Monday, December 28, 2015


Too Many Carbs/Too Much Coke
Might Not Be the Same
Minneapolis, MN--Area woman Vanessa de Rossi, first counselor in her ward’s Relief Society and a lifelong member who “struggles with watching too much television and consuming too much sugar,” is starting to feel out of place at her first Addiction Recovery Program meeting.

“I was really excited to hear our stake was doing the Addiction Recovery Program,” said de Rossi. De Rossi elaborated that “our Relief Society president always says that the ARP is really for everyone, and that everyone has their addiction.” But now that de Rossi is at her first meeting, she is starting to feel a little out of place.

De Rossi explained that “when I got here, everyone was really quiet. I went around, like I always do, and shook everyone’s hands, introduced myself, and mentally tried to think of something nice I could say about each person.” 

In an effort to reach out in a friendly manner and to get as much help as possible from the program right from the start, de Rossi took the first opportunity she could find to explain her “painful struggles” with watching television “up to three times a week for as much as an hour” when she could have studied her scriptures or made two more compassionate service visits. Feeling the compassion and acceptance from the group, de Rossi went on to explain the shame, embarrassment, and pain she has felt for the “extra scoop of ice cream one time when no one was around” or that “one hidden bag of fun size Snickers” she had in her closet two years ago. De Rossi felt comforted by the ARP missionaries who consoled her by saying that the Lord can help us no matter what our struggles might be.

It was when other program participants started sharing that de Rossi started to feel like this might not be exactly the right place for her. When talking about how the Savior’s love had helped him, the man next to de Rossi explained how found strength to overcome his old habit of “using a website filled with pictures of naked Bolivian postal workers to masturbate for so long that I lost feeling in the lower half of my body for a week.”

This was not the only example of the program’s effectiveness that made de Rossi feel somewhat out of place. Later in the meeting a man who had been in the stake high council explained that he knew that his life was unmanageable when he “found a flask and a bag of coke in his scripture bag and when he realized that the only way he had been able give his monthly high council talks in his assigned wards for the past eighteen months was if he was drunk out of his mind.”

Midway through the meeting, though everyone agreed with de Rossi that the Addiction Recovery Program is a powerful tool that can help a variety of people, not everyone seemed as excited when she said that “it doesn’t matter if your addiction is two episodes a month of House, a weekly bowl of Häagen-Dazs or heroin.”

Monday, December 21, 2015


Photography taken with Iphone showing primary
children when primary goes over
Bristol, VA—New Primary teacher Sean Thurman, called to teach the CTR 5 and 6 year-olds, cannot figure out if being in Primary is heaven or hell.

“First,” said Thurman, “I have to admit that as a man sitting in Primary, you get all sorts of undeserved praise!” Thurman noted that the Primary President was “just so happy and so inordinately appreciative” of his willingness to serve. He admitted that “yep, this is straight up sexism, since women would never get the same praise or adulation for doing the same work,” but he added, “hey, it works for me!”

Not wanting to miss any opportunities to enjoy this undeserved praise, Thurman willingly went to Sharing Time on the day he was called. He explained that “it probably seemed like I was just so happy and eager, but, let’s face it, the difference between Elders Quorum and Primary isn’t that much, so I just picked Primary and its free, unmerited praise—win for me!”

When Thurman got to Primary, he easily found the row with the class he would be teaching. As he put it, “I spotted the kids right off—one incessantly poking the girl next to him, one pulling a thread on his sweater with obvious curiosity and perhaps the hope that the whole thing might come unraveled, and two other quiet, reverent children who looked like there might be a carbon monoxide leak right above their chairs.”

“I took a seat, trying to separate the rambunctious ones, folded my arms, smiled, and sang,” continued Thurman. “I have to say that at that moment, I thought I might be in heaven. All of the old words came right back, and I sang with a joy I have rarely felt at church.”

This euphoria, partly a result of how Thurman felt that “here (in Primary) was the Gospel in all its simplicity and joy,” proved to be temporary. He explained that “one of the boys looked at me and then said flatly, ‘you are short.’” Thurman stated that “I tried to ignore him, look forward, smile, and sing to set a good example, but he must have repeated eight times in his same disaffected, monotone way, ‘you are short.’” Thurman reported that “it felt like this could have gone on forever, until, clearly not making the headway he wanted, the little &*!$ punched me!” Thurman had been punched before, including one time as a missionary, but, as Thurman said, “this was so unexpected and caught me so much off guard, that I wanted to beat him to a bloody pile of bones and skin right on the spot.”

Sensing that immediate and life-threatening physical violence might not be the best way to start his pastoral work with these “little lambs,” Thurman addressed the young man directly and firmly, making expectations clear that he was not to punch him again.

“So, yah, when he immediately punched me again, I just about lost it,” said Thurman. The new Primary teacher went on that, “well, just about the time I had reached an uneasy détente with that little spawn of Satan, I realized that one of the other boys had taken off his shoe and was throwing it at a kid behind him.” Thurman tried to corral this young man, who “having launched one piece of weaponized footwear, was now preparing to launch the other.”

“After fighting with those kids through singing time and Sharing time, well, let’s just say that all of the shine had worn off of this new Primary gig,” stated Thurman. He concluded, “and then, at the end, when Primary actually went over by 6 minutes and 18 seconds, I concluded that there must be a warm place in hell for whoever is not keeping track of the time during the Sharing Time lesson!”

Weary of the celestial heights and infernal lows his new calling will inevitably bring, Thurman finally noted, that “and this week I didn’t even have to teach!”

Monday, December 14, 2015


Elder Christofferson explaining the gap between the
Gospel of Jesus Christ and Republicanism
Salt Lake City, UT—Last night the church’s Handbook of Instructions was updated with a policy banning the baptism of children of Republicans. In response to waves of confusion and criticism, Elder Christofferson met with reporters from the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer and other, lesser news outlets to clarify the new policy.

“This policy is first and foremost about love,” said Elder Christofferson. He continued that “we want to bless the lives of all children, but we also want to avoid painful confusion that children might experience if they are learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ at church and then confronted by Republican ideas at home.”

When asked what he meant by this, Elder Christofferson explained that “imagine a child hearing King Benjamin’s words that we are all beggars and that we sin when we don’t help those in need, but then that same child goes home to a Republican parent—or worse, two parents—only to hear justifications for why we cannot help Mexican immigrants or Syrian refugees.”

Elder Christofferson was asked about baby blessings for the children of people who are Republicans. Here again the Apostle drew a clear line, warning that a baby blessing would generate a membership record for a child who, in Elder Christofferson’s words, “would encounter a home life filled with the extremist obedience and self-reliance rhetoric that would make Christ’s grace seem meaningless or absurd.”

Reporters asked Elder Christofferson if this might mean missed opportunities at an important life stage if these otherwise innocent children could not be baptized. In response to these concerns, Elder Christofferson said that “when these children are old enough to realize and fully denounce the ignorance, fear, narrow-mindedness, and xenophobia that Republicans rely upon to prevent reasonable gun laws and their enforcement and to resist a fair and humane immigration policy, when young people can show, unlike Republicans, that they embrace and love others of different faiths and backgrounds, then those young people are prepared to really understand and even preach the faith and love that are the center of Christ’s teachings.” 

“Let me be clear,” concluded Elder Christofferson, “we simply want to prevent the jarring confusion a young person would feel by hearing about trusting God and being a Good Samaritan at church and then hearing about trusting a false god like the US military (and its outrageously out-of-proportion budget) and then hearing that we cannot afford to help the poor, the sick, the naked, the needy, and those who Republicans dismiss as undeserving, lazy moochers instead of children of God.” 

Monday, December 7, 2015


Commentary by Alicia Ross

It’s fashionable among BYU students and young single adults who want to drink coffee or fornicate to have a “faith crisis.” Personally I know three or four people who are rushing out of the chapel doors to find the nearest tattoo parlor, so here’s a list of tips you can use when dealing with a friend going through one of these faux crises.

Don’t Forget the Cause: when your friends who think too much or who “don’t know if the mission is for them” start to talk about or post something on Facebook about their “concerns” about the church, don’t lose sight of what we all know are the real causes. People who really have faith never doubt; it is only those people who get into philosophy, worry about racism, show even a vague interest in “feminism,” and who are “open-minded” to Korihor-like, liberal ideas who question or doubt.  We all know without a doubt that they all failed to doubt their doubts! But it isn’t just a failure to doubt doubts. The real truth is that this is all just a cover for their desire to sin. When they have “questions about church history” or “the history of women anointing the sick,” what they are really saying is “where’s the Jack Daniels” or “how quickly can we take our clothes off?” Rest assured—sin is the real root of their doubts!

Modern Day Captain Moroni—Boldly Unpopular: we know that the Book of Mormon was written for our day. Just before the final destruction, and right before Christ came, it was Captain Moroni who defended the righteous. We can all learn from his life. Throw up thick walls of defense in your life against difficult or troubling ideas. Have faith enough to never venture into those questions. Fill the stage of your mind with so many memes and easy, clear General Authority quotes that no evil difficulties can leak in. I suggest ripping some article of clothing and writing on it “I Will Not Think Hard! And I Will Not Doubt!” But defending yourself is only part of the solution. You need to be faithful enough to be boldly unpopular in all of your interactions with the doubters and those whose faith is faltering. There should be no doubt in their mind about how wrong they are and about how firmly you stand in the right!

Shame Is God’s Way of Telling Them That They Are Wrong: this part is easy to misunderstand. Some of you might feel sympathetic to friends who have doubts. You might feel bad about the painfulness of their plight. If that is the case, make sure that your sympathy turns to pity, and that your pity turns to a desire to help them see that the shame that they should feel is God’s way of telling them that they are wrong. Sure, you can just come right out and tell them that they wouldn’t feel so bad if they were just doing what is right. But another way to do it is the indirect route. For example, send them quotes or conference talks that show them how wrong they are and how far they have fallen. Constantly talk about the pain of family members or the lost blessings of grandchildren or how disappointed the people from their mission would be in them. Shame can truly work miracles to reveal how far they are from the iron rod and how deep they are in the murky, polluted creek, you know, the one that is by the rod.

Don’t Let Them Wiggle Back: some of these doubters and fence sitters try to wiggle their way back into the church, but deep in their hearts they still have doubts. If you know someone like this, it is your obligation to protect the only true and living church from such secret doubters. They might believe that God is inspiring lots of organizations and not just His one and only true and living church. They might erroneously believe that, over time, with faith and patience the Lord will change any of His divinely decreed, eternal, and unchanging policies, procedures, doctrines, or laws. They might believe that God can inspire different individuals to take their own path back to Him, a path that might include painful doubts. But that is wrong! God’s church is not a big tent with lots of different people and different ideas in it; it is one very narrow path that everyone must march down, single file, in exactly the same way. Make sure that these wayward doubters know this, since we can’t risk destroying the unity and uniformity God demands in His kingdom.

Following these tips will tell your friends who are becoming lax in their righteousness and who are calling that slothfulness a “faith crisis” that the real problem is them. What more can you do than reveal to them how wrong they are?

Oh, and one last tip:

Do all of this with Christlike love!

Monday, November 30, 2015


It is exactly never like this!
Commentary by Greta Palmer

Words cannot express how grateful I am that the Thanksgiving holiday is over! Sure, it is supposed to be a marvelous time with family, friends, good food, and a season to reflect on one’s blessings. But this year, like many, many before, was taken over by so much awkwardness, guilt, anxiety, and what can only be described as weaponized consumerism that now that it is Monday morning I feel my heart swell with gratitude to the Lord for bringing Thanksgiving to an end.

Every year I try to tell myself that this one will be different, but it always turns out the same. Wednesday we reviewed Thursday’s schedule so that we were all on the same page—what time we would go visit my husband Taylor’s family and what time we’d visit mine, who would make what food and when, and how the kids would act around their cousins and weird uncles. But Thursday rolls around and it never goes according to the schedule. The inevitable Turkey Bowl lasts longer than the guys say it will, someone has inevitably torn an ACL, and if a fight hasn’t broke out there then it will break out somewhere between the pumpkin pie and the kid’s table once lunch rolls around.

This year, again, we got to my in-laws house and I was told “oh, you’re not late, we just call it ‘Greta time.’” And I love being told that my mashed potatoes are “a lot better than they were last year” and that I’m “really on my way to becoming a good cook and mother.” Nothing like first preparing plates for my complaining youngest children only to sit down to a meal richly seasoned with a healthy sprinkling of passive aggression!

My family is no better—women badmouthing the men who are in the other room yelling at a televised football game. Taylor and I inevitably get testy and annoyed with one another, making a bad situation worse.

If that Thursday were not enough, then comes the next day, appropriately called Black Friday, where consumerism, greed, wrath, and envy add the fourth witch to stir a Macbeth-like caldron of anxiety, fear, and despair. Every year I tell myself to not go overboard, not to be suckered in by deals that may cost less money but which are expensive in terms of my mental health. But then I end up in some long line in a store with too many people (and I’ve had too little sleep) fighting with another woman over trinkets to save maybe eight dollars over getting it next week. And this year the madness started on Thursday!

One new wrinkle this year: thank you, Max and Maddie, my very noisy newlywed cousins who “crashed at our place.” You gave Taylor and me a chance to discuss “married love” with our children. Oh, and a little pro tip: don’t leave the wrapper at the top of the trashcan in the nine year-old’s bedroom where you stayed the night, as that necessitates yet another awkward conversation.

So yah, I’m so very grateful that Thanksgiving is over!

Monday, November 23, 2015


“At least we didn't have to go up and sing!”
Brockton, MA—Jordan Rocha, an 8 year-old in the Brockton Massachusetts ward, experienced deeply conflictive feelings about stake conference over the weekend.

“Well, for one thing, the car ride to Boston is so long and boring, and Nathan (6 year-old younger brother) is so annoying,” reported the young sister Rocha. She went on to explain that “Maggie (2 month old sister) cried practically the whole way up there, but then mom let me have the whole bag of goldfish crackers, so that was good.”

Getting to stake conference provided little relief for the young Valiant. She stated that “we were clear back in the gym and you could hardly see the people and we had those metal chairs and that is so annoying.” Still, it was not all bad, as sister Rocha said that “I pretty much got to color the whole time and I did a really nice picture of Princess Leia on a unicorn; it is right here in my scripture bag, so I guess that was okay.” She concluded that “the meeting went on FOREVER with people just talking and talking but I didn’t have to go sister Peters’ class and see Tessa Greenwood who can be so annoying, so I guess that was good too.” 

It may or may not surprise the young sister Rocha that, though they have different reasons for feeling that way, most members of the Brockton ward including Jordan’s parents also experienced deeply conflictive feelings about stake conference.  

Friday, November 13, 2015


Policy Change...? Policy Change...? POLICY CHANGE? POLICY!? CHANGE!?

Policy change, policy change, policy change policy change, policy change, policy change, policy change. Policy change, policy change. Policy change, policy change, policy change. Policy change, policy change, policy change, policy change. Policy change. Policy change, policy change, policy change, policy change. Policy change, policy change, policy change. Policy change, policy change.

Policy. Change. Policy! CHANGE!

policy change

Monday, November 9, 2015


(Clichéd if not journalistically
lazy picture of SLC temple)

Salt Lake City, UT—Sister Helen Forrester and her granddaughter Janet Forrester-Brooks, who otherwise agree on almost nothing, followed a strikingly similar pattern and reach nearly identical conclusions about the Church’s recent policy change on same-sex marriages and their children.

Helen Forrester is a retired mother of 6 who lives in American Fork, Utah. She works as a family history consultant, regularly attends the temple, and has conservative political views that resemble those of most of the members of her ward. Her granddaughter, who is the mother of a 2 year-old, is working on her law degree at Georgetown University while her husband finishes his MBA at the same school. She has strongly contrasting political views from her grandmother, but views that resemble those of her church peer group.

When Helen and Janet both heard the news of the church policy change via social media, they experienced a first stage in an almost identical manner—shock. Neither could believe that what they heard could actually be accurate. They were also both very surprised that the news seemed to leak out instead of being announced by the Church itself. 

Janet and her grandmother next experienced an identical second stage—grief. Janet confided in her husband and Helen noted in her journal that “this news felt like a punch to the stomach.” As both worked through their grief, they also found a common source of sorrow—what would happen to the children. Janet worried about Ken and Mark’s daughter Lily. Mark had been a married, active member of the church, but eventually divorced, left the church and found a wonderful partner in Ken. Mark’s daughter from his previous marriage loved the church, and was to be baptized next year. This policy cancels that and makes any participation in the church on Mark’s part difficult at best. Janet grieved how this might impact Ken and Lily, as well as Lily’s still active mother Alyssa.

Janet’s grandmother experienced a parallel grief. She knew of several of her friends who had grandchildren from broken or blended homes. She immediately thought of Kaighlee, Brayden, and Kammie, kids whose church participation would be at least jeopardized.

Sisters Helen Forrester and Janet Forrester-Brooks wept.

In response to their grief, both sisters turned to others, to the scriptures, to church hymns, and to prayer. Both sisters found solace in hymn’s like “Where Can I Turn for Peace” and “Master the Tempest is Raging.” Both found support and comfort in the wise words of friends while still struggling with their grief. Both fasted Sunday morning, though not in a public manner for fear of how others might respond. Both happened to turn to a favorite talk, a talk that neither knew the other one liked: Sister Jayne B. Malan’s talk “The Summer of the Lambs.” Both begged the Lord that this new policy would not harm His lambs. 

While both Sister Helen Forrester and her granddaughter Janet Forrester-Brooks, as they tried to work, faithfully, through a response to this policy change, passed through parallel experiences, neither was aware of those similarities nor of how they might have supported each other.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Elder Hales’ neighbor who, despite “wild party,” 
was not at all disturbed 
Salt Lake City, UT-- More details have leaked out about an October, post-General Conference Quorum of the Twelve party that at least one participant described as “out of control.” According to an unnamed source, the party, which this year was at elder Robert D. Hales’ home, had “more caffeine-free Diet Coke and Fig Newtons than even last year’s blowout—and we all know how crazy that one got!”

Many attribute the unprecedented initiation of three new apostles into the Quorum as the reason why this year’s party was, according to M. Russell Ballard, “quite the hootenanny!” Elder Ballard, who reported on the party to staffers at the Church Office Building the next morning, said that “of course we started with a little Old Testament Pictionary, just to show the young whippersnappers how serious we were about this shindig, and by the time we got to the Hymns of the Church Name That Tune, well, as my great grandkids would put it, it was off the rope (or chain or however that goes).”

“Yes, as always there was quite the revelry,” said Elder Holland the next morning. He continued, “we were slapping high-fives, swapping stories about calling new stake presidents, telling the new guys about our first conference talks—I would even go so far as to say that some of us were on the verge of a little loud laughter—but I guess that’s just how we march or do it or roll or whatever.”

According to several staffers, the festivities “really pushed the envelope—they almost made it to 9:30 this year!” One staffer noted that “some of the new guys still seemed fresh after 9 o’clock, causing Elders Nelson and Oaks to look on and shake their heads with that look of enjoy-your-youth-while-you-can on their faces.” 

Church staffers also reported that this year’s party had to be held at Elder Hales’ home since Sister Bednar was “still a little upset after April and the mess they’d left in the downstairs rumpus room.”

Monday, October 26, 2015


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.
This is how missionaries should feel

In the mission field, just like in the rest of the world, leadership callings are how the Lord tells us and everyone else that we are righteous and that He approves of us. You can always tell the best missionaries in the very same way that you can know the most righteous men at any given time: they are the leaders. We know this because God would only call the most righteous and the best to be examples for everyone else—duh!

When the time comes that you are called to be a leader, you might feel hesitant, but rest assured, the most important principle, the very key to mission leadership, is learning to harness and encourage the self-righteousness of those you are leading. Not everyone knows this, so let me explain it carefully.

Self-righteousness is the natural feeling of joy and confidence that righteous people feel. They use their whole self to be righteous, and that “self-righteousness” makes them glowing examples to others.

It is essential that you encourage that self-righteousness if you are going to get missionaries who work hard, who are anxiously engaged, and who spend every waking (and even sleeping) minute focused on staying righteous and avoiding the devastating consequences of even the smallest flaw or oversight. Missionary training, district meetings, zone meetings, mission meetings, interviews—in every interaction you should pound home the terrible consequences of the slightest disobedience to even the most minor of rules, highlighting how exactly obedient missionaries are blessed while the disobedient are punished.

One phrase that is always helpful is this—The Lord’s High Standards. Constantly talk about the Lord’s high standards. Those standards are the rules, every one of which must be kept with exact obedience. But don’t forget the word “high.” These are high standards because they are up, heavenly, way above the earth and above what “other missionaries” might complacently accept. Self-righteous missionaries, by living by the Lord’s high standards, enjoy being higher, above, closer to God and with a better view of God’s work as well as a clear view of the lower, less righteous, and not-quite-as-accepted-by-the-Lord other missionaries.

There are other benefits, besides the inherently higher perspective and lifted up status of self-righteous missionaries, that come with emphasizing the Lord’s high standards. When you constantly emphasize the Lord’s high standards, then the missionaries you lead will feel an incredible amount of guilt, shame, and godly sorrow when they break even the smallest rule. They will know that they have fallen, and fallen far, with even the slightest deviation of the Lord’s high standards of exact obedience. Those missionaries will immediately repent and be even more anxiously engaged. They will probably be even more afraid of you, knowing in their hearts that they don’t match up with the Lord’s high standards as exemplified by mission leaders. This will encourage the respect and obedience that the Lord wants all missionaries to have towards mission leaders.

Some missionaries don’t understand the importance of harnessing and encouraging the inherent self-righteousness that obedient missionaries should have. They talk about “following the Spirit” or “living by the Spirit of the law” instead of the letter of the law. That, of course, is Satan’s way of justifying sin, and those missionaries will not have the Spirit, will not be leaders, will fail, or, if they do make it, will probably get divorced some day or have a daughter that gets pregnant out of wedlock! There is a law decreed in Heaven, and when you break even the smallest mission rule, God, who will not be mocked, will punish you! Some less-than-strictly obedient missionaries might “prosper for a time,” teaching people who seem to love the gospel and love the missionaries, but rest assured that sooner or later, they will reap the terrible consequences of their sinfulness!

Some missionaries, clearly possessed by an evil, deceitful spirit, even say that Christ was not self-righteous and that He put loving people before keeping rules. They are deceived into thinking that the self-righteous worship rules instead of God. Such missionaries are children of the evil one, have gone astray, have let go of the iron rod, wander in forbidden paths, and casually meander down broad roads instead of the straight and narrow. Such missionaries don’t have a testimony that all mission (and church) rules, policies, statements, manuals, and procedures are given by God. Such missionaries are probably secretly hippies whose spirit bodies have tattoos and whose spirit faces have beards! Satan tells them, in the same way he deceived Korihor, to claim that fear, frustration, and despair are the opposite of faith, hope, and love. They lyingly talk about Jesus’ yoke being light and that working alongside Him should be liberating and easy. But Satan rejoices in those who are at ease in Zion! Don’t let those you lead fall into those traps, or you might not have the success that other leaders see and that proves that you are a great, righteous leader. 

All the best,

Elder Kory Anton

PS: if these essential tools of cultivating, encouraging, and harnessing self-righteousness seem unfamiliar, think back to a typical Standards Night from when you were a youth! 

Monday, October 19, 2015


Possible Photo of Brother Lowaitt
Emeraldsboro, NC—The Father of All Lies has recently deceived area man Graig Lowaitt into leaving Zion and moving to Utah. While the Fiend of the Infernal Pit lured Graig with a job promotion and a chance to be close to some family, reports indicate that it was a series of other lies that succeeded in clouding the mind of the otherwise smart and sensible brother Lowaitt. Some of those lies include “it will be fun and easy to live around all of those Mormons” and “people there are nonjudgmental and feel no pressure to keep up with their neighbors!”

Brother Lowaitt will need all of the Devil’s help in convincing his wife and children that this is for everyone’s good. Sister Lucy Gustofdaughter Lowaitt, who seems to thrive in an environment with rich diversity and missionary opportunities, will be especially difficult to convince. Satan has whispered to Graig to he tell his wife: “I’m sure you will be very happy among so many passionate, gun-toting, xenophobic, flag-waving Republicans who equate Zion with everyone acting, thinking, and believing like everyone else!”

Bother Lowaitt harbored some doubts about what is clearly a demonically foolish idea, but the lies that seem to have tipped him over to the dark side came when Satan said, “No one will miss you in North Carolina” and “oh, and Utah is so pretty!”

Monday, October 5, 2015


While this was on, what did you see?
Salt Lake City, UT—Blogs, Twitter comments, Facebook postings and other social media messages throughout this weekend revealed how liberal and conservative Mormons alike highlighted the many “devastating missed opportunities” yet again in this year’s General Conference.

Two of the most common “missed opportunities” according to liberal Mormons were not having any non-Utah apostles called and “not doing more to end the ban on facial hair.” On this first complaint, one liberal blogger wrote that “I’m sure God knows some really great brown men who could have been up there, but we all know that the Twelve only want their white buddies in the club!” The twitter hashtag #blessthebeard included strings of comments about how conference presenters or at least talks “could have brought to an end the terrible cultural taboo against faithful facial follicles!”

Conservative Mormons also complained loudly on social media about key chances that Church leaders missed. Facebook saw the viral spread of an article highlighting how, “if he were here, Elder Packer would have warned about the impending demise of the family, would have praised Kim Davis, and would have prophesied, poetically, about how Obama is seeking to destroy the God-ordained Constitution and the divine sanction of our automatic weapons.”

Besides these “missed opportunities,” liberals complained about the “late timing” and “hypocrisy” of President Nelson’s talk about women asserting their voices in the Church, while conservative Mormons, reacting to this very emphasis on women, started an All Voices Matter campaign. Conservatives called for more personal stories of great church leaders and less emphasis on how they might be “fallible” or “human,” while liberals complained about Elder Bednar’s “deification” and “circular justification” of the prevailing “gerontocracy.” Where conservatives pointed out how hard it is to understand the bizarre accents of so many people “who sound like foreigners,” liberals saw a missed opportunity for talks in other languages. 

Both groups also expressed dismay at members who “just pull quotes and unthinkingly post them” or who “only find the sort of feel-good reinforcement that they want.” Those from the left and right fear that “most members don’t really get it” or “miss out on some very important principles” if “all they get from Conference is renewed reassurance, rekindled faith, and a resolve to find more joy.” Liberals and conservatives used social media to shake their collective heads at “those people,” noting that “those people are the real losers from this Conference’s missed opportunities!”   

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Salt Lake City, UT—In a surprise and hastily announced press conference, LDS Church spokesperson LaVernal Jorgesen met with the press yesterday to dispel “myths about succession in the church and the naming of apostles.”

“There are no Apostolic Succession Cage Matches,” refuted Jorgesen flatly, “they just don’t happen!” Jorgesen’s comments came in response to descriptions and photographs in LDS PowerSurge, a blog that describes MMA-style fights between candidates for apostle. The blog features a very popular article purportedly showing a training match between Elders Nelson and Oaks. That practice match reportedly shows how Nelson’s “surgical precision” and “maybe wrong, maybe right, but never in doubt” medical confidence led to the 8 round dismantling of Oaks’ “belabored” and “legalistic” fighting style.

Jorgesen denied that such cage matches exist, claiming that the reports and photographs were fakes. The church spokesperson added that while Nelson could probably “rip your heart right out like no Aztec ever did,” he also noted that “everyone can easily discern that his kindly glint would be no match for Oaks’ take-no-prisoners, Eye of the Litigious Tiger.”

Jorgesen also denied that the more senior apostles still called younger members of the quorum, like Elders Bednar and Cook, the “Young Wipersnappers.” Jorgesen added, “and let me be perfectly clear on this: no one has ever called Elder Holland ‘Jowls of Fury!’”

As the press conference closed, Jorgesen added that the downloadable PDF of The Next Apostle Pick-um is not an official church document and should be “removed from the fridges of the faithful immediately.” 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Odd how many missionaries are happy!
Lima, Perú—Elder James Roth, who believed he would “just pretty much suffer through two years as a missionary” has found, against all of his expectations, that he is actually “really, really happy.”

When Roth was called to serve, he told his friends and family back in Lehi, Utah that “honestly I’m just going because it is my duty” and “it does seem like the Lord wants me to go.” Roth believed that spending two years in Perú, learning to speak Spanish, and being so far from the people, television shows, video games, music, and movies that meant so much to him would leave him mostly miserable. In his final talk in church, Roth’s emphasis was on sacrifice and giving up one’s desires for the Lord.

So it has come as a completely unexpected surprise that Roth has found himself “happier than he ever could have imagined” while working as a missionary. As Roth put it, “my first companion was Peruvian, and I just have to say that we didn’t always get along, but I cannot tell you how happy I was when we invited our first investigator to be baptized and she said yes!” Added Roth, “it was so much better than being back home in Utah and going out with friends to see yet another ridiculous superhero movie.”

While Roth has had chances to teach and see people embrace the gospel, he has also had many difficult, painful experiences, experiences that he anticipated but which he thought would cast a predominantly unhappy pallor over his two year service. “Yah,” explained Roth, “there was the time when the a woman we had been teaching had a nervous breakdown or the times we’ve been cussed out or when dinner appointments have fallen through, but I never thought I could be so happy even with so many challenges!”

Roth’s work and response seem to be fairly typical. He has had trouble with the language, with MTC food, with companions, with annoying ward members, with dogs, and with a constant stream of rejection. “I figured I’d deal with those things,” said Roth, “I just didn’t realize how much joy I could find in the midst of all of it.”

As Roth has only a few weeks left in his mission, he has started to ponder the next stages of life. Concluded Roth, “well, if the misery of being a missionary can actually bring joy, maybe it might even be worth it to have kids!” 

Monday, September 7, 2015


We have seer stones that look like chocolate-caramel candies;
how could you not want to stick around for that!
Toledo, OH—Local satirist and church member Shania Bender, in spite of her best efforts, cannot seem to get excommunicated.

“I would have thought I’d be long gone by now,” said Bender in a recent conversation with Zion’s finest news source. “I mean, I’ve written about gay marriage, women and the priesthood, heck, I’ve even made fun of Provo, Temple Square, City Creek Mall, and Republicans!”

Bender recounted that a few years ago she was asked to speak with a member of her stake presidency. “I thought, you know, back then, ‘okay, this is it!’ But what happened,” explained Bender, “is that we had a nice, open conversation.” Bender went on to say that “by the end I felt like he wanted people like me, people he described as ‘different’ and ‘with a bizarre but clever take on things’ to be in the church!” Bender concluded that, “here I thought I’d be reprimanded and kicked out, but I ended up getting called to teach early morning seminary since, as he put it, ‘I might relate well with the youth and make mornings fun!’”

When asked why she doesn’t just leave the church, Bender clarified that “I used to imagine bringing about a dramatic revolution in the church, being a martyr for a cause, you know, someone who uses words like ‘oppression,’ ‘structural abuse,’ ‘brain-wash,’ ‘whitewashed history,’ and ‘microaggressions’ all of the time and with dark sincerity. What I’ve found,” continued Bender, “is that the church is mostly people doing their best, and I like being with them, and fixing mistakes seems easier from the inside.”

“When I really got down to it,” concluded Bender, “it seems like some people respond to humor, and, well, let’s face it, some things about Mormons and Mormon culture are hilarious!” 

“When a friend once asked me why I stay, I told her it was for the material!”  

Monday, August 31, 2015


“If that isn’t your little Braedyn,
you’re doing something wrong!” 
Salt Lake City, UT—This week’s announcement that the church would continue its close ties with the Boy Scouts of America program came as a tremendous relief to Zion’s tens of thousands of frenzied and competitive mothers.

“Oh I know I let out a huge sigh of relief,” recounted Jennifer Brandeis. “I will never forget that President Benson promised that if boys like my Ryler would check off all of the right boxes, you know, Eagle Scout, seminary, mission, go to prom with a girl in a modest dress, then his place in the celestial kingdom would be sealed forever and ever!” Brandeis added that “now all I have to do is make sure he does exactly those things no matter what and then I’ll know I’ve been a good mom.”

Brandeis’ relief was echoed by mothers like Janet Young who explained that “not only does the Scouting program provide instruction and character-building activities, but rank advancements and merit badges give me a way to measure my son’s growth and value and also to see how well I’m doing as a mother.” Young went on to explain that “without scouting it could be impossible to know what moms to look out for, you know, because they are doing so much, and what moms are really dropping the ball when it comes to raising righteous sons and future stake presidents in Zion!”

In addition to providing sons and mothers with a clear measuring stick for growth and value, Scouting, according to mothers like Anne Parks, “gives my sons Stevyn, Wesley, and Kredence the surest guard against the evils of our day like exposure to pornography and experimentation with, um, you know, inappropriate things and activities.” 

Monday, August 17, 2015


Commentary by Daniel Perkins

We live in an exciting time in the church. The scriptures promise that the Lord will give us “liberally,” and let me tell you that that is just about to happen. Just like God lifted the ban on Black men in the priesthood, I’m sure he just about to lift the ban on women in the priesthood, gay marriage, and on enjoying whatever you define as love with whoever or whatever you want! Everyone knows that these policy changes are right around the corner, but one that not everyone is seeing is the restoration of communal ownership and the revocation of the former commandment “Thou shalt not steal.”

First, a little history lesson. God gave the commandment to not steal only because Israel was not ready for the higher principle of communal ownership. People back then were too greedy and selfish, so God wanted to keep the peace. That is why he gave the commandment. In fact, the Hebrew word “Schwindl” is more about deception than taking from someone what you think should be yours too.

Modern revelation, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, tells us that the day will come when “theft” as we call it now will not be a sin. Inspired poetic prophets, modern day Isaiahs, have, for years now, begged us to imagine a world with no possessions, but they so often wonder aloud if we can. This blessed restoration will usher in a world with neither greed nor hunger, a true human siblinghood! Some might hold, falsely, that such claims are fantasy, even dreams, but it will surely be a great day when I can share my neighbor’s food, car, house, television, wife, daughter, cat, and healthcare without having to break my back, slave away at school, make sacrifices, form exclusive relationships, or follow some narrow, old-law, demanding set of rules and restrictions set by teachers or employers. On that day everyone will speak in the name of the Lord, saying what the Lord inspired that person to say.

How do I know this? I have, like Moses, traveled to the mountain with my forward-thinking, enlightened friends, and there we have seen how God intends us to use all of nature’s gifts and plants so that young men can dream dreams and see visions. I hope one day you will join us, and then you’ll know the true, ancient, inspiration symbol: the burning bush.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Popular Anti-Olive Garden YouTube Video
American Fork, UT—In a move that he announced on Facebook, Gene Dyer let his family, friends, and acquaintances know that he is “no longer attending, patronizing, or affiliated with Olive Garden.” Making it clear that his decision “has not come quickly,” Dyer explained that after years of enjoying the “all-you-can eat soups and those tangy summer pastas,” he had “discovered deeply disturbing culinary errors.” Dyer went on to explain that he was “shocked to find out that what he had relied upon to be crunchy and fresh every time” was destroyed when he found “those four or five unexpected raisins in his all-you-can eat house salad.”

Dyer, who also happens to have recently left the Mormon Church, went on to clarify that he wasn’t renouncing the popular Italian chain “because he was offended” or because “he wanted to go off on some wild Republican and NRA-fueled meat orgy at Texas Roadhouse.” Instead he insisted that he had only sought what is truthful and lovely in every meal, but that finding “ugly, shriveled raisins where one expects lettuce, parmesan cheese, and maybe an onion” had led him first to question, then doubt, then “bravely move on” from a restaurant that had been his emotional and culinary home for his entire life.

Over 150 people responded to Dyer’s Facebook announcement. Some expressed shock and bewilderment. Others expressed support, adding their experiences with “squishy gnocchi,” “tilapia and shrimp that had clearly at one time been frozen,” as well as the shock and disillusionment of finding “three completely different preparations of the Citrus Chicken Sorrento at different yet supposedly participating restaurants.” In a similar vein were comments that featured YouTube videos of “Olive Garden Exposed,” “Top 10 Olive Garden Problems Explained!,” and “The Real Truth about Fake Italian.” Dyer himself mentioned how internet research had helped him see the truth about Olive Garden.

Other people responded differently to Dyer’s announcement. Some talked about warm, loving family trips to Olive Garden that Dyer would now be missing. Others tried to counter comments and videos with personal experiences, with accounts of people finding joy and satisfaction while dining and even working at the popular eatery, and with information to refute anti-Olive Garden claims, information taken from websites like FairGarden. 

Dyer mentioned that “at one time it all fit together, the breadsticks and pasta, the chicken, the beef, and the tiramisu,” but that all started to crumble “with those shocking raisins right there in the salad, and now the more that I look, the more I find it is all at best a quaint but deluded place if not a terrible dining fabrication.” This sense that Olive Garden must be complete, whole, and perfect, with no mistakes, flawless presentation and service, or be the restaurant that is “true and living” seems to have prevented Dyer from just forking the raisins out of the salad and enjoying his meal.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Completely real, unphotoshopped picture of hunters with cat, really
Salt Lake City, UT—In a move sure to spark renewed outrage, Walter Palmer, the same Minnesota dentist who recently killed the famous lion Cecil has, over the weekend, hunted and killed President Monson’s cat.

The prophet’s cat, whose full name is Mahonri-Moriancum-Puurrrrr, but who is also called the Cousin of Cecil or just Whiskers, was apparently lured away from its Salt Lake home to City Creek Mall, where it was dazzled by high end shopping and fabulous dining options, only to be shot first by a crossbow and then by a high-powered shotgun, assault rifle, and two fully automatic pistols.

Investigators, in piecing together the cat’s death, noted that the perpetrator “took the tour of Temple Square” and then went with “hired guides” in search of his latest highly-prized feline trophy. Investigators noted the dark twist in the fact that all three hunters initially met at the Lion House.

While he has not yet met with reporters to talk about the loss, President Monson posted this on his Twitter account: “Feline Friends R Lost; Hearts R Gritty Clumps of Sorrow in What Sometimes Feels like the Litter Box of Life.”

Monday, July 27, 2015


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.

Do Not Get the Wrong Idea from this BYU Art Museum
Installation Art Piece
Believe it or not, sometimes people ask missionaries questions that just seem so obvious that you might not know what to say. Never fear. Here are some tips for dealing with what some missionaries erroneously call “tough questions.” These are all pretty easy when you think about it. Today’s question is:

Is the Church Homophobic?

First, “homophobic” means afraid of gays, and clearly we are not afraid of gays any more than we are afraid of murderers, child molesters, or coffee drinkers. We know that so long as all of them repent of their terrible wickedness then they can get whatever glory might be available for them. Those who suffer from the grievous affliction of same-sex attraction should just trust God and He will take away their affliction just like He heals drug addicts, Democrats, and all of those brown people who come to this country illegally.

Second, the Church has a right to decide who should be in the church and members have a responsibility to make sure people only feel as welcome as God wants them to feel. We don’t want coffee drinkers or adulterers or Socialists to believe that God’s grace will cover them without lots of clear, public repentance so that we can all know their hearts. Therefore, when we see a guy with a pink shirt, or an earring, or who compares the Gospel to Broadway musicals, it is every member’s responsibility to make it clear to him that if he is as gay as he seems then he is not accepted by God. God’s disapproval of him should be clear in our every interaction with him! The same goes for girls with really short hair and who don’t seem eager to please others, especially men. Those women need to know that the pain of being a social outcast because of their same-sex attraction is how we all make sure they have sufficient godly sorrow for sin.

Third, missionaries should probably not waste their time teaching gay people. Missionary work is easier if you pre-screen people, so that if they already look like a nice Mormon family then teach them. Bringing someone that doesn’t really fit in in church is just an annoyance for everyone. Remember that the Comforter helps all of us feel safe and protected within our comfort zone.

Finally, remember back in the October, 2013 General Conference, when Elder Soares talked about an African saint named Brother Moses Mahlangu? That should be a lesson to all of us. Brother Mahlangu learned patience and meekness by not being allowed to be in church. Gays can also learn about those importantly godly qualities in a similar manner, and it is our role as saints to occasionally prop a window open for them. When the righteous know where they belong and when sinners know that they must repent of their chosen sinfulness then we can all say that, in truth, all is well in Zion, yea Zion prospers!

Some missionaries might be tempted by Satan to not accept the truths presented above. Such missionaries might believe that members should be compassionate toward everyone, that missionaries should share the gospel with everyone, and that all of us should leave judgment to those with a stewardship and with the Lord. Those people may also wonder, sinfully, if the day might come when gays are as accepted as Black people. That will never happen because God’s ways never, ever, ever change, because God wants everyone to be productive and have children, because of all of Jesus’ clear teachings in the New Testament about the evils of gayness (which I cannot seem to find right now, but they are there!), and because that is just gross. When it comes right down to it, if you have such sinful ideas, you at least lack faith in Church leaders and you’re probably gay.

Finally, have confidence in God’s work. Just like the hymn “High on a Mountain Top” says, we can trust that Zion’s banner and light will indeed “attract the gaze / of all the world in latter days.”

All the best,

Elder Kory Anton

Monday, July 20, 2015


Similar though far inferior tunnel recently found in Mexico
Guadalajara, Mexico—In a complex scheme involving hours of digging, reduced nap time, and perhaps dozens of Sunbeams, 4 children used an elaborate tunnel to escaped from the Guadalajara, El Rincón ward’s nursery.

“One minute I was working with the kids, I turned to see why one child was crying, and when I looked back they had vanished,” said Sister Eugenia González Molina, one of two women assigned to work in the nursery. “Lucky for us the Bishop installed a surveillance system just a few weeks ago, so we saw on the tape how they opened a trapped door under the snack table and slipped out.”

Ward and stake investigators have been called in to assess the situation. What they found was a sophisticated tunnel dug directly under the church building. Reported one stake leader who would not give his name, “when we sent our Valients to investigate the tunnel, they reported that it was equipped with lighting, air conditioning, and juice boxes.”

The escape plan seems to have targeted one particular child, a notorious boy who has been a ringleader in acquiring extra fruit snacks for some of the kids. Ward leaders had been keeping an eye on this boy, known as “El Chupito,” after finding stains on the carpet from where he had smuggled drinks with red dye in them into the church.

“We are worried that these kids are still on the loose,” reported one official, “but what really concerns us is how many Primary board members must have looked the other way or been too intimidated to say anything as this plot to free El Chupito was developing.” After some speculation about who might be involved, the same official added that “one wonders how high up the corruption goes!”

Monday, July 13, 2015


This Sister May Have Reassured Shelton
DERRY, NH—Area woman Hannah Shelton, though a victim of still painful childhood sexual abuse, is a fabulous mother and wife and doesn’t even realize it.

“Oh, I work hard not to dwell on the past, you know, and I just try to do what I can,” said Shelton. What Shelton does not realize is that her heroic and faithful efforts to deal with that past have helped to make her the loving, compassionate, and courageous woman that powerfully blesses the lives of her 5 children as well as her husband.

Researchers over the past decade or so have seen more and more overlap with victims of childhood sexual abuse and traumatized soldiers returning from battle. Some of those common symptoms include long-term consequences like a higher incidence of depression, intrusive flashback memories, hypervigilance, maladaptive coping skills, dysfunctional social skills, and an overactive stress response. One would think that such weighty obstacles would destroy someone, but it some ways those very obstacles have helped sister Shelton grow.

It is common for Shelton to express apprehension at how often she feels “blue” or how she just struggles trying to do everything she thinks she should do. But for someone with a much higher risk for depression, Shelton tries to do what she can, and then accepts what she cannot do. As she commented during a recent Relief Society lesson, “you know, sometimes I feel so discouraged, and then I try to get quiet, you know, all over, and have faith enough to hear my Heavenly Parents tell me how much They love me and how they accept the offerings I can make, even if my efforts sometimes seem like the ‘widow’s mite’.”

Shelton also has to battle with intrusive flashback memories and hypervigilance. This has affected her relationship with her husband Matt. Said Hannah, “yah, it has been a very rocky road at times with Matt, and I worry, deep down, that he might be better off without me.” Wiping away a tear, Hannah continued, “we’ve had lots of talks and he has always been patient, kind, and loving, especially when I have had the courage to confide in him.” Hannah continued that, “we’ve had to develop some code words that let him know, um, where I am and what I need. One night, for example, I really needed to be held, you know, just held, and he was watching a football game that was a big deal to him. Well, it took some time, but he could see that I needed him, so he turned off the game and snuggled with me. For some reason, the code word I say in similar situations is ‘Omaha, Omaha’.”

Hannah worries constantly that her fears will have a negative impact on her children. In this, she has learned to trust Matt, and, working together, they do their best to combine Matt’s easy-going nature, seemingly eternal optimism, and confidence with Hannah’s eagle-eye for potential dangers. Matt works hard to always be loyal and supportive of his wife around the kids, especially the teenagers.

For his part, Matt has never regretted his marriage, relationship, and friendship with Hannah. As Matt put it, “I only wish she could see how amazing, how powerful, how faithful she is! I could never be that strong, and I’m glad I get to do my small part to support her. And I don’t think I’ll ever meet someone with a testimony as powerful as Hannah’s of the power of Christ’s atonement.”   

Monday, June 29, 2015


Menlo Park, CA—Facebook announced this morning that during the last week Mormons created a record 8,387,928 Facebook status updates that were deleted within 24 hours.

“What we saw last week was remarkable by any standards,” said David Dengate, spokesperson for Facebook. “To see over 8 million Facebook statuses posted and then so quickly deleted initially baffled everyone here,” elaborated Dengate. He went on to say that “when we looked at the analytics, we saw that it was Mormons who were posting a status, often followed by a number of comments, only to then delete that status.”

Facebook’s extensive analytical tools allowed them to group those statuses by content. What emerged from this examination was that the lion’s share were about Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, with others centered around whether or not Mormons could support that ruling, with other deleted statuses about the confederate flag controversy.

What Facebook researchers found was that some deleted statuses supported while others opposed the Supreme Court’s decision. A typical status of support read something like this: “Love God First and don’t fear men by allowing worldly standards to destroy the family as outlined in the Proclamation. And delete friends with that wicked rainbow picture.” A standard support status went something like this: “Love God First and don’t fear men, even if those men are respected, wise church leaders. You can believe that they are prophets AND that God is pleased with gay marriage, just like you could believe in 1977 that all worthy men should hold the priesthood. If you don’t have a rainbow profile picture, then you would have opposed Blacks getting the priesthood in the 70s.”

Researchers also found that a typical inflammatory status that might quickly get deleted could be “Set your clocks for 14 years; by then the church will accept gay marriage” or “Set your clocks for 14 months; by then we will see the calamities warned about in the Proclamation.”

One status that was very common on the east coast was this one: “All of us Mormons here in North Carolina would like to invite the Supreme Court justices who forced gay marriage on us to come down to our state and take a nice long swim at one of our beaches.” 

When asked to elaborate on so many Facebook statuses created and deleted, one researcher wondered if Mormons had really grasped how to have a respectful, public debate about controversial issues without being offensive or being offended, or how to do it in such a way that Mormons could have genuine difference and diversity while being of one heart and one mind.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Thank Heaven Only One is Mormon!
Commentary by Linda Hollingsworth

Politics is back, and even though the presidential election is not for another year and a half, I believe that for the next 18 months I will thank God every day that Donald Trump isn’t a Mormon.

With Trump’s recent campaign announcement speech came all of the reminders about the last election. And I’ll just admit it—it was stressful for me having a Mormon run for president. We all know that not all of the attention that the church got from Romney’s campaign was positive. That said, at least Romney is not a stark raving idiot who believed he could get Mexico to build some huge border wall!

Romney’s campaign created some difficult conversations before the last election. I actually had a 30 minute conversation about if Mormons had strict smiling and hair standards. Thanks Romney. But at least Romney didn’t sport that pathetic comb over or whatever else Trump has on his lopsided skull!

I was glad when the last election was over—it was fatiguing. I’m sure that this next election will be tiresome, but one huge blessing is the guy who bragged about his net worth and flippantly claimed he could beat both China and ISIS isn’t a Mormon. I know that the “gospel net catches all kinds,” but I’m glad it has never caught him!

Monday, June 15, 2015


Commentary by Mark Langston
It started dramatically like this,
but after a few hundred thousand...

Judgment Day has always seemed like a big deal, but I’ve got to say that now that we are about 10 million people into it, it is getting pretty repetitive.

Sure, the first 300,000 or so are great, you know, exciting and interesting stuff. But somehow, around 500,000, it all becomes sort of predictable. You start saying, “Okay, and then she became a teenager and started to be mean and exclusive” or “Yep, and when he got that big promotion and everything was going smoothly he started to feel both entitled and afraid, and that is why he slept with that waitress in Denver.” In the first few hundred thousand there were still some surprises, but once you’ve done a million people you feel like you’ve pretty much seen it all.

I will add this: I’m glad I’m not up until we’ve done a few billion, because by then I’m sure no one will be paying attention except for the people who knew me. When this all started I was worried about having my entire life up on the Big Screen and having my sins shouted from the proverbial rooftops, but after you’ve seen so many sins, especially after you’ve seen so many predictable patterns, well, this whole thing starts to feel like some graduation ceremony that has gone on entirely too long. 

If there is one take away from the whole thing, I’d say it is that other people’s lives are somehow more different yet more similar than one could have known before. The whole process makes me wish I would have paid better attention to people, to their challenges and struggles, before I leapt to such incomplete judgments. Oh, and I wish that I could have maybe been a little more patient with myself, but that was really difficult when I believed that my sins and struggles were so unique and uniquely terrible. 

What I really wish now is that “day” only meant a 24 hour period—my butt really hurts and from what I can see this “day” will last as long as one of those creation periods!