My mother is 77 (let’s say it all together..) “bless her heart”. She has severe senile dementia, congestive heart failure and is a breast cancer survivor. She is, in a nutshell, A Survivor.
She has also reverted back to that state of a child where she’s lost certain social proprieties that have heretofore been an integral part of who she is. Either that, or she knows she can get away with it. I’m leaning toward the latter. Once, a nurse accidentally hurt her, and my mother referred to her as a ‘fat cow’ as she left the room. I scolded her, saying, “Mom, that isn’t nice!” She replied, louder of course, “I don’t care, she’s a FAT COW!” Sigh.
I took my mother out for groceries the other day, and she complained that she wanted caramels. I told her that she’d just had a new crown put on her tooth, so she couldn’t have them for a couple of days. I put the $9 box of candy back on the shelf. I paid, took the groceries to the car, and upon unloading them, the little sneak had snuck them into the food, hiding them so I couldn’t see that I was buying them! Ah…good times.
Well, as we sat in the car she and I had a conversation on the way home, and she, knowing full well I’m not Mormon, brought up Jospeh Smith. The conversation went like this.
“You know, mom, Joseph Smith was a polygamist.”
“Oh, yes, I know.” She nodded, solemnly.
“Did you know that he also practiced polyandry?”
“What’s that, dear?”
“He married other men’s wives. Four of them. Another four he married who were married to non-Mormon men.”
“What? I didn’t know that! Oo, I don’t like him anymore.” She scowled and shook her head.
“Mom, he’s the founder of the Church.”
“I don’t care, he’s a stinker.”
“He also married a 14 year old girl.”
“Oooh, I do NOT like him at all.”
“But mom, he’s the first prophet of your Church!”
“Well, he’s still a stinker!”
I was trying so hard not to melt down in hysterics until she got safely in her apartment. I laughed and laughed when I got back into the car. My mom has always been a devout Mormon, even witnessing to me at one point that she believed she saw Jesus once in the hospital as she lay near death when I was just a baby.
Now she drinks coffee and bad-mouths Joseph Smith. I know very well that she cannot be held accountable for what she says and does; she is, after all, not well mentally. But her first instinct when she learned the truth without being mired in her Mormon paradigm is one of repugnance and astonishment. It makes me wonder if they gave the converts the “meat” first, then the “milk”, how many would convert without first doing some serious research on their own.
Then they would find out that they are joining a church invented by the quintessential stinker.