Sunday, January 27, 2013

Another Reason For Missing Church

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Alternatives to church

Why I love Sundays now: Instead of sitting in church teaching the Young Women how to be sweet spirits, I'm here at Book Passage teaching members of CWC Marin how to be badass bloggers.
We are badass!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Abbottsville Sisters Struggle To Define Rights

To: Abbottsville Stake Relief Society Sisters
From: Mitchell Knightly, President of the Abbottsville Stake
Subject: Abbottsville sisters weigh in on rights!

Dear Sisters,
Congratulations! The following article in the Abbottsville Gazette features some of you:

LDS Women Struggle To Define Their Rights
Published: January 23, 2013

ABBOTTSVILLE, CA -- During a recent BYU Devotional, the LDS General Young Women's president stirred up mass confusion within Abbottsville's Mormon community when she made the following statement:

"Young women, you will be the ones who will provide the example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. You will continue to be virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy and of good report. You will also be the ones to provide an example of family life in a time when families are under attack, being redefined and disintegrating. You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights."

Ever obedient, local Mormon women are eager to heed their leader's counsel. However it is unclear if the Young Women's president was referring to women's rights in general, such as equal pay for equal work, if she was reacting to the internal controversy over "LDS feminists" wearing pants to church, or if she was simply citing the everyday privileges the average Mormon woman seeks to obtain. For example, the right to open her own door.

"I really wish the Brethren would offer some clarity here," LDS housewife, Fiona Harold said. "It took me forty-five minutes to exit the pharmacy just now, and I still have to pick up my dry cleaning."

While some struggle to open doors, others take refuge in their assigned roles.

"I think the key here is sticking to what we have always understood to be our place," Renee Newsome, a local LDS Young Women's leader, said in a telephone interview. "Until I hear otherwise, I'm spending the entire day in the bedroom. Just to be safe."

LDS Church Headquarters has yet to comment on this matter.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, then you need to read more Mormon-themed blogs!

Friday, January 18, 2013

When Your Fictional Life Intrudes On Your Real One

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward and the wonderful people who read my blog.
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Fact vs. Fiction

Okay, so this morning I asked Mark if he had picked up his prescription. He stared at me for a second then answered, "Yes. I went last night after dinner. Remember?" I thought for a moment, shook my head, and said, "Are you sure?"

We went back and forth a few rounds before I got things straight in my mind. My husband had picked his prescription. But the character in the novel I'm currently writing had not.

This brings me to the question, what do you do when your fictional world intrudes on your real one? Give up writing novels? Not an option. Give up blogging? No way! Give up reading my friends' blogs? Are you kidding?! Give up watching news and following politics? Hello? It's the source of my best material.

Maybe that's the problem, the fictional world has become more believable than the real one. Or maybe I'm just crazy.

To illustrate my dilemma, I've compiled the following True or False quiz:

  1. Four Mormon girls committed murder to get into BYU.
  2. Glenn Beck has a university.
  3. David Twede is Wm. Law X-Mormon of the Year (Yes!)
  4. #21 in the LDS Hymnal is entitled As I Have Cast Off All the Lies.
  5. The NRA wants to arm elementary school teachers.
  6. President Paternoster recently died. (Say it's not so!)
  7. Seven Miracles That Saved America by Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart is considered to be a work of non-fiction.
  8. Senate Republicans refused to ratify a U.N. treaty protecting the rights of the disabled because they thought it would pose an international threat to American households.
  9. Chris Stewart, coauthor of Seven Miracles That Saved America, is now a member of Congress.
  10. Utah has a state gun.
  11. A group of Mormon females call themselves feminists because they believe that women should be allowed to wear pants to church and offer prayers in General Conference.
  12. There are Mormon males who feel threatened by these females.
  13.  Leah has a new blog. (Yes! Yes!)
  14. There are people who know the Church is true with every fiber of their being.
  15. Mark Banta still hasn't picked up his prescription at the Abbottsville Pharmacy.

If you can separate the true from the false, you're far more sane than I am!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Still Earning Her MRS Degree

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Ruthie Renfro
Subject: Still doing my darndest at BYU-I

Dear Abbottsville Fourth Ward,

Golly I just don't know how I can ever thank you for fasting as a ward and then pooling your hard earned savings together to buy me the most awesome Christmas present ever!!! Gosh Abbottsville Fourth, you're the best. And thanks to you, I'm going to do my double-darndest to earn that MRS degree!

The staff at the Rexburg NewYou! were way cool, and my cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Moroni Tanner, is Idaho's leading expert on silicone implants--making him a household name to all of the sisters in Rexburg's tri-stake area Relief Society! And boy can I testify to you, he is truly an artiste. Your money has been well spent!

I'm back to full recovery now and am armed with a closetful of tight sweaters. I can't wait to take my new girls out for a spin. And guess what, A-4--I've got a date this weekend! WOO-HOO! I haven't met him yet, but his name is Tony and he's a friend of my roommate Suz, and he agreed to go out with me in exchange for Suz letting him off the hook for that money he owes her. In return I'm letting Suz borrow my new sweaters. Hey, can I make a deal or what?

But don't worry, A-4, your Ruthie isn't taking anything for granted. I know my last days are fast approaching. I also know that I have a super special opportunity now to snatch a man while all the 19-year-old girls are on their missions! I still cook for 7 different guys' apartments, do housekeeping for 5, and iron for all of the RM's I can rip the shirts off of.

You came through for me and I'm going to come through for you! Hopefully in 2014 I'll have grown out of the sweaters, and will need to buy some nursing bras. ;-)

Ruthie Renfro

P.S. Turns out I flunked Logic. Which means it may take even longer for me to graduate! Tee-hee.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we'll send you a brochure from the Rexburg New You!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Utah Congressman Saves America

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Brother J. "Bull" Barton, Ward Preparedness Specialist
Subject: Ward Preparedness Update

Thanks to the recent publication of Seven Miracles That Made America Great by the beloved patriot and recently elected congressman, Arlen Jamison (R-Utah), I have decided to lower the Ward Threat Level to ORANGE.

Up until now, our children's view of our nation's history has been formed by the feminists, gays and intellectuals who authored the text books distributed in our public schools. Finally we have a volume that will teach them the real story. And just in time to save our future generations.

Meticulously referenced, Seven Miracles That Made America Great describes in painstaking detail and absolute accuracy the 7 authentic miracles that made America what it is today.


Chapter headings:
  1. The Miracle of the Declaration of Independence
  2. The Miracle of the US Constitution
  3. The Miracle of the Lever Action Repeating Rifle
  4. The Miracle of High Fructose Corn Syrup
  5. The Miracle of Technicolor
  6. The Miracle of President Reagan's Strategic Naps
  7. The Miracle of Forrest Gump
Excerpt from Chapter 2:
Silas Baxter trudged toward home after another frustrating session of the Constitutional Convention. A squirrel scampered across his path, and in the distance a horse whinnied.1 Meanwhile, the sun made its slow demise into the horizon.  
A gas light flickered at his neighbor's window. Inside Ebenezer Mathers had just flipped to page 42 of Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler--the section about the live worm.2 
Unfortunately Silas had no time for such diversion. He was about the business of forming the constitution. 
Standing for righteousness. Liberty. Freedom. The American way.
She was waiting at the doorway, a cotton shawl around her shoulders.3 "Hi honey, how was your day?"
He looked up at her familiar dark eyes, her soft full ruby lips, and that comely figure he'd memorized inch by inch.4 "Very discouraging. Mr. Franklin insists on abolishing slavery, while the delegates from the South refuse to give it up. I'm torn between the two sides."
She nodded and made that little pouty face that always drove him wild. "Oh honey, you're such a softy. Feeling sorry for the poor slaves. But shouldn't your first concern be straight white men? I mean, without the necessary legislative safeguards, what will become of you?"
Silas looked to the heavens for an answer. A ferruginous hawk circled the sky. It had a deformed talon.
Then the inspiration struck. "By george you're right! First things first. And who knows? In the years to come God might change his mind about Black people."5
  1. Author's imagination
  2. Senator Crapo's recent LSD trip.
  3. Seven Miracles That Saved America, page 237.
  4. Seven Examples of the World's Worst Writing, page 1.
  5. Book of Mormon Musical, Act II.

I advise all ward members to have at least 3 copies of this essential reading on hand. Also the requisite 4 rolls of duct tape, 2 hazmat suits, a gallon jug of consecrated oil, 2 handguns, and scriptures, The Ensign, Twister and Yahtzee! to amuse yourselves in the bunker.

This concludes this Ward Preparedness Update.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, you probably just need to play a good game of Yahtzee!