Dora the Explorer makes an appearance at a stake conference in Idaho. Two sister missionaries engage in a tug-of-war with a condor in Bolivia. And a senior missionary couple's car becomes suspect in Mississippi.
Just a sampling of the latest round of funny stories.
Since Mormon Times debuted in the Deseret News in January 2008, we have been asking readers to send us their humorous accounts of LDS life and culture. And they always deliver, whether it be a child awaiting the 170-second general conference or a farmer in Pennsylvania confused about his new neighbors.
So enjoy these funny recollections, and keep sending them in.
Swiper in the chapel
I went home for spring break, and it was my parents' stake conference.
As I sat listening to the speakers I was repeatedly offended as the young family in front of me opened package after package of Girl Scout cookies — all the while not offering me a single one.
Yeah, I know.
I was tempted to just reach forward and grab one from the little girl.
Well, her father apparently had the same craving and the same idea. As his daughter looked the other way, he slowly began to pry a cookie from her tiny hand.
Suddenly the 3-year-old's head whipped around. "Swiper, no swiping!" she screamed.
My future children are now cut off from Dora the Explorer and will always share their snacks in church.
Kari Jenkins, Pocatello
The condor, magnificent king of the Andes, has always been a fascination with me. Similar to our American eagle, but much larger, the condor is black and majestic, with a wing span of up to 10 feet.
More than a year into my Mormon mission to South America, I was able to meet one.
My companion and I were en route to our new assignment in southern Bolivia. Because of scheduling problems, we had a three-day layover in the city of Oruro. We spent most of our time doing first-contacting in different and unusual places, one of which was the Oruro zoo.
Upon entering the zoo, we soon found the condor cage and eagerly began pulling our cameras out of our purses to take pictures. My companion, who was carrying a Book of Mormon and a Bible, set her books down on a cement post next to the cage. The condor, perched close to the fence, spotted her books and moved closer for a better look. He poked his head through an opening in the fence and began pecking away at her scriptures.
A vulture and a carnivore, a condor is not the kind of animal you want eating your Standard Works. As Sister Watts reached out and grabbed her books, the condor released the books and grabbed her hand in his beak. Panic-stricken, she pulled back, but the bird held tight.
We thought maybe it was the end for poor Sister Watts. The harder she pulled, the tighter he gripped.
I didn't know what to do. All I had in my hands was a copy of the May Ensign, the general conference issue. Rolling it up, I beat the condor over the head for all I was worth. After a few furious minutes he finally released his hold.
Sister Watts was saved, which just goes to show that even though we might have the ancient scriptures, at times we are helpless to save ourselves without the words of the living prophet.
Judy Bush, Sykesville, Md.
Though it happened several years ago, this story will forever be engraved in my memory.
My daughter was riding in the car with my then-6-year-old grandson, Kyle, as it was announced on the radio that the 172nd Annual General Conference would soon be starting. Shortly after that, Kyle asked my daughter how many minutes there were in 170 seconds. Not knowing why he asked, she quickly figured it up in her head. After Kyle received his answer, he said, "This conference sure won't be very long, then, will it?"
Kathleen Marshall, Cottonwood Heights
Hate to wait
The ward executive secretary approached me before church and asked if I would give the benediction in sacrament meeting. "Oh, no!" I exclaimed. "I don't like to give closing prayers. I spend the whole meeting worrying about what I'm going to say."
"That's OK," he said. "I'll put you down for the invocation next Sunday."
Berneice Neeley, Salt Lake City
Some years ago my husband, our two small children and I lived in southern Oregon. We had been there for a couple of years and truly loved the community and our ward. My husband then received a job transfer to Seattle. It was not my desire to uproot and leave the security we felt, but we knew we had to go where the job took us. On our last Sunday in the ward, we were asked to speak in sacrament meeting, along with two other families who were also moving out of the community. The bishop stood halfway through the meeting and announced that "we now will be favored by a musical number, a violin solo of the hymn, 'Ye Simple Souls Who Stray.' " This was not lost on the congregation who thought the irony of that particular hymn that particular Sunday was, to say the least, humorous.
Janeen Hullinger, Farmington
It was a hot July afternoon sacrament meeting in a time before air-conditioning was installed in our building. The speaker had talents other than talking in church, and he droned on and on while nature took its toll on the congregation. My 3-year-old son, Todd, stood on the bench at my shoulder, watching the speaker. He then turned around, intently observing the people behind us. After a short while he turned back to me and quietly whispered in my ear: "Lots of people think he's praying, huh, Mama?"
Doris Moir, Salt Lake City
My wife and I were driving down the highway one day while serving in the Mississippi Jackson Mission when we were stopped by a highway patrolman with sirens blaring and red lights flashing. He approached our car and said he had just received an "all points bulletin" for two bank robbers who had just left the scene of the robbery in a brown Toyota just like ours.
I asked if the APB indicated that the bank robbers were disguised as a senior Mormon missionary couple with missionary badges and Utah license plates on their car. He just stared at us for several seconds in total silence. Then my wife (being the good missionary that she is) said, "Sir, would you like a free video about the real meaning of Easter?" After staring at us in total silence for several more seconds, he just walked back to his patrol car and drove away. Apparently we were no longer considered suspects.
Larry Humpherys, Harrisville
Hooked on family history
A recent widow found her way into the family history center where I worked. After I reassured her she was welcome — that she didn't need to be a member and there was no cost — she became an avid student. She was a good typist and a quick study. On the third day, with her fingers flying over the keyboard, I heard her talking to herself. "What did you say?" I asked. She raised her voice and repeated, "I'm certainly glad my husband is dead!"
"Why?" was all I could say.
"Because," she replied, "if he knew how much time I was spending here, he'd kill me."
Kay Lack, Redding, Calif.
My 6-year-old learned about the Iron Rod in Primary. He's a technically minded guy, and after thinking about it all afternoon, he announced at dinner, "In a thunderstorm, the Iron Rod would conduct electricity." So perhaps we ought to rethink that goal never to let go …
Lee Ann Setzer, Springville
Our son-in-law's great-uncle, a Pennsylvania Protestant, has a farm on a road that extends from the city through the suburbs into the country. All upset, he reported one day, "The Mormons bought some land down the road to build a church! They were real sneaky, though. They negotiated as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!"
U. Henry Gerlach, Champaign, Ill.
Thou shalt not ride?
My son Kenny was 4 in 1971 and went to preschool three days a week with several of his neighborhood friends. We mothers took turns carpooling the little boys, and Kenny was the last one to be picked up when I wasn't driving. Our neighbors were also Christians but not members of our church. One sunny Arizona morning as he climbed into the car driven by his best friend Matthew's mother, she explained, "Kenny, we have been talking about motorcycles on our way to pick you up." And then she posed the question, "Are you ever going to ride a motorcycle?" Kenny's response came quickly and ever so earnestly: "Oh no, Mrs. Stevenson! We are Mormons!"
Karin L. Ford, Chandler, Ariz.
We had recently moved from Oklahoma to Willamina, Ore., First Ward. While in Oklahoma my assignment was to prepare the ward bulletin each week. Many times information would come in at the last minute and preparation would be left until late Saturday evening. My mental acuity was not always at its best at that point, but I always got the job done — even if it was 1 a.m.
Once my new ward learned what my past assignment had been, I found myself again preparing our ward bulletin each week. I prided myself in making sure that it was as perfect as the information I had received. A computer with spell-checker was a big help.
One Sunday, we had come to the closing hymn in the service. I don't remember what the bishop said at the podium, but I remember that my eyes got big and I asked my wife if I could see the program. There it was, in black and white. The closing hymn: "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Profit"!
Richard Holliday, Terreton, Idaho
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