treasures of half-truthTreasures of Half-Truth
by Pat Bagley

on the cover:
PAT BAGLEY, 30, was born in Salt Lake City, but grew up in Southern California, which explains a lot. From ’75 – ’77 he served in the Bolivia La Paz Mission and graduated from BYU a year later with a degree in political science. Shortly thereafter he stumbled into his job as the editorial cartoonist for the Salt Lake Tribune. It has been downhill ever since, culminating in the creation of this book.

Until recently Pat lived alone in Salt Lake with a pet cat. The cat has since run away.

title page:
Treasures of Half-Truth
Pat Bagley
Signature Books
Salt Lake City, Utah

copyright page:
Copyright 1986 by Signature Books
Salt Lake City, Utah
All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America

ISBN 0-941214-47-8


Sister Howell was my Top Pilot teacher in Primary. We never thought to question her. She had recently moved into our California ward from Utah, and her word carried the same doctrinal weight as the bishop’s—maybe even the stake president’s. At least, that’s the way it looked to a dozen nine-year-olds still fuzzy on the concept of authority.

Long before sociologists discovered that Mormons are different and began churning out dissertations as though we were a tribe of Hottentots, Sister Howell had already leaked the secret to my fellow Top Pilots and me. “Mormons are different,” she would say. I soon learned why.

I learned that the world generally wallowed in sin and hot tubs. I learned that we resisted such worldly pleasures. In time, I even developed compassion for my wayward brothers and sisters. “They” were the lost sheep—prodigals who were too busy whooping it up to realize just how miserable they really were. I, on the other hand, learned that I was blessed with the law of tithing, the law of chastity, and the law of the sabbath, the word of wisdom, and, eventually, with the burning wish that just once a year Mormons could have a holiday so that we could be just as miserable as our gentile friends.

I learned that there could be no reconciliation between good and evil, darkness and light, us and them. The differences were too great. Where the world is filled with unruly and wrangling people, the church is filled with unruly and wrangling people who do their best to hold family home evening.

Sister Howell made sure that we knew we were choice, special, valiant—a royal generation held in reserve till these last days. She was nothing if not thorough. But there was one thing Sister Howell forgot to tell us—probably the one thing which endears us to our creator more than anything else—the fact that we make such terrific subjects for cartoons.

Pat Bagley