This is one of a series of web pages I created between 2001and 2006. I was angry and frustrated at the LDS Church. Since then I have moved on and calmed down. So please remember, if you read these pages, that they reflect my past and not my present feelings. Thanks for your understanding!      -  Chris Tolworthy

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My post-mormon humor page

therapy, originally posted at the Foyer and elsewhere

(updated Dec 2006: Magic Submarine)

Introduction
A synopsis of the book '1984' by George Orwell
A synopsis of 'The Wizard of Oz'
The Emperor's New Garments
Selections from the new hymn book
The Articles of Faith, correlated
The Sermon on the Mount, revised to be in line with current teachings
Scooby Doo
Emma's tale
An invitation to return

My home page


Introduction

I sometimes post silly stuff on the Foyer. Some people seem to like these posts, so I collected some of them here.

Some Mormon hymns are so misleading that they need to be revised. Some non-Mormon books adescribe the Mormon church so well that I just want to point out the parallels. I couldn't find a couple of my favorites - the parody on 2 Nephi 2 and the 'return to the church' letter. If you know where they are please email me


A synopsis of the book 1984, by George Orwell

The book is in three parts.

Part 1

The setting is Salt Lake in 1984, shortly after Leonard Arrington left the Church History department (when it was given to BYU and re-named, and the year when polygraphs were introduced into the church university). The novel, first published in 1949, imagines 1984 as a post Millennium future where the church runs the world government and everything is micro-managed from above. The story opens with the central character, Winston Smith (great-grandson of Joseph Fielding Smith), returning to his apartment in Victory Mansions. Every wall has the Del Parsons Christ (with the eyes that seem to be looking over your shoulder) and the message "Jesus is your older brother. Older Brother is watching you." Inside his apartment, Winston watches General Conference on TV - the volume can be turned down, but it can never be turned off. Outside the landscape is grimy and bleak, resulting from the burning of non-tithe-payers and general purging of evil over the previous few years. As foretold in scripture, there are no longer mountains or oceans, the world is a sea of glass and fire. The fire is the remnants of the nuclear war predicted by Skousen. The glass is where the desert sand became unusually hot.

From his apartment, Winston can see the Ministry of Truth (formerly the Church Office Building) towering over the landscape, and the three engraved Church slogans:
"WAR AGAINST SIN IS PEACE
FREEDOM FROM THE CHURCH IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."
Winston can also see the three other huge Ministries - the Ministry of Spreading Peace (formerly the MTC), the Ministry of Plenty (formerly Welfare Square) and the terrifying Ministry of Courts of Love. He recalls that morning's Priesthood meeting, with the two-minute hate. Today it was Governor Ford again. Then everyone had recited the Fourth Section. He recalled one man in particular, O'Brien, a minor General Authority. Winston hated the chanting. He caught O'Brien's eye during the chants, and for a moment knew that O'Brien felt the same way. This incident shook him and renewed his hope that others might feel like he did, and that FARMS, a group he was told were rebel intellectuals, might actually exist.

Winston enjoys his job. He works for the church correlation committee, updating the manuals. His job was the historical sections, changing 'wives' to 'wife' and removing any reference to deification or obsolete temple doctrines. A tricky part today was updating an old article that included a quotation by Michael Quinn. Quinn was the Enemy of the People, and now an un-person. To fill the gap, Winston makes up a story in which the church praises a (fake) dead war hero who died in a foxhole after a career in major league baseball. Winston hopes one day to be promoted to the video section, and help to re-record conference talks.

"'Who controls the past', ran today's LDS-Gem, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'" It was even better than the previous day's Gem. "I don't know if we teach that; don't worry about those little flicks of history."

Winston is falling in love with a Young Single Adult, Julia. (?Young' means she is less than sixty.) He hates her, because she arouses feelings in his trousers that he has been taught are evil. He wonders if she is sent by Satan. "Sexual intercourse was inferred to be slightly dirty, and his ex-wife, Katherine, hated it. The Church views marriage as a vehicle for producing children to serve the Church. Erotic desire is rebellion. Organizations like the Young Women Anti-Sex League are encouraged. Winston secretly visits the NOM board, even though this would be grounds for a court if discovered. He wrote "If there is hope, it lies in the less-actives." The less-actives form about 85% of the church, and are allowed to do whatever they want, but are still counted as active members every April. Winston writes, "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."

Winston reads the Ensign, and reflects on the Church's claim to have improved everything, but there is a big difference between the world the church describes, "a holy nation, the most wonderful people on earth, with beautiful temples and strong families" and the world in which Winston resides, where Prozac and bankuptcy are the norm and everyone tries to ?endure to the end'. Winston feels alone in his thoughts, bordering on the insane. He realises that the church if it wished, could turn a feeling into a belief and a belief into a fact. Winston again writes on the NOM board. As if speaking to O'Brien, he writes: "Freedom is the freedom to say that feelings are simply feelings. If that is granted, all else follows."

Winston starts to visit the home of a less-active member who knew nothing of church doctrine and is even slightly sympathetic to homosexuals. Winston knows this is a dangerous thing to do. The man gives Winston a coffee. Winston reacts with emotion: "It seemed to him that he knew exactly what it felt like to sit in a room like this, in an armchair beside a sports game on TV and a beer in the fridge: utterly alone, utterly secure, with nobody watching you, no guilt in your head, no home teachers at the door, just the friendly banter of the TV." On the way home, Winston is seen by his quorum president. He cannot come up with a possible explanation for his being here. Winston is struck by an acute sense of terror.

Part 2

This section begins with some chapters about Winston and Julia's physical relationship. Julia was 42 years old and lived in a large and crowded hostel for single sisters. Until the age of 41, she had devoted herself to extreme chastity and extended temple visits, in the hope of being rewarded with a husband. She had never dated. Then at age 42, something inside her finally snapped. Winston is her first ever boyfriend, and they go at it like rabbits. But according to letters that circulated to bishops in the 1980s, certain of the things they did were, in effect, de facto political acts.

Unlike Winston, Julia understands precisely why the church discourages sexual urges: "What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into spiritual fever and leader worship."

During this time, they both work extra hard to appear as good members, so as to avoid arousing suspicion. Eventually they rent a room in the house of the less-active member he visited earlier. Here they are free to talk. They smuggle in black-market goods such as caffeine coke. One of Winston's colleagues, Syme, is released from his calling and does not come to church again. Winston can only guess what has happened. It is the preparation for General Conference week, which means a lot of extra work. The children are chanting new verses to "follow the prophet" and the local members seem genuinely excited by this thrilling time of the year. Lessons focus on the evils of the world, the fear is greater than usual, and they plan demonstrations against Equal Rights legislation.

Winston and Julia know that this cannot last, but begin to become reckless. They make impossible plans about reforming the church form the inside. Winston tells Julia about O'Brien and FARMS, and the hope that this intellectual wind will bring new life into the church.

Julia is better able to cope with church history and doctrine than Winston is. "She only questioned the teachings of the church when they in some way touched upon her own life. Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, simply because the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to her."

One day at work, O'Brien congratulates Winston on his use of Newspeak (church jargon) in his recent works. O'Brien makes an indirect positive reference to Syme. This is "thought-crime" - Syme is obviously apostate and as such incapable of having any positive attributes. Winston realises that O'Brien must be on his side, a fellow NOM. Winston's cover is slipping. "He had the sensation of stepping into the dampness of a grave, and it was not much better because he had always known that the grave was there and waiting for him."

Winston often thinks about his mother. He remembers his mother as a noble person who lived according to her own private standards and remained true to what she saw with her own eyes. In doing so she put blind obedience second, and there was no room for that in the church. "The terrible thing that the Church had done was to persuade you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were the only source of truth, while at the same time robbing you of all power to place your feelings before the feelings of the church." He realizes only the less-actives have remained human, by attaching importance to their own feelings.

Winston and Julia discuss the inevitability of their returning to church. Both understand they will eventually give in and become true believers again. But inside they will always be free. "It's the one thing they can't do. They can make you say anything - anything - but they can't make you believe it. They can't get inside you." Or so they thought.

Julia and Winston go to see O'Brien at his home. They are amazed by the difference in the way the G.A.s live. Small families, big houses, and members always willing to volunteer as unpaid help. O'Brien even has the power to turn off General Conference. He starts to break into a smile and asks, "Shall I say it, or will you?" Winston tells him of his doubts about the church. O'Brien calls in Martin, whom he says is one of them, and pours them all wine, which Winston and Julia have never seen before. He tells them that FARMS does exist. He asks them if they would be willing to engage in obfuscation, half truths and ad-hominem attacks in service of FARMS. They say yes. O'Brien warns them of the danger to their testimonies.

For the next few weeks, Winston is too busy at General-Conference related meetings. But finally he has time to read "the book" - a copy of the latest Quinn volume that only FARMS members were allowed to read. It gives a detailed history of the church, the origins of its doctrines, and how it achieved its current position. According to Quinn, the reason behind spiritual warfare has changed completely. "The primary aim of modern spiritual warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the brethren) is to use up the time of the members without giving time to think." If people had time to think, there would be no need for a hierarchical society. Hence, for the privileged minority to maintain their position, they need to make sure that the masses keep busy. "The consciousness of being at spiritual war with Satan, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival." Scientific development under the church is virtually nonexistent; scientific breakthroughs require creative thought, a concept outlawed by the church. Scientific research is limited to finding new ways of spreading the message of the church.

Winston stops reading for a moment. The book fascinates him. "It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already." Major mental training is required, starting in childhood, to ensure political orthodoxy. By dislocating the sense of reality, the church may well be able to hold onto its power forever.

As Winston finally understands, he is caught.

He was betrayed by the less-active member. He realises that the less-active member was really a sixth generation cultural Mormon, the kind that may break every rule, but always be part of the church.

Part 3

Winston finds himself alone in a stake centre, ready for the court of love. He heard a stake executive secretary whisper something about a room in the stake centre, "Room 101." Winston's thoughts are of O'Brien. Winston wonders whether FARMS could find some way to defend him. He is surprised to see that one of his most faithful, believing friends is also there for a court of love.

Finally it is time for Winston. At first there is a series of accusations. Then finally he is asked for his side of the story. Under all those eyes, without any experience of group psychology, Winston begins to break, and confess to things that maybe he should not confess to.

O'Brien is there. He talks of the nature of reality. He tells how, if you think one thing and the church thinks another, obviously you are blinded by sin and need to repent. Clearly Winston is a sinner, but the church only wants to help. So the meeting continues. Eventually, Winston begins to cry like a baby. "The old feeling, that at bottom it did not matter whether O'Brien was a friend or an enemy, had come back. O'Brien was a person who could be talked to..." Winston clung onto O'Brien. O'Brien tells Winston why the church brings its enemies into the Ministry of Love. It is important not to destroy enemies, but to change them. He tells Winston he is here so that they can "cure" him and "make him whole." His mind must be purified and aligned to the ideals of the gospel before the final day of judgement.

O'Brien informs him of the why behind obedience to the church. The goal is pure power itself. The individual is mortal and can never have power alone, but when he destroys his own identity and relinquishes control to the god - the church - he will live and be powerful forever. The church represents god, the church is omnipotent. Even FARMS is a sham. It only exists in order to trap closet intellectuals, and bring them back into obedience.

"The vision of the future will be a missionary boot tracting out your street, forever."

Winston talks about the moral value of the individual. O'Brien mocks this, reminding him that the natural man is an enemy to God and that man is nothing. He compares the pathetic mistakes of individuals to the glorious beauty and strength of the church. Eventually Winston believes he has fully repented. The series of courts ends. Winston is a changed man, he tries to re-educate himself. To accept everything. He enrols in Institute again. But deep down he knew that he still had doubts. He begins to panic. Winston knows he has been obeying the church with his mind, but still, in the depths of his heart, he doubts them. "For the first time he perceived that if you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself."

Eventually another court of love is convened, to assess the disfellowshipping. It is time for Room 101, the temple. Nobody spoke about what went on in room 101, but Winston knew that they could make you promise anything there and there were shispers of slitting throats, disembowelling, etc..

Winston is forced to face his greatest fear: the fear of losing his family. The technique works. Winston breaks. He will do or believe anything - absolutely anything - in order to save his family. Finally he has a broken heart and a contrite spirit. His self esteem has gone. His only desire is to obey.

Some weeks after being released, Winston is sitting at a church social. He hears someone talking about how the church is the fastest growing church in the world. Winston's heart is filled with gratitude. He spends most of his time at church activities now. When the speakers at General Conference speak of how wonderful the church is, Winston feels a great swell of pride and weeps for joy. Even when they warn of the evils of the world, he no longer fears. "It was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved the church."

 


A synopsis of The Wizard of Oz

The story begins in Kansas, deep in the Bible Belt. The star of the book is a young girl called Dorothy. She thinks that everything is gray and boring, so she wants more color in her life. Her guardian is anti-Mormon (or "Anti Em" for short). One day Anti Em sees two elders on the horizon. She has a low opinion of them and refers to them as "twisters," (Hence the common misunderstanding about the twisters. The error was compounded by L. Frank Baum's handwriting - "two elders" looks like the word "tornado"). Anti Em told Dorothy to hide in the cellar when the Elders knocked on the door, but Dorothy did not get there in time. As a naive Kansas girl, the handsome Elders make her head spin. Her whole world turns round and round. Before she knows what is happening, she finds herself in the land of Oz (a thinly veiled reference to Utah).

Dorothy arrives in a high density Mormon area which Baum called MormonLand (the name was changed to Munchkin Land after legal threats from the COB). The "munchkins" were a little strange, very child-like in their maturity, and they all looked the same, but the singing was OK..

In Oz, everything seems more colorful and wonderful to the new convert. She is told that she must follow the celestial road - baptism, temple, endure to the end, etc. Since the celestial road is paved with bricks of gold, it is called the yellow brick road. The Munchkins sing songs about "follow the prophet" and "follow the gospel" - in short, "follow the yellow brick road."

Dorothy makes some new friends:

They hear that the prophet (often described as conference as "great and marvelous") can do anything, so they follow the yellow brick road to do whatever he says and gain the blessings.

Eventually they meet the prophet in the Emerald City (Salt Lake is called emerald because the true believers are so green). Even though they have done everything he said, it turns out that it is still not enough, and the prophet tells them to do more. They tell him how they need brains, a heart, courage, etc. The prophet says that the church believes strongly in education, and suggests that they go the great castle of BYU, He says that they must also prove their righteousness, and he warns them that feminists have been polluting it. The feminists want people to surrender to the facts of history, and no longer deny them. Hence the heart-felt pleas "surrender, Dorothy." [Footnote: since these events happened, Arrington was fired and BYU re-wrote the official history. Now everyone at BYU remembers the story as the 'wicked witch of the West' (the West being liberal godless California), who's only desire was to destroy the innocent. Such is the power of history. The official history records how, Dorothy and her friends, acting as official informers, battled the evil monkeys of evolution, and that the witch melted away when she felt the burning spirit at the waters of baptism.]

Despite their time at the castle of BYU, the friends still don't have brains, a heart, or courage. They return to the prophet and ask for the promised blessings. Once again he says that they will be blessed later if only they do a little bit more...

At this point, and quite by accident, something happens to pull aside a curtain that the prophet has told them not to touch. They see behind the curtain that the prophet is just an ordinary guy, and all the special effects are just smoke and mirrors. The prophet tells them that not all truths are good and useful, and they should pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. But it is too late.

The friends soon learn that the great prophet was originally a snake oil salesman who made his living from money digging and fake antiquities. He retreated behind the curtain years ago when the authorities almost chased him out of town. Since then he had perfected the art of looking great and wonderful by a mixture of homespun wisdom and empty but grand-sounding promises.

The friends now see that they can solve their own problems without relying on the old faker. At last, the scarecrow gains a brain, the tin woodcutter gains a heart, and the lion finds that he is not a coward at all. As for Dorothy, even though she is in the middle of the emerald city, and surrounded by her Mormon friends, she realizes that all the great promises and superficial color mean nothing. She learns the great lesson, that family really is more important than religion. All the meetings, all the social activities, even the promises of eternal joy, do not balance against the great truth of the here and now: there's no place like home.

And Dorothy returned to Kansas.


The Emperor's New Garments
or... The little-unknown origin of Mormon temple worship.

The church likes to teach that the temple is all about ethics and eternal life – that is, we promise to do good and are promised eternal bliss. But that makes the temple no different from a church. So what makes the temple special? Critics of the church talk about Masonic rituals and Old Testament theocracies. But these things are secondary. To the temple-going Mormon, the important things are:

  1. The endowment of knowledge that enables them to become kings, priests and gods
  2. The special clothing that symbolises that endowment.
  3. The special loyalty to the church that comes from being a temple-goer.

Let us take a look at the origins of the endowment in the early 1840s, and the influences available at the time. Then the meaning of temple worship becomes clear - the endowment idea came from a popular book published in 1837, and it is so obvious that the critics have largely ignored it.

In 1837, Joseph Smith had a problem. He was losing his power. The church was supposed to be rolling forth to fill the earth, but the numbers were actually going down, not up. This was largely because he had promised the Windows of Heaven – economic blessings for the saints, but his banking scheme had failed. He had promised them Zion in Missouri, but Missouri did not want them. Theologically, he had offered them revelation, but now they were having their own revelations that contradicted his, and these had to be opposed. Finally, his behavior (not just in the bedroom) was causing even the Official Witnesses to leave the church. So Joseph had a problem. But what could he do?

The short-term measure was to open a foreign mission. So in 1837 the Mormons came to Britain, and then to the rest of Europe. And here they apparently found the solution to Joseph’s problem.

In 1837, in Europe, another young dreamer was at the height of his fame. Like Joseph, he had an interest in magic folklore, had published books and had gained a following. Like the missionaries, he toured Europe (starting in 1840) and his books were published in every major country. But unlike Joseph, he became wildly popular. Because unlike Joseph, he was a talented writer. His stories spread throughout Europe, and the Mormon missionaries must have heard them and taken them back to America.

The man was Hans Christian Andersen, and in 1837 he published volume three of "Fairy Tales and Stories." One story in a particular deserves our attention. It concerned a clever man and a kingdom of faith. We can imagine the excitement when Joseph heard it. It was an inspired history, a message from God. It was the answer he was looking for!

The story was called "the emperors new suit." Here is the story, in Hans Anderson's original words:

Many years ago lived a people who thought so much of faith that they spent all their money in order to obtain it; their only ambition was to please a spirit in the sky.

One day a clever young man came to this country. He told the people he was a prophet, and declared that he could produce the best revelations ever imagined. The depth and inspiration, he said, were not only exceptionally profound, but they possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unrighteous or unpardonably stupid.

"That must be wonderful revelation," thought the people. "If we were to be endowed with that knowledge we would understand the truth of all things. We must have this endowment without delay." And they gave a large sum of money to the prophet, in advance, so that he could build a great building that was appropriate for this great knowledge. The prophet bought hats and rooms and papyrus, and pretended to be very hard at work. He asked for the finest construction for his building; no sacrifice would be too great.

Before the building was completed, the leaders of the people were impatient to gain their special knowledge. So the prophet agreed and the first few were ushered into the prophets’ room. They received their endowment.

"Heaven preserve us!" they thought, and opened their eyes wide, "We cannot see anything at all in this," but they did not say so. The prophet asked them if they were not deeply moved by the sublime understanding and beautiful truths. The poor recipients tried their very best, but could see nothing, for there was nothing to be seen. "Oh dear," they each thought, "Can I be so unrighteous? Or so stupid? I should never have thought so, and nobody must know it! Is it possible that I am not fit for the kingdom of heaven? No, no, I cannot say that I was unable to see. I must say that I understand, and then come back again and again until I really do."

"Oh, it is beautiful, so deep, exceedingly profound," said each person.

"I am pleased to hear that," said the prophet, and described to them the symbolism and explained some of the curious phrases. The people listened attentively, that they might relate to their fellow believers what they had learned; and so they did.

All the people talked about the precious truths. The prophet was given more and more money, and treated with the reverence usually reserved for the sky spirit.

And so it went on. The great building was completed. All the people received their endowments. Each told his neighbor that he was moved and deeply impressed. And such is the nature of these things, that the feelings gradually became genuine.

Through all this, the prophet praised the people who took the endowment. They were "the greatest people in the finest city on earth." They would become "kings and priests" in heaven, and eventually become gods. To help them remember the great truths, the prophet made special clothing for the embryonic "kings and "priests." These would become "the kings’ new clothes", or just "the garments" for short. These clothes were to be worn in secret so that nobody could see them, just as the truths they represented could not be seen.

The people were humbled by the trust that was placed in them, and secretly resolved to try even harder to be obedient and listen to the prophet, so that every time they returned for the endowment they would understand more and more of these beautiful truths.

As the years went by, the prophet and his successors became wealthy. They were worshiped and revered. Beautiful temples dotted the land. The only problem came one day when a little child asked what its parents were doing, why they went to hear the same endowment every week. The parents, who loved their child, explained it all. The little child thought about it for a while.

"But it means nothing at all," she said at last.

That is the story as Joseph heard it. And the rest is history. Joseph instituted the endowment. The people increased in faith and commitment. But Joseph learned from the story. He resolved that he would never let children into his temples, and he would never let the people discuss the endowment in public. It was just too – er – sacred.

Which all goes to show that Mormon temple worship is completely and genuinely Christian. Christian Andersen, that is.

 


Selections from the new hymn book

These sound best if sung to the original tunes. (Or chanted to the original dirge, in the case of 'Follow the Prophet.')


"Follow The Prophet" - the lost verses

Adam was a prophet
First one That We Know
In a place called Eden
He lived long ago
God gave him some fruit
And told him not to bite
Adam ate it anyway
I know he chose the right

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Noah was a prophet
Saved the human race
Then got drunk and naked
And fell upon his face
His son then tried to help
And covered Noah's back
Noah swore and cursed him
Why? 'cause he was black.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Moses was a prophet
He makes me warm inside
He marched upon his neighbors
And gave them genocide
Let's follow his example
And find some men to slay
And women too, and children
If they get in the way

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Deborah was a prophet
Called a prophetess
Except we cannot teach that
So this we must suppress
So never talk of Huldah
And Miriam forget
This modern dispensation
Ain't ready for them yet

[ Other verses are removed for sake of space. Let's skip forward a few dispensations. ]

Joseph was a prophet
Exalted up on high
That is what he told us
I'm sure he wouldn't lie
If you don't believe him
Fake it 'til you do
All we ask is blind
Obedience from you

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Brigham was a prophet
A mighty man and true
He loved each of his wives
(And some of Joseph's too)
He built a mighty city
From the desert sod
based on revelation
That Adam is our God

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

John Taylor was a prophet
A wise man at our head
And so he told the people
"Forget what Brigham said"
But we will never know
What plans he had in store
Because he lived in hiding
Running from the law

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Woodruff was a prophet
Standing firm and true
The government said "one wife"
And he said "no can do."
They said "we'll jail your people"
But he would not give in.
They said "we'll take your money"
Woodruff said "you win"

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Snow, he was a prophet
(Spelled ---P-H-E-T)
Said "if you want blessings,
Tithing is the key"
Now in Church Headquarters
In Snow's memory
They still follow the profit
(P-R-O-F-I-T)

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Smith (two) was a prophet
And things were going good
The early 1900s
And Utah had statehood
Polygamy was gone
Forgotten and away
(Forget what Michael Quinn says.
He's evil. And he's gay.)

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Grant, he was a prophet
With testimony strong
He said "Follow the prophet,
Even if he's wrong."
If you heed his counsel
You will understand
Why in the 1930s
Depression filled the land.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Smith (three) was a prophet
"Another Smith" you say?
Nepotism? never!
It just turned out that way.
He loved the holy temple.
He always got there first.
To make sure every single
Enemy got cursed.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

McKay was a prophet
Served a long long time
And he is my favorite
So no "smart Alec" rhyme.
About this time, McConkie
Wrote "Mormon Doctrine One"
McKay he tried to stop him
But the damage it was done.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Smith (four) was a prophet
He wrote a lot of books
Creationists all loved him
The rest had weary looks
Though anti-evolution
We know his case was strong
He got it from the protestants
And they are never wrong

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Lee, he was a prophet
The church was growing fast
With Arrington and Nibley
We knew it couldn't last.
All these intellectuals,
With energy and dreams!
So Lee said 'correlation!'
And that was that, it seems.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Kimball was a prophet
(And not a Jedi sage)
He taught us to "just do it"
(Unless you're under age)
Then he received a message
In nineteen seventy eight
So Hugh B. Brown was right it seems -
A shame he had to wait.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Benson was a prophet
Against the sin of pride
And when he praised America
It made us warm inside.
He spent his last five years
Tucked up in his bed,
But we know he led us,
As that's what Hinckley said.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Hunter was a prophet
Though not for very long
His legs were very weak
But his heart was very strong.
A prophet won't deceive us,
Or God would let him die -
But Hunter, he passed quickly
It made us wonder why...

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way

Hinckley is a prophet,
Friend of Larry King;
Said, "I do not now
What the future will bring."
Nine-eleven shocked him.
What fanatics do!
When they follow blindly -
Not like me and you.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't go astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He knows the way!


To the tune of 'I have work enough to do'

I have too much work to do, Ere the sun goes down,
For my ward and callings too, Ere the sun goes down:
I'm a fool to be so willing, for my spirit this is killing,
Ev'ry pointless task fulfilling, Ere the sun goes down.

I can't study one more word, Ere the sun goes down.
For my speech is getting slurred, Ere the sun goes down:
I will try and finish reading, but I'm really not succeeding,
I can't see where this is leading, Ere the sun goes down.

When I seem to make headway, Ere the sun goes down,
There's just more I must obey, Ere the sun goes down.
Every duty is so pressing, that my joy it is suppressing,
Oh I find it so depressing, Ere the sun goes down.


To the tune of 'There is sunshine in my soul today'

There is something in the church today, it doesn't feel quite right.
I cannot see any earthly way that Jesus is our light,

Oh there's something, a certain something, when the peaceful happy times have gone.
When you seldom see a smiling face, There is something that is wrong.

A malaise is in the church today, that touches everything,
And people listening can hear some hearts that cannot sing.

Oh there's something, a certain something, when the peaceful happy times have gone.
When you seldom see a smiling face, There is something that is wrong.

There is sickness in the church today, For this is what we hear,
The droves of converts don't attend, the growth does not appear.

Oh there's something, a certain something, when the peaceful happy times have gone.
When you seldom see a smiling face, There is something that is wrong.

There is blind faith in the church today, and trials to endure,
For blessings which are missing now, for words no longer sure,

Oh there's something, a certain something, when the peaceful happy times have gone.
When you seldom see a smiling face, There is something that is wrong.


To the tune of 'Because I have been given much'
(Note that the original hymn is all about sharing ewhat you have. And it ends with a threatening copyright notice. LOL)

Because I have been giving much I still must give
But mainly to the church as that's the way I live.
I shall neglect my family because the church is all I see
- I have the need of therapy...

Because I have been sheltered from the world out there
I cannot see this pile of crap and I don't care
The smoking gun, what Brigham said, it all flies right over my head,
For my world's been corre-lated.

Because I have been messed up in my head, dear Gord,
I'll mess up all my friends according to thy word,
I'll find the lonely, those in need, I'll give them literature to read,
For this is my priority.


And now for a more positive message: life after Mormonism. To the tune of 'The Rosy Light of Morning' (hymn 276)

When the rosy light of morning Softly beams above the hill,
And the birds, sweet heav'nly songsters, Ev'ry dell with music fill,
Fresh from slumber we awaken; Sunshine chases clouds away.
Nature breathes her sweetest fragrance on a lovely church-free day.

Then away, haste away, run away from the Sunday School!
Then away, do not delay, run away from the Sunday School!

For a good and glorious purpose We avoid the church today,
We are striving for our freedom from the Lard's appointed way.
Earnest toil will be rewarded; Zealous hearts need not repine.
God will not withhold his blessings From the eager, seeking mind.

Then away, haste away, run away from the Sunday School!
Then away, do not delay, run away from the Sunday School!

Let us then press boldly onward, Prove ourselves as soldiers true.
There are better things than meetings. Come, there's work for all to do,
Never tiring, never doubting, Boldly struggling to the end.
In the world, tho church assail us, God will surely be our friend.

Then away, haste away, run away from the Sunday School!
Then away, do not delay, run away from the Sunday School!


And now for something festive.
Joseph Smith was born on December 23rd 1805, just before Christmas. The December Ensign often has "Praise to the Man" kind of articles. Ex-Mormons sometimes refer to this period as Smithmas. 2005, being the anniversary of his birth, was a very special Smithmas. BYU magazine publisghed another song in his praise, and we at the Foyer could not resist adding our own Smithmas carols. See The View from the Foyer - A Hymn to Joseph Smith in BYU Magazine (we don't worship him really). Thuis is my humble offering. It was prompted by noticing that the historical facts about Joseph Smith are available for all to see, yet the church chooses to forget. You have to imagine the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve singing this on New Year's Eve. The "slit ye bowels" part will only make sense to you if you went through the temple before 1990.

Should Mormon Hist'ry be forgot,
   And never brought to mind ? 
Should Mormon Hist'ry be forgot, 
   And auld lang syne ? 

Aye! [spoken by the Q12 in unison]

For auld lang syne, my dear
   For auld Lang syne, 
We'll tak oot all the honest bits, 
   For auld lang syne !

And there's a hand my trusty fiere, 
   And gie's a hand o thine 
[they take each other's hands in a certain grip]
And if ye squeel we'll slit ye bowels, 
   For auld lang sine

For auld lang syne, my dear 
   For auld Lang syne, 
We'll tak the folk for all they've got,
   For auld lang syne !

Magic Submarine

Finally, something fun. This is a celebration of the first Americans who, according to the Book of Ether, arrived in magic submarines. 

In the town where I was born,
Lived a Mormon missionary,
And he told us of his faith,
In the magic submarines,

We believe in a magic submarine,
Magic submarine, magic submarine,
We believe in a magic submarine,
Magic submarine, magic submarine,

And his neighbors think he's mad,
And he often knocks upon their door,
And he hums himself a hymn.
(Trumpets play)

We believe in a magic submarine,
Magic submarine, magic submarine,
We believe in a magic submarine,
Magic submarine, magic submarine,

(weird sounds)

With our cureloms and our bees,
Everyone of us has all we need (has all we need)
And we're tight (and we're tight) like to a dish (like to a dish)
In our magic (in our magic) submarine (submarine. Blaha)

We believe in a magic submarine,
Magic submarine, magic submarine,
We believe in a magic submarine,
Magic submarine, magic submarine,

We believe in a magic submarine,
Magic submarine, magic submarine.
(Etc.)

 


The Articles of Faith, correlated

 

  1. We believe in God, but beyond that we are not prepared to comment.
  2. We believe that man will be punished for their own sins (including those before they were born, resulting in the wrong skin color).
  3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, church members may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. And God's love for you depends upon that obedience.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Obedience; second, Obedience; third, baptism by immersion for the illusion of growth; fourth, Obedience.
  5. We believe that a man (not a woman) must be called of the church, by committee, and by the seeing who is available, to preach the Gospel and do anything else we require.
  6. We believe in pretending there was a strict organization in the Primitive Church, then adding patriarchs, stake presidents, area seventies,  and so forth.
  7. We do not believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions,  interpretation of tongues, and so forth. But we do believe in healing since this has a fifty-fifty chance of working and the rumor mill will do the rest.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is agrees with us; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, except the part about the Lamanites filling the land.
  9. We believe some of what God has revealed, but we don't need much more than that.
  10. We believe in the symbolic gathering of Israel and something vague about the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth at some distant undefined time; and, that the earth will be renewed regardless of what environmentalists might say.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege: let them worship according to the dictates of our conscience as well.
  12. We believe in cozying up to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, and in using lawyers wherever we have a problem.
  13. We believe in being honest (except with regards to our history), true (unless it makes the church unpopular), chaste (except in the case of Joseph Smith), benevolent (where shopping malls are concerned), virtuous (by our own definition of virtue, naturally), and in doing good to all men (except gays); indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul: we do not like women or modern fashions and we believe that if religion doesn't hurt it ain't working. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek to take credit for these things.

 


The Sermon on the Mount: revised

As you know, Joseph continued to revise the Bible throughout his life (obviously it was a very faulty book). Imagine if there had been more prophets after Joseph. If they had continued to revise the Bible, what would it look like now?  I think we can guess.

Matthew 5

   1 And seeing the multitudes, he built a conference center:

   2 And he used an autocue, saying,

   3 Blessed are wealthy in the church: for theirs are the greatest callings.

   4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall have Prozac.

   5 Blessed are the proud: for they shall be apostles.

   6 Blessed are the church for they have all the teachings they need and do not need to look beyond the manuals.

   7 Blessed are they who condemn gays, intellectuals, tattooed people, etc..

   8 Blessed are they who change their opinions to suit the church.

   9 Blessed is our country when it goes to war.

   10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for being immoral and offensive.

   11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you truly, for Joseph Smith's sake.

   12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for it makes you feel superior.

   13 Ye are the salt of the earth: better than everyone else.

   14 Ye are the light of the world: see previous comment.

   15 If ye light a candle and it is not correlated, put it out.

   16 Let your appearance so shine before men, that they see the PR and glorify the church.

   17 Forget about the old laws and old prophets: the only thing that matters is what the present leaders say.

   18 For verily I say unto you, a lot of the things Brigham said are not doctrine any more.

   19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, shall be condemned. But whoso breaks one of the big commandments, if he be called Joseph Smith, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven,

   20 For I say unto you, That except your appearances shall exceed the appearances of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the temple.

   21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

   22 But I say unto you, killing is OK if thou are (a) Laban, (b) Moses, (c) God, (d) a Danite, (e) doing it for your country, or (f) otherwise following orders.

   23 If thou bring thy tithing to the bishop, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

   24 - don't get behind in your tithing, your brother is just deceived by Satan.

   25 Do not listen to what thine adversary saith, and do not read what he puts on the Internet, lest ye become an apostate and go to the spirit prison.

   26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thy parents save thee by their righteousness.

   27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

   28 But I say unto you, This does not apply to Joseph Smith.

   29 And if thy husband or wife offend thee regarding the church, do not get close to them: for it is profitable for thee that thy family perish, rather than ye leave the church.

   30 And if thy friends offend thee, cut them off: for it is profitable for thee that thou hast no friends than that ye risk leaving the church.

   31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

   32 I say unto you, the church can do the same. And you can remarry. But the temple records keep you sealed to the previous person as a relic of polygamy, and because it makes temple marriage stats look good.

   33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

   34 But I say unto you, Swear by thy throat and thy bowels, unless thou goest through the temple after 1990.

   35 And if thou goest through after 1990, swear by thy life in general.

   36 As for thy head, dyeing thy hair is perfectly acceptable, because appearances matter.

   37 Let your communication be, "I don't know if we teach that" and "that was just his opinion"

   38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

   39 And I say unto you, blood atonement was a pretty good idea.

   40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, make sure the church has the very best lawyers.

   41 And when thy bishop shall compel thee to go to the temple, go twice.

   42 Give to the church when it asketh thee, and when thou gettest a calling, turn it not down.

   43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

   44 And I say unto you, this was how we did it in the early temple ceremonies: curse your enemies, curse them that curse you, and bad-mouth Governor Ford and others who persecute you.

   45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he blesseth the just and curseth the unjust.

   46 If ye love them which love you, ye are good church members.

   47 And if thou doest good to thine own family, thou art doing the highest form of righteousness.

   48 But feel ye therefore guilty, for ye are never good enough.

Matthew 6

   1 Take heed that ye do your alms before men, to be seen of them: then the church looks good.

   2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, wear an LDS shirt and use beehive logos on all boxes and equipment.

   3 And when thou doest alms, publish it in the church news or at least mention it in testimony meeting.

   4 That thine alms may be in public: and the church, which cares about PR, may be rewarded openly.

   5 And when thou prayest, use 'thee' and 'thou' - do not risk becoming too familiar with Jesus.

   6 But thou, when thou prayest, fold thy arms and follow the four steps: do not use the undisciplined methods described in the Bible.

   7 But when ye pray, use vain repetitions, as the General Authorites do: for they pray at so many meetings that they run out of ideas for new things to say.

   8 Be ye therefore like unto them: for they are your example in all things.

   9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our dear Heavenly Father,

   10 We thank thee (do not ask first as Jesus mistakenly did).

   11 We ask thee (and if thou ask if the church is true, the only acceptable answer is 'yes')

   12 Bless the prophet and the missionaries and the local leaders,

   13 Inthenameofjesuschristamen 

   14 If ye forgive men their trespasses, ye can feel superior to them, 

   15 But ye should still feel guilty for thine own sins.

   16 Moreover when ye fast, be as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: and stand up in testimony meeting and talk about it.

   17 But thou, when thou fastest, give money to the church;

   18 And do it on the same day as everyone else so we all know thou art fasting.

   19 Lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth: have your own house, savings, insurance, etc.

   20 And if ye lose it all through some Utah scam, just dream of your mansions above.

   21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

   22 The light of the body is the church: whatever the church does is light, glorious, marvelous, etc. Even though we cannot see far ahead.

   23 But if thou leavest the church, thou art dark, evil, etc., even if it seemest more light, do not be deceived, how great is that darkness!

   24 No man can serve two masters. Thou canot serve God and mammon, unless thou art a famous sportsman who worketh on the Sabbath, or a wealthy hotel owner who profiteth from porn, or part of the church investment portfolio which selleth alcohol, etc., etc.

   25 Take thought for your life, for thy food store and for thy white shirt. Is not the life dependent on the meat, and the body judged by the raiment?

   26 Behold the fowls of the air: your heavenly Father feedeth them crickets. Even though it was a common occurence, to thee it is a miracle.

   27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? Answer: Those of you who buy Hinckley's book 'stand a little taller', that's who.

   28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Because the Relief Society says so. They spin and they sew, and they tell thee what is appropriate to wear.

   29 And I say unto you, That Solomon in all his glory would not have passed the white-shirt-and-suit test.

   30 And if God clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, take no thought for the environment.

   31 Take thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

   32 For these things are called preparedness and are the subject of numerous priesthood lessons.

   33 Seek ye first the church and its righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. And if they are not, just call it a test of faith.  

   34 Take therefore thought for the morrow: You have never done enough.

Matthew 7

   1 Judge. God will judge you, regardless.

   2 No matter how forgiving you are, "the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance."

   3 Behold the mote that is in thy apostate brother's eye - e.g. two ear-rings, or a colored shirt: it is a sure sign of a major beam somewhere else;

   4 Say to thy brother, Let me pull out the beam out of thine eye: come back to church! We love thee; we are righteous, and we are willing to forgive thee if thou prostrate thyself before us.

   5 First learn about the sins of ear-rings, tattoos, the Internet, coffee, etc.; and then shalt thou see clearly to identify the beams in thy brother's eye.

   6 Give not the whole story unto investigators, neither cast ye your embarrassing underwear in public, lest they laugh at you and turn away from the church.

   7 Ask, and be patient because ye may not get it in this lifetime. Seek, but only from approved sources.

   8 For every one that asketh receiveth a vague answer; and he that seeketh too far loseth his testimony.

   9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

   10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

   11 Ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children. But your Father which is in heaven, being righteous, loveth to test you by not giving you what you ask. Which is ironic, really.

   12 All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, is greed and pride: ye should endure thy miserable lot and not expect men to do anything good to you: this is the law and the prophets.

   13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth out of the church, and many there be which go thereat:

   14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth into the church, and few there be that want it.

   15 Beware of prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but they are not correlated.

   16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

   17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

   18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. However, we can pretend that some corrupt trees are good, and whitewash their history.

   19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Unless it is the church. Depression, financial scams and polygamous abuse in Utah are nothing to do with us.

   20 Wherefore by their fruits (the ones that we tell you about) ye shall know them.

   21 Everyone that saith the right things at the veil shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those who do good works but are not Mormons will not enter into heaven.

   22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

   23 And then will I profess unto them, ye do not have temple ordinances, depart from me.

   24 Whosoever heareth church sayings, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a little child, who believed whatever he was told, and lacked any critical thinking skills.

   25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the child was helpless and did not know enough to get out of the rain, because he was founded on a crock.

   26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and rejecteth them, I will label foolish and weak:

   27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the unbeliever's house; but the man had spent his tithing money on roof repairs. Nevertheless, although he survived the storm and seemed happy, he was not REALLY happy. It is impossible to be happy as an unbeliever. So he must have been unhappy inside, and one day his sinful house will fall, and great will be the fall thereof.

   28 And it came to pass, when Hinckley had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

   29 For he taught them as one who had never lived in the real world.

 


Scooby Doo

I was getting dressed this morning when I noticed a copy of that month's Ensign - the conference issue, May 2005. The front cover showed a bored looking Joseph Smith at an incredibly boring looking meeting in the Peter Whitmer house. The picture seemed designed to rewrite history, Orwell style, as if saying "see, the early church was just as boring as today." What a depressing cover! I wondered what the rest of the magazine was like. Nervously, I opened the magazine.

Inside front cover: smiling, happy First Presidency in their palatial mansion. But what's this? The white ghost of Joseph Smith hovering behind them - it looked like a still from Scooby Doo. Intrigued, I opened the pages at random to find a talk. The first talk I saw (page 46, by Elder Andersen) was entitled "Beware the evil behind the smiling eyes." I turned back to the inside front cover. Three kindly old men with smiling eyes. Joseph Smith standing behind them. "Beware the evil behind the smiling eyes!" Is this a sign?

I looked back at the Scooby Doo picture. Then it hit me like a revelation: the history of the church is an extended episode of Scooby Doo!

Scooby (or rather, the meddling kids) aren't in the picture. But the church is set up like a classic Scooby Doo plot. We have Kindly Old Mr Hinckley in his mansion, and his elderly assistants. They live in a big spooky castle (conference center, COB, temple, take your pic). Somehow a lot of money is being taken from a lot of people, but everyone is too scared to investigate. Why? Because they have created all kinds of fake ghosts! The temples are supposed to be full of ghosts (spirits of dead people). The church bases its authority on ghosts (dead people) and people brought-back-from-the-dead (resurrected beings). Each person is totally convinced that ghosts exist - they even listen for the chief ("holy") ghost talking to them in their head.

The whole point of the ghosts and back-from-the-dead people is to scare you: you must obey or you will lose your family, you will get bad karma, you will suffer eternal torment, you will be horribly alone if you don't have their conctant companionship, miss out on some vague undefined treasure.

The 'meddling kids' are the younger generation of the church, the ones who read stuff they shouldn't, the ones who ask questions, the ones who force the older generation (kindly old Mr Hinckley et al) to constantly be on the defensive (mainstreaming, changes to temple stuff, etc.).

Notice how Mystery Inc. is modeled after the classic Mormon stereotypes:

The history of the church can be seen as an extended episode of Scooby Doo. It starts with a long period where the old guys who run the creepy mansion invents a lot of ghosts, and secretly extract a lot of money from the locals. Then the younger generation gets involved, and gradually the scheme starts to unravel. Eventually the plot will be exposed, and the real truth will be unmasked. The real history, the things they didn't teach you and the stuff the ghosts told you not to look at. Old Mr Hinckley will blame the failure of the church on the new generation of members who got involved in things they shouldn't. He would have gotten away with it if not for those meddling kids.

 


Emma's tale

One of my favorite poems (mainly because it is so easy to remember) is the "mouse's tale" from Alice. It goes like this:

               Fury said to a
                   mouse, That he
                 met in the
               house,
            "Let us
              both go to
                law:  I will
                  prosecute
                    YOU.  --Come,
                       I'll take no
                        denial; We
                     must have a
                 trial:  For
              really this
           morning I've
          nothing
         to do."
           Said the
             mouse to the
               cur, "Such
                 a trial,
                   dear Sir,
                         With
                     no jury
                  or judge,
                would be
              wasting
             our
              breath."
               "I'll be
                 judge, I'll
                   be jury,"
                         Said
                    cunning
                      old Fury:
                     "I'll
                      try the
                         whole
                          cause,
                             and
                        condemn
                       you
                      to
                       death."

So in the spirit of parody, here is "Emma's Tale"

              Joseph said to his
                      wife, whom he'd
                    married
                  for life,
            "Let us
              live a new
                   law:  of
                     Celestial
                       SEX  --Come,
                       you must make
                           amends; Let me
                        sleep with your
                    friends:  For my
              seed must be
              scattered:
             IMPERIOUS
            REX!"
           Said his
                wife to the
               seer, "Such
                 a fantasy,
                   dear,  With
                     no sanction
                     from God,
                has an
                 odious
                smell."
               "I'll be God
                    to you
                      women,"
                         Said
                    Joe: "It's
                         not sinning,
                        I'll make
                           you
                          obey,
                             or
                           condemn
                       you
                      to
                       hell."

(With apologies to Lewis Carroll)



An invitation to return

When you resign from the Mormon church, they sometimes send you a "please come back" leaflet. The leaflet ignores the fact that the church is a fraud, and you have been lied to your whole life. They just want you to return to your old mistakes and start paying them hundreds of dollars a month again. Anyway, here is the version that most people see, as sent out by the church.

AN INVITATION

An Invitation to Come Back

We reach out to members of the Church throughout the world in a spirit of love and brotherhood inspired by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our interest and concern are always with the individual man or woman, boy or girl.  Our great responsibility is to see that each is 'remembered and nourished by the good word of God' (Moroni 6:4).  If any have been offended, we are sorry.  Our only desire is to cultivate a spirit of mercy and kindness, of understanding and healing.  We seek to follow the example of our Lord, who 'went about doing good' (Acts 10:38).

To you who for any reason find yourselves outside the embrace of the Church, we say come back.  We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew.  You will find many with outstretched arms to welcome you, assist you, and give you comfort.

The Church needs your strength, love, loyalty, and devotion.  The course is fixed by which a person may return to the full blessings of Church membership, and we stand ready to receive all who wish to do so.

Sincerely yours,

The First Presidency

Readers may be interested to know that this "Invitation" was hammered out only after many months of discussion, and several re-writes. Here is the earliest known version. (Source: a rough draft found in a church office building waste bin in late 1998. Apparently in Elder Packer's handwriting.)

AN INVITATION

An Invitation to return 'like a dog to his vomit' (Proverbs 26:11)

We reach out to members of the Church throughout the world in a spirit of command and dominion inspired by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Our interest and concern are always with the individual man or woman, boy or girl, old or young, we don't care who you are - you're just a number to us.  Our great responsibility is to see that each is 'bled for all we can get' (Lehi 6:4).  If any have been abused, we deny all responsibility.  Our only desire is to cultivate a spirit of blind obedience, of inadequacy and dependence.  We seek to follow the example of our Lord, who preached that all men should obey him or be damned (Mark 16:16).

To you who for any reason find yourselves outside the clutches of the Church, we say come back.  We invite you to return and partake of the misery you once knew.  You will find many with outstretched arms to hold you, drain you, and give you added burdens. (Note to printer: try to find a picture of zombies with arms outstretched)

The Church needs your strength, love, loyalty, time, money, and blind devotion. We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your vessel. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. You will be assimilated.

Resistance is futile.

The First Presidency



that's all, folks

 

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