I thought it is about time that I post something controversial on my blog. My goal is to get 16 comments. Writing about something that will ruffle a few feathers is my only hope.
My wife is getting ready to go on a "trek" in June. I have to laugh as this seems to be one of the most ridicules undertakings she has ever embarked on. To get ready, we watched a video of another stake made on a trek last year. It was, to say the least, LAME!
The video showed the willing and able (the "able" being a few overweight women that did not look so "able") being dropped off in school busses somewhere in Wyoming. The experience was supposed to be "realistic" and they are to wear authentic pioneer clothing. So, as these kids get out of the bus with their Patagonia backpacks and Timberland boots and plastic water bottles, I was reminded of the great Brother Graham P. James, a pioneer of umm...pioneers. He once said, "As we embark on this great journey, you shall first stop at the local REI, where you shall drop at least $120 on needed enhancements for thine journey."
The trek looked like great fun, if your idea of fun includes walking up dusty four wheeler trails for 20 miles in the wind and stopping every 10 minutes to listen to somebody talk about how rough the pioneers had it. (Of course, they didn't have groomed 4 wheeler trails.) With every step, you could imagine the kids thoughts. "Boy did the pioneers have it rough!" Or more likely, "I wonder what is for dinner?" One girl on the video commented, "As we pulled the handcart up the hill, I know there where angels behind us giving us an added boost." While I am sure there were angels, it also helped that there were 10 girls behind the cart and another 10 pulling it. With that girl power they could have pulled a tank up the hill.
Cathi had to go to the thrift store to buy some authentic "pioneer clothing". She purchased two of the ugliest dresses I have ever seen. She still needs a bonnet. She is going to look like I have 5 wives. I loved the women in the video with bonnets and sunglasses. Just like our ancestors.
The highlight of the movie was when they had to bury their dolls. I am not sure why, I guess that the pioneers had to burry the dolls that were broken or something???
All of this nonsense reminds me of when I was on my mission in Gettysburg, PA. These weirdos would show up in their Civil War costumes and pretend to fight each other in hopes that they would more fully understand and appreciate what the armies of the civil war went through. We would sit and laugh at them as they pretended to fall or hide behind trees. I don't think I ever saw them burry a doll though.
Thank goodness they did not have this nonsense when I was a kid. It is now a semi-annual routine for most stakes. And the worst part of it all is that our stake is paying some company $20,000 (not sure of the exact number) to come and walk around on their land in silly outfits.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself - Abe will soon be struck down! This is sacrilegious! Well, as far as I am concerned, the First Presidency has never "endorsed" youth treks, and they have never even really encouraged it. As soon as the First Presidency says "You should take the youth on a trek", I will change my tune. Furthermore, I do not need to go gallop around in the sand and wind for 3 days to appreciate what the pioneers went through for months. I already appreciate it.
Go ahead, flame away. I have said my peace on the matter.