Wednesday, July 31, 2013

LDS Church Conducts New Survey On Doubt

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Bishop Paul Zimmerman
Subject: Church survey on doubt

In response to this highly negative and blatantly inaccurate story in the New York Times--www [dot] nytimes [dot] com/bullshit-story--the LDS Church has conducted a reliable survey that reveals who among the faithful are actual doubters. The results are summarized in the following statement from a church spokesman:
According to research conducted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a significant majority -- 77 percent -- of those who attend church "believe wholeheartedly in all the teachings of the church." 
Some Latter-day Saints, however -- 22 percent in the survey -- find that "some teachings of the LDS Church are hard for me to believe." A demographic study of these "doubting Mormons" revealed them to be of mixed ethnicities, lower socio-economic status, and educated outside of Utah Valley or Rexburg, Idaho.
A similar study of the 77 percent who claim to believe wholeheartedly in the church reveals them to be white, upper middle class, graduates of Brigham Young University, and residents of Davis County, Utah. 
-- Providing further evidence for why the LDS Church continues to maintain the reputation it so richly deserves.*
*A survey of Mormons who no longer attend church has been curtailed due to the profane nature of the respondents' answers. 
If you would like to stop receiving these emails you will not be included in our next survey.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thank Heaven For The Utah Pioneers!

--Without them we wouldn't have such cool parties.

The celebrating began for me yesterday at 4:00 p.m. when Jerry and Cheryl dropped by for a bit of wine on my patio. We discussed the pioneers, the prophets, LDS Church history and Utah culture, noting how much more enjoyable these topics were when accompanied by a good glass of cabernet. Then the three of us headed over to the Hotel Utah Saloon, where Mark and some more happy heretics trickled in for the happy hour.

Our numbers were smaller this year. It's a tough gig for people coming after work, especially since we have to clear out at 8:00 p.m. when the concert starts. Nevertheless, our usual group of diehards were there, making for another very fun party.

This is the place!

We ate, drank, engaged in loud laughter and plenty of evil speaking of the self-appointed. One woman shared an amusing genealogy chart made by a believing sibling who managed to connect her line to every famous person imaginable, including Joseph Smith (although it was unclear via which wife.)

But perhaps the most interesting conversation thread was introduced by Natalie, who wasn't there last night, but had posted on Facebook that she'd seen the missionaries collecting cans and bottles out of the recycle bins in her East Bay neighborhood. As the evening progressed and more alcohol was consumed, our members drew two opposing explanations for this activity:

1. The Church gives the missionaries such a piddly allowance that the poor schlubs are forced to steal cans and bottles out of neighborhood recycles in order to raise money for food.

2. If the missionaries fail to convert a potential tithe-payer at his front door, the Brethren have instructed them to go around back and troll through his trash. (So the Elders' efforts aren't completely fruitless.)

Warren and Teeny dropped by later and bar-hopped with some others afterward

At the end of the evening, the second theory seemed to carry the most weight, prompting Mark and I to further speculate on the drive home. Maybe, as an act of charity (or in lieu of tithing), we should deliver all of our empty wine bottles to our local LDS chapel! . . . . We'll ask for feedback on that idea at the next party. 

There is one thing I know with every fiber of my being: there will be another party!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From The Stake President -- How To Be Humble

To: Abbottsville Stake
From: Mitchell Knightly, Abbottsville Stake President
Subject: Avoiding self-righteousness

Recently a stake member asked the following question. I felt that all of you should hear my response.

Dear President Knightly,

I work downtown amongst the nonmember community. Every day I am confronted with slovenly and scantily dressed people who listen to NPR, watch R-rated films, and discuss taboo subjects like marriage equality. I know that Heavenly Father doesn't want me to judge my fellow man. But, under such circumstances, I am finding it impossible not to do so. Have you any advice?

It's Hard To Be Humble

Dear It's Hard To Be Humble,

We live in a world that is filled with filth. It is only natural that people who are blessed with our advanced knowledge and high moral values be tempted to judge the nonmember community.

But remember that even the lowest, scummiest, and most slovenly nonmember has the potential for greatness. Given the opportunity, he could be like us!

In order to avoid the sin of self-righteousness, whenever I am among nonmembers, I see them not as they are, but as Heavenly Father would have them become. That is, well-groomed, clean-shaven, engaged in fervent prayer, and dressed in their temple clothes.

Next time you're downtown, rather than only seeing this:

Imagine this instead:

In Humility,
President Knighly

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, you're obviously falling way short of your potential.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

More Moonlighting On Ex-Mormon Mavens

Sorry A-4, I've been neglecting your emails--but only as a public service! Click here to read yet another insightful post from Brother Randy Johnson (therandyjohnson[dot]com).

Worried about getting through that first temple endowment session sans the painful humiliation? Randy shows us how with the help of an airline blanket, an inflight magazine, and an air vest that inflates upon the first hint of turbulence. Enjoy! I'll be back here soon.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sacrament Meeting Without Bloodshed

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Bishop Paul Zimmerman
Subject: No more bloody Sundays

As many of you know, a man was arrested outside an LDS Church in Plain City, UT last Sunday after an argument over "seat saving" in the pews escalated to a fistfight in the parking lot and ended with another man being hit by a car.

While it was a familiar scenario to us--the meeting featured a missionary farewell AND a baby blessing--it drew the attention of the media as well as the curiosity of the non-Mormon community. In an email to all bishops in the Abbottsville Stake, President Knightly wrote:
"Because nonmembers lack our spiritual maturity, they cannot understand the fiery zeal we have for worshiping the Gospel. Consequently, when a common gentile sees us brawling in our church parking lot, he comes away with the wrong impression."
This month's Sacrament Meeting lineup features some popular speakers, notably T. Ralph Sneed, renown expert on vacuum-packed cracked wheat, and also Wilbur Fielding, famous for his folksy pioneer stories and humorous vignettes about Family Home Evening.

In order to prevent an occurrence similar to the one in Plain City, I have employed the firm "Big Beefy Tongans" to secure the parking lot, and I've arranged for overflow parking at the Abbottsville Fairgrounds. The Aaronic Priesthood will run a shuttle service to and from the church. In addition, I ask all ward members to abide by the following new rules:

  • No "seat saving." All pew space is first come, first serve.
  • No concealed weaponry. This includes knives, brass knuckles, water balloons, rolling pins, paintball artillery, detached Spam lids, #2 cans of peaches, and super-soaker water pistols. While a ban on handguns would be in opposition to Gospel principles, the gun's safety MUST be engaged at all times.
  • Ward members will remain in their seats with arms folded until the featured speaker has left the building.

Even with the above safeguards in place, the combination of a rock star speaker and a crowded roomful of his fans can create mass hysteria at any moment. It is important to be prepared. Sister Penelope Barton has attended multiple large-scale events featuring President Dieter Uchtdorf. She offers the following advice:
"Beforehand, obtain a map of the venue and familiarize yourself with the exits. Also, look for high places where you might climb in the event of a frenzy--the podium, a stack of folding chairs, the Cultural Hall stage curtains. If you're swept up in a stampede, move in the direction of the crowd. Latch onto those beside you and let them 'carry' you from the building. If you drop something, let it go, as bending down could result in your falling and being trampled. It you do fall, immediately roll into the fetal position."
The bottom line is we have to come back to church next Sunday. Let's pray it's not our last.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails the situation might escalate into a fistfight.