I was at work when the song inexplicably came to mind. And, immediately struck by the obvious irony of the song that had never occurred to me as a child, I found myself chuckling. It's a good thing no one saw me, because laughter without an observable trigger is generally construed as a sign of insanity.
My mom used to play this collection of LDS children's songs every now and then, and I remember liking them. My sister and I would sing along to them. It was probably not an official church product (come to think of it, it might not have actually been of LDS origins) and I'm pretty sure it was on a record, so it was probably already kind of dated back when we used to listen to it. And after spending an embarrassing amount of time Googling what snippets of lyrics I could remember, I came up with absolutely nothing. I don't know where these songs came from.
And since I can't verify the song's lyrics or even its existence, I'll just hope I'm remembering these two lines correctly:
The Pharisees and Sadducees, they did not know what Jesus wasThe irony, of course, is that this song mocks one of the most frustrating characteristics of many faithful Mormons--the refusal to accept or even acknowledge things that don't fit into their Mormon worldview. My parents, despite being educated and reasonably intelligent, just can't see that Joseph Smith was a con man, that the church brainwashed them and all their children, that being gay is not a choice, that tattoos are not the mark of a lesser person, or that it's actually a good thing my girlfriend lives with me because she doesn't make enough money to support herself and she no longer has family in the area.
They could not see what didn't fit their picture of the world.
They can't see what doesn't fit their picture of the world but they have derided that precise quality when discussing Pharisees, Sadducees, Lamanites, anti-Mormons, Scientologists and Democrats.
And it's not just that they can't see it--it's that they won't. There are some serious mental and ideological gymnastics required to make some concepts jive with their preconceived notions. They're modifying the results to conform to the hypothesis. And I know we're all guilty of that sometimes--bias and preconception are difficult to escape entirely. But there are some occasions when my family's hypocrisy is just too egregious for me to easily forgive.
And I'm pretty sure that the majority of it is a direct result of lifelong participation in Mormonism.
Incidentally, if anybody recognizes that song or knows where it comes from, I'm still dying to know. I think I have an unhealthy urge to review the indoctrination of my childhood. On the off-chance that anyone will remember these songs, I leave you with part of the song I remember the best:
My name is Paul and I used to [something something]
Saying Jesus couldn't be real
But then something happened to teach me a lesson
And it changed the way I feel
Oh, I'm off on a missionSound familiar to anybody?
There's important work to do
Oh, you've got to share a good thing
When a good thing comes to you
I know Jesus is the son of God
I know the gospel's true
Oh, I'm off on a mission
I'm a Christian through and through