Monday, August 5, 2013


Greg's Young Men's president 
would have sensed the evil 
PROVO, UT—This weekend saw the annual gathering of a group of renowned Mormon scientists and science fiction writers.  The group, called ParalleLDS, explores the possible roles that members of the church might have in alternative time dimensions.

Among this year’s presenters was Andy Roberts, who teaches at the State University of New York at Palmyra.  Dr. Roberts argued that “we can anticipate that an LDS Brady family, living in a very plausible alternative dimension, would have rejoiced as their faithful home teachers gave Marcia a blessing to miraculously heal her nose before that crucial dance.”  Roberts continued that “an inspired Young Men’s president surely would have called to warn Greg about the tiki idol.” 

Other presenters, like Dr. Janice Lawrence from the University of Southern Central Florida, postulated the impact of Mormonism in athletic events in other time dimensions. Dr. Lawrence established that the 1980 US men’s Olympic hockey team “would clearly have braved the baptismal waters of Lake Placid just before defeating the Russian team in order to truly bring to pass a miracle on ice and in the font.” She also established a credible alternate world in which “repentance created more virtuous football players at schools like the University of Miami and USC, players who would not place success on the field above spiritual success.”  As a result, explained Lawrence, “those programs would eschew so called ‘national titles’ in order to be truly, eternally successful, just as BYU’s football team has done in this dimension for almost 30 years!” 

One of the most talked about presentations came from Dr. Kristina Humphries who teaches physics and creative writing at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople.  Dr. Humphries established a breakthrough theory about how the church has grown exponentially in one alternative world.  According to Humphries, “two sister missionaries traveling to an appointment near Los Angeles felt impressed to follow a particular SUV.  When the vehicle stopped in a Brentwood neighborhood, the sister’s followed an impression to knock on the door.”  Dr. Humphries then explained how these inspired sister missionaries “preached the gospel first to the people in the home, who lovingly repented and forsook their sins,” and then the sisters “addressed the cameras that had assembled so that God’s word (instead of the NBA) could be heard throughout the nation.”

Though most presentations were well received, others received considerable criticism. When a professor postulated a world in which Jon McNaughton could respectfully see the value of religious, cultural, and political pluralism, he was roundly criticized as proposing “something so wildly implausible and absurdly unthinkable” that “by its very nature may violate fundamental principles of the space-time continuum as well is bring ParalleLDS’s work into disrepute.”  McNaughton reportedly responded with a life-size painting of Jesus weeping at the sight of McNaughton's critics, many of whom happened to be reading articles from the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer.

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