(The below was not written by Bishop Bill, but I liked it so much I reached out to the author who allowed me to post it here. It was written by #JosephHumbertHumbert and was originally posted at Reddit/r/xmormon.  )
After banning the word “Mormon”, cutting church to 2 hours, modernizing the missionary dress code, and cozying up to other religions, church leaders look forward to taking TSCC even more mainstream in 2021 . . . only to turn on the news six days into the new year and see Captain Moroni waving the Title of Liberty at an illegal attempt to overturn a democratic election and overthrow the U.S. government. Although the Book of Mormon Captain Moroni was very much in favor of democratic elections and defending the sitting government against a group who wanted to overthrow it, Pres. Newsroom explained that today’s Captain Moroni — like the church itself — had regrettably grown much more hardline conservative and quite a bit kookier in his old age.
Originally enthralled with the idea of God choosing a doctor to lead them during a pandemic, TBMs quickly turn on Dr. Prophet Nelson after he releases a photo of himself receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. TBMs attack Nelson’s photo op in online forums, accusing him of falling for the lies of the deep state, and worrying that Bill Gates could now follow Nelson through a secret microchip. However, independent observers rated this last fear as “Highly Unlikely” after Bill Gates himself said he’d rather use Windows ME as his operating system for life rather than follow the prophet in any sense of the word.
Despite claiming for years that it supported the civil rights (OTHER than marriage, of course) of LGBT individuals, TSCC nevertheless issues a formal statement opposing the Equality Act after it passes the U.S. House of Representatives in February. Although the Act protects LGBT individuals’ rights to housing and employment, which TSCC claims to agree with, Pres. Newsroom stated the church opposed the Act because it did not go far enough to protect religious liberty, such as the freedom to never see, interact with, or be in close proximity to a gay person ever again.
It’s not all bad news for TSCC, though, as a Feb. SEC filing shows TSCC’s hush-hush Ensign Peak fund grew by $6 billion during the pandemic, despite many members taking advantage of the pandemic to take a hiatus from church activity.
One year after BYU’s honor code change fiasco, BYU students organize a solidarity display for the LGBT community, asking students to wear rainbow colors on campus to show their support. Competing flyers immediately pop up around campus, asking students to instead show support for the proclamation on the family by dressing like students from the 1950s and saying “Golly geez, Wally” a lot.
After thoroughly embarrassing itself with its juvenile TITS videos and death threats against exmos, Fairmormon goes TITS up, pulls its videos from Youtube, and even changes its name to distance itself from its embarrassing past.
Church of Christ Mormon LDS Latter-day Saint Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints representative Pres. Newsroom applauded the group’s move, noting that changing one’s name can certainly be an effective method of distancing oneself from an unsavory past.
Despite TSCC’s repeated insistence it is politically neutral and that members in good standing can support candidates from either party, TBMs have a complete meltdown when records are released showing Uchtdorf donated to Joe Biden’s campaign, proving once and for all that TBMs don’t really believe the church’s neutrality statement.
Ever aspiring to be “The Harvard of the West”, BYU announces it will now give preference to hiring seminary and institute teachers as BYU religion professors over professors with actual expertise in relevant subjects such as ancient scripture, history, or languages. Asked to comment on the change, Pres. Newsroom said that when your future depends on selling a false narrative, it’s best to promote those who are least capable of detecting that it’s a false narrative.
Two years after Oaks told members that “research is not the answer” to resolving doubts about the church, Nelson claims the exact opposite in general conference when he belittles exmos as “lazy learners” who should have studied more to resolve their doubts before leaving the church. When asked which of the two statements was true, Pres. Newsroom insisted they are both correct, by the irrefutable doctrine of “both men sign my paycheck.”
Utah Valley University students and faculty protest Wendy Watson Nelson’s selection as graduation commencement speaker, citing her anti-LGBT views which contradict the school’s own statement of inclusion. Alluding to the controversy in her commencement address, Mrs. Nelson defended her selection as speaker, presenting herself as an inspiration for all women who hope to achieve their dream of one day marrying someone famous.
TSCC excommunicates Mormon sex therapist Natasha Helfer for the sin of declaring that masturbation wasn’t a sin.
With the summer wedding season fast approaching, TSCC abruptly discontinues time-only sealings in the temple, because, even though underutilized temples are popping up everywhere like mushrooms, what’s the point of wasting temple time when both members have already pledged to pay tithing for the rest of their lives?
In yet another attempt to encourage vaccination, TSCC releases a church handbook update strongly encouraging members to get vaccinated: “Members of the church are encouraged to safeguard themselves, their children, and their communities through vaccination”, the passage states. With the church’s clear direction now plainly stated in black and white, TBMs finally concede the point and begin to organize vaccination drives in their wards. Ha ha! No. TBMs suddenly become linguistic experts, twisting the word “encouraged” to find alternate meanings that allow them to continue to do whatever the hell they want without regard to the handbook.
In June, a devastating blow is dealt to TSCC celebrity worship when Mormon singer David Archuleta comes out as queer, shocking every single Mormon in your ward and surprising absolutely no one else on the planet.
With the end of the Hill Cumorah pageant, TSCC announces a major restoration project for the Hill Cumorah, including the removal of all pageant buildings and planting thousands of trees in their place to return the hill as close as possible to its condition at the time of Joseph Smith. When asked if replica gold plates would be placed in a replica stone box on the hill, Pres Newsroom said no plates would be buried on the hill, as that would run counter to the stated goal of returning the hill to its condition at the time of Joseph Smith.
The online Mormon universe erupts in a frenzy when The Guardian exposes the real-life identities of several members of the DezNat movement and links them to violent, racist, sexist, and homophobic online statements. Wow, who would have ever thought that hardcore believers in Mormonism would denigrate women, gays, and people with darker skin? There’s so little support for those beliefs in Mormon history, culture, and doctrine . . .
Once desperate to gain press coverage in national media, TSCC lives to regret its wish when the New York Times runs an unflattering article on Mormon temple garments, in particular women’s issues with the garments, such as discomfort and lack of hygiene. Both sides are equally horrified by the article, with Mormons horrified that “the world” is openly discussing their holy Hanes and non-Mormons horrified that any group of men, anywhere, would have collectively decided *that* was what they wanted their wives to wear to bed.
Concerned by the number of r
evenue producing tithe payers cherished brothers and sisters dying from Covid, TSCC issues yet another statement in August strongly urging members to get vaccinated, with Dr. Prophet Nelson even calling the vaccine the miracle he had been praying for last year. TBMs — who love to recount the story of the boy who dumped the girl over wearing two sets of earrings — suddenly turn all Barbossa and decide prophetic counsel is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.
In a rousing talk at BYU, Holland sets off a firestorm of controversy when he issues a call for more “musket fire” to defend BYU against its enemies, namely the LGBT community.
Three years after excommunicating Sam Young for demanding better protection against sexual abuse within the church, TSCC is forced to pay $250 million to settle sexual abuse claims filed against the Boy Scouts of America by victims abused in the scouting program during the time TSCC was BSA’s leading sponsor. After years of sneering at other organizations (hello Catholic church) for covering up sexual abuse within its ranks, TBMs courageously deal with the issue of sexual abuse within their own church by playing the victim, deflecting blame, minimizing the issue, and hoping it will all just go away.
After changing (but not really changing) the overt LGBT discrimination in its honor code last year to appease the Big 12 conference, BYU announces it has now been accepted into the Big 12. “We are thrilled to join the Big 12,” said Pres. Newsroom, “and delighted that it only cost us our integrity to finally gain a coveted spot in a P-5 conference, because once our integrity was gone we were willing to give up a whole lot more. Like, A LOT more.”
At October general conference, Renlund pleads with members to shut up and get vaccinated already because anti-vaxxers are seriously jeopardizing TSCC’s “crazy church” normalization strategy by driving the church in a whole different direction of crazy.
Speaking of crazy . . . three years after Nelson began his scorched-earth campaign against the word Mormon, Anderson uses his conference address to try to justify the previous “I’m a Mormon” campaigns and the current “We are NOT Mormon” campaigns as both having been inspired by God, who apparently is off his Adderall again.
In November, 70 missionaries are robbed during a zone conference at a church in Torreon, Mexico, with thieves taking the missionaries’ watches, wallets, phones, and tablets and even taunting the missionaries during the robbery. A visibly upset Elder Holland raged at the missionaries’ weak response, accused them of lacking a fighting spirit, and directed the missionary department to immediately begin issuing AR-15s to all new missionaries so they could settle the score.
In a direct response to the embarrassments from earlier this year, TSCC updates the church handbook and condemns online threats and bullying, even when attempting to defend the church or its doctrine. The handbook statement implicates both DezNat and Fairmormon’s past behavior, leaving one to wonder whether any so-called defenders of the church actually understand and follow the teachings of the church they are so desperate to defend?
And finally, exmos get a very Merry Christmas indeed when, five days before Christmas, Jeff Green, a billionaire CEO from Utah, publicly resigns from the church and issues a statement criticizing TSCC for impeding progress on civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT equality. Green underscores his resignation with a $600,000 donation to Equality Utah, with half the money earmarked to help LGBT students escape BYU to attend another university. Pres. Newsroom said the church was absolutely shocked by the news — not by Green’s resignation, but that someone would donate money to a worthy cause rather than buy a luxury hotel or shopping mall with the money, as Jesus would want.
 the reddit post has been lightly edited to make it shorter. The original was even longer, and can be read here in its original form.
Bishop Bill, I don’t think that most of your readers are followers of reddit. I had to search for a while on that forum to figure out what TSCC represented. I found the following:
TSCC = The so-called Church
Haha as close to THE ONION as we’re gonna get (tho John Charity is right there). Speaking personally: I love my (fantastically wealthy) little church but am reasonably sure Nephites never existed. Many years ago I wrote a letter to Sonia Johnson, whose “From Housewife to Heretic” I admired. In her reply she encouraged me, regarding my relationship w/ said Church, to “enjoy the ambiguity.” I can’t help but regard those words as a bit prophetic.
FYI CacheM I’m a HUGE Reddit fan, but don’t do the Mormon thread.
Wheat & Tares continues to be the most readable and relevant of the bloggernacle blogs. FWIW, y’all have plenty of fans at r/mormon
LMAO – and I don’t usually do or understand most acronyms. Love everything about this and will go find the Reddit version.
President Nelson was not an expert in infectious diseases. He was a heart surgeon. He should be the first to point out that heart disease kills more people than Covid-19, and should leave the virus to experts in that field.
a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement – such as “He should be the first to point out that heart disease kills more people than Covid-19”
Here, I’ll edit it a little more.
The year 2021 was tough all around, for both the Church and its members. On the positive side, LDS leaders gave direct encouragement to members to get vaccinated and, at year end, finally directed the membership in no uncertain terms to stop online bullying, name-calling, ridicule, and similar tactics and behavior. On the negative side, most of the membership continues to embrace political polarization and associated ugly rhetoric and behavior (prompting the year-end message — let’s see if it changes anything). BYU and the Church continue to struggle to formulate and implement coherent and compassionate policies about gay marriage and LGBT issues, a task that most other institutions and businesses seem to handle in a fairly straightforward fashion. Here’s hoping for a better year of 2022.
I really hate the TSCC acronym. I also hate that so much of this post rings true and is funny as hell.
Brilliant. But disappointing that so much rings true.
The best / worst part of this is that some of the Pres Newsroom quotes are real and some are fake but sometimes it’s really hard to tell. And that’s quite something when you can’t even tell the difference between parody and reality.
I don’t know if the author has done these for previous years but it feels like 2021 was a rough year for the Church. I mean, it was a rough year for everybody everywhere, but this seems like one of the worst Church years since 2015. (Tail end of 2020 with the Ensign Peak bombshell didn’t get it off to a great start. And overall 2020 totally sucked too with an absurd April conference IMO. And 2018 was bad too. Ok I’ll stop. I guess it’s clear that I’m not a fan of the Nelson dynasty.)
Very interesting and insightful to see the Church’s biggest challenges/gaffes in summary. In many ways, the Church is so ripe for criticism because of its refusal/slow moves to improve or advance doctrines contemporaneous with its insistence on being led by literal God. And yet it is not all bad, as mentioned in earlier comments there were some positive things that came out as well. But when you claim to be God’s one true church, you get very little margin for error.
Agreed Ivy. Pres Nelson should stay in his own lane and leave comments on the virus to experts like Joe Rogan and Aaron Rogers. (Not to mention his comments on evolution, I mean, what could a heart surgeon possibly know about that subject?)
This is both hilarious and sad. Sad in that it is far more true than any of us like. It is just so hard to see the church that I still love go down in flames. Well, yes, I no longer attend, but it is sort of like the wife of an abusive man who finally leaves even though she still loves the jerk. Someone once asked a famous comedian (it was Bennet Surf, not that anyone hear will remember him) what was the difference between tragedy and comedy. He replied, “Comedy is when the fat man falls down the stairs. Tragedy is when he is dead at the bottom.” Yeah, I think we are reaching the point where the fat man is dead.
And Ivy seems to forget that before President Nelson specialized in heart medicine, he got a doctorate in general medicine and probably had lots and lots classes in infectious diseases. So, I can guarantee that he knows more about the subject than she does, so really she is the one who needs to stay in her lane. And I am sure that if the church needed a lecture in taking care of their hearts as the most pressing issue, he would comment. But it wasn’t 70% of the church voting for someone advocating a diet of straight butter, but 70% of the church voted for someone pretending that Covid was a democratic conspiracy.
“ President Nelson specialized in heart medicine, he got a doctorate in general medicine and probably had lots and lots classes in infectious diseases.”
While I don’t necessarily agree with Pres Nelson on other things—I am very thankful he is Church President during this challenging time of the Covid pandemic. I doubt other leaders would’ve cancelled in-person church meetings or encouraged people to get vaccinated and take other precautions.
@Lois All of the mainline Protestant churches in our area like the Methodist and Presbyterian churches seemed to have been able to figure out cancelling in-person church and encouraging vaccinations without either an MD degree or a revelation from God. They just applied common sense and enough humility to listen to real infectious disease scientists. And they do online church services 10x better than any online LDS service I’ve seen, so they seem more inspired in that department. But I do agree that it is entirely possible that if some other members of the Q15 (e.g. Bednar) had been in charge, the LDS church leadership might not have been willing to do even the modest things RMN has done.
The prevalence of the anti-vaxx world view of members like Ivy poisoned any trust I once had in the basic decency and common sense of the average LDS member at the beginning of the pandemic One reason that I no longer attend LDS services is I don’t trust most LDS members to value the health of others over their pet theories. I have also come to believe that the many anti-intellectual statements by various Q15 members over the past four decades has provided fertile ground for attracting people who think like Ivy, making them the majority of church members. I really don’t find that a spiritually uplifting environment.
Additional item for April-
CES celebrity Hank Smith somehow avoids cancellation despite comparing a gay student to an anti-Christ character from the Book of Mormon.
The OP let Elder Holland off too easily. To me, his talk to the BYU staff was excruciatingly problematic. He exhibited a lack of understanding of how a legitimate university should function. He used unnecessarily violent rhetoric. He doubled down on the Church’s LGBTQ+ discriminatory practices. And unnecessarily trashed an extremely bright BYU student (and his advisors). Holland’s talk was a sad day for BYU and the Church. We expected so much from the Apostle.
One irony of 2021 involved Sister Eubanks. While the Apostles were hobnobbing in England and Dubai, she was visiting a refugee camp in Syria. Eubanks clearly understands Christ’s message. The Q15, not so much. We need more women leaders in the. Church. Thx Sister Eubanks for your caring.
This really took me back to reading Dave Barry year in reviews when I was younger. Good times!
The theme here seems to be that members of the Church are cuckoo bananas and cannot be trusted to behave in civilized ways.
To wit, members of the church in the past year (1) participated in the Jan 6 insurrection on our Nation’s capital; (2) make fun of a sitting president’s slight speech impediment; (3) send their kids to school in masks that say “masks don’t work” making their kids pawns in their misunderstanding of epidemiology; (4) refuse to follow health protocols cuz government; (4) create violent memes involving people they don’t like (here’s looking at you Kwaku); (5) can somehow only see love in a talk involving the words “take up your musket”; (6) think a rainy day fund should have a few extra zeros on the end of it and find wealth hoarding to be much ado about nothing; (7) play the victim card when asked to stay home from church during a pandemic; (8) do not believe that black lives matter and have cancelled James Jones work on teaching members about the black perspective simply because Brother Jones didn’t like Elder Holland’s talk; and (10) have started comparing everyone they dislike to Korihor on social media.
And the organization wonders why I won’t share the gospel with my friends and neighbors.