Just about everyone still connected with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints got a bit of what they wanted. Less time, more leveling of gender disparity, better understanding and more encouragement to volunteer.
I got zip. I was hoping for a reintroduction of the old-school animal sacrifice in the temple rituals. You know, like when attendees would buy a dove and offer it to a priest to bite its head off during some sacred ritual.
Note: Look, I don’t know exactly how they did it 2,000 years ago, but I do know that it would keep my interest up now.
One of the biggest changes for me personally occurs Sunday, when my ward “grandson” Ethan Clegg gets ordained a deacon.
The thing is that Ethan is only 11. It used to be that deacons had to be 12. Now they can be ordained in the year they turn 12. This seems like rushing things to me.
It wasn’t until I was almost 13 that I learned how to manage the nature of being a servant of the Lord and a petty criminal simultaneously.
Because I sit next to Ethan in sacrament meetings, I try to give him the necessary instruction on how to be a proper deacon.
Me • “And that’s the way you should pass the sacrament after you get ordained.”
Him • “No. I’ll only pass bread and water. You have to bring your own jam.”
Me • “Well, the Holy Ghost told…”
Him • “Mom already told me you can’t tell the difference between the Holy Ghost and drugs.”
I guess you just can’t talk about sacred things with some people. Their minds are already made up.
Anyway, Ethan gets ordained today. If they can ordain 11-year-old boys to pass the sacrament, I see no reason why girls shouldn’t be allowed to do it as well.
Yes, I know the priesthood is currently restricted to males, but let’s compare the differences that really matter.
Generally speaking, most 11-year-old girls haven’t yet committed a crime. Hell, they haven’t even contemplated one. You cannot say the same thing about boys. I know. I used to be one. In fact, my wife says I still am.
Girls (again generally) are more hygienic than boys. If there was a way to test such matters, I’ll bet the results would indicate far less chance of contracting smallpox or dengue fever from sacrament passed by girls than by boys.
Girls are more apt to take things seriously than are boys, especially since they mature faster. I explained this to Ethan last week, when we talked about him getting the priesthood.
Me • “The prophet said deacons might eventually get to pass the sacrament on hoverboards.”
Him • “Really? Cool.”
See? No 11-year-old girl — more emotionally mature by a couple of years than an 11-year-old boy — would fall for that one.
Me • “You can even ask the bishop.”
Her • “Eww. My mom says I’m not supposed to listen to you talk about church.”
I give up. Even when it’s long overdue, change happens slowly in a hierarchical environment like Mormonism.
Maybe the next prophet.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.