Friday, August 12, 2011

The New Fourteen Fundamentals In Following The Prophet

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Mark Crawford
Subject: In response to your letter

My dear friends from the Abbottsville Fourth,

Every time I think you're coming along, you do something to bring me back to reality. Most of you have finally accepted that I live with a man, and that I no longer go to church. Nevertheless, that didn't stop you from sending me a list compiled by the former prophet and right wing xenophobe, Ezra Taft Benson, entitled "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet."

So I read the thing. Between you and me, I found it a tad subtle. In fact, it's possible that some of you open minded types might try to read between the lines, add your own interpretations, and dive into that downward spiral that starts when a Mormon tries to think for himself. So out of the goodness of our hearts, Byron and I mixed up a pitcher of martinis and did a little editing, just so there will be no mistaking what the LDS Church is going for here. (Original text is in bold type.)

Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet

1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything. -- The prophet speaks for everyone, including God.

2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works. -- If you listen to the prophet you shouldn't read the Bible, or anything else for that matter.

3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet. -- With the exception of the dead prophet who compiled this list.

4. The prophet will never lead the church astray. -- Four martinis a piece, and we still couldn't come up with a way to improve on that one.

5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time. -- The prophet is not required to read, write, do arithmetic, or even speak in coherent sentences. In fact it's best when he doesn't.

6. The prophet does not have to say "Thus Saith the Lord," to give us scripture. -- This implies he needs to consult the Lord in the first place.

7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know. -- Information is released out of church headquarters on a "need to know" basis, and you don't need to know anything.

8. The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning. 

9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual. -- In particular, matters that intrude on your bedroom, bank account, and Salt Lake City's planning and building codes.

10. The prophet may advise on civic matters. -- The prophet can tell you how to vote. That is, until he figures out a way to take away your right to vote.

11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich. -- In other words: smart people who don't pay tithing.

12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or worldly. -- The prophet will need a really good PR firm.

13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency -- the highest quorum in the Church. -- aka the world, the universe, the mind of God.

14. The prophet and the presidency -- the living prophet and the First Presidency -- follow them and be blessed -- reject them and suffer. -- If all else fails, the prophet will resort to scaring the shit out of you.

If the members of the Abbottsville Fourth Ward would like to stop receiving my messages, then I suggest they take me off this god-&%$#ed email list.


  1. :: jaw drops ::

    Those fourteen fundamentals are an actual document? The word "CULT" immediately comes to mind.

  2. Thanks, Dad, glad we can laugh about it!

    Ahab, yes. I've got a link to it in the post. Cult is the appropriate word.

  3. Oh, how I love to see those righteous ward members get this type of email!

    Yes, a cult it is.

  4. Donna -- I clicked on the hyperlink and skimmed over the fundamentals. Scary!

  5. #3 is the cleverest! Funny stuff. I had learned these as part of a religion class at BYU taught by none other than Reed Benson, the son of the delusional dude who wrote these. Piece of work...

  6. CD, I know. It's even nicer when they send stuff like this to inactives.

    Ahab, yeah, it is indeed frightening. Especially because so many people take it seriously.

    @Dad, religion classes at BYU were one nutty ride, that's for sure. But Reed Benson? That must have been one insane semester. Wasn't he the Benson who was an officer in the John Birch Society?

    I was actually in attendance at the Marriott Center when Benson gave this gem of a talk. It was 1981 and he was in line to be the next prophet. Clever timing, don't you think?

  7. Forgive me, Donna, but I had to check your link to the original 14 principles. I couldn't otherwise believe it. It seems incredible to me that anyone could read that list and not think they were being taken for a ride.

  8. Oh I know, Paul. It amazes me too. But Mormons are deeply ingrained to believe that the prophet is always right. After that, all the other absurdities go down easily without examination.

  9. I checked the link too. It is truly astonishing! The prophet will abuse his followers unapologetically!

  10. "The prophet will abuse his followers unapologetically." Gee Ali, wonder why Benson left that one out? lol

  11. this is priceless donna!


  12. Whenever I need a good laugh, Donna, I come to your blog. You have a unique spin on things. These 14 fundamentals are definitely cultish. It amazes me that I stayed in that cult for so long, but then I'm sure being brainwashed from birth had something to do with it.

  13. Diane, I feel the same way. Thank god we left! Not everyone who is unhappy in it does.