Sunday, March 18, 2012
First Counselor Henry B. Eyring delivered the announcement on Tuesday, saying that "the general authorities have been waiting quite a while for the next time April Fools' came on a weekend. We've got some pretty epic plans for this one."
"Don't get me wrong, we love the traditional milquetoast delivery of General Conference," he added. "But sometimes it's beneficial to everyone to mix things up a little. This is for them. Religion without entertainment is like... well, religion without God."
Eyring wouldn't go into details on the specifics, only revealing that Sunday morning would be more focused on jokes and pranks, while Sunday afternoon would be highlighted by the proclamation of many of the false doctrines opponents of the Church accuse Latter-day Saints of believing.
"We're going to have a lot of fun with it," Eyring gushed. "And I think our members will too. Ten hours of conference in one weekend is a lot. Hopefully an entertaining final four will keep our members from falling into their usual catatonic state by Sunday afternoon."
"Speaking of Final Four," he digressed, "you bet I'll be watching that! Even though college basketball's just not the same without Jimmer."
While not official, The Mormonion has learned from an inside source close to Church officials some of the regalement we should expect to see from Salt Lake that day.
Reportedly, Sunday morning will include "Stand Up Hour," during which the more humorous Seventies and Elder Holland will deliver scattered musings about Mormon belief and Utah culture. This will be followed by a flurry of practical jokes, which will begin with a random member of the Tabernacle Choir being dunked with Gak while singing the intermediate hymn. Following this will be various home video footage from the General Authorities' personal collections, including the time Elder Bednar and Elder Andersen applied the hand of a napping President Monson with shaving cream and then tickled him with a feather. Also, the microphone at the podium will be rigged to spray on the unwitting benediction-giver.
Sunday afternoon's session appears to be a winner as well. Talk titles received from our inside source include "Working Your Way Into Heaven" by President Packer, "Preparing Our Planet," by Bishop McMullin, "The Brotherhood of Jesus and Satan," by Elder Scott, and "Polygamy's Back and It's Here to Stay," by President Monson, who will be sporting a full beard. There will also be hymn parodies, including "We Thank Thee, O Smith, for a New God." All prayers will be directed to late LDS scholar Hugh Nibley.
It is also rumored that Republican presidential hopefull Mitt Romney will be a part of the show. It is rumored that he will be participating in a satirical political ad sponsored by the Church, which will declare, "A Romney victory is the first step towards the total Mormon takeover of government we've been trying so long to achieve."
The Mormonion will continue to keep you informed of April Fools' Conference Palooza as information continues to come in. If you would like tickets to the Sunday sessions, they are available on lds.org for $399 a piece.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Ever since I was a little kid, I've dreamed of going on a mission. Serving others. Baptizing the multitudes. Going door-to-door and meeting new people. Ya know, all that good stuff.
Well anyway, on my 19th birthday, I turned in my mission papers to my stake president. He told me my confirmation would come in the mail shortly.
It's been, like, two and a half years since that day.
Should I call somebody, or. . .?
I don't really know what to do. I mean, President O'Donnell said it would be here "shortly." He wouldn't lie about that, right? I figured "shortly" would have meant a few weeks, six at the most. But maybe God is trying to teach me something. Like how his timetable is different from ours, I don't know.
I'm not sure if I should contact President O'Donnell about it. First of all, he was released a year ago. Second, I'm pretty sure he died three months ago. And I don't really want to bother the new Stake President. He's got a lot of stuff to do.
Should I tell my parents? They're pretty busy and have always respected my independence, so they haven't made any mention of it. They'd probably have some advice for me. But is this really an issue that should concern them? It's not like it's about anything that important in their lives. Just me leaving for two years. Most parents deal with that fine I think.
Maybe I should write President Monson. He could let me in on what's going on. Except. . . well, wait, he's pretty busy. He's got all that prophet and seer stuff to do. Probably translating the sealed part of the Book of Mormon for all I know.
Meh. I'll give it another month. I can't imagine God would make me wait thirty-one months for the call. But then again, that whole timetable thing. I mean, he's been up there for like an eternity or whatever, so my wait is nothing to him. I wish I had a God-time to me-time conversion chart so at least I'd know. Oh well.
By the way, has anyone played the new Call of Duty? It's amazing. I'm becoming quite an expert. . . Now don't go judging me. What else do I have to do? I finished my first year of college, now time to focus on the mission. But in the mean time, I can master Call of Duty. So. . . yeah. . .
Monday, April 4, 2011
"It took years of careful planning to pull this one off," God said, "and while it has continued to give me a lot of laughs over the years, I felt it was a good time to finally clear the air."
God's comments came during an hour-long press conference at the pearly gates Tuesday night, in which He answered multiple questions about what he called the "ultimate practical joke, or at the very least, the best prank of the dispensation."
It all began in 1820 when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to 14-year old Joseph Smith in the woods of upstate New York. "While it was certainly necessary to tell Joseph that he should join none of the churches, the First Vision was also integral in getting the ball rolling on the Book of Mormon joke."
In 1823, God sent an angel into the room of Joseph, whom he claimed to be a previous inhabitant of the Americas, named Moroni. God admitted Tuesday that "Moroni" was none other than the Apostle Bartholomew. "Good ol' Bart," God chuckled. "Not much is mentioned of him in the Bible, but he's a tremendous actor."
As for the Book of Mormon itself, God says He found the plates at a garage sale in the Terrestrial Kingdom. "You find the craziest things at those sales," He said. "Probably the best find I've had since I got those barrels of fish for Jesus."
God explained the translation process was "exactly as Joseph and the witnesses described. Joseph used his seer stones and the Urim and Thummim, and I fed him the words- words I felt were good, I mean the book has been quite a success in My Church. I've even got the Holy Ghost in on it by witnessing to everybody it's true- but the story itself, yeah, we pulled a fast one on young Joe."
God also talked about some of the details He had to take into account to make the prank work. When asked about what Jesus meant by visiting His "other sheep" since it wasn't in America, God responded, "Actually Jesus ended up going to what's now Cambodia. We ended up scrapping that after they tried to kill Him also."
Smith released a statement Thursday via Celestweet commenting on the prank: "good 1 God! i rly fell 4 that 1. shame i had to die 4 it, but hey its cool. payback will be even cooler ;)"
The Mormonion will keep you updated on any developments in the God-Joseph Smith Celestial Prank Wars.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The talk, entitled “The Way of the Disciple,” covered topics including Jesus Christ’s gospel, Palm Sunday, and patience, but never employed an allusion to aviation, which has become known as President Uchtdorf’s trademark. Its absence in the Sunday morning session of Conference was felt in the church worldwide.
“I feel lost, just so lost,” said Greta Urlando, 41, of Provo. “Every general conference I have my mind ready to receive President Uchtdorf’s aviation-related gospel talks. And this year, Sunday morning came and went, and no mention of pilots or planes. Or even a helicopter.”
The lack of aeronautic imagery in the talk was felt worldwide, including in Uchtdorf’s home country of Germany. “I have no idea how to apply President Uchtdorf’s message if I can’t imagine some type of flight,” said Heinrich Schweibel, of Berlin. “I am at a loss for words.”
Uchtdorf was unavailable for comment after conference, and none of the General Authorities would respond to questions about the aviation-desolate talk given he gave on Sunday morning.
It should be noted, however, that Uchtdorf did mention air travel in a talk he gave during Priesthood Session on Saturday evening, entitled “We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down.”
“Some good that does me,” said Sister Urlando. “I’m going to have to wait for the Ensign to come out before I can read it. And there’s a big difference between reading about planes and hearing about them directly from President Uchtdorf’s mouth.”
Brother Schweibel pointed out that “even though there was some good stuff in that talk,” he is still very disappointed because “every talk has to mention aviation or it may as well be that none of them do. And remember, his aviation topic in the Priesthood talk was about a jumbo jet that crashed in Florida. That’s kind of a downer. Let’s just hope October is better.”
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
David should have looked away
By Elder Robbins
The story of King David is a tragic one. He was a legend who had slain Goliath as a boy. He was a powerful king. He was the Psalmist with an incredible propensity for the written word. However, all that would be overshadowed by one fateful encounter with a beautiful married woman.
The woman’s name was Bathsheba. Her husband, Uriah, was away at war. David saw Bathsheba washing herself, and David brought her back to his palace. They committed adultery, and Bathsheba became pregnant because of their actions. David, attempting to cover his sin, eventually arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle.
Because David couldn’t control the “natural man,” he ended up committing two abominable sins- adultery and murder. Although he had accomplished so much good in his life, it wasn’t enough to keep him from giving into carnal lusts. And this caused a chain of events that would eventually lead to David having no opportunity at attaining a fulness of joy in the eternities.
Brothers and sisters, may we all keep our eyes on the big picture and not let what happened to King David happen to us. Imagine where he would be now had he only looked away. Let us always remember how infinitely better our lives will turn out if we focus on spiritual rather than temporal pleasures.
Dude, come on!
By King David
What was I supposed to do? Exercise restraint or something? Have you seen Bathsheba? She’s what you people would call “hot.”
Come on! You see a girl washing herself, there is no more agency. You become a robot whose sole destiny is to sleep with and impregnate her. Plus, I was a husband and she was a wife. It’s not like we were having sex outside the bonds of marriage. And did I mention she was hot and washing herself?
And what’s with the hullabaloo over me killing Uriah? Any sane person knows I had to cover up what I did with his wife. And remember, my agency was gone by that point. Also, it’s not like I hadn’t killed before (for more info on my remarkable triumph over Goliath, see 1 Samuel 17- pretty awesome, even today). Uriah would have been killed anyway. I mean, he was a soldier fighting in ancient times- those aren’t exactly the kinds of people you see filling up the nursing homes.
So to sum up, I have no regrets. Yeah, right now I may be a custodian working in the Telestial Kingdom, but I'm due to get a raise any day now. And the benefits are fabulous.
Monday, March 16, 2009
As a result of one of the more bizarre commandments members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to follow, thousands of dogs owned by Mormons are now feeling unwanted worldwide, source confirm.
Spencer W. Kimball, 12th President of the Church, warned against "necking, petting, and fornication" in a talk on morality given in 1980. Since this talk was given, the number of melancholy canines in LDS homes has gone up sevenfold.
Dr. Bertrand Baker, emeritus professor at Brigham Young University, has always been curious why such a strange commandment would be lumped in with sins regarding the law of chastity.
"President Kimball was talking about sexual sin," Baker said. "It was a very profound talk about avoiding necking and fornication, which he equated with adultery. But to include petting as a sin, I just don't get it. Not only is it confusing, but it's way off topic."
Monday, January 19, 2009
This event has long been prophesied. It was alluded to in the Book of Joel in the Old Testament, and mentioned four times in Joseph Smith’s Doctrine and Covenants. One scripture states that “before this great day (the Lord’s Second Coming) shall come the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven.” (D&C 29:14)
Despite the moon’s recent bleeding, there has been no other sign of the Second Coming, which has led some Latter-day Saints to believe the sun perpetrated this crime to trick us.
“Look at the facts,” said Dr. Kirk Reumstetter, Professor of Astronomy at Brigham Young University in Idaho. “The Lord hasn’t come yet. No stars have fallen from heaven, and the sun sure hasn’t darkened. This is pretty suspicious. I think the sun has some explaining to do.”
The sun vehemently denies any involvement in the incident. Currently, the moon is in critical but stable condition, with deep puncture wounds covering its dark side and a major gash in the Sea of Tranquility.
“I’d say the moon’s chances of survival are about 50/50 right now,” said Reumstetter. “And even if it does recover, who knows how long before it gets back to normal, illuminating self.”
Investigators are trying to come up with a motive for the incident if it was indeed the sun that committed the act. The best theory is that the sun was jealous of having to share earth’s sky with the moon, and since Earth’s moon is closer to the sun than any other such satellite, it was the first target.
“I personally believe the sun’s rage grew and grew until it just couldn’t take it anymore,” said Reumstetter. “From having to share the sky with the moon to getting periodically blocked completely in the event of solar eclipses, the sun made this decision. If Jesus doesn’t come back soon, it’s going to be pretty obvious what happened here.”
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Married couple experiences awkward moment at family history center when they discover they’re related
It was the first time the couple had visited the family history center or done any genealogy work together, following a New Year’s resolution to begin the process.
At 11:17 a.m., approximately a half-hour after arriving, the Porters made the discovery on the church’s family history website that they were second cousins. This was followed by about a minute of silence, then a couple of awkward glances and half-smiles directed at each other, and finally Jackie getting up and excusing herself to go to the bathroom.
Multiple sources confirm that Jackie Porter’s (formerly Jackie Brenner) cousin, Samantha Frye-Porter, is Curtis’s mother. Jackie has 54 cousins, many of whom she has never met, which makes this sort of thing bound to happen.
However, the couple vows to move ahead in spite of the discomfiting news.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” said Curtis. “It happens.”
“We’ll get through this,” said Jackie. “I mean, in grand terms, we’re all family.”
Friday, January 2, 2009
The conference, which featured all members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dressed as admirals, consisted of talks that were all Navy-themed in nature.
Some of the highlights of the conference included “Spiritual Anchors Aweigh,” a moving talk by Elder David A. Bednar, which illustrated a symbolic relationship between ships (or members of the church), anchors (prayer, scripture study, and following the commandments), and treacherous waters (Satan).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk entitled “Iceberg, right ahead!” He urged Latter-day Saints to avoid “icebergs of sin” in our lives that could cause our “spiritual ship to sink” if we were too busy “fooling around like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet instead of watching out for such obstacles placed in front of us by the devil.”
President Thomas S. Monson’s closing remarks, entitled “Head Above Water,” contained many stories from his childhood and early adult life, the most notable of which when he saved four widows who wandered too far out into the Great Salt Lake one summer night when he was a bishop.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The appearance of “adieu” (or as opponents of the church call it, “The Smoking Gun”) occurs just once in the Book of Mormon, at the end of the book of Jacob, in which Jacob writes “to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.” (Jacob 7:27)
However, anti-Mormons say this single appearance is one too many.
“This proves Joseph Smith wasn’t who he said he was,” said Ted McGinley, President of We Know What You Believe Better Than You Do Ministries, a group that specifically points out the flaws of Mormonism. “Adieu is a French word. French didn’t exist when this Jacob character allegedly wrote the Book of Mormon.”
The extreme drop in membership has taken place over the past few weeks. Preliminary surveys show that there may be as few as 5 million Mormons left, and many of those who remain have gone inactive.
“I can’t believe how foolish I was to believe in such a thing my whole life,” said Marley Sorter, 39, of St. George, Utah. “I want to sincerely thank the anti-Mormons for opening my eyes.”
Tonya Hedgewick, 24, of Beaver, Utah, left the church immediately upon hearing the news of adieu appearing in the Book of Mormon. “All these years, I was taught to pray about the truthfulness of this book,” she said. “But now, seeing that Joseph Smith used a word from a language that didn’t exist during Jacob’s time, I think to myself, what’s the point?”
Membership is expected to continue to plunge into 2009, with the possibility the church could be defunct by 2012. There remain some, however, who have remained staunch members of the church, and continue to hold out hope.
Rebekah Corsyn, 30, of Los Angeles, has not left the church, and insists the adieu problem can be worked out. “I’m not sure why this is such an issue,” she said. “Remember, Joseph was translating the Book of Mormon into English, which didn’t exist in Jacob’s time either. Adieu was simply a word he used to best convey what Jacob was saying.”
McGinley points out that attitudes like Corsyn’s are dangerous. “There are still a lot of stubborn Mormons who fall back on ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ to deny our smoking gun evidence,” he said. “Some even tell me they have a ‘testimony’ that it’s true anyway. When will they realize the only way to the truth is to ruthlessly attack your opposition and worry about all that other stuff later?”
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Holy Ghost apparently tells local woman to go up and ramble about her family for 10 minutes during testimony meeting
In what appears to be a more commonly-seen occurrence in the modern church, the Holy Ghost often tells members to go up and give everything but a testimony. The case of Brunach, however, was especially notable for the sheer amount of superfluous information she was inspired to give.
Sources from Stonehouse 5th Ward report that Brunach, an exasperatingly happily-married mother of four daughters, went up to the podium early in the meeting, and remained there rambling for 9-12 minutes.
Mildred Musgrave, grandmother of many, witnessed the event.
“I recall Sister Brunach talking a lot about her daughters- Trista, Tammy, Teri, and Tabitha. That’s so cute their names all start with the same letter. I think she might have even mentioned that when she was up there,” said Musgrave.
14 of the roughly 75 witnesses of the “testimony” were interviewed, and none recall hearing Brunach say anything about the eternal truths she knows to be true.
“She didn’t say ‘I know’ at all,” said Robert Nichelson, 41. “But she did say ‘I’m grateful for’ a lot. She mentioned her husband and how they met, she talked about potty-training Teri, and I think she alluded to the time she was on her mission and she dreamed about having a family. But not a whole lot else.”
Church authorities are baffled at the recent string of similar incidents apparently brought about by the Holy Ghost, who is supposed to impart knowledge to those receptive to his still, small voice.
“It’s unclear why this has been happening so often,” said Andrew DeWitt, 2nd counselor in the Stonehouse 5th Bishopric. “Perhaps the Holy Ghost has realized that bearing one’s real testimony is a horrible, frightening thing, just setting people up for humiliation and ridicule. If they instead feel compelled to just ramble randomly, maybe others won’t point and laugh at them as they come back down to their seat.”
Brunach was available for comment, but The Mormonion didn’t really feel like interviewing her.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
White, who served a mission in Quito, Ecuador, where he did “whatever it took” to get the baptism numbers up, currently works as a lawyer in Salt Lake City. He is a BYU graduate who describes himself as someone who’s “dedicated to the cause of advancing the gospel of Jesus, one of our many gods.”
White, when asked about how his beliefs play a role in his life, answered, “It’s all based around the Book of Mormon. We don’t really read much of the Bible, as it is filled with mistakes.”
In response to a question about what he does to prepare for the afterlife, White said, “It doesn’t worry me too much. I know that by works we are saved- none of this grace nonsense. You have to work your way into heaven, and I’ve done that.”
He added, “I’m really looking forward to resurrecting my wife and presiding over her for time and all eternity. I’m just curious to know what planet I’ll get to be god of. Hopefully I get to name it myself.”
The White family’s daily routine follows a common pattern, which includes saying prayers day and night in the name of Joseph Smith, and shaving their horns.
“Those things get pretty pesky. I’ve had to grow my hair out a little longer so they can’t be seen,” he said with a chuckle.
When asked what his favorite part of the gospel is, White responded, “Going to the temple. I particularly enjoy baptizing cruel dictators posthumously and sacrificing the goats.”
White stressed that he loved his life in spite of how busy it is. “There are certain times that I’m involved in a service project in which I’m not there just trying to score brownie points with God, and those instances are very fulfilling. Also, I have a profound love for my three wives- my regular one and my two secret temple wives. They certainly keep me young.”
Monday, December 8, 2008
The date, which consisted of a moderately priced dinner at the Olive Garden followed by ice skating at a rink in south Allentown, was concluded by a kiss, but no proposal from Upham.
“I’m not sure what Robert is waiting for,” said Erica Martinez, who attends the same ward as the couple. “Cynthia’s such a sweet girl. And Rob's been back from his mission (Sweden Stockholm) for almost three years now. If the next date doesn’t end with some sort of eternal commitment, there’s going to be some real cause for concern.”
Klemm moved into the Riverside Ward in southern Allentown three months ago when she was transferred by the retail company she works for. Upham, a native of Allentown who recently finished college and now works as a public high school teacher, asked her out a short time later.
“They’ve both got their lives together,” said fellow ward member Sam Holston. “The next logical step is celestial marriage and children.”
When asked why he hasn’t popped the question yet, Upham responded, “I want to make sure things go okay financially in my first year of teaching before I even consider marriage. Plus I want to get to know Cynthia better.”
Klemm echoed her boyfriend’s tone, and added that she hasn’t “even met his parents yet.”
Craig McMurtery, Bishop of the Riverside Ward, is skeptical of such reasoning given by the couple regarding why they’re holding off marriage.
“We’ve got to look at this from an eternal perspective here,” said McMurtery. “Finances and meeting parents are all secondary. As long as they both share a love of this gospel, that’s what’s important. They can get to know each other after they’ve made all the everlasting covenants.”
Upham and Klemm have tentatively planned a fourth date this Saturday to go bowling and eat at Chick-fil-A.
“That sounds like a major downgrade,” said Martinez when hearing of their plans through the grapevine. “Nobody proposes at a place with pictures of cows painting misspelled words. It’s a real disappointment. They’ll both be damaged goods soon.”
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Fictional High School Student
Let me start this off by saying that I am not one to complain. I love life! I have seven wonderful brothers and sisters and terrific parents! I have great friends! And I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life!
But I really have a problem with Seminary. Well, not Seminary itself. I love seminary! Brother McNeil is a magnificent teacher! The problem is the time. We go before our regular school classes, so we start it at 6:30 a.m. Are they crazy? How much can we learn so late in the morning? Especially with school starting at 7:15?
To fix this problem, I propose that we move Seminary back to at least 5:45 a.m. It would still give everyone enough time to pray, shower, eat a full breakfast, walk the dog, and probably still get some personal scripture study in before going. This way, we could also extend the time of Seminary from the 45 minutes it is now to an hour. We’re studying the Old Testament this year, and I really feel like we’re just skipping over some really important parts. Like the Book of Numbers. Isn’t it just fascinating the way Heavenly Father instructed the prophets to write about their family histories? I could study those names all day! Also, according to the schedule, we’re only going to be in Isaiah for two weeks. That’s just not enough. We need more time to study the symbolism, especially from the chapters repeated in the Book of Mormon so that we can do some cross-referencing! I love cross-referencing!
Also, pushing Seminary back would give an extra half hour before classes start to go to the library and do extra schoolwork. The three hours I dedicate per night on school just isn’t enough anymore since I’ve become a sophomore. And then if we happen to get done with all our schoolwork on a particular morning, we can get our scriptures out and ponder on what we just learned the past hour in Seminary.
This is a perfect plan! I hope that our stake leaders take into account the factors I have mentioned. As teenagers, we have reached a point in our lives where mixing gospel study and school study into our mornings has made us truly begin to appreciate all the wonderful things life can teach us!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Fellow members of the Olympia First Ward have taken notice of this blunder. “He keeps saying it ‘Des-er-AY.’ He never pronounces the t,” said Andrew Haigle, Sunday School President. “What, does he think we’re in Quebec or something?”
“It wouldn’t be a big deal if he didn’t say it a lot,” said Shelly Brown, who serves on the Relief Society Presidency at Olympia First. “But, my goodness, it’s all the time! He’s like, ‘Let’s sing In Our Lovely Deser-AY!’ ‘Did you know that Deser-AY means beehive?’ ‘Why does Deser-AY Book smell so funny?’”
“I mean, we say it right all the time!” she added. “Even more now with a lot of emphasis on the ‘ET’ at the end of the word, and he still doesn’t change. I don’t know what to do anymore!”
Trent Thigpen, Bishop of Olympia First, has major concerns about Benningsley’s progress. “After two years in the church, there are some expectations you’ve got to meet,” Thigpen said. “There’s the obvious of attaining the Melchizedek Priesthood and becoming temple worthy, but you’ve got to know the Mormon Lingo.”
“It’s pretty clear there is no compatibility with France and the Celestial Kingdom. If Otis ever wants all that God has, he’d better start pronouncing his t’s.”
Thursday, December 4, 2008
In what was the first revelation of its kind since the church lifted its ban of Blacks to the Priesthood in 1978, President Thomas S. Monson called the event a "momentous event in the history of the church."
"No longer will our brothers named Ernie be denied the blessings the Priesthood has to offer," Monson said in a statement released Tuesday morning. "It is incredible to look at how the gospel has rolled forth across the world, becoming fully available to all of God’s children."
The ban, enacted in 1838 after a revelation given to Joseph Smith, was recorded in what would become Section 139 of the Doctrine & Covenants, despite the fact that section was lost when the book went to print. It remained church doctrine, however, with little fanfare.
Documents were recovered in 1991 by a church leader in Provo that were later proven to be the lost Section 139. This discovery began a controversy among self -described "Priesthood for Ernie" advocates that has now ended with the lifting of the ban 17 years later.
"This ban has absolutely nothing to do with those protests," Monson insisted. "The time was right for the Priesthood to be extended to Ernies worldwide, and the Lord let us know."
The ban, explicitly stated in D&C 139: 3-4, was a declaration from the Lord in which it was written that "Behold, the brethren of this church named Ernie shall not be given the powers and
authority associated with my Priesthood."Little reason was given for the ban, though verse 7 states that "all men shall suffer through trials, even those named Ernie."
The abolishment of the ban has already had its effects. Ernie Thadwick, 21, of Tulsa, OK, was born into the church but was unable to receive the priesthood he so desperately desired.
"When my parents told me about the ban when I was 12, I was devastated," he said. "But I stayed strong and never lost faith. I knew one day God would extend his promise to give all He has to all His children, Ernies included."
The lift of the ban will affect some 37 LDS church members in the United States alone. Experts predict that number would be larger had there not been so many Ernies who decided to leave the church when hearing of the ban. They also predict to see as much as a 5% increase in membership of Ernies in the next ten years.
"A lot of people who didn’t know how this church worked told me I should leave it. They thought this was blatant discrimination against people named Ernie," Thadwick said. "But I didn’t leave. And now I get the Priesthood. I get to go on a mission."
Thadwick added he would make a special request to be referred to as "Elder Ernie" as a "reminder to everyone what years of prayer can do."
LDS scholar comes to realization that sometime between 34 A.D. and 1820, Jesus’s beard turned from brown to white
Comparing portraits of Jesus from 29 A.D. and 1820 A.D., Abernathy has deduced that "while Christ’s hair length doesn’t seem to have been affected, it’s clear that the hair color has whitened dramatically."
"What Joseph Smith saw in the Sacred Grove was an aged Jesus, beginning to look much more like his father," Abernathy said. "And I can only assume that in his 1836 vision (in the Kirtland, Ohio temple), Jesus’ hair only got whiter."
Abernathy has devoted the last six months to the topic and has come up with some possible explanations for the stunning transformation.
"You’ve got to remember that soon after Jesus returned to Heaven, there was a Great Apostasy on earth," he said. "During that time, he had to deal with the Dark Ages, countless wars, the founding of France, and a world decreasing in knowledge of the true gospel."
When asked why that would have turned Jesus’ hair white, Abernathy explained that "it’s simple science. Stress will cause hair to whiten."
He added that Jesus has created many worlds, and that "perhaps the stress he suffered regarding the wickedness of the earth only contributed fractionally compared to those other planets."
Abernathy, set to publish his thesis in the next edition of the BYU Farms newsletter, assures members of the church that "this shouldn’t be a cause of worry. He’s still all-powerful and all-knowing. A little white hair isn’t going to change that."
However, Abernathy does have concerns over the larger implications of these findings.
There is just so much material in the world of the Latter-day Saints. As a practicing Mormon who's not afraid to laugh at his faith, I thought I'd give this a shot.
Look for many stories in the weeks to come!