What started as a thinly veiled public relations stunt to make the Mormon church appear more welcoming has taken a turn for the intergalactic, and has given many LDS Star Trek fans some hope to cling on to.
As was reported earlier in the week, for the first time ever speakers at the upcoming General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will have the option to give their prepared remarks in their native tongue.
Immediately after the change in policy was announced the Mormon blogosphere was buzzing with rumors as to which of the church’s non-native English speaking leaders would break the language barrier. Many speculated that Dieter F. Uchtdorf would address the worldwide audience in his native German.
So it came as a bit of a shock to many when the church’s newsroom announced at a Tuesday press conference that Boyd K. Packer would be the first to offer his conference address in a foreign language. And many faithful Latter-day Saints were in for another surprise when Packer took the podium.
“vo’ vIpawtaH tlhIngan yuQmey,” said Packer with a phlegm-filled snarl as he removed a prosthetic appliance and revealed a distinctive ridged forehead.. “Or, for you of the human race ‘I am from the planet Klingon.’”
As the announcement sent palpable shockwaves of disbelief throughout the media in attendance, church spokesman Dale Jones quickly stepped in an attempt to restore order. “Yes, aliens exist. And yes Elder Packer is a member of the Klingon race. But the real story here is that the Lord’s restored church is an inclusive organization,” Jones said. “And the fact that an alien being from another world has risen to the rank of president of the Quorum of the Twelve is testament to our inclusive nature.”
The 90-year old apostle then pulled out a traditional Klingon weapon, known as a bat’leth, from behind the podium and proceeded to put on a demonstration of his skills with the strange curved implement. He then pierced the stunned silence with a guttural scream. “Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam!”—which is a traditional Klingon battle cry that means “Today is a good day to die.”
Marc Okrand, a linguist credited with popularizing the Kilngon language, seems to be the only person that was not surprised by Packer’s revelation. “I have known that Mr. Packer has been a Klingon for years,” said Okrand, who has been hired by the church to translate for the conference. “It was just so obvious—the gravelly voice, the extreme and often vitriolic rhetoric, the fact that a nonagenarian can wield a bat’leth with such grace and poise—he is a fine example of the Klingon race.”
Packer is expected to give his historic address, entitled “loD Qup neH”, during the conference’s priesthood session and is based on his famous “To Young Men Only” talk from 1994.
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