Monday, June 29, 2015

MORMONS SET ONE WEEK RECORD FOR NUMBER OF FACEBOOK STATUSES CREATED, DELETED

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

I THANK GOD EVERY DAY DONALD TRUMP ISN’T MORMON

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

JUDGMENT DAY BECOMING REPETITIVE

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!

Monday, June 8, 2015

MISSIONARY SEES “MIRACULOUS” PRESERVATION OF EX-GIRLFRIEND’S PICTURE AS SIGN FROM GOD

Replica of “Miracle” Picture
Porto, Portugal—When Elder Jacob Moseley returned from proselyting in his area of Porto, Portugal, to find that everything in his apartment had been destroyed in a fire, he thought that all was lost. But once the firemen gave him clearance to look over the ruins, much to his surprise, Elder Moseley found the “perfectly preserved” photograph of his ex-girlfriend Katherine Thompson. “When I looked down and found Kaytie’s picture among the ash,” said Moseley, “I just knew that, like the picture, God was preserving her for me.”

Elder Moseley found great relief in the “miraculously” preserved picture, especially since his clothing, scriptures, food, bedding, and letters from home where all destroyed in the blaze. Elder Moseley’s companion, Elder Gonçalves from Babajoz, Portugal, was not as lucky as his companion, losing everything in the fire. Said Elder Gonçalves, “the copy of the Book of Mormon that the first missionaries gave my grandparents more than 40 years ago when they joined the church was completely lost, but at least the Lord preserved Elder Moseley’s Ogden high school prom picture of him and Kaytie.” Elder Gonçalves added that “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” 

Elder Moseley, wearing the only mission clothes he has left until he can get money for new shirts and suits, emailed his family this week about seeing the Lord’s hand in “keeping the picture, the hope, and the dream alive” that he and Katherine will “one day, like this picture, be kept from harm by their eternal marriage covenant bond.” 

Elder Moseley’s parents have yet to respond to his faith-promoting experience about Katherine, due in large part to the fact that just a few days ago they attended her wedding reception in their local Ogden ward building’s cultural hall. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

CHURCH INVESTIGATING INSTITUTE ACTIVITY CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

FARGO, ND—Church officials recently met with seven high-ranking members of the Fargo Institute Fun Association (FIFA) over corruption allegations brought against the young single adult recreational group.

“We love the young singles here in North Dakota, but there have been some serious allegations brought against FIFA, and we simply need to get to the bottom of it,” said Stake President Donald Miller of the Fargo stake.

Some of the allegations made against FIFA include moving activities to less attractive places like Grand Forks or even Grafton in exchange for additional “gas money” and reserved seats in church “near that attractive newly returned missionary from Mahnomen.” 

Unnamed sources in North Dakota said that “everyone has pretty much accepted corruption in the Fargo Institute Fun Association for years,” adding finally that “even so, they will probably still let Bill Slatter act as president—I don’t really see anything changing.”  

Monday, May 25, 2015

SEALED PORTION OF BOOK OF MORMON PUBLISHED WHERE NO ONE WOULD FIND IT: ON A BYU SYLLABUS

During The Process, Davis Realized
Her Syllabus Could Have Been In Icelandic
And No Student Would Have Known the Difference
Provo, UT—Janet Davis, English professor at Brigham Young University, seems like a mild-mannered Medieval English Literature expert, but in a recent interview with the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer, Davis revealed that for the past 15 years she has been distributing sections of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon. And why has the “mainstream Mormon press” not exploded with this news? It is because Davis has hidden those sections where no one would ever find them: in her course syllabus.

Davis told the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer that just over 15 years ago the angel Moroni visited her while she was on sabbatical in upstate New York. “This glorious personage appeared to me,” said Davis, “so of course the first thing I did was the handshake test.” Davis said that after passing the handshake test, “the angel told me that I was to translate the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon.”

What the angel told Davis next was the most troubling part of the visit. “The angel told me,” recounted Davis, “that my calling was that of Isaiah as recording in chapter 6.” Davis explained that she was told to “Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart.”

The command to reveal but in such a way that no one would see it posed quite the vexing problem for Davis. She spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to do something so paradoxical. “The answer came suddenly one day,” explained Davis. “There I was in class, you know, toward the end of the semester, and three students came up to me with questions that were clearly answered in the syllabus. And then it hit me: no one will ever find the scripture I’ve been commanded to translate if I just put it there!” 

Davis has experimented with where to put this additional scripture in her course syllabus. “At first I sprinkled it around, you know, in case someone started to read, but then I just put huge chunks of it anywhere, since no one even pretends to look it over!” Davis said that “at this point it doesn’t matter where I put it, but if the portion is really moving or powerful or spiritually compelling, I put it in the ‘Assignments Deadlines’ section since clearly no one ever looks there.”

Monday, May 11, 2015

NEW ENGLAND BISHOP ACCUSED OF UNDER FILLING SACRAMENT CUPS

Boston, MA—Foxboro Massachusetts Bishop Bob Trady was recently investigated over accusations that Trady had asked Aaronic priesthood members to under fill the sacrament water cups. A report of that investigation obtained by the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer indicates that Trady had texted several teachers in charge of preparing the sacrament. Texts indicated that Bishop Trady wanted the cups filled to .25 ounces below the church required minimum. The report indicated that Bishop Trady requested that the cups be filled to his liking as a way to get the sacrament portion of the meeting to go faster. The report also indicated that Trady’s stake president was only notified when visiting family from Indianapolis contacted him. This scandal comes hot on the heels of a church investigation of an Atlanta stake president allegedly using the chapel’s speakers to pump in artificial “amens” at the end of some of his talks.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

CHURCH APPROVES ELECTRONIC METHOD TO TAKE SACRAMENT

Virtual Sacrament Now App
Salt Lake City, UT—Hot on the heels of Salt Lake’s announcement about online tithing and donation payment options comes word that the Church will soon be making the sacrament virtually available as well.

The Church posted on its website that “The Online Sacrament system will allow members in the United States an additional method of worship.” The website continues that “historically, the sacrament has only been available to those attending on Sunday, but for those who are sick or need additional time to set fantasy football lineups, they may participate through the online system developed by the Church.”

Additionally the Church announced that a new smartphone and tablet app will also be used to make the sacrament available to more saints. As the site explains, “The new app, Virtual Sacrament Now, will allow Aaronic priesthood members to bless and send the sacrament straight to smartphones or tablets, an option that is perfect for women in the mother’s lounge or parents wrestling with demonically-possessed children in the foyer.” The Church announced that gluten-free virtual options will also be available.

As an added precaution, the Church has beefed up security on the Online Sacrament system and the Virtual Sacrament Now app, concerned that “factions from OrdainWomen might try to hack the systems and bless and pass the sacrament themselves.”

Thanks for Chris Cobb's help with this important news item!

Monday, April 20, 2015

MINI MISSIONARY LESSON: WHY GIRLS CAN’T HAVE THE PRIESTHOOD

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.

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:

Why Can’t Girls Have the Priesthood?

Sincere investigators just know that God doesn’t want girls to have the priesthood or He would have given it to them by now. But sometimes descent investigators can seem mixed up about this issue, so here’s what you do: you remind them that men and women have different gender roles. Women get to have babies and are naturally kinder, more nurturing, more loving, and can tolerate being at home watching television while the kids nap before they make your dinner. Men are powerful fighters and warriors who are not as kind or nurturing and cannot stand kids for too long. Women are also naturally so close to God that they don’t need the priesthood, but warrior men need everything that they can get so that they don’t constantly kill everyone. These gender roles are as eternal and unchanging as the commandments and laws so that no matter what culture or time you are in they apply everywhere. Just like how Jesus actually drank grape juice because he was living the Word of Wisdom because it is an eternal law, so women have never had the priesthood, have never blessed or anointed the sick, have never laid hands on people or animals to heal them, and have never been called prophets. Never! 

Insincere investigators might say that the view that men and women have essential characteristics is sexism. They claim that gender roles depend on society and that using these roles causes one to pre-judge people and could even distort how you see a man or a woman. Remember that playing the sexism card is one of Satan’s many tricks to destroy the family and the Proclamation, and those investigators are just stony ground where the true gospel seeds will never grow.

Final Warning

Now some missionaries may reject the eternal truths given above. Such missionaries might believe that women getting the priesthood is like blacks getting the priesthood, but those issues are totally different. Totally! Missionaries who lose faith in the eternal truth about gender roles might be tempted to say that they don’t really know why girls don’t have the priesthood. Answers like that make missionaries seem weak, making you seem like you don’t have all of the answers. Investigators must trust that you know everything if you are going to actually convince them that the church is true. Don’t fall into the trap of saying things like “I don’t know” or “I encourage you to ask a variety of wonderful women at church,” since you don’t know what they will say. To be a trustworthy, confident man, you must answer clearly and absolutely.

Taking the above approach is sure to keep you on the solid, sturdy ground of the eternal truths of gender roles and that women have never and will never do any priesthood-like things.

Best of Luck,

Elder Cory Anton