It's time once again for another end-of-year roundup, when we pause, look back at the church's activities of the past year, and -- in awe at the marvelous work and wonder of it all -- wish we were drinking actual Roundup. Yes, it really is that bad.
Like watching a slow-motion handcart wreck, we were horrified but unable to look away, so now it is up to us to record the fruits of their labors. Like Mormonism itself, the following is a mix of fact, fiction, “speaking as a man” personal opinion, and creative liberties with the truth. And just like Mormonism, I don’t bother to tell you which is which.
Two days into the new year, Monson fulfills his New Year's resolution not to further destroy the church and exits for the giant mall in the sky. He is stopped short at the pearly gates, however, when informed that God prohibits anyone who can wiggle their ears from entering, because Monson’s God is a capricious jerk who likes to punish his children for arbitrary things like that.
200,000 TBMs sign an online petition demanding the New York Times
retract its obituary of Monson because the factual examination of Monson’s presidency isn't as fawning as they would like. The petition demands the Times rewrite the obituary and suggests the writer pick up the Pearl of Great Price for tips on writing a fictitious, but faith-promoting, biographical narrative.
New CEO Nelson blitzkriegs the popular Uchtdorf from the First Presidency, sending shockwaves through the church. To mollify members, Nelson announced Uchtdorf was being given a special assignment -- the human equivalent of your parents announcing your dog was going to live on a farm.
Determined not to appear feeble at 93 years old, Nelson demonstrates remarkable mental acuity at his inaugural press conference by reciting from memory Peggy Fletcher Stack’s entire four-generation pedigree chart when the Salt Lake Tribune
reporter asks him a question. Even more impressive: when Avi Goldstein of the Jerusalem Post
asks a question, Nelson recites the posthumous temple ordinance dates for all of Goldstein's relatives killed in the Holocaust.
In his first major address as CEO, Nelson claims "Satan tempts us to eat things we should not eat, to drink things we should not drink, and to love as we should not love”, thus elevating Satan in Mormon theology to the god of chocolate, cappuccinos, and authentic romantic relationships. Afterward, a concerned Pres. Newsroom was heard whispering in Nelson's ear, urgently reminding him that his job was to build a case for following the other
Prudently preparing for the fulfillment of Holland's prophecy of 100,000 missionaries in the field by 2019, TSCC announces the closure of two MTCs and multiple church missions -- suspiciously similar to my financial plan to become a millionaire by racking up credit card debt and living paycheck to paycheck.
TSCC -- which repeatedly insists it only gets involved in politics to speak out on moral issues -- suddenly discovers that audio recordings are a moral issue when, in a totally not self-serving move, the church publicly backs a bill to make Utah a two-party consent state for recording conversations. TSCC voices support for the bill only because they think this is important to your eternal salvation and not at all because they are sitting on a damning audio recording about to blow up in their face...
Hundreds of supporters walk in Sam Young's Protect the Children march to Temple Square, where they are met by a church PR rep who -- grasping the import of the issue at hand -- quickly moves to protect vulnerable... church property. The PR rep sternly warns Bishop Young not to touch the church office building, ironically fulfilling one of the march's main aims of preventing bishops from touching things.
MormonLeaks forever silences critics who claimed the site would never leak anything of significance when it releases the mother of all leaks: an audio recording of a former Provo MTC president admitting to having a rape room in the basement of the MTC where he sexually abused vulnerable sister missionaries. You know, if any MTC needed closing, you'd think it would be the one defiled by having a basement rape room, but Mormon God is too busy right now with a rebranding campaign to worry about the sanctity of dedicated church property.
On Easter Sunday, members are treated to an incredibly moving Easter message at conference: announcement of a corporate reorg that renames an existing program and combines two men's study groups into one. This is considered very high revelation by church standards, where every mundane policy change is labeled a revelation: a trend started two years ago -- in what must surely be an incredible coincidence -- by the same guy now being heaped with praise for announcing minor policy changes.
Cognizant of Benson's stern warnings against pride, TSCC resists the temptation to boast of its astounding growth during conference and announces it will now begin hiding the annual statistical report on its website, just as it hid the church essays. In response, TBMs express widespread puzzlement at the mention of any online church essays.
New CEO Nelson -- whose church salary exceeds the combined average annual income of more than 60 Kenyan households -- visits Africa and tells impoverished Kenyan members that paying tithing is the only way to break the multi-generational poverty cycle. In response, even Elder Arnold Cunningham said the lies to the African converts had gone too far.
Yet another mission president scandal erupts when news breaks that Philander Smartt -- a mission president whose first name is considerably more accurate than his last -- was engaging in sexual activity with sister missionaries in his mission. But using the same skills they apply to critical analysis of the Book of Mormon, TBMs continue to insist the Joseph Bishop story is false because mission presidents would never do something like that.
After previously dropping Scouting for older boys, TSCC announces it is now ditching the Boy Scout program entirely. While some parents expressed concern their sons would not learn the same skills from the church's watered-down replacement program, Pres. Newsroom reassured parents their sons would have plenty of opportunity to "pitch a tent" once they became bishops and got to question teenage girls about their masturbation habits.
In the midst of a drought, TBMs' fervent prayers for "moisture" are amply rewarded when 80,000 exmos collectively wet themselves over a blockbuster financial leak when MormonLeaks reveals TSCC owns stock investments worth $32 billion -- only part of the church's total tithing reserve fund. When reached for comment, Elder Cook refused to confirm the amount but stated that he personally was committed to stealing a couple hospitals for the church to push that number even higher.
TBMs rejoice when the church issues a formal apology for past racism but the ecstatic feelings are short-lived when the apology is revealed to be fake -- thus placing the apology in jeopardy of being canonized like the Book of Abraham.
At a worldwide youth fireside, CEO Nelson inexplicably requests youth take a 7-day "fast" from social media. When asked the reason behind the unusual request, Pres. Newsroom shrugged it off, saying Nelson had misplaced his phone and hastily called for the fast so as not to miss any instagrams from his youth bffs.
TSCC hosts a celebration at the conference center to commemorate the 1978 "revelation" on the priesthood. When questioned on the significance of the event, Pres. Newsroom proudly announced it marks the day 40 years ago when the church stopped treating black members like second-class citizens and instead turned to treating LGBT members like shit.
Dan Reynolds' *Believer* premiers on HBO, showcasing TSCC's anti-LGBT stance and Reynolds' personal journey to overcome past indoctrination to become an LGBT ally. In response; 200,000 TBMs sign an online petition demanding HBO retract the documentary and re-release it in a more faithful slant, starring Donny Osmond in the lead role.
A Utah mother has her temple recommend yanked for endangering the church's $12 million investment in General Mills when she thoughtlessly feeds her baby breast milk in church rather than the TSCC-approved Cheerios.
A month after the church's phony social media "fast", Sam Young begins a real fast: a 23-day hunger strike protesting the dangerous practice of one-on-one youth interviews. Young invites each of the Q15 in turn to be his guest for an evening, and -- in a clear sign of divine favor -- receives the exact same number of visitors as Joseph did at the first vision.
In a rare moment of commonality with exmormon
, Nelson announces that God no longer wants him to be a Mormon and doesn't want you to be one either. After hastily deleting their "I'm a Mormon" profile, unsubscribing from the Mormon Channel, and throwing away their "Meet the Mormons" DVD, Mormon Doctrine book, and Mormon Tabernacle Choir CDs, TBMs immediately get to work being offended that anyone would dare call them a Mormon.
TSCC -- which repeatedly insists it only gets involved in politics to speak out on moral issues -- suddenly discovers that pain management and chronic disease treatment are moral issues when it speaks out against Utah's medical marijuana ballot initiative and spams church members' email telling them to vote against Prop 2. Pres. Newsroom announced an overwhelming response to the email, but sheepishly acknowledged a high percentage of responses were sign-up requests from members eager to get in on the ground floor of this amazing new herbal supplement MLM.
McKenna Denson -- one of the missionaries sexually assaulted by Joseph Bishop in the MTC -- shares her personal truth during open mic meeting in Joseph Bishop's home ward. Priesthood leaders listen sympathetically to her story and honor their baptismal covenant to comfort those who stand in need of comfort, lamenting with Denson the traumatic abuse she suffered as a young missionary, made all the worse by years of ecclesiastical injustice. Ha ha! No. Priesthood men scramble faster than deacons after the last doughnut to physically seize Denson and cast her from their midst. Ministering: you just might be f%cking this one up, too.
TSCC grumbles it really does not like that Sam I Am and excommunicates Sam Young as a chilling example to others that if they dare speak up to protect children, they, too, will be forced to wear comfortable underwear and take home an 11 percent raise.
Besieged by critics on all sides, the church finds it still has a few supporters when the American Gaslighting Association awards Cook a distinction of merit in recognition of the master class on gaslighting he delivered during a Face2Face broadcast from Nauvoo. The association made special note of Cook's ability to verbally make love to the church's polygamous founders while simultaneously diminishing the principle of polygamy they fervently taught. Claiming polygamy was never a requirement for salvation, Cook tells the youth to accept the explanations of current church leaders on this stuff and not bother worrying about commandments brought directly from God by sword-wielding angels threatening non-consensual afterlife visits.
Nelson stuns Mormondom by announcing he is renaming the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a venerable brand that has stood for more than 150 years: longer than Coca Cola, General Electric, or -- shockingly -- Nelson himself. Explaining it is imperative to reach a younger demographic, Nelson renames the choir "The BeyonceEdSheeranTaylorSwift Choir at Apple Squarespace".
At the first-ever Saturday night women's session of conference, the First Presidency takes special pains to welcome the sisters and ensure they feel respected and included as part of the official conference weekend. Ha ha! No. Oaks uses the historic session to chastise women for working outside the home, not marrying fast enough, and not popping out enough babies, leaving disappointed father-figure Nelson no choice but to give women a 10-day timeout from their phones as punishment. And from all priesthood brethren: Welcome to Saturday night conference sessions, sisters! Where if you don't leave feeling guilty, you definitely ought to feel guilty about not feeling guilty.
At general conference, Nelson declares that anyone who uses the word Mormon is offending God and racking up major victories for Satan -- news which, while shocking to some, frankly comes as no surprise to anyone who has spent five minutes on the FairMormon web site.
In a surprising new trend, TBMs begin cutting off a third of their steak at dinner and throwing it away, because when something is that good you naturally want quite a bit less of it.
Despite TSCC's all-out campaign against Utah's Prop 2, the ballot initiative passes, making the church 0-for-2 in campaigning against social issues this decade, or about as successful as their ongoing campaign against truth on the Internet.
With double-digit growth happening every single week, exmormon
hits 100,000 subscribers -- ironically fulfilling Holland's prophecy of 100,000 people worldwide committed to sharing the truth about the church.
The first presidency Christmas devotional takes an unusual turn when Oaks pauses mid-talk and suddenly bellows out that males wearing tights is unnatural, accuses Santa's elves of being confirmed homosexuals, and calls for a legal ban on elves in any toy-building, candy-making, or cookie-baking function. Later, CEO Nelson announces that -- because he just can't help himself -- he is renaming the First Presidency Christmas Devotional to the "First Presidency of the Church of JESUS Christ of Latter-day Saints JESUSChristmas Devotional".
Using the old parenting trick of "If you complain about having to clean your bedroom I'll make you clean the bathroom too", TSCC responds to Sam Young's protect the children movement by announcing it has changed the policy on youth worthiness interviews: now youth of an even younger
age will be subjected to one-on-one worthiness interviews. Commenting on the change, Pres. Newsroom asked if anyone would now like to complain about 10 percent tithing.
After multiple sexual abuse scandals, documented cases of the church covering up sexual abuse, and the controversial excommunication of two respected bishops; 200,000 angry TBMs rush online to sign yet another petition: to demand that a movie change its promotional poster. While the offending poster is surprisingly fully compliant with Mormon modesty standards, TBMs are upset that Deadpool -- a violent character with only a few dozen kills to his name -- has taken the place of Jesus -- a violent character about to rack up a few billion kills and then torch the whole earth for good measure.
And as the new year approaches, 100,000 exmos make strict New Year's resolutions for diet and exercise, because while the popcorn is absolutely delicious to the taste, consuming it in such vast quantities is taking a severe toll on our health.
Happy New Year, exmos, and do remember to eat your vitamins. Looks like the good doctor has prescribed an even bigger dose of crazy for 2019.
EDIT: First, thanks to those who awarded gold and thanks to everyone for the comments. My reward is seeing people enjoy the post and seeing which parts you liked best.
There are several comments about things I missed. Believe me, it pains me that I have to cut stuff out. It is a testament to just how crazy things are in the church that I have to cut a ton of material for brevity's sake. Off the top of my head, here are things I cut: Rob Porter resigning from the White House because of domestic abuse (his wives said their bishops told them to stay with him despite the abuse), the former mission and temple president found to have used his own sperm to inseminate patients at his fertility clinic, TSCC adding some diversity to the Q12, "Stop protecting sexual predators" yelled out at conference, BYU-I expels a woman for being raped just two years after this blew up big time for BYU Provo, the Kirton McConkie files on abuse cases, Cook calling rape "non-consensual immorality", Russell Nelson sought as a witness in a trial involving sexual abuse within his family, sister missionaries wearing pants, announcement of the closure of a third MTC, Bill Reel's excommunication proceedings and the high council comment on integrity, New Name Noah getting arrested on temple grounds, Oaks' homophobic talk at Oct. conference, Nelson saying the church was fully restored then claiming later it wasn't, etc. This post could easily be twice as long (except for the reddit character limit). It's almost frightening that in a post this long I only hit the highlights of the insanity.