Thanksgiving, aka Potential Civil War Prelude 2k18, is only three days away, and I think it’s vital that we’re all prepared. I don’t want any of us naively waltzing up to the dinner table without a plan, and by “plan”, I mean the ability to just NOT BRING UP BLOOD ATONEMENT, OK? Control yourselves. That’s tip #1 — put blood atonement OUT of your mind, it will not serve you on Tofurkey Day. The rest of these tips might.

2. DON’T work anti-Mormon literature into your gratitude speech.

It’s tempting, I know, but comments like “I’m so grateful our family is so overwhelmingly white because BOY would we have a lot more ancestral trauma to deal with if grandpa had even one drop of African blood in him” really don’t help the healing process. Keep things light and vague with statements like, “May gratitude abound in our hearts, shining light on our blessings, even in the darkest times.”

3. DO wear a Fight the New Drug t-shirt.

Your beard, glazed over eyes, and Satanic tattoos may scream “going to hell in a hand basket” but a Fight the New Drug shirt will slightly offset some of that “demons about your personage” look that makes your parents wonder how they raised such a failure. Talking loudly about how much you hate porn is a fantastic way to seem a BIT less possessed by the devil, and also helps educate the toddlers of the family, who will soon be addicted to watching violent sex acts if they’re not careful. (Did you know that rock music is specifically engineered to drive the kids to sex?)

4. DON’T pray to Heavenly Mother over the food.

It’s rude and offensive — she’s been low-carb vegan since 6000 BC, around the time everyone stopped hearing from her.

5. DO go on a family walk after dinner.

As long as you don’t make jokes about Brigham’s apparent indifference concerning the welfare of the pioneers who also walked and walked and walked, this should be a fun activity that stirs almost zero controversy. Remember, we’re not mentioning blood atonement. Isn’t porn the worst?

6. DON’T think that politics are an OK thing to bring up, either.

You might think that you’ve already committed the most heartbreaking sin your mother can comprehend — leaving the LDS church — but pile “supportive of Democrats” on top of that, and she’s got 1-3 years left to live, MAX, because of the inevitable trauma-induced illness it will cause.

7. DO test the waters by suggesting a game of face cards.

This one will depend on your family, of course, but challenging your siblings to a game of Texas Hold ‘Em is a great way to sense whether or not your disaffection from the church has made them budge on any fundamental doctrinal issues. If it’s very clear very quickly that they are not about to venture into appearances of evil, just swiftly move on by mentioning a new study you just read about the dangers of pornography.

8. DON’T blaze up before dinner.

Unless you want to start obsessively thinking about which of your family members would gladly murder you if the prophet asked them to. Also, we know you live in Utah.

9. DO be careful about how you compliment the chef.

“Delicious to the taste and very desirable” is a useful multi-purpose phrase and we all know it, but it will also remind your family that you took from the tree of knowledge of good and evil THANKS TO THAT SWINE JOHN DEHLIN. Similarly, “you can buy anything in this world with money” is not a great offhand response to your mother’s remarks about the yumminess of your store-bought pie.

10. DO bring a flask.

You’ll need it.


Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.

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