LINDON, UT—The men of the Lindon Hills 43rd Ward are still exhausted from their rigorous Mother’s Day celebrations. “We try to go the extra mile in showing our wives and mothers how much they mean to us and how utterly unworthy we are to even be in their presence,” explained Bishop Bob Creeley. “It’s a day of cleansing the soul and of intense groveling for us men.”
The sacrament meeting program started out with a talk by Brother Hugh Castleton, the high priest group leader. “My mother tended a half-acre vegetable garden, raised ten children on $15,000 a year, made all our clothes by hand, memorized the entire Book of Mormon, and maintained a perfect size-six figure her entire life,” sobbed Brother Castleton. “She taught herself to play the piano after she went blind at age 34, just so she could say yes to the calling of Primary pianist. Using Braille and the Holy Spirit, she made us all pieced quilts for each of our birthdays. I’ll never forget watching her pray over her quilting frame, waiting for the Spirit to guide her needle to just the right spot.”
Brother Larry Schoendyke, 52, also presented a moving tribute to his mother. “My mother’s last words to me were, ‘Larry, everyone is a child of God and deserves to be trusted,’” he recalled. “Two hours later, she was shot and killed by criminals disguised as Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom she had invited in for cocoa and homemade cookies. But I’ll never forget that wonderful lesson she taught me about trust. What a saint.”
Brother Schoendyke’s talk was followed by a musical interlude. The Sackcloth-and-Ashes Quartet, made up of four male ward members, sang a song they wrote themselves called “I’m Just a Stupid Man But Please Allow Me to Worship at the Altar of Motherhood.”
The last man to speak on motherhood was Brother Rick Dalmonico, 23, a new father. “Sometimes when I come home and my wife is nursing our newborn, the spirit is so strong that I feel it would be irreverent to interrupt them,” he confessed. “So I just usually go in the other room and watch football. I wouldn’t want to interfere with something as sacred as precious motherhood.” He added, “Or sometimes I just stay out late with friends instead of coming home. So I won’t interfere with all that holy motherhood stuff. It truly is much more special than we men could ever understand.”
After sacrament meeting, the men of the ward adjourned to the foyer, where they covered their heads, donned black robes, and greeted the women on their knees. When the first woman appeared, they prostrated themselves on the ground and chanted “Miserere Mei” several times. Bishop Creeley then reconfirmed the holiness of women and the utter uselessness of men in his remarks: “We know we’re just men and therefore the only socially acceptable butt of jokes in the LDS culture,” said Bishop Creeley. “We are also aware that we are not entitled to the holy role of mother or even to loosen your sandal straps—we love your sandals, by the way, and you should buy as many more pairs as you want—but please do accept this small token of our worshipfulness, gratitude, and awe.”
The men then presented the mothers with large bouquets of black roses, tied with a ribbon that had the message WE’RE NOT WORTHY written on it in two-inch letters. Each message had been individually written in the men’s own blood the previous Sunday in their elders quorum and high priest groups. “I finally had to nick an artery to get enough blood, and I actually passed out twice,” said Brother Craig Davis, describing the ordeal. “But I know my small trial was nothing compared to the travails of laboring to bring a child into the world, which my sweet, dear wife has done twice now, without any pain medication.” He added, “She actually recited psalms instead of screaming. What a woman.”
Now that the men of the Lindon Hills 43rd ward have had their annual purge of unworthiness, “we can all get back to important man stuff,” admits Brother Schoendyke. He denies rumors that he told his friend that he can now ignore his wife in good conscience for another year.