The last few weeks I’ve been substitute teaching in my son’s Sunday school class. Yesterday the kindly Sunday School President stopped by and invited me to a meeting after church. I explained that since I’m not a “real” teacher my attendance was doubtful. You see, there are few things that I hate more than meetings. Had Joseph Smith lived longer he would have added a 14th Article of Faith stating: “We believe the Ten Tribes choose to remain lost until such as time as meetings are removed from the earth. We also believe that when the earth receives its paradisiacal glory the meeting will have no more power over the hearts of men. We further believe the only thing better than a well-planned meeting is no meeting at all. ”
I live this pretend Article of Faith better than most of the real ones. I’ll gladly help with anything you ask (even teaching 13-year-olds) just don’t make me go to a meeting. The very mention of the word “meeting” fills my entire being with revulsion and my nights with terror. One meeting I’m still seeing a therapist over involved region sports. During the meeting one of Satan’s minions hijacked the meeting for about 20 minutes complaining that he wasn’t able to get email addresses for every Stake President in his region. After all, how can we attain salvation without these email addresses?
It took every ounce of self-control I had to keep from raising my hand and asking “does anyone else here give a damn about the addresses?” By the stupefied expressions on their faces I know that the rest of the attendees did not. I did all in my power to “encourage” the moderator to move forward. I tried talking, playing games on my phone and finally resorted to using exaggerated hand signals for “move on” or “wrap it up” (picture the guy with the red flashlights that directs airplanes to their proper location—that was me). All to no avail. This guy wouldn’t stop and the moderator would not move on.
I was contemplating drastic measures. I thought about tightening my tie enough to cause me to pass out. “Now Brother (I wish I could remember his real name because I would use it here) look what your talking has done, you've killed Brother Jones.” Just before I could enact my plan “he who cannot be named” stopped talking and the meeting ended. I ran to my car and have never returned. Twenty fanatical home teachers could not drag me back.
A few years ago the Church asked us to hold fewer meeting so that we could have more family time. One bishop scheduled a meeting with all of his ward leaders to discuss . . . having fewer meetings—I don’t think he got the concept.
If I’m ever captured by corporate spies trying to learn the secret family butter-mint recipe, I’ll withstand waterboarding, bamboo shoots and beatings . . .but if they mention the word “meeting”—well, a guy can only stand so much.