My Father in the September Ensign. (And what didn’t make it in)

Page 19 -21.  It’s part of a larger article (that starts on page 18_, but his anecdote about high school wrestling and promptings from the spirit can be found on those pages.  Though the artists rendering on page 20 is all wrong.  It looks nothing like my father and the school color and logo in the picture aren’t of any high school I’ve ever seen.

Now, here’s what didn’t make it in the issue:

Actually, this part was never submitted to the Ensign, but it’s another church related high school wrestling anecdote my father likes to relate, and this publication in the Ensign provides a good enough time as any to relate it:

First, you have to keep in mind that in Alaska, an away game really is an away game.  You don’t play the high school from across town (except in Anchorage).  The next town with a high school is at least a two hour drive away, and most of the high schools are four to six hours away.   Away games, then, nearly always take up an entire weekend, with overnight stays sleeping on classroom or gym floors at the high school hosting the event. There is no budget for putting up teams at hotels or the like.

Well, one year, early on in father’s coaching career, he needed a place for his wrestlers to sleep, and the high school wasn’t available for various reasons.  He found the local bishop and got permission to stay overnight in the cultural hall.

The next morning, one of the wrestlers mentioned to my dad he was surprised such a small church would spring for a well sized jacuzzi.  “Jacuzzi?” my dad said.  “Yeah, it was great.  Last night, I couldn’t sleep, so I filled it up with hot water and relaxed.”  My dad realized that the wrestler was talking about the baptismal font.

So, my dad decided to have a little fun.  He explained to the wrestler that it was a baptismal font, and that by bathing in it, the wrestler was now a Mormon.  The wrestler exclaimed “but I’m Catholic!  My parents will kick me out of the house if they find out I’ve become a Mormon!”

Of course, my father (eventually) let the wrestler know he wasn’t really a Mormon (yet).

The moral of the story:  One church’s baptismal font is another person’s jacuzzi.  Now I know why sprinkling was adopted by so many churches.  Hard to take a soak in a shallow pond.

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About Ivan Wolfe

Ivan Wolfe teaches rhetoric at Arizona State University. He has a PhD in English from the University of Texas - Austin, and a BA and MA in English (with minors in Classical Greek, Music, and Philosophy) from BYU. He has several credits on various Christmas albums aimed at the LDS market, several essays in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series, and various book reviews in academic and popular venues. He also competes in Scottish Highland Games and mud run/obstacle course races, and he can deadlit over double his bodyweight (his last PR was just shy of 500 pounds). He is currently married to Lisa Renee Wolfe. He has five kids and four stepkids.

7 thoughts on “My Father in the September Ensign. (And what didn’t make it in)

  1. He should have submitted the story to the Ensign! I love it!

    I will have to share that story with my Catholic father-in-law. He will enjoy and appreciate the humor. :-)

  2. Hilarious. The Ensign really needs a Laughter is the Best Medicine section for stories like that.

  3. I know this is only related to the title of the post, but the couple on the cover is my uncle and aunt. They were told the picture might be on the Liahona, and they had no idea it would be on the Ensign until the magazine came out.

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