I have little to no interest in seeing most movies in the theater, but I really wanted to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie after waiting a few weeks for it to be less crowded, and not just because its financial success increases the likelihood of a The Legend of Zelda Movie down the line. And it has had a great deal of financial success even without my help. At the very beginning, far-right commentators accused it of being "woke" because Princess Peach is a strong female character and wears pants in one scene - never mind that she's been a playable character in many games and I always play as her in Super Mario 2 because I've found her jumping/hovering ability more useful than Toad's speed, Mario's well-roundedness, or Luigi's talent for running off the edges of platforms and dying - but as soon as it started to break box office records they decided that was because it's actually "anti-woke." I guess they didn't notice the scene where a character dresses in drag. Critics, who are often very out of touch with what normal people enjoy watching, have complained that the movie doesn't break new ground. I actually don't think most children's movies need to have life-altering plot twists. It's just a fun adventure with fun characters and a lot of shameless fanservice. That's all I wanted and all I thought it would be.
Now, yes, let's talk about a The Legend of Zelda movie. It needs to happen. It needs to be a little more mature, a little more complex, a little more critic-pleasing, but still retain some of the goofiness. And Link should't talk. And Zelda should be at least as woke as Peach. And those are my only requirements. So I guess I don't have much to talk about.
I saw The Super Mario Bros. Movie with a friend, and then I invited her to a free dinner put on by the Cache Valley Unitarian Universalists, and they talked about the stuff they do there and she expressed regret that she hasn't been involved with them during the past year when she had so much free time and now she's moving in a couple months. So without even trying, I had more missionary success that night than in all my years as a Mormon. The appeal of Unitarian Universalism is exactly what I didn't like about it when I was a Mormon. It's very secular in nature, doesn't tell people what to believe and doesn't talk about God or the supernatural or the afterlife much at all. This means that even an agnostic like my friend can be comfortable participating. It also means a bigger focus on environmentalism and social justice than many churches have. While many churches do a lot of good in the world, the belief that God will fix everything, in fact the belief that the world has to get worse so God can fix everything, often diverts their priorities elsewhere. I hope this life isn't all we get, but I think there's something to be said for living as if it is. That perspective makes me more eager to assuage others' suffering. It makes me a lot less patient with Republicans fighting against human rights and humanitarian aid in the name of their cruel and petty god.
In case anyone was wondering, I switched my website to Dark Mode because my friend Marie whined about straining her eyes while reading Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars. It will take some getting used to but I think it's better for the environment or something so I'll probably keep it.
Addendum to my observation that young Latter-day Saints have become more chill about swearing: On Thursday I went to a game night where at least three people who weren't the same as the people at the fire said "Shit" and/or "Damn it" when the Exploding Kittens weren't in their favor. No one acted scandalized and no one apologized. Last night I attended the Logan YSA 7th Stake talent show. A woman did a humorous monologue and mentioned that she was "covered in shit all day" in her job as a nurse. She apologized to the stake president and bishops but argued that it was fine because it wasn't Sunday and we weren't in the chapel. Then she immediately described one of her patients as "a crazy-ass lady" and didn't apologize for that one. She was my second choice in the vote for the winners. None of my choices won anything, just like in a real election.
I finally made some small tangible impact on the world this week when I played a small part in taking down the Missouri Attorney General's Transgender Center Concerns online form. Honestly, he should have seen the deluge of fake spam complaints coming a mile away. A lot of people filed complaints about Republican politicians' wives or the Catholic priests who wear dresses and groom children. I made up a story about my little brother wearing a dress and then becoming a Marxist lesbian who wants to teach critical race theory. And it got pretty weird and crass after that so I'll leave it to your imagination. The person reading the entries probably didn't bother to read mine after he saw that my name was Ron DeSantis, though, so I should have thought that through a little better.
Yesterday I also went for a walk with my neighbor and his puppy Gizmo. I help take care of Gizmo while my neighbor is at work at least twice a week. He's a real hassle, gets on my nerves constantly, but of course I wuv him.
But anyway, I went for a walk with him and my neighbor, and as we neared the end my neighbor asked, "You're LDS, aren't you?" Not gonna lie, that was a pretty embarrassing thing to be asked by a Black person, because, you know, the entirety of the LDS Church's history with Black people. I said I used to be but I left the church last year. He was curious why. I didn't know how much he would even understand as an outsider. To summarize it I said, "A lot of stuff that built up over the years.... Stuff in the church's history that made me think it isn't what it claims to be, and its positions on social issues. It discriminated against Black people for a long time, it's been really sexist, and it's against gay rights." If I'd had more time to think I would have phrased my response a little differently because in fairness, within the second half of my short lifetime the LDS Church has started supporting most gay rights except marriage. It's come a long way since Dallin H. Oaks proposed that gay people should be barred from any form of employment where children could see them as role models.
He asked if I'd ever been baptized and when. I said when I was eight, which is standard for children born into the LDS Church. He was amazed at how young that was so I explained how the church teaches that eight is the age of accountability when children understand right and wrong enough to sin, and if they die before then, they automatically go to heaven. He thought that was nice. He said he wanted to get baptized soon, probably into the Baptists, "Because I, too, am a God-fearing man." I said I didn't know what to believe, and I'd stayed in the LDS Church longer than I should have, because I'd felt spiritual feelings and I was told that they were the Holy Ghost telling me that specific religion is true, and then I saw a video of people in all different religions apparently getting identical feelings and asserting with just as much confidence that their religions were true, so now I wonder if they're all just delusions. He said he thinks all religions are just people's best efforts to reach God and that they can all experience God in their own way. That's a nice thought. "I believe everything happens for a reason," he said.
Afterward I realized he seems to know almost nothing about the LDS Church, so my answer probably didn't mean as much to him as to someone who does. He didn't seem to realize that the LDS Church isn't just another denomination, that it claims to be the one true church restored by Joseph Smith and led by prophets who speak for God. The Baptists have certainly had their own problems with racism, but those are easier to forgive because they don't make such lofty claims. And it's harder to falsify their entire religion by pinpointing a historical event that didn't happen the way they say it did. The LDS Church's historical problems are so damning that it's now teaching the youth this crap in seminary:
There's a sneaky conflation of terms here. Of course some, even most historical details are insignificant. But without others, the so-called Restoration completely falls apart. The term "Restoration" itself is a historical claim. Allegedly Joseph Smith restored Jesus Christ's original church. Either that happened or it didn't. Likewise, either he saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father in the woods or he didn't, either he translated the Book of Mormon or he didn't, either he received the priesthood from heavenly messengers or he didn't, either he received the temple ceremonies by revelation or he didn't, and so on. Without these historical details, the covenants, ordinances, and doctrine are completely bogus. And the historical details of social issues play into this too. When prophets are on the wrong side of slavery, civil rights, feminism, and gay rights, that's a pretty good indication that they're not nearly as in tune with the mind and will of the Lord as they claim to be, and that the covenants, ordinances, and doctrine that come through them should consequently be treated with greater skepticism. Especially since their views on slavery, civil rights, feminism, and gay rights were doctrine until suddenly they weren't.
My neighbor is hardly alone in believing that everything happens for a reason. Life is less frightening that way. But even when I believed God was far more hands-on with his creations than I believe now, I didn't share that sentiment. How could I? In four separate incidents in the last week or so, a teenage boy, two college cheerleaders, a little girl and her parents, and a very young woman were shot by psychopaths for making simple and entirely harmless mistakes. All these shootings happened in the United States, but you already knew that. Miraculously, all of these people except for the very young woman survived. I say "miraculously" because it's a normal and appropriate figure of speech, but I don't believe any real miracles occurred at all. I think most of them got lucky and Kaylin Gillis didn't. I don't see how I could accept a God who intervened to save the others but got to Kaylin Gillis and said, "I'm sorry, I have a very important and immutable divine plan that desperately requires you to die at age twenty. This piece of shit was foreordained to shoot you and if he hadn't, I would have arranged an accident anyway. Fuck your parents, fuck your younger sisters, fuck your long-term boyfriend who wanted to spend the rest of his life with you and nobody else."
Which brings me to another issue that first occurred to me years ago when I read about an LDS woman whose boyfriend was killed in a mass shooting. It was in the United States, but you already knew that. Anyway, the LDS Church teaches that the Atonement of Jesus Christ will make everything right in the next life and fix every injustice. And that's a beautiful thing to believe. But I don't see how it could fix everything for Kaylin Gillis and her boyfriend. They wanted to be together. But Kevin Monahan took away their agency to make that choice. Agency is one of the most important things in the LDS paradigm, so why does God let people take other people's away? Why does Kevin Monahan's agency trump theirs? Now Kaylin Gillis' boyfriend could stay alone for the rest of his life and then be reunited with her in the afterlife and still be with her for eternity. But if at any point he does marry someone else, then she has to either find someone else too or join them as a polygamous wife. And actually, because of deaths and remarriages I don't see a way around the polygamy problem for eternal marriage in general, although the LDS Church could make it not sexist by letting women be sealed to multiple husbands too. In any case, their eternal destinies have been altered in a way that the Atonement may not be able to reverse.
The other most famous of these shootings, Andrew Lester vs. Ralph Yarl, is of course making waves for the racial component. Without knowing anything except that an elderly white man shot a Black teenager in the head for ringing his doorbell, I would have bet the lives of everyone I care about that the elderly white man voted for Donald Trump, but it's even better than that. According to his relatives, he's a full-blown Fox News junkie, anti-vaxxer, Stop the Steal, the whole shebang. So of course he's afraid of everything. Of course when he hears the doorbell ring his first thought is to grab his gun. Of course he's going to think that the Black person who just rang his fucking doorbell is trying to break in. Of course he's going to be scared of the size of the Black person who's shorter than me and weighs the same. This isn't me reading his mind, by the way, these are all things he told the police. Look, I've tried really really hard to be politically nuanced and avoid polarization, and I'm not saying progressives are perfect or anything, but the right-wing movement in this country is a fucking cancer. It just is. And either the movement or the country is going to die.
Last night some of my neighbors held the first bonfire of the year, and several people gathered around it and ignored the big patch of snow right next to us, and I stayed up late and I'm suffering for it today but friendship is important. I was actually about to leave when they started talking about LDS stuff in a way that piqued my interest. Usually I zone out when LDS people talk about LDS stuff, but this started with two guys joking that they marry each other to save money on housing, and they said they were sure the church would be cool with it. Then this girl Mia that I apparently had an institute class with but didn't remember said the church used to do "adoption" sealings of random non-related people to each other, and stopped around the same time it stopped polygamy. The guys said that was cool. She said the church used to do a lot of cool stuff, like for example, it used to let women give blessings as midwives until Brigham Young said they should stop.
I didn't think it was the time or place to get on my feminist soapbox, but integrity demanded that I go on the record as dissenting from any real or perceived implication that this or any of the church's restrictions on women's autonomy might have even possibly had anything to do with God, so I said, in a voice that I hoped was loud enough for her and nobody else to hear, "What a dick."
She responded in a much louder voice, "You ain't wrong, though!"
One of the most liberating parts of leaving the LDS Church is being able to acknowledge that Brigham Young was an asshole instead of having to try to rationalize that he was just a "complicated person." He did have his redeeming qualities, but he was an asshole. I was surprised and elated to hear this response from a member, though now that I think of it, I don't know for a fact that she's still a member. She did mention that she hasn't taken an institute class in a long time. Hmm.
Then someone probably said something else, and she said that Brigham Young was racist. And someone else gave the ubiquitous and only possible apologetic defense: "Everyone was racist back then." Because it's not fair to hold people who claim to speak for God to a higher standard than anyone else because reasons.
I would have said something, but Mia beat me to it. "He was exceptionally racist," she said. And that's an objectively true statement. Many of his contemporaries opposed slavery while he preached that it was ordained of God and pushed Utah to be the only Western US state or territory that legalized it, and very few of them taught, as he did, that God wanted mixed-race couples and their children put to death. God had no shortage of less racist men (or women) to choose from. Now the LDS Church wants to excuse all of his and other past prophets' faults with the "men of their time" card while simultaneously presenting the current prophet as such a paragon of virtue that we should emulate everything he does, such as the way he recycles plastic bottles. Make it make sense.
Someone else asked if Brigham Young is the thing that stops people from joining the church, and someone else said pretty much. I would actually hazard a guess that Joseph Smith stops even more people from joining the church. He's the one that missionaries teach people about, and then all those people have to do is Google him and find all the stuff that the missionaries didn't tell them and probably don't even know and be like, "Nope."
Then Mia or someone else mentioned Brigham's teaching of blood atonement, and this one guy who had either converted or returned to activity as an adult asked what that was, and someone explained it to him, that it's the idea that some sins aren't covered by the Atonement of Jesus Christ so some people need to be killed to be forgiven. And the convert guy was disturbed by that and he asked, "Then how could he be a prophet?" I don't know if he was on the cusp of a sudden faith crisis or just wondering. He was, of course, on the cusp of the obvious answer, which is "He wasn't." Not because prophets need to be perfect, but because they need to be good and they need to not say a bunch of stupid crap in God's name that will force their church to run damage control for centuries to come.
But of course someone responded by saying in a Batman voice, "He's not the prophet we deserved, but the prophet we needed." So they sidestepped the issue with humor and moved on to other things. Ah well. It was a fascinating couple minutes nonetheless. It's hard to say with any given Latter-day Saint if they're perfectly familiar with the church's controversial issues or if they'll go to pieces on hearing about them for the first time. With this little group, it seems like the church's innoculation efforts are working. They know what Brigham Young was really like and they manage to work it into their worldview even though it makes no sense.
Of course, I've also noticed that in the little over a decade since I've moved to Utah, mainstream Latter-day Saints in their twenties have become less uptight about multiple piercings, "immodest" clothing, shopping on Sundays, R-rated movies, and swearing. Almost every person in this group swore at some point during the evening and only one, the military guy who swore the worst and the most often, felt compelled to apologize. I swore thrice, twice while paraphrasing someone else who just swore and once while quoting Jeff Dunham's puppet Walter. I don't like how often I swear in general, but I have no intention of quitting entirely because they're just words. The whole concept of having words that no one should ever say is stupid beyond belief. Anyway, my point is that people who haven't left the church and haven't doubled down into QAnon-level stupidity are becoming more and more nuanced, and I'm not sure if that's a victory for the church or not. Its independent scholars and apologists go on about the importance of nuance, but its leaders, as anyone can see from the most recent conference, are going in the opposite direction. They don't want nuanced members. They want members who believe and obey them without question even when they contradict each other or simply make no sense. But they're in no position to be picky these days.
And honestly, the leaders are right in the sense that the LDS Church's truth claims are fundamentally incompatible with nuance. The Book of Mormon itself doubles down on the literal historicity of biblical myths that didn't happen (the Garden of Eden, Noah's flood, and the tower of Babel). The prophets are supposed to be the mouthpieces of God that we're supposed to trust and follow at all times, not violent, racist lunatics who can't tell the difference between God's truth and their own delusions. As soon as you adopt a nuanced approach to just about anything in the LDS Church, you're believing in a different religion than the one it teaches. And that's fair enough. I believe in people's right to believe whatever they want, and in most religions, picking and choosing what to believe is the norm. But the LDS Church explicitly tells you not to do that. I wonder how many of the people there last night have begun the process of, like me, nuancing their testimonies out of existence.
This Easter I find myself in roughly the same spot I was at last Christmas, being agnostic about Jesus but wanting to believe in Jesus because certain interpretations of the concept of Jesus are wholesome and beautiful. No need to rehash all that again. I went to my old LDS congregation to hear some friends sing. To my delight, the service focused on Jesus, not Joseph Smith or Russell Nelson. One beautiful person spoke between the musical numbers and she gave a mostly beautiful talk about Jesus and I ached with desire to believe most of what she was saying. She didn't mention how Jesus in the Book of Mormon celebrated Easter by annihilating seventeen cities, though, and I can do without that. She surprised me with a joke about how the world she makes (after becoming a literal and not just figurative goddess) will be fall all the time and only have snow in the mountains. It's been probably fifteen years or more since I heard an LDS person joke about creating his own planet - he said he would make it full of ski resorts - and in the intervening time the church has claimed that "few Latter-day Saints would identify with caricatures of having their own planet," but I guess she missed that memo.
Apparently Latter-day Saints celebrate Holy Week now too, despite most of them knowing little or nothing about it. I believe it was a year ago in General Conference when for the first time I heard two apostles acknowledge Good Friday as if it was something that we were all familiar with. It felt disingenuous. From what I've heard about last weekend's conference, they've ramped the Holy Week talk way up and it still feels disingenuous. Instead of saying "Hey, we've received further light and knowledge and decided that we should start celebrating Holy Week" - which I would respect even though I wouldn't believe for a moment that revelation had anything to do with it - they're acting like they've always celebrated it. I don't know why the church is allergic to transparency even when it has nothing to lose. In five to ten years Latter-day Saints will be overtly gaslighting everyone else that they have always celebrated it.
Here, on that note, is a recent post from the mormon subreddit:
I'm Anglican. Grew up Mormon and all of my circles are basically either Mormon or exmormon. Anyways, the past year or two it seems like they've been having a heavy emphasis on holy week. Like, in conference there was a lot of references to palm Sunday. Nothing in a more traditional sense, but there was at least acknowledgement of holy week.
I have no trouble believing that because it's the same dismissive attitude with which I usually heard other denominations discussed while growing up in the LDS Church. (And it incidentally brings me back around to why I felt the speaker's talk today was mostly beautiful, because she made a comment that there's other religions but only this gospel provides the most healing, and unless she's experienced all those other religions for herself she simply does not know that. To be clear, I think the world of her and I don't think she has an unkind bone in her body, but the Mormon superiority complex has probably infected her from childhood.)
The second and probably final trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny dropped the other day and it looks really great because again, even if the plot is trash - and the bar for plot isn't very high on these movies to begin with - it will be a thrill ride and a visual feast and a therapeutic display of Nazis getting what they deserve (aka death). I'm not going to bother with another full-length analysis but I will say it looks like Marion is dead or divorced, which sucks. Indy just can't catch a break.
Speaking of the 1960s, I also watched a documentary on USU campus the other day about a little-known riot by transgender women and drag queens against police harassment in 1966. I find LGBT history fascinating because this is a demographic that has not only been oppressed but has often been forced to hide its very existence, and it's interesting to study how LGBT people through the decades have conceptualized themselves and how they've adapted and carved out their lives in a world that would wipe them out if it could. Ah, how little has changed. And this history has only convinced me further that everything the LDS Church (and in fairness, a lot of churches) teaches about LGBT people is wrong. Its tagline now is "We love LGBT people but..." and yet this supposed love was nowhere to be seen when LGBT people cried out for their right to literally just exist. When they agitated for freedom from police harassment and discrimination in housing and employment, the LDS Church didn't support them one iota or indeed even acknowledge them any more than it had to, and then, of course, only to preach against their wicked lifestyles. However, the documentary interviews a Methodist minister who did minister to the transgender and drag community with love in the 1960s and support its demands for human dignity, so that was really cool. I recommend this obscure slice of history to everyone.
This weekend, for the first time in my life, I did not watch the LDS General Conference. Last time I found excuses to watch it because I desperately wanted to maintain some kind of connection to the LDS Church so I didn't feel that my heritage and my years of devotion to it were a waste, but now I'm ready to move on. Kind of. I followed the liberal and ex-member social media commentary on the Saturday sessions before losing interest on the Sunday sessions. Granted, they bring a certain bias, but it doesn't seem like I missed much. Some of the messages are downright toxic - it causes me some anxiety that my nieces will be taught them - and I think I can find the good ones elsewhere. And of course Russell Nelson announced fifteen completely unnecessary temples for random locations that lack the membership to support them, and of course nearly every other speaker worshiped him. Pass. Still, periodically I can't help worrying just a little bit that I may have missed out on a spiritual feast, like when I text a member friend to talk about it and she keeps saying she fell asleep or wasn't really paying attention, or when I see how absolutely riveted the live audience was by their prophets, seers and revelators.
I did, however, go to a fireside last Sunday in the hope that someone I needed to talk to would be there, which they weren't. I had dinner with friends and tagged along with them at the last minute after they mentioned it. First surprise: the speaker was Jacob Hess. I am not a big fan of Jacob Hess. He's a proponent of mixed-orientation marriages for gay LDS Church members as an alternative to lifelong celibacy, and though he means well, that's just awful for everyone involved. His guest appearance at my institute class last year was the final nail in the coffin of my efforts to accept the LDS Church's position on LGBTQ stuff. He handed out a handout of quotes from mostly non-LDS thinkers to support the church's position - because almost all the men articulating this position have to support it is "God said so" - and it just made me decide that the position was unsupportable. A Catholic quote about how sexual orientation and gender identity aren't essential to our eternal identities made little sense in an LDS context where eternal marriage, procreation, and gender roles are supposedly at the core of God's eternal plan for all of us, and a Buddhist quote along similar lines was unhelpful because Buddhism teaches that we don't even have eternal identities because consciousness is an illusion.
Second surprise: the topic was "Mindfulness and Sexuality." I thought of leaving, but I could use a lot more mindfulness so I gave it a chance. And that aspect of the talk was really good and I had no complaints. Even the sexuality aspect wasn't so bad because he didn't talk much about sex per se. He talked about how romance in the last few generations has been blown out of proportion to be regarded as the most important thing ever that will complete us and fix all our problems and make us happy all the time. He gave a similar spiel in my institute class. At that time, he was clearly trying to downplay the significance of gay people's desire for fulfilling romantic relationships. But now he was applying it more evenly. On the one hand, I think this is true and useful counsel in general - albeit hypocritical coming from a speaker for a church that teaches marriage is the most important thing in this world and the next - but on the other hand, I don't know that it applies to me. I'm asexual and very ambivalent about marriage. If I'm going to make the seemingly astronomical sacrifices that it would require of me, then yes, I expect the other person in the equation to knock my socks off. I don't expect perfection by any means, but nor am I interested in finding just anyone to marry for the sake of being married. I realize I'm not such a catch myself, but if I'm not wanted by anybody I want - as has consistently been the case thus far - I'd rather stay alone than loosen my criteria.
Of course he also talked about the LGBTQ stuff and I still disagreed with him. He shared some quotes from Ty Mansfield and a few other gay and lesbian people who haven't left the LDS Church yet - the usual tactic to reassure straight members that everything is fine and they don't need to experience cognitive dissonances over this issue. For every person he quoted, I could think of a dozen others I'd read about or known personally who left the church because it made them miserable or worse. And that's why I believe the church is wrong. You simply cannot convince me that this pain is the will of a loving God. He also alluded to the recent controversy over Jeffrey Holland being Southern Utah University's commencement speaker despite his call for BYU faculty to defend the church's anti-LGBTQ doctrines with metaphorical "musket fire," and the Deseret News op-ed he co-wrote about why Holland shouldn't be canceled. He put a picture of the First Presidency on the screen and said, "You have to try really hard to make them the bad guys." Cue laughter. Yes, hilarious. Look, I'm not saying they're supervillains or anything, but this was a weird thing to say a month after the Securities Exchange Commission fined the LDS Church $5 million for several years of being dishonest and breaking the law with the First Presidency's approval. And Nelson and Oaks have lied publicly on other occasions. So, you know, they're demonstrably not the paragons of virtue that Jacob Hess meant to imply.
During the Q&A session, someone asked about how to befriend and love gay people without condoning choices that go against our beliefs. Such questions always kind of annoy me because I'm not in the business of condoning anyone's relationships, gay or straight. People are not lining up to ask for my approval of their choices of romantic partners. I've only gotten into it on those rare occasions when I could see that a friend was dating an abuser. Sometimes I check back on one friend to make sure she hasn't gotten back with him again. Well, I liked Jacob Hess's response, specifically how he broadened it. He said we need to rediscover the concept that being friends with people and loving people doesn't mean agreeing with them on everything. He said he's friends with gay people, atheists, Marxists, and evangelicals who are afraid for his soul, and he has lunch with them and stuff and they still disagree but it's fine. He said we should talk to people and listen to their perspectives and why they see the world how they do without trying to change their minds.
Ah, I wish I could exemplify that noble principle. I used to be very conservative. I know what it's like to be very conservative. I want to be politically nuanced. I don't want to be part of the problem of political polarization and extremism in the US. I don't want to believe that most conservatives are truly awful people - and yet how can I not, when I can see how they behave and what they're doing to this country with my own eyes? It seems that for every person driven by legitimate concerns about liberty and limited government, a dozen are driven by selfishness, bigotry, anti-intellectualism, and fear. Take their current mindless panic about transgender children and drag queens, for example, which besides being painfully stupid to watch is actively making a lot of people's lives worse. (The LDS Church's complete silence on this issue is just further proof to me that it isn't led by God.) The Republican Party was founded on noble principles. Now it's just a cancer hell-bent on dragging this country back to the 1950s.
Anyway, I survived the fireside. It could have been a lot worse. It could have been ten hours long like General Conference.
Edited to add:
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.