Monday, June 6, 2016


No Need to Fear; We have got you Covered!
Need a church talk in a pinch? Did a speaker not show up? Did you forget you were supposed to speak? Are you just too plain hungover to write one? The Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer is here for you. Below is the All-Purpose Church Talk. We provide the talk; you fill in the blank what whatever you were supposed to talk about.

Dear Brothers and Sisters. I am grateful to speak with you today about ______.  I must admit that I had mixed feelings in getting this assignment and in the preparation of my remarks for you today. I have felt excited, apprehensive, one could even say there have been moments blighted by the infamous “stupor of thought.” Still, in spite of struggles both spiritual and intellectual, I think I can express all of the thoughts that have come to me on this vital and central church doctrine.

I don’t want to fall into the old cliché of the dictionary definition of ______. I think that we all know what it means. And I don’t want to go through an entire list of scriptures, passages that may only relate at best tangentially to this crucial doctrine. In fact, I think it is perhaps best to say that ______ is closely link, even inseparably linked, with other essential gospel elements and principles. Those inextricably bound correlatives include [insert some topics which you have recently spoken on, heard about, thought about, or just use “sacrifice” and “family prayer”].  When we link [what you just said] and ______, we notice how these principles are interwoven in a vast tapestry of truth and light.

As mentioned previously, prophets from the Old Testament knew about ______, and some of their writings, even if they are now lost elements of their oral history, attest to its importance. New Testament prophets, coming as they did in the meridian of time, naturally embraced this central concept. This concept was not unknown to those in Book of Mormon lands as current scriptures or future records demonstrate. Our modern day prophets have not only embraced it, but they have offered their own insights and perspectives, something that meets the needs of saints living now in the latter days. ______ is so important, so vital for our spiritual growth that I challenge each one of you to go back though the most recent General Conference, paying careful attention to what the speakers and the Spirit tell you about _______. Clearly ______ is important to the Lord, as prophetic writings demonstrate. If the Lord has placed so much emphasis on it, how can we not search into it, ponder its implications for our lives, and see it bless our lives and the lives of those we love.

I think we not only all understand ______ better and have a stronger grasp of its importance to God, but I hope you feel invited to conduct your own study of it. My ideas cannot be a substitute for what you will get, and what I have said will be unclear to you if you don’t do the work yourself of studying it out, pondering it, and applying it in your life. I would add that talks like this one often inspire us to more action instead of simply trying to fill us with knowledge or ideas, since passively being filled does not engage our agency and lead to real growth.

[if you still have lots of time, take this detour]: Still, before leaving ______ and drawing my message to a close, it think it is valuable to consider [mention a new topic that you can ramble on about to fill the remaining time, and make it seem connected to the assigned topic. Suggested new topics include: faith, Kolob, how the church might grow and change with the colonization of Mars, etc.]

I know it is a cliché, but I admit that I am the one who learned most about this topic because of this talk, though hopefully you are just as edified as I have been. How often does it seem that the Lord carries the message that others need to hear with or without the aid of whoever is actually speaking? Our time has truly been well spent as we have pondered ______ together this day.

[Finish with your testimony, tears optional].