Want to look more righteous to your congregation? How about to the Stake President or better yet, the visiting general authority seventy on the stand? For the first time ever, The Silver Plates provides you with the definitive guide to appearing more righteous at the pulpit. Follow these steps and that visiting authority is sure to mention you to the apostles when he gets back to Salt Lake!

  1. Cry. This oldie-but-goldie ALWAYS works. If you feel a lull in the Spirit, nothing brings it back like a good ol’ fashioned blubber fest. Make sure you pause in silence before crying.

2. Talk slowly. The slower the better. A good disciple talks slow enough for you to consider every article and conjunction. It is also helpful to repeat yourself, adding emphasis to different words every time.

3. Quote C.S. Lewis. Quoting everyone’s favorite super-Apostle is sure to get you both intellectual and spiritual points. People will think you are well read, when in reality you’ve only read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in the 2nd grade… actually your teacher read it to you.

4. Call yourself to repentance. What we really mean is call everyone in the congregation to repentance in the most passive-aggressive way possible. By pretending to be confessing a shortcoming of yours over the pulpit, you can effectively look down your nose at everyone else, which makes you appear higher, or more righteous than other. When in doubt, remember this rule of thumb: Passive aggressive = righteousness.

5. Bare your testimony of the bishopric. Nothing says, “I’m converted to the Gospel,” like being a kiss-ass. And nothing says, “I speak the truth,” more than saying, “These men behind me are called of God.” A variation of this tip is to turn around and thank the bishop for the privilege of speaking in sacrament meeting.

6. Say nice things about your wife that everyone knows are not true. This is actually harder than it seems. The trick is to give fake compliments about your wife. If everyone knows the compliments are fake, they will think you are a nice guy for lying about your wife in front of others to make her feel better about herself. And remember! this has nothing to do with your wife. It has everything to do with appearing righteous—righteous men are supposed to fawn over their wives in public… it’s in the Bible. Look it up.

7. Repeatedly use the phrase, “Our Savior Jesus Christ.” This is the Mormon version of saying, “Father-God,” for evangelicals. The more you say it, the more righteous you are. The sky’s the limit!

8. Say, “God loves you.” Near the end of your talk, throw out everything you’ve said for the past 13 minutes by saying something like, “I don’t know a lot of things, but there’s one thing I do know…” and insert the line. Or try, “After all that’s been said and done, the only thing that matters is that…” Simple, right? Don’t forget this one, though. Failure to throw all scripture, doctrine, and truth under the bus for these three words will automatically make you a heathen. You can kiss that chair on the stand goodbye!

9. Add adjectives to Christs name. This is a quick way to add some of that righteous General Conference spice to your talk. You will need a thesaurus, however. There are some classic adjectives that are always good like, “gracious,” or, “sacred,” but try to be more righteous by using words like, “magnificent,” and, “supernal.” The more unexpected the adjectives the better. A favorite variation on this one is to use the word, “even,” when closing your talk. Here’s an example of how this all might work: “In the sublime, beatific, ebullient, and triumphant name of our Master, even Jesus Christ, amen.”

10. Be fake. Whatever you do, make sure nothing you say up there is genuine, heartfelt, or sincere. Only say what you think the prophet would say if you were him.

Don’t become overwhelmed or obsessed with the list. Just remember what your goal is up there: to climb the calling ladder all the way up to Apostle (General Relief Society President for women).