Responsibilities of Deacons, Ranked

Sam Weir
These rankings are authoritative.[1]

  1. Tucking in your shirt but forgetting to wear a belt
  2. Looking at a neutral corner of the room during chastity lessons
  3. Progressing from clip-on to real tie
  4. Wondering what the heck is going on down there, anyway
  5. Getting your mom to call you “President”
  6. Regressing from real tie to a clip-on because it’s easier
  7. Fast offering envelopes
  8. Invoking priesthood authority to win at sports
  9. Voice-cracking
  10. Going back (again) to a real tie after discovering you can just tie it once and then leave the knot in place for, like, forever
  11. Learning to be ashamed and afraid to publicly discuss any meaningful spiritual experiences

____________________________________________
[1] Steve and I created this list after much prayer and meditation. If you disagree with us, you’re basically disagreeing with the Prophet.

Comments

  1. Hahahaha I love this!

  2. * Passing Sacrament whilst sporting a massive, obvious boner

  3. ordaining children to the priesthood to “teach them how to be men” was one of our worst mistakes. like, ever.

  4. It’s over! APM wins!

  5. take that back, I can think of worse.

  6. What about wearing white socks with black slacks that are 2-3 inches too short?

  7. My opinion is meaningless because I am woman. .. Comments here are clearly the responsibility of “the preisthood.”

  8. Raiding the church fridge and showing up anywhere refreshments are served

  9. Melody, don’t sell yourself short – it’s entirely possible your comments are just as worthless as any man’s.

  10. Wait. I am confused. I thought that sitting with your head between your legs and staring at your shoes instead of singing the opening hymn was a Deacon’s responsibility. But that is not on the list?

  11. anonymous,
    What you say is true, but it is not the exclusive domain of deacons. We all show up for refreshments, regardless of age.

  12. The bread loaf fights? Where they hit each other with the bagged bread? Maybe this was just a tradition in my ward.

  13. Do people actually wear belts nowadays? I know i never have.

  14. David M Morris says:

    and progressing to Teachers the weekly fight as to who will eat the bread left over from sacrament when ‘giving it to the birds’.

  15. steal whatever snacks and treats I have hidden in the kitchen for my activities; srsly every. time.

    although I have never witnessed it first hand, I guess it could be the EQ . . .

  16. I would say that mocking the priesthood while the permabloggers applaud is a new low for BCC, but that’s pretty much where it’s at all the time. Every time I see Maxwell Institute personnel posting here, the less I think of it.

  17. Serious, Tony? Mocking the priesthood? No one mocked “the priesthood.” Just the silly boys who hold one of the offices of the priesthood. We’re making fun of adolescents. Not the priesthood. Don’t you know that men are not “the priesthood.” Or maybe you don’t believe Elder Oaks? Maybe you willingly choose to disregard the teachings of the Brethren that men are not the priesthood. I guess that pretty much makes you an apostate. You apostate. That’s a new low, even for you. (Maxwell Institute types better pile on this apostate here, or I will think less of them.)

  18. Wearing ties with Disney characters.

  19. Tony L, I am confused. Is this ‘a new low’ or ‘where it’s at all the time’?

  20. Do people actually wear belts nowadays?

    Belts are appropriate if one does not wear a jacket, which I suspect few deacons do.

  21. Passing the sacrament with an obvious gigantic DS3-bulge in your pocket and then marveling how mom knew to confiscate it when you return to your seat.

  22. A useful side note to “progressing to real tie”: Deacon’s collar.

  23. C’mon, APM. When was a deacon’s ever “massive” ? :)

    April Young Bennett, that “staring at the shoes” business during the opening hymn is just a reverent time of contemplation and repentance in preparation for the sacrament. Men of all ages do it. Even though most hymns are sung as slow as funeral dirges, we don’t want the festiveness of music to distract us from clearing the slate with the Almighty.

    The men who sing the opener loudly, with heads high, don’t think they have anything to repent of. They should be watched. Closely.

  24. Anonymous and disgusted says:

    This attempt at humor is ham-fisted, and furthermore, it is precisely this kind of teasing, or bullying, to put it bluntly, that can make life so difficult for young men this age. I’ve seen it happen to one of own boys by a scout leader when the leader didn’t know I could hear, and it undoubtedly happened when I wasn’t around.* If I had the experience then that I do now, I would have immediately confronted the bully and demanded an immediate apology, and escalated as necessary. When many children are already carrying heavy and often silent burdens, how unfortunate to pile on and mock and make fun.

    Shame on you, BCC.

    *Although the story is quite vague as told here, I will leave it this way and comment anonymously so as not to compromise my child’s privacy.

  25. While some of the items may elicit a chuckle, anyone who thinks this list is about denigrating or bullying must not have read closely enough. I advise re-reading item #1 in particular; those who have ears to hear, let them listen.

  26. There’s a typo in the title of your post. It should read “Rank.”

  27. Anonymous/disgusted, sorry but you’re wrong. Like, utterly and completely wrong.

  28. C’mon people, it’s Friday for Pete’s sake! Let’s have a laugh!

    Clip on tie? I’ll go one better, I wore a (fake) leather teal coloured zipper tie, with a sweater that would have made Bill Cosby proud. The 80’s were a great time to be an awkward deacon. I deserve to be mocked retroactively.

  29. Kevin Barney says:

    Once when my little brother was a deacon, after passing the sacrament he and a friend sat on the same front row pew where they had been before the sacrament and pulled out a deck of face cards and started playing some card game for the remainder of the service. This was in a church that was purchased from the Congregationalists, and it had a floor that sloped to the front, sort of theater-style. Which means absolutely eveyone could see what they were doing. If you’re too young, you won’t remember the extreme taboo that used to exist vis-a-vis face cards in this Church. People reacted like my bro was about to sprout a huge red tail and reign with blood and horror on this earth.

  30. Yep. You nailed me, folks! Deacon-Bully!

  31. To be clear, let me summarize the nature/origin of this post (and others like it):

    Scott: hey Steve–remember when you were a deacon?
    Steve: yeah. Awkward times.
    Scott: totally. Pretty much everyone at that age is physically and spiritually and emotionally in flux.
    Steve: LET US BULLY THEM MERCILESSLY!
    Scott: SOUNDS FUN!

  32. Bullying of deacons? In my experience, that was saved for Scouts, where it became an art form.

  33. Michael Austin says:

    Um Hello! Ministering of Angels????? What could be cooler than that.

  34. very true

  35. Kevin.
    To this day my parents, who are otherwise very reasonable people, consider face cards a gateway entertainment to the summoning of Satan himself. It’s taken me years to realize that euchre was innocent fun and not a manual on how to sell my soul.

  36. Anonymous, etc. says:

    I’m sure the scout leader thought he was being funny, too. But adults making fun of boys this age? I’ve seen it. Don’t like it.

    I can understand, now that you’re explaining yourself, that this is a response to the type of experiences boys have at this age, and that you may have had, but it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to understand that some of us may read it in light of having watched our sons be bullied and harassed and ignored — and that by their leaders — and having had to make their way through Young Men and Scouting without caring and mature men to provide a good example.

    It’s been a sadness for years, but happily, with a couple of changes in ward leadership, things have improved greatly. Additionally, some middle-aged couples have joined the church here in the last couple of years and have been a real blessing to my children.

  37. I am dying!! To anyone going through extraordinary effort to find offense… Empathy is the opposite of bullying. This list is amazing.

  38. I look forward to the next post of this series series, wherein you mock the young women (not the program, mark you–just the silly girls who happen to belong to the program). Next you can do similar posts with the nuances of the members of the Elders’ Quorum, then the Relief Society, then the High Priests, and finally wind things up with the Primary.

    Because, equality!

  39. Nervously fiddling and re-fiddling with our fly to make sure everything’s zipped up and proper! Oh wait…that doesn’t end with deacon’s quorum…

  40. Scott: hey Steve–remember when you were a deacon?
    Steve: yeah. Awkward times.
    Scott: totally. Pretty much everyone at that age is physically and spiritually and emotionally in flux.
    Steve: LET US BULLY THEM MERCILESSLY!
    Scott: SOUNDS FUN!

    Am I the only one who caught how Scott conveniently threw Steve under the bus as the instigator of the bullying?

  41. My grandmother, still living, was horrified a few years ago when she asked me to bring games for a family gathering and I brought face cards.

    Another reason to be happy that Mormon Doctrine is out of print.

  42. Seriously... Aren't there better things to do says:

    I agree with those of you who don’t like this. BCC: You’re walking a fine line here many days. It would do many of us well for you to post your feelings about the church because some days you seem dead on, doctrinally correct, and other days your tweets and blog blurbs are mocking and offensive which can be confusing.

  43. Mocking + offensive + the appearance (on some days) of being dead on and doctrinally correct = what I come here for.

  44. @”Seriously… Aren’t there better things to do”

    YES! There are many, many better things to do! In fact, next week, Steve and I will post that list.

  45. “some days you seem dead on, doctrinally correct, and other days your tweets and blog blurbs are mocking and offensive which can be confusing.”

    I suggest reading carefully then. Consider, for example, whether the post has a “tone” of “humor” or “sarcasm” or “laughter” or “scare-quotes” or whether it is, you know, about doctrine. With time and practice, you’ll figure out when we’re having fun and when we’re being serious.

    (in case we’re not there yet today–this post is having fun.)

  46. “BCC: You’re walking a fine line here many days”

    Thanks for putting us on notice.

    “It would do many of us well for you to post your feelings about the church”

    Done.

    “other days your tweets and blog blurbs are mocking and offensive which can be confusing”

    YES! Totally.

  47. PS here’s actually how the conversation went down:

    Scott: Hey Steve, I was thinking we should bully and mock our most vulnerable group of boys in the Church.

    Steve: Scott, whoa. I don’t know about that. I don’t feel good about that at all. I think we should post our feelings about the Church instead, rather than a blog blurb that could be mocking and offensive.

    Scott: C’mon.

    Steve: Yeah, ok.

  48. Dude you swore you wouldn’t tell!

  49. Seriously... Aren't there better things to do says:

    @Scott @Steve –
    Mock away. Your bcc stated “safe place” obviously doesn’t exist. I don’t need a literary lesson to try to understand what you do here from day to day. I get “tone, sarcasm” etc. As if these things make it ok. Offensive = Twitter “tweets” by supposed good Mormons laughing about a vibrator toothbrush, mocking the LDS church post with Elder Scott’s talk, and the list goes on. Point and laugh all you want. I’m not “beyond feeling”. I know there are others reading this and agreeing with me. Mock your readership all you want. I haven’t been here long… Nor do I intend to stay. I encourage others like me to leave as well.

  50. “I encourage others like me to leave as well.”

    You mean, hairy-backed, humorless nitwits who use scare quotes around “terms” such as “tweets”? Didn’t know you had a union, but ok. You sound like a swell person. Good luck to you.

  51. steve, 340p; you got me to laugh. i dont ever laugh. screw you. :)

  52. Hearken Unto My Words, O Child! says:

    Steve –
    Thy words annoyeth
    Even the faithful and
    Vigilant among us. Thy humorless
    Efforts
    Inspireth not, nor giveth
    Solace. Rather, thy
    Ad hominem utterances
    [W]Breaketh the heart and giveth
    [E]Utter despair to the sincere. O, that
    [S]Thou couldst
    [O]Thank rather than
    [M]Hurt, give
    Ear to my words, and annoyeth not. For thy damnation cometh surely, except ye repent.

  53. Deacons:

    Pick your nose during the sacrament hymn – and then pass the tray
    Huddle in the pew around someone’s phone during the announcements/opening prayer
    Have your shirttail hang out your open fly while passing the sacrament (could be worse, I guess)
    Engage in not-so-surreptitious combat during the opening prayer

    But, when you take a deacon and make him a scout…! (every one happened while I was scoutmaster):

    Attempt to make a small, secret fire in the middle of the dry brush
    Attempt to self-belay in the climbing gym and fall 12 ft on your back
    Race ahead of the other mountain bikers and take a dump in the middle of trail around a corner to see who hits it
    Vomit 32 ounces of slurpee in the van on curvy mountain roads
    And, (I kid you not), stick a stick into a nest of yellow jackets and shake it violently when throwing rocks isn’t adequate (four boys, running, screaming, and multiple stings)

  54. I agree that this isn’t intended to be harmful or bullying, but with that being said…
    I’ve seen some of the same people defending the light-heartedness and sarcasm of this take offense at other pieces that seem to be much more obviously humor. Things that seem to be even slightly directed toward women are decried as sexist and terrible while this is just humor? I’d beware the hypocrisy here…

  55. Serious, get a life. I doubt Aaronic Priesthood-aged boys read BCC, If any do, they’ll likely laugh instead of feel bullied. I think it would be a great idea to do the Young Women next, then the EQ, then the RS, etc.

  56. Yeah, anyone thinks BCC *hasn’t* run pieces by women laughing at quirks of YW, RS, their own awkward adolescence, etc. … uh, hasn’t been paying attention.

    I realize it’s more fun to whine about “double standards” and how isn’t [insert privileged group] the REAL victim here, but come on.

  57. Folks, every second this threadjack continues the terrorists win. Do you want that on your conscience?

  58. John, I know I do.

  59. Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel. Listen, O isles, unto says:

    5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

    6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.

    7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.

    8 ¶Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

    9 The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests, the Lord’s ministers, mourn.

    10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

    11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

    12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

    13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

  60. A face that says “old people smell” and distant body language during passing of sacrament.

  61. Left Field says:

    I don’t know about “mocking” and “bullying” and “terms” in “scare quotes.” And I don’t know who “Sam” is. But whenever I open BCC and see that “photograph,” it brings to mind the term “unsee.”

    Thanks a lot for that.

  62. Left Field,
    It’s a classic scene from the TV show Freaks and Geeks.

  63. People, re bullying:

    You are nuts. Straight up NUTS if you think this is bullying. This post is polar _opposite_ of bullying. It is two adult males saying (to all who listen, including any potential 12-13 year old boys): “You are not alone. You are not the only one who went through that horribly awkward period of life. Everyone around you–no matter what they’re acting like or how cool they may seem–is going through the exact same things. It won’t last forever. It’s part of being normal and growing up in the church.”

    That is called empathy (as someone else mentioned above), and it is the counter to bullying. Any argument to the contrary is stupid.

  64. “Any argument to the contrary is stupid.” -on the wall of Anselm’s Scriptorium.

  65. I take back everything I said above. If this prompts people to straight up cut and paste scripture into the comments, I’m all for it. Bring the crazy, folks. See if you can come up with a justification for squeezing Jacob 5 into something next. Preferably as your name.

  66. Anonymous, etc. says:

    Let me explain as simply as I can. This list is exactly the type of thing children of this age hear when they’re bullied. As a result, it can be a trigger for people who have had bad experiences involving bullying.

    Scott, I understand now that this was meant as an empathetic statement and that your motives were very different from how I and others read it. However, your motives were not explained up front, so although you can object that people didn’t read your mind, you can’t really expect us to have done so.

    By the way, over the six or seven years I’ve been involved in the Bloggernacle, I’ve raised similar objections twice to content on other blogs, one a conservative blog, one liberal. In the first case, my comment was removed and the author wrote an incensed reply. In the second case, my comment was removed and I was banned from the blog. It is very much to your credit that you have let my objection stand. I appreciate it, particularly if it will help anyone understand that sentiments like this, if directed at a young man in real life (which this was not) could very well be read by him or his parents as bullying. So, thank you for that.

  67. Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teet says:

    2 Hearken, O ye house of Israel, and hear the words of me, a prophet of the Lord.

    3 For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.

    4 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard went forth, and he saw that his olive tree began to decay; and he said: I will prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it, that perhaps it may shoot forth young and tender branches, and it perish not.

    5 And it came to pass that he pruned it, and digged about it, and nourished it according to his word.

    6 And it came to pass that after many days it began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish.

    7 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard saw it, and he said unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, go and pluck the branches from a wild olive tree, and bring them hither unto me; and we will pluck off those main branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned.

    8 And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard, I take away many of these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will; and it mattereth not that if it so be that the root of this tree will perish, I may preserve the fruit thereof unto myself; wherefore, I will take these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will.

    9 Take thou the branches of the wild olive tree, and graft them in, in the stead thereof; and these which I have plucked off I will cast into the fire and burn them, that they may not cumber the ground of my vineyard.

    10 And it came to pass that the servant of the Lord of the vineyard did according to the word of the Lord of the vineyard, and grafted in the branches of the wild olive tree.

    11 And the Lord of the vineyard caused that it should be digged about, and pruned, and nourished, saying unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, that perhaps I might preserve the roots thereof that they perish not, that I might preserve them unto myself, I have done this thing.

    12 Wherefore, go thy way; watch the tree, and nourish it, according to my words.

    13 And these will I place in the nethermost part of my vineyard, whithersoever I will, it mattereth not unto thee; and I do it that I may preserve unto myself the natural branches of the tree; and also, that I may lay up fruit thereof against the season, unto myself; for it grieveth me that I should lose this tree and the fruit thereof.

    14 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard went his way, and hid the natural branches of the tame olive tree in the nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one and some in another, according to his will and pleasure.

    15 And it came to pass that a long time passed away, and the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Come, let us go down into the vineyard, that we may labor in the vineyard.

    16 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard, and also the servant, went down into the vineyard to labor. And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Behold, look here; behold the tree.

    17 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard looked and beheld the tree in the which the wild olive branches had been grafted; and it had sprung forth and begun to bear fruit. And he beheld that it was good; and the fruit thereof was like unto the natural fruit.

    18 And he said unto the servant: Behold, the branches of the wild tree have taken hold of the moisture of the root thereof, that the root thereof hath brought forth much strength; and because of the much strength of the root thereof the wild branches have brought forth tame fruit. Now, if we had not grafted in these branches, the tree thereof would have perished. And now, behold, I shall lay up much fruit, which the tree thereof hath brought forth; and the fruit thereof I shall lay up against the season, unto mine own self.

    19 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Come, let us go to the nethermost part of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches of the tree have not brought forth much fruit also, that I may lay up of the fruit thereof against the season, unto mine own self.

    20 And it came to pass that they went forth whither the master had hid the natural branches of the tree, and he said unto the servant: Behold these; and he beheld the first that it had brought forth much fruit; and he beheld also that it was good. And he said unto the servant: Take of the fruit thereof, and lay it up against the season, that I may preserve it unto mine own self; for behold, said he, this long time have I nourished it, and it hath brought forth much fruit.

    21 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard.

    22 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.

    23 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Look hither; behold I have planted another branch of the tree also; and thou knowest that this spot of ground was poorer than the first. But, behold the tree. I have nourished it this long time, and it hath brought forth much fruit; therefore, gather it, and lay it up against the season, that I may preserve it unto mine own self.

    24 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said again unto his servant: Look hither, and behold another branch also, which I have planted; behold that I have nourished it also, and it hath brought forth fruit.

    25 And he said unto the servant: Look hither and behold the last. Behold, this have I planted in a good spot of ground; and I have nourished it this long time, and only a part of the tree hath brought forth tame fruit, and the other part of the tree hath brought forth wild fruit; behold, I have nourished this tree like unto the others.

    26 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Pluck off the branches that have not brought forth good fruit, and cast them into the fire.

    27 But behold, the servant said unto him: Let us prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it a little longer, that perhaps it may bring forth good fruit unto thee, that thou canst lay it up against the season.

    28 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard and the servant of the Lord of the vineyard did nourish all the fruit of the vineyard.

    29 And it came to pass that a long time had passed away, and the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Come, let us go down into the vineyard, that we may labor again in the vineyard. For behold, the time draweth near, and the end soon cometh; wherefore, I must lay up fruit against the season, unto mine own self.

    30 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard and the servant went down into the vineyard; and they came to the tree whose natural branches had been broken off, and the wild branches had been grafted in; and behold all sorts of fruit did cumber the tree.

    31 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard did taste of the fruit, every sort according to its number. And the Lord of the vineyard said: Behold, this long time have we nourished this tree, and I have laid up unto myself against the season much fruit.

    32 But behold, this time it hath brought forth much fruit, and there is none of it which is good. And behold, there are all kinds of bad fruit; and it profiteth me nothing, notwithstanding all our labor; and now it grieveth me that I should lose this tree.

    33 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: What shall we do unto the tree, that I may preserve again good fruit thereof unto mine own self?

    34 And the servant said unto his master: Behold, because thou didst graft in the branches of the wild olive tree they have nourished the roots, that they are alive and they have not perished; wherefore thou beholdest that they are yet good.

    35 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: The tree profiteth me nothing, and the roots thereof profit me nothing so long as it shall bring forth evil fruit.

    36 Nevertheless, I know that the roots are good, and for mine own purpose I have preserved them; and because of their much strength they have hitherto brought forth, from the wild branches, good fruit.

    37 But behold, the wild branches have grown and have overrun the roots thereof; and because that the wild branches have overcome the roots thereof it hath brought forth much evil fruit; and because that it hath brought forth so much evil fruit thou beholdest that it beginneth to perish; and it will soon become ripened, that it may be cast into the fire, except we should do something for it to preserve it.

    38 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Let us go down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches have also brought forth evil fruit.

    39 And it came to pass that they went down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard. And it came to pass that they beheld that the fruit of the natural branches had become corrupt also; yea, the first and the second and also the last; and they had all become corrupt.

    40 And the wild fruit of the last had overcome that part of the tree which brought forth good fruit, even that the branch had withered away and died.

    41 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?

    42 Behold, I knew that all the fruit of the vineyard, save it were these, had become corrupted. And now these which have once brought forth good fruit have also become corrupted; and now all the trees of my vineyard are good for nothing save it be to be hewn down and cast into the fire.

    43 And behold this last, whose branch hath withered away, I did plant in a good spot of ground; yea, even that which was choice unto me above all other parts of the land of my vineyard.

    44 And thou beheldest that I also cut down that which cumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof.

    45 And thou beheldest that a part thereof brought forth good fruit, and a part thereof brought forth wild fruit; and because I plucked not the branches thereof and cast them into the fire, behold, they have overcome the good branch that it hath withered away.

    46 And now, behold, notwithstanding all the care which we have taken of my vineyard, the trees thereof have become corrupted, that they bring forth no good fruit; and these I had hoped to preserve, to have laid up fruit thereof against the season, unto mine own self. But, behold, they have become like unto the wild olive tree, and they are of no worth but to be hewn down and cast into the fire; and it grieveth me that I should lose them.

    47 But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?

    48 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?

    49 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Let us go to and hew down the trees of the vineyard and cast them into the fire, that they shall not cumber the ground of my vineyard, for I have done all. What could I have done more for my vineyard?

    50 But, behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer.

    51 And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard.

    52 Wherefore, let us take of the branches of these which I have planted in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, and let us graft them into the tree from whence they came; and let us pluck from the tree those branches whose fruit is most bitter, and graft in the natural branches of the tree in the stead thereof.

    53 And this will I do that the tree may not perish, that, perhaps, I may preserve unto myself the roots thereof for mine own purpose.

    54 And, behold, the roots of the natural branches of the tree which I planted whithersoever I would are yet alive; wherefore, that I may preserve them also for mine own purpose, I will take of the branches of this tree, and I will graft them in unto them. Yea, I will graft in unto them the branches of their mother tree, that I may preserve the roots also unto mine own self, that when they shall be sufficiently strong perhaps they may bring forth good fruit unto me, and I may yet have glory in the fruit of my vineyard.

    55 And it came to pass that they took from the natural tree which had become wild, and grafted in unto the natural trees, which also had become wild.

    56 And they also took of the natural trees which had become wild, and grafted into their mother tree.

    57 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Pluck not the wild branches from the trees, save it be those which are most bitter; and in them ye shall graft according to that which I have said.

    58 And we will nourish again the trees of the vineyard, and we will trim up the branches thereof; and we will pluck from the trees those branches which are ripened, that must perish, and cast them into the fire.

    59 And this I do that, perhaps, the roots thereof may take strength because of their goodness; and because of the change of the branches, that the good may overcome the evil.

    60 And because that I have preserved the natural branches and the roots thereof, and that I have grafted in the natural branches again into their mother tree, and have preserved the roots of their mother tree, that, perhaps, the trees of my vineyard may bring forth again good fruit; and that I may have joy again in the fruit of my vineyard, and, perhaps, that I may rejoice exceedingly that I have preserved the roots and the branches of the first fruit—

    61 Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit.

    62 Wherefore, let us go to and labor with our might this last time, for behold the end draweth nigh, and this is for the last time that I shall prune my vineyard.

    63 Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last, and dig about the trees, both old and young, the first and the last; and the last and the first, that all may be nourished once again for the last time.

    64 Wherefore, dig about them, and prune them, and dung them once more, for the last time, for the end draweth nigh. And if it be so that these last grafts shall grow, and bring forth the natural fruit, then shall ye prepare the way for them, that they may grow.

    65 And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.

    66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard.

    67 And the branches of the natural tree will I graft in again into the natural tree;

    68 And the branches of the natural tree will I graft into the natural branches of the tree; and thus will I bring them together again, that they shall bring forth the natural fruit, and they shall be one.

    69 And the bad shall be cast away, yea, even out of all the land of my vineyard; for behold, only this once will I prune my vineyard.

    70 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.

    71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.

    72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.

    73 And there began to be the natural fruit again in the vineyard; and the natural branches began to grow and thrive exceedingly; and the wild branches began to be plucked off and to be cast away; and they did keep the root and the top thereof equal, according to the strength thereof.

    74 And thus they labored, with all diligence, according to the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard, even until the bad had been cast away out of the vineyard, and the Lord had preserved unto himself that the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.

    75 And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

    76 For behold, for a long time will I lay up of the fruit of my vineyard unto mine own self against the season, which speedily cometh; and for the last time have I nourished my vineyard, and pruned it, and dug about it, and dunged it; wherefore I will lay up unto mine own self of the fruit, for a long time, according to that which I have spoken.

    77 And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end; and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.

  68. TRIGGER WARNING Awkward pre-teens are awkward.

  69. Haha, man I had a Bolo tie… In the Midwest.

  70. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    Oh crap. That just reminded me that I also sported a bolo tie, occasionally. I had COMPLETELY forgotten (repressed) that. That was a serious trigger. Feeling pretty horrible about myself right now. So glad I didn’t grow up in the age of instagram. Thanks, folks.

  71. Repressed memory warning (should be added to the list somewhere near #2 or #3) sitting on the deacon bench singing opening hymns and discovering for the first time the Song of Solomon. Ooohh Wee! No, that was not a cell phone in my pocket (no such thing back then) while passing the bread and water. Now that I think about it, I think the scriptures were bullying me. That was really not a nice thing to do to a kid just before passing.

  72. Now that is funny. And I don’t care who you are…

  73. Whenever I see a deacon passing the sacrament with one hand strategically placed in his pocket, my PTSD re-emerges. Great post, guys.

  74. I think your sister permas need to write a companion piece on beehives. You know, inexpert makeup making her look like she lost a fight, eyebrows plucked to the point she looks like a cancer patient, wobbling like a new-born giraffe on her first pair of heels, and unconsciously sitting in a skirt in the choir seats with her legs splayed. I’ve had enough daughters, I could probably write it. But I wouldn’t dare.

  75. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like th says:

    ‘Nuff said, deacons.

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