I think we can all agree that testimony meeting in the Church can be an uplifting spiritual experience or it can become quickly what I would refer to as a “Close Encounter of The Third Kind”, you know”¦When you are not really sure where you are and some of the things you are seeing or hearing seem to come from a science fiction drama of some sort. Not surprising though, we ARE a peculiar people.
I thought in writing for you some of my most memorable “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” I experienced throughout the years, please feel free to add your own in the comments section below:
1. This recently baptized member told me one Saturday that he would get up and say in testimony meeting how the missionaries offered him money for sex. This guy had a disability but he was determined to say that in sacrament meeting. I informed the Bishop in advance so he could prepare. Man, how do you prepare for that?
As soon as the guy approached the microphone, the Bishop looked at me “¦. I looked at him back not knowing exactly what to do and we were both literally at the edge of our seats ready to jump on the guy like in the TV show “Cops”…
Then while looking at me and smiling, the guy said the words: “I would like to say that the missionaries”¦.” Holy Macaroni! When those words were said the Bishop frantically got up and held his arm tightly, whispered something and tried unsuccessfully to remove him from the microphone. He eventually did and as he was escorting him out of the room the guy kept shouting “why are you stopping me from sharing my testimony! Let me go! Why I cannot say how grateful I am for the missionaries!”. Phew, THAT was close.
2. In another ward, there was a sweet old lady that would come to Church only in testimony meeting. She would come late, and would always have a bouquet of flowers with her. As soon as she entered the sacrament meeting room; she would make the sign of the cross while kneeling and then proceed to place the flowers near the microphone. After that, she would start her testimony with a prayer to the Virgin Mary and would always finish her testimony reminding us to pray to Saint Anthony. Good times.
3. How can I forget the time I met Adolf Hitler?”¦Well his “double”. This man would come to testimony meeting dressed as Adolf Hitler and by that I mean, the mustache, the clothes, the boots, everything!. He would even speak with an accent His testimony was mostly a rant about Jews and Communism. The Bishop and him got into a heated argument after Adolf said some bad things. The missionaries eventually visited him in an attempt to help him and the next time I saw him (a few months later) he came back dressed this time as a missionary (with a fake tag, super short hair and clean shaven).
4. Moms and toddlers in Church, sweet huh? Well, except if you happen to have one that behaves like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. This little girl was very unsettled, her parents were very patient and tried to unsuccessfully calm her down but she was getting really loud and it was becoming a distraction, yet the parents did not think they had to take her out of the room.
However, the only thing that made them move and take her out of sacrament meeting very quickly was when this sweet little girl with angelical face started throwing a tantrum and shouting “I hate Jesus! I hate Jesus! I hate Jesus!”.
Ah, don’t you love children?