95 Theses

1. Taking the sacrament with your left hand is basically saying that you’re okay with being a goat on the left hand of Jesus.

2. When people who disagree with me share their political views in church, that’s inappropriate and should be discouraged. When people who agree with me do it, they’re just speaking common sense about moral issues.

3. Luther was a hero inspired by God. Also, people who criticize the church today should be swiftly excommunicated.

4. Before you doubt, doubt the doubt that leads you to doubt whether your doubts are actually doubts.

5. We don’t talk about Heavenly Mother much because she doesn’t matter for our salvation. It’s preferable to have sacrament meeting talks that focus on the essentials, like BYU football.

6. If you run into a show involving mummies and Egyptian papyri, do some comparison shopping before purchasing them as a potential source for new scripture. You might be able to get a better deal if you’re open to instead using the texts accompanying traveling zombie exhibits.

7. When you do your visiting or home teaching before the last week of the month, it feels really awkward for everyone involved. Better to play it safe and show up in the last 24 hours.

8. This high council talk is so good that I don’t mind that sacrament meeting is going twenty minutes over, said no one ever.

9. The most righteous people know that the church is true with every fiber of their being. The somewhat less righteous only know it with the finely woven threads of their existence.

10. Mormons don’t make a big deal out of Easter because they think about Jesus every week during the sacrament. (Churches that make a big production of Easter don’t actually think about Jesus during Communion, but instead about a different Messiah figure named Alfred.)

11. Youth born into the church today were generals in the war in heaven. Those not so blessed as to be born into the church were mere specifics.

12. All dogs go to heaven. Also all cats. The jury is still out on mosquitoes.

13. If you’re giving a sacrament meeting talk and you look out and see a lot of people looking at their phones, you can be confident that they’re just looking up all the scriptures you’re citing.

14. Using social media to regularly bear your testimony will make all your friends be in awe of your righteousness. This is especially true if your testimony takes the form of sharing quotes which use at least five different fonts.

15. Anyone who claims to have paid close attention to all four general sessions of General Conference is revealing their spiritual deficiencies. Those who are truly in tune hear the Spirit’s signal to nap, usually about halfway through the Saturday afternoon session.

16. People in other Christian traditions are misguided apostates who don’t grasp plain gospel truth, unless they’re named C.S. Lewis or love the letters G.O.P.

17. Cheap grace is a pervasive problem among believers in other churches. Latter-day Saints know that grace is actually part of a limited-edition collection of divine powers that get sprinkled on your grave after you’ve worked yourself to death.

18. Intellectuals who babble about things like the Documentary Hypothesis lack faith in a God who is confusing enough to write something like the Bible.

19. The idea of transubstantiation is completely false. Nothing at all is happening to the bread and water in the sacrament. The sacrament prayers need to be said word-for-word, though, or the nothing won’t happen.

20. Adversity happens in the lives of faithful members of the church because God is putting them through the refiner’s fire. Adversity in the lives of people who’ve left the church is evidence that God is smiting them.

21. Somewhere in a secret location, John the Revelator, the Three Nephites, and Cain are holding a weekly Sunday School class together. (Cain was invited by the others so that someone would keep the conversation interesting by playing devil’s advocate.)

22. When Nephi talks about the “great and abominable church,” he’s clearly referring to pre-Vatican II Catholicism. Post Vatican II, the Catholic church has been downgraded to “pretty good and kind of horrifying.”

23. We learn from the scriptures that it’s important to have “types” that point to future events. This is why many wards have Trunk-or-Treats, as an advance “type” of the coming Trick-or-Treat.

24. Satan makes a counterfeit of everything that God makes. This explains false secret societies, Communism, and the existence of the blobfish.

25. If your phone’s spell-checker doesn’t recognize the word “hie,” this suggests that your phone has never been to Kolob and will probably be melted down at the Last Day.

26. That dark feeling you get when you visit a beautiful cathedral is God’s way of telling you that you should donate money for renovation and/or better lighting.

27. Such is the power of prayer that even a Twinkie can nourish and strengthen the body when appropriately blessed.

28. When you’re teaching Gospel Doctrine and that one guy raises his hand to correct you, that’s a good moment to say “Silence, ye fiend of the infernal pit!”

29. Early Mormons who adopted the symbol of a beehive to illustrate their industriousness erred in their failure to emphasize that the queen of the colony always makes sure that all her decisions are subject to proper priesthood oversight.

30. You may be absolutely confident that there are no evil liberals or feminists contaminating your utopian ward, where everyone supports the Brethren in all their decisions, and all the children are above average. But unbeknownst to you, your seemingly idyllic community may be harboring people who secretly drink coffee, watch football on the Sabbath, and read By Common Consent.

31. There are evil symposia out there which glorify false teachings and serve as a haven for all kinds of riffraff. It’s better not to name them, though, because that will lead curious people to Google them. Far better to instruct those in your stewardship to simply never attend any conference anywhere which refers to itself as a “symposium.”

32. Not a single rainbow has been spotted on BYU campus since they gave in to the ways of the world and started selling Diet Coke, leading some scholars to suggest that God’s promise to never again flood BYU has been revoked.

33. The Oliphaunts in the Lord of the Rings are actually related to cureloms.

34. The chiasmus in Dr. Seuss’ classic Green Eggs and Ham is clear evidence that people in antiquity added green vegetables to their scrambled eggs.

35. If gay people get their way, every member of the church will be forced into a lifestyle that includes Sunday brunch. This is why the gay agenda must be stopped.

36. If you don’t share the gospel incessantly with all your friends, they’re going to come to you in the next life and say, “why didn’t you kill me earlier so that I could be vicariously baptized?”

37. The One True Hymnbook includes “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing,” “Amazing Grace,” and just to counter all that grace stuff, “Work Harder, You Sloth.”

38. The Lost Ten Tribes are in the center of the earth, where they are building spaceships that are “tight like unto a dish.” When they blast out and we see the style of their space barges, this will be confirmation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

39. Women who want to be like men will someday have to face the awful reality that without femininity to adorn humanity, there is literally nothing separating us from undecorated Christmas trees.

40. It is morally suspect to use Tater Tots instead of hash browns in funeral potatoes.

41. For English speakers, it’s important to pray using “thee” and “thou,” because if a human says “you” to God, it produces divine confusion about whether the person is praying to “you” or to the U.

42. This number is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

43. The most important thing to understand about the word “preside” is that its meaning has absolutely nothing to do with the similar-sounding word, “preside.”

44. Unlike every other group of Christians in the last two thousands years who have believed themselves to be living in the Last Days Right Before the Second Coming, Latter-day Saints know that we really are. This can be seen in the Signs of the Times, including natural disasters, wars, political unrest, and Taco Bells’ Choco Taco.

45. The theological basis of the three-hour block is the existence of three levels of heaven in the world to come. Those faithless members who think it would be fine to have two hours are demonstrating a short-sighted view that it would be okay to just get rid of one of the kingdoms.

46. Parallels between Book of Mormon terms and both terms in the 19th century world of Joseph Smith and terms in the ancient Near East constitute overwhelming proof that humans are very adept at finding parallels.

47. If you grow up in the church, you don’t really notice that terms like “Mia Maids” and “Relief Society” are completely bizarre until you use them in casual conversation with someone who hasn’t heard them before.

48. The Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight, but if you’re in trouble at 1:00 am, you can fall back on Casper the Friendly Ghost.

49. This item purposefully left blank, because of the holiness of seven times seven.

50. The War on Christmas is minor when compared to the War on Advent, as seen in practices like singing Christmas carols during the weeks leading up to Christmas and having a “Christmas Devotional” during Advent.

51. It is said that refusing to share the gospel with others is like drinking a tall glass of orange juice in front of them and not offering to share. Except that sometimes talking about your religious beliefs is more like drinking a tall glass of lemon juice while people watch in fascination to see if you’re really able to swallow it all.

52. The super righteous know that hidden in a secret code in the Word of Wisdom are prohibitions on white sugar, white flour, root beer, and grasshopper-fed seagulls.

53. Prosperity theology is the idea that God blesses those who keep the commandments by showering material goods like fancy cars and houseboats on them. Critics of this worldview, though, have rightly questioned whether a houseboat sent from heaven is meant to bless you, or to smash you as it fall to the earth.

54. A classic essay by Richard Poll divides Mormons into “Liahona” and “Iron Rod” types. Robert Kirby proposes that the five kinds of Mormons are Liberal, Genuine, Conservative, Orthodox, and Nazi. But arguably the most significant division in the church is between those play Conference Bingo with m&m’s, and those who make Conference into a drinking game.

55. Recently a bunch of Mormons have been led astray by one Denver Snuffer, who is pushing for a Restoration of the Restoration. They argue that Joseph Smith didn’t practice polygamy, that a little alcohol isn’t a problem, that seeing Jesus in this life is not just possible but essential for salvation, and that when this vision happens you will know it’s the real Jesus by the fact that he won’t turn down your alcohol.

56. Every Sunday, Young Women across the church stand to recite the Young Women’s Theme, which includes phrases like “we believe as we come to accept and act up on these values, we will be prepared to participate in homemaking activities, guard our virtue, re-enact Pioneer Treks, and stand in groups and recite things in unison.”

57. Liberal Mormons over the age of 40 remember what they were doing in September 1993, when they first heard about the excommunications of the September Six. True-blue liberal Mormons have seen at least one of the September Six speak at a conference and/or have a book with their autograph. Conspiracy-minded liberal Mormons have written extensive treatises about the significance of the number six, and the seeming coincidence that the Mountains Meadows Massacre also happened in September.

58. Polygamy is unavoidable in the Celestial Kingdom because so many more women than men will be righteous enough to qualify to be there. The possibility of celestial affirmative action for men was rejected at the premortal Council in Heaven, where other failed proposals included lowering the bar, irresistible grace, a Celestial-Terrestrial merger, and giving women the priesthood to make them less righteous.

59. Facial hair on human men is a devilish practice that signals to the world that you can’t be trusted with responsibility, and might run away at any moment to do something radical like protest war. Facial hair on divine personages indicates that you are completely trustworthy, and might do something radical at any moment like protest war.

60. The purpose of this life is to test how perfectly we can follow the prophet. Extra blessings are granted to those who are able to track prophets who change lanes a lot and turn on to isolated country roads in an effort to escape.

61. The best way to discover which church is God’s Only True Church is to have an Elijah vs. priests of Baal style match-up in which each side calls down the right amount of fire from heaven to perfectly toast a marshmallow. You will recognize God’s Only Authorized Priesthood by the correct combination of crispiness and gooeyness.

62. The decision by General Authorities to die on the hill of fighting same-sex marriage was recently undermined by the scandalous revelation that the hill they chose to use to make their final stand had a Chapel of Love and an Elvis impersonator performing weddings at the top of it.

63. A Latter-day Saint with a finely honed sense of time knows exactly what minute they need to leave the house in order to slide into a pew just as the sacrament hymn is finishing. Less talented members of the church who aim to arrive for the sacrament may find themselves either showing up too early and having to actually sing the hymn, or unbalancing their entire spiritual life by getting the water but not the bread.

64. It is important to use the King James Version of the Bible because words and phrases like “snuffdishes,” “the calves of our lips,” and “superfluity of naughtiness” invite the Spirit in a way that no modern translation ever could.

65. Children are baptized at the age of eight because by that age they’ve learned to plausibly deny that they were anywhere near the cookie jar and are in desperate need of salvation.

66. If you hold regular Family Home Evenings, you can rest secure in the unshakable promise that for the rest of their lives, your children will associate singing church songs with the experience of surreptitiously kicking their siblings.

67. Asking a historical question during a faith-promoting tour at a church history site demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the tour genre. The correct questions to ask are things like, “could you bear your testimony for me?” and “could you bear your testimony for me again?”

68. A lesser-known passage in the JST indicates that God served Adam and Eve green jello with pineapple and Cool Whip after banishing them from the Garden of Eden. To this day, jello salad is eaten to commemorate the tender divine care for those who have been kicked out of paradise.

69. If you stand at the checkout line with your groceries late on Sunday night and wait until the clock turns to midnight to actually purchase them, your strict Sabbath observance will cause bemused cashiers to seek out the missionaries to learn more.

70. We know that the Book of Mormon was written for our day because of its illustrations of how violence can solve everyday problems (chopping people’s heads off to steal their records, chopping people’s arms off to bring others to the gospel, killing all your political opponents who don’t like your definition of “liberty,” etc.)

71. The truest of all church movies is “The Mailbox,” which conveys the moral that no matter how big her mailbox, you should never write your grandmother a letter, because the shock of getting mail could kill her. A close runner-up is “Saturday’s Warrior,” which allows you to quickly identify Satan’s pattern of having teenagers dance on cars and sing about population control.

72. The LDS church emphatically rejects the notion of Original Sin. In Mormon theology, all sin is derivative.

73. Doctrines like blood atonement, the necessity of polygamy for exaltation, Adam-God, and the abominable nature of capitalism were never taught ever by anyone in authority. Evil and designing men altered the text of the Journal of Discourses, corrupting the original pure teachings about Eve-Ishtar, the importance of the free market, and the precise directions to Kolob.

74. If you should be so blessed as to find yourself attending the Lord’s University, keep in mind that you have been given the solemn responsibility of policing all the other students and turning people into the Honor Code office who break curfew, vote for Democrats, take English classes from apostate professors, or express sympathy for the third of the hosts of heaven that got cast out.

75. People who blog about the church in a non-faith-promoting way need to be reminded that their puffed-up takedowns of orthodoxy might leave random Google searchers with the false impression that Mormons like to question and argue. Far better for people to get their ideas about the church from meticulously arranged pictures of shining houses and shining children on Pinterest.

76. In weighing the value of early morning versus released-time seminary, one must take into account the competing dangers of sleep-deprivation (for the early risers) and common sense-deprivation (for those taught by full-time CES employees).

77. The shocking behavior of Ordain Women when they tried to get into the priesthood session a few years ago should make it clear to anyone with ears to hear that radical feminists will stop at nothing to achieve their goal of converting the entire church to the practice of politely lining up and attempting to attend extra meetings.

78. If you find Sunday School boring, that’s on you, and your lack of preparation. I mean, really, how hard is it to bring a novel in pamphlet form that you can hide inside your scriptures?

79. Classic works like Mormon Doctrine and The Miracle of Forgiveness seem to have a lot of detractors these days. It’s almost as if contemporary Saints aren’t as interested in developing scrupulosity, and speculating about who was the most valiant in the premortal world. The slackerness of this generation will doubtless lead to titles like Sin? No Biggie! and Mormon Suggestions.

80. According to a much-discussed prophecy, the Constitution will at one point hang by a thread, at which point the elders of Israel will swoop in on a white horse to save it. The question of how many elders can fit on one horse has been oddly under-discussed.

81. A certain apostle of yore was well-known for his “unwritten rules,” which included not sustaining people named Buck or Butch or Chuck to the High Council, and not talking about the deceased at funerals. What isn’t clear, though, is whether if you told a story about “Chuck” at his funeral, the two sins would negate each other.

82. The true way to bear your testimony is to share pure doctrine, which means 1) no thankamonies, 2) no narratives, and 3) no human language whatsoever

83. If you play rock songs backwards, you can discover exciting hidden satanic messages like “say YES to drugs” and “bring about socialism.” But if you play Mormon pop songs backwards and listen carefully, the best you can find is the soporific sound of someone speaking in a GA voice about food storage.

84. Is anyone actually reading this entire list?

85. In the One True Picturebook Version of the scriptures, one beep means to move to the next picture, two beeps means to turn the page, and the sound of crackling flames means that Abinadi’s time is up.

86. It is widely agreed that the Primary program is the best Sunday of the year. This is likely due to its combination of children acting like they’re in a cult by singing “Follow the Prophet” and reciting beliefs in a carefully scripted manner, and children subverting the cultlike atmosphere by going off-script, refusing to sing, and spontaneously sharing bits from the plot of Star Wars.

87. Correlation is the shadowy entity controlling the church that Mormons love to hate. They are believed to be engaged in a nefarious quest to eventually harmonize every word of the scriptures and every word ever uttered by a General Authority into a single compact volume which explains all important truths in 140 characters or less. Nevertheless, even the most Correlation-despising Latter-day Saint will send a plea in their direction when the Gospel Doctrine teacher starts sharing their personal theory about aliens, dinosaurs, and the Book of Abraham.

88. According to the Doctrine & Covenants, those who pay their tithing won’t be burned at the Last Day. Still, it might be cheaper in the long run to instead use the money to build a large moat and some fire-resistant suits.

89. Mothers Who Know know that those the outcry about the talk “Mothers Who Know” largely came from Mothers Who Don’t Know That Mothers Who Know Know What You Did Last Summer.

90. It’s important to not just serve, but to magnify your calling. This can be accomplished through a) a lot of work and prayer and study and service, or b) the use of a cheap microscope.

91. Many are called to participate in multi-level marketing schemes, but few are chosen to climb the ranks and achieve great glory. The rest have to settle for a lifetime supply of essential oils.

92. The reason the church doesn’t have creeds is because statements of belief written by anonymous committees are a sign of apostasy if they’re referred to as “creeds.” God’s true church is a church of anonymously-authored “proclamations.” (“Articles” are also acceptable, just so long as they’re “Articles of Faith” and not mere “Articles of Belief.”)

93. It’s important to always Choose the Right because angels above us are silent notes taking, your CTR ring will go up in a puff of smoke if you don’t, and let’s be honest, left turns on to busy streets can really be a pain.

94. Notwithstanding the false doctrine that has crept into many a Primary, Eve did not sing “I looked out the window and what did I see / forbidden fruit popping on a forbidden tree” before partaking.

95. People who decide to compose 95 theses for Reformation Day have way too much time on their hands.

11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I love these so much, especially #11, #17, #40 (blasphemy!), #84, and especially #95. I have a quibble with #15 – I think the optimal nap-time is during the Sunday afternoon session, although Saturday-afternoon is also great mini-nap time.

  2. Spot on! I shall be stealing – uh, sharing – these with Those of My Acquaintance Who Know Enough to Appreciate Truth in its Purest Form. Thank you, Lynnette. You have beamed sunshine into my soul.

  3. Thanks, Ziff! Our shared DNA may have produced a shared bizarre sense of humor.

    liz, so glad you liked them! And I’m open to the possibility that the most spiritual naps come during the Sunday afternoon session.

    Anne, Moss, Simply a sister, thanks! I’m glad some people enjoyed them enough to read to the end.

    Mama Lynnie, those are the absolute best kind of acquaintances. And I am all about scattering sunshine.

    Jason K, when I was a BYU student the English department was rumored to be full of apostates, but I had no confirmation. Now that I have several friends working there, I’m sure of it. 😉

    Emily U, yes, it’s straight from the KJV! (James 1:21). The KJV is just a gold mine for fun phrases.

  4. fbisti, thanks! I did my best to be cover a wide range, though I imagine more could be added to the list. (But to be honest, coming up with 95 was enough of a challenge that I’m glad Luther stopped there.)


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