MTC Now Powered by Its Own Methane

PROVO, UT—Church officials today confirmed that because of a successful alternative energy experiment, the Missionary Training Center in Provo is now powered entirely with methane produced by the hundreds of missionaries living there.

“The MTC’s food has long been notorious for causing these, uh, emissions,” said Church spokesman Carl Spainhower. “We wondered if we could harness them for some good use. The Church has always encouraged thriftiness and self-sufficiency.”

Methane produced by the missionaries rises to the ceilings of their classrooms and dormitories, where it is collected by air intakes. A complex system of pumps, filters, and pipelines separates the methane from the rest of the air and sends it to a newly installed power plant, where it is converted into electricity.

“We’re very excited by our results so far,” said Spainhower. “Not only are we producing all the electricity we need, but our numbers indicate that if we were to double the frequency of pizza day, we should also be able to power at least three nearby church buildings. We’re also looking closely at BYU dormitories as an additional source of power.”

Reactions among MTC missionaries were varied. “I think it’s—oh, excuse me—great,” said Elder Jeb King, from Layton, Utah. “We’re here to serve however—oops, sorry—we can. My companion and I have been—whew!—competing to see who can generate more kilowatt hours.”

Sister Ashley Nelson, on the other hand, said the project is “so disgusting, I don’t even want to think about it. Only a man could come up with something like this.”


Ask a Beehive

By Mandi Meecham, age 12 | Draper Southeast Stake, 34th Ward

Q: We’re told we should read the scriptures every day. After a recent sacrament meeting talk when our bishop encouraged us to do so, I set a goal to finally get through the Isaiah parts of the Book of Mormon. But those chapters are really hard! What should I do to keep up and not get lost or bored?

—Margaret Fulsom, realtor

A: Dude, I feel your pain. My dad just got called to the high council and the stake president ripped him a new one for not holding family scripture study every day and so he came home sweating and was all, “Kids, we are reading the scriptures every day at six o’clock in the morning and that’s final!” Um, hello! Six in the A.M??? I am so completely comatose then, and plus, how harsh can that be when school is over? Could he be any more Hitler? I was all, “Dad, take a Zanax or something. That’s sooo not going to happen.” So he said he’d buy me a sweet little Cabriolet when I turn sixteen if I am on time to scripture study every day between now and then. I’m stoked about that because there’s no way Dad will have the energy to keep this going for longer than like six weeks. He will for sure have gotten over this guilt trip by the time school starts. And until then, I can always go back to bed after scripture study. Plus, adversity is good for the soul. Getting up so early totally makes me understand what the pioneers went through.

So we’re reading Second Nephi, and it is way Looney Tunes. Like what was Isaiah’s deal? He seems like this total pill who has serious issues with women who wear jewelry. Dad read in chapter 13 this morning a weird part that said, “Don’t you women even think about wearing tinkling ornaments, and round tires, and chains, and mufflers, and tablets, and mantles, and blah blah blah.” And I said, “Dude, what the? Is he talking about women or cars?” and my brother Braxton said, “Or Christmas trees?” and we totally cracked up. Mom opened her can of “You kids need to respect the gospel!” Yeah, okay, Mom, here’s the 411: if Isaiah could have laid off the wine a little and just written what he meant, in plain English, then maybe Brax and I could pay attention better.


Church Bail-Out in the Works?

By John Williams

Representatives of the LDS Church met with members of U.S. Congress in an effort to secure federal funding to shore up what they termed “weakness” in the religious market.

“Times are tough,” said church spokesperson Dale Bulls. “The recession and credit crunch have hit our bottom line big time.” Given the success of the financial and auto industries in securing money from Congress, Bulls said, “We thought we should get in on the action.”

Sources within the church note that recent years have seen a flood of expensive development projects, such as the enormous Conference Center, an aggressive temple-building campaign, and the ambitious City Creek Center mall project in Salt Lake City.

“We’re bleeding badly here,” said one insider who wished to remain anonymous. “The Conference Center needs constant repair, and around the world we have temples that no one is using. And don’t get me started on the malls.”

The source went on to say that, despite bad financials, some in the church continue to push for wasteful spending. “A temple in Rome? What the hell could they be thinking?”

Wall Street analysts outlined the bind the church finds itself in. “It’s a ‘perfect storm’ situation,” said Lerner Brothers vice president Robert Stearns. “They invested heavily in real estate just as the market peaked, and a worldwide recession translates into less tithing. Something has to give.”

And that something appears to be the federal government.

“We have no choice in this matter,” said Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R). “This country was founded on Christian principles and faith. If we allow our religious base to fail, we’re in big trouble. We must act, and we must act quickly, to save our country from religious ruin.”

Some in Congress remain skeptical. “If we bail them out, who’s to say they won’t go back to their old, wasteful ways?” asked Indiana congressman Ed Warner (D). “I’m all for keeping this ‘one nation under God,’ but I don’t want to throw our money down a rat hole.”

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) assured reluctant legislators that there would be strict oversight. “My bill provides for a federal ‘overseer’ to ensure that funds are spent wisely and prudently.” He said he had received assurances that the church would provide full access to a seer stone and a hat to ensure total transparency. “If it was good enough for Martin Harris,” Reid said, “it’s good enough for me.”

Church leaders suggested that a partnership with the government was a natural and positive devlopment. “We all know that when the Savior comes, he will subdue all earthly government beneath his feet. This is just the first step,” said a smiling Boyd K. Packer.

“He said what?” said Alabama congressman Buford Gustings. “It’ll be a cold day in hell before I give money to that cult.”

Repayment of the federal loans involves giving the government a percentage of church revenues over the next ten years. “We really didn’t want to give them a cut of tithing,” said apostle Quentin Cook, “but times being what they are, we had to agree.”

The government will also get a percentage of revenue from Beehive Clothing sales. “Everybody has to buy underwear at some point, don’t they?” said Cook. Federal negotiators declined the church’s offer of a ten-percent stake in the City Creek Center. “Yeah, like we’re going to take that on,” said newly appointed overseer David Tanner. “We’re giving them money, but we’re not stupid.”

In other news, the church announced plans to build a temple in Uzbekistan. “No, we don’t have any members there at the moment,” said spokesperson Bulls. “But we’ve got a lot of money that needs to be spent.”

Gay Humility Parade Keeps Low Profile

PROVO, UTAH—"We're here, we're same-gender challenged, and we're awfully sorry to impose," said Provo Gay Humility Parade organizer Thomas Smith. "If we had our choice, believe me, we wouldn't hold this parade at all. But who are we to deny what God hath wrought?"

Involving about fifty men and a handful of women, the parade started at the corner of Fifth East and Second South in a Provo residential neighborhood and disbanded a block later at Fifth East and Third South. "We stayed on the sidewalk, so we wouldn't get in anyone's way," said Smith. "We didn't want to trouble the city for a permit."

Most of the men wore white shirts, ties, and clean, ironed Levi's creased down the middle. "We handed out rainbow key-chain fobs to our marchers beforehand," Smith said, "but we asked everyone to keep them in their pockets during the parade."

Some of the participants carried signs. Held discreetly in front of her chest, Lily Spainhower's sign was laserprinted on white paper in Helvetica 16-point font: TELESTIAL KINGDOM OR BUST. "I'm actually hoping for terrestrial," Spainhower said, "but I wouldn't want to presume." A man who declined to give his name carried a sign that said, JESUS LOVES ME, BUT HE'S NOT IN LOVE WITH ME.

Smith arranged for a handful of protesters to picket the parade and berate the marchers in order to intensify their humility. "Walking through the fire of affliction burns away the dross," Smith said. Priests and teachers from the East Bay Twenty-Second Ward held signs reading GET THEE BEHIND ME—BUT NOT LITERALLY and NO PRIESTHOOD FOR PANSIES. As instructed they chanted, "Gay, gay, go away—get born again some other way!"

Jeff Paulsen marched next to his long-term partner Frank Hume. Both men kept their arms reverently folded and did not indulge in any physical contact with each other, as per parade rules. "Frank attends the local family ward, and I attend the over-thirty singles ward," Paulsen said after the parade. "When the sacrament comes around, we don't take it, and we pinch ourselves until it hurts."

"While we didn't want to draw undue attention, it felt good to be ourselves in public for a few minutes," Smith said. "I'd say about twenty onlookers saw us. We just hope the Provo City Library still honors our library cards after this."