by Donna Banta
As a public service to women everywhere, the Ex-Mormon Mavens offer you another gem from the popular program:
GET A LIFE!
From BYU television
Sister Bailey: Good morning, I’m Karen Bailey, hostess of GET A LIFE! from BYU television. Our first guest is the popular LDS event planner, Randy Johnson, author of Queen for an Eternity. Welcome back to our show, Brother Johnson.
Brother Johnson: Oh my heck, Karen, thank you for having me again.
Bailey: Now, Brother Johnson, you are a confirmed bachelor, correct?
Johnson: (nods eagerly) Absolutely, Karen.
Bailey: Nevertheless, you are an expert on all things bridal. How is that?
Johnson: I’m an incurable romantic, Karen. A temple marriage is the dream of every good Mormon girl. Nobody knows that better than I do.
Bailey: Fabulous. Today you want to talk to our viewers about the chapter in your book, Queen for an Eternity, that discusses boundaries. That’s a term I’m not familiar with.
Johnson: (sighs and shakes his head) Nor was I, Karen. Didn’t have them in my day. But modern LDS brides are calling the temple endowment experience a violation of their personal boundaries, beginning with the recommend interview.
Bailey: How on Earth is an interview with the bishop a boundary issue?
Johnson: A growing number of sisters complain that they are uncomfortable sitting alone in a room with a man whom they barely know and discussing kissing, fondling, intercourse, orgasms, erections, and masturbation.
Bailey: Goodness me! I’d think they’d be grateful for the opportunity.
Johnson: Same here, Karen. I love to discuss intimate matters with the bishop. In fact, I’m still confused about an experience I had recently. Instead of inviting me into his office, the bishop slapped a new recommend in my hand and then hurried out of the building. I don’t know why he did that. And he hasn’t returned my calls.
Bailey: There, there, Brother Johnson. I hope you haven’t allowed yourself to take offense.
Johnson: Heavens no, Karen, I’d never fall into that trap—and that’s what I tell my new brides. Rather than be offended, I advise them to remember that the bishop must have a detailed account of their sexual activity because he has been called of God to protect and preserve their moral dignity.
Bailey: So it eases a young bride’s mind to know it’s for her own good.
Johnson: Usually. If it doesn’t, I tell her to take my example and just have fun with it. After all, she can’t fight the bishop off, so why not . . . you know . . .
Bailey: Just lay back and enjoy it?
Johnson: Exactly, Karen. The same logic applies to brides who are wary of being washed and anointed in the temple.
Bailey: Luckily the washing and anointing is not what it used to be.
Johnson: I make a point of that in my book. Nowadays all a girl has to do is imagine that an old lady is dabbing oil on her breasts. It’s so much easier, not to mention less greasy. I encourage my girls to think about that. If that doesn’t work, I tell them to think about baseball.
Bailey: I suppose if she’s really nervous, a young bride could imagine that everyone is in her underwear.
Johnson: Good thinking, Karen, and once she’s washed and anointed, she’ll know exactly what that looks like. As a matter of fact, that’s the trick I use to get through General Conference.
Bailey: Okay, I can see now why some sisters might misinterpret the bishop’s interview as well as the washing and anointing as a slight invasion of personal boundaries, but what on Earth could possibly be misconstrued as offensive about the endowment session?
Johnson: (makes a broad sweep with his hand) Well, a lot of new brides have a thing about taking oaths, especially the one about dedicating all of their time, talent, and resources to the LDS Church. But when that comes up, I just have to say, “Girlfriends, get over it!” ‘Cause, you know, that’s never going to change.
Bailey: (shakes her head) Never.
Johnson: But some feel violated when donning the robes of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood for the first time. You know how it is, Karen, everyone but the bride has been through the temple before. The entire roomful of patrons slide in and out of their clothing like a G-rated version of the Chippendale dancers, and then turn to gawk at the poor clumsy bride. Some girls find that offensive.
Bailey: Are these girls converts?
Johnson: No, most of them are true-blue, born-in-the covenant. It’s a problem that goes to the grass roots. But given the secrecy that surrounds the temple, I have long been at a loss to suggest an activity that might prepare a girl to complete this task in a timely manner. Then, last month when I was on a cross-country flight from Salt Lake to Boise, I had an epiphany while watching the safety demonstration. The flight attendant, Phred, was incredibly friendly. He agreed to help me with a little play-acting. I was the new bride and he was the bossy voice that booms from the speaker during the temple session.
Bailey: We have video of your performance here.
—Cut to video of the aircraft interior. Phred is standing next to Johnson’s seat on the plane.
Phred: Sister Johnson, put on your airline blanket.
—Johnson takes the blanket from the armrest and ties it around his waist.
Phred: Sister Johnson, remove your blanket and take off your shoes. Put your life vest on backwards, tie your oxygen mask around your waist in the back, put your blanket back on, open your in-flight magazine to page 16 and stick it on your head, then put your shoes on.
—A timer appears at the top of the screen. Johnson deftly completes all of Phred’s instructions. The timer stops at 47 seconds. Johnson sits down. The timer disappears.
Phred: Okay, Sister Johnson, now I want you to take it all off, your shoes, blanket, mask, vest, and magazine. Then put your life vest on in the right position, tie your oxygen mask around your waist in the front, put your blanket back on, turn your magazine to page forty and stick it on your head, then put on your shoes.
—The timer reappears. Johnson flawlessly completes the regimen. The timer stops at 43 seconds. Johnson sits down. A sudden burst of turbulence sends Phred careening atop Johnson. Johnson’s life vest inflates. The screen goes black.
Johnson: (blushes) Oops, I didn’t mean to include that last part. But don’t worry, that probably won’t happen in the temple.
Bailey: I have been talking with LDS event planner, Randy Johnson. To order his book, or reserve seats on his “Cross Country Temple Preparation Flight,” visit his website at therandyjohnson[dot]com. (holds up a copy of Queen for an Eternity) That’s a lovely picture of you on the cover Brother Johnson.
Johnson: Why, thank you, Karen.