Lost in all the hubbub about the Ogden man who killed and butchered a cow on the driveway of his suburban bungalow was a small news item that may prove to have “legs,” as we say in the news business.
The item in question was also overshadowed by another front-page story reporting on a gay Mormon called to serve as a ward clerk. In reality, “gay” in this case is a misnomer. As soon as the so-called gay elder succumbs to any of a variety of activities of a sexy-time nature, he will be frog-marched out of the loving embrace of the church. After all, gay is as gay does.
The easily overlooked news item is creating a lot of buzz in Salt Lake City’s growing gay community. In the event you did not catch the story, what happened is this: A former missionary and proud homosexual man named Boyd Pucker, a respected dental hygienist who resides in American Fork, has been telling his patients that God and Jesus appeared to him in a vision and instructed him to start his own church. (Small world department: Pucker is second cousin once removed to avenging apostle Boyd Packer.)
By the sheerest coincidence, we ran into Elder Pucker at last week’s Greek Festival, where, between dolmathes and pastitsio, he graciously submitted to a wide-ranging interview.
Deep End: A lot of people, as you know, are frankly skeptical of your claims.
Elder Pucker: Visions are tricky. One second God is standing in the air right in front of you, and the next—poof!—he’s outta there.
DE: It’s been reported that God and Jesus appeared in a pillar of light.
EP: It was a column of light. Someone else has already claimed the pillar of light. Of course, Jesus was there, but it seemed like he’d rather be somewhere else. He spent most of the time texting.
DE: How did you know it was God and his famous son?
EP: Tell you what it was, Elder End. He was emanating his ethereal glow, exceeding the brightness of the noonday sun, and it was already pretty damn sunny in my breakfast nook, where I was having my usual bagel and cream cheese.
DE: Can you recall the very first words he said to you?
EP: He said the cream cheese was clogging up my arteries, and recommended oatmeal and fruit. Then he said he was sorely disappointed that the modern Mormon Church didn’t let gay folks do their own thing. He said it was time gay people were able to get married in the temple.
DE: How did he know you were gay?
EP: Are you kidding? Next question.
DE: Then what happened ?
EP: He told me that Joseph Smith got things mostly right, except for things like not letting black guys have the priesthood, which was finally fixed back in ’78.
DE: What about women?
EP: All in good time. You wouldn’t believe how much flak I’m catching from the lesbian sisters. But I point out that they can get married in our temple, just like their straight sisters in the father church. After all, they will be full-fledged members of our reformed church. We are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Saints.
DE: That’s a mouthful.
EP: It doesn’t exactly come trippingly off the tongue, I grant you that. LDLGBTS isn’t much better. As we speak, our PR people are working on a catchy nickname. “Gorman” comes to mind, as does “GayMo.” My personal favorite is “HoMo.” It’s got an in-your-face quality to it, which I like.
DE: Do you expect traditional Mormons to come over to your church?
EP: We will welcome them with open arms. I mean that metaphorically, so they shouldn’t be nervous.
DE: Besides gay temple marriages, what other changes will they see?
EP: The missionary uniform? White shirt, tie and geeky black badge? It’s so yesterday. Next week, our missionaries will hit the streets wearing those tight black muscle shirts favored by TV heartthrob Anderson Cooper.
DE: I hope you won’t be messing with some of the more sacred features of Mormon worship.
EP: A couple of tweaks, nothing more. Sacrament will be bakery-fresh croutons instead of bland white bread bits. Contrary to rumors, we’re staying with the deliciously retro garments.
DE: Thanks for your time.
EP: Try the baklava. It’s yummy.