Monday, July 18, 2016

LDS SCIENTISTS DISCOVER LAW OF CONSERVATION OF MISSIONARY MASS

Scientific conclusions made with math like this
but with skinny and fat missionaries
Provo, UT—Scientists at BYU’s Center for Physics, Heath, and Tracting announced this week the discovery of a law governing the total mass of all currently serving missionaries. C-PHaT scientists have proven that, although the mass of some missionaries in places like Brazil might go down, that decrease is balanced by mass gain for missionaries serving in places like the US Mountain West.

“We have proven that the total mass of all combined missionaries is a constant, even though individual missionaries may fluctuate, proving an absolute conservation of missionary mass,” stated Dr. Joyce Floyd, a fellow at C-PHaT. Dr. Floyd added that, “what this proves is that the total mass of missionaries is an eternal constant that can never be created nor destroyed.”

The discoveries Dr. Floyd and her colleagues have made were inspired by observations made in some wards in the eastern United States. In one ward, a sister missionary in Brazil had lost 40 pounds in her first six months. This was of course of interest to C-PHaT scientists, but they also found that, in the same ward, two other missionaries serving in the Mountain West had gained 20 pounds each. Said Dr. Floyd’s colleague, Dr. Drew Brunick, “when we saw this conservation of missionary mass, we had to see if this was an isolated incident or part of God’s unchanging laws of proselyting physics.”

With data from the church via monthly missionary reports, C-PHaT discovered the eternal principle of missionary mass conservation. Dr. Floyd noted that even when some missionaries “finally shed a few pounds at the end, just before they go home,” this loss of mass was countered by the gains in “missionaries who finally got used to all that weird, foreign food, and who even planned on bringing some home.” 

Monday, June 6, 2016

THE ALL-PURPOSE CHURCH TALK

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].

Monday, May 23, 2016

MOTHER OF LDS BRIDE MISTAKENLY BELIEVES SHE HAS ANY SAY IN MARRIAGE PLANS

The older Sister Harris requested no jumping pictures;
little does she know there will be jumping pictures.
Gilbert, AZ—Area mother Madeleine Harris is currently working under the delusion that she will have any real say in the planning of her daughter’s upcoming wedding.

“Well, I just told her she can’t get married over Christmas, since that’s already such a stressful time,” said the mother who erroneously believes that such input will, in the end, make any difference in her daughter’s decision of when to get married. Sister Harris, whose daughter Rachel is currently “engaged to be engaged,” expressed her displeasure with that ambiguous statement, clarifying to Rachel that she is “either engaged or not engaged!” Rachel listened to her mother, allowing her to believe that the complaint made any difference whatsoever, and then continued to look for a ring, find a wedding date, wait for Eric to formally propose, and generally enjoy this exciting process and time.

For his part Brother Allen Harris entertains fewer notions of his influence in his daughter’s impending nuptials, though he does mistakenly believe that the “40 minute, thoughtful and useful conversation” he had with her about goals, planning for the future, and other discussions about married life she should have with her future husband was actually useful for the young Sister Harris.

Both Brother and Sister Harris look forward with considerable anxiety to their oldest child’s wedding, and while on the surface they believe that their insights, wisdom, and needs should be important, deep down but still unbeknownst to them, they hope their daughter will begin to develop her independence and reliance on her new relationship as she plans her wedding.

When the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer contacted LDS marriage and family expert and mother of 7 married children Cheryl Brown, Doctor Brown said that, “my research indicates that sooner or later every bride gives her mother a look that says, ‘listen, you can show up at this time and this place with a checkbook or not, but this is how this marriage is going down!’” Brown said it is a conflictive, important, memorable, and touching moment.

Monday, May 16, 2016

MAN IN PRIMARY ENJOYS TREMENDOUS, UNMERITED PRAISE

Spring’s go-to class color page
College Park, GA—College Park Ward member Kevin Springs, who teaches the CTR 7 class, enjoys almost overwhelming and mostly unmerited praise for simply being a man and teaching in the Primary.

“I’ve got say,” explained brother Springs, “when I got this calling I was surprised and a little thrown.” Springs elaborated that “once I got around all of the Primary leaders and others, I found out that all I had to do was the minimum and everyone thought I was awesome!”

When asked about his calling, Springs said that “yah, Saturday afternoon I find a few videos to watch during class and then print a Sudoku puzzle or some pages to color for my lesson and I’m done.” He added that “it is all pretty simple and chill, but the Bishopric, Primary President, and most of the parents look at me like I just got back from the beaches at Normandy!”

Unmerited praise for being a man doing something traditionally associated with women is not new for Spring. As he mentioned, “it is just like when I used to take the baby or a couple of kids grocery shopping and people, especially women, just fell all over themselves with admiration.” Spring associated this praise with how Priesthood leaders would encourage men to willingly “babysit” their own children so that the wives could attend Relief Society activities. 

Spring is enjoyed the unearned praise he gets for simply sitting in Sharing and Singing Time with his class, but he knows that, if he and his wife ever divorced, the default would be her getting custody of the children, since kids rarely go to the “babysitter.”  

Monday, May 9, 2016

POINT: JOINING THE CHURCH HAS MADE ME A BETTER PERSON

Kolob is right there!
By Mark Daniels

I cannot tell you how much better my life is now that I’ve joined the church! Having the missionaries come over and teach me has been an amazing, eye-opening experience. Before they came, I had no idea about Kolob, tannic acid in tea, or how all other baptisms are as useless as running around in the rain. It is essential truths like these that have pointed me in this new direction in my life!

Truth has not been the only exhilarating source of joy for me. Now I have a whole new set of friends, people who seem so happy, so joyfully lifted up above the world and all of its petty cares and sins. I see my pre-church life as so small, so trivial, and so worthless; everything now has an exalted, celestial importance. This of course has caused some friction with people from my past, people still caught up in their worldly ways, but I pray for them that they will eventually come to a knowledge of the truth.

What this change has really brought me is love. I love, for example, how we love children of gay parents enough to not cause them conflicts between home and church. I love how much I value God and God’s creations, and God’s children so much more now. Being a Mormon, I feel like when I serve others, it is because I see their real value in God’s eyes.

Everything is better now that I’m Mormon!

COUNTERPOINT: LEAVING THE CHURCH HAS MADE ME A BETTER PERSON

This movie is essentially about Mormons!
By Danielle Marks

I cannot tell you how much better my life is now that I’ve left the church! Learning the truth from friends and the Internet has been an amazing, eye-opening experience. Before that, I had no idea about church history controversies, confirmation bias, gaslighting, or how the church is simply a corporate, homophobic, racist, hate group involved in a dark power grab. It is essential truths like these that have pointed me in this new direction in my life!

Truth has not been the only exhilarating source of joy for me. Now I have a whole new set of friends, people who seem so happy, so joyfully lifted up above Mormonism and all its judgmental tendencies and gross neglect. I see my past church life as so small, so trivial, and so worthless; everything now has a deeper, more spiritual importance. This of course has caused some friction with people from my past, people still caught up in their small-minded, naïve ways, but I hope that they will eventually come to see the real truth of things.

What this change has really brought me is love. I love, for example, how I see the abusive ways that Mormons drill into people that they should only have sex inside of covenant relationships, when we all know that real love spreads itself out, especially sexually, among many, many people, and that it only grows by being spread! I love how much I value the Earth and other people so much more now. As an Ex-Mormon, I feel like when I serve others, it is because I see their real value.

Everything is better now that I’m no longer a Mormon!

Monday, May 2, 2016

NEW LDS DATING WEBSITE EXCLUSIVELY FOR FORMER APs, STLs

Salt Lake City, UT—This morning, in a move to meet the “important needs of some of our greatest saints,” the LDS Church announced a new dating website exclusively for former Assistants to the President and Sister Training Leaders.

“These are special Elders and Sisters,” said church spokesman Lavernal Jorgenson, “and ExtraRighteous & EternallyConnected will keep them together and keep them special for time and all eternity.”

Reaction to the website has been almost universally positive, reported Jorgenson. “These former missionaries want to meet others who felt great responsibilities to care for, guide, and lead God’s chosen servants,” explained Jorgenson. He then added, “Oh, and they want to have a partner who is also willing to equate righteousness with one’s calling, so that’s also a bonus.”

Mission presidents had long called for such a website. Brother Eric Taylor, former mission president for the Bakersfield, California mission said that “this will put together young people who have mastered essential leadership skills that are perfect for the church, for families, and for relationships to thrive, skills like self-righteous manipulation, emotional coercion, and the exploitation of the shame and guilt of others.”

Missionaries who never served in these exalted, almost celestial callings are also applauding the Church’s decision. Said Angie Clarkson, who is one of the “just served” missionaries, “I had a first date with a really nice guy, but in the first 15 minutes he managed to work into the conversation that he had been an AP in his mission, and I could see the disappointment in his eyes when I could not say that I had been an STL.” Concluded Clarkson, “I wanted to tell him where he could go with that sort of attitude. Now I know another place he can go with that sort of attitude!” 

Monday, April 4, 2016

MY FAITH CRISIS: THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Jon McNaughton:
The Official Painter of God and His Political Party
By Clint Reston

Please don’t get the wrong idea from the title—I still have a strong testimony that God works through His earthly, political party, the Republican party, but I have to admit that after some things I have seen on the Internet, I have experienced a painful and confusing faith crisis. I hope that, by talking about my trial, I can help those who might face a similar dilemma.

I was raised in the Republican party, and even as a youth I rejoiced when the Lord put righteous and wise Bush after Bush as President to stay that dreadful day when the constitution will hang by a thread.

God’s blessed Bushes did His work of righteously defending this chosen land by sending our armies far, far away to fight in places like Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Where Captain Moroni built defenses, modern day representatives of God have taken a more pro-active approach, often with the aid of God’s instruments of peace, tomahawk missiles. How blessed we have been with leaders successfully dealing with natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, establishing ethical and just correctional facilities in Iraq and elsewhere, and preventing economic crisis until the moment that God needed an economic crisis to punish the greedy and wicked!

Republicans alone have correct priorities: big government when it comes to the military, social security, or helping big corporations in need, and small government when it comes to worthless or destructive things like food stamps, veterans benefits, mental health assistance, universal healthcare, and other parasitic, satanic, socialist programs.

Much of that righteous goodness, of course, came to an end with President Obama. While God may have allowed gas prices to go down, improved overall employment and economic conditions, allowed more Americans to have healthcare than ever, and set up better relationships between the US and countries like Iran and Cuba, those are just examples of how God allows the wicked to seem to succeed for a season until they are inevitably punished for their abominations.

Worst of all, now gay marriage has been forced upon us, and the destruction and calamities that prophets have foretold are just about to be poured out upon us, I mean any minute now!

To learn about the Republicans God is calling in our current times, I have to admit that I sought information from a source that apostles have warned us about: the Internet. To their inspired voices I add my own: do not trust anything on the Internet, especially if it says that the honorable Mr. Cruz or Mr. Trump is sexist, racist, Islamophic, homophobic, xenophobic, unkind to the handicapped, says bad words, is a bully or an idiot, encourages fear, hatred, anger, and/or violence, or is not an excellent businessman or is not a man of perfect chastity and moral virtue. Especially don’t believe anything that the Internet tells you Mr. Trump has said about Mr. Cruz or vice versa or anything that the Internet might tell you about what Mitt Romney has said about either one. Mitt would never say such things, because he knows that a house divided cannot prosper, and God will not let His earthly party falter.

If you have accidentally come across troubling information on the Internet, here are two answers that will get you through.

First, doubt your doubts. You know you can trust that all Republicans are from God and all Democrats are from Satan. If you have doubts, doubt your doubts until your dubious doubts prove their dubiousness, and, like the day dawn is breaking, you doubt no longer!

Second, read the Book of Mormon. That divine record will reassure you that God still only inspires Republicans. Republicans embrace the truth that God wants us to be self-sufficient and to not rely on the government, or, as it says in Alma, “…every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength” (Alma 30:17). That quote and the whole book make it clear that we need to look out for ourselves, that beggars won’t learn to take care of themselves if we give them handouts (welfare, food stamps, healthcare, education, etc.) and that people who are being killed in their own country should not be allowed to just come here and settle.

If you are having a faith crisis from lies you have found on the Internet, hold fast to this message of absolute self-reliance and God’s inspired priorities as found in His earthy vessel, the Republican party, amen.

Monday, February 15, 2016

CHURCH AGREES TO HOLD JEREMY RUNNELLS’ DISCIPLINARY COURT ON FACEBOOK

Salt Lake City, UT—The church announced this morning that the disciplinary action recently called for against Jeremy Runnells would “not be confined to the privacy of a stake office” but would instead be carried out over social media.

According to a statement from the church, “we appreciate Brother Runnells’ efforts to speak to a large LDS audience” clarifying that, since statements from his stake president will still protect Brother Runnells’ privacy and will be held confidential, doing the council on Facebook “will give social media a complete look at all of one side.”

Offering a thorough view of one side seems to be Brother Runnells forte, so clearly the church is taking a wise step in having all of his arguments presented with no additional context or qualifying information.

When asked if members like Patrick Q Mason, Fiona and Terryl Givens, Randell BowenFairMormon, or others might be available for the social media disciplinary council, the church said that “well, if all of those people, their time, efforts, and expertise don’t seem to matter to Runnells, then that makes it pretty clear that they are all worthless.” The church added that since Runnells insists that his stake president answer his questions, and since his stake president must be an expert in all of those areas, and since that stake president does not have a job, family, or other personal matters, and since said stake president does not have other stake members with any physical, spiritual, emotional, or intellectual needs, then it is that stake president’s job to answer Runnells’ questions to Runnells’ satisfaction without, of course, that leader commenting on social media about any of his efforts.

The church also expressed gratitude for those “brave, pioneer saints” who paved the way for people like Brother Runnells’ to have his say in the “Facebook courts of truth.” The church specifically thanked saints like John Dehlin for his efforts, including posting online the transcript of his confidential disciplinary council. Besides Dehlin, the church thanked Kate Kelly for “bravely keeping everyone up to date on every element of her side of her case” in addition to posting on Facebook the names and work contact information for her stake presidency. The church added that “though some of that information may have later been deleted or modified, Kate was sure to keep people in a fairly constant state of agitation and surely helped some contact her stake leadership and their families, all of which must have been a blessing for everyone involved!”

In addition to expressing this gratitude, the church noted thankfully that Runnells, Dehlin, Kelly, and others had so effectively used social media to “really shake up those complacent Mormons who naively believe that making and keeping covenants, loving and serving others, and sincerely trying to live by Christ’s invitation to follow Him are NOT enough, and that all members should be overwhelmingly troubled by all social injustice, inequality, and doctrinal and historical ambiguities so that those things eclipse all other considerations and priorities.” 

Finally, the church expressed appreciation for the love and cultural sensitivity shown by the above mentioned saints who treat the church like “God’s big family.” “What those saints have done,” concluded the statement, is important, “since we all know that using individual power as a bludgeon to embarrass and shame is only part of the way we show love in families. The other part is posting pictures of it on Instagram or starting a foundation to celebrate it.”  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

WRITERS, STAFF, EDITORS OF THE MORMON TABERNACLE ENQUIRER ASCEND INTO...SOMETHING

Like that but in Utah and it was only me looking
This is Carl. I, uh, work for the janitorial staff here at the Church Office building. Yah, so yesterday morning, I got here really early ‘cuz I like to get here early Monday morning, you know, start my week off right. I usually clean the offices in the basement first, and the lowest level of the basement is usually the dirtiest and that is where the offices are for the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer. I never know what I’m going to find in there. One week they had a goat, boxes of string cheese, eight track tapes, glue guns, and like four hundred Christmas trees with little blue Book of Mormon lights on them. And it was June. A few weeks later there was this really confused family of eight from Guatemala that I think someone bought off of the dark web or something. Lots of weird stuff!

So anyway yesterday morning I got there real early, and wouldn’t you know it they was all there. The editorial people, I mean all thirty-seven of them were in the conference room along with most of the reporters. Elder Kory Anton was in his office writing something, I think his letter to the First Presidency about getting back to his mission. Shania Bender was in from Ohio, Gene Dyer, and Hannah Shelton from New Hampshire. It was like they all decided to get to work super early, and it was super busy.

So right then I seen this huge light, you know like one of those spotlights for where there’s a new store opening or something. Yah, so there was this light, and the whole place was just all white and lit up. It’s usually kinda dark down there, you know, on account of there not being windows since it’s in the basement, but I tell you it was as bright as noon up in the President’s office. Then I heard some noise, but I couldn’t make out what it was. It was like really loud mumbling. So all of the journalists and the staff, and even the interns that just make hot chocolate and copies and stuff, well they was all looking and listening. And then they all had like these really meh looks on their face, you know like when you remember something you have to do but you don’t care either way.

So right after they started looking meh, suddenly they all sort of lifted up, floated out the doors, up the stairs, and then right up into the sky. I followed’m, but I could hardly keep up. By the time I got outside I could just see the last ones, you know, like Barley B. Bratt and some of the sports staff disappearing into the clouds. It was the craziest thing. 

I must’of been staring for a while, ‘cuz then there was two guys who looked like they were from the temple came and says to me, “ye man of Sandy, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” I told them that I thought that all of the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer people had, like, flown up to heaven, and they told me something like “these same…reporters and editors, which are taken up from you, um, I’m not sure they were going to heaven exactly.”

Monday, February 1, 2016

AREA MAN HOPING THAT MORE OBEDIENCE WILL SILENCE DEEP-SEATED FEARS, FEELINGS OF UNWORTHINESS, SHAME

“More obedience is always the answer
and will make it all clear, right?
Boca Raton, FL—Area man David Brill has unconsciously decided that more obedience, including more scripture reading, missionary work, and temple attendance, will silence his deep-seated fears and feelings of unworthiness and shame.

Brother Brill is known to everyone in the Boca Raton West ward as faithful and easy-going. “Oh, yah, nothing gets Dave down,” reported Jeremy Knowlton, his High Priest group leader. He continued that “Dave is just one of those stalwart saints, you know, doing whatever is asked without complaints or worries.”

What Brother Knowlton and others in the ward do not know, and what David Brill would scarcely admit to himself, is that recent events in his life and in the church have led to difficult questions. David’s elderly parents have drifting into an old age that has brought financial distress, sickness, and despair. Brother Brill often wonders why God would ask these humble, faithful people that he loves so much to pass through such pain.

Brother Brill’s suffering parents are not his only questions and fears. Years of committed church service always helped him feel safe and secure in the sense of place and purpose that the gospel gives him. But as he sees so many good people doing great service in other churches, the idea that he is in the “only true and living church” seems at least questionable. Brother Brill’s gnawing questions include wondering how God would only be leading Mormons and how everyone else could be in error.

Difficult questions like these as well as others have caused Brother Brill to feel adrift and sometimes even out of place at church. These questions, which he views as doubts that reveal a lack of faith, have also caused an unacknowledged sense of inadequacy, unworthiness, and even shame. These feelings have only been compounded by what he understands as God’s exacting standards of perfection and flawlessness.

Lacking the skills, perspective, network of trusted, wise friends, and assistance he needs to acknowledge, understand, and address his concerns, and finding no place to do so at church, Brother Brill has unconsciously decided to increase his scripture study by an extra 15 minutes, to pray for more missionary opportunities, and to attended the temple one additional time each month. Little does Brother Brill know that this additional obedience will not make his questions and fears go away. When his extra righteousness does not alleviate his doubts and fears, Brother Brill will in fact experience even more doubts, fear, and shame. Time will only tell if this will cause Brother Brill to fall deeper into despair, to find relief in some form of unquestioning fanaticism, or whether he will seek the skills and help he will need to learn to honestly, faithfully, and bravely examine and make peace with his feelings and concerns.