Monday, November 24, 2014


Church officials hope every commercial center causes
people to say, 
this is both great and really spacious!
Salt Lake City, UT—The unqualified and universally acknowledged success of Salt Lake City’s City Creek Center has reportedly prompted church officials to invest in other shopping areas adjacent to temples throughout the world.

“What we have seen with City Creek,” said an official who could not be named because of the sensitivity of the decision “is that commercial centers go hand-in-hand with temples.” When asked to elaborate on that connection the official explained that “temples bind families and individuals together forever, and City Creek offers them a place to shop, dine, and purchase as a way to celebrate the bond. It is remarkable,” continued the official, “how whether it is late or soon, whether we are getting or spending, we encourage in both places our divine powers, feeling closer to God in this world!”

According to another source the commercial areas will but “suited to the temple and its cultural context.” What that seems to mean is that smaller temples like the ones in North Carolina or Oklahoma will have an adjacent strip mall with “a biscuit or a barbeque place and a really nice Dollar Store,” while in places like Los Angeles “there will be a three story mall with a California Pizza Kitchen right next to the Mega Deseret Gospel Learning and Virtuous Art Purchasing Center.” As another example, the commercial complex in Rome “will have a Maggiano’s,” while Boston’s temple, which serves second and third generation Italians, “will have a pretty nice Olive Garden.”

In addition to making sure that the centers are culturally sensitive and meet the needs of diverse members across the globe, church officials are excited about other benefits that these commercial centers might provide. As another unnamed official said, “commercial centers like City Creek not only increase property values around temples, but they provide a socio-cultural safe-haven for worshipers, offering the comfort of familiar shopping and dining options while also shielding them from the sort of homelessness, sickness, and poverty that one might find in a city and that might otherwise threaten the temple worship experience.”

Monday, November 17, 2014


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.

Girl Missionaries: They are not all Unmarriable
Feminists and Fatties anymore!
One of the first things new missionaries realize is that “this ain’t your father or that cool uncle’s mission field anymore!” Back in the day, there weren’t so many girl missionaries, and the few that those guys had to deal with were either feminists or fatties. Not so anymore. Now there are just as many girl missionaries as there are Elders, and let me tell you, plenty of them are smokin’ hot! In the past I’ve spoken about dating Laurels and some of those possible pitfalls. Today I’m going to help you figure out how to work with girl missionaries.

I should say right from the start that some don’t like being called “girl missionaries.” Don’t get me started about all of this “politically correct” garbage which really just amounts to girls and brown people who want to be offended. I mean really—they are girls and they are missionaries. What is the problem with “girl missionaries?” I would love to suggest the obvious—call them “missionaries who are not Elders,” but that takes too long to say. What is easiest is to say “hey you,” when addressing them directly or saying “lady missionaries” at other times. Some missionaries use the term “Sister Missionaries,” but that easily confuses non-Mormons who watch a lot of Sister Wives.

Besides what to call the girl missionaries, there are really two approaches to working with them. The first way to deal with them is to avoid them and any interaction with them when at all possible. The second approach is to realize that any girl missionary might be your destined soul mate, so you should probe her soul as thoroughly as possible. Okay, so these are very different approaches, but not every elder is the same, so I’m hoping you are smart enough to use whichever one works best for you.

The avoid approach is just like it sounds. Wherever you go, pretend that the girl missionaries are not there. Don’t stand by them, open doors for them, lug their suitcases with 80 pounds of makeup around for them, or acknowledge that they exist at all. This is easily done by always hanging out with other elders, pretending you are busy or are reading your scriptures or something, or by quietly faking a stroke. (Wikipedia has a list of signs you might be having a stroke as a handy reference.)  Make sure to not notice a girl missionary’s face, hair, torso, backside, legs, ankles, or cute yet sensible shoes. If she isn’t wearing a burka (and heaven knows I’ve written the First Presidency about it!), pretend that she is. If she addresses you and you feel compelled to respond, remember that that is how it all got started with Adam and Eve.

Avoidance is God’s way of keeping you from all evil, but there will come a time in your life when you will feel certain urges, urges that cannot be avoided. For those urges you will need a soul mate, and we all know people who found their urge-satisfying soul mate in the mission field. Since that is the case, the other best way for working with girl missionaries is to examine and test each one to see if the Holy Ghost will witness to your soul in that very instant if she is the eternal helpmeet that God has given over to you to be by your side for ever and ever. Look deeply into her eyes at even the most casual encounters. Shake her hand extra, extra long; that can let the truth be known to both of your souls. In a light and fun-loving way, get her first name, so that you can say things like, “so, how are you, (long, soul-connecting pause) Peggy?” And then end everything you say to her with her name: “You are great at doing missionary things…Peggy” or “I think that missionaries like you have a special ability to bless the lives of Elders…Peggy.” Comments like that will make it clear very quickly if she is your God-given eternal soul mate.

Girl missionaries don’t cause nearly as many problems as you might be worried about, and I would say that the real key isn’t some crazy foolishness about them being equal partners in God’s work who want respect and genuine appreciation. No, the real key is keeping in mind that you are commanded to be a missionary; for her, it is just extra credit.

The Best of Luck,

Elder Kory Anton

Monday, November 10, 2014


Some Mormons were okay with this
symbol until they realized it didn't
illustrate the Young Women's Values
Spirit World—Reports out of the Spirit World indicate that more Buddhist have been sent to bring light and truth to groups of Mormons. The reports say that while some Mormons are quick to respond to what the Buddhist have to offer, others are quite resistant.

One report explains that several Buddhists had been sent to work with Mormons who were grieving for the actions of their wayward, mortal children. In the course of their conversations, Buddhists spoke about letting go of the almost overwhelming anxiety about and attachment to those mortal childrens’ actions. Buddhists introduced concepts like tonglen where Mormons learned to reduce selfish attachment while actually increasing compassion and loving-kindness. Mormons who rejected these Buddhist ideas about letting go of attachment wanted to be eternally sealed to and thereby attached to all of the good people that made them feel good about themselves. Those same Mormons indicated that they did not want to have to worry about “compassion toward the bad people who wouldn’t be in their kingdom.” They also complained that such “crazy talk” is something that they had “never found in any manual” and that it “sounds like the sort of hippie crap that beard prohibitions are meant to prevent!”

Other reports indicate many Buddhists working with Mormons on meditation. Those Mormons soon discovered that, as they started to meditate, it was difficult to find both attentiveness and stillness. Over time attentiveness and stillness started to emerge for them, even in the midst of internal or external chaos. Still, many Mormons rejected this spiritual practice. Such Mormons said that they already knew how to pray, that they had a list of items that they always discussed with God in their customary allotted time (47 seconds), and that the Buddhists could not be praying in the correct manner “since they didn’t ask for protection against any harm or accident that might befall them” and since they were noncommittal about praying that foods like brownies “would nourish and strengthen them.” Those Mormons also complained that “sittin’ around and not doin’ anything” was against both God’s mandate to be constantly and “anxiously engaged in a good cause” and flew in the face of the “pioneer spirit of rollin’ up your sleeves and gettin’ to work!”

A reported final area of potential connection and conflict was over the nature of evil. Many Buddhists talked about meditation as a way to understand desires and drives. Such meditation could allow one to experience discomfort, pain, and even temptation for what they are without feeling the immediate need to rid oneself of them. Those who embraced such spiritual practices found that they allowed Mormons to resist what can seem like “evil” by paradoxically not fighting it. Drives and hungers for food, affection, comfort, security, pleasure, and even sex were compared to tides and were seen as useful, vital aspects of the lived experience that one can attend to, understand, and gracefully, patiently incorporate into life’s vast richness. Those aspects can find their rightful place in one’s life, and one can find her or his rightful place with them. Other Mormons rejected this idea, saying that they had to “constantly keep the ‘stage of their mind’ filled with busy and anxious goodness to prevent ambiguity, laziness, or evil from ‘taking over the play’.”

While some Mormons found insight and joy in what the Buddhists taught, when others found out that those teachings where part of the Dhammapada and other Buddhist scriptures, they rejected the message, saying, “a Book of Mormon, a Book of Mormon, we have a Book of Mormon, we need no more…books…at all!”

Thank you to special investigative reporter Kevin Winters for research on this story.

Monday, November 3, 2014


The unicorn has always seemed
to Roberts like a more appropriate
Democratic Party symbol
Payson, UT—During a recent weekend wherein he spoiled many of his grandchildren, otherwise very disciplined area grandfather and Republican Donald Roberts reported that letting the kids “pretty much do whatever they wanted without regard for the short or long-term consequences” gave him a chance to “feel like a Democrat.”

Roberts started by giving each of them twenty dollars. Whenever a child asked for more money, Roberts gave them more, disregarding how it was spent, the merit of the petition, or how it might affect the child. Though the grandchildren clearly didn’t care, Roberts’ children asked him where the money was coming from. Roberts replied, “I just give them whatever they want and don’t worry where it will come from or how the debts will be paid.” Added Roberts, “I feel like the Greek government or the state of California.”

Not everything about the weekend visit went as smoothly as planned. One grandchild scraped her knee jumping rope. Roberts assembled all of the grandkids, gave the wounded child a Band-Aid, and then took forty-five dollars from all of the grandkids to cover the cost of anyone’s future Band-Aids. Some children objected, saying that they had Band-Aids already, but Roberts made the Band-Aid insurance obligatory for all of the grandchildren. When Roberts’ children asked why all of the children had to pay so much, Roberts responded that “it was in everyone’s best interest to participate in the Affordable Bandaid Program or, as I call it, ‘Ogrampacare’.”

Toward the end of the stay, some of the children were not getting along. They approached their grandfather, asking him to use his wisdom to make a final decision. Roberts saw that some of the kids had worked out a temporary solution, one that was still unsatisfactory to a majority of the grandkids, but Roberts did nothing, allowing the previous decisions to stand. Said Roberts, “sure, they might have wanted my authoritative decision, and one that might address majority concerns, but it was fun to take an ‘I’m not going to do anything and let a hodge-podge of lower judges decide it all’ approach.” Concluded Roberts, “it was absolutely exhilarating to be both completely unresponsive and yet decisive!”

As the grandchildren left his home, some heard Roberts say, “let’s do this again soon; when you come next it will be really crazy—I’ll call it ‘Hilary 2016!’”