Category Archives: Humor

The DUP in Ireland and us (or is that U.S.?) Mormons

What I first ran across this headline (and associated article), I was wondering what the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers were doing running an ad, especially in Ireland. 🙂 As it turns out, “DUP” stands for Democrat Unionist Party, one of the larger political parties in Ireland. Here’s the article lead:

The two attractive young models used on controversial DUP election posters are American Mormons living in New York, it has been revealed.

Fortunately for the scandal-hit DUP they are clean-living conservatives but they’ve never even been to Northern Ireland let alone registered to vote on May 6.

The Sunday Life yesterday revealed the pair are Kristin Mackenzie and Dan Whitmore who had never even heard of the DUP until last week when they were splashed across election posters proclaiming they were going to vote for the party.

(Spoof) TV Ad for … the Necronomicon

OK, I have to believe that the folks who did this spoof very much modeled it after the LDS Church’s ads for the Bible and the Book of Mormon — not only because of the background music and the way the whole conversation goes, but also because of the font and layout for the distributing organization at the end of the ad. As an H. P. Lovecraft fan, I find this ad particularly amusing. 🙂 ..bruce..

When you talk to your kids about genealogy…

…pass this (Onion) story on to them:

LA CROSSE, WI—Returning to his hometown to attend a cousin’s wedding Saturday, Josh Sundling, 29, reportedly demonstrated on numerous occasions a vast, far more intricate understanding of the fictional Marvel Comics Universe than of his own family’s genealogy.

Sundling, who cannot identify his ancestral homeland or the meaning of his surname, possesses extensive knowledge of the creation of superhero teams, the history of imaginary alien races, and the special powers of countless characters.

“We’re from Sweden or Norway or somewhere around there,” said Sundling, who when prompted can accurately detail the origins of each cartoon member of the X-Men, the Avengers, the Defenders, and the Squadron Supreme. “I don’t know for sure. I never really asked about it.”

Heh. Read the whole thing.  ..bruce..

30 LDS missionaries deported from Guyana [updated]

Please turn to hymn number, uh...

UPDATED [09/03/09 — 2150 MDT]

There are now indications that the expulsion of LDS missionaries from Guyana may have been due to political and/or religious reasons, rather than visa problems as originally reported:

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Authorities in Guyana grew “uncomfortable” with the presence of Mormon missionaries who have been ordered to leave the South American country, a governing party leader said Thursday.

About 40 missionaries were briefly detained Wednesday and told to leave within a month as authorities said their travel documents were out of date.

Comments by Donald Ramotar of the governing People’s Progressive Party, however, suggested the crackdown went beyond immigration issues.

“While we tolerate all religions, it appears that some officials had become uncomfortable with them around,” said Ramotar, the party’s general secretary.

Ramotar declined to elaborate. But some government officials and party members said privately that leaders felt the Mormons were too close to opposition figures and also were wary of the church’s independent charity work in the interior.

Hey! It’s the Extermination Order all over again! Cool! I still want to find out if the missionaries really sang “We Shall Overcome” while in jail.

[END OF UPDATE]

Via KSL News:

At least 30 Latter-day Saint missionaries were detained Wednesday in the South American country of Guyana because they did not have updated travel documents, police said.

Most of them are U.S. citizens and will be given one month to leave before they are deported, Police Chief Henry Greene said. He declined further comment.

The missionaries were expected to be released late Wednesday to prepare for their departure, acting U.S. ambassador Karen Williams said.

Sounds like more visa problems. But here’s my favorite part:

It was unclear what prompted the arrests. No incidents involving the missionaries were reported prior to their detainment. They could be heard singing “We Shall Overcome” from their cells Wednesday night.

OK, what LDS missionary knows the words and tune to “We Shall Overcome”? I suspect what they were heard singing was “Come, Come Ye Saints”.

Then again, I could be wrong — all it would take is one of the missionaries, and s/he could teach it to the rest. We’re nothing if not quick studies on hymns, given how many times in Sacrament meeting we are confronted with a hymn that we would swear we have never heard nor sung before. And, of course, the missionaries would all think it was hilarious (just as I’m sure they’re amused about spending the night in jail — even in Guyana — and possibly being deported).

I do think all LDS missionaries (and members) should learn how to sing “We Shall Overcome“.  It would make a great closing hymn for Sacrament meeting. 🙂 ..bruce..

Tales of the Dorms

Back in January, BYU Magazine (or whatever its called) solicited tales of dorm life. I submitted the stories below, and they apparently chose one of them (based on my daughter-in-law’s comments on Facebook). Here are my original stories. These are all from 1971-72, my freshman year at BYU. I was living on the 3rd floor in Penrose (“T”) Hall in Deseret Towers.

Glow-ball Warfare and Other Dorm Games

When you put 40+ young men, mostly freshman, all on the same dorm floor — in this case, the 3rd floor of Penrose (T) Hall in Deseret Towers (1971-72) — interesting activities develop. One of our periodic games was called “Glow-ball Warfare”, and we played it in the commons room (with all the furniture in place). The main playing instrument was a plastic, glow-in-the-dark ball. All the players would gather into the commons room, with a few towels to block out light coming from beneath the doors. One person would start out with the ball, holding it up to one of the ceiling lights. After a minute or so, he’d nod, and all the lights would be turned out. He would now do his best to hit someone else with the now-glowing ball, the only thing visible in the room. Everyone else would do their best to get away from him in the darkness, usually running into each other and the furniture (the worst I ever got hurt in the game was crawling head-first into the heavy metal pole holding up one of the tables). Once the ball was thrown, there was a scramble to grab the ball; whoever got it now did his best to hit someone else. When the ball got too dim, we’d call a halt, turn on the lights to recharge it, and then continue. There were no teams; it was strictly a free-for-all.

In high school, I had played football for four years. There was another guy on my dorm floor, Layne Jensen (’74, ’76, ’78), who had been in wrestling in high school for four years. Every now and then, Layne and I would have contests where we would take turns hitting each other in the stomach as hard as we could to see if the other guy could take it. For the life of me, I can’t remember how this got started or why we thought it was a good idea, but I know we always walked away feeling that both of us had done well.

Greg Zippi (’77, ’83), another floor-mate, came up with a less violent and painful game: Hallway Frisbee. The two players would start a modest distance apart in one of the long dorm hallways. One player would toss a frisbee to the other player. If the frisbee didn’t touch the wall, ceilings or (of course) floor, then both players would take a stride back, and the second player would throw to the first player. If the frisbee did touch the floor/walls/ceiling, then we stayed the same distance apart. The goal was to throw the frisbee the full length of the hallway without it touching anything. Given how long and narrow the Deseret Towers hallways were, that was a rare accomplishment, but always much celebrated and bragged about when accomplished.

I will pass over in silence the Hallway Whiffleball games, which were a bit, ah, rougher on the ceiling light fixtures than Hallway Frisbee.

Finally, at the end of our freshman year, at the end of finals, we challenged another floor in our hall to a few outdoor competitions, one of which was a tug-of-war across one of the the irrigation canals that ran near Heritage Halls. Because the heights of the two banks of the canal weren’t quite the same, we decided to switch sides after the first event and repeat the tug-of-war. Many of us, not wanting to walk the 30 yards or so to one side to walk across the canal, simply ran and jumped over it. Since the canal had 2-3″ of water in it, and since the canal had sloping banks, I kept a careful eye on the ground as I ran up to the canal and leapt. I then looked up just in time to see that someone from the opposing team had done exactly the same thing at exactly the same time in exactly the same (but opposite) place along the canal. One of my floormates (it may well have been Greg) later told me — once he could stop laughing — that it was like watching a live-action cartoon. This other young man and I hit one another full on right over the middle of the canal, exactly canceled out each other’s momentum, hung for a split-second in mid-air, and then dropped into the canal’s cold, cold water together. For my own part, I put out my right hand to break my fall and slammed it onto one of the large, water-smoothed rocks at the bottom of the canal. I was unable to shake hands for a month.

It was a great year.

Bruce F. Webster (BS, ’78)
Parker, Colo.

Another reason I’m glad we’re not “Christian”

Of course, by “Christian” I mean “Traditional Christianity”, which is the phrase often used by Evangelical and Catholic churches to define Christianity in such as was as to exclude the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And as far as I can tell, “Traditional Christianty” tends to start with the first Council of Nicea, so as to avoid all those pesky beliefs and practices of early Christians which suspiciously resemble LDS beliefs and practices.

But I ramble. Here’s my latest reason why I’m glad we’re not “Traditional” Christians:

Let’s look at all the ways that this cartoon does not apply to LDS doctrine and beliefs:

First, we don’t believe that Earth is the only planet on which God has placed His children. Instead, we believe that He has created “worlds without number” and that “the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” So God didn’t wait “14 billion years” for anything, but started populating planets long ago.

Second, we were all around back then, when this universe was being created. We knew why is was being created and what our role in it would be.

Third, even on our specific planet, Earth, God didn’t wait until Abraham or Moses and then “tell some desert people how to behave.”  He started with Adam and continued with Enoch. Furthermore, we believe that God has spoken to various groups at various times throughout human history, not just those recorded within the Bible.

And, of course, fourth, God is not a glowing ball of lightHe is our Father and we are His children.  ..bruce..