Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stay At Home, Sisters

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Bishop Paul Zimmerman
Subject: Priesthood Meeting Protest

It's come to our attention that some members of the Abbottsville Fourth Ward intend to travel to Salt Lake City to attend an upcoming protest. Before packing your bags, please read the following missive from Church Public Affairs to the event organizers.

Dear Sisters,

The Brethren have held some wonderful conversations over recent years relative to women in the Church and the invaluable contributions we make. The recent changes you have seen, like lowering the missionary age for sisters and encouraging them to dress attractively, serve as examples and were facilitated by the efforts of many extraordinarily fine looking LDS women around the world. 

After aggressively surveying their wives, daughters and secretaries, the Brethren have concluded that women in the Church, by a very large majority, do not share your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extremely unladylike. Declaring such an objective to be non-negotiable, as you have done, actually detracts from the helpful discussions that the Brethren have held as they seek to dictate the thoughts, concerns, and hopes of women inside and outside of the Church. 

The priesthood session of General Conference is designed to strengthen men and boys as they receive specific instructions about their stewardship over women; therefore we are unable to fulfill your request for tickets. You are certainly welcome to view the live broadcast of the priesthood session on, the Mormon Channel or BYUtv, at home where you belong--and dressed in any appropriately modest clothing. Even pants.

Your organization has again publicized its intention to demonstrate on Temple Square during the April 5 priesthood session. Activist events like this detract from the sacred environment of Temple Square and the spirit of harmonious patriarchy sought at General Conference. Please reconsider.

If you feel you must come and demonstrate we ask that you do so in the free speech zone we've set up a short twelve blocks away from Temple Square, conveniently located near the Harmons Neighborhood Grocery where many of you choose to shop. (See attached map.)

Kindest regards,

Kimberly Baker
Wife of an official church spokesman

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we ask that you make your request in the aforementioned free speech zone. (See attached map.)

Also check out another great review for The Girls from Fourth Ward, this time from talented blogger, Jono! Read it here!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What One Mormon Had To Go Through For A Sandwich

Some years ago my husband, Mark, corresponded with a believing Mormon who posed the familiar question:

"If the Church is 'false' then why are there so many anti-Mormon groups out there aimed at helping people recover from it?"

His premise being: the mere fact that people who escape Mormonism are so damaged that they need years to recover PROVES that the LDS Church is true. -- After all, people who leave "false" churches aren't nearly as screwed up as we are, right?

Then there's that other familiar refrain:

"They can leave the Church, but they can't leave the Church alone."

Translation: ExMormons who criticize, poke fun at, or even question the LDS Church are crazy, bitter, obsessed borderline psychotics who need years to recover.

Which also proves the Church is true?

I confess I do not possess enough spiritual intelligence to decipher Mormon logic. However, in my travels around Outerblogness this week I ran across a painful missive over on ExMormon Reddit that answers the more relevant question:

How much damage can a Mormon sustain before he becomes an ExMormon?

How much? Consider this confession from a self-described "pathetic little man." Gripped by hunger halfway through sacrament meeting, this young father schemed to sneak out of church to the local Carl's Jr. After some subterfuge and one foiled attempt, he finally got his break halfway through the final hour of church. The following is an excerpt:

I break my personal record in how quickly I get my son secured in his car seat and in a matter of seconds, we're off! Approximately 1.5 miles to Carls Jr. I make it there in about two minutes. Pull in to the drive thru and see four cars ahead of me. " Why aren't these people in church?!" The clock is ticking. The driver of the car in front of me has apparently never ordered food from a drive thru before and/or speaks no English. There is much gesticulating at the menu/speaker thingy. Tick, tick, tick. Finally, it's my turn "Western Bacon cheeseburger please, just the sandwich, and that will be all." I sound panicked. 8 minutes until church ends. I get to the window and pay in cash so there's no evidence of a Sunday transaction on our account.
I eat while driving, cramming the sandwich into my mouth and swallowing without chewing. I stop at a gas station, throw away the bag, the wrapper, and the receipt. Brush crumbs off the seat, check my shirt and tie for BBQ sauce. After all of the evidence is disposed of I get back in the car and shove two sticks of Big Red into my mouth to cover the smell of delicious CJ all beef patties, American cheese, and onion rings. I look at the clock. 2 minutes remaining. I'm on the move again. Rolling through stop signs, weaving through traffic. . . . 
I am a grown man in my 30's. I have a job, and pay taxes. I have responsibilities and people rely on me. But when I want to buy a sandwich on a Sunday I have to treat it like I'm disposing of a body. I am a pathetic little man.
Read his entire account here.

Upon reading this, I had several strong and immediate reactions.

First, that this was so over the top that even I couldn't satirize it. I mean, you can't make shit like this up.

Second, I was aghast over the risk this poor schmuck took. He was breaking the rules in an organization that encourages men to report their roommate's masturbating lest they be "left behind on the battlefield." It's entirely possible that, thanks to the stunt this guy pulled, the church will be ordering the installment of tiny cameras and GPS tracking chips on all children under 18 months of age.

Finally, I had the horrifying realization that I know this guy, that I used to be this guy. So I know that a guy like this won't escape the Church until something so outrageous happens that if he doesn't bail he will go completely bonkers. And this sandwich incident isn't it. Probably not even close.

Which leads me to conclude that, based on experience, my own recovery is miles away and I will probably be writing this blog for some time to come.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Looks Like It's All Up To The Primary Now...

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Sister Marla Sweet, Ward Primary President
Subject: Lucy Finds a Way

I urge everyone in the Abbottsville Fourth Ward to read the following article from The Friend--and then pass it on to the children of inactive members.

Lucy Finds a Way

By Stacy Coffee
(Based on a TRUE story)

Going to church by herself wasn't easy, but Lucy knew it was the only way she could escape her evil, sick, iniquitous hell hole.

Lucy sat up in bed and turned on the light. "It's Sunday, time for church!" she sang.

Her sister pulled the covers over her head. "Lucy, turn off the light. You know we don't go to church anymore."

Lucy could hear her parents in the kitchen. But she knew they weren't getting ready for church. Rather, they were involved in a much darker pursuit. Lucy put on her dress and hurried out of the room, leaving the door open and the light on.

Lucy could remember when her parents used to take her family to church, but that hadn't happened in a while. Since then Lucy had noticed that her once happy and righteous household had devolved into an evil, sick, iniquitous hell hole.

Her mom stood at the counter in her sleeveless sundress, pouring a cup of coffee. "Morning Lucy," she said with a smile. "Is Sister Gomez giving you a ride to church?"

"Yup." Every Saturday night while her family was wallowing in smut, Lucy called her Primary teacher and asked for a ride to church. Sister Gomez always said yes.

"You know, it would be really nice if you stayed home just this once. Grandma and Grandpa are coming over," her mother said.

But Lucy was unmoved. She knew that "just this once" would only be the tipping point.

Her dad's mug clinked as he set it on the table. "It would also be nice if you could help your sister with some chores before they get here."

Lucy scowled. Her father was so tricky. Using guilt to lure her into Satan's evil grip.

Knock, Knock.

Lucy looked at the door and grinned. Sister Gomez was here. She rushed to the door and threw it open. Sister Gomez stood on the threshold smiling.

"Hello Sister Gomez," said Mom.

"Sister Gomez, how are you doing?" asked Dad.

Sister Gomez ignored them. "Are you ready for church, Lucy?"

Lucy nodded and smiled back. "Yes!" she said, and closed the door behind her.

Her brother was out front mowing the lawn. He stopped for a second. "Hey there, Sister Gomez."

Sister Gomez grabbed Lucy by the arm, rushed her into her car and then peeled away from the curb.

Lucy sat reverently in sacrament meeting next to some adults who barely knew her. She listened to her Primary lessons and learned about Alma the Younger in the Book of Mormon. Although she didn't understand anything that was said, she knew that the superior feeling she had when she was in church proved that she was more spiritually mature than her family.

As she and Sister Gomez drove home after Primary, Sister Gomez said, "I admire you, Lucy. Most children who grow up in evil, sick, iniquitous hell holes can't muster the spiritual maturity to attend the one and only true church every Sunday."

"Thank you, Sister Gomez," Lucy replied primly. "I love being right."

As Lucy walked inside after being dropped off, she found her brother and grandpa at the dining room table playing gin rummy. Her sister, mom, and grandma were in the family room watching Downton Abbey and drinking tea. Then her dad walked in the back door with a stack of pizza boxes.

Aghast, and overwhelmed with spiritual maturity, Lucy put her hands on her hips and shouted:

"This is just WRONG!"

For a few long seconds everyone's eyes were on Lucy. Then Dad said, "Anyone want some pizza?"

"Yes, please."

"Sure, Dad."

"Thought you'd never ask."

Disgusted, Lucy heaved a sigh, marched into her room, shut the door, and sat on her bed. She said a prayer to Heavenly Father, asking for the spiritual maturity to survive another week in her evil, sick, iniquitous hell hole. Then she opened her scriptures and began to read.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails we'll send a Primary teacher over to collect your kid for church next Sunday.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Great Planet Rip-Off

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Wilbur T. Nussel, soon to be former 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum presidency
Subject: I want my planet back!

Recently an article on the LDS website announced a shocking reversal in longstanding Mormon doctrine:
"Latter-day Saints' doctrine of exhalation is often reduced in media to a (similarly) cartoonish image of people receiving their own planets."  
Excuse me? Since when did my future planet become a cartoon? It was supposed to be the real deal. And not "in media." In church! Every Sunday. They promised. My very own planet. For crying out loud, it's the least the Brethren can do for me, given what I've done for them.

What I've Done For Them (the short list)
  1. Attended all my meetings.
  2. Paid my tithing.
  3. Cleaned the ward meetinghouse toilets.
  4. Cleaned the interior of the Turley Family's Suburban.
  5. I read the entire Book of Mormon.
  6. Watched the Super Bowl every year on Monday.
  7. Knew the Church was true with every fiber of my being.
  8. Dutifully tried to collect fast offerings from the bitter inactive gay guy.
  9. Turned down a part as a member of the Zero Population Growth gang in Saturday's Warrior, citing moral objections.
  10. Sat through hour long one on ones with the bishop about masturbation.
  11. Raised my arm to the square and said "get thee hence" to the super-hot nonmember girl who flirted with me in high school.
  12. Served a mission in Hawaii where I wasn't allowed to go swimming or look at a girl's midriff.
  13. I spent an entire semester at BYU-Idaho.
  14. Accepted a blind date invitation composed on my windshield in unscrewed Oreos.
  15. Broke the above date when I discovered she wanted to go see Frozen.
I could go on, but you get it, don't you Abbottsville 4th? I WAS SUPPOSED TO GET A PLANET! Also a whole string of bare-midriffed wives, including the super-hot nonmember girl from high school--after I convert her in the Spirit World, of course.

That's it, Brethren! You're not ripping off this worthy priesthood holder. Either refund me my entire planet or I'm done.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we'll level with you. You're going to get a planet. Just keep it on the "down low" when you're around the media.