Ep 213 – End Times


Posted September 20th, 2015

Tanner, a blogger at “Zelph on the Shelf” (great name, huh?) joins Jake, Matt, Randy and Scott to talk about End Times and Latter Days and Preppers and all that good stuff.





  • That’s why Mormons can’t get tattoos, right? It all starts with barcodes

    • Actually, bar-code tattoos and subcutaneous chips are superfluous these days. They’ve done an end-around on the old “mark of the beast” prophesy. Somebody (probably one of those hackers-gone-straight who’s hacking for Jesus these days) figured out that if you don’t tag or tattoo people but DO tag lit’rally everything else in the friggin’ world, you can achieve the same end. See, you don’t have your social security number tattooed on your forehead or your wrist, but there is an RF ID tag sewn or laminated into everything you own or use. The tags are now cheap enough to include in disposable items. Each grain of salt in that round cardboard can of Morton Salt you bought at the store last week won’t have its own individual RF ID tag, but the can will, and it will not only ID it as a 26 oz. container of table salt, it will ID it as a particular 26 oz. container of table salt; it will have a unique name. In the multi-petabyte databases maintained by the NSA and others, that box of salt will be associated with the unique ID of the credit or debit card used to purchase it, as will the IDs of the gallon of Minute Maid Low Pulp Orange Juice From Concentrate, the four-pack of 9V batteries, the box of Rice-A-Roni and whatever else you bought. This will happen ALL of the time. Your BVDs, your wifebeater, your John Deere ball cap, your fuzzy-bunny bedroom slippers, will all have RF ID tags in them that will be associated with the cards that you or your loved ones used to buy them. Together they will form a cloud of associative data that says You. This vast associative network is coming to be known as the Internet of Things (A coincidence that it has the same initials as Infants on Thrones? You tell me.) Once in a while, you’ll go through an RF ID reader at a store or an airport or whatever and the IoT will get a read on a cloud of RF IDs that it can use to reinforce some associations and weaken others to better define You. The point is that the IoT will have a very good idea of where you are and what you’re doing ALWAYS, without ever having touched your physical body. It will usher in The End Of Lies. No one will be able to lie about anything ever again.

      And if this weren’t enough, facial recognition software is improving by leaps and bounds every year. With good enough facial recognition software and a ubiquitous enough network of surveillance cameras you can do the equivalent of taking somebody’s fingerprints from across the street—without their knowledge. Cool, huh?

      All I’m saying is that people who are apoplectic about being marked or tagged by “The Beast,” will find that the prophesy was a misdirection and the Beast got them anyway. They’ll also come to realize that The Last Days are only the beginning, but that’s another story, hey.

    • Dan

      Maybe we should get a bar code tattoo that has a link to a respective “I’m a Mormon” profile. Just sayin.

  • Thomas Moore

    This is one of the subjects that intellectually and logically drove me into my faith crisis. The whole name “Latter-Days” just falls apart in time, logic, etc… I used to be so afraid, because I didn’t have a year’s supply. I couldn’t get enough time or finances together on such a wasteful and ignorant teaching. Even though I was trying to be a perfect Mormon, I just found illogical and asinine teachings. So here’s the whole problem as was not really discussed as much as I had hoped. Earthquakes, Hurricanes, floods, etc… were all discussed and the irrational fears that were implanted on food, clothing and shelter needs. This keeps coming back (remember the Y2K preps? The bomb shelters during the Cuba / Russian missile crisis? There are just so many disasters, yet most people are now predicting that the World won’t end with a bang, but rather with a whimper. Starvation, climate change, pandemics are real threats. Something like 20% of the U.S. pop died during the 1920’s from the Spanish Flu pandemic, yet no one discusses it. So everyone is worried about War, Natural Disasters, Comets…. Yet, like Stephen King’s “The Stand” people are going to die off from disease and climate change instead of wars, floods or violent deaths.

  • Trent

    Hey guys – just some feed back from an audio nerd. It seems like the episodes for the past few months have had heavy compression artifacts. I think it might be turned up to high. It’s usually not a big deal if there is just dialogue, but one of the things that make your podcast great are the editing with sound bites and music clips. The compression artifacts are a total buzz kill for me because they distort the music. Listen to the “It’s the end of the world as we know it” music at the beginning of this episode for an example.

    Feel free to ignore me. You guys are rock stars and I love every episode!

  • Ryan Littlefield

    As for the topic of church communication: HQ can communicate via radio to bishop’s storehouses. Some local buildings have radio systems in them as well, which should be able to tie it all together.

  • Thanks, Matt, for the ammo in the war between the Old Farts and the Whippersnappers: “Why, when I was a boy, we only had one flavor of vodka—and we LIKED it!”

  • prickley.pete

    The Ezra Taft Benson rhetoric hasn’t died out, I see his quotes used all the time when my Mormon facebook friends talk about Obama or go off on Bernie Sanders.

  • Tim

    I met an LDS family on my mission that stockpiled food, cigarettes, and alcohol. The cigarettes and alcohol were for trading in the apocalypse. They had stockpiles of guns and ammo, and they booby trapped the woods surrounding their home, picked for its remote location at the end of a dirt road. The mom of the family kept an unregistered .22 handgun in her purse at all times. They were very kind to the missionaries — they fed us and let us do laundry at their home. But I often felt a bit nervous around them, too.

    • Malachi

      Where did you serve? I’m imagining this empty wasteland

      • Tim

        Oregon. Lush and green. Not an empty wasteland. There were LOTS of members who were preoccupied with prepping for the apocalypse. They often ascribed to conspiracy theories of the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commision, New World Order. People in the Willamette Valley were generally very liberal, and people outside of the Willamette Valley were generally very conservative. It was a trip going from one extreme to the other.

        • Malachi

          Eastern Oregon actually is a wasteland, haha. I used to live near Bend, Oregon. That must have been pretty interesting going between those two extremes. I’d love to go back to Oregon someday

  • Ryan Gregson

    I think it’s worth noting that the presidency released an official statement about the whole ‘post judgement great-hush’ story. Saying that they didn’t say it, and they don’t condone it. Doesn’t mean it’s not still used all the time though.

  • TigranMetz

    Great episode! If I may, I’d like to share a few tidbits of my anecdotal experiences on the subject:
    – On my mission, there was a lot of fantasizing among the missionaries about apocalyptic scenarios and speculation on when the apocalypse was going to occur.
    – I knew a couple missionaries who claimed that their patriarchal blessings stated that they would be alive for the 2nd coming. I also knew a missionary who’s mother was the transcriber of patriarchal blessings in her stake and she had all kinds of vague stories of the apocalypse/hastening the work based on that work.
    – The idea that Obama was the anti-Christ was talked about openly and frequently at the MTC (though less so in the mission field).
    – The apocalyptic nature of the LDS Church was captured beautifully in the literal translation of its name in my mission language: Jesus Christ’s Last Days’ Saints’ Church.
    – I returned home from my mission less than 5 years ago so all of this is relatively recent.

  • Krystal

    I’m the self-appointed queen of that’s what she said jokes, so I pretty much lost it when Matt mentioned that book.
    I was an EFY counselor, also. But that was…um…1991, so it’s not really relevant. 😀 How come that’s not on the Bob’s cred scale thingy?

    • Randy_Snyder

      I’m guessing the reason is bc Bob was never an EFY councilor. Neither was I. What kind of weirdo sought that position? 😉

      • Krystal

        The best kinds of weirdos. Obviously. 😉

        • hetaira

          As a never-mo I’m having trouble wrapping my head around what happens at EFY. Maybe you or Infants could do an essay/episode on EFY from either a counselor or attendee perspective?

  • Sally

    I love Infants on Thrones, but this is an episode that I disagree with. I was a deep “in” Mormon. I have been a RS Pres 3 times. I have a large family (always obedient) and t I lived in fear of being prepared for what may happen to my family if I wasn’t gardening, canning and storing wheat. I bake bread and still cook from scratch. I have used herbs and essential oils with success for minor ailments. The last thing for me to let go of as I stopped being a “believer” was the fear of not having everything I needed for the last days. I don’t think it is because the Church was boring that I prepared (never feeling like I had enough), or that I’m stupid…it was because the Church pushes you to be prepared spiritually and temporally, and everything in the media and NDE’s can all be signs for “the last days”, It is part of the church paradigm. Letting go of the fear of church teachings was the greatest relief for me…I realized I lived in fear all of the time. I still feel a little peace about having some extra food, but I don’t constantly worry about it. I did catch the very end of the podcast that took a little of the edge off…but for those of us who were ultra obedient, we found angst in the signs, not superiority.

    • Thomas Moore

      I’ll let one of the infants comment; but since I fought this all the time when I was TBM because it was sooooo irrational, I found a writing by Oliver Sacks which explained it better to me and helped me get over the fear of “Latter Days” and the non-existing calamities. Here’s a podcast by Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson interviewing Dr. Sacks. http://www.startalkradio.net/show/extended-classic-are-you-out-of-your-mind-with-oliver-sacks/

    • Randy_Snyder

      You disagree w this podcast bc your personal experience was different. So we didn’t represent your perspective. Fair enough. But I don’t think you’re being fair in implying that your perspective is the only experience either. There are personality types that are just as obedient as you were but feel/felt no anxiety about the end of the world and saw the year supply only as part of the checklist just like the church is filled w people wracked w guilt bc they tend to be more introspective and honest about themselves while others are happy as a clam bc that’s not in their DNA.

      And implying we said people like you were stupid to have such fears? Are you kidding me?? I used to believe in demons and thought I was attacked by one on my mission and one of the last things I let go of was the fear it could happen again. I used to believe Big Foot was Cain, the ancestor of black people cursed by God. I used to believe the flood was historical and millions of species hung out on a boat for a year. I could go on and on.

      • Aladdin Sane

        I can confirm: my doomsday prepper family definitely thinks they are superior, and more importantly, that everyone else is inferior. They can barley contain their glee at the prospect of fending off the foolish virgins who didn’t fill their lamps by shooting them, courtesy of their massive munitions stockpile.

  • Malachi

    A few TBM’s quoted this scripture from Mormon chap. 8 to me when we talked about climate change/environmentalism

    29 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands;

    30 And there shall also be heard of wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places.

    31 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth;

    It was prophesied the earth was going to be “polluted” in the last days, so we don’t have to worry about cleaning up. There is nothing we can do to stop that prophecy.

    • Thomas Moore

      To “Strap on my old TBM hard hat”. Syria has become the first country (society) to withdraw seeds from the artic “Doomsday Vault”…. so see the prophets were right. http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-war-spurs-first-withdrawal-doomsday-arctic-seed-143300148.html

    • Dan

      This is my pet peeve about apocalyptic thinkers. They hold dear the idea it’s a forgone conclusion that the world is going to end and there is nothing we can do about it. It’s another massive cop out and it’s an example of how belief can sometimes encourage immoral behavior. From my perspective there is no real doctrinal basis for it either, as there are examples in the scriptures both old and new where a people actually heeds the doomsday warnings of a prophet and avoid the calamity that’s been foretold. There is no reason to think that God would look the other way at bad individual behavior just because it was prophesied that destruction was at hand.

      Say what you will about the merits the Bill Mahr (sp?) film Religilous but I did like at least one point he made. When the scriptures we’re written, the total destruction of the planet and the end of human existence was something that only a supernatural power could accomplish so warnings about the end of the world could only come true through an act of God. Today however our world could end in a fiery flash with the push of a button, or roast us all to death under a cloud of man made greenhouse gas. The idea that the end of the world is going to be a good thing is an insane delusion that needs to be snuffed out because if true believers have their way, we’re done for.

  • Nick

    Cussed so much that we made Randy blush? I’m skeptical.

  • Paxton

    Help me understand…you invite a guest on your podcast and then you totally disrespect him? Wasn’t he invited on because it was felt he had an interesting perspective to share on the Julie Rowe end of world subject? Now keep in mind I was listening to this episode at 4 AM so I may have missed the humor in it…due my wanting to get back to sleep…(yes I use IOT to put me back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night) I just thought some of you came off somewhat dickish towards your guest.

    • Glenn

      I didn’t hear any disrespect, so you’ll have to provide examples. I think it was mainly just the awkwardness of me having invited Tanner on and then bailing at the last minute (embarisingly, because I was to sleepy) so the other guys were wondering at first who Tanner was and why he was there. But they all seemed to have fun and Tanner fit right in.

    • Richard R. Lyman

      Hey, this is Tanner. Trust me, I didn’t feel disrespected at all. I knew I wasn’t in for tea with the queen (I had to turn her invitation down to do this episode). I had a great time. If the world weren’t ending this month, I would totally go on again.

      • Matt

        Tanner was a great addition and a great guest. If it sounded like we gave him some shit, that’s a huge compliment. It means we were comfortable and liked him. I hope he’ll come on again.

    • Brrrrr

      Maybe the part of the podcast where folks started shrieking the word “penis” slipped into your subconscious while you were sleeping.

  • LiteralHipster

    I’ve never laughed harder while listening to any podcast than when Matt said the name of that book (Behold, I Come Quickly) and its double meaning was pointed out. Well done. I know IoT is the true podcast.

  • David Sarif

    If I was Tanner, I’d have just left at about 6:00. Unprofessional.