Monday, March 20, 2017

AREA WOMAN PERFECTS ART OF USING CHURCH TO AVOID GOD

So, who is this prayer really...to...or...for?
Midvale, UT—Area woman Janet Lands has, after years of practice, perfected that art of using her Mormon beliefs and practices to avoid God entirely.

“Well, what we see,” explained a ministering angel familiar with the case “is a woman who has faithfully fulfilled all of her assignments in order to keep herself so busy and frenzied that she can crowd out the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, especially any promptings about her daughter Maggie.”

Others from the world of spirits who did not want to be named confirmed this assessment, adding that “Lands consistently uses her more than weekly evening temple attendance to avoid both her husband and God’s subtle warnings about the turn her marriage is taking.”

Lands’ use of Mormonism to avoid God comes as little surprise to other spirit world observers. Said one, “honestly, it is just a lot easier to keep a lot of rules and claim a lot of beliefs instead of doing the hard work of actually listening to God, you know, of taking those kinds of risks.” The same observer then added, “and when you get praised for one while the other is invisible, then that just compounds it.”

“What we so often see in people like Lands” interjected another unnamed non-mortal source, “is that when the emptiness of their spirituality starts to dawn on them, lots just look for a pill, a diet, an exercise plan, or a brownie instead of looking at this as a challenge to develop a stronger, deeper faith.”

When Lands was recently called to a high visibility church calling, spirit world observers cautioned that “sure, this might get her to humbly yearn for and attend to God, or it might just give her some sort of false confirmation that what she’s doing is A-okay!”

Monday, March 13, 2017

CHILDREN PLAYING IN LIVING ROOM UPDATE: CONFLICT OVER EXACT RULES TO “THE FLOOR IS LAVA”

Stock Photo
(Arnold Friberg not available
for truer artistic rendition)
Living Room—What started as a fun game for Meaghan (5), Jane (5), and Eli (4) erupted in conflict around the rules of “The Floor is Lava.”

The game, where players imagine the floor to be lava that participants must avoid while simultaneously pushing others in, started pleasantly enough. What sparked the initial conflict was Meaghan’s foot dragging across the carpet. When Jane and Eli proclaimed her “out,” Meaghan replied that she didn’t fall in. This gave rise to a long debate over whether one could be effected by merely touching the lava, by only being sprinkled with it, or whether total immersion was essential.

Meaghan asserted that, since her older brother Patrick had taught her “the real way” to play, she knew the actual rules. Meaghan and, indirectly, Patrick’s authority were then roundly questioned.

Official rules, rule-making authority, lava sprinkling versus immersion were not the only conflicts that marred what would have otherwise been enjoyable time together. Eli boldly proclaimed that Matt (8 months), a baby who only recently began to crawl, was out. Jane, who is fiercely protective of Matt, retorted that Matt doesn’t even know that the floor is lava and therefore cannot be out. Eli pointed out that even without knowing he was in lava, Matt was, as was obvious to everyone, in lava, and therefore out. This point of conflict further divided the children.

The disagreements grew to such a conflictive pitch that adults had to separate them and then direct the children toward other activities. Nevertheless, the kids remained angry, and at press time it is still unclear if any would be willing to return to the once enjoyable activity or if the conflict might ruin the game forever.


Monday, February 27, 2017

NEW 8 VOLUME SET EXAMINES WRITINGS OF BOOK OF MORMON AUTHOR CHEMISH

Just like this, except, you know, about Chemish
Salt Lake City, UT—The Mormon church, Deseret Book, and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship today announced the publication of an eight volume examination of the writings of the Book of Mormon author Chemish.

“Thankfully, the time has finally come,” explained Clair Hodgkins, “when scholars, theologians, and spiritual people everywhere are really appreciating the amazing insights Chemish offered with a mere sixty-nine words in the middle of the book of Omni!”

Hodgkins is not alone in her enthusiasm for the project. Theologian Spencer Jones added, “we will now have a truly deep, thorough reading of Chemish,” to which he added, “great are the (less than seventy) words of Chemish.”

The eight volume set includes two tomes of scholarly essays from the recent, three-week conference “Chemish: Writer, Keeper of Records, Watcher of Brother” held at Brigham Young University. The set also includes two books of exegesis, a concordance and critical bibliography, an index, a volume that includes replicas of the original Book of Mormon manuscript page and its publication history, and a book-length discussion of Chemish’s critical reception from the early 1800s to the present.

When asked to compare this scholarly project with others like the Joseph Smith Papers, Deseret Book spokesperson Jennifer Webster said, “well, there really is not a lot of comparison, I mean sure Joseph Smith had some insights, and not to take away from him, but how can you really compare Joseph with the power and economy of the words of an ancient scribe/sibling like Chemish?”

The set is priced at $287.95, but, as with all materials from Deseret Book or the Maxwell Institute, the purchase is tithing-deductible.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

BRIDE’S “FRIEND” POOR CHOICE FOR RECEPTION DJ

John Legand: Yes, but All of Me,
Not Used to Love U!
Twin Falls, ID—Sarah Walburn was sure that her long-time “friend,” Wes Mandell, would be an excellent DJ for her recent wedding reception. Sarah was sadly mistaken.

“Wes and I have been best buds since Primary,” said Walburn, “and I know he’s really into music, you know, since he’s made me so many mix tapes over the years, so I thought he’d be perfect to play music at my reception.”

Walburn had a list of songs for Mandell to play, but, according to Mandell, “those songs really didn’t capture this…moment.” Mandell explained that, “I love her choice of Ed Sheeran but ‘Thinking Out Loud’ is not as good as ‘Photograph,’ especially those first lines about how loving can hurt.”

Ed Sheeran wasn’t the only song that Mandell changed. Walburn planned on having Sara Bareilles’ song “I Choose You” play during the cake cutting, but instead Mandell played another Sara Bareillis song: “She Used To Be Mine.”

“Well, the worst part I’d say,” concluded Walburn, “was during the couple dance when he was supposed to play John Legand’s ‘All of Me,’ but for some reason he played John Legand’s ‘Used to Love U.’ I’m sure it was some kind of mistake, but it was...awkward!”

For his part, Mandell said that he has always valued Sarah, “you know, as a ‘friend’,” but that his choice of quietly playing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” throughout most of the reception “communicated something everyone really needed to understand.”

Monday, February 13, 2017

RELIEF SOCIETY SISTERS INADVERTENTLY, ENTHUSIASTICALLY WORK OUT TO ABSOLUTELY FILTHY POP SONG

Image from the music video for a song
the sisters do not understand
Layton, UT—Sisters from the Layton South 4th Ward had a wonderful time working out on exercise bikes, pumping their legs to the infectious rhythm of a pop song with utterly filthy lyrical content.

“Oh yah, I just love that song,” said Sister Alyssa Wahl, second counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, activity organizer, and DJ. “I heard it on the radio and knew it would be super fun.”

The song in question, Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side,” describes how the narrator’s clandestine sexual encounters have been so vigorous as to leave her unable to walk straight. This impaired condition gives rise to the song’s title’s complaint of walking “side to side.” In addition, the sexual encounters, which seem to happen “all day” and “all night,” are with a man disapproved of by the narrator’s friends.

The LDS sisters were largely oblivious to how the song’s narrator acknowledges that the sexual encounters allow both partners to not think about anything, including, one assumes, the physical or moral implications of their energetic sexual get-togethers. The sisters seemed equally unaware that the narrator acknowledges her attraction to the man as a temptation, going so far as to call her relationship a “deal with the devil.”

Far from objecting to the song and its sexual content, content which stands in just about the starkest contrast with what one would believe to be these Mormon women’s ideals, many of the sisters cheered when it started.

“Yah, I saw the music video on Youtube,” said one sister, “and it was cool to see them on exercise bikes.” This sister’s comments reinforced her obliviousness to how Nicki Minaj’s rap portion of the song refers to bicycles in a highly sexualized manner.

The song’s sexually explicit content was not lost on all of those in attendance. As Sister Wahl noted, “my younger sister came to the activity, and she said that I might not want to play that song again because it might not be appropriate.” In response to her sister’s concern, Wahl said that if anyone said anything about it, she would put on something that was “a little old-school,” something “safe and appropriate” that she was sure everyone would enjoy.

Her “safe and appropriate” backup selection was Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive.” 

Monday, February 6, 2017

MINI MISSIONARY LESSON: WHY GOD ONLY LOVES THE PERFECTLY OBEDIENT

That tightening, claustrophobic feeling 
you get reading this, that is the iron rod!
With the lowering of the mission age, the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer is doing its part to help train young men (oh, and girls go too!) 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.

Today’s lesson might be hard doctrine for some of you, but remember that the wicked take the truth to be hard (1 Nephi 16:2). You can be like those mediocre missionaries, but if you are not perfectly obedient, God will spew you out (Rev. 3:16). Let me put it to you another way: obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles. Nothing will help you be more anxiously engaged in this divine work than the constant focus on being completely, flawlessly obedient.

The above truths should be clear to all true, faithful servants of God. Only the faithless, wicked, and people who have not fully repented of what was in their pre-mission browser history can fail to recognize and accept these eternal, celestial truths. We also know that God wants you to work miracles, and if working miracles depends upon exact obedience, how could you allow yourself to give anything less? Finally, keep this in mind: Jesus said that if you love Him you will keep His commandments. If keeping commandments is our primary way of showing God we love Him, how could God love us in return if we are not exactly, perfectly obedient? How should God feel if you miss an important missionary moment—a contact or lesson—because you had sinfully overslept by one minute or had an impure thought or cut thirty seconds short of your gospel study? Again, if you will accept the godly sorrow of your own guilt and let it work in your soul, you will see that God only truly loves miraculous, faithful, exact, and perfectly obedient missionaries.

The above truths are evident to God’s true servants, but some of you, the faithless and wicked, may have a hard time accepting them. You may say things like, “God loves us for who we are—His children,” or “God loves us in our imperfections—that is why we have a Savior.” You may be tempted to say that “the Holy Ghost seems to whisper peace to my soul about my best, imperfect, flawed efforts.” Oh what a wicked and perverse generation, who probably believes God inspires non-Mormons or that un-temple worthy people could be in the celestial kingdom with their family! God commanded us to be perfect (Matt. 5:48), He does not give a command without providing a way for us to do it (1 Nephi 3:7), blessings only come by exact obedience to unchanging laws (D&C 130:20-21), and God expects more of Mormons and even more of missionaries (D&C 82:3)! “Patience with imperfection” might be something God allows for sinful non-members who don’t yet know the truth, but missionaries must live the higher law, God’s higher standard.

Exact obedience is the most important quality missionaries should have. The only way missionaries can feel successful, can know that God loves them, and can be sure that they are acceptable to heaven is exact obedience. Everything else is just faithless, weak excuses!

All the best,

Elder Kory Anton

Monday, January 30, 2017

RELIEF SOCIETY ONE-UPS WOMEN’S MARCH

Who Needs to March When They Have the Relief Society?
In spite of the fact that the Women’s March assembled more than one million people in demonstrations around the United States and the world, all of those participants were reminded via posts on social media that the LDS Relief Society is better. Several posts that were shared hundreds of times spoke about how the Relief Society is the “longest-standing women’s organization in the world.” The posts proclaim the extensive service the group offers and assert that these women “march” twice a year to a meeting. While the posts often include a warm welcome to join, most also quietly affirm the organization’s superiority over the post-Inauguration march. Said one person who shared the post, “I love the Relief Society, I didn’t need to march, and my service leaves no place in my life for conflict, for questioning the status quo, for bad language, for playing the victim card, or the smug superiority of the marchers.” Another post exclaimed, “We humbly invite all to join a truly celestial movement!”

Monday, January 16, 2017

FACEBOOK COMMENTS SPUR MASSIVE CHANGES IN LDS CHURCH

After this is sold, it will be 
the Central Building in New Disney DC Theme Park
Salt Lake City, UT—Recent Facebook comments about stipends paid to church leaders have led to massive structural changes in the Mormon church.

“The Church is happy to announce,” said spokesperson Andrew Kanell, “that in response to comments on social media highlighting how the current church differs from the one in the Book of Mormon or the Jesus movement in the New Testament, the church is making massive changes to make it fit those distant cultural contexts.”

The most damning social media comments highlight how Jesus’ original disciples traveled and taught “without purse or scrip.” Even though those teachers worked in a culture that placed a very high priority on hospitality norms and the proper treatment of strangers, norms that are non-existent if not nonsensical now, the church has decided that every member must travel and teach without purse or script.

“The scriptures say it, and we know that God doesn’t change or add or modify His commands ever, ever, ever, so we are getting rid of the entire missionary program as it stands,” explained Kanell. “From now on, if a young person wishes to go on a mission, that person should find a wise patriarch, ask for a blessing and anointing, and then go wherever the Spirit leads.”

Kanell followed up with, “you know, how could that go wrong?”

Church leaders who were previously getting stipends to cover living expenses and travel will no longer receive them. Most will now travel by foot, when and where they can, preaching spontaneously and, one would expect, in a rather limited geographical range.

“The church is also divesting itself of all resources and infrastructure, all of which will be sold and the proceeds given to the poor,” continued Kanell. “As the church will dismantle its humanitarian program, there is no plan for how to give it to the poor, so we’ll just pass the money around to whatever poor people we happen to come across instead of the large-scale and systematic program we used previously.”

Kanell announced that with the selling of churches, bishop storehouses, temples, schools, universities, and all other “infrastructure that does not match what a traveling preacher encountered two thousand years ago,” the church will shift from a world-wide organization with manuals, meetings, books, translations, choirs, and congregations “to an individual-, home-, family-, or tribe-based, lose organization of believers who will quickly develop widely divergent practices, norms, standards, and eventually beliefs.”

“We thank the many Facebook commenters,” concluded Kanell, “for showing us the error of having a twentieth or twenty-first-century organization to meet modern needs and demands. God bless you for shaming us into the truth of our wicked ways and God bless us as we become a pre-industrial belief group!”

With those words, Kanell lost his job and asked reporters from Zion’s finest news source if he could eat with them tonight. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

ORIGINAL IDEA ACCIDENTLY INTRODUCED DURING SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON

Picture vaguely related to article found on interwebs
and inserted to make blogpost more interesting.
Mapleton, UT—The Mapleton North 32nd Ward’s Gospel Doctrine class experienced the tremendous shock of the accidental introduction of an original idea.

“So class was just going on, you know, regular, where the instructor asks a question we have heard a million times,” said class participant David Banks, “when all of the sudden, you know, right where we all expected that same answer, BAM!, suddenly there was a completely new thought.”

Banks was not alone in registering the trauma of a different perspective or concept in the place of tired, clich├ęd discussion commonplaces. Said Kaitlin Collins, “well, I just could not believe it…still can’t! It was just…so new!”

It was not just those in attendance who were completely thrown off guard by a new line of thinking. The instructor, Peter Erikson, said that “I tell you it just came out of nowhere…and honestly I had no idea how to respond to it!”

While the astonishment caused by the accident of an original idea has not worn off, the jolt was apparently so strong and disconcerting that no one can recall what the new idea was.

Monday, January 2, 2017

MINI MISSIONARY LESSON: IS THE CHURCH RACIST?

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.

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:
Pure and Delightsome against Dark and Loathsome,
and clearly not racist!

Is the Church Racist?

First, “racist” is a very ugly term, and if people think that the church is racist then they might not join. That means it is very important to help them see that the fact that God loves His children enough to only give certain opportunities to some people and not to others based on the color of their skin (or their gender, or their marital status, or their sexual orientation) is God’s infinite wisdom knowing how to wisely discern (not “discriminate”) how to bless people. God’s ways are truly grand, majestic, eternal, and beyond anyone’s understanding!

Second, the Book of Mormon is not ever at all racist either—that is just the simple, pure, plain truth. At times in that sacred history God punished people with darker skin as a curse and to make sure that there would be not mixing between the pure people with the white skin and the sinful people with the dark skin. That marking is actually more spiritual than it is physical. In those verses, God simply used the physical to reveal the spiritual, that way what you see on the outside allows you to understand and judge quickly. To put it another way, you don’t have to spend a lot of time talking or finding out; you can pretty much make a pre-judgment right off the bat. In that way skin color is like a lighthouse, warning you from far about different people. That is divine efficiency!

Third, missionaries should defend every church policy, leader, and member as part of one large, unified Kingdom of God. As the only true church, everything about it is true. So when a popular BYU professor explains the past, God is using him and his round-about and spiritually-understood views to fulfill God’s purposes, and clearly that is not racist at all. At all.  

Finally, let us never forget 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 because of the color of his skin, just one more example of a perfect organization doing God’s perfect work!

Some missionaries might be tempted by Satan to not accept the truths presented above. Such missionaries might allow themselves to think that some people and even some policies have been influenced by culture or even by personal bias backed up by inaccurate ideas about God and by privilege. Oh the wickedness of such failing servants of the Lord! These faithless, weak missionaries, when asked about racism in the church or Book of Mormon, may say things like “I don’t know” or “God’s church and people have agency and make mistakes” or “just come and see for yourself, and then, with eyes wide open, ask God if this church is where He wants you.” Instead of being Korihor-like cowards, missionaries who are true, valiant, stripling warrior missionaries, who are delightsome before God, will bear down in pure testimony that everyone has always been perfectly equal before God and in God’s church always and forever!

A pure, perfect, child-like faith knows the difference between what is pure, celestial, and temple-white and what is dark, loathsome, filthy, and would blacken the soul. Most missionaries can trace their ancestory back to those who landed on Plymouth Rock. Those missionaries know the Lord brought about the birth of this nation, that freedom has its roots in this land. Valiant missionaries have a dream that one day all will sit at God’s celestial table, clothed in the pure, white robes of divine holiness, well, except for those who are serving the food or maybe cooking in the back. Whatever you do, hold on to that dream, Elder!

All the best,

Elder Kory Anton