9 Reasons I’m Thinking of Joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and one possible Deal Breaker

Not to convert you or justify me. Just to explain. The views expressed represent no one but me. Great Zamboni already has practiced and perfected his own brand of Zoroasterian Zen Krav Maganism, see his previous post.  -jordan

 

1. It’s very Old Testament. The Book of Mormon starts with Lehi and his brood tracing their geneology to Abraham. It’s all about the prophets, Noah, Moses, and the ones with crazy names, Zebikiah et al. Most other Christian sects and crews I’ve encountered give the old testament, “Jewy” stuff, short shrift. In those churches they see my people as the bearded and somewhat kooky distant ancestors. Your quirky grandfather from the old country who sold rags. The first God (Heavenly Father, the Saints call him), is very much important  in the LDS church. If Judaism were a branch of Christianity- it’d be Mormon.

2. The Mormons I’ve met. I kept waiting for them to talk about people going to hell or “the end of days” and they never did. I kept waiting for them all to fall into little boxes. Elder Mike had other children with a first wife who left him for a career in music. And they are all so damned nice. Not phony nice, actually nice. Another Elder told me his sister is a lesbian. I told him two of the best parents I know are a same sex couple and I could never believe they shouldn’t be together.

“Would you disown your sister then?” I asked.

“Of course not, she’s family. ” I don’t expect em all to be like that.

I kept waiting for the pressure to join. Never came. The Elders ( a few years older than my daughter, at 18!) just kept talking about “agency” and “personal choice.” Obviously I will be having to speak up about objections I have to church doctrine. Oh well.

3. They’re pioneers, and very damn American. They were driven west, from New York, to Missouri, run out of there by angry mobs who killed a lot of them. They were exiled and wandering in the desert -or the midwest- until they got to the promised land -Utah. Many were early abolitionists, and Joseph Smith ordained a black man around 1840. Brigham Young?-  don’t go there.

4. Love and Service to others. They’re  big on that.

5. Adam and Eve didn’t just “fall” with their “original sin” (cue thunder and smoke!) They made a choice to become like God. Life is not meant to be suffering. It’s meant to be wonderful.

6. God Still Talks to People The church doesn’t see ye olde Biblical times as the only ones where God spoke to us. We can still hear his still small voice. Are extremist nutballs going to use “visions” to justify insanity? Sure.  But nutballs will always be nutballs for their own reasons. Or rather just one reason- they’re fucking crazy. The Unabomber was very non-religious. Like Annie Dillard wrote, ” There  never was a holier age than ours, and never a less.” When I pray, God often uses Coach Taylor’s voice from Friday Night Lights. It’s effective. In my limited experience so far, prayer feels like meditation with intent. Like asking for help .

7. Joseph Smith Receiving the Plates from The Angel Moroni on which was written The Book of Mormon is pretty hard to believe, and Where are Theses “plates” Now? And Moses receiving the commandments is too. And The Red Sea. Raining frogs, also a stretch. But faith in these things is also powerful.

8. Mormon Church doesn’t have priests who lead services. People in the congregation get up and speak, do things, have callings. This is not to say it’s unorganized- oh no. No plate passing either.

9. A Calling. Ultimately this is all a personal direction, a pull.

*   *  *

“So are you ready to commit to living the Words of Wisdom?”

“……………………………………coffee and tea? Really?”

“Yep.”

“Seriously??”

“Uh huh.”

“…………………………………….I’ll get back to you.”

 

 

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How does Zamboni pray?

Ah yes…. eat, pray, love, miniature golf- all these avocations are things i -great zamboni- spend time on when I am not Ice Yachting or partaking of Gymkhana, or otherwise pursuing amateur lycoscopy.

But the question is, how does Zamboni pray.

Prayer is  very personal to who you are, likewise the way i do is unique to me.

First I turn 360 degrees, the biggest peak i see, no matter how far away, I immediately climb to the top. This could be 20 feet, or 20 miles away, no dif. So, when I am at the top, I take out three things from my manpurse:

joseph_smith_peepstone_kirtland

-A peepstone I recieved from Joseph Smith

-A prune Humentashen as offering, this jewish delicacy I place on top of the Book of Mormon.

-A rabbit’s foot Jesus lost to me in a poker game when he ran out of shekels.

One I have these sacred objects arranged, I merely open my mouth and ask the gods for help. This takes about 12 minutes as I owe something to all the gods, seers, seekers, and prophets, from Apollo to Zarathustra. And I need lots help.

I just ask for help and expect things to get better.

Someone told me once this, “Zamboni, you always have a friend to turn to in love, which is God. And that friend is You.”

Quixotic I know, but remember, it’s supposed to be mysterious, and it is. Enjoy this wisdom in the best of health: that Zamboni is happy because not he know all the answers, but because he like questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRoAt9w7qko

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Peyton Manning asks Zamboni, “what happened?”

You didn’t Omaha enough.

The “om” has the tranquilizing effect on a defense as it has when we meditate using “Om.”

The AHA is like laughter, and hearing laughter disarms you, makes you happy- not put you on defensive edge.

Omaha not just Omaha, Peyton.

Next year, in Omaha. And next time ask me Zamboni for advice before game.

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“Great Zamboni, what is your first name?”

You know, this is the first time anyone has ever asked me that!

I think most people have assumed that, like Madonna, Prince, and Sonny and Cher, I have just the one  name- but in fact Zamboni is a last name I garnered from my adoptive parents. My first name I have never spoken of out loud in public before this minute.

It is Chocoflan. Pronounced “chocko-flahn”. Yes it is the same as the Mexican desert that is a hybrid of custardy flan and delicious chocolate cake. Call me Chocoflan Zamboni. It wasn’t always this way. I added it in my youth.

Are two wonderful things better when added to each other? Yes. Like a Biscuit and butter.

Are two wonderful things better when added to each other? Yes. Like a Biscuit and butter.

Funny story. Spring break, 1984 I was taking a year off from Estonian University to study abroad, here in US. I am student at Georgia Southern University for one year, doing field studies on Biscuits and Potlikker, when there was epic fraternal party at my Theta Chi house. As social chairman, I had once again pushed the limits. A mechanical bull  in a swimming pool of green jello.  Whole Elks roasting slowly underground. Entertainment by Big daddy Kane and John Mellencamp (then Cougar.)

After this soiree, I woke up south of the Border, down Mexico Way. Specifically, Panama.  I awoke in an alleyway naked except for a donut-shaped ring of Chocoflan on top of my head- like a succulent halo. I also was wearing a Ruby on my little little finger as big as tangerine. Needless to exhort, I sold the ruby for clothes and plane fare back home, and I ate the Chocoflan as it was a delicious combination of two wonderful deserts and I was insanely hungry .

What wonderful grandmother took pity on a sleeping Zamboni and left me the Chocoflan? Why? And why on my head? And the Ruby, does it have magical powers as the old ladies sometimes whisper about? Should I have kept it? So I added legally the name in front of Zamboni.

Even weirder is this: Recently two PHd candidates in Zamboni Studies were going through some ancient geneologies of myself and my bloodline. They found that I was descended from a  Portugese grand duchess by the name of Consuelita de Archtango Langoustine d’Choxokoflanito. Silent X.

There are some things we just can’t explain. And some things are not meant to be explained.

Vite!

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What’s the meaning of life?

This was asked to me a few days ago by a gentleman strolling with his girlfriend on Fourth Street in Berkeley Ca.

It really depends on who you are. For my dog Zenith, a Hyena/Bassett  mix, the meaning of life is a bowl of warm goat milk in the morning, a Yak femur to chew on for lunch, and a bowl of turkey chili for dinner.

For Joseph Smith, the meaning came when the angel Moroni appeared to him in a blindingly white robe and told him about the plates hidden for him to find in the woods.

For me, great zamboni, it came when the devil and I made our fateful bargain as I drowned in sub-arctic waters, which set me forth on my mission to answer questions and help people all over Earth.

What do each have in common- not much you think?- yet ZAMBONI KNOWS.

It involves patience and waiting, and receptivity. As Hamlet said, “the readiness is all.” Are you ready, really?

And waiting- Zenith must wait for his femur. Joseph smith had to wait a year and then another before Moroni felt he was ready to finally know where the plates were buried and to get them. Zamboni, who is myself, must wait until the year 2020 to get to Carnegie Hall.

But if I had to give answer that might suit the general purpose, about the meaning of life, it is this:

1. Avoid careers that require a lot meetings.

2. Greatly limit credit card use, and understand what “APR” means.

3. Be with people you love as much as possible, and hug a lot.

There. Don’t wait anymore.

ENJOYMENT!

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“What was up with Diane Keaton at the Golden Globes?”

By eleven o’ the clock last night, this question had come to me 11 times from 11 different states. I shall make clear.

The origin  of Diane Keaton’s strange, long, rambling, talking and singing acceptance speech (on behalf of Woody Allen for lifetime  award) is very simple: My cousin Fladsik,  a struggling actor cum caterer living in LA, was serving o’duerves backstage at the awards and he saw this and texted to me last night: “Uncle Zamboni, you won’t believe this but Diane Keaton and Mathew Moconohee (Fladsik’s spelling) I catch behind the guacamole smoking a marijuana cigarette while this Maconohee is scatting like jazzman ‘ooh ah- yea, blow man blow! ooh- ah! yes baby yes.. indeed and yes’ .. so they are taking many puffs like this. Just this minute Joakeen Phoenix approach them with a Uija Board they now sit on floor and start to summon ghosts like of Jack Palance and -”

At this point there was a break in texts, as I suppose Fladsik had to make a run with Champagne bottle. Then Keaton go on stage, do the very strange thing she do… and I understand why because Fladskik is my fly on the wall.

Drugs, Ouija, a Phoenix and Maconohee- more than anyone can take at one time right?- the explanation.

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“Should I see the movie, August Osage County?”

This question comes from Saul in Cloverdale.

No.

Instead see Anchorman 2 or Nebraska. Nebraska is very good. It  is also partially filmed in Plainview, Nebraska, which happens to be a stop on great zamboni’s next American Tour called “Great Zamboni’s American Tour: Just a Little Off- The Grid”

I'll be right on this corner- dates TBA!

I’ll be right on this corner- dates TBA!

Goodnight yesterday- hello future! (PS- today I will live on 4th street in Berkeley, 4:30 Pacific Time)

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