When the world’s about to end, the dishes can wait

Icky polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs has got me thinking. According to a story on NPR’s This American Life, Jeffs’ preaching often waxed apocalyptic, establishing then bumping out the drop dead date for the end of time about every six months. The story further reported that members of Jeffs’ FLDS community took his message so seriously that they stopped making repairs on their homes—with the end of time looming, they figured, what was the point?

I’m not sure what I would start or stop doing if the last days loomed, but in FLDS spirit, I present what I think are the Top 10 Under-reported Implications of Living in an Apocalyptic Religious Sect:

  1. The doorknob hole in the drywall outside the youth group’s meeting room just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and nobody does a thing about it.
  2. Unprecedented surge in end-of-time giving.
  3. Annual church rummage sale shows spike in inventory (and radical price-slashing) of “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”-themed items.
  4. Church officer’s rendition of REM’s “The End of the World as We Know It” while rolling eyes at Newcomer’s Dinner warrants immediate excommunication.
  5. You can kiss those unreturned loaner casserole dishes good-bye.
  6. Nobody tops off the gas on the church van—ever.
  7. If the end is near, then those nursery babies really have something to cry about.
  8. On day 7,482, clever church-sign slogan boy abandons series of pithy apocalyptic zingers in favor of pop-art portrait of skate-boarding Yoda.
  9. Among mothers, popular “If you died tonight…” evangelism tagline merits new rejoinder, “…you wouldn’t want to be wearing that sloppy, wrinkled shirt.”
  10. Thinking that, at this point, there’s nothing to lose, controversial contemporary worship minister accompanies the passing of the peace with Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train“; future possible selections include “Love Train,” the theme from “Soul Train,” and Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia.”




  1. Julie said,

    February 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve been following the FLDS saga since last April, and I think you have only part of the story. True, Warren Jeffs can wax apocalyptic, but that’s not why homes are falling apart. Look at the YFZ ranch, for instance, where the temple was a gleaming jewel in the desert until last April when Texas law enforcement got their hands on it. If some of the FLDS communities are suffering from deferred maintenance, that is the direct consequence of the state of Utah taking over the FLDS land trust and placing it in the hands of Bruce Wisan, a “State Ordained Bishop” as he jokingly referred to himself. It’s appears to be his mission to bleed the trust dry, for that’s what he’s doing. He sells off the trust land and spends money waging a “sociological and psychological war” on people there, but little on maintenance. After several years of this, it’s not surprising how the place looks.

  2. scheirmad said,

    February 1, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for chiming in, Julie. I guess there’s always more to the story.

    By the way, how did you find your way to my posting? I just “opened for business” about 2 weeks ago, and I’m pleased to see traffic picking up.

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