Pay no attention to the svithe behind the curtain!

Tie by Los Duganatros. Photo by Lady Steed. Modeled by the author.

The tie you see on my beautiful body was won in a silent auction at the Provo 19th Ward. I don't remember what it was for--Boy Scouts or Girls' Camp probably--money isn't part of very many LDS activities. I think I spent $2. I'm very happy with it.

The tie had been donated to the auction by my friends Mr and Mrs Duganator, whom you may recall. Mrs Duganator said it would never sell. Mr Duganator bought it anyway, and I took it home. I was the only bidder.

When I first met Mr Duganator I thought he was a Communist. It ends up I was wrong on that, but I at least I learned that I don't know how to tell a real Communist from a fake one. Surely that information will come in handy some day. No doubt on some high-pressure game show. I'll call Mr Duganator with my lifeline and ask him to tell the difference for me.

Anyway, among his many talents, Mr Duganator was an incredible elders quorum instructor. In fact, the 19th Ward was richly blessed when it came to elders quorum instructors, but Mr D was a real standout among standouts.

I wish I could remember all the details of the lesson I am about to share with you, but I haven't received that grant to pay a grad student to index my journals yet, so we're going on memory alone.

Before the real meat of the lesson, Mr D said he had to break the class in two with the room's Won-Door. He had one of our other excellent instructors teach the preliminaries to one half of the class while he taught the other.

Just a few sentences in, Mr D realized he needed something from NotJon, who was a student on the other side of the Won-Door. Rather than noisily open the Won-Door and disturb the other half-a-class, he asked for a volunteer to run out of the room and enter through the back door into the other half, bringing NotJon back to our half. I immediately volunteered. I couldn't bear that even one second of Mr D's teaching time should be lost.

I snuck in the back and slid into an empty seat by NotJon. I quietly asked him to come over to our side.

Brother Lawyer, the other instructor, told him to wait just a second, that he was almost done and then NotJon could go and, in the meantime, I should just get comfortable and listen to what he was teaching.

"Um, I would love to, but Mr D really needs NotJon now," I said.

"Just a minute, just a minute," said Brother Lawyer.

"Just a minute, just a minute," said NotJon. "I really don't want to miss this--I've been thinking about this topic all week."

Brother Lawyer was giving a lesson on charity and asked me to relax and enjoy it until he got to a good stopping spot. I whispered my request to NotJon again who said to wait and then the back door opened. Another elder came in from Mr Duganator's half of the room to get me and NotJon. Brother Lawyer wouldn't relinquish us. Then another elder came. And another.

Then Mr Duganator opened the Won-Door just before Brother Lawyer made his final logical leap, which leap, he later told us, would have taken us so deep into false doctrine that we all would have had to get rebaptized.

See, while Mr Duganator was stalling, Brother Lawyer was teaching lies. This was not an accident.

It was instead an object lesson, a lead-in to the actual topic which was ... something. Unfortunately, I don't remember what the whole point of the lesson was.

This doesn't mean the lesson was a failure. Not at all! In fact, what I do remember, I remember with astonishing clarity. And that can be applied to any number of situations.

Brother Lawyer could represent the devil or just bad information. NotJon could represent a lost member of the flock or a seeker. I could represent a missionary or a lost member of the flock myself. Mr Duganator could represent God or a bishop or a parent....

A good metaphor can fit a good many situations. Or, in other words, a good metaphor can fit a good many people. (Try one today.)

I intended to write this at noon, but Lady Steed wanted to go see turtles and take naps and now it's almost midnight. And any metaphor breaks down when the hour's late enough. So we'll call this svithe good enough, let you reach your own conclusions, and say goodnight.


Last week's svithe


  1. So... my own conclusion is that sometimes God sends us after the strayed sheep. And then we lose our way, too. So then he sends someone else after me and the strayed sheep. And then he loses that person, too. And then he keeps on sending till there's no one else on his side?... Disturbing.

  2. .

    Maybe that's why missionaries and home/visiting teachers are supposed to have companions.

  3. Cicada can tell you that I have good taste, and I must tell you that that tie is postively medieval.

  4. Congratulations, my head hurts.

    I think I getcha.

  5. Your links are wonderful things. I can't believe you remembered the name of the Won-door, let alone that you found the site.

  6. .

    I can't believe the Won-door--which I thought was a Mormon meetinghouse innovation--is used as a safety device in the Pentagon.

    And I would rather be in Tolkien Boy-granted medieval company with Cicada than just about anything else.

    And, to end, anything for a walrus.