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.