Thursday, April 26, 2012


Stuckley accidentally exposes his gospel doctrine class 
to the philosophies of men.
By Barley B. Bratt

FULLERTON, CA—Tanner Stuckley, literature professor at Cal State Fullerton and member of the Fullerton 3rd Ward, reports that everywhere he goes he is considered a “nut job.” 

Professor Stuckley’s teaching evaluations reflect substantial resistance on the part of his students to his religious affiliation, especially in light of Proposition 8. On a recent evaluation, one student commented, “He’s a nice enough guy—I mean, Mormons are really into ‘nice’ and s*** like that, but you can tell that behind that fascade (sic) is a rights-stealing homophobe, a Limbaugh-lovin’, willfully-blind flag waver, and a breeder of little smiling Borg! He did return our tests promptly, though.” 

Some of Stuckley’s colleagues seem to harbor similar views. In a confidential memo about Stuckley’s qualifications to lead the honors program, one faculty commented, “Stuckley does have family in Idaho, and we all know who was born in Idaho—modernist poet and fascist Ezra Pound.”

At church, Stuckley is considered a very different “nut job.” Stuckley’s wife has overheard a number of ward members comment about his use of an iPad during gospel doctrine class. One member commented that “he probably uses it to look up liberal philosophies of men to mix with the scriptures.” Another added member, “Yeah, like social justice, socialized healthcare, and, um, ethical relativistic positivism.” 

“He probably doesn’t even have the scriptures on it,” another member asserted. “It probably just has Clinton’s autobiography, Harry Reid’s speeches, and Sunstone.” 

Stuckley himself notes that he learned a long time ago not to mention that he works in the liberal arts department. “The one time I made that mistake,” he points out, “you’d have thought that I just said it was okay for the government to take its citizen’s automatic weapons, allow undocumented people to live here in peace, and grant rights gay people. But, they do seem to think that I somehow make a good ward mission leader.” 

Luckily for Stuckley, in spite of being considered a right-wing nut job at work and a left-wing nut job at church, within the confines of his own home—and especially with his two teenage daughters and one teenage son—he is cherished as a moderate and lovable nut job.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer presents the Sunday school class rating system, designed to help you get the most out of your Sabbath. The system will be implemented Church-wide as soon as we can get it approved by the Salt Lake correlation committee.

GT = Guilt Trip: Class members likely to be raked over coals related to issues such as home teaching, family history, temple attendance, fast offerings, what you feed your children, and your television-watching habits. To be sure, you really do need to be reminded of all the people who will not want to shake your hand in the post-mortal sphere.

S = Spiritchal: Appropriate for all but the saccharine-intolerant.

L = Learned: May contain gratuitous Hugh Nibley quotes, graduate school references, and vaguely British accents. Remember to bring along the current issue of the Journal of Mormon History.

E = Engaged: Warning! The teacher will assume that you actually read and prepared and will attempt to engage the class in a thoughtful, spiritual discussion.  

PDSM = Prepared during Sacrament Meeting. 

R = Recycled: Contains almost 100 percent recycled content. Please find a way to reuse the strips of paper with quotes on them.

M = Missionaries: Yes, they have been set apart, but, still they are, at best, in their early 20's and may or may not have any idea what they are talking about.

A = Apocalyptic: May contain graphic descriptions of world's horrors, including but not limited to porn, video games, Democratic presidents, public school teachers, and Hannah Montana. Teacher is willing to give you good deal on gold bullion.

Q = Quiet:  This instructor is not afraid of quiet.  Eventually, the nervous chatterboxes in the class will run out of steam leaving thoughtful but shy people room to comment. May contain actual learning.

BRM = Bruce R. McConkie will be the only general authority cited in the lesson—and indeed, in any lesson this teacher gives. Quotes from Ezra Taft Benson and Joseph Fielding Smith will be tolerated.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Johnson Family “Blessings” Almost More than Ward Can Receive

A heavenly waterfall of blessings pummels the 15th ward chapel.
By Barley B. Bratt

POCATELLO, ID—According to recent reports, the entire Pocatello West 15th Ward finds itself almost “overwhelmingly” blessed by the Johnson family.   

Bishop Randy Foster notes that he seems to talk about this family during every Priesthood Committee meeting, often to summarize his almost weekly meetings with at least one family member.  Such meetings began soon after Bishop Foster was called in 2008. Foster recalls productive early meetings with the Johnson's, including the time he helped sooth their confusion over Mindy Martins’ braces by differentiating orthodontics from “getting a tattoo.”  

Bishop Foster also reports his renewed understanding of hope after he persuaded David and Christine Johnson against naming their 6th son Beelzebub Johnson, even though the parents, “had a really bad feeling about that kid.”  

Smiling and shaking his head, Bishop Foster recalls the week that the ward provided meals for the remaining Johnson family after David had felt compelled to drive to Missouri. “I was a little surprised that David left," Foster recalls, "I had thought we had made it clear that there had been no memos from Salt Lake indicating that 2nd counselors in all ward Sunday School presidencies were to report to Adam-ondi-Ahmen to return their keys. But you know David—when the Spirit tells him to jump, he’s already 8 feet in the air and trying to go higher.” 

Brother Johnson’s zeal has been the source of countless blessings for many others in the ward as well.  Peter Listig, 2nd counselor in the bishopric, noted that “Brother Johnson has given me numerous opportunities to pray for patience. I remember when I had to take away his Sunday School monthly bell-ringing privileges after he tried to tap out all of ‘I Believe In Christ.’ It was a moving rendition, but I found that the Lord really helped me ease brother Johnson into the idea of humming, quietly, while collecting rolls instead of ringing the bell.”    

Sister Johnson’s unique brand of service has also called forth blessings. Her Relief Society mini-class on "tatting your own lingerie"—an idea she had found on what she called a “properly correlated church website"—gave the high priest group and elders quorum a chance to discuss unrighteous dominion after many priesthood holders attempted to force, manipulate, or coerce their wives into attending.  

Ward auxiliary leaders also remark on how the Johnson children have provided opportunities to learn patience, pure love, basic weapons skills, an understanding of the “inspired Founding Father’s original and pure intent,” and more patience.  

“We just love Deborah, Naomi, and Rubella,” reported Young Women’s president Vanessa Martin. “They certainly keep us on our toes about the importance of bomb shelters and how much the Lord hates even one hickey, but I don’t think that they understand that Nephi didn’t get his ideas from Glenn Beck. We’re still working on that one.”  

Sister Polk, 1st counselor in the Primary presidency, when asked about the Johnson children, could only smile above her sudden twitching and report, in a flat, uninflected manner, “They are some of our strongest singers.” She then moved woodenly down the hall, past the room reserved just for the Johnson triplets, a nursery that is reportedly manned by a team of five highly trained professionals.

The entire ward council has noted how much they have learned about the gospel and the church handbooks from their work with the Johnsons.  

“I’ll tell you,” remarked Relief Society 1st counselor Nichole Hayes, “it is good to really search out and know that there are no current authoritative statements about a secret vault in the hill Cumorah, about how many wives righteous men will have in the Celestial Kingdom, and about what is appropriate intimacy for married people.” Sister Hayes concluded, to the affirming nods of others, that “it would be good if a more recent conference talk would address devil worship in Harry Potter and the whole face card problem. I know that the Johnson's would love to see those difficult issues cleared up.” 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Snapshot: What are the LDS employment specialists telling us to do?

• Take heart in the knowledge that, like you, Jesus was also a slacker . . . er, unemployed.

• Catch up on Breaking Bad—might give you some ideas.

• Start yet another porn addiction recovery program for Mormons.

• Get that degree in feminist theology you've always wanted.
• Take up a time-honored Mormon profession like accounting, software development, or Ponzi schemes.

• Have another baby.
• Start computer program in garage; invent paradigm-changing operating system; make billions.

• Run for president.

• Hang out at preschool playgrounds, day after day, until someone there hires you (can also try after-school cheer leading practice sessions).

• Blog

• Repent of the grievous sins you must have committed to have so obviously not prospered in the land.

• Go ahead and invest that money in Nigeria; those emails are really your only chance at this point

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mormon-free News Day Shocks Nation

News anchor Barbie stands speechless, having no Mormons to report on.
By Stephen Carter

The nation is still reeling from the shock of a news day completely free of Mormonism. Nary a mention of polygamy, Joanna Brooks, magic underwear, or funeral potatoes showed up anywhere in print, online, or over broadcast or cable channels.

Even Mitt Romney failed to make the news, spending the day getting a tattoo in an undisclosed location.

"I guess I hadn't realized how much I had come to rely on breathlessly announcing the newest dead celebrity some Mormon had baptized," news anchor Doug Hedstrom says.

"The missionaries knocked on my door and I was so starved for anything Mormon—excommunicated feminists, Obama-hating painters,  the priesthood ban—I actually let them in," part-time realtor Debby Crowthers admits.

The blogging world was paralyzed by the lack of news, having nothing to pontificate upon, freak out about, coo over, or compare to Nazi Germany. In desperation, some bloggers turned to poetry.

"Like the day JFK was shot, this momentous day will go down in history," states Harold Dwight of LDS public relations. "People will ask each other, 'What were you doing the day the  Mormons utterly failed to make the news?' And I have no doubt that they'll remember  ... Oh yes. They'll remember well."

"We assure our loyal readers and watchers that we have learned an important lesson from this traumatically Mormon-free news day," said Les Morris, president of News Providers United, an organization of media outlets. "Never will you have to live through another dark time such as this."

In other news, Elder David Archuleta had a minor spat with his MTC companion over socks.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Conference Had "Certain Special Something"

Conference attendees seemed more excited than usual this year.
By Stephen Carter

SALT LAKE CITY—The vote is unanimous, the April 2012 General Conference experience had a certain special something. Especially for out-of-towners who traveled many miles to be on hand for this event.

“My jaw just dropped open when I saw the beauty of the area,” said Abigail Singer, an independent Noni Juice distributor from Kanab, Utah. “Waterfalls, architecture, music—what wasn’t there to like?”

Though some conference attendees were put off by the protestors handing out DVDs and pumping wooden crosses in the air, once inside Church property “the entire feeling changed. I just about started singing ‘There is Beauty All Around,’” said Theresa D’Arc, stay-at-home mom and second counselor in the Pocatello 14th Ward’s Relief Society presidency. “Suddenly those three hours in the car with five children were totally worth it.”

“I saw pictures of this place on the net and my friend’s phones,” said McKaylinzee Speckman, an eighth-grade student from Thayne, Wyoming. “But this is just so freaking cool! I’m gonna make my mom bring me again next conference!”

Admittedly, some of the male attendees weren’t as impressed. “It was like a big fashion show. And we were constantly standing in line to get anywhere.” grumbled Nick Cunningham, a mortgage loan office from Wendover, Nevada. “I thought we’d never find a place to sit.”

People were also impressed by the sky way, the dual shopping levels, the food court with retractable roof, and the dancing fountain, calling them truly worthy of the Church’s $1.5 billion investment. Some laudatory adjectives overheard about the area included “great” and “spacious.”

“Brigham Young’s daughters would have loved the City Creek Center,” sniffed an emotional Elena Skagway, a substitute early morning seminary teacher from Panguitch, Utah. “Especially seeing as how it’s just across the street from the Lion House.”

People also reported enjoying the conference sessions they remembered to attend.