My Top Ten Cultural Sins, or Why I Don’t Mark My Scriptures

March 4, 2008
By

10. I don’t mark my scriptures. The last time I did was 12 years ago and it was to make it easier to find the key scripture passages I used to teach the missionary discussions. I still have my marked-up seminary scriptures. They are sadly disfigured from the brutal SoCal scripture chases I put them through on a daily basis in high school. Now I feel a reverence for the written word which precludes me from marking any books in my possession. I became aware that I was different in this regard from my fellow Mormons when I opened the Book of Mormon to Alma in elder’s quorum last week and the room virtually exploded in pastel colors while my pages alone remained “white and delightsome”. I’m the weird one here, I know.

9. I have never registered to vote as a Republican. When I turned eighteen, I registered as an American Independent solely to receive wacko political screeds about the New World Order from the militia point of view. I later registered as a Democrat so I could have a say in the Salt Lake City Democratic primary mayoral race. Since then, I have been unaffiliated and plan to remain that way.

8. My wife and I have one nearly three year old boy. He’s our miracle baby. That’s all, no mini-van “quiver” full of “arrows.” I’m not trying to deprive him of siblings; the good Lord apparently hasn’t seen fit to send more yet.

7. I allow my wife to not only work inside of our home, where she does a great job, but outside of our home as well, where she also does a great job (only part-time, of course :) ).

6. I have a low tolerance for Jell-O.

5. I love music composed and performed by people of questionable moral standing ;)

4. I eat meat in the summer and in times of plenty.

3. I hate, Hate, HATE Mary Kay, Amway, Nu-Skin, Tupperware, scrap-booking and any other socially manipulative pyramid scheme which masquerades sales presentations as “parties.”

2. I walk to church as often as possible (3 blocks) and leave the car at home.

1. I blog on Mormon Matters with the rest of the reprobates.

Confession time, brethren and sistren:

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110 Responses to My Top Ten Cultural Sins, or Why I Don’t Mark My Scriptures

  1. March 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    HILARIOUS!!! Johhn Nilsson…one of the best upbeat and fun blogs I have seen so far. Who is this queen I am listening to right now? I dont recognize him though I am sure he is British! lol

    I agree with you…I HATE all these pyramid schemes…but most of all LOATHE these reprobates that hang around BYU trying to get naive RM’s to sell door to door satellite dishes for them.

    I would have to say that my biggest cultural sin is the fact that I do anything I can not to wear a white shirt in church.:-)

  2. March 4, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    OH ITS ERASURE!! Yes they are good arent they!

  3. FooboyX
    March 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Confession: My garments look like they’ve been eaten by weasels because I’m too lazy to buy more. Also, I wear shorts to do yard work and exercise.
    Confession: My yard is average at best.
    Confession: I listen to music with swears. A few swears. Mostly “s” words.

  4. dpc
    March 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I find Laman and Lemuel to be more sympathetic characters than Nephi, sort of like how I always felt sorry for the bad guys on the Thundercats because they were just so hopelessly overmatched.

  5. John Nilsson
    March 4, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Yes, brethren, this is exactly the kind of confession that is good for the soul! I sense more of you out there, some of you right now reading this who feel the need to unburden yourselves of the guilt you feel. Come and join your fellow cultural sinners in a little soul-cleansing…

  6. March 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Great post! Thanks for letting me confess as well. I’ve been carrying around these burdens for some time:
    -I don’t sustain people I don’t know
    -My mission wasn’t the best two years, the most recent two were
    -I don’t say amen when something is said in a prayer I don’t agree with
    -I’m not a democrat, but I’ve never voted for a republican in a national election
    -I think the Book of Mormon condemns war
    -I don’t think everything said at General Conference is scripture
    -I laugh reading Bigelow’s Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer, and don’t feel guilty.

  7. March 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Oh, and Rough Stone Rolling strengthened my testimony.:)

  8. Jeff Spector
    March 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Forgive me father, for I have sinned: :)

    1. I drink Diet Dr. Pepper by the two liter bottle. mass quantities like the Coneheads
    2. I am not a republican and do not consider Ronald Reagan an honorary member of the Godhead.
    3. I love irreverent humor especially in and about church

    Man, I love this stuff!!!!!!!!

  9. March 4, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    10. I don’t mark my scriptures.

    I actually attended an adult session of stake conference, in which the visiting general authority ordered those in attendance to “mark” a particular scripture passage he was using as his prooftext. He repeated this order about three times, even. I felt like the only person in the room who was “disobedient.”

    5. I love music composed and performed by people of questionable moral standing.

    I LOVE Erasure! I saw them in concert this past summer in Seattle, and was amazed at the crowd, which included a couple in their 60s, who were standing, clapping, and dancing along with the rest of us. Andy Bell has certainly aged well, btw. He’s much better looking now!

    -My mission wasn’t the best two years, the most recent two were.

    Any returned missionary who can’t say this, is a sad person indeed.

  10. March 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I curse you for getting that song stuck in my head!

    “I try to discover a little something….”

  11. Peter Brown
    March 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I also like Erasure, although I feel dirty watching Andy Bell. What happened to the 80′s? We could like music that was so Miami Vice pastel when most of us weren’t. Now that many of the youth of America today are pink and pastel–gracious the high school boys of today wear girl pants-rock music has to have the stamp of masculinity to pass as cool.

    My guilty pleasures:
    1. Air Supply, Family Guy, and Little House on the Prairie.
    2. Believing too much in what Glenn Beck or Ron Paul espouse.
    3. Wanting Greg Olsen or Del Parsons to do Barak Obama ascending.
    4. Reading questionable websites about the Apocalypse and the New World Order-with requisite midi file playing in the background

    and the biggest one:
    5. Wanting Hillary Clinton to be the President just so I can have fun watching the train wreck.

  12. a wicked, wicked man
    March 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    1. I regularly fantasize about my wife wearing an outfit without garments.
    2. I regularly point out the flaws, inconsistencies and provide contrary proofs to all people copied with the latest faith promoting email.
    3. I am a member of the Liberal Party of Canada – just for the rise it gives to my Utah in-laws.
    4. I stitched a UN flag on my carry-on bag to see how my old school / John Birch society relatives would re-act.
    5. The Book of Mormon is not my favorite book, in fact it doesn’t make the top 100 list.

  13. open rebellion
    March 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    -
    - I love seether “fake it” http://youtube.com/watch?v=7j2DHUw8SZg
    -

  14. March 4, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Hey open rebellion, we’re confessing cultural sins, not real ones, lol. If that’s not the case here, than I love John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJNE31Ndme0

  15. John Nilsson
    March 4, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Brethren and sistren,

    Contrary to what some may have said on this thread, cultural sins are every bit as devilish as any other manner of wickedness you may have witnessed in your dealings with your fellow men, or may have dreamed up after watching the Colbert Report, the Daily Show, or Adult Swim.

    Confess!

  16. gej
    March 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I often include fast offerings along with my tithing instead of writing another check. My bishop has on more than one occasion from the pulpit asked that we avoid this so the boys don’t get discouraged when someone doesn’t contribute.

  17. JH
    March 4, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I watch movies that are rated R (and like them)
    I sport the sinner’s trifecta to church: non white shirt, long hair, facial hair.
    I meet with other members of the church outside of church sanctioned meetings to affirm our faith through questioning it.
    I listen to Mormon stories podcasts.
    I have no desire to try to convince perfect strangers to believe the same things I do.
    I am not a republican, a doctor, a lawyer, or a businessman and don’t have any plans to become one.
    My wife chooses who prays in our family, if our daughter doesn’t beat her to it.

  18. March 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Forgive me, for I have sinned.

    1. I don’t pray over my food to be seen of men in the BYU cafeteria.
    2. I always bring an NIV bible to church.
    3. I sometimes play “testimony bingo” on fast Sundays.
    4. Whenever anyone quotes 1 Ne 3:7 I open up to D&C 124:49
    5. I listen to Christian rock.
    6. I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney
    7. I watch CES firesides online instead of walking across the street to the Marriott Center.
    8. I’ve thought about using wine for the sacrament (pure wine of the grape of the vine, of my own make, of course).
    9. I use alcohol-based mouth wash.
    10.I show YouTube clips to my Sunday School class.
    11.I read the Apocrypha.

    Must I forsake all these as well?

  19. John Nilsson
    March 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Stephen,

    Love thy fellow recruiter for direct-sales schemes!

    Stephen and JH,

    Wear the shirt of whiteness!

    FooBoyX, mend thy garments!

    dpc, thy concern for Laman and Lemuel is commendable, but for the sin against the Thundercats thou shalt pay the uttermost farthing.

  20. March 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Haha. Good stuff.

    - Michael Quinn and Paul Toscano are heroes to me.
    - I own some Rated R movies on DVD.
    - I plan to vote for a descendant of Cain in November ;-)

    - I plan to start gathering and slipping Community of Christ leader quotes into my church participation, both commenting and teaching.
    - I don’t read the Ensign that gets delivered in our mail, and I don’t use it for home teaching.
    - I find more ethical stimulation in the music of artists like The Weakerthans, Elliott Smith, Jets to Brazil, and Death Cab For Cutie than any LDS musician or group, including MoTab.

  21. John Nilsson
    March 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    AdamF,

    As penance, say Amen during the middle of sacrament meeting when a speaker says something you AGREE with!

    Burn thy copy of Rough Stone Rolling. It hath carefully led away many down to hell.

    Jeff,

    touch not the unclean drink.

    Nick,

    It is a good policy to obey any directive of a General Authority, ESPECIALLY when they treat you like a five-year-old.

    Chris,

    Sing or hum a hymn of the Restoration to drive out the bad song jauntily sauntering across the stage of your mind.

  22. March 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    What shall I confess?

    For I have shaved my heathen beard! I’ll probably grow it back. Already the burden of shaving daily grows wearisome.

    I wear a white shirt–when I have a clean one. Of course to stake conference I wore a cream colored one.

    Heathen music? Well usually I listen to NPR and children’s music these days, but when I do listen to music, whatever happens to be on the popular rock station in Philadelphia get’s my attention. I happen to really like “I wanna be a rockstar” by (I think) Nickelback. Modest Mouse is also quite interesting.

    Movies. I haven’t seen a movie recently other than National Treasure 2 recently, so I’m not sure if I still watch the evil R-rated movies or not. But since I plan on seeing Sweeney Todd when I can catch it on DVD…

    I must confess that I play the ‘evil’ role-playing game: Dungeons and Dragons. And teach the young men to play it when I can. I believe it has been called ‘corrupting the youth’.

    I use face cards (who doesn’t these days, but brother Brigham Young would be quite incensed).

    I also fantasize about my wife wearing something other than garments. I may have even bought her…no I couldn’t possibly have done something so depraved:)

    I absolutely refuse to say Amen to a prayer that I disagree with, ditto for talks. I also refuse to say Amen to talks that end with, “in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen”. I figure if they are dumb enough to say that then they aren’t paying attention to everything else they’ve said and I’m not going to validate it by saying I agree even if I do.

    I own a copy of the Jehovah’s Witness versions of the ‘Bible’. Even though they don’t call it that on the cover. If it was in English I would take it to church.

  23. March 4, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for the absolution John… It is comforting to know that so many other good brothers have dark hidden sins as well. That being said, I’m afraid mine was a partial confession… In high school I often went to Wendy’s past midnight on Saturday, and again at 12:01 on Sunday evening…

  24. John Nilsson
    March 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Peter,

    Numerology has shown that Ron Paul’s name reveals symbols perilously close to the Anti-Christ.

    wicked wicked man,

    A man’s wife is not an appropriate object of fantasies. Remain chaste even in marriage.

    open rebellion,

    thy name sayeth enougheth.

    gej,

    the financial clerks of the kingdom abjure thee to continue on the course thou hast chosen, for despite false counsel of some in high places, it reduceth administrative work for them.

    JH,

    The word trifecta is a sectarian Catholic word. Put it behind thee!

  25. John Nilsson
    March 4, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    KC,

    Ah, but to be seen of WOMEN in the BYU cafeteria is pleasing!

    Clay,

    The descendants of Joseph have rejected the true servants. Pay them no heed. Thou art forgiven for thy musical sins nonetheless, for I have fallen here as well.

    Benjamin,

    Thou art forgiven of thy minor offences. Although thy name is had for good among the sons of Israel, thou art guilty of two unpardonable sins: The minions of Russell have seduced thee with words, yea, flattering words in green hardback covers with gold lettering, I’ll wager.

    You probably like Dungeons and Dragons because all of the JW imagery from the book of Revelations has seeped into your subconscious!

  26. March 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I was addicted to caffeine for a 5 month period last year!!! Sorry…I am so sorry……It took me time to work through my addiction…but now I only drink them occasionally.

    Also….I wear my hat in the temple on the side and back of my head so the cardboard droops down the back of my neck. I wear it a bit like a frenchman wears a beret so I dont get a line on my forehead and so that I add my own bit of style to it all. My mother in law doesnt like it…and my wife thinks I am being difficult.

  27. March 4, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Nick, It is a good policy to obey any directive of a General Authority, ESPECIALLY when they treat you like a five-year-old.

    Ha! You go with that, John! ;-) The scary thing is I know a few LDS members who would have said that in all seriousness!

    In high school I often went to Wendy’s past midnight on Saturday, and again at 12:01 on Sunday evening…

    When I was living in the student dorms at BYU, it was a very common practice for us to order Domino’s pizza sometime after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night, so that it would be Monday by the time the delivery arrived. Somehow, we never quite got around to realizing that somebody was MAKING the pizza on Sunday. LOL!

  28. JH
    March 4, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    if i repent and wear a white shirt how am i supposed to avoid any serious callings?

    a few more sins:
    -love the music of: the velvet underground, david bowie, destroyer, wilco (even the song theologians!), and john vanderslice
    -i have already seen sweeney todd (and it should be seen in the theater, but only once, i’m never going back, it really is brutal)
    -don’t own an SUV/mini-van
    -i don’t know anything (including that the church is true) with every fiber of my being.

  29. March 4, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I root against BYU most of the time, unless they’re playing Notre Dame, or Texas A&M, or really good BCS schools. (I had a mission comp turn me against A&M.)

    I often refer to Weber State and “the Lord’s University.”

    I read versions of the Bible besides the KJV, and think some of them are much better.

    I think that jewish rabbis, protestant, and catholic Bible experts actually can say things enlightening, inspiring, and helpful things to aid in my scripture study.

    I often don’t go to church on vacation, and will eat at restaurants on Sunday on vacation.

    I have voted Democratic, Republican, and even for Ralph Nader and Ross Perot.

    I read stuff on the bloggernacle.

    I like Richard Dutcher, even if he did leave the church. (My wife can’t stand him now, even though she loved God’s Army.)

    I better stop, before someone takes away my temple recommend. ;)

  30. March 4, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Benjamin Orchard — as long as you play first edition D&D, I forgive you.

    Gary Gygax died today. I guess I’m a bit of an apostate because I think the world was a better place for having him in it.

  31. March 4, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    - I shaved my beard to get a veil recommend, then grew it right back and give my service hairy.

    - I love the Dropkick Murphys and hate “I’ll Build You a Rainbow.”

    - I put LDS book dust covers on murder mysteries to read during dull talks & testimonies.

    - I enjoy going to bars to hang out with friends.

    - I prefer black gospel to MoTab.

    - I have never, nor ever will, read Mormon historical fiction.

    - Oh yeah, and unless my daughter’s around, I don’t care what the movie’s rated.

  32. SingleSpeed
    March 4, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    1. I think my wife looks more attractive without her garments.

    2. I like to go on vacations to warm areas because then I can talk my wife into taking off her garments and wearing a bikini.

    3. I pay tithing on my NET income and feel good about it.

  33. March 4, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    fix my typo — Weber State is the Lord’s University.

  34. Jeff Needle
    March 4, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Hooray!!!! Marked scriptures are the work of the devil! We should *never* write in *any* book. All the good is drained out when you mark a passage.

    I’m free!!!!

  35. FooboyX
    March 4, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Stephen and Benjamin, I poured some Mountain Dew as a libation for our fallen prophet. -10 hit points is a hard place to be. Good luck and god speed Gary.

  36. Doc
    March 4, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    1) I vote independent, support single payer health care, and cringe when I hear Mitt
    Romney talk about National defense or immigration and don’t feel guilty about it.

    2) I not only refused to go to BYU to attend another state institution, as the oldest
    child, I poisoned the minds of my five sisters to where they wouldn’t consider BYU,
    and generally had little good to say about my parents Alma Mater and the land of my
    birth.

    3) I feel superior to other members of the Church because I rebel against inconsequential
    cultural quirks they have, though this time I do feel guilty.

  37. March 4, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I’ve been “lurking” for a while here and finally feel brave enough to post (probably because this thread is so…um…non-doctrinal!)

    1. I LOVE Diet Dr. Pepper (and just about any other diet caffeinated drink).

    2. I too listen to Christian pop and prefer it to MoTab any day.

    3. I attend Portland State University – the most liberal part of one of the most liberal cities in America. And I love it.

    4. It annoys the heck out of me when people say “in the name of thy son” at the end of talks/testimonies.

    5. I’m a – gasp! – registered Democrat. And have convinced my kids that Obama is the way to go.

    6. I’m not a visiting teacher right now. Four kids and full-time college and Gospel Doctrine teacher is enough on my plate, thank you.

    7. I love the NIV version of the Bible and consulted it all the time when preparing my Gospel Doctrine lessons last year (along with a New Testament commentary not published by Desert Book! Shhh! Don’t tell my ward.)

    8. I love Mormon Matters and loved Mormon Stories, it saved my marriage when my husband became disaffected.

    9. One of my 13 year old daughters best friends is a boy who is gay, and we adore him (probably better than some of her other friends).

    My goodness, what would my Gospel Doctrine class think if they read this?

    Jill

  38. March 4, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    “I like to go on vacations to warm areas because then I can talk my wife into taking off her garments and wearing a bikini.”

    Maybe when you get your own planet she can wear one more often. :)

  39. March 4, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    For our morning spiritual thoughts, we are as likely to quote from Lowell Bennion, the Dali Lama, or the Jim Henson quote book — as we are from the scriptures.

    Also, we skip over Isaiah and all the violent stories in the Book of Mormon w/ our kids (which feels sometimes like half the book!).

  40. March 4, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Great post and thread, John! Since I’m an “apostate” secular Mormon as far as you LDS folks are concerned,* it probably doesn’t make much sense for me to confess the sorts of things you’re confessing. (For example, I’ve joked to my partner Mike that a whole lot more coffee and whiskey have gone into the production of my books than the average Mormon history books…)

    With that idea in mind, here’s my Top 10 apostate-Mormon/Mormon-cultural sins:

    10. I marked up my Book of Mormon with every mention of geographical information and place-names 14 years after I ceased to be a practicing Mormon.

    9. I have the MP3s of the original cast recording of Saturday’s Warrior and I listen to the songs with some regularity (especially if I’ve been drinking). 9a: I also have the score and one night I made my partner Mike play nearly the whole thing on piano while I belted out the songs with a friend of mine.

    8. For my 30th birthday, Mike took me to the Kirtland Temple for the first time. (I’ve been back a dozen times since, including as recently as last weekend.)

    7. I’m an optimist and I routinely put a happy Mormon spin on things when I tell stories or news.

    6. All our roadtrips tend to involve Mormon history tourism: I can’t tell you how excited I was to find John C. Bennett’s grave last year in Polk City, Iowa.

    5. I do my genealogy.

    4. Reading Fawn Brodie for the first time more than a decade ago left me with a net positive outlook on Joseph Smith. Her book was a big factor that ignited my interest in my heritage after years of totally ignoring it. How many people can say that Fawn Brodie brought them back to Mormonism?

    3. I hope someday to publish a book review in FARMS the way Nick Literski did. (I just have to find a book I dislike enough to trash, but that I’m still willing to read all the way through.)

    2. I “felt the spirit” (or at least experienced the identical phenomenon that most Mormons label using this phrase) last September during the John Whitmer Historical Association’s Sunday Morning hymn festival in the Lower Court of the Kirtland Temple.

    1. I spend the majority of my time working on all things Mormon.

    _____________________
    *Note: I consider you all to be “apostates” from the perspective of my personal expression of Mormon identity.

  41. March 5, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Here is my list of crimes and misdemeanors:

    1. I believe that stake auxiliary presidencies should be abolished and will share this opinion with anyone who asks—or doesn’t.
    2. I would usually rather watch Masterpiece Theater on the heathen PBS station than a devotional on the BYU station.
    3. I enter into spastic, dry-heave-like convulsions at the mere mention of the word pageant.
    4. I have gained more wisdom from The Simpsons than I ever did from anything produced by BYU, and I would let my children watch it before I would let them watch anything by Living Scriptures.
    5. I believe that offering the youth enticements such as treats for attending church actually defeats the purpose of the program rather than strengthening their testimonies of the restored gospel.
    6. I have never kowtowed to the conservative wing of the culture just to fit in, nor have I kowtowed to the liberal wing of the culture just to feel rebellious, intellectual, or cooler-than-thou.

  42. March 5, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned:

    1. Part of my Saturday routine to get ready for Sunday is to buy a two-liter of Diet Pepsi so I won’t be a grouch to my family on Sunday.
    2. When I lived in BYU-approved housing I used to karaoke incessantly to Rage Against the Machine, then later formed a cover band to play the same.
    3. I can’t stand church pop and am seldom moved by Mo Tab.
    4. I saw “No Country for Old Men” FOUR TIMES in the theater and corrupted my second-counselor in the Bishopric by convincing him to go see it with me.
    5. Sometimes when I’m at the grocery store I intentionally walk down the coffee aisle just because I love the smell. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid and can’t stop.

    I will now retire to my chamber for some remorseful auto-flagellation.

  43. March 5, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Regarding the old dice rolling game of imagination and dragon slaying, I have proudly played everything from the original to the most recent version. My most recent group of players in South Carolina was all Mormon, and I have never played with a better group. I am very saddened by the loss of Gary Gygax, and I believe he will be given a chance to accept the gospel, repent and be baptized vicariously. I also think that like many people in this life, his hard work, dedication to something, and recognition that he created something powerful will stand him in good stead. His game has done much to stimulate the creativity and imaginations of thousands of young people. Some of them have chosen to do good with that, and other have chosen to bend this toward evil, but overall creativity is good, I think.*

    Oh, and yes, I almost forgot the cardinal sin: I drink caffeinated drinks. Or rather I did until I realized that they contribute to my migraines. Ouch!

    I have also sinned in that I cannot adjust myself to Mormon Standard Time (arriving LATE!).

    *As a note, does anyone have any even semi official source from a member of the first presidency or quorum of twelve at any point condemning dungeons and dragons? My mom swears up and down that the church condemned the practice, but I have never been able to find anything on it. But it seems pretty ingrained into the culture among a certain segment.

  44. March 5, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Nope, some idiots condemned the practice, but others reported positively about it.

    D&D can turn into an equal to soap operas for wasting time, and yet, it has a fond place in my heart. Gary had LDS employees from time to time. His first wife was a JW, they told her to defellowship him because he smoked which pretty much eventually ended their marriage (JW defellowshipping entails shunning). His second marriage was happier.

    I’m sad I missed the reunion last summer, I was hoping to make the next one this year, but it won’t be the same.

    /Sigh

  45. Ammon Rye
    March 5, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Am I out of line to add Depeche Mode to the list? (Sorry Erasure fans.)

  46. March 5, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Stephen I know that a lot of people condemn D&D, but I have heard purely anecdotal evidence that GA’s have said it was ‘wrong’. I’ve always laughed at the idea, mostly because the idea is silly. Frankly, it’s about as dangerous as reading a fantasy novel, or writing one, and I know that Orson Scott Card is a member in good standing (my cousin is in the same ward there in NC, as it happens). If a faithful member can write fantasy novels, what is the difference between that and getting together with some friends to play a game around a fantasy theme that tells a story? Especially when those friends can then have a gospel-centered philosophical discussion afterwards? (This happened a lot in SC!)

    I see no harm in that.

  47. John Nilsson
    March 5, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Benjamin,

    Repent! No discussion can center on the gospel if it includes philosophy.

    Ammon Rye,

    Depeche Mode is truly more to be feared than Erasure. The songs “Personal Jesus” and “Blasphemous Rumours” have corrupted the worldview of many a Mormon teen I know.

    Andrew,

    You may recognize the devil himself by the whiff of Folgers Fresh Roasted the next time he appears to you. (I don’t like the smell myself but I know that many of you who have spent too much time with the Gentiles do).

    mormonmagmeister,

    speak no evil of stake auxiliary presidencies. They have been with us since April 6, 1830, in the Whitmer log cabin, where the first stake Primary president with humility stepped to the podium and adjusted the microphone before graciously accepting the call. Verily, they were first established by Peter and Paul in Corinth, and were a part of the promised restoration.

  48. March 5, 2008 at 9:15 am

    #40:
    6. All our roadtrips tend to involve Mormon history tourism: I can’t tell you how excited I was to find John C. Bennett’s grave last year in Polk City, Iowa.

    Ha! I used to do the same thing, and it sometimes drove my poor kids crazy. That said, I’m told that Bennett had the balls to have masonic emblems placed on his grave marker. Did you happen to take any photos, John?

    3. I hope someday to publish a book review in FARMS the way Nick Literski did. (I just have to find a book I dislike enough to trash, but that I’m still willing to read all the way through.)

    Yes, but you have to do what I did, in order to really muck up the works. My review came out in print, and within a month (not planned that way, I assure you), I came out of the closet and left the LDS church. I can’t help but chuckle a bit at how much certain parties must have cringed at the time!

  49. March 5, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Stephen I know that a lot of people condemn D&D, but I have heard purely anecdotal evidence that GA’s have said [D&D] was ‘wrong’.

    There is a certain subset of LDS members, who seem to have difficulty discerning between the words of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell vs. Gordon Hinckley or Thomas Monson. We had one of these women in my last ward. When she wasn’t taking it upon herself to call individual members to repentance for not having enough food storage, she was shouting about the evils of Harry Potter and such. We had a very tragic sexual abuse situation in the ward, and this woman loudly proclaimed that it was the result of the parents allowing their children to read Harry Potter, and that they probably had a secret coven.

    I kid you not, folks.

  50. March 5, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Depeche Mode is truly more to be feared than Erasure. The songs “Personal Jesus” and “Blasphemous Rumours” have corrupted the worldview of many a Mormon teen I know.

    Ahh, but the Marilyn Manson cover of “Personal Jesus” is SO much better than the Depeche Mode original, especially at loud volume and high bass! ;-)

  51. BoBo
    March 5, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I love reading these posts. Here is my own list:

    1. I am in the Bishopric and I love to bring non-church publications from which to give a spiritual thought when it is my turn.

    2. Mt. Dew is the greatest soda there has ever been
    3. BYU is my favorite college football team, but I also cheer for ND, FL and Nebraska
    4. I hate testimony meeting so much that I usually tune out (even though I have to sit on the stand)
    5. Frequently try to convince my wife to loose the garments at night – all night
    6. Most of my friends are not LDS
    7. I watch rated R movies if they look interesting to me – although I rarely go out to a movie
    8. I am politically conservative, but I am not a devoted Republican
    9. Two and a Half Men cracks me up
    10. Sunday is my favorite day to travel.

    Pardon me while I go try to muster up some remorse

  52. March 5, 2008 at 9:37 am

    #48: Did Bennett have the balls to put Masonic emblems on his tombstone? Is the prophet Mormon? Bennett had the balls to get the same charter for Nauvoo (then little more than a refugee camp) as the one that empowered the state capital, Springfield. He had the balls to worm his way into being its first mayor, head of its “university,” and general of its militia, while also being named to the church’s First Presidency.

    Bennett had the balls to talk James J. Strang into giving him back his spot in the First Presidency after touring the country, promoting his best-selling anti-Mormon exposé of Joseph’s polygamy. While doing so, he had the balls to write ahead to secure a position for his young protegé (most likely the object of Bennett’s romantic affection), Dr. Pierce B. Fagen. What didn’t the man have the balls to do? Among a cast of remarkable and ballsy personalities in the early Mormon story, Bennett certainly holds his own.

    Bennett's grave

  53. March 5, 2008 at 9:54 am

    I want to unburden my soul:

    1) I often purposefully take the sacrament and sustain people with my left hand

    2) If the bishop isn’t still around to see, the first counselor and I drive in separate cars to drop off the donations at the bank, so we can just go straight home afterward

    3) I drink decaf and O’Doul’s and love coffee-flavored desserts and candy

    4) Instead of tying that little string connecting my hat to my robe, I just tuck the string up into my hat

    5) When the marriage teachers recently passed around an anonymous questionnaire asking class members what else they hoped the class would cover, I wrote “sex positions” and turned it in

  54. March 5, 2008 at 9:58 am

    What didn’t the man have the balls to do?

    Point taken!

    While doing so, he had the balls to write ahead to secure a position for his young protegé (most likely the object of Bennett’s romantic affection), Dr. Pierce B. Fagen.

    Interesting. I’d assumed that accusations of “buggary” were something more along the lines of calling Sarah Pratt “a whore from her mother’s breast.”

    Thanks for sharing the photos, John. (I see you’re one of those “take a picture of ME there, so we have proof I’ve been there” types–heh!) Interesting to see that someone is still placing flags and flowers at his grave.

  55. March 5, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I don’t play basketball or any other sport (or watch them or read about them either, for that matter).

    I avoid Coveyisms like the plague and greatly resent having them rammed down my throat all during my two-year nervous breakdown (i.e. mission). Nibleyisms are not only acceptable but strongly encouraged. (I take perverse delight in passing his “Leaders to Managers: the Fatal Shift” aroung among the Coveyites.)

    I am a musical theater geek but generally avoid anything prior to 1970. “Company” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” changed everything (for better or for worse).

    Note; Erasure’s all right, but Pet Shop Boys RULE!!!!!

  56. FooboyX
    March 5, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Haha, Chris! The ol’ left hand trick. I do the same thing.

    Back to the D&D and role-playing game thing: Tracy Hickman wrote the Dragonlance series (based originally on his own D&D campaign) which made a tub of money and turned alot of kids into dateless wonders. Good stuff. Even more interestin is Sandy Petersen, who created the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, based off the horror works of H.P. Lovecraft, and acted as a consultant to the folks that made the DOOM videogames (he’s the guy who came up with the gross monsters and devil stuff…). Anyway, he’s also quite LDS.

    Final confession: “The Living Scriptures” cartoons are utter crap.

  57. SteveS
    March 5, 2008 at 10:50 am

    1) I too try to get my wife to forget the garments some nights, all night. I think she secretly prefers it, but almost never gives in.

    2) I think it a sin to deface your scriptures by marking 80% of the words–how does that help you find stuff? I have a BOM that I marked religiously with 6 different colors during my mission, but I didn’t create a key and now I cannot recall exactly what the some of the colors were meant to represent. Ha! I haven’t marked a scripture in years, and prefer to keep the pages pristine. And guess what? I can still find those important scriptures!

    3) I read the Holman CSB bible, and love it. I like reading it better than the Book of Mormon, too.

    4) I can’t stand the “roundtable” discussions that the GAs have incorporated in their training meetings of late. They make me want to poke my eyes/ears out so I don’t have to witness the clearly canned dialog.

    5) I masturbate from time to time and don’t feel bad about it. I plan on one day teaching my children that in moderation, it can help quell the body’s needs without resorting to other, more overtly sinful actions (pornography, sexual relations with other people before marriage, etc.). Its also much better than letting desire lead to lustful thoughts for days on end before your subconscious takes over in the middle of the night to do what you might have done for yourself in 5 minutes.

    6) I’m confident that if I constantly invited my friends, acquaintances, and coworkers to church, I would find myself with fewer friends and acquaintances, and with some pretty awkward workplace relationships.

    7) Some of my best friends and closest colleagues are homosexuals, and I reject any legislation forbidding gay marriage.

    8) NPR is my bread and butter, especially “This American Life”, which usually is about as far from the American life of typical Mormon culture as you can get.

    9) I have a sneaking suspicion that if I weren’t an active, striving LDS person, I would really love coffee and wine.

    10) I have another sneaking suspicion that most LDS are less saintly than their public image would indicate. And that’s OK. Could we just get over the pretensions and begin to interact and love one another despite our weaknesses? BTW, I’m sure this isn’t a purely LDS phenomenon, however; we all have a hard time admitting our faults to others by nature.

  58. March 5, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Oooh, I have another one.

    I prefer Lord of the Rings to Chronicles of Narnia as the great fable of good vs. evil.

    I prefer The Matrix to Star Wars as an allegory to priesthood power. ;-)

  59. March 5, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Another confession:

    About 75% percent of the times that I go to the temple I keep picturing Palpatine from Star Wars as Lucifer. Vice versa when I watch Revenge of the Sith.

  60. Kent
    March 5, 2008 at 11:32 am

    You poor, poor, repressed souls. I wonder what cultural sins someone in Amsterdam has to commit to feel “liberated.”

    I learned the gospel from Orson Scott Card and the Living Scriptures audio tapes. I listen to the dramatized New Testament CD’s just about every day on my commute and get choked up every seven minutes.

    I call the members of the stake presidency and the bishoprics by their first names (and when I meet an apostle I’ll call him Brother Dallin or Brother Hal).

    I think naturists have a healthy attitude about the human body and am fascinated by what LDS naturists talk about at LDSsdf.org

    I lean vegetarian.

    I love Goth Metal (Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Kamelot) and I love bluegrass.

    I love Hugh Nibley and Approaching Zion yet find myself a very committed fiscal conservative and libertarian Republican.

    Most of the things that make me “special” and “unique” in Provo really aren’t that special or unique. I know dozens of people just like me in the church and just about everyone I know is just as “liberated.”

  61. John Nilsson
    March 5, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Kent,

    My brother, you as a blatant sinner against Mormon culture, are not special. We are all sinners in the eyes of Janice Kapp Perry, Stephen Covey, the Correlation Committee, and Aunt Kimball Smith Cannon. The point is you have recognized it, brother. That is the first step!

  62. Steve-o
    March 5, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Wow this is so cathartic!

    OK so while I can’t say some of these things some of you have said (I AM a republican, have an MBA, voted for Mitt, hate NPR etc.) but I do have some confessing to do.

    10. I could drink Coke by the gallon. Love it.

    9. I heard someone tell me a faith promoting experience recently and I was nodding “oh sure” but thinking ‘gimme a break, God doesn’t care if you have a nice house’.

    8. I too research and expose faith promoting emails. I hate fraud.

    7. I have a Koran by my bedside.

    6. I like the organ playing at my families non-LDS church better. It’s nice and loud.

    5. I think Mike Huckabee is a boob (oh wait, that’s not a cultural sin…maybe saying “boob” is).

    4. I will never, never, NEVER take a family picture in denim, rugby, or any other matching T-shirts.

    3. I cheered loudly and proudly for Michigan State basketball and was thrilled we beat BYU this season…and every season (I attended both schools).

    2. I still like to listen to My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult, Sisters of Mercy and others…..and btw, thanks for getting A little Respect stuck in my head. I love Erasure.

    1. I don’t feel quilty about 2-10

  63. Kent
    March 5, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Oh, and I love Covey (reading 7 Habits totally changed my mission half way in).

  64. Steve-o
    March 5, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I forgot one…

    I totally hated the MTC. It felt like prison! And the food stunk.

    But my mission was pretty great. Though not the two best years. I’d trade 10 minutes with my son for those two years in a heart-beat.

  65. dj
    March 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    I am a lurker…but I loved this topic so much!

    1. I drink Diet Coke by the liters and don’t try to hide it.
    2. I don’t fast on Fast Sundays.
    3. I LOVE 80′s music! I was a Madonna wannabee.
    4. I delete most faith promoting emails.
    5. I watch R rated movies without guilt.
    6. I don’t like most musical numbers in church…too boring. What’s wrong with guitars?
    7. I walk out of RS when I am fed up with the comments.
    8. I don’t think garments have anything to do with salvation.
    9. I love the smell of coffee.
    10.I don’t want to share my beliefs with my non-member friends.

    John….I LOVED that Erasure clip and am happy to have the song stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

  66. March 5, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    1. I wear a pantsuit to stake conference, and to sacrament meeting when I’m traveling. (I don’t quite have the guts to do it in my ward yet.)
    2. I’m a YSA, but I steadfastly refuse to attend a singles’ ward.
    3. I’m a libertarian.
    4. When I teach Relief Society, I eschew centerpieces and tablecloths.
    5. I’m a vegetarian.
    6. I got accepted to BYU, but turned the offer down in favor of a Jesuit school. (And the experience strengthened my testimony.)
    7. I don’t know how to sew, knit, or crochet.
    8. Both of my roommates are non-members.
    9. I feel closer to God in nature than in the temple.
    10. I don’t wear nylons to church.

  67. Steve-o
    March 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Also, I’m a total hedonist.

    I like to vacation in places like Thailand and wear nothing but a swimsuit for weeks. My wife and I did this in 2004 and 2005 (costa rica) and I can’t wait to do it again.

  68. Kent
    March 5, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Why even wear a swimsuit?

  69. Captain Moroni Ezra Woodruff - Church Police
    March 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    This is Captain Moroni Ezra Woodruff of the Church Police. I have been closely monitoring this blog and I am now requiring all of you who posted here to please send in your Temple recommends (if you have one) to HQ in SLC. Please send them to my attention:
    Captain Moroni Ezra Woodruff,
    Reverance Enforcement Committee (REC)
    50 East North Temple ST
    SLC, UT 84150

    Thank you

  70. John Nilsson
    March 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Captain Woodruff,

    I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

  71. Brandt
    March 5, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Here’s my 10:

    10. I play games on my phone all during sacrament meeting, and my wife does the same (unless there’s a speaker that catches our attention)
    9. Though we’ve only been married 7 months, we REFUSED to go to a married-student ward (to listen to the students jockey for position on how spiritual they are)
    8. I do attend BYU-Idaho, but don’t consider President Kim Clark’s words to be scripture
    7. I roll my eyes at pioneer stories (both my parents are converts, I grew up in Detroit, MI)
    6. I think that we will have Coke in heaven, and can’t wait to drink it without health ramifications
    5. I have strong issues with Utah/Idaho Mormons who refer to the Eastern US as “The Mission Field” or think that because they live in a highly populated area that they are better
    5a. I also take issue with people (my wife’s family included) that feel that they “know what it’s like” living in a non-Mormon populated area…(“We have bad stuff here you know)
    4. I usually don’t go to church on vacation, like traveling on Sundays, and don’t have an issue going out to eat on Sundays (the wife is different)
    3. I listen to Dragonforce (one of the greatest speedmetal bands in the world – just watch the guitar solo on the video “Through the Fire and Flames)
    2. I agree and disagree with many things of BRM and JFS
    1. I do homework on Sundays and don’t feel the least little bit bad about it, I use notes for online quizes that say “Closed book,” and I lament at how people can’t do assignments without having to ask for every little nuance of the assignment

    Consider my sins confessed

  72. Steve-o
    March 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Kent – Aint’ wearing a simsuit all day the Mormon equivalent of nudity? And I thought I was bad. You’re baaaaad.

    I almost forgot. I eat tiramisu every chance I get (it has espresso in it, shhhhhh don’t tell).

  73. a wicked, wicked man
    March 5, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I should note for the record that I strongly believe, yea verily know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that coffee is better for you than soda of any variety.

  74. dj
    March 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Captain Woodruff,
    I don’t have a TR although I can answer all the questions.

    I will not be defined by a TR.

  75. Kent
    March 5, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Brandt, I agree, Dragonforce is awesome and hilarious.

    Stevo-o, I’m not a naturist, but I respect them and see nothing wrong with it. I imagine if you live your whole life seeing naked people in non-sexual situations then the modern media obsession with the body loses its power.

  76. Steve-o
    March 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Good point Kent. I’ve often thought that just showing sex the way it really is, with all the ickyness and love handles and with some harsh lighting, itwould demistfy the whole thing sifficiently.

    But I am way to inhibited for that. For me it’s enough to walk the beaches in a speedo.

  77. Kent
    March 5, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    A speedo!? Now that’s immodest!

  78. gej
    March 5, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Should any of my children serve a foreign mission I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will not display that countries flag in front of my home at any time during their service. (Seems to be a cultural trend in my neck of the woods in N. Utah)

  79. March 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    1.) I hate it when people use hackneyed phrases like “and the name by which he/she shall be known on the records of the Church is…” when giving baby blessings.

    2.) When I blessed my three kids, I did not ask/bless that any of them would serve missions or get married in the temple. I asked/blessed that they would be good human beings who would learn to love and serve their fellow man, and who would learn to rely and trust in their conscience/spirit, regardless of peer or institutional pressure.

    3.) I wear my garments about 50% of the time, and never on weekends, except to go to church. I’ve “guilted” my wife into the same habit, but don’t feel guilty about it.

    4.) I don’t feel guilty about many of the past sins I’m suppossed to feel guilty about, including many violations of the so-called law of chastity. (I was going to say more, but will leave it at that, for now…)

    5.) I will teach my two sons that masturbation is natural, but that like eating and a host of other biological urges, gluttony and excess is “sin,” while moderation/balance/control is an important principle of happiness.

    6.) I see the eyes of God and am moved more by people who are broken, flawed, and sinful, than I do in the perfect and upright. As such, the Telestial Kingdom feels more real, and has more appeal for me, than the Celestial Kingdom.

    7.) Joseph Smith really didn’t come alive for me until I read Fawn Brodie.

    8.) While I find the word of God on the pages of the Standard Works, I’m bothered by our over-reliance on them and the time we waste re-reading them ad nauseum. Tolstoy, Hugo, Dostoevsky, Twain, Roth, McCarthy, and countless others can fill our hearts and souls as much as Moses, Paul, and Nephi.

    9.) I wish Mormonism would teach a form of Buddhist-like meditation to supplement our more traditional forms of prayer and fasting as a way to commune with the Divine.

    10.) Mormons wedding receptions bore me to tears. I’m jealous of our Mormon ancestors whose parties and celebrations of life sounded like real barnstormers, in part because their “hearts were made glad by the fruit of the vine.”

  80. colleeeen
    March 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    wow, this has been fun.

    1) i wore a bikini when i was pregnant. no spandex tents for me! i looked good, too.

    2) i encourage my husband to have facial hair (he loves shaving once weekly), and have tried to get him to wear a non-white shirt to church (i fail every time). i may have to have a laundry accident.

    3) i don’t read the scriptures nearly as often as we’re told we should.

    4) my longest-term friend (since 3rd grade) is gay (but never was LDS). since neither he nor i have found a way to reconcile the reality of his orientation with either scripture or modern statements, we just hope that somehow it’s all going to work out alright in the end. i tend to get a little testy with church folks about this issue.

    5) also not a Republican (my husband just quit them last year). I think Mitt is probably a great guy and would possibly have made a good president as far as fiscal issues go (heaven knows we could use somebody fiscally competent in office), he acted like an idiot during his campaign. I rolled my eyes, hissed and told him to shut up more than once (talking to the TV, because i’m insane).

    6) semi-vegetarian.

    7) hate church activities on saturdays.

    8) don’t enjoy Relief Society. i should probably speak up more often and “be the change i want to see” but for now i’m corrupting your kids in Primary.

    9) wish we had a nursery for Sacrament Meeting.

    10) pioneer-worship drives me nuts. why don’t we set up shrines and burn incense in front of them, too?

    before we had kids, we used to constantly pass notes during Sacrament Meeting. i think our goal was to see who could crack the other one up first. i also hate the Living Scriptures videos and the ridiculous un-cancellable agreement you have to sign in order to buy them. It’s a scam nowadays.

  81. DCL
    March 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Bless me father, for I have sinned:

    1. I listen to Anglican cathedral music as my sole devotional music on Sundays,

    2. I don’t let my wife put devotional MormonAds or other Mormon kitsch on the walls of our home, and

    3. Lately, I alternate between the Bible, Tao Te Ching and Diamond Sutra for my devotional reading.

  82. Brandt
    March 5, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    DCL –

    I agree with you about “the MormonAds adn other Mormon kitsch.”

    I think MomronAds are a travesty that are just catchy phrases for people to smile at.

    Another one of my peeves – When GA’s tell stories about “Brother so-and-so…not a member…became a member…and is now a stake president/bishop/GA”

    It kinda sounds like that’s the ultimate goal…becoming someone of prominence in the church

  83. March 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    DCL,

    “Diamond Sutra”–Is that a sex manual for top-selling Amway reps?

    Just wondering.

  84. March 5, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Matt (and the rest of you),

    If ya’ll start a church…I’m joining!!!

  85. DCL
    March 5, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Terry: “Diamond Sutra–Is that a sex manual for top-selling Amway reps?”

    Well, that’s for me to know and you to sell your way up to, my friend.

  86. Myster36
    March 5, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    1. I drink Coke Zero by the Liter
    2. I rarely fast & think testimony meeting, sunday school & stake leadership meetings are a waste of time.
    3. I voted for Obama (so did my wife)
    4. I cuss like a sailor when angry
    5. I think most of the people in my ward are nuts and/or heavily medicated.
    6. Served on the HC and thought most of my colleagues were pompous windbags.
    7. One of my favorite movies is Braveheart (R) for naked skin and gratuitous violence
    8. Encourage my daughter at BYU to overlook the kooks there and not worry about going to any devotionals.

  87. Brandt
    March 5, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Myster36 –

    Kinda makes me wonder which devotionals are worse – BYU’s or BYU-Idaho’s

    I vote for BYU-Idaho

  88. hawkgrrrl
    March 5, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Fun post! Here goes . . .

    10. I love tiramisu and rum cake–always have, even as a kid when my parents didn’t like me ordering them as dessert and my mom would suggest I try to walk a straight line after.
    9. I never attended Homemaking while it was called Homemaking, and only attended Enrichment when I was called as Enrichment Leader. I refuse to allow crafts into my home and have never attended a pampered chef party.
    8. I multi-task during church and have proposed a sacramental drive-thru for vacations (“5 to go, hold the dry council, but we’ll take the youth speakers on CD if you have that”).
    7. I do not like any food for which the base ingredient is Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup.
    6. From March to October, I wear a bikini almost non-stop all weekend, changing for church and to go out to eat.
    5. I have been known to use a few German words now and again. I was semi-proud when my son exclaimed today “What the crap?!” when he saw some bad grades posted on his teacher’s web site. Train up a child . . .
    4. I think “LDS Literature” is an oxymoron. Also not a fan of The 5 People You Meet in Heaven or any of those Christmas Box-type books. Basically, I hate books that use cheap sentimental manipulation to wring tears out of you over poorly fleshed-out fictional characters.
    3. I am a fiscal conservative, social libertarian, global warming skeptic. But I recycle and use solar heating on my pool.
    2. I have never felt guilty about working outside the home (even though I have 3 kids), despite my dad’s best efforts to guilt me.
    1. I am practically marinating in diet coke.

  89. Steve-o
    March 6, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Wait a minute! Don’t you al see the thread that links all of us? Coke! Or various other cafinated beverages! They must put something in the coke that makes all of sin against the culture!

    It’s that secret Coke recipe.

    I knew Coke was evil!

  90. MoJim
    March 6, 2008 at 5:02 am

    “2. I don’t let my wife put devotional MormonAds or other Mormon kitsch on the walls of our home,”

    “I think MomronAds are a travesty that are just catchy phrases for people to smile at.”

    There is nothing wrong with MormonAds. You just need to find the right ones to hang up:

    http://www.divinecomedy.net/?p=mormonadz (some are BYU specific, but most are really funny).

  91. March 6, 2008 at 5:05 am

    I read every word of the above comments, and agree with 95% of them.

    I attend evangelical Christian services on Easter.

    I follow my husband’s advice on garments.

    I don’t follow his advice on anything else.

    During RS I find friends with problems they need to urgently discuss, and I take them out to my car where we talk and cry and sometimes go for a Coke. (sisterhood)

    I count the above as Visiting Teaching.

    BUT:

    I still (surreptitiously) make the old signs that have been removed from the Temple Ceremony. Don’t know what that’s all about. Guess I just like being weird. Does anyone else do that?

  92. WhoElseButMe
    March 6, 2008 at 7:24 am

    All of you are SO reprehensible!! Ever since the angel appeared to me, and beckoned that I follow him (or was it a her – long blond hair – did I say blond? I meant white!) and to which I politely refused by saying “But I’m not ready yet!” (sure did smart, however, when he/she dropped me on my … saying “You lied!” Seems I was already 4 or 5 feet off the ground!), that I am now trying to convince my 17yoa daughter to join me in becoming a nudist (gave up on my wife!) before she heads of to a non-BYU university. (Figure she’ll be less tempted by the likes of you all if she is indoctrinated with the finer points of going without clothes and having that mystical what-does-the-opposite-sex-look-like-gotta-see temptation being dispelled so that what-does-the-opposite-sex-look-like-gotta-see-leads-to-further-involvement type syndrome doesn’t have a play in her young, tender life!) But, after that, I’m sure the angel will be back, and then I WILL be ready! (Eat your heart out, wife, ’cause I’ll then be “on my way” and you won’t even have to worry ’bout the divorce!!)

  93. WhoElseButMe
    March 6, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Bored in Vernal: I still (surreptitiously) make the old signs that have been removed from the Temple Ceremony. Don’t know what that’s all about. Guess I just like being weird. Does anyone else do that?

    You’re not the only one. (That’s the reason why they put a pause in there at just the right points so that we, i.e., those of us who had the “true” endowment, can loath those who are not so privy.) You’re just an Abnormalist, along with all the rest of us Abnormalists!

  94. Ammon Rye
    March 6, 2008 at 7:53 am

    “Depeche Mode is truly more to be feared than Erasure. The songs “Personal Jesus” and “Blasphemous Rumours” have corrupted the worldview of many a Mormon teen I know.”

    John,
    Does your love and concern begin and end with Mormon teens only or does your worldview extend beyond the LDS sphere?

    Here’s another lead singer of “questionable moral standing” you may enjoy: http://youtube.com/watch?v=380C_nVJotY&feature=related

  95. March 6, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I must indulge:

    1. If I never work in Primary again, I’ll be a happy girl (despite my mom-of-young-kids status)
    2. I argue with anyone who says “I don’t know who said it, but ANYWAY….” just because I can and because usually these people are the ones to stretch their “quote” so far from its original that it’s almost unrecognizable.
    3. I’m uncomfortable (but not unwilling) confiding in any male authority figure.
    4. I declassify certain swear words for regular use and don’t feel guilty about it.
    5. I hate BYU. I went there and feel justified in hating it.
    6. I hate people that love BYU. Because I’m petty like that.
    7. And on a similar note, anyone that quotes from the BYU standards to prove ANYTHING has just lost his/her argument. Automatically.

  96. Brandt
    March 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Seems like this is going into an LDS Pet Peeve rather than cultural sins…boy do I have some (being in the new center of Mormondom, Rexburg Idaho)

  97. Rigel Hawthorne
    March 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    1) I know that the words of the hymn “I Believe in Christ” have a good message, but singing the hymn drives me crazy. So crazy, in fact, that I think of the following words when it is being sung:

    I’m a darned long song;
    I’m way too long.
    It’s like you’re singing two whole songs.
    You sing me once then repeat again
    I cycle back and never end!

    I’m a darned long song;
    I’ll make you yawn.
    You’ll wish the electric chair’s turned on!
    I’m like a torture chamber’s rack
    I’ll make the terror suspect crack.

    2) After practicing the primary program song, “We Listen to a Prophet’s voice and hear the Savior’s too,” for a couple of months with a primary chorister that lacked bra padding, I now can’t here that hymn without thinking, “We Listen to a Prophet’s voice and see her nipples too.”

    3) Watching a primary chorister teach the children “Oh What do you do in the Summertime” involved her doing “air motions” to each of the activities described in the song. When she rushed way too fast through the motion to “swing in a tree up high”, it resembled…well, do it in front of a mirror and you will see.

    4) I had negative thoughts when the Elder’s Quorum called to check on my home teaching for the month and I had to inform him that no one had given me an assignment.

    5) I had negative thoughts when the Elder’s Quorum called to check on my home teaching for the month and I had to inform him that the partner he had said would call me (and guide me as a new member to the ward in meeting those families he was already familiar with) never did.

    6) I enjoy eating green tea ice cream.

    7) I have supported a couple of “stop the pop” campaigns in fighting obesity and diabetes and would rather see people give up their big gulps than their iced tea.

    8) As a married couple, we remove our garments for intimacy. By our definition, intimacy ends the following morning and that’s when we resume wearing them.

    9) I encouraged the idea of continuing our ward’s support of community cub scout programs rather than starting our own pack with extremely small numbers.

    10) I enjoyed the occurrence years ago in a singles ward when a member of the ward brought his college choral group to perform in sacrament meeting and after the closing prayer, they performed Ave Maria while still in the chapel. I found it humorous when the bishop, who later discovered that something improper may have occurred, assailed during our ward council the performance of the song “Via Maria”, as he put it.

  98. Lulubelle
    March 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    This will be a long list!

    1. I hated seminary and won’t expect my daughter to attend it when she’s of age. I believe that teens need sleep and should concentrate on core subjects first. I also got kicked out of seminary when I was caught sitting in my car doing homework instead of going into class one too many times.

    2. I don’t like our Mormon culture that preaches “obey obey obey” and like to use my brain more than blind obedience. And I question authority of all types, including those in the church.

    3. I let my 7-year old daughter play with make-up, wear 2-piece swimsuits and spaghetti strapped tops, and lip synch to Snoop Dogg.

    4. I proudly wear a bikini most of the time. I think the body is a beautiful thing and there is nothing shameful in wearing a 2-piece if that’s what one is comfy in.

    5. I hated garments and cried for days after I first started wearing them. I then tapered off to not wearing them at all. Despite all my efforts of dressing modestly, nothing I could do would hide them enough and I felt like a freak if anyone saw me wearing them while changing at the gym.

    6. I detest fast & testimony meetings and really hate it when people cry and things that really aren’t sad. It seems the eeked out tears are supposed to signify a greater level of spirituality but it comes across as bizarre and contrived to me.

    7. I hated attending BYU and sometimes it felt down right cultish to me. I attended two devotionals and after that, took the opportunity to sleep in instead.

    8. I give really dirty looks to anyone scratching their husband/boyfriend/brother’s backs during Sacrament meeting.

    9. I never worry about a movie’s rating. And I watch what ever TV show looks appealing to me, having a particular soft spot for movies about high school (The OC, 90210, Dawson’s Creek, Gossip Girl).

    10. I correct anyone who calls me Sister. And I call just about everyone by their first name.

    11. I let the missionaries watch TV at my house.

    12. I hate the wedding announcements that come with a photo of the happy couple wearing matching outfits.

    13. I think it’s disturbing how young some of the LDS kids are when they get married. And start having babies right away.

    14. I wish there was a junior sacrament meeting for the little kids. I believe that the noise level and number of screaming children kills any spiritual feelings I would otherwise have in church. And on days when I want a little pomp and circumstance, like Easter and Christmas, I go to church with a good friend, who is Lutheran. They have the BEST music and sermons! (PS: Also, I feel like our music often sounds like a funeral is taking place.)

    15. I never wear denim to church (or nylons either).

    16. I correct people who refer to my husband as the spiritual head of our home. Um, that would actually be me– he is a non practicing Catholic.

    17. I mostly dislike the primary programs put on during Sacrament meeting. They’re only marginally cute and mostly one big chaotic hour.

    18. I hate that most church members naturally assume women are SAHMs.

    19. I go for long runs on the Sabbath and actually feel it’s an entirely appropriate activity– it clears my head, is good for my physical temple, and gives me an hour’s worth of peace.

    20. I sometimes leave church for an hour while my daughter is in primary and get the grocery shopping done.

    21. I never fix casseroles or anything with jello.

    22. I don’t like visiting teaching or home teaching. It’s time I just don’t have and is better spent with my family.

    23. I have more non Mormon friends than Mormon friends and don’t feel there’s anything wrong with it. While they all know I’m LDS, I don’t preach to them or try to get them to go to church with me. I respect their beliefs.

    24. Some of my best guy friends are gay and I also think one in particular is one of the most Christlike people I know.

  99. Brandt
    March 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Re: Lulubelle

    re: 6 – crying in fast and testimony meeting over something that’s not sad – I couldn’t help but laugh because that’s my wife’s grandmother to a “T”

    re: 8 – scratching of the back during sacrament meeting – college married student wards are the worst for that – I am all about tenderness, even in church, but I do think it goes overboard

    re: 17 – primary programs – I think these are seriously my favorite sacrament meetings of the year. I absolutely love the little flubs that go on during the meeting!

  100. firefly
    March 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    I share several ‘sins’ with those who have already confessed, but must add some of mine I have yet to read here…

    I love to watch football on Sunday and I think we should cancel church on the Superbowl so the whole day can be truly devoted to its proper celebration.

    I not only play with face cards regularly but have also gambled in real casinos spending only up to $25 dollars which my husband and I declared ‘entertainment money’.

    I HATE it when people bless the refreshments (junk food) at activities by using the phrase “bless this to strengthen and nourish our bodies” (or any such phrasing…)

    I cringe when people say they know this is the “only true church.” Also when I bear my testimony I go out of my way to say I know that any church that brings people to a better relationship with their Savior is good and has truth and that I just think our church as the most truth.

    I am a member of the Relief Society Presidency and I don’t always do my own Visiting teaching and think that if you call someone on the last day of the month you both know it is only for statistics and not because you really love and care about them…

    Wow…I didn’t realize I’d have so much to add…
    I’m trying to decide if I feel better or worse…
    Let me pour a nice cold glass of Diet Coke (the proven nectar of the Gods) while I contemplate the situation…

  101. Lulubelle
    March 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Oh… I forgot one more: I hate scrap booking and crafts. There is not a single craftsy thing in my house.

    Brandt: I put the whole crying-thing in there because recently, one woman got up and started crying about her experience at the cannery. I almost started choking. And for back scratching? It makes me CRAZY. Nothing to me is better than a good massage but in CHURCH??? I can honestly say I’ve NEVER seen this done except in our church meetings and it’s quite common. WTH???!!!

  102. a random John
    March 6, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Brandt,

    Adults playing video games in church meetings is a pet peeve of mine. Why not just go home and play it on the big screen?

  103. Jeff Spector
    March 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Lulubelle,

    This is a Mormon blog. Are you sure you are even a member of our church?

  104. Lulubelle
    March 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Jeff: Are you serious? BIC Mormon, I assure you, went to BYU, graduated from seminary (barely), pioneers treked across the plains to UT, a few polygamist family members in there (embarassing, I can’t believe I’m admitting to it but we don’t chose our ancestors, do we?).

  105. March 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    The back scratching you are complaining about must be a lot different from what I see??

  106. March 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    BTW, as this thread will probably come to an end, if you need more humor: http://notalwaysright.com/

  107. JeffG
    March 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Unloading my guilt …

    1) I think home teaching is an utter waste of time for 80% of the ward. Why not focus more effort on the 20% who need good visits.

    2) I feel guilty that pageants make me cringe. I feel even more guilty that they don’t move me like they seem to move everyone else.

    3) Deseret Book offends all of my sensibilities. From the shrine of graven images to the walls and walls of sermons for profit.

    4) In fact, I despise and loathe every attempt to take advantage of Mormon culture for money – novels, music, Book of Mormon action figures …

    5) When my wife asked if our boys were getting old enough that she should be careful to cover up in front of them, I encouraged her to do the opposite. (She didn’t need much encouragement). What better place to learn what a human body looks like than in your family.

    6) We use face cards (apparently like the rest of you heathens).

    7) When my in-laws insist on blessing the food in restaurants, I don’t participate.

    8) I don’t usually close my eyes during prayers when I watch General Conference on TV. But I do when I go to General Priesthood at the stake center.

    9) I love the Church and don’t feel like a lemming.

    10) (deep breath … muster the courage … admit it …) I took my family to a nude beach and it was one of the most innocent and wholesome things we’ve ever done. The wife and kids loved it. We’ll probably do it again. (… whew … I said it)

  108. Devin
    March 6, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    10. Atheist – but attend church on a regular basis.
    9. Think MLM is morally wrong.
    8. Love coffee – but can’t stand coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper.
    7. Don’t think America is the Promised Land.
    6. Told wife I was gay after 7 years of marriage – after a year and a half later, marriage is much stronger.
    5. Write in my book of Heresies during all my meetings.
    4. Will never say the Aaronic Priesthood duties – it’s a subtle way of manipulation without choice.
    3. Never read non-approved materials – loss of testimony came from the approved texts, but absolutely love Fawn Brodie now!
    2. If I ever pay tithing again it will be on my increase not income – 10% of the leftovers – that is leftovers after necessities not toys or doodads.
    1. Do not believe there is such a thing as a Stage 5 Mormon – its an illusion or delusion – so I guess that makes me a Heretical, heretical Mormon :)

  109. Jeff Spector
    March 6, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Here is what I have learned from this blog:

    3. Many members drink caffeinated beverages, but not coffee or tea (no surprise there)
    2. Many members hate BYU, especially if they went there

    and number 1

    Many Mormons seem obsessed with nudity or revealing clothing.

  110. John Nilsson
    March 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    And on that note, Jeff, I’ll end this thread. Thanks for your comments everyone! It’s been a blast.