Covey Alleged to Be the Antichrist

LINDEN, UT—Area resident Rulon “Liberty” Cannon reported at a press conference that he has uncovered the identity of the antichrist or “at least one of his generals in the battle for Armageddon.”

Cannon, proprietor of the Latter-day Herbs market in nearby Orem, reports “decades of careful scripture study” as his primary credential for “discerning angels of light from the servants of darkness.”

Cannon’s breakthrough came to him in local Rock Canyon, where he collects herb specimens and “prays for guidance” on a weekly basis. Quoting from Cannon’s 78-page publication, The Wolf in Lambswool, the argument is clear if somewhat circuitous: “That abominable green mansion that appeared at the mouth of the canyon proved the missing clue. It’s inspired by the architecture of the corrupt lands that denied the Christ and joined with the whore of all the earth, and that desecration of abomination in front of a sacred landmark made me think, what if the antichrist is among us?”

This conclusion, rejected by all present with the exception of the reporter from the Salt Lake Tribune, led Cannon to investigate the origins of the spacious home.

“When I realized the man’s name was Covet, it was like a bolt of Kolob lightning reflected in the kokaubeem,” he says. When pressed, Cannon admitted that the owner’s name is spelled Covey, though he claimed that the accepted spelling was a “pseudoname,” as the “beast is indeed crafty.”

Cannon began careful study of the Covey oeuvre in hopes of confirming his initial intuition. “I studied every word he wrote, and I saw that he started off sounding just like the Lord’s anointed, with great advice about the gospel that appears eternally true. But then a couple of books later, Covet [sic] had overtaken the gospel with the preachings of mammon. When he proclaimed his seven habits, I realized that he was disguising the number of the beast with the sacred number seven. Six times three is eighteen, which contains the digits one and eight. Subtract one from eight and you get Covet’s seven.”

Cannon cites the presence of bar codes on Covey’s books as further evidence of the oft-cited image of John’s apocalyptic beast. His document then delves into social commentary, as he decries progressive materialism in “Zion,” a local synonym for Utah. “This seven habits message is that you can sell the Lord’s gospel for a mess of potage. Peddling eternal principles to the servants of the adversary is about as antichrist as you can pretty much get. I see his demonic face gloating at us when he fools us into accepting his priestcraft. Even some among the faithful will be fooled into thinking the Covet building is one of the mansions in the Father’s house.”

Cannon’s tract is available at Latter-day Herbs as well as local truck stops and travel plazas.

Gospel Contradiction Revealed by BYU Researchers

PROVO, UT—A recent study by two BYU social scientists shows that two fundamental principles of the gospel are at odds against one another, diminishing the overall effectiveness of the members’ covenants and duties. Charity requires self-sacrifice for the service of others, while the principle of self-reliance requires members to stand on their own two feet.

According to the scientists, these two principles in proximity create a state of mass inertia in the church, causing members to neglect, among other things, their home and visiting teaching. “It’s so simple, I don’t know why it took so long for us to see it,” says Dr. Myra Gaddenburger, the principle researcher in this study.

Dr. Bob Nohls, Gaddenburger’s assistant, indicates that the church has shown some interest in their finding. “They’ve asked us which of the two principles they should downplay,” says Nohls. “If they’re interested in funding another study, we’d be happy to look into it. But right now, it’s too soon to tell.”

Ward Clamps Down on Testimony Requirements

ALPINE, UT—In an attempt to make sure the bearing of testimonies is “as uplifting and enlightening as possible,” Bishop Gerrald R. Schwartz of the Alpine 34th Ward has created “a few helpful guidelines” for people to use when they want to bear their testimonies.

He calls his idea a “logical result” of the advice that General Authorities have given recently about testimony bearing. After the church gave guidelines about what topics should be discussed when bearing testimonies, such as the truth of the church and the role of Joseph Smith, Bishop Schwartz says, “I began to see how sacred testimony-bearing time really is. I started to realize that I had a crucial duty to make sure that time was used correctly.”

But it was after church officials explained that children should not be encouraged to bear their testimonies that Bishop Schwartz really began to fast and pray about the topic. “When the Brethren began to emphasize that testimonies are not travelogues and that people shouldn’t use that time to tell long personal stories, I began to see that the members in my ward needed some more help,” he explained.

Consequently, he created the following testimony waiver, which members must sign each fast and testimony day if they want to bear their testimonies:

Your Name:
Your Bishop’s Name:
Your Baptism Number:

In order to bear your testimony today, you must conform to the following guidelines:

1. You must be between the ages of 18 and 45. This is because the Brethren have asked that no children bear their testimonies in sacrament meeting, and, frankly, old people tend to ramble.

2. You must be male. Women cry too much.

3. If you are over 25, you must be married. Otherwise, you are a menace to society and a threat to others’ testimonies.

4. You must be appropriately attired in a suit, white shirt, and conservative tie, and you should be wearing your “I Passed the Tie Check!” sticker. These stickers are awarded in the foyer ten minutes before sacrament meeting starts.

5. You must be a native English speaker. Accents detract from the Spirit.

6. You must agree to read the following script when bearing your testimony. Items 6a and 6c are mandatory; item 6b is optional. You must choose only two sentences from 6b, but you may decide in which order to say them.

a. MANDATORY: My dear brothers and sisters, I am glad to stand before you on this [warm, sunny, stormy, windy] day and bear my heartfelt testimony. I know this church is true. [You may also say: I know the LDS Church is true]. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true. And I know Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet. [You may also say: I know President Hinckley is a prophet.]

b. OPTIONAL (choose two): I have a testimony of prayer. I have a testimony of fasting. I have a testimony of church attendance. I have a testimony of temple attendance. I have a testimony that families are forever. I have a testimony of tithing. I have a testimony of the Word of Wisdom. I have a testimony of the Law of Chastity. I have a testimony that R-rated movies are bad. I have a testimony that our church leaders are called of God and that everything they do is righteous. I have a testimony of obedience.

c. MANDATORY: In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I have read and understood the terms as described above. I realize that if I misrepresent myself or vary from the above script, such actions will have severe repercussions on my standing in the church.

Applicant’s Signature:_______________________________________

Church to Send Missionaries to “Way Cooler” Locales

SALT LAKE CITY—In the wake of declining numbers of full-time missionaries and a drop in new-member retention rates, the church has been rethinking its missionary efforts. In a press conference, spokesman Arthur W. Knowles said that the church will begin to withdraw its missionaries from countries such as South Africa, Peru, Panama, and Taiwan and focus their efforts in countries “not quite so prone to being boring and poor.”

“It’s not that we don’t care about poor people,” says Knowles. “That’s why we have our humanitarian services, after all. But, let’s face it, poor people do absolutely nothing to help our image. The poverty-stricken members in Guatemala, for example, wear the ugliest, blandest clothing imaginable, and they’ve never even heard of Lex de Azevedo or Dockers khakis. We need to start asking ourselves: do we really want these people as members?”

He adds, “Come on—if you were told you had to go proselyte in Sierra Leone or Monte Carlo, which would you choose? That’s right. You’re not dumb.”

Citing the church’s “declining worldwide cool factor” as the main reason for this change in policy, Knowles emphasizes that members of poorer countries will still be welcomed and loved “as long as they are making an effort to try and be more hip”—but they won’t be actively sought out as church members. He also says that missionaries will not be sent to countries that tend to be hit by natural disasters, because “all that cleanup is totally a drag.”

The church will instead be sending more missionaries to large resort islands such as the Bahamas—”but only the rich areas,” according to Knowles—the French Riviera, Hawaii, St. Tropez, and Tahiti. “We figure that missionaries lounging on the beaches with virgin mai-tais in hand, laughing and singing hymns, will attract a more desirable clientele,” explains Knowles.

“Besides, what do these poorer countries offer us?” he adds. “Like, what, two cents of tithing per member per year? That’s less than it costs us to print the tithing slips. We think the Lord deserves a better return on his investment.”

Stake Starts Using Sacrament Meeting Safety Script

CEDAR CITY, UT—According to stake president James Davila, all units throughout the Cedar Breaks State are now required to read the following safety script aloud at the beginning of each sacrament meeting:

Welcome to sacrament service. We hope your experience will be an enjoyable one. In order to make your meeting as comfortable as possible, we want to acquaint you with the safety features of this building.

Four clearly marked exits have been provided for your convenience. Please take a moment to find the one nearest to you. Remember that it may be behind you. Please walk, do not run, to the exit if there are more than three youth speakers on the program.

In the unlikely event of a high council speaker, air masks will drop from the ceiling. Place the mouthpiece over your mouth, and extend the strap over your head. Although the bag may not appear to inflate, the sedative will be flowing. Help your children with their masks before securing your own. You may remove the masks when the speaker is finished or the meeting is over, which ever comes later.

Your seat bottom can be used as a floatation device should Sister Burkenheim bear her testimony. Simply remove the cushion, sweep away the Cheerios, and put your arms through the straps on the back.

Remember, Coke consumption is prohibited for the duration of the meeting. Federal law prohibits disabling or destroying the lavatory Coke detectors.

As the meeting progresses, our deacons will be coming through with snack and beverage service. Please keep the aisle clear for them. At the end of the meeting, we ask that you put your teenagers back into their upright, locked position and stow all belongings back under your seats.

Have a great meeting, and thanks for picking the LDS Church for all your spiritual needs.

Mormonized Words and Phrases

In the spirit of a recent Meridian magazine article by John P. Pratt, in which he delicately renamed the planet Uranus to the much more appropriate-sounding “Chronus,” we felt it was our spiritual duty to sanitize other words, names, and phrases in the English lexicon to something we wouldn’t be embarrassed to say in sacrament meeting. We encourage all Latter-day Saints to begin using the following replacement words immediately:

Inappropriate - Mormonized
Assume - Mulesume
Bosom - Heart locker
Bush - Shrub
Chicken breast - Chicken boom-boom
Dam - Aquablock
Dick Cheney - Halliburton
Dictator - Privatestator
Hellenism - Greekish
Helicopter - Rotocopter
Hello - Heaveno
Kicking against the pricks - Kicking against the pointy things
Moby Dick - Moby Richard
Niggardly - Coloredly
Penal - Prisonal
Pianist - Ivoryist
Pistol - Arab ventilator
Shittimwood - Stinkimwood
Shih tzu - Lhasa apso
Succor - Helpor
Tit for tat - Udder for other

Mormon Sports with “Iron” Rod Zeier

Dear Rod: Hey, I love your radio show. I know we’re all LDS and all. But just hypothetically, do you know of a reliable football betting strategy that’s consistent with the scriptures?
—Ted from West Valley

Dear Ted: First, the church is opposed to gambling in all its forms, and me and Sparky and the rest of the guys at Mormon Sports support that 110 percent. But in answer to your question, the thing we have to ask ourselves is this: What does God like? And the answer to that is clear: God likes the passing game. I mean, just look at the quarterbacks he’s blessed us with, Nielson, Wilson and Young and Ty Detmer and, yes, Jim McMahon—I know he’s not officially LDS yet, but his wife is, and I have a source upstairs that tells me she’s bringing him ‘round, line upon line, precept on precept. Not to mention Danny White. So, God loves a good offense, and that means God loves your crossing routes, your tight end up the seam, your outlet pass to the running back, and, on third and short, your play action rollout. Lots of points scored, that’s God’s plan for us. So that’s the first thing.

Now, I don’t want to get all BYU-centric here—we’re a worldwide church, and there are plenty of good RMs in other Mountain West schools—and I don’t want to suggest that God plays favorites. But he clearly favors those late-night ESPN games, where midlevel conferences get some national exposure. God hates the BCS—that goes without saying—but what does God love? Family activities, and is there a better family outing than a weeknight football game in November? I think not. So put all that together and whaddya got? I don’t approve of gambling, and frankly it’s not something I pay much attention to, but if you want to put a little Zeier zest in your tithing envelope, look for MWC night games where the over/under is plus 39, and take the over.