Zelophehad’s Daughters

Build Your Own Sacrament Meeting Talk Analogy

Posted by Melyngoch

Welcome to our new game, Build Your Own Sacrament Meeting Talk Analogy, where we give you the vignette, and you make the analogy. There are no rules, except the regular blogging ones, but the winner gets Kiskilili’s astrally projected soul speaking Ugaritik on their home answering machine or voicemail.

Here are three stories, situations, and scenarios for your first round. Pick one, two, or all, and give us a gospel analogy for the situation we describe. Aim for creative and unexpected readings of the situations; the more allegorical acrobatics you display, the better. Extra points if you write in your very best Sac-Meet-talk-style, e.g., phrases like “tender mercy” and extraneous use of “unto” are encouraged.

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1. Yesterday, Lady Amalthea and I hiked most of Timpanogos. Today, neither of us can walk very well, but I’m doing better than she is, given that she fell on a rock halfway down and sprained her ankle. Her injury meant that coming down the mountain took even longer than going up, since she was unimpressed by my suggestion that I just push her down the rest of the mountain to speed things up a little. (I mean, she was hurt anyway . . . ) It’s sad that she’s barely mobile, but unfortunately, I can’t stop making fun of her. This is ironic as well as mean, given that my post-hike hobbling is proving more efficient than hers, but not any more graceful.

What gospel application would you make? (Remember, you’ll only get minimal points for “This is an example of why we should be nicer to our gimpy friends,” but more if you can make this an illustration of the oath and covenant of the priesthood.)

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2. “Chthonophagia” refers to a disease or syndrome characterized by the compulsive consumption of dirt.  It comes from the Greek roots chthonos, “earth,” and  phagia, “eating.” It has roughly 10,500 hits on Google, and is attested in print at least as early as 1835, in The progressive dictionary of the English language. Despite all this, the word does not appear in the supposedly comprehensive, though often conservative, Oxford English Dictionary, which does include the words “bootylicious” and “LOL.”

What spiritual insight can you glean from this apparent lexicographical oversight?

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3. In the video game Dragon Age, the protagonist arrives at a temple looking for a dead prophet. There, you meet eight ghosts, who pose riddles about big moral and metaphysical concepts like envy, mercy, and justice; if you get them right, you find out the mortal identity of the ghost, but if you gets the riddle wrong, the ghost turns into a monster and pounces. The temple is further inhabited by ghosts from your past and by evil apparitions of you and your friends, all of whom you have to kill to to keep going. Eventually, to get through the whole thing, you have to take off all your clothes and walk through a wall of fire.

Is this about modesty, casting off the natural (wo)man, the philosophies of men, or maybe just a secret code for using the wholesome herbs of the earth and eating meat sparingly?

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19 Responses to “Build Your Own Sacrament Meeting Talk Analogy”

  1. 1.

    1. And thus we see that a woman [virgin] who has filled her lamp with slightly more oil than others can make fun of their lack even though she herself did not have enough oil to walk after hiking Timp.

    3. And thus we see that knowing all of the answers in Sunday School can prevent you from having to fight and face great monsters as well as your own evil twin(s). Also, if you know all of the Sunday School answers, you will never be in a situation where you have to revert to the natural woman (and dress immodestly) in order to walk through fire.

  2. 2.

    1. Similarly, we have to be prepared if we don’t want to suffer during the Second Coming. We also won’t ever be as strong without the Priesthood with us. Maybe a blessing or just pure muscle would have gotten us down the mountain faster.

    2. Although the OED likes to be seen as conservative, this is one of those examples of the last days, when things appear good but are really evil, e.g. ignoring the poor sufferers of chthonophagia but giving attention to the downfall of language as shown in the word “bootylicious” and the acronym “LOL.”

    3. Dragon Age can be compared to the temple, because as we all know, Brigham Young said that the temple is where you learn the keys you need to get past the sentinels of heaven. At the judgment our sins will be naked; we can’t hide behind them.

  3. 3.

    2. Brothers and sisters, I was assigned to speak to you today on the subject of chthonophagia, which consists of the noun chthOn and a nominal form of the verb phagein. Please open your scriptures with me to Revelation 2:20:

    Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication [porneusai], and to eat [phagein] things sacrificed unto idols.

    Note that “to commit fornication” and “to eat things sacrificed unto idols” are a hendiadys [“one through two”], the expression of one concept in two ways. We could render the two concepts together, something like “the adultery of eating food.” Sisters, when you go on your next diet, I want you to remember this passage, which teaches us that eating food is tantamount to adultery. Do not submit to that temptation! Do not eat that food! You must remain svelte for the righteous brethren of Zion.

    Now brethren, I have a word to say to you about this matter. Note that the root of the word rendered in the KJV “to fornicate” is, what? Yes, yes, you have it correct, it is PORN. The inspired writer foresaw the vast porn addiction of the brethren of the modern church in our day. Do not look at it! Cast if off from you! Keep it far from your home! Keep your computer in a common area of the house, where you will not be tempted beyond that which you can bear to engage in this scourge upon the brethren of the Church. When you go to 7/11 to purchase that Slurpee, do not even glance at that rack of magazines hidden behind the counter. Don’t do it! Honor your priesthood, brethren.

    Sisters, I am not done with you. In classical Greek, chthOn rarely means actual dirt, but rather the earth, land or country, or the world. Or, it could refer to Earth (as a goddess). So properly understood, chthonophagia does not refer to eating dirt, but to eating (the) Earth. Does this refer to eating earth-shaped cookies? Perhaps, perhaps. But I’m concerned, sisters, that there may be an allusion to goddess worship, equating Earth to our divine mother. Eating Earth in this sense is not authorized. Do not do it!

    The scriptures make these things plain, but I note that the godless Oxford English Dictionary does not even include the word chthonophagia within its pages. This is as a consequence of Satan seeking to encourage our sisters to overeat, our men to watch PORN, and permitting lesbian goddess worship. This simply will not do.

    I am therefore authorized to initiate a campaign to require the editors of the OED to frankly acknowledge this word and the evil it promotes. After the meeting, I will be organizing you into teams for the writing, assembling and mailing of letters to Oxford University to correct this great wrong.

    This is just another example of how we need to follow the inspired words of the prophets and not rely on godless lexicographers to warn of these evils.

  4. 4.

    2. In Joel, the following prophecy is made:

    And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

    Here, in the work of the OED editors, this prophecy is fulfilled. Clearly, they were familiar with the following exchange from the movie Steel Magnolias:

    Annelle: I think we should pray.
    Sammy: Oh, I’d rather eat dirt!

    The OED editors realized that if dirt eating were seen as an alternative to praying, then including it would be an affront to God. So, having dreamed dreams and seen visions, they wisely chose to leave chthonophagia out, rather than bring God’s wrath on themselves.

  5. 5.

    2. In the last days, truth will spring out of the earth, and the righteous will feast upon its words, as is represented by the word chthonophagia. However, the learned man (or woman), will take the truth to be hard. When the Book of Mormon, as symbolized by the word chthonophagia, is delivered to one that is learned, s/he will say, I cannot; for it is missing from my dictionary. However, the humble of the earth, who cannot even spell chthonophagia, will be saved by its truth.

  6. 6.

    make that, “I cannot read it”….you can sure tell that I fit into the “humble” category, not the “learned” group.

  7. 7.

    1. When we trust in the Lord, He will help us in our journey through life. We will be able to conquer all challenges that we face and will be able to help others do the same. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

    2. Clearly, man’s wisdom is not God’s wisdom. When we see that such a significant word was omitted from the Oxford English Dictionary, we realize that “man’s wisdom is foolishness to God.”

    3. Dragon Game is a metaphor about life, which is filled with adversity and temptations. The ghosts represent the wiles of Satan, who wants each of us to be as miserable as He is. As we figuratively cast off our wordly ways and put on the robes of righteousness, we become a new creature in Christ and are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

  8. 8.

    1. If you climb a mountain with a snake, she will try to push you off it.

  9. 9.

    “You knew what I was when you picked me up and invited me to climb the mountain with you.”

  10. 10.

    8,9, I was at squeaky clean Provo club where a touring band (yay Driftless Pony Club!) from Chicago was playing a couple weeks ago. During a pause for technical difficulties, one of the band members attempted to amuse the audience by recounting another incarnation of that fable (the scorpion and the frog). He seemed a little put out by no one being surprised by the ending. I was kinda hoping the crowd would holler the church video punchline and I could join in, but alas no.

  11. 11.

    #1.

    I notice that it was just you and your sister on the mountain. This story is a good example of all the bad things that can happen when women attempt to undertake a project without priesthood oversight. Don’t you think things would have turned out better if you had been accompanied by a group of 12 y.o. scouts/deacons?

  12. 12.

    (btw, how much snowpack is on the back of Timp this year, compared to previous years?)

  13. 13.

    I’ve been up Timp quite a few times before and this was easily the worst I’ve ever seen in regards to snow. There were about four or five major snowfields we had to cross – including a few with carvings where people had just slid on down – and though we only made it to the last basin, the trail up to the saddle was said to be the worst. From what I could see, the last switchback was almost entirely covered in snow.

    Also, in #11, I’m very glad you suggested that, as I understand that 12 year old boys make excellent walking sticks.

  14. 14.

    Lady Amalthea, thank you for confirming how much snow is on Timp. Some of the socialists and democrats in my ward are tring to claim that there is something going on called global climate change, but I know it’s just a lot of buncombe, and your report proves it.

    I have held the opinion for a long time, probably ever since I was in the boy scouts, that their first aid manual should be called First Aid and Last Rites, because if they administer the former, you will probably need the latter.

  15. 15.

    1) Thanks to the restored priesthood order given at the time of gospel fulfillment, we’ve been given the “Strength for Youth” pamphlet which informs us to treat our friends as we would like to be treated. It also informs us to pay attention. These two YW clearly did not look to the priesthood holders before them and listen to their leaders during the First Aid section of Girls Camp.

    2) The end is near as we are living in the last days. The scriptures warn us that at the time of the return of Jesus the world will be in turmoil. Casualness in the written language is another sign of prophesy fulfillment.

    3) If anyone understands what Dragon Age is about, they should again revisit the counsel to remove the world from our home. We are to live in the world but not of it. Violent video games, especially fantasy related, are a clear mockery of this counsel.

    I think I’m glad I haven’t been asked to speak yet–I already hate myself. And I second the name change to First Aid and Last Rites.

  16. 16.

    More on dragonage ;)

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/unskippable/3936-Dragon-Age-II

    That should somehow help.

  17. 17.

    Thanks for the video, Stephen. Even if it is for the inferior Dragon Age II. :P

  18. 18.

    I try to please, at least when not raiding with my WoW guild.

  19. 19.

    Hiking Timpanogos can represent a lot of things in one’s life. In this case, both of you tried to conquer the same obstacle. Just because you walked the same trail does not mean you understand her pain–we each have our own experience. You come from a different level of fitness because of your previous experiences.

    When it comes to living the gospel, it sometimes feels easy to judge others based on their perceived challenges and life path.

    When she got hurt, you had the choice to walk faster and go home–after all, going slow for her was not the most fun or easiest course of action. Pushing her down the mountain was a suggestion you made without fully understanding her pain or experience–if you had looked at it from her perspective, you wouldn’t have suggested that.

    You were both put in the same situation because of the use of your agency, having to climb a mountain, but you escaped in less pain through caution. On the other hand, she did not. We should not mock or judge those among us who have not fared as well as we have during the trials of life. Without demonstrating the needed Christ-like love to accept her despite her obvious short comings, your gait is no more effective than hers in the journey to the kingdom of heaven.

    We can also look at this experience through the lens of the mountain being the temple. “Mountain” is used throughout the scriptures as an allusion to the temple. Sometimes Satan tries to stop us from going to the Temple of the Lord on a regular basis by putting obstacles in our path and trying to convince us that it hurts us. This is contrary to the will of God. The pain you feel is Satan trying to persuade you not to hike Timp again.

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