Friday, March 4, 2011

For Doubting Mormons

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Bishop Paul Zimmerman
Subject: For those who doubt

Over the past year, some have shared their doubts with me about the church and its leaders. A few have even confided that they might leave the faith. This would be a disastrous decision. Imagine Sundays without pantyhose and neck ties, Easter without General Conference, Christmas without tithing settlement. Not to mention an eternity spent as a lonely eunuch in one of the lower kingdoms. Not a pretty picture is it? Instead, I suggest the following strategies for remaining in the one and only true church.

Become a Cafeteria Mormon
After all, nobody can eat everything on the menu. So partake of what you can, and ignore the rest. Perhaps you don't use Amway products, hate scrapbooking, enjoy an occasional Mountain Dew, and don't behave as though sex is the sin next to murder. No worries. So long as:

1. You don't enjoy it.

2. You feel really really guilty about it.
Brandon should have known that
"some truths are not useful."

3. You're not on the BYU Basketball Team.

4. Your omissions do not include tithing, fast offering, church meetings, visiting teaching, home teaching, church callings, temple attendance, talk assignments, the word of wisdom, gay marriage protests, more than one ear piercing, splits with the missionaries, church magazine subscriptions, wearing your garments day and night, General Conference, the Glenn Beck show, food storage, and jell-o molds.

Dramatically lower your expectations.
I can't help but be surprised when ward members ask why their tithes and offerings aren't used for beautiful places of worship, qualified teachers, good speakers, inspiring music, and thoroughly vetted youth leaders.

Excuse me? Hello? We're Mormons, for crying out loud! 

Face it. If the ward toilets aren't clogged, the nursery leader makes an appearance, Brother Pukahi brings his ukulele, and you're lucky enough to fall asleep during Sacrament Meeting, consider yourself spiritually fed for the week.

Avoid anti-Mormon literature
Focus on the positive, tune out the rest.
Stop being such a grouch. Sure there are some negative aspects to Mormonism, but what's the point of dwelling on them? After all, there are so many positive things about living the Gospel.

Save yourself the aggravation by tuning out the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the Ensign, official church statements, the General Authorities, the temple ceremony, and any products or publications by Deseret Book.

Focus instead on happy things like the Primary Children's Songbook, Relief Society center pieces, and Sister Renfro's super-yummy cinnamon buns.

If after implementing the following suggestions you are still thinking of leaving the fold, remember that "inactives" are shunned by their friends, estranged by their families, and go on to lead warped, bitter, frustrating lives that end prematurely from a combination of alcohol poisoning and venereal disease.

See you all in church on Sunday! :-)

Bishop Z

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  1. Re: BYU. Serves the bastards right. I wonder how many of their players are just SO GLAD ybu stands by their goddamn honor code as to lose all their games because one kid decided, for some weird reason, to tell someone he banged his girlfriend.

    Cafeteria Mormonism sucks too. You still, like, have to show up. Ew.

  2. Seriously laughing out loud. Awesome. So true.

  3. Man, if I had any delusions about how being a cafeteria Mormon might be sort of fun, you just thoroughly shattered them. Thank you.

    (and thanks for the shout-out!)

  4. @Lisa, right, I'm sure there are no other BYU students who are having sex. And if there are -- Jesus, this will teach them! Let the guilt begin.

    Thanks Becky! You are so sweet to read and comment on my blog. I'm glad I make you laugh. Your blog makes me laugh too, and also think.

    CD, right. There is no such thing as a cafeteria Mormon.

  5. So that's why I left the church! I wasn't true to the jello. I'v always hated jello...

  6. JZ, I understand Jell-o drives a lot of people out of the church. ;-)

  7. I felt bad about what happened to the BYU player, who did nothing wrong or immoral.

  8. @Ahab. Me too, also his poor girlfriend who is now (in some circles) the "Book of Mormon harlot."

  9. Oh, Donna, thank you for putting a smile on my face. Didn't think it would happen on this dismal day, but you proved me wrong. I thank the Holy Unicorn for you and your blog.

  10. Cafeteria Mormonism is a terrible idea... I did that for 2 years and it drove me nuts. I think its better to determine what you believe and what you stand behind and be true to that.

  11. The cafeteria Mormon suggestion does not work. I came back to the church after fully losing belief in hope that if I tried the cafeteria approach, maybe eventually I could regain a testimony. However, the bishop told me that my strategy was "impossible" and denied me entrance to BYU, etc. I subsequently realized that I would never be ready for the church, and a few months later, sent in my resignation letter.