Friday, November 28, 2008

Follow(ing) the prophet, part 1

Not sure if it’s actually my least favorite, but among my least favorite Primary songs we have in the church is “Follow the Prophet”. (You really should follow the link to get an idea of how insipid it is. Listen to the audio, even—yeah, it’s that bad in real life, too.) I mean, not only does it sound awful, it’s a problematic message (if only because it assumes that everyone will automatically think of prophets the same way, which is wrong). Really bad is the chorus, which is nothing if not mindnumbing on many different levels (for maximum effect, imagine a huge choir of small children tunelessly shouting this in unison):

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!

Therefore, i am eternally (and i really do mean that!) grateful to Raymond Bingham for providing an alternative chorus (and one that actually works well if you imagine a crowd of shouting kids):

Follow the Prophet,
Follow the Prophet,
Follow the Prophet,
Don’t burn in Hell!

Follow the Prophet,
Follow the Prophet,
Follow the Prophet,
He knows da*n well!

Makes the song almost listenable, i tell you.

(There are other issues i have with the song, too. Stay tuned.)

* Raymond had darn in his original version, other words have been used since then. Use your imagination.

Post-Thanksgiving grumble

So the younger of my sisters (Heather of Camian Academy) has “tagged” me. This means, she says, that i’m supposed to post the rules on my blog (you can follow the link to Heather’s blog, the rules are there), write six random things about myself, and tag six or so people to keep the chain going.

So, therefore, here are six completely non-random things about me:

  • I don’t forward or participate in email (or similar) chains.
  • I don’t forward or participate in email (or similar) chains.
  • I don’t forward or participate in email (or similar) chains.
  • I don’t forward or participate in email (or similar) chains.
  • I don’t forward or participate in email (or similar) chains.
  • I don’t forward or participate in email (or similar) chains.

But Heather already knew this, i think.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The testimony glove

So my oldest comes home this past week from achievement days, wearing a single white glove. After the inevitable Michael Jackson flashback moment, i saw that each of the five fingers [insert pointless argument over whether the thumb counts as a finger here] had a small picture pasted onto it: Jesus (the Del Parson version), the Salt Lake temple, a rendition of the first vision, Thomas S. Monson, and Joseph Smith.

This seemed odd to me, so i asked what it was. The answer? It’s a “testimony glove”.

Yes, folks, we’re now coming up with cheat sheets for things that are supposed to come from the heart. Go figure.

To be honest, it wouldn’t bother me except for the reasoning behind it: that these five things are

The Essential Parts of a Testimony

Some go even further—for example, saying that

teach[ing] children to express thanks for parents, brothers and sisters, for teachers and for home, is commendable, but it is not a testimony unless it is expressed within the five essential elements.

In fact, while poking around i even found what looks suspiciously to me like a testimony glove-driven script:

A Pure Testimony Is…
  1. I know that God is our Father in Heaven and He loves us.
  2. I know that Jesus Christ is His Son, our Savior and Redeemer.
  3. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and he was the instrument through which the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. He translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God.
  4. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s church on the earth today.
  5. I know this Church is led by a living prophet who receives revelation.

Yeah, that’s just what we need—make testimony meetings even less interesting, with everybody getting up and saying the exact same stuff.

Funny, but here i always thought the angel was pretty straightforward in telling John that

the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Apparently, though, that’s just all nineteen hundred years ago—we’ve moved beyond that point now.

Makes me want to pray for us to be saved from cutesiness, you know?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Political humor (plus a scorecard)

Something i ran across yesterday on one of the Washington Post’s politics chats with only slight Mormon content, but still worthwhile (presented here slightly altered from the original):

There has to be a joke: A white grandma, a Mormon, a Jew, and a cool black daddy walk into a bar…

Like the person who offered this said, whatever you might think about it, and whether it’s the result you wanted or not, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Rahm Emanuel, and Barack Obama are a most interesting change from your standard US government of the last few…well, centuries.

And, while on the subject, i still find it more than amusing that the most powerful Mormon in the US legislature is a Democrat. And for those keeping score, the US Congress is about to go (counting American Samoa’s territorial representative) from 16 Mormons (75.0% Republican) to 14 (71.4% Republican), but that’s still a higher rate of representation than our share of the US population would predict, so i figure we’ll take it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Well, it took me longer than expected to dig out from under everything that piled up during my business trip, but i’m now properly back—and so, in honor of all the housework my family did earlier today, i offer a reworked version of a well-known Primary song:*

Saturday is a special day,
It’s the day we get ready for Sunday.
We brush our teeth and we comb our hair
So we won’t have to do it ’til Monday!

Thank, i’ll be here all week. Remember to tip your server.

* With credit given to Janelle Simmons, who i first learned this version from.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My latest pet peeve

I cycle through pet peeves, but my newest is a revival of an old one. It’s the frequently-offered—often over the pulpit!—advice that

If something bothers you enough to ask whether you should do it, then you shouldn’t do it.

If people keep offering this particular bit of stupid, stupid advice, i might just have to start asking myself whether i ought to go to church the next Sunday—i mean, according to their own logic…

Administrivia, by way of coda: I’ll be traveling (for professional reasons) next week, so the odds of getting new snark up on the blog are fairly small. Don’t worry—more will be on the way after next weekend.