There is one indisputable fact about Mormonism, something that not even those pesky Signature Books-types can call into question, something so true that no FAIR-defense can deny:
Mormons say CRAZY things from the pulpit.
Everyone knows this. Missionaries sweat about bringing investigators to Sacrament meeting ("I do hope the talks aren’t CRAZY"). Fast and Testimony meeting is worse ("will Brother CRAZY get up?") My ward, in an effort to get people to bring their friends to church, has set a date where specially selected non-CRAZY people will talk.
I’m sure everyone has their favourite bizarre sacrament meeting moment. Mine is of a brother in England who demonstrated that "evolution can’t be true as humans and monkeys have one crucial difference: humans have sex face to face."
Cue sinking into the pew agony.
For a missionary church, so bothered about PR, it’s a wonder we have an open pulpit policy where anything goes. Some of us intellectual snobs crave a well-honed homily from a multi-degreed priest. To allow Sister DeWalt to drawl on about wringing the necks of chickens with a prayer in her heart is a crime. IT’S A CRIME!
But here’s the truth: I have long thought that the Mormon open pulpit is both our curse and our blessing. Once in a while, something so heart-felt, so uncontrived graces the pulpit, that it is worth a decade of craziness. In the household of God, all are equal. Even the weird ones who say CRAZY stuff. There’s a wonderful practicality to all this too: I have absolutely no fear of public speaking, something I ascribe in large part to having given my first talk when I was 9. I talked about Elijah and the priests of Baal. I don’t think it was crazy.
In the end, madness I can forgive. Just don’t bore me.