Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beware the Third Hour of the Fifth Sunday

I dreaded every Sunday when I was a Mormon, but most of all the fifth Sunday. More specifically, the third hour of the fifth Sunday. Because that's when the bishopric has long held a joint meeting of the Priesthood and Relief Society.

Since the purpose of these meetings is to unify the ward on issues, they almost always take the form of a pompous, demeaning and sometimes borderline terrifying lecture. Because let's face it, when you're a Mormon, you're always doing something wrong. In my day, it was drinking Coke, seeing R-rated films, neglecting your genealogy, or not recognizing the "gay problem." More recently--if you're a woman--it's wearing pants to church.

Case in point. This past Sabbath Day happened to fall on the fifth Sunday in March. Instead of sitting in church, Mark and I were at Sinbad's with our friends Jerry and Cheryl where, over a martini, I read the following email invitation to a horrific fifth Sunday lecture that we could have been experiencing instead. Here is an excerpt:

…this Sunday all wards in our stake will be discussing, as a unified 5th Sunday message, the importance of specific roles that men and women have in the Church and family. As predicted by past prophets, in these last days much agitation and attack against the correct order of things will come from within and without the Church. One example, of which most of us are probably aware of, is the recent protest that the Church has had to fight against our own members who want women to receive the Priesthood. This is against (the) revealed nature of familial relationships.

Isaiah predicted. "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, 'We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.'" (Isaiah 4:1)

This prophecy is being fulfilled and it is important that as a stake we weed out such contention and danger. Some of these protesters have demonstrated by showing the independence of women ("We will eat our own bread"), wearing pants to church ("wear our own apparel"), and now ask for the priesthood ("let us be called by thy name"). Each ward this weekend will discuss how to combat such heretical thinking and apostasy that we might strengthen our individual families and better be of one heart and one mind and continue to build Zion among us…

We're looking forward to the many wonderful things happening this weekend in our stake.

Read the entire email here.

See what I mean about the third hour of the fifth Sunday? Just this past week in this and perhaps many stakes throughout Zion, the faithful were forced to endure a terrifying harangue about weeding out "contention and danger"--all because their fearless leaders are terrified of some women in pants.

From where I sit (martini in hand), what's really terrifying is actually having to sit through these third hour horror flicks. The only thing they could do to make them scarier would be to lock all the doors at the beginning and then cut the house lights at the end. Like Hitchcock did with Psycho.
But then the terror is only beginning.  This weekend is General Conference.
In happier news, Jono reviewed  False Prophet this week. Also, he reviewed  The Girls from Fourth Ward! I'd seen his review of The Girls on Amazon, but not on his excellent blog, Otto's Son, a site that mixes wisdom and humor with gorgeous photographs of both his home and his travels.

And speaking of excellent blogs, if you like Ward Gossip you'll love Sheep Dip. With the tagline, "telling you what to think so you don't have to," Sheep Dip is a marvelous new home for Mormon-themed satire. Check it out here.

We must support each other in the arts. (And stay away from terrifying church meetings.)


  1. It's 2014! The LDS needs to get with the times.

    1. I know, tell me about it. I keep asking, where do these men work? Even in UT there are women in the workforce. They need to be!

  2. "Each ward this weekend will discuss how to combat such heretical thinking and apostasy that we might strengthen our individual families and better be of one heart and one mind and continue to build Zion among us…"

    Nope. They're not a cult. Not at all ...

  3. Thanks for the plug, Donna!
    Women in pants! Ha! Next thing they'll want is to have their own thoughts and who knows where that will lead! The latest conference made the national news, but I suspect it was not the type of exposure they were looking for. I immediately thought of your books and what goes on behind the scenes in MormonWorld.

  4. Right AT. And Jono, I'm afraid any bad press only unifies the faithful as they are "persecuted." Thanks again for plugging my book!

  5. As always, very funny - and sadly, oh, so true...