Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LDS Urban Legends: Bigfoot = Cain

In my younger days I remember reading, 'The Miracle of Forgiveness,' (for information purposes only, of course), and one of the stories that struck me at the time was Spencer W. Kimball's inclusion of the Cain as Bigfoot sighting. I'm considering a, 'Mormon Urban Legend Month,' where each sacrament talk has to include at least one such story. What do you think?

“On the sad character Cain, an interesting story comes to us from Lycurgus A. Wilson’s book on the life of David W. Patten. From the book I quote an extract from a letter by Abraham O. Smoot giving his recollection of David Patten’s account of meeting “a very remarkable person who had represented himself as being Cain.”

‘As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me… His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the holy priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight…” (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, pg 127, 1969)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Impending Doom Preparation

I've received a large number of inquiries as to the state of preparation of our Ward for the impending collapse of global financial system and the resulting state of wide-spread panic that may follow. So, I decided to publish some information for your reference in a worst-case scenario:

Ward HQ Location - The Hunsakers house. After moving the Hunsakers in their house last fall, along with their five, fully-stocked gun safes and crates of ammo, I'm designating their house to be the place where we, as a Ward, make our headquarters and last stand (if it comes to that). Having access to the Hunsakers' HAM radio is also a plus.

Ward Water Supply - Sponsored by the Sorensons. Like me, you've most likely noticed that half of the Sorensons garage is stacked with plastic water barrels, just waiting for the Big-One. So, in the case of an extreme emergency, we'll be moving this water to the Hunsakers' home. Sure, it's going to taste like drinking from un-filtered Salem pond water, but at least it's wet.

Ward Food Supply - Petersons, Hunsakers, and Smiths. After personally inspecting all Ward family's food supplies, it looks like these three are in the best spot to help out the rest of the Ward. Between them, there are enough MRE's to feed Johnson's army for three years. That should be plenty of time to build up our own supplies of corn, wheat, and dog.

More details coming...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sacrament Talk Policy Update - "Intros"

Ok, this has been a pet peeve of mine for a very long time, and guess what? I'm now in a position to do something about it. I'm talking about the extended introduction that most speakers use to eat up a good five minutes of their alloted time with filler.

Everyone can agree on the following, with no need for each individual to state the obvious:

  • No one WANTS to give a talk in Church

  • You hate/blame/etc the Bishopric member that asked you to speak

  • It's been too short of time since you're last talk

  • You'll never answer another phone call from that number

  • You'll find a way to get back at the offending Bishopric member

  • You learned more from preparing the talk than those in attendance will learn from your talk

  • Ask yourself, "What would Mitt Romney do?"

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Ward Policy Update

    Not to let the Catholics have a leg up on us in bring back a past hit, our Ward was recently selected for a pilot program for the dispersement of limited 'indulgences'. To simplify this and not to seem as if we've borrowed their ideas, they will be referred to as a, 'sin pass.'

    These sin passes are good for one sin per pass, not including The Big Three (please see me if you're not familiar with The Big Three). The sin pass is obtained only from the Bishop with an interview where good deeds and large donations are performed beyond the typical expectations.

    Instead of then talking to the Bishop about an issue that concerns you, the sin pass can just be ripped up along with the guilt of that sin. Please note that the pass does not cover recurring sins - only one instance per pass.

    For those not familiar with the idea behind indulgences, I'd recommend the following articles:

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    Clarification on "Hoe's"

    I have to apologize for my initial reaction in Ward Council as Sister Larson brought up Sisters in our Ward and the issue of "hoe's." After chastising her for referring to our Ward Sisters in such a degrading manner, I realized she was talking about pantyhose usage. So, I thought some clarification on this issue is warranted.

    First of all, I assure you that this is a conversation that would only ever be brought up in the United States. The prospect of most women around the world wrapping their legs in a petroleum by-product, just to look tan and sheer, is a non-starter. Other things, like food and heating, are just higher on the list of priorities.

    Pantyhose were invented in 1959. So, for those of you imagining Emma Smith introducing pantyhose-wearing as a requisite for attendance to Relief Society - you can imagine no-more.

    Please, move beyond the issue of judging people by such a silly, out-dated thing.

    Now, non-leg-shavers - that's a whole other issue...

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Our Heritage in Pictures

    Despite reports to the contrary, early Mormons were very tolerant of different lifestyles, as can be witnessed here by the picture of Brother Rhoads, and his cross-dressing 'wife,' Lou.

    Get to Know the Ward Newbies

    We're having more changes of occupancy lately than a $10/hour motel. Our latest arrivals hark from just North of the border (Utah border, that is). Please welcome Brother Jeremiah Jeffs and Sister Mary Jeffs and Mary's live-in sister Rachel. Their children are as follows:
    Moroni - 8
    Mariah - 7
    Sarah - 7
    Ruth - 5
    Benjamin - 4
    Megan - 3
    Esther - 2
    Jeremiah Jr. - 1
    Cathrine - 1

    There's something 'special' about the family that I can't quite put my finger on. Welcome to the Ward!

    New Ward Callings

    Sister Grissel - Breath mint dispenser. Please send anonymous requests to Sis. Grissel to place those halitosis suffers on her 'hit list.' Better they suffer a bit of embarrassment than you suffer through two hours of sucking air in under your coat jacket.

    Brother and Sister Morgan - Ward Activity Leaders. When the Lord blesses you so greatly with that new ski boat and SUV, the least you can do is help others see the light. Utah lake in the summer, baby!

    Brother and Sister Jackson - Nursery Leaders. No, this isn't pay-back for their child wetting themselves on my lap during the last sharing time. Really. I promise.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    LDS Urban Legends: Three Nephite Sitings

    So, during a certain testimony this week there was again mentioned a supposed siting of the Three Nephites helping a stranded traveler fix their flat tire. Well, it was actually only one of the Three that was seen. To help in substantiating these sitings, The Brethren have requested the following:

  • Picture of alleged Three Nephite in action

  • Name of the Nephite/s involved

  • Right-thumb print

  • Detailed description of either a curelom or cumom

  • Please drop these off to me anytime. Turn-around time for authentication is currently around two weeks.

    Sacrament Talk Policy Update - 'Wooden Swearing'

    In light of recently accelerating use of 'substitute swearing,' during Sacrament meeting talks, I'd like to remind the Ward members that this really doesn't fool anyone. For those who haven't figured it out yet, the mind is a powerful tool that quickly translates 'fetch,' 'friggin,' 'heck,' 'shoot,' etc,' into their respective swear words rather efficiently.

    Please refrain from using phrases with these substitute swear words while giving Sacrament talks (:cough: Brother Bell :cough:), as it only brings attention and focus to these words and reminds me of my days in the Navy and the Lindon cannery.

    With Affection,

    Bishop M.T. Young

    Get to Know the Ward Newbies

    This family trekked all the way from California, trading in bankrupt worldly hedonism for the Promised Land of low wages and over-crowed, under-funded school districts. Thankfully, they come with only two kids, so the primary doesn't have to split classes for the third time this year (two words: birth control - no longer a sin as it was in my days).

    Let's hear it for the Harris family!

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    J.o.D. Gem #1 - The Fall of Rome

    I believe the majority of Church lore and many LDS urban legends (along with a great deal of spiritual insight) are taught to kids during their seminary years. My teachers also tended, at times, to echo thoughts that they must have received at John Birch Society conventions or other extremely-conservative, pre-Rush Limbaugh sources.

    One example that I remember is our teacher telling us that homosexuality brought down the Roman Empire. So, as a youngster I envisioned Rome filled with a bunch of merry-men strolling arm-in-arm down the streets of Rome. It wasn't until seeing Russel Crowe in The Gladiator (edited-version, of course) that all of these thoughts were vanquished.

    So, imagine my surprise when I found out that Brigham Young did not state that the fall of Rome occurred due to homosexuality, but rather monogamy. That's correct - not man-with-man love, but man-with-only-one-woman love. Brigham heaped the evils of lust, fornication and prostitution at the feet of monogamy.

    It's only my guess that not many women were in attendance at this meeting...

    Journal of Discourse, Vol. 11, page 128 . (Click on 'Access this item' at the top of the page to access the text.)

    JoD Gem's Overview

    For those of you not familiar with the Journal of Discourses, it's a compilation of many of the speeches of the early Church leaders. Sort of like the current General Conference Ensigns, but also covering regular meeting talks by leaders. Early Saints were admonished to purchase and study from these compilations.

    Some interesting things were recorded back-in-the-day that aren't exactly 'PC,' by today's standards and tend to make Saints today scratch or shake their heads. As the years pass, I almost get the feeling that if The Brethren could, they'd jettison the majority of these gems of history.

    So, in preservation of our shared heritage I thought it might be interesting as we study early Church history this year in the D&C to dig into some of the interesting topics discussed in these volumes for supplementary information.

    For reference, all Journal of Discourse entries will be linked to BYU JoD archives where the full text may be read at your leisure.

    Pioneer Children

    Is it only me, or can you see Pioneer Adults being driving mad by the Pioneer Children singing as they walked, and walked, and walked, and walked. I can imagine many a-times when the Pioneer Adults would yell, 'SHUT THE HECK UP!,' to those Pioneer Children. Crazy times, out there on those plains...

    Ward Hugging Policy

    It's come to my attention, that there are several Brethren of the Ward that have extended friendly hugging of Sisters into borderline-molesting. To address this issue, avoid embarrassment(and possible prosecution), please observe the following:

  • No hugs lasting longer than 3 seconds

  • No hugging of Sisters who would in all other realities be out of your league

  • If you hug a married Sister, you must also hug her husband for the same duration (still observing the 3 second rule)

  • No repeat hugging of the same Sister the following week, unless initiated by the Sister

  • Regardless of how, 'prompted by the Spirit,' you feel to hug these Sisters, chances are that these feelings are coming from another source (see instruction on Distinguishing Spirits ).

    Blessings Shout-Out

    Congrats go out to Brother and Sister Morgan on their new $40,000 Lexus SUV. We thought there might be a slowdown of blessings after their recent jet boat purchase and Sis. Morgan's, ummm, 'endowment,' but no! That we could all be so faithful...

    Uber-Tithe Initiative

    In initiating the new, 'Ubber-Tithe' program, we're hoping to highlight those that go the third-mile in personal sacrifice. This program is designed for those willing to contribute 15% of their income and will include the following perks:

  • Reserved 1/2 bench for Sacrament meeting (full bench for those with 7, or more, kids)

  • Refreshment in kitchen between 2nd and 3rd hour

  • Shuttle service to-and-from Church December-March

  • Computer cleaning for when the 'kids' wander onto 'those' sites

  • Free breath mints and/or gum on Fast Sunday (please, someone share these with Sister Merrill)

  • Signed copy of Janice Kapp Perry's CD, 'Come to the Manger'

  • Dinner for two with Steve Young (just kidding!)

  • Further suggestions?

    Ward Calendar Update

    March 7 - Mark your calendars now for the Mia-Maids-in-Waiting auction. To earn money for their YM camp this summer, the girls are going to the highest bidder for three hours of house cleaning services. (Sorry Brother Gentry, no bidding by single adults allowed this time).

    Clarification of No-Props Policy

    After this Sunday's talk by Brother Humbert, I feel a need to clarify The Bretheren's policy of props not being used in Sacrament talks.  This policy does extend to the use of prosthetics, even when detached from one's own body.  The, 'kicking Satan's butt,' with the fake leg certainly provided a vivid and unforgettable image, however I'm afraid that it's still a no-go.  So in the future, let's please try to limit ourselves to using only the sciptures and Kleenex's.

    Much Love,

    Bishop Young

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Ward Calendar Update

    Feb. 14 - HP Group Valentine Night - For all frugal adults that would rather spend the evening in the company of their fellow High Priests than fighting those youngins' at the ice cream bar in Chuck-A-Rama.  Red jello will be available to decorate with frosting for that special someone.

    Raison d'etre

    As a newly-called Bishop of the SF 401st Ward, I've decided to follow the recent council from The Brethern and participate in this new-fangled communication medium - blogging.  Ward members and visitors are welcome.  Check in frequently!


    Bishop Mike T. Young