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Wrestling Apostles

Elder Grumpy and Brethren grapple with gay rights.

By D.P. Sorensen
Posted // November 18,2009 -

Last week, the LDS Church stunned the world by endorsing a proposed gay-rights ordinance for Salt Lake City; with the General Authorities giving thumbs up (it has been learned, however, that there were some thumbs down among the Brethren), the City Council promptly passed, unanimously, the groundbreaking ordinance, which forbids job and housing discrimination against members of the LGBT community.

But this is just the beginning—according to informed sources, the church is preparing to name the first gay apostle. (Some historians contend that the first gay apostle was LeGrand F. Bottoms, who served in the Quorum of the Twelve under Wilford Woodruff from 1892 to 1894; his meteoric career was cut short when he drowned in a proxy baptism ceremony for Julius Caesar.)

To make up for the church’s disastrous public relations of late—heavy-handed campaign against gay marriage in California, and Apostle Dallin Oats complaint that gays are beating up on Mormons just like bigots used to beat up on blacks—the General Authorities have entered into a new era of openness and honesty. We here at City Weekly were invited (bring all your friends and family!) to come chat with a high-ranking functionary over at church headquarters on Temple Square. About 50 of us were ushered into a sunny conference room on the 19th floor, where we were welcomed by a hearty and sincere elder named Howard L. Triptoe.

After an opening prayer, we got down to business.

City Weekly: Your spokes-elder, Brother Otterson, tried to explain why you decided to support gay rights by saying that “diverse communities such as ours are wrestling with complex social and moral questions.” Are equal rights for everybody really so complex? Why do you need to wrestle with them?

Elder Triptoe: Let me take you inside the chambers where the discussions took place. There was, as a matter of fact, quite a bit of wrestling going on. At one point, Apostle Grumpy—the apostles have these cute nicknames for each other—Apostle Grumpy got a full Nelson on Apostle Dopey and almost made him say “Uncle!” but at the last minute, Apostle Sneezy, his tagteam partner, came over and pulled Apostle Packer, excuse me, I mean Apostle Grumpy, he pulled Grumpy off of Dopey. Sneezy actually sneezed on Grumpy, and Apostle Dopey was able to catch a breather in the garden room. I think that turned the tide for the apostles who favored gay rights.

City Weekly: Was Elder Grumpy the only apostle against gay rights?

Elder Triptoe: Well, he’s kind of bossy, and for a while, he had Apostle Bashful on his side. It was hard to tell where Apostle Sleepy stood, or rather, lay on the issue.

City Weekly: When are the General Authorities going to pick a gay apostle to be in the Quorum of the Twelve?

Elder Triptoe: Who told you that? That’s supposed to be secret, I mean sacred.

City Weekly: Actually, there was an ad placed in our paper: “Large local church looking for gay apostle. Tryouts begin day after Thanksgiving. Temple recommend recommended, but not required.” What kind of tryouts do you have in mind?

Elder Triptoe: Well, the try-outs are just a necessary preliminary. We’d like to at least cut the field to a manageable number of applicants. Maybe we’ll just do the talent competition and wait till later to have the contestants pull questions out of a jar. We can’t really get serious in our gay search until one of the regular apostles dies. Right now, Apostle Doc doesn’t look real good, and Apostle Happy is looking uncharacteristically glum, so we might have a couple of openings down the line.

City Weekly: So you might be looking for two gay apostles?

Elder Triptoe: That might be moving along just a little too quickly. And it might present problems when we wrestle with complex social and moral questions. We wouldn’t want our apostles, gay or otherwise, to face actual physical temptations.

Love the sinner, hate the sin, and all that, if you know what I mean.

City Weekly: If the gay-apostle thing works out for you, do you imagine the Brethren might ever consider bringing a female-type Mormon into the Quorum of the Twelve?

Elder Triptoe: Are you out of your flipping mind? For one thing, how would the apostles wrestle with questions if they had to go toe-to-toe or grip-to-grip with some gal? No, some things are just too sacred.

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