because of how it reinforced scripture knowledge and testimony and partly because four class members managed to exchange phone numbers.

Monday, June 23, 2014

IMAGES OF 1940’S YOUTH CONFERENCE TURN OUT TO BE PICTURES OF HITLER YOUTH RALLIES

Edited Photograph
PROVO, UT—When Steven Ignatz took his 9th grade history project to school, he got an unexpected surprise. It turned out that the pictures that his grandparents had always told him were images of youth conference back in Germany in the 1940’s were actually images of a very different “youth conference:” Nazi Germany’s Hitler Youth gatherings.

Original Photograph
“Steven and his family are just some of the nicest, cleanest, and most organized kids in the school, so it was a real shocker,” reported 9th grade history teacher Monica Olivier. “Sure, those Ignatz kids are all natural leaders, but no one would have expected something like this,” stated a horrified Olivier.

The images were part of Steven’s family history project. One image seems to show several young women, all dressed in white and holding hands with a banner in the back. Ignatz’s history teacher noticed that the banner seemed wrong, since “it had the YW logo on it. Well, I checked some of the History image databases, and there was the original image, and it was a gathering of young female Nazis,” explained Olivier.

Steven stated that he simply took the pictures from a family history book that “his gramma spent a lot of time on” many years ago. He was just as shocked as the other students when the pictures that he thought were his grandfather and “a whole lot of very, very excited boy scouts” turned out to be thousands of parading young Arians bent on world domination.

For his part, Steven’s father Emmerich was less surprised. “Of course I didn’t think that my mother had gone so far as to change the pictures and re-write it all, but the family’s past does not surprise me,” explained Brother Ignatz. “I remember a very, very strange feeling of comfort and home when I went to the MTC.” Ignatz elaborated that there “we would line up and march into the devotionals singing ‘Called to Serve’ in our identical suits and clean white shirts, so when I ended up watching those Leni Riefenstahl films in my cinema history courses years later, those original enthusiastic feelings all made sense to me!”

Emmerich, who works in his stake’s Young Men program, also noted that “now that I know more about my family’s past, when I see all of those blond youth at the stake dances doing those line dances in complete unison, I feel the oddest mix of nostalgia and revulsion.” Concluded Ignatz, “at the last dance, when I heard the guy in the song say, ‘Everybody clap your hands,’ and saw the kids form perfect lines and move together in mindless synchronization, I just had to go wait in the van.”

Monday, June 9, 2014

SATAN’S “BOOK OF DEATH” FACES MORE PRODUCTION SNAGS

THIRD LEVEL, EIGHT CORNICE OF INFERNAL DEPTH (PRINT SHOP/KMART RETURNS)—Reports out of Hell indicate that Satan’s efforts to maintain a “Book of Death” to rival Heaven’s “Book of Life” have again hit several production snags.

“It looked like we were in good shape several months ago,” reported Dark Lord Hookworm, executive director of Hell’s Print Shop/Kmart Returns. “But when the project presentation was made, we realized that it would not last as long as we wanted,” said Hookworm. When asked about the problem, Hookworm explained that “the entire list of all of the sins humans had committed on Earth was stored in 666 floppy disks.” Hookworm added, “those are disappearing already, so obviously they would not be around at the End of Days!” 

Further production delays have already marred a project whose goal is to “make sure every sinner is duly punished on Judgment day,” according to Hookworm. “Before the most recent problem, other versions of the Book of Death had been stored on Betamax video cassettes, HD DVDs and most recently on several Zune players,” said Hookworm. At one time the project was even stored on 8 track tapes. When asked about those failed versions, Hookworm said that “that is nothing compared to all of the money we spent uploading it to Friendster and putting it on free AOL Trial CDs.”  

Meanwhile, reports out of Heaven indicate that all of the contents of the Book of Life have recently been moved to, of course, Celestial Cloud-based storage. Concluded Hookworm, “we just do not seem to have the foresight of those upstairs guys, dammit!”

Monday, June 2, 2014

DRAMATIC MARITAL TURNAROUND ALLOWS AREA WOMAN TO ALMOST COMPLETELY STOP BLOGGING

ALLENTOWN, PA—The dramatic turnaround in Jen Curry’s 8 year marriage has allowed her to nearly stop blogging entirely. What used to occupy as much as 35 hours each week has dwindled down to a mere 2-3 hours, as Jen and her husband Mike have rekindled a loving flame that had diminished to mere embers.

The Curry’s dramatic marital turnaround began when Jen’s sister told her about her imminent divorce. What seems to have been most disconcerting for Jen was that her sister’s marriage was not ending because of abuse, excessive fighting, money problems, infidelity, or other dramatic shifts. Instead, Jen noted that “my sister and her husband just grew so far apart that they could no longer even really communicate, and soon there was nothing left to their relationship.”

In response to her sister’s divorce, Jen noted that “I realized that writing for three blogs, keeping up with and commenting frequently on several others as well as being on Facebook and other social media was starting to take the place of what I was missing in my marriage.” 

Jen spoke with Mike about this, and both agreed to seek counseling and set a regular date night. “At first it was difficult,” reported Jen. “It was awkward and sometimes painful, and when that happened, you know, I just wanted to escape of into Pinterest.” But Jen and Mike stuck with it, and Jen soon found that her interest in social media waned as her marriage strengthened.

“Now,” commented Jen, “instead of replying to every post about modesty or home schooling or couponing, I try to think of some ways that Mike and I could connect and enjoy time together.” 

For his part, Mike reported that he has not made any changes. “I don’t do the whole blog thing, and I think it has been 7 months since I was on Facebook.” But Mike did admit that this year he is managing only 2 fantasy football teams. In contrast, last year Mike had 11 fantasy football teams, managed 4 different leagues, and could name the top 30 running backs faster than he could identify his wife’s church calling.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

MITT ROMNEY DELIVERS STATE OF OUR UNION ADDRESS TO WIFE

Romney in his modest La Jolla living room
LA JOLLA, CA—Clearly still trying to adjust after the personal devastation of his loss to President Obama, last Tuesday evening two-time GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed his State of Our Union address to his wife Ann. 

Speaking of the address, Romney reported that “I had planned on speaking to the entire country, set to reassure the nation of a bright future put in place by the noble work of the men and women who came before us, but Ann said she was really too tired for the whole 45 minute version, so I had to condense it to 8.” Though disappointed that the address was not carried live by the major networks or even CSPAN, Romney said that the was hopeful it would be rebroadcasted by “FoxNews, Univison, and a Florida cable access channel called Hair Today.”

No transcripts of the speech have yet been released, but there has been some news coverage of the address. In addition to Ann Romney and the Romney’s Irish Setter Seamus III, a journalism intern, Steven Cannon, from an Idaho newspaper was also in attendance. In his article for Malad City’s Tea Party Truther newspaper, Cannon reported that even without the “show of lights and cameras, the crush of reporters,” Romney still conveyed the “innate authority” of a man who “possesses both a presidential bearing and a podium with teleprompters in his living room.” According to Cannon, Romney “spoke with his usual charm, power, and wisdom about strengthening America’s place in the world, restoring the dignity of everyday Americans through work instead of welfare, and his unwavering commitment to double checking the grocery list after forgetting the milk 3 weeks in a row.”

Cannon also noted that other topics addressed included the threats posed by Putin’s expansionist policies, domestic energy self-sufficiency, and expanded resources and investments in strategic matrimonial “cuddle time.” 

Monday, May 19, 2014

AREA PARENTS INADVERTENTLY START BIDDING WAR FOR SON’S FIRST KISS

MESA, AZ—What began as something that Barbara and David Billings thought would be a great idea to encourage their son Corey to avoid physical intimacy during adolescence has become quite a conflict for the LDS couple. “When I saw the article in the Deseret News about the Mormon woman who paid her son $10,000 to save his first kiss until he was 18,” said Barbara, “I thought that this would work great with Corey.” David Billings agreed with his wife, but since Brother Billings works for the Church Education System, both agreed that they could not afford the $10,000 incentive. “After thinking and praying about it, we felt that $28.50 was really a much more reasonable reward and prize.” Little did the Billings know that their incentive would lead to a bidding war with Corey’s girlfriend Lindsey Stallings.

“When I heard that Corey’s parents were going to pay him to not kiss me, I thought, ‘well, two can play at this game!’” responded Stallings. Stallings immediately countered with an offer of $35.00 for the soon-to-be 17 year-olds to kiss. Explained Corey Billings, “Lindsey had this really cute, sort of sly smile when she told me she’d pay me more than my parents offered.” Corey went on to say, “she even said she’d throw in something she called a ’10 dollar tongue bonus.’ I still get a little short of breath when I think of it” said Billings. 

As the bidding war has escalated, the Billings have been forced to offer more and more money, with Stallings eventually pushing them to $116.75 and a 50% reduction of Corey’s chores. It is at this point that the bidding war has taken a new turn, as the Billings have made it clear that this is their last offer. “I told Lindsey what they said,” reported Corey, “and she said that maybe I should just take them up on it.” Corey reported his disappointment with Lindsey’s sudden concession, that is until, according to Corey, “she got that sly smile again and said, ‘take the money and we won’t kiss; maybe we’ll just get naked and see what happens instead.’” Corey has not yet relayed Lindsey’s “counter-offer” to his parents.

Corey’s sister Kaitlyn has also been given the same incentive as her brother. For her part, Kaitlyn Billings, who is both very bright and quite sarcastic, responded to her parents: “gee Mom and Dad, let’s monetize my sexuality—how could that go wrong!?”