General Authority Humor Scandal–This Is No Joke

The Church will be introduced to a new Apostle in the upcoming General Conference. While this, with the obligatory bouts of speculation over likely candidates, is an exciting thing, it is also bittersweet for me, because Joseph B. Wirthlin, who died last December, was one of my all-time favorites. He was genuine, kind, and good. He gave a powerful testimony of the Savior, and served nearly his entire life in Priesthood leadership. But that’s not all; He was also really really funny. If you go back and listen to his talks (many are available on LDS.org; others can be found at BYU Speeches), you’ll find that Elder Wirthlin attained a skill and master of self-deprecating humor that even David B. Haight was similar in his later years. These Apostles rarely made it more than a few minutes into a talk before making a crack about going bald, hearing loss, declining athletic prowess, being from Idaho, or having a bad sense of direction. Incidentally, I suffer from the exact same afflictions myself; however, I have not yet learned to laugh about them.

This is not to suggest that General Authorities are limited to a single form of humor. Neal A. Maxwell employed a more sophisticated form of wit during his talks. Often, his anecdotes were so subtle that the rumble of laughter from the audience didn’t start until he was nearly finished with his speech (“In my Primary days, we sang ‘Give, Said the Little Stream’—certainly sweet and motivating but not exactly theologically drenched.). President Hinckley had his old age jokes. President Monson uses pronounced pauses and facial expressions (and apparently wiggles his ears). Matthew Cowley’s Miracles speech could pass for a standup comedy routine. Elder McConkie always had the audience rolling with…hrmm…uh…

Anyway, my purpose here is not to wax all nostalgic about great moments in General Authority joke telling; I am not a historian, and don’t really like researching topics well enough to do the topic justice anyway. What I do want to address is the possibility of a General Authority humor scandal, and perhaps employ some BCC readers in the detective work to quash (or confirm) it. To begin, consider the following story:

The CEO of a large firm, who also happens to hold a position of leadership in the LDS Church, agrees to take time out of his busy schedule to return with his wife to her rural home town in Idaho for a 30-year high school reunion. After arriving, this man enjoys getting to know several of his wife’s old friends, and is particularly keen on meeting her old high school flame, about which he had heard many stories from her other classmates. Upon meeting the old boyfriend, the husband discovers that his wife’s former boyfriend works in a small store in the same town they went to high school in, where he makes a very modest living.

Later, having left the party and boarded a flight home, this husband turns to his wife and asks, “Aren’t you glad you married me instead of him?” She replies, “Why would you ask that?” “Well, he doesn’t seem to have made much of himself. He still lives in that small town, and just works at a local store. You, on the other hand, are married to the CEO of a large firm.” His wife kisses him on the cheek and says, “After all these years of marriage you still don’t understand: If I had married that man, he would be the CEO of a large firm, and you would be working in a small town store.”

Get it? See, his wife was the real key to his suc…alright, you got it.

The story above is not unique in some respects–it represents many of the basic elements of Mormon humor: Pride being demolished, long marriage, Idaho, etc… However, what is unique about this story is that in the past three weeks, I have heard it told over the pulpit two different times (one fireside, one Stake Conference). In two different cities. By two different General Authorities (ene Emeritus, one Active). Who both said it was a true story, and that the husband in the story was a “close friend” of theirs.

Now, I called BS about the “true” nature of the story the when I heard it the first time for the obvious reason that no man on Earth is stupid enough to say to his wife “Aren’t you lucky you married me?” However, when I heard the exact same story the following weekend (“…mouths of two or three witnesses…” and all that), I realized that there was more to this. Questions began forming in my mind, and I’m hoping that you can help me answer some of them.

1. Is this a true story? Or is there a new volume of the CHI that contains a selection of jokes, stories, and anecdotes which the Correlation Committee has approved for General Authority use without citation? Or is this the new face of the pernicious problem of plagiarism? Have other people heard this story, too?

2. If the story is true, then who is this hapless husband? Is he a General Authority himself? Or just a local leader? Is he a prominent Mormon otherwise (he is a “close friend” with at least two others…)? His wife said he’d really only competent to be running a small town store…so should I be worried about any retirement funds invested in his company?

Discuss.

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Comments

  1. 1. I can see it as being true. That sounds like something that a succesful adult male would say to his wife in private after meeting an old HS boyfriend of hers.

    2. Probably a GA or SLC area SP.

  2. ldspsychology says:

    I have twice heard Senator Orrin Hatch tell this story about he and his wife Elaine — except it was set in downtown Salt Lake City, and the person he referred to was cleaning windows.

  3. I call shenanigans- this is a take on the glurge that when they call new bishops, they find the most righteous person in the ward and call her husband. The story seems to have been institutionalized and is probably passed around the water cooler at church HQ.

  4. I have twice heard U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch tell this story about he and his wife Elaine. The story was identical, except that he and Elaine were walking through downtown SLC, and the “old boyfriend” was cleaning the windows for one of the buildings.

    My guess is that these types of stories are more symbolic/metaphorical than literal.

  5. I wish I could get on the same email forward list that those two GAs are on. That way I could know all the jokes and stories they will tell beforehand.

    And if I know what the prophets are going to say before they say it, what would that make me?

  6. One time My wife and I went back to her hometown and I was really excited to meet her ex-boyfriend. At the time he was working a much better job than I was and he was also significantly more physically fit than myself – not to mention his full head of thick healthy hair – which only served to compliment his rugged good looks.

    On the way home I said to her “Aren’t you glad you married me instead of him?”

    She never answered my question and as we drove home, the silence was only periodically broken by the sound of her gently sobbing.

    :(

  7. “if I know what the prophets are going to say before they say it, what would that make me?”

    A spy for the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

  8. I also doubt it’s true.

    Jokes like that get my feminist goat a little bit. I won’t rant about why. Yeah, I know, feminists have no sense of humor.

  9. Emily, your feminist remark is funny because it’s true.

  10. John Scherer says:

    “And if I know what the prophets are going to say before they say it, what would that make me?”

    I’d say extremely bored during General Conference.

  11. More likely that all these stories are true because of some supplemental RS lesson that trains the wives how to use this rejoinder every time those to whom they’re wed show signs losing perspective about why things turned out so well.
    .
    This problem and its solution go all the way back to Adam & Eve. e.g. Moses 5:10-11:

    10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
    11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

  12. Agreed, John S. That’s the downside of being the kwisatz haderach.

  13. I’ve heard this in a non-Mormon context.

    If you Google “‘If I’d married him’ story,” in the first few hits you’ll find the same story told about Bill and Hillary Clinton and about the mayor of Pittsburgh and his wife.

  14. 1 comment too late to point out that I also had heard this about Bill and Hillary Clinton several years ago

  15. I think we’ve got a lead! By examining comments 4 & 5, we see that the GA’s meant that it was a “friend of a friend”, and not a “friend”. Thus Orrin (a prominent Mormon) certainly knows Bill and Hillary…

  16. OK, as a test I’m going to try this on my wife. Hold on.

  17. OK, so I said to my wife, ‘Aren’t you glad you married me and not H?’ And after her saying ‘What are you talking about and me repeating it, she asked why she would be happy about that. And I said, ‘Well, because he’s, you know, not that successful, really…’ And she said, ‘That’s mean. Don’t be a jerk.’

    So that might prove something.

  18. I think that, like Norbert, all males who read this should go home tonight and try it out.

    Return and report tomorrow.

  19. John Mansfield says:

    But Scott, what about those whose wives’ old boyfriends are all more successful than us? Hypothetically, that is. How should those men adapt this exercise?

  20. “But Scott, what about those whose wives’ old boyfriends are all more successful than us? Hypothetically, that is. How should those men adapt this exercise?”

    You should — hypothetically, of course — realize that financial success is the true measure of a man’s worth, and you should be ashamed of your life.

  21. John (19)

    Kuri (20) speaks the truth. Your wife made your bed, now you have to lie in it.

  22. pompous AIG executives…

  23. “Your wife made your bed, now you have to lie in it.”

    (in the context of the original story…not literally…oh man…that was some bad wording)

  24. StillConfused says:

    If I had a spouse ask me that, my answer would be “Hmmm. You’re right. Boy I better think about my options here.” And then be very silent. Until I think he is going to have a heart attack. Then I will say just kidding.

  25. What? Twenty-four comments, and no mention of Paul H. Dunn?

  26. Never heard of him.

  27. “Elder McConkie always had the audience rolling with…hrmm…uh…”

    Actually, Elder McConkie had a terrific sense of humor. He just rarely used it in public, with a few notable exceptions. See http://www.millennialstar.org/2005/10/03/elder-mcconkie-fallible-humorist/

  28. MaryMary says:

    What? Twenty-four comments, and no mention of Paul H. Dunn?

    Now, that was mean.

  29. “What? Twenty-four comments, and no mention of Paul H. Dunn?”

    The joke is considerably less funny when you realize that it’s not a joke at all.

  30. Ben (27)…from your linked article, about BRM:

    “It’s a pity he was always so serious in public. He had the greatest sense of humor, and no one in the Church knows it.”

    I stand by my claim.

  31. An unnamed member of the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke at my daughter’s Honor Society induction a few weeks ago. It was just like Sacrament Meeting, despite being a school event. He told a story of when he was in the military and the only LDS member in the group. I leaned over to my husband and whispered that he would talk about how he was hazed and forced to drink alcohol and sure enough, he said his military cohorts held him down and forced him to drink alcohol.

    I can’t tell you how many firesides, Sacrament Meetings and YW/YM activities where I’ve heard some older gentleman (all different people, mind you) tell about his time in the military, when he was forced to drink alcohol because of his religious beliefs. Could be true, but….it’s just such an old, ex-military, LDS cliche.

  32. As an aside, and to echo Ben (27), Elder McConkie actually had quite a sense of humor in a private setting. My grandparents were very close friends of Bruce and Amelia, and whenever I asked them about him, it always brought out a chuckle.

    This brings up another interesting subject, which is public vs. private personality. For example, most people generally think of President Monson as a warm, cuddly teddy bear and Elder McConkie as a stern and stuffy drill sergeant. However, most people that I know who have worked closely with both of them seemed to note that President Monson is very much a down-to-business, get-er-done type of person, and that Elder McConkie was quite warm and always had a bright sense of humor.

    Btw, this is a criticism of neither of them. Just a note that we probably don’t glimpse the full person from their general conference talks.

  33. If you don’t have a sense of humor in public, let me suggest to you that you do not have a sense of humor.

  34. WendyP (31)-

    On the other hand, this could just be an indictment of the lack of creativity among military folk…same old hazing, year after year….

  35. “about he and his wife”

    After two different commenters committed this grammatical felony, I decided either that the latter had simply copied and pasted the former’s comment, or that some of us still hate the objective case more than we hate sin.

    Mean comments about Paul Dunn (by people too young to remember anything except the sorry ending?) ignore the great good that he did, and even worse, ignore completely the second commandment. If the proper response to a brother who errs is to kick him while he’s down, I suppose we should all prepare ourselves for a helluva kicking.

  36. Right on Mark B.

    (p.s. oath next wednesday)

  37. Mark B.

    I (sincerely) hope you didn’t interpret my comment (29) as a jab at Paul H. Dunn; it was meant in exactly the opposite way–that his story is not particularly funny.

  38. “no man on Earth is stupid enough to say to his wife “Aren’t you lucky you married me?”

    I ask my wife that question all the time… like whenever we hear on the radio about a guy who just killed his wife.

  39. I once was accidentally involved in one of these story disseminations (I was the source of the story, which was true but sort of got garbled). I got the sense that the church HQ building was a giant mimeographing chain of shared stories, sort of like a networked game of “telephone.”

    It’s actually a painful confession, though, isn’t it? This notion that, in some cultural settings, the only way men become successful is on the back of their wives. Some truths are so painful to tell that we can only circumlocute them with jokes, stories, and parables.

  40. It’s normal and perfectly understandable to say to my wife, “aren’t you glad you married me?” but the moment I say, “…instead of him” I turn into a 14 year old. And then to start comparing credentials, even worse. Stupidest of all is the premise that being a CEO somehow makes you a better husband. Frankly, any guy that is the kind of guy that would even ask that question has got to be an insufferable jerk. So for the sake of the “LDS leader” I hope this story is urban legend.

  41. >I got the sense that the church HQ building was a giant mimeographing chain of shared stories, sort of like a networked game of “telephone.”

    There must be more stories you can tell…

  42. Steve Evans says:

    Sam, I agree. The painful part of those circumlocutions is how amazingly obvious it is. Anyone who has ever met me knows that without my wife I am a worthless turd. And yet my mere statement of that fact somehow is taken as a jest or something. I wish there were a better way for men to express their indebtedness to women without sounding trite or comedic.

  43. Steve, I award you 1,000,000,000 points for your reference to the Kwisatz Haderach. I always suspected you were one of the Bene Gesserit.

  44. Bruce Rogers says:

    I am not sure that I see any humor in this joke. The current economic disaster is due to the greed of “CEOs of large firms”. If you are a CEO today, you are “guilty by association” and you have to prove that you are not like those other crooks. How does the woman in this story know that her husband is not one of the crooks? The wife of that CEO will have reason to have considerable doubts about the honesty of her husband, while the wife of the “former boyfriend” is much less likely to have such doubts. Further, a CEO who would make the remark about another man that this man made to his wife is even more likely to be a crook. Therefore, I am not amused by the story.

  45. Brother Gatsby,

    I already know what they will say at General Conference.

    Porn = bad
    Gambling = bad
    tithing = good
    temple worship = good
    beating your wife/children/dog = bad
    adultery = bad
    being rotten to your non -member neighbors = bad
    financial responsiblity = good (bet there is at least one garden reference.)
    Following prophet- good
    keeping commandments = safety and peace
    Jesus=Really good

    As for the story? I recently got it on an email about Barak and Michelle.

  46. This type of “humor” makes me a little uncomfortable. It seems odd when a husband’s highest compliment about his wife is that she turned him from a dolt to a success. Like that was her greatest accomplishment.

    Of course I’m not a woman, so it doesn’t bother me that much. On the other hand, as a single guy, the message comes through loud and clear. It’s totally okay for me to be a complete failure, because without women, men are just depraved slobs.

  47. Notice that in such a story, although the speaker disavows the principle responsibility for it, he is still able to parade himself about as a success.

    So. although he is not saying that he prevailed despite his wife’s lack of support, or that his bright future was derailed once his wife became involved, neither is he saying that, no thanks to his wife’s best efforts, he remained a mediocrity.

  48. “…you’ll find that Elder Wirthlin attained a skill …of self-deprecating humor … about …being from Idaho”

    Now who could possibly find anything self-depricating about being from Idaho?! ;-)) As a native of the state, I have always made jokes about it myself but have NEVER let anyone who wasn’t a native get away with it. So be careful!

  49. Steve (33) – Except here, “public” is being used with the narrow definition of general conference talks/BYU speeches.

  50. #18 When you said “return and report” something clicked in my brain and later that night I found myself involuntarily having the following conversations:

    me: aren’t you glad you married me instead of Bill?
    wife: why?
    me: because he’s a window washer and I’m a lawyer
    wife: yeah, a lawyer who can’t make his billable hours. Maybe I should have married Bill. Besides, he was in finance.

  51. Jacob (#43), a male Bene Gesserit? Abomination.

  52. JT (#49), a distinction that doesn’t make that much difference for seasoned General Authorities, I don’t think. Besides, we’re not just talking about General Conference.

  53. lamonte (48)-

    It was actually Elder Haight I was referring to regarding Idaho. As a fellow Idahoan (from Preston), I can only say that, if you’ve been to Oakley (where Elder Haight was from), you’ll know that there is plenty to make fun of.

  54. Steve (re 43, 51)-
    You’re male?

  55. ouch.

  56. I’ve sometimes used the inverse of this joke to explain why I never amounted to much: it’s my wife’s fault.

  57. Steve (52) – Actually, my point is that for at least two seasoned general authorities (assuming you think Pres. Monson and Elder McConkie would qualify as “seasoned”), I think most people’s perceptions of them (Pres. Monson = big cuddly teddy bear, Elder McConkie = strict and stuffy), which are most likely based on their limited exposure to them in general conference, BYU addresses, and, if lucky, a stake conference, aren’t quite accurate.

    (Again, this is not a knock on either of them at all.)

  58. Steve Evans says:

    JT, if your point is that we don’t get a fair view of someone’s real personality from their G.C. addresses, sure I can go along with that. But if you are a humorless robot there’s no way you’re gonna be cracking the jokes in G.C.

  59. JT,

    You’re right. A neighbor in college was a waitress at a restaurant where President Monson ate once and she said he didn’t leave a big tip. This, combined with the fact that he’s a known pheasant hunter effectively destroys the generous, widow-visiting, teddy bear Prophet we’ve come to know and love.

  60. “a male Bene Gesserit? Abomination.”

    Isn’t that the definition of the kwisatz hadderach?

    From Wiki:

    “KWISATZ HADERACH: “Shortening of the Way.” This is the label applied by the Bene Gesserit to the unknown for which they sought a genetic solution: a male Bene Gesserit whose organic mental powers would bridge space and time.”

  61. “I’ve sometimes used the inverse of this joke to explain why I never amounted to much: it’s my wife’s fault.”

    And there’s the unspoken dark side of this cute story rearing its ugly head: If the wives get the credit for successes then they can’t escape the blame for failures. How cute is that story now?

  62. Bruce Rogers @ 44 – you need to get out more. The CEOs you are talking about, which are a microscopic percentage of CEOs, in cahoots with their crooked partners in Congress (and yes, this does include LDS “stalwarts” like Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch) are the ones responsible for this mess.

    And to the rest of you – unless you’re related or have a very close relationship with GAs, you don’t have any idea who they are based on the 6-10 minutes you see them at Conference. For example, from my time in Europe, both Hans Ringger and Spencer Condie of the 70 were both huge jerks, but always tried to come across as nice guys in Conference (Yes, Elder Ringger was released some time ago). I know other now-GAs from having lived in Utah. Only one I can think of was a nice guy, and honest through and through. The others were shady in their dealings and also jerks to others in real life. Yes, acting like a pompous prat who is better than those around you qualifies as being a jerk. President Monson was very nice on the occasions I have met him, but there’s no trace of that so-called teddy-bearishness.

  63. Scott: I know from personal experience the generous nature of Pres. Monson, and my grandmother was just one of the many widows that he visited, gave personal attention to, and blessed while he was incredibly busy with his responsibilities in the First Presidency. He is an incredibly good person, and it is my personal conviction that he is a prophet of God.

    My remark that he isn’t always a cuddly teddy bear is actually almost a direct quote from a member of the Twelve. He mentioned that he can be quite hard on the Twelve, but went on to explain that it is because he can see their potential and wants them to reach it, and that we should each have someone like that in our lives. When President Monson speaks in general conference, he speaks so that everyone, including little children, can understand. When he speaks to the Twelve (or other adults mature in the gospel), he speaks so that they can understand (sometimes in no uncertain terms).

    Really, the Pres. Monson remark was really just an aside that sometimes we don’t glimpse the full personality of a person from our limited exposure to them in general conference. And this point was really just a general statement I was using to note that Elder McConkie actually did have quite a sense of humor, you just never saw it in conference (if I could only show you some of my grandparents’ photos with the McConkies…)

  64. JT (63)–

    I have been told numerous times that my humor/lighthearted nature does not come through in my writing very well. It is apparent to me that I should have put a :) on (59.).

    I understood you fine the first time, and was not trying (seriously) to suggest that you were being critical of him.

  65. Gotcha – my bad. :)

  66. President Monson lives in my stake. I know his neighbors and have seen him many times. He is, without a doubt, a very nice guy and a very good person. Neither of which preclude him from being a stern taskmaster as an administrator, when that is required.

  67. Chris (62).

    Alright, pal. You stepped over the line when you brought Spencer J. Condie into it. He, like all the great GA’s of the past, is from my home town of Preston Freaking Idaho. What is your home town? Probably something like “Enoch” or “Manti” or “Heber”.

    I will not sit here and listen to you, or any other passerby in the bloggernacle deride a man simply because he is from a town that will forever be associated with an independent film about a nerdy high schooler. You call him a jerk; I call him a hero. Who is next? President Benson? How about President Lee, then? They were from Preston, too. How about our current counselor in the Presiding Bishopric? And don’t forget to pour some salt on the open wound that is Matthias Cowley’s release from the 12. Bring. It. On.

    We P-towners can take it, but we will take it fighting to the end.

  68. John Mansfield says:

    Bruce McConkie often struck me as one having a lot of fun at the pulpit. His hyperbolic denunciations of apostasy were deliberately over-the-top and designed to bring a smile, but not quite a laugh. I think it was in Mormon Doctrine that he wrote that those eating out shouldn’t pray in the restaurant before the meal because it could be assumed they had already prayed such blessings as there called for before leaving home. It was sort of low-grade Mark Twain with an almost audible sigh.

  69. “Bruce McConkie often struck me as one having a lot of fun at the pulpit. His hyperbolic denunciations of apostasy were deliberately over-the-top and designed to bring a smile, but not quite a laugh.” = Apologetics FAIL

    I don’t buy it. ;)

  70. John Mansfield says:

    “I received a letter from a returned missionary whom I shall call Elder Carnalus Luciferno, for no one in his right mind would have such a name, and my correspondent was certainly out of his mind.”&mdashBRM, January 10, 1984

  71. If you can find a recording of this talk by BRM (Oct 83 Conference), this story gets a huge laugh:
    ———————————————————
    [Two ministers came to one of our conferences] to hear me preach. And, once again, after the meeting I had a private discussion with them.

    I then said, “What is it going to take to get you gentlemen to read the Book of Mormon and find out for yourselves what is involved, rather than relying on the views of your experts?”

    One of these ministers, holding my copy of the Book of Mormon in his hands, let the pages flip past his eyes in a matter of seconds. As he did so, he said, “Oh, I’ve read the Book of Mormon.”

    I had a momentary flash of spiritual insight that let me know that his reading had been about as extensive as the way he had just flipped the pages. In his reading he had done no more than scan a few of the headings and read an isolated verse or two.

    A lovely young lady, a convert to the Church whose father was a minister of the same denomination as my four Protestant friends, was listening to my conversation with the second two. At this point she spoke up and said, “But Reverend, you have to pray about it.”

    He replied, “Oh, I prayed about it. I said, ‘O God, if the Book of Mormon is true, strike me dead’; and here I am.”

    My unspoken impulse was to give this rejoinder: “But Reverend, you have to pray in faith!”
    —————————————————

  72. Scott B @ 67. Who knew? It’s like everyone came from Preston when you read this post. I have visited that tiny town on a couple memorable occasions. My remarks were not meant to pile-drive Prestonians. Napoleon was a misunderstood youth, but a good kid. I was simply stating what I knew, which was about jerkiness, not about his town. Ease up, buttercup!

  73. Chris,

    All the great ones come from Preston–this is a well-established doctrine.

  74. Actually the Kwisatz Haderach was supposed to be female. Jessica wasn’t supposed to even have Paul. He was unauthorized, and turned out to be the KH who was the wrong sex and one generation early.

  75. Wait, wikipedia says he was supposed to be male. Now I’m confused. It’s been decades since I read Dune, but I remember that point so clearly! Could wikipedia be (gasp) WRONG?!?!?!

  76. Steve Evans says:

    Tatiana, the Kwisatz Haderach is a male Bene Gesserit. Paul wasn’t the wrong sex, he was one generation early.

  77. I hope you’re kidding about the “no man on Earth is stupid enough to say to his wife “Aren’t you lucky you married me?” ”
    My husband and I both tell each other we are lucky. I tell him I’m lucky that he is my husband, and I tell him that he is lucky to have me. He tells me he is lucky to have me as a wife, and he points out when he thinks he is being a good husband and hopes I agree with him that he is a good husband.
    As for the actualy story, while I think it does overemphasize the woman behind the man that can bother me to some extent, I think it should be true of both genders. I HOPE that my husband is a better man in many ways (not just career or church responsibility) after being married to me. And I KNOW that I am a better woman and have accomplished many things having been married to him.
    I do try to tell my husband that he is the man behind the woman (not in those words, but that kind of idea). Many of my accomplishments that I am most proud of, I needed his love and support. He isn’t always the perfect supportive husband, but when he is it means a lot to me.
    A good spouse is appreciative of what the other person has done for them. A confident, successful person can point out his or her own contributions to others.

  78. Wow, I feel so sure that he was supposed to be female. My world is crumbling! Could they have changed that point in later editions of the book that were printed after the 70s?

  79. By the way, the story is one of those folk tales that get told about almost all well-known couples with strong females. I heard it about the Clintons not long after he was elected. GAs can tell FOAF tales too!

  80. “Wow, I feel so sure that he was supposed to be female. My world is crumbling! Could they have changed that point in later editions of the book that were printed after the 70s?”

    No.

  81. Peter LLC says:

    62:from my time in Europe, [GAs] were both huge jerks, but always tried to come across as nice guys in Conference

    I hear you there. I had the misfortune of being present at a zone conference when a member of the AA came visiting. I can live with condescending or iron-hand-in-an-iron-glove leaders, but gratuitously obnoxious like this guy was? No thanks.

    A couple of years later the same person spoke at a BYU stake conference. I was expecting more of the same, but nope, he was all sweetness and light, praising our righteousness for attending our meetings.

  82. Anyone who has served in church leadership at any level knows that “a close personal friend” could be ANY NUMBER of people in ward/stake/area leadership that you rubbed shoulders with. It’s every easy for me to imagine that both these great men know the same person, a CEO, who would ask his wife that question. This isn’t a stretch for the imagination at all, and I’d hardly call it a “scandal”! LOL

  83. [F]rom my time in Europe, both Hans Ringger and Spencer Condie of the 70 were both huge jerks, but always tried to come across as nice guys in Conference.

    Relatives and close friends of Elders Ringger and Condie tell me that they are, indeed, nice guys.

  84. Steve Evans says:

    Indeed, Justin, such was been my experience as well.

  85. #77 There is a huge difference between saying I am lucky to have my wife as a spouse and saying my wife is lucky to have me as a spouse.

    The first is the epitome of humility. The second is the epitome of pompous arrogance. Which is, I believe, the oh-so-subtle message of this folk tale.

    Incidentally, I’d like to second the notion that not all CEOs are greedy, corrupt men who cause financial markets to collapse. I am going to be the president/CEO of a small business in a few months, and I don’t think that I’ll have any meaningful impact on the financial markets. Nor am I greedy and corrupt. At least not too much… ;)

  86. Alex Valencic (85.), via (83.) & (84.)

    “Relatives and close friends of Alex Valencic tell me that he is not greedy or corrupt, but is, indeed, a nice guy.”

  87. Gregory Taggart says:

    Chris wrote:”And to the rest of you – unless you’re related or have a very close relationship with GAs, you don’t have any idea who they are based on the 6-10 minutes you see them at Conference. For example, from my time in Europe, both Hans Ringger and Spencer Condie of the 70 were both huge jerks, but always tried to come across as nice guys in Conference (Yes, Elder Ringger was released some time ago). I know other now-GAs from having lived in Utah. Only one I can think of was a nice guy, and honest through and through. The others were shady in their dealings and also jerks to others in real life. Yes, acting like a pompous prat who is better than those around you qualifies as being a jerk. President Monson was very nice on the occasions I have met him, but there’s no trace of that so-called teddy-bearishness.”

    Geezy Peezy. I’m from Wyoming, and I think you’re projecting. In any event, that’s one hell of a broad brush you paint, er, scribble with.

  88. Bruce Rogers says:

    RE: Post 87 above: When i signed up for this list, the instructions said, as I best recall, that there was to be no anti-mormon or bashing of GAs. I suggest that the owner of this site examine that post.

  89. Bruce, we’ve sufficiently debunked chris’s stupid screed, I think.

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