Monday, January 26, 2015


God can even use the absurdity 
of an iced, half caff, ristretto, venti, 
4-pump, sugar free, cinnamon, dolce 
soy skinny latte to bring a lost sheep 
back to the fold
Salt Lake City, UT—Kody Hollis’ recent return to the faith of his youth was apparently triggered by a customer request made while Kody was working as a barista at a Salt Lake City Starbucks.

“Yah, so this guy comes in,” recounted Kody, “and orders a triple, venti, half sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato and it suddenly struck me; what the @#^& am I doing here.” Kody continued that “the absurdity of making this ridiculous drink for some pretentious University of Utah hipster and then making similar drinks for the line of equally pretentious hipsters behind him just made me snap out of whatever fog I’d been in.”

Kody’s experience of suddenly “coming to himself” was followed by other experiences that eventually led the twenty-five year-old to return to his parents and the church he was raised in.

“So I went back to my apartment, you know, after my shift, and looked in the mirror, saw the piercings and those ludicrous gauges, and decided that I really need to make a change.” Kody was going to discuss his decision with his roommates, but Brian was in the shower with his girlfriend Candice and Kameron was passed out with a bong beside him on their dilapidated, red, Deseret Industries sectional couch. 

Kody’s decision was not an easy one, and he nearly faltered on the drive back to his parents’ home in Wellsville, Utah. “I got off the freeway,” explained Kody, “and dropped into a Starbucks along the way, in Ogden I think, you know, to pick up something and to think about this [decision] before just going back to Cache Valley.” Kody concluded that “well, so this girl with a weed tattoo on her neck was in front of me in line, and she ordered a grande chai tea latte, 3 pump, skim milk, lite water, no foam, extra hot and I was like ‘I gotta get away from this $%^*!’”

Monday, January 19, 2015


Students don't believe their teacher 
could handle a crucible or a doubt
Phoenix, AZ—Students attending the local Institute class, concerned about his weak testimony, consistently try to dissuade their teacher, Brother Branden Nicks, from asking difficult questions or going on the Internet.

“Let’s just say we try to keep him in the manual,” said Melissa Carr, a returned missionary, Sociology major at Arizona State University, and student in Brother Nicks’ class. “We love brother Nicks, and we worry that if he started to wonder about why God didn’t give the Priesthood to every worthy man before 1978 (or to every worthy member now!), well, it could damage his struggling faith.”

When asked about why they believed that challenging issues might be difficult for their instructor, students mentioned many telling experiences.

“At the beginning of the year we get new students who think that Institute should be a college-level class with open discussions that engage the difficult but fruitful tensions between faith and doubt, especially at this particular time in one’s life and at a university setting” said Michael Lane. Lane continued that “clearly Nicks is so uncomfortable with whatever isn’t in the manual or said in General Conference that he shuts any challenging conversations down with an apostle quote, a stern warning to ‘follow the Brethren,’ and a standard plea for everyone to ‘stay in the boat.’ Everyone pretty quickly gets the message,” concluded Lane, “that Brother Nicks is so afraid of whatever isn’t easy or clearly sanctioned that it must be eliminated immediately.”

Students also report that Brother Nicks’ fear of difficult issues can emerge at any time. Melissa Carr, a first year student from Scottsdale, recalled that one class, while talking about the woman caught in adultery, a visitor asked Brother Nicks how he resolved the fact that the story does not appear in the earliest Bible manuscripts nor is it mentioned by early Christian writers who had access to even earlier manuscripts than we have. Carr said that “we all looked on in stunned surprise, worried because Brother Nicks had no idea about Biblical scholarship or manuscripts.” She said that, “we were afraid that this could lead to a faith-destroying crisis for a man who clearly could not think outside the manual, when suddenly, like a miracle, Daniel Dexter just started to laugh, and then we all laughed, and in doing so we finally convinced Brother Nicks that we were pulling a prank on him. Let me just say,” said Carr, “we could have lost our weak-testimonied teacher forever right there!”

Dexter, Carr, Lane, and others all mentioned that they and other class members often meet during the week or chat online to discuss their readings of books like Rough Stone Rolling, The Crucible of Doubt, or issues of Dialogue. Such discussions give them a way to share ideas and encourage one another as they learn to develop a deeper faith while honoring and using concerns, doubts, and new knowledge to strengthen that faith.

When asked what they get out of Institute, Carr said “we mostly just go to socialize, oh, and sometimes there’s pizza.”

Monday, January 12, 2015


Chula Vista, CA—Recently returned missionary Elder Arnold Cunningham has become very popular with his Valiant 11 class, particularly with his knack for livening up lessons.

“It made a lot more sense to me,” said Micha Osborne, “when he explained that the angel had a glowing lightsaber to keep Adam and Eve from sneaking back into the garden.” Added Osborne, “oh and when he said that Adam and Eve leaving the garden was like when Obi-Wan Kenobi died, and how it was bad at the time but it ended up being for good—that explained it all.”

Comparisons with Star Wars are not the only ways that Arnold has made the gospel easier to understand. One Sunday the class used Cunningham’s Minecraft account and a projector to build the boats used by Noah, the Brother of Jared, and Nephi as well as Solomon’s temple and Jonah’s hut outside of Nineveh. He also promised his class that if they “sang out” during the Primary program then as a class they could “build the entire Salt Lake Temple out of diamond ore.”

Not all of the teachers seem as excited as the kids are about how Arnold is getting the children interested in each lesson. Said one teacher, “well, I’m just not sure if the debate between Jesus and the Pharisees should be reenacted with Yugioh cards or whatever he was doing. It just seemed odd to me,” continued that teacher, “that when Jesus wrote in the sand that was Him played His ‘trap card.’”

Sister Natalie Belmont, Primary President of the Chula Vista Second Ward, said that she is glad that students seem to be learning. “I admit that some of what he says seems a little strange,” said Belmont, “but I can tell you that he was very, very sincere when he told his class that because of Christ everyone, no matter if they were good or bad, would one day respawn.”

Monday, January 5, 2015


Salt Lake City, UT—The Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer is proud to announce a new corporate sponsor, The Sons of Samuel.

The Sons of Samuel dedicates itself to helping people overcome their judgmental and self-righteous tendencies. Where other groups might help other sinful young men, this group uses a “Knights of Faith” approach to help and encourage seminary presidents, recently returned and still struggling missionaries, and BYU (any campus) roommates fight against the demon that assails them.

Led by people who have become comfortable with ambiguity, some of whom have seen Schindler’s List and other non-disqualifying R-rated movies, they practice completely unfamiliar tolerance and compassionate habits to conquer the tendency to use their own perceived righteousness as the standard by which they judge others.

Participants learn strategies that the adversary will use against them like believing that absolute obedience to every rule can legitimately replace faith, mercy, or empathy. This program is ideal for helping young people prepare to interact with actual flawed children of God.

The program has a long, successful record of working with the most self-righteous saints. As one graduate put it, “For too long Satan held dominion over my life, and I mistook his influence for God. I could so clearly see the sinfulness of those around me, with their tattoos, sexual jokes, coffee, and colored shirts to pass the sacrament. I felt that I was really the only one going to the Celestial Kingdom, and figured I’d be killed on the streets of Jerusalem once I got called on my mission. The Sons of Samuel program taught me that God didn’t really care about how many commandments I obeyed if that obedience disconnected me from those around me.  My judgment trumped my compassion, but now I’m learning to see, as God does, on the heart, not on the Starbuck’s cup.”

The Sons of Samuel is the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer’s most recent corporate sponsor. Zion’s finest news source considered sponsorship from other groups, including the Sons of Abinadi (a program that works with those who struggle with pyromania) and the Sons of Samuel the Lamanite (a program that works with those who struggle with doing missionary work by shouting from walls and (too often erroneously) believe they are invincible), but those negotiations fell through. 

Other sponsors include The Straight and Narrow HealthGroup of Mapleton Utah, Deseret Book, and BYU's Football/Mixed Martial Arts/Fight Club program.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Salt Lake City, UT—Devastated by the recent cyber-attacks, the release of sensitive church documents, and threat of terrorist violence, the Church has decided to cancel the highly anticipated release of Johnny Lingo II: Johnny and Mahana’s Son Baptizes, Marries Kim Jong-un’s Favorite Daughter.

“It has been a difficult two weeks at Church headquarters,” said one unnamed source.  That source explained that “we thought it was bad enough when hackers released President Monson’s confidential email complaints that ‘some of those 85 widows could be pretty cranky’ and that he ‘would be shocked if a few could claw their way into the terrestrial kingdom.’”

Hackers have also taken advantage of their unfettered access to church computers to release confidential church plans. Those previously confidential plans include the move to a 2 hour Sunday meeting block, plans to team up with Victoria’s Secret to redesign women’s garments, and plans to eliminate “the church’s main source of priestcraft—the Church Education System.” Also released was President Oaks’ April 2024 General Conference talk explaining why the Lord lifted the Priesthood ban on all worthy members.

Sources indicate that it was various threats that forced the church to pull Johnny Lingo II. “The movie is meant to be both funny and a way to reach out to North Korea” said another unnamed source, “but apparently Brother Un saw it as what we would call ‘loud laughter.’” The North Koreans threatened to “poison your funeral potatoes,” to “assign the weirdest ward members to be your home teachers,” and to “convince Mitt to run again” if the movie was distributed as planned. 

The main complaints seem to be that the movie depicts a chipper, moderately attractive Polynesian Mormon trying, in the words of the North Koreans, “first to waterboard the Supreme Leader’s daughter” and then to “make her his Eternal Companion in a ceremony that the Protector of the People could not attend.” 

Editorial Note: The Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer, always a deeply affectionate lover of the peace and joy and freedom and limitless food for everyone that the Supreme Highest Super-Dee-Dooper Leader has brought to his happy land while all of other suffers from the greedy capitalist pigs would just like to say please do not hack us. Remember, we said it first—Un is SOME Great Guy!”

Monday, December 22, 2014


By Clyde Ward
U2 may be influencing General Authority Eyewear as Well

Salt Lake City, UT—The Church has used what marketing experts now call the “U2 Strategy,” loading a brand new translation of the previously unreleased sealed portion of the Book of Mormon onto every Apple electronic device in the world.

“We had this newly revealed translation,” said Church spokesperson Daniela Burns, “and, as a gift to everyone, we wanted to make it immediately available everywhere.” Burns continued that the result has been that “unfortunately people are focused on how it got there instead of actually reading the book.”

Indeed, even within Church headquarters there was reportedly substantial debate about what to do with the translation. Unnamed sources told the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer that some wanted to release it during the April 2015 General Conference. Others suggested that it be given first to Mormons with too much time on their hands and/or who complain about the Church a lot by posting it on the Bloggernacle. Ultimately the decision was made to employ “the U2 Stretegy.”

The strategy has not been free of controversy. Unnamed Church insiders note that, like the U2 album, many have been perplexed as to how it got there and how to get rid of it. “Let’s face it,” said one internal email, “finding that U2 album on your device and then trying to get rid of it is like a herpes outbreak! And that is not a good association for the Church!”

Other Church leaders voiced similar complaints. Said another internal message in part, “U2’s Songs of Innocence is a desperate ploy by a group that peaked at Joshua Tree or Unforgettable Fire, and while we can live with Auchtung Baby, every [redacted] song after that should be on one album called Unforgivable Fiasco.” Such internal communication not only reveals the level of disagreement about the policy but a preponderance of painfully strained wordplay in the Church’s upper echelons.

To combat the Mormon Church’s recent proselyting moves, Pope Francis announced that the Catholic Church will be loading the recently discovered Revelations of Saint Peter on all Android devices. Early reports indicate that this collection of revelations includes an account of “who shot JFK, what happened to Malaysian flight 115, and how The Walking Dead will end.”

Southern Baptists are scrambling to reply to the technological-theological contest, but so far all they have are John Spilsbury’s previously unknown 1638 prophesy about “a toothless panther, a flightless eagle, an unholy saint, and a unarmed pirate” competing for a prize they don’t deserve, clearly foreseeing the National Football League’s 2014 NFC South.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Salt Lake City, UT—Over the weekend the church announced a new dating website that will allow church members and those of the Quorum of the Twelve the opportunity to take “one more chance on love.” As some apostles and other church leaders are now, sadly, bereft of their eternal companions, ApostleMingle offers members the possibility that, as the tagline says, “You can be his second perfect match.”

“We are very excited about the prospect of helping great church leaders use the social media tools that the Lord has provided in these latter days to make a love connection,” said Church spokesman Michael Otterson. When reporters noted that currently the website could only feature Elder Scott’s profile, Otterson said that “‘apostle’ should be understood in a broader sense,” with Otterson adding that “it will include those who easily could be Apostles, such as Seventys.”  He went on to explain that “over time we will even expand the pool to include some righteous and dignified stake presidents, you know, if the supply does not meet the demand.”

Members who have been able to see an early version of the website expressed their enthusiasm for the project. One early user, Glenda Bernard from Ephraim, Utah, said, “I will admit that I would not mind at all if one of those fine leaders showed up at my home as a respectful, gentleman caller! I can just imagine us having a pleasant visit, just the two of us on my delightful floral-patterned couch.” A clearly excited sister Bernard then added, “I might even take the plastic cover off!” 

The obvious question on everyone’s mind was President Monson’s profile. On this topic Otterson said, “well, I think I speak for everyone when I say that if President Monson, who has the most popular profile on ApostleMingle, could find a second eternal companion, our collective hearts would be warmed and our eyes would be moist.” 

Monday, December 8, 2014


so much depends upon a red hanger
SCARSDALE, NY—In a move that therapists, bishops, and divorced peoples who have “been there” recognize as the first sign of unavoidable marital collapse, Brandon and Ashley Yancey have begun stealing and hording that most precious of home resources: hangers. Brandon, who seems to still be blissfully happy with his wife of only ten months, recently confided in his “buddy Troy” that “I hardly get my shirt off of the hanger and next thing I know it ends up in Ashley’s two-thirds of the closet!” Brandon elaborated that “I swear I had a red hanger that my tan pants were on, and now I think she’s using it to hang up some old EFY shirt.”

Years of research supported by the experiences of professionals and ecclesiastical leaders demonstrates irrevocably that though Brandon and Ashley may stay married for several years and even have children, the conflict over hangers is the first step in an inevitable process that starts with suspicion, silent recrimination, and disappointment and finally leads to anger, resentment, fear, and the absurd insistance that “you said when we were dating that you liked wire hangers!” As research by Delong, Esler, Geyer, and Rudd in an article in the most recent issue of the Journal of Marital Dissolution about “LDS Divorce Patterns” clarifies, “what starts as hanger hoarding and fights over whose mini temple suitcase gets the best closet location soon escalates to conflicts over wainscoting and car colors that sets the unalterable course to the final cancellation of temple blessings.”

Marriage and Family therapist Maya Sparber says that she “has tried to work with many couples like Brandon and Ashley” only to find that such work is invariably fruitless. “What I find so heartbreaking about this,” explained Sparber “is that it does not even occurred to Brandon or Ashley, since each is internally and silently convinced that the other is now clearly evil, that they actually have the time, resources, and skills to just go buy more **** hangers!” 

Monday, December 1, 2014


Salt Lake City, UT—Reports from highly placed sources indicate that the Church has won control of several key “Bloggernacle” blogs as a result of a recent high stakes poker match between “church officials” and representatives from those blogs. Church members and readers should expect to see changes in those blogs within a matter of weeks as a result of the takeover.

Sources note that key people from many “Bloggernacle” sites were initially invited to a meeting “wherein they might share concerns with the Brethren.” It was during the course of that meeting that bloggers were unexpectedly offered the chance to change any church policy immediately if they won the poker match or face losing control of their blog if they lost. Reports indicate that all of the bloggers lost.

“We were completely unprepared,” said representatives from By Common Consent and Times and Seasons. “None of us had played much poker, and Elder [name redacted but that of a European, tulip-ridden country] and Elder [name redacted but might be the son of the roguish, otherwise solitude-loving iceman who helps Anna in Frozen] cleaned up!” The blogger continued, “I thought by the time we were done we’d see some major church policy changes, but no way. In fact, for the next three months our blogs will be nothing but Mormon Messages and Young Women in Excellence program ideas.”

Those bloggers were not the only ones surprised and left without control of their blog. Bloggers from Feminist Mormon Housewives, Segullah, and Faith-Promoting Rumor said that “we were doing all right at the start, I mean, we had not really lost too much, but then they started discussing their conference talks and we started really losing.” When asked what the church officials were saying, bloggers explained that “one would mention something like ‘stay in the boat and hold on’ and all of them would increase their bets, or one might say ‘Is it I’ or simply ‘Stop It’ and they would fold at just the right time.” Added those bloggers, “I think that they might have been working together!”

Besides those blogs, others were also taken over by the church as a result of their poor poker performance. Two bloggers from Rational Faiths, possibly related, fought rather bitterly as they started to lose, with one saying, “how hard can this be, I mean, it isn’t surgery!” Final control of their blog was lost to a church official who is not only, apparently, a poker expert but who also happens to be a surgeon.

The match started especially awkwardly for several bloggers whose only poker experience was “from girls’ camp, scout camp, youth conference, or EFY.” As they started to loose, bloggers from Approaching Justice, Modern Mormon Men, Sistas in Zion, and Zelophehad’s Daughters started to take off articles of clothing. They had to be told that “this wasn’t that kind of poker.”

When asked if the church planned on taking over the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer, the Bunyion, or the Squirrel, Elder [name redacted but may indicate an affinity for the culinary arts] said, “do people actually read those blogs?” 

The only blog to not lose control to the church was Ordain Women, since they were not allowed into the meeting. 

If any blogs or “unnamed sources” would like to explain who they lost to in the poker match and/or how they lost, feel free to add that in the comments.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Church officials hope every commercial center causes
people to say, 
this is both great and really spacious!
Salt Lake City, UT—The unqualified and universally acknowledged success of Salt Lake City’s City Creek Center has reportedly prompted church officials to invest in other shopping areas adjacent to temples throughout the world.

“What we have seen with City Creek,” said an official who could not be named because of the sensitivity of the decision “is that commercial centers go hand-in-hand with temples.” When asked to elaborate on that connection the official explained that “temples bind families and individuals together forever, and City Creek offers them a place to shop, dine, and purchase as a way to celebrate the bond. It is remarkable,” continued the official, “how whether it is late or soon, whether we are getting or spending, we encourage in both places our divine powers, feeling closer to God in this world!”

According to another source the commercial areas will but “suited to the temple and its cultural context.” What that seems to mean is that smaller temples like the ones in North Carolina or Oklahoma will have an adjacent strip mall with “a biscuit or a barbeque place and a really nice Dollar Store,” while in places like Los Angeles “there will be a three story mall with a California Pizza Kitchen right next to the Mega Deseret Gospel Learning and Virtuous Art Purchasing Center.” As another example, the commercial complex in Rome “will have a Maggiano’s,” while Boston’s temple, which serves second and third generation Italians, “will have a pretty nice Olive Garden.”

In addition to making sure that the centers are culturally sensitive and meet the needs of diverse members across the globe, church officials are excited about other benefits that these commercial centers might provide. As another unnamed official said, “commercial centers like City Creek not only increase property values around temples, but they provide a socio-cultural safe-haven for worshipers, offering the comfort of familiar shopping and dining options while also shielding them from the sort of homelessness, sickness, and poverty that one might find in a city and that might otherwise threaten the temple worship experience.”

Monday, November 17, 2014


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.

Girl Missionaries: They are not all Unmarriable
Feminists and Fatties anymore!
One of the first things new missionaries realize is that “this ain’t your father or that cool uncle’s mission field anymore!” Back in the day, there weren’t so many girl missionaries, and the few that those guys had to deal with were either feminists or fatties. Not so anymore. Now there are just as many girl missionaries as there are Elders, and let me tell you, plenty of them are smokin’ hot! In the past I’ve spoken about dating Laurels and some of those possible pitfalls. Today I’m going to help you figure out how to work with girl missionaries.

I should say right from the start that some don’t like being called “girl missionaries.” Don’t get me started about all of this “politically correct” garbage which really just amounts to girls and brown people who want to be offended. I mean really—they are girls and they are missionaries. What is the problem with “girl missionaries?” I would love to suggest the obvious—call them “missionaries who are not Elders,” but that takes too long to say. What is easiest is to say “hey you,” when addressing them directly or saying “lady missionaries” at other times. Some missionaries use the term “Sister Missionaries,” but that easily confuses non-Mormons who watch a lot of Sister Wives.

Besides what to call the girl missionaries, there are really two approaches to working with them. The first way to deal with them is to avoid them and any interaction with them when at all possible. The second approach is to realize that any girl missionary might be your destined soul mate, so you should probe her soul as thoroughly as possible. Okay, so these are very different approaches, but not every elder is the same, so I’m hoping you are smart enough to use whichever one works best for you.

The avoid approach is just like it sounds. Wherever you go, pretend that the girl missionaries are not there. Don’t stand by them, open doors for them, lug their suitcases with 80 pounds of makeup around for them, or acknowledge that they exist at all. This is easily done by always hanging out with other elders, pretending you are busy or are reading your scriptures or something, or by quietly faking a stroke. (Wikipedia has a list of signs you might be having a stroke as a handy reference.)  Make sure to not notice a girl missionary’s face, hair, torso, backside, legs, ankles, or cute yet sensible shoes. If she isn’t wearing a burka (and heaven knows I’ve written the First Presidency about it!), pretend that she is. If she addresses you and you feel compelled to respond, remember that that is how it all got started with Adam and Eve.

Avoidance is God’s way of keeping you from all evil, but there will come a time in your life when you will feel certain urges, urges that cannot be avoided. For those urges you will need a soul mate, and we all know people who found their urge-satisfying soul mate in the mission field. Since that is the case, the other best way for working with girl missionaries is to examine and test each one to see if the Holy Ghost will witness to your soul in that very instant if she is the eternal helpmeet that God has given over to you to be by your side for ever and ever. Look deeply into her eyes at even the most casual encounters. Shake her hand extra, extra long; that can let the truth be known to both of your souls. In a light and fun-loving way, get her first name, so that you can say things like, “so, how are you, (long, soul-connecting pause) Peggy?” And then end everything you say to her with her name: “You are great at doing missionary things…Peggy” or “I think that missionaries like you have a special ability to bless the lives of Elders…Peggy.” Comments like that will make it clear very quickly if she is your God-given eternal soul mate.

Girl missionaries don’t cause nearly as many problems as you might be worried about, and I would say that the real key isn’t some crazy foolishness about them being equal partners in God’s work who want respect and genuine appreciation. No, the real key is keeping in mind that you are commanded to be a missionary; for her, it is just extra credit.

The Best of Luck,

Elder Kory Anton

Monday, November 10, 2014


Some Mormons were okay with this
symbol until they realized it didn't
illustrate the Young Women's Values
Spirit World—Reports out of the Spirit World indicate that more Buddhist have been sent to bring light and truth to groups of Mormons. The reports say that while some Mormons are quick to respond to what the Buddhist have to offer, others are quite resistant.

One report explains that several Buddhists had been sent to work with Mormons who were grieving for the actions of their wayward, mortal children. In the course of their conversations, Buddhists spoke about letting go of the almost overwhelming anxiety about and attachment to those mortal childrens’ actions. Buddhists introduced concepts like tonglen where Mormons learned to reduce selfish attachment while actually increasing compassion and loving-kindness. Mormons who rejected these Buddhist ideas about letting go of attachment wanted to be eternally sealed to and thereby attached to all of the good people that made them feel good about themselves. Those same Mormons indicated that they did not want to have to worry about “compassion toward the bad people who wouldn’t be in their kingdom.” They also complained that such “crazy talk” is something that they had “never found in any manual” and that it “sounds like the sort of hippie crap that beard prohibitions are meant to prevent!”

Other reports indicate many Buddhists working with Mormons on meditation. Those Mormons soon discovered that, as they started to meditate, it was difficult to find both attentiveness and stillness. Over time attentiveness and stillness started to emerge for them, even in the midst of internal or external chaos. Still, many Mormons rejected this spiritual practice. Such Mormons said that they already knew how to pray, that they had a list of items that they always discussed with God in their customary allotted time (47 seconds), and that the Buddhists could not be praying in the correct manner “since they didn’t ask for protection against any harm or accident that might befall them” and since they were noncommittal about praying that foods like brownies “would nourish and strengthen them.” Those Mormons also complained that “sittin’ around and not doin’ anything” was against both God’s mandate to be constantly and “anxiously engaged in a good cause” and flew in the face of the “pioneer spirit of rollin’ up your sleeves and gettin’ to work!”

A reported final area of potential connection and conflict was over the nature of evil. Many Buddhists talked about meditation as a way to understand desires and drives. Such meditation could allow one to experience discomfort, pain, and even temptation for what they are without feeling the immediate need to rid oneself of them. Those who embraced such spiritual practices found that they allowed Mormons to resist what can seem like “evil” by paradoxically not fighting it. Drives and hungers for food, affection, comfort, security, pleasure, and even sex were compared to tides and were seen as useful, vital aspects of the lived experience that one can attend to, understand, and gracefully, patiently incorporate into life’s vast richness. Those aspects can find their rightful place in one’s life, and one can find her or his rightful place with them. Other Mormons rejected this idea, saying that they had to “constantly keep the ‘stage of their mind’ filled with busy and anxious goodness to prevent ambiguity, laziness, or evil from ‘taking over the play’.”

While some Mormons found insight and joy in what the Buddhists taught, when others found out that those teachings where part of the Dhammapada and other Buddhist scriptures, they rejected the message, saying, “a Book of Mormon, a Book of Mormon, we have a Book of Mormon, we need no more…books…at all!”

Thank you to special investigative reporter Kevin Winters for research on this story.