Yesterday I posted a little parody article about how Thomas Monson had decreed that all priesthood holders should wear button-down collars to prevent crooked and slovenly collars. I thought it was pretty obvious that it was a joke, and certainly I have a history of posting parodies.
But I was shocked at how many people thought it was legit. On RfM Richard Packham had to caution that it was a parody and not meant to be quoted. A close relative read it and was puzzled as to why I would quote a news article verbatim without comment. Needless to say, I am not that good of a parody writer. What this shows is that we, members and apostates alike, expect this kind of spiritual micromanagement from LDS church leaders. If it wasn’t out of line for Hinckley to specify exactly how many earrings one is allowed, it certainly raises no eyebrows if current leaders tell us what kind of shirts to wear.
This morning my parody hit the MADB board. Here are a few comments (made before the moderators closed the thread):
“I think the spirit of what President Monson is aksing for is completely correct. He recognizes that the purity of what is on the inside is most important. Yet, he is asking for a dress code for the outside that is consistent, respectful, and presentable. I will strive to honor that request. We should be happy to oblige our prophets when they make such small procedural requests.”
“Anyone who holds the priesthood should be ready, prepared and worthy to bless and pass the sacrament, give prayers or be called upon to give talks or to bear their testimony at a moment’s notice. They should reflect the Savior in their every act. Christ would never appear unclean, dirty, slovenly or unkempt in appearance if He was to bless or pass the sacrament, give a prayer or give a talk. He wouldn’t need to go home to change or tuck in a shirt or button His color or have someone lend him a tie. He would be dressed as best as He could and according to contemporary standards of decency and He would conduct Himself in such a way as to represent His Heavenly Father and to be about His work.
“Even those in the most humble of circumstances and who are without financial means dress their best when they seek the Lord and represent Him as Priesthood holders and Sisters. I only wish people wouldn’t think that this is a joke because it shouldn’t matter if it was written as a joke or a real talk given by the Prophet since it is true regardless. I’m not overly concerned about a requirement to wear a white shirt if you bless or pass the sacrament but I would hope that you would desire to do so and to look your best when exercising the Priesthood. I would whether have a clean shaven, well dressed Priesthood holder who was wearing a colored shirt pass and bless the sacrament then one who comes to Church wearing a white shirt but is unkempt in appearance because both show how they value themselves and their role as Priesthood holders.”
So, I apologize for not labeling this explicitly as a parody, but I am still shaking my head at how it was received.