Scrapbooking Your Excommunication

By Sherilyn Sunderland

Fellow scrapbookers unite! Ladies, this column is just for you! So put down that dishrag (we all know you were just pretending to wash dishes anyway!) and get out that boxful of precious photos. Let’s talk about scrapbooks. They’re way more fun than driving kids to soccer practice, and when Hubby gets grumpy because dinner’s not on the table, you can say, “Honey, I’m working on our family history!” What a perfect excuse for indulging in a super-fun hobby!

We’ve all seen tons of cute baptism scrapbook pages, cute baby blessing pages, and cute temple wedding pages. And I’ve seen so many darling missionary scrapbooks lately that it makes me almost want to go on a mission just for the scrapbook possibilities (or the “scrap-abilities!”). But I digress. I want to talk to you about how to scrapbook one of those little oopsies that life hands out from time to time—excommunication!

Now, before you say, “That Sherilyn sure is up in the night,” let me remind you that we Mormons have been commanded to preserve all our memories for our progeny, not just the happy ones. Excommunication can be a great learning experience for all people involved, and preserving it in a scrapbook gives us a chance to “accentuate the positive” (don’t you just love The Jungle Book?).

Here are a few tips to help make your excommunication page the envy of the neighborhood:

1. Capture the event. Try to be present at the disciplinary council when the verdict is announced. If you can slip into the room unnoticed, so much the better! Use a camera with a good zoom lens on it so you can get a close up of the newly exed person’s face when the verdict is read. Get a picture of the stake president as he reads the verdict. If possible, get individual pictures of everyone involved in the disciplinary council. If you know you won’t be able to sneak in for a picture or two, give your camera to a council member ahead of time (make him some cookies as a thank you afterwards!). Remember: photos that capture the emotion of the moment will make for a more memorable page.

2. Use a catchy title. Now’s a great time to be creative! Examples of good titles for your excommunication page are “Look Who’s Been Outed!” “Porn Doesn’t Pay!” “Troop Leader No Longer!” and “If Only My Zipper Had Gotten Stuck.” Look through your scriptures or use your Topical Guide to find commandments that relate to the excommunication and handwrite or print them out in a cute font to enhance the page.

3. Embellish with funky accents. While you can usually find a wide range of stickers, die cuts, or paper for just about any theme you can imagine, it’s really hard to find excommunication-related page embellishments. The “Damn, I’m Bad” line is coming out with a cute “The Seven Cardinal Sins” group of stickers later this fall (look for them at Scrap ’N Grin). But in the meantime, go through your own supplies and see what you have. For instance, you can cut out some cute horns and put them on top of a Paperkins doll to make a devil. Or you can make flaming words: use deckle-edged scissors and red-and-black paper for piecing together your page’s title. You can also download flaming fonts for free—try

4. Get other points of view. Because an excommunication is such an emotional time, everyone involved is sure to have a strong opinion on the subject. Be sure to have everyone on the disciplinary council write a message to the newly exed person. I saw a cute page last week that everyone on the council had signed. It was full of messages like “Hearing what you did made me physically ill,” “I never believed Satan truly walked among us until tonight,” and “I used to think it was impossible to do something so bad that God would stop loving you.” Memorable for sure!

An excommunication page can really add that special something to your LDS scrapbook. Just imagine how proud your exed spouse, child, or parent will be to see his or her accomplishments immortalized in your scrapbook for all to see! What a great (and fun!) way to preserve those unforgettable memories for generations to come. Until next time, happy scrappin’!

Sherilyn is a long-time scrapbooking instructor at her Orem, Utah, store Scrap ’N Grin. She has authored an LDS-themed scrapbooking idea book called Oh, Heavens! How Scrapbooking Can Get You Closer to God. Her syndicated column, Kraft Korner, runs in four different newspapers along Utah’s Wasatch Front.

Deseret Book Releases “Pedestal Wife”

SALT LAKE CITY—Deseret Book spokesman Martin Graves recently announced a new product designed “to help Mormons bring the Spirit into their homes.” Called Pedestal Wife, the new product resembles a statue of a woman who’s five foot, six inches tall, with long, flowing brown hair, a gingham dress, and an apron, standing on a marble pedestal two feet high. Deseret Book stresses, “Pedestal Wife is more than just a statue, although she does certainly beautify and brighten the home. She is primarily designed to help us all glorify womanhood.”

One of the first consumers, Provo resident Dwight L. Langersen, reports that he is pleased with Pedestal Wife. “I installed her in the living room so the family can gaze lovingly on her while we have our daily scripture reading,” he says. “It’s so nice to have her there for those times during family home evening when we talk about women’s holy nature and how much less sinful they are than men. Plus, she’s a lot easier to get along with than my own wife, bless her heart.”

Although response to the product has been mostly positive, Orem native Larry Schwartz admits he was initially confused by Pedestal Wife’s purpose. “I put her in my kitchen, hoping she would make me some of those incredible apple dumplings my mom used to bake on winter afternoons,” he admits. “I didn’t realize she’d just stand there. Eventually, we moved her to the bedroom, and while my wife isn’t happy with that, I am.”

Schwartz’s experience is not unusual. The confusion about Pedestal Wife’s role prompted the release of an official statement from Deseret Book: “While Pedestal Wife does encourage the healthy glorification of womanhood and thereby increases spirituality, consumers need to remember that the product is not actually designed to interact with them in any meaningful way. She does not talk, cook, or form relationships.”

Despite these and similar misunderstandings, however, Pedestal Wife is selling very well and has gained a loyal following, mostly of married men who live along Utah’s Wasatch Front. “I don’t know what it is—that apron, the dress, or the twenty-four-inch waist—but somehow Pedestal Wife reminds me of my saintly mother,” says Ogden resident Sam Culpepper. “That woman raised eight children in a three-room house, had a hot meal on the table three times a day, and managed to read the Book of Mormon over a hundred times.” Culpepper’s wife Meredith was not available for comment.

Culpepper echoes many Mormon men when he says that he sees Pedestal Wife as a great addition to his home and family. In fact, he admits, “Because Pedestal Wife radiates such wholesome goodness and quiet humility, I’m kind of hoping that my real wife will learn to follow suit. As long as she still cooks and cleans for me, of course.”

Church Acquires Walker Center Weather Forecaster

SALT LAKE CITY—For as long as most Salt Lakers can remember, the neon light atop the 16-story Walker Center building has shined blue when the weather forecast is clear and red when the forecast calls for snow or rain.

At part of the LDS Church’s ongoing downtown expansion, the Church has acquired the weather forecaster. Effective immediately, the neon lights now function as an indicator of the city’s current spirituality, according to the following code:

Steady blue: All’s well in Zion.

Blinking blue: People need to stop procrastinating their home and visiting teaching.

Steady red: Too many people are seeing R-rated movies and/or drinking Coke.

Blinking red: Computers are downloading more porn than family history data.

Purple: If a vote were held today on legalizing gay marriage, it would pass.

Mission Adopts Guerilla Marketing Technique

ATLANTA, GA—Following the success of a recent pass-along card campaign throughout the Georgia Atlanta Mission, mission president James T. Farnsworth issued a Sharpie permanent marker to every missionary and member over age 12, along with instructions about how to use them in a new program for spreading the gospel.

“It’s time to take this work to the next level,” said President Farnsworth. “I don’t want to see our people start any new graffiti. But wherever someone else has already scrawled something on a bathroom wall or other public surface, we need to add our two bits.”

The president has asked members and missionaries to carry their Sharpies at all times and, whenever appropriate, write the follow message: MORMONISM IS TRUE! WWW.MORMON.ORG

“I’m certain the kingdom will grow by leaps and bounds in our area if we’re diligent about spreading the word through whatever means possible,” said President Farnsworth. “However, whoever wrote ‘Brother Johansen doesn’t pay a full tithe’ in the stake center restroom definitely needs to repent.”