Monday, January 20, 2014

SPLINTER CES GROUPS CREATE ALTERNATIVE SCRIPTURE MASTERY LISTS

An Alternative Scripture Mastery Card
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Reports out of Salt Lake City indicate that church officials are concerned about splinter Church Education System groups creating alternative scripture mastery lists.

These reports note three groups that have started to stray from CES directives and have made their own lists of scriptures that seminary and institute students should master.

One group, centered in New England, has put forward what it calls the “CES” or “Church Enlightenment System’s” list of common scriptures. Their scripture mastery list includes many scriptures from King Benjamin’s speech and more verses with Jesus’ directives to help the poor. 

The New England group’s Church Enlightenment System list also calls for some rather unconventional “scriptures.” This list includes several versus from the Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist sutras, and a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous “Divinity School Address.” Unconfirmed reports indicate that the list may also include quotes from the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on DOMA or the Defense of Marriage Act as well as what reports call “some Grateful Dead lyrics.”

A second splinter group, with a number of cells in the Mountain West, has a list that they call the “CES” or “Church Edification Standard.” This list emphasizes scriptures that place a high premium on obedience. Students also master several verses that provide prophetic statements about the United States, including many from 1 and 2 Nephi.   

Like the New England group’s list, this one also has some rather unconventional scriptures, including versus from the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Furthermore, the list includes passages from the Federalist Papers and quotes from speeches by George Washington, Ronald Reagan, and brother Glenn Beck.     

The final list is one devised by students. This list, called the “CES” or “Church Entertainment Stuff,” includes 1 Nephi 2:12: “And my father dwelt in a tent” and 1 Chronicles 1:25, which reads, “Eber, Peleg, Reu.”

While some verses were obviously chosen for ease of memorization, the list also addresses other needs. One verse, chosen for working with difficult roommates or mission companions, is 1 Nephi 4:12, which reads, “And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands.” 

For missionaries, the list includes 3 Nephi 3:7. Not to be mistaken with 1 Nephi 3:7, 3 Nephi 3:7 reads: “Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.”

While internal memos indicate some concerns, there has so far been no direct reply to these groups from Salt Lake.

Monday, January 13, 2014

LEADERSHIP CRISIS CAUSES BYU’S CHESS CLUB’S CONSTITUTION TO HANG BY A THREAD

PROVO, UT—According to unidentified sources, the ongoing leadership crisis suffered by BYU’s Chess club is such that the organization’s very constitution now “hangs by a thread.” Said one Chess club insider, “all I can really tell you is that the club’s political machinations are playing out like the classic English opening countered by the formidable French defense, and now the organization’s very charter and foundational document is jeopardized!”

The conflict seems to have arisen over issues of the separations of powers between the club’s board of directors (or Gerents of the Enlightened Engagement in the Kings’ Sport) and its appointed executive, known as the Noble Emissary of the Royal Duel. “What we are seeing,” explained another unnamed club member, “is a clear power grab on the part of the executive leader from the board of directors.”  The source elaborated that “if Tyler thinks that just because he’s the NERD that he can take power by essentially pin the GEEKS, well, he’s got another thing coming!”

Not everyone in BYU’s Chess club seems surprised by the move. One unnamed member said that “the conflict is just another playing out of the classic ‘Milk and Strippings’ conflicts that have tested Mormon mettle from the beginning, and now all we have to do is wait for the prophesied ‘Mighty and Great One’ who will bear the Chess club’s constitution away from the verge of destruction.”
 
When asked if similar crises had ever befallen this organization, the same unnamed member said, “yah, last year Dave tried to make some changes, but that all ended when he got a girlfriend.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

THE FRIEND TO COVER RECENT UTAH GAY MARRIAGES

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—According to reports, The Friend’s February 2014 issue will feature an article addressing recent gay marriages in Utah. The article follows closely the August, 2013 piece in the same magazine dealing with the Supreme Court’s Ruling on DOMA or the Defense of Marriage Act.

The article, titled “By Spirit and by the Law, We Are All Friends,” will explain the implications to Primary-aged LDS children of so many gay marriages in the Beehive state. Sources indicate that the cover picture will show “still very concerned grandparents reading Utah newspapers and watching television,” while children in the foreground “smile, play, hold hands, and preform pretend marriages between children of all types and genders.”

Only a few unconfirmed details about the article’s text have emerged. Reports indicate that the article will discuss how Judge Shelby decided that “boys and girls should be treated fairly by everyone, even if a large number of people don’t see it that way.” It goes on to elaborate that “now, your really nice uncles or your super great aunts can have a nice big wedding too.”

Further reports indicate that children will be told to “make sure you write in your journal about this special recent Christmastime, about gift-giving, the Primary program, and the television coverage of so many happy people getting married.” To clarify other aspects of the marriages, the article will explain that children do not need to write in their journals about the “very cranky uncle who said that now gay people can be just as miserable as other married people.”   

One illustration is said to show “a range of happy children playing together, obviously enjoying the spiritual, emotional, financial, and legal benefits of marriage equality with the majestic Great Salt Lake behind them.”