Monday, January 18, 2010

Faith-inspiring Rumors Gone Bad

Kulani and I are skeptical anytime anyone tells a story or forwards a story about a "faith-inspiring story" that just seems too convenient or crazy. When I really get my skeptical meter running is when a name is attached to the story, as in, "So-and-so's daughter is in my mother's ward, and my mom told me herself that this daughter of so-and-so really did say this."

Kulani can be especially brutal if someone forwards e-mails that are blatantly wrong. Like the e-mail that went around about not microwaving plastic because it causes cancer. Kulani does a quick search on Snopes, then forwards an e-mail right back to the person forwarding the research from Snopes. Leave it to a lawyer to just cut someone's e-mail forwarding habits down to their knees.

I'd like to do that sometimes, but I haven't the guts. But there are a few things that when someone quotes them in Sunday School, it's all I can do to not raise my hand and yell "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" But I don't, because my explanation of something not being true sounds just as crazy as the person telling the crazy story. Speaking is NOT my strength. (Kulani says my strength is losing things.)

The quote that drives me craziest involves a quote that my little brother had hanging up in his room for the longest time. The quote was fairly popular in the late 1990s, early 2000s, and it involves the youth of today (or, the youth back in the late 1990s, early 2000s--I'd hardly call them "the youth," you know what I mean. Passed 18? Passed your prime!). The quote is usually attributed to one of the 12 Apostles, and here it is:

You were in the War in Heaven and one day when you are in the spirit world you will be enthralled with those who you are associated with. You will ask someone in which time period he lived in and you might hear, "I was with Moses when he parted the Red Sea," or "I helped build the pyramids," or "I fought with Captain Moroni." And as you are standing there in amazement, someone will turn to you and ask, "Which prophet time did you live in?" And when you say "Gordon B. Hinckley," a hush will fall over every hall, every corridor in heaven and all in attendance will bow at your presence. You were held back six thousand years because you were the most talented, most obedient, most courageous, and most righteous. Are you still? Remember who you are!

You can read the response to this quote from the General Authorities here. Basically, it says "We don't know who said that, but we know that we didn't. The youth of today are great, but let's get serious here. Are they really THAT great? Psha!" Oh, and uh, that's not a direct quote from the Brethren, just one I made up.

But recently at a delicious dinner at the Johnson's house, I found myself retelling a faith-inspiring story that sounded even too crazy to my own ears. Kulani and others, of course, didn't believe my story and gave me the ol' "I'd have to see it for myself before I can believe THAT one, Liar-Liar-Pregnancy-Pants-on-Fire." I felt like a fool saying, "No, no, it's true! It's true! I read it with mine own eyes!"

So in case I repeat this crazy story to you, and inwardly you're thinking, "Oh boy. Here goes Cindy with another one of her STORIES." May I please just refer you to the link where I found it? I read about this from my favorite Mormon gossip girl, Emily W. Jensen's column on called "Today in the Bloggernacle." For my benefit (and mine alone, I'm sure), she peruses many LDS blogs and highlights articles she thinks her readers (me) would enjoy.

This story was told here. It's about a woman in Tonga who gave birth to a baby in the Tongan LDS Temple. Mysteriously, all the phones and Internet weren't working, but they needed a nurse to help deliver the baby, so the temple president prayed to get someone there. Within minutes, a nurse showed up. If pictures didn't accompany this story, I would have had a hard time believing it too.

Crazy, but true. How do you like my stories now?


Fish said...

At least it's not the frog in the water fib.

MarySquare said...

I read that story too. It made me cry.

My favorite forwarded mass emails are the ones about health care and cutting medicaid and how someone somewhere is a socialist communist and oh no they are taking "in God we trust" off the US coinage! I love love love it when someone replies to all with a link to Snopes or to some link debunking the stupid forwards. Keep up the good fight Kulani!

That's what we said: said...

I heard Brad Wilcox say/reference the quote on your brother's wall in a talk tape. He is in the Education dept. at BYU and served as a mission president in Chile. I've always wondered about that quote too.

Anonymous said...


Garn said...

I was expecting pictures of a photo shopped baby soon after birth. This picture could have been anyone in Tonga. Sorry, if this were Myth Busters, I think it would be Busted.