I wasn’t invited to the Mormon church’s news conference Tuesday. I’m guessing that’s why Peggy Fletcher Stack — a responsible and highly respected journalist for this newspaper — was there and I wasn’t.
Peggy, whose desk in the newsroom is so close to mine that I can easily hit her in the back of the head with a Book of Mormon, asked the new LDS Church presidency an important question about the faith’s future inclusion of women and any efforts to widen international and racial diversity in its leadership.
I don’t recall the new First Presidency’s response to her question because, truthfully, those leaders seemed to dance around the issues until I got bored. But since that only takes about five seconds, it’s not their fault.
My questions of new LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring, would have been more probing and perhaps even rude. I have a reputation for being disruptive, which is why I didn’t get an invitation.
I didn’t bother going to the news conference just to see if LDS officials would let me in. I know many of the church’s security officers personally. There’s a good chance I would have been shot in the leg or struck by a mysterious black SUV.
But suppose I had been invited and had a chance to approach the microphone — fine, I’ll wait until you stop snorting derisively.
It appears that the invited journalists, including KUTV’s Dan Rascon and KSL’s Sam Penrod, were permitted only one question each. That’s not a real news conference. At the White House, reporters mutter and wave their notebooks.
I would have had a series of questions regarding church policies, history and doctrine. This is how my turn at the microphone would have gone.
Me • “As-salamu alaykum, President Nelson. Can you speak to us a little bit about why President Trump’s rating is so high among Mormons and so low among Muslims? Shukran.”
Nelson • “Brother Kirby, I don’t believe you were invited to this gathering.”
Oaks (whispering) • “Who let him in?”
Eyring (also whispering) • “For heaven’s sake, don’t taser him on camera.”
While security was summoned, I would quickly ask the following questions, which have been bothering me of late.
“Did either Joseph Smith or Brigham Young have any ink, and, if they did, what sort of tattoos were they?”
“Do you personally keep track of home teaching statistics, and, if so, what are mine? No fair looking it up.” (100 percent if you must know.)
“Do you foresee a time when more women will be sitting in the red seats during General Conference? Will they be wearing slacks?”
“Is there any possible way I can get my ancestor Korihor Kirby’s blessings and priesthood restored? I mean, it’s been, like, over a hundred years since he refused a second mission call from Brother Brigham.”
“Are breath mints and/or gum permitted while fasting? Because I gotta tell you … ”
At this point, I would see church security goons, including my former roommate at the police academy, gathering on the fringes of the crowd, waiting for the camera to “malfunction.” I’d have to hurry.
“Can you give us any idea how medical marijuana, if it becomes available in Zion, fits with the Word of Wisdom?”
Here they come.
“One final question, president. When is the Second Coming going to — URK!”