special living lessonsSpecial Living Lessons for Relief Society Sisters
by Fonda AlaMode
with Laurie Mecham Johnson

on the cover:
You’ve heard of Fonda AlaMode—the “Ultimate Relief Society President.” Now, in ten glorious newsletters to “sisters and prospective women,” you can learn what’s really been going on in the Parley P. Pratt Park South Fourth Ward all these years. Casting a characteristic cold shoulder on unpleasantness in all of its forms, and obsessing instead on all the little things that matter most, Sister AlaMode serves a welcome sedative to today’s homemakers.

about the author: Laurie Mecham Johnson draws standing-room only crowds wherever she appears as Fondalaurie AlaMode. She has also starred in Salt Lake Acting Company’s Kathy and Mo Show: Parallel Lives, Theater Works West’s Jeffery, and D. B. Cooper’s Black Velvet Pastures: Contemporary Poetry. She is co-author of the musical theater production Salt Lake, Salt Lake II and co-founder of the improvisational acting group Head Games. In Special Living Lessons for Relief Society Sisters, she “exercises several of the sweet spirits with which she is possessed”: Sister Butcher, Sister DeFrock, Crystal AlaMode, and, of course, Crystal’s dear mother, Fonda.

title page:
Special Living Lessons for Relief Society Sisters
with Laurie Mecham Johnson
Signature Books
Salt Lake City

copyright page:
Cover design by Randall Smith Associates

Special Living Lessons for Relief Society Sisters was printed on acid-free paper and was composed, printed, and bound in the United States.

© 1996 Signature Books, Inc. Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.

2000  99  98  97  96     6  5  4  3  2  1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Johnson, Laurie
Special living lessons for Relief Society by Sister Fonda AlaMode / by Laurie Johnson.
p.     cm.
ISBN 1-56085-090-6 (pbk.)
1. Christian life—Humor.  2. Christian life—Mormon authors—Anecdotes.  3. Johnson, Laurie.  4. Relief Society (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
1. Title.
BX8656.J63  1996
248.4’89332’0207—dc20   96-43317

For Lynne

[p.v] I’m just sa grateful unto the following:
Kody, Emily, Jack, Anne, Lynne, Emma, Jed, and Jette for your (practically) unconditional love and for uplifting and separating me from my doubts. Ashley and Blayne & some other folks I never wrote down for bringing me treasures of true stories. mormon sistersBell, the Sunday gals—Claudia, Cory, Kelli, Louise, MaryBeth, Sharon, and Susan—for their support. Elbert & Brian at Sunstone, Affirmation, Reconciliation, the Pilgrimage women, and the Provo Canyon women for “making me do it” (and thanks for when you didn’t make me do it). Kelli, for getting me into, through, and out of Las Vegas. And first, last, and always—buckets of love and thanks to my PAL.

[p.vii] To all of my dear Sisters in Relief Societies all throughout the civil world, I would like unto thank you for your support and encouragement on this humble book of mine. In trying to share all of the wonderful tips, crafts and lessons in which we have participated, I could not have done this without standing upon your broads shoulders.


sister alamode

[p.ix]I do not know how to begin with all humility. I am honored that the Parley P. Pratt Park South Fourth Ward Relief Society has been reckonized by The Brethren of the Stake as Honorable Beyond Mention. I know that an example will be made of us. In spite of our efforts unto serve without accomplishments of any kind, our Relief Society has subordinated itself above all others and so we have been set up for this. And I am just so very proud of the many hours of servitude in which have been given by each Sister in the Ward.

This collection of Relief Society newsletters and the moral lesions they contain might have come from any Ward in Zion. I feel that I myself cannot accept all of the admonition for the words in which are found herein, for there is hail to pay to all the Sisters of the Ward and the contradictions which they have made through out the years.

This Ward has been institutional in the shaping of these Newsletters, and it’s just so wonderful that I have been asked to collect them for the extremely wide readership of the Relief Society. I do feel that the Ward is truly a place of open inquisition, a place of honest exhibitionism where all of our minds can grow and our spirits will be tenderly neutered.

–Sister Fonda AlaMode