Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Wisdom of Joseph Smith

To: Abbottsville Stake
From: Mitchell Knightly, President of the Abbottsville Stake
Subject: KBYU Programming Highlight

For those of you who missed watching last night's panel of BYU Religion Instructors, here is a transcript of the KBYU program.

Panel Participants:
Homer B. Goodwin, PhD, professor of Ancient American Studies
T. Vernon Price, PhD, professor of War in Heaven Strategies
LaVar Featherstone, PhD, professor of Adamic Languages

Goodwin: Tonight we will discuss the prophet Joseph Smith. Brethren, let's begin by naming our favorite of Joseph's teachings. Dr. Price, you start.

Price: I'd say his admonition to "teach men correct principles then let them govern themselves."

Goodwin: Ah yes, Dr. Price, what an excellent concept. Joseph strongly believed in the inherent freedom of the individual.

Price: He certainly prized his own freedom.

Featherstone: Freedom is a box.

Price: Say what?

Featherstone: Freedom is a box. (outlines a square with his index fingers) A box.

Goodwin: I see, Dr. Featherstone. Very sage. Very sage indeed.

Price: I still don't get it.

Goodwin: Let's move on. The prophet Joseph also taught that the path to freedom is found through obedience.

Price: True. He obeyed his Heavenly Father's every command, even when it meant cheating on his wife, swindling his neighbor, breaking the law, and violating every code of common decency.

Goodwin: Imagine the sacrifice Joseph made when he obeyed the doctrine of plural marriage. He took on a huge burden. Some of the girls were quite young.

Price: (nods) Teenagers.

Goodwin: And don't forget he also married other men's wives. Think of the courage! Why, he could have been killed by a number of jealous husbands.

Price: Got to admit, the man had guts, not to mention stamina -- 41 wives in total.

Goodwin: I thought 33.

Price: Well now, let's see. (counts off on his fingers) There was Fanny, Lucinda, Louisa, Zina, Presendia, Vienna . . .

Goodwin: (raises his hands to a halt) We can't be sure about Vienna. I mean, yes, there is evidence of some flirtation, maybe even fondling . . .

Price: No, I'm pretty sure they went all the way.

Goodwin: Based on what?

Price: She lived in his house.

Goodwin: Just because a woman lived in Joseph's house doesn't mean she was sleeping with him.

Price: You're kidding, right?

Goodwin: Good point.

Price: The number of women doesn't really matter. The important thing is, when the spirit prompted him, he rose to the occasion.

Goodwin: Exactly. He was the picture of obedience.

Featherstone: Obedience is a closet.

Goodwin: Pure genius Dr. Featherstone! Pure genius!

Price: What the [expletive deleted] does that mean?

Goodwin: Let's go on. One thing that amazes me about Joseph Smith is that he had no example, no one to teach him how to be a prophet.

Price: He was an original, all right.

Goodwin: Completely on his own, with only the spirit to guide him.

Price: It's like he made it up as he went along.

Goodwin: Indeed he did, and thanks to him we are now members of an organization that will bring us eternal happiness.

Featherstone: Happiness is a nail.

Goodwin: Ah, what perspicacity! 

Price: Featherstone have you been smoking [deleted]?

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails we'll assume you've been smoking [deleted].


  1. Wow! Where can I get a copy of this broadcast? That's unbelievable ;) Unbelievably funny that is! Thanks for sharing your creativity. We are certainly edified by your talents! It's too bad wards don't get your newsletter for real. That would be so awesome!

  2. Thanks for laughing with me Macha. Facsimilogos thanks for your kind words, and welcome!

  3. ::snort!::

    Let's see. Freedom is a box. Obedience is a closet. Happiness is a nail. ... These deep thoughts may keep me awake all night.

  4. I'm ruminating on some deep thoughts of my own. Faith is a bicycle. Submission is a shoelace. Perfect joy is a frozen halibut.

    And no, I haven't been smoking [deleted].

  5. Ahab and CD, you guys are way philosophical.

  6. You are genius, Donna Banta. GENIUS! And i love you.

    That is all.

  7. Aww thanks Sandi. I owe it all to my BYU education.

    Love you too!

  8. That does it! I'm subscribing to your blog, Donna Banta. Someone has to keep an eye on Featherstone.

  9. Thanks Paul. I have a feeling Featherstone will be back. He's such a spiritual giant.

  10. Before Blogger had it's meltdown, I had 10 comments on this post. (Some were my own.) Thanks guys! I read them all and appreciated them -- sorry Blogger deleted you!

  11. Donna Banta: "Before Blogger had it's meltdown, I had 10 comments on this post. ...Blogger deleted you!"

    Yeah, but I'm back now! Just like a bad cold! And I've even resubscribed to your blog -- like a tar stain on your shoes that you can't get rid of! (I have no idea, Donna, why people think I fail to present myself well.)

  12. That's odd! I'm not sure the blog subscription service is working yet. I'll keep trying, but it does not seem to be taking my request to subscribe yet.

  13. Paul, you're awesome -- and a trooper. Thanks!

  14. If it's of any consolation, Blogger deleted some of the comments at Republic of Gilead too. Ugh.

  15. I snorted my tea when I got to 'Freedom is a box'.

    I know people just like that. Sacrament meeting was hell.

  16. @Ahab I suppose if you're the HuffPo having comments deleted is no big deal. But I value every one -- as I do my followers. :)

    Robin, years ago a guy actually said "Freedom is a box," in my Sunday School class. When the teacher asked him what he meant, he said, "It's a box," then made a little box with his hands. That's it, no more explanation. I've wanted to write about it for years.

  17. Yay! Your comments are back! (Imagine me doing a little happy dance.)