I collect two things: bookmarks and wacky, true sacrament meeting stories. The amateur historian in me insists that my accounts come from someone who was actually present when the event happened. But even with that stipulation, I’ve acquired a good collection of crazy stories. I’m sure all religions attract some quirky members with, ah, interesting ideas and approaches to speaking in church or praying or the like. I just particularly enjoy our own LDS brand of wackiness.
Take, for example, my most recent acquisition:
The bishopric appeared pleased that Sister Somewhat-less-active agreed to speak in sacrament meeting on her favorite topic, family history. But they must have been surprised when she announced, “I may not come to church much, but I’m d*!# good at family history.” She continued her talk, liberally sprinkled with the “nice” swear words, but the bishop turned white when one of her concluding statements was that she thinks “family history is bi#$@-in’.”
I don’t necessarily wish my young, impressionable children had been there for that, but you can be dang sure I’m adding it to my collection. I was in attendance at a fast and testimony meeting when a sister from South America bore her testimony about how disrespectful and immodest Americans are for allowing their children to wear pants to the primary program practice in the chapel. Apparently, it is a casual practice that would never happen in her home country. The testimony was long (10 or so minutes) and quite in-depth. The next sister to the pulpit announced that she “couldn’t agree more,” and bore her testimony about how too many women don’t wear pantyhose to church, a casual practice as disrespectful as wearing flip-flops. It was after that lengthy testimony that the bishop felt he needed to get up and explain that he wasn’t “one to know about women’s pantyhose,” but he was sure “we were all trying to be respectful and reverent in our buildings and will try harder.”
Well, at least no one fell asleep that day.
I could tell many more stories. I could tell you about the man who brought a glossy, 8 x 10 photo of his new car so he could visually demonstrate that his car is worth “$72,000. Yes, that’s right: $72,000!” Apparently, the $72,000 car helps demonstrate that the atonement is “priceless.” Or I could tell about the closing prayer in which a sister prayed that “we can solve the mystery of the missing David Jones,” a man later discovered to have ditched his family and headed to California. [By the way, I changed the name in that one, but the rest is absolutely true.]
Perhaps my all-time favorite is the elderly sister who bore her testimony on fast Sunday about how wonderful all the ward members had been during her husband’s recent “scrotum surgery.” People had brought meals and sent cards, showing true charity in the recovery after the scrotum surgery. Truly, she had seen the goodness of God because of her husband’s scrotum surgery. She sat down and her husband marched in a stiff gait to the pulpit. He leaned in close and announced loudly, “It was my sternum,” then marched back to his seat.
I love my stories, but some are getting old. Can you add to my repertoire? Remember: firsthand knowledge of the story. If you don’t want to add to my sacrament meeting story collection, you could always send me a bookmark.