Thursday, January 31, 2013

Be careful what you ask for

From a family member: Maybe global warming is actually caused by all the Mormons praying for a break from winter cold.

Given all my Utah friends complaining on Facebook about the snow they got recently,* i found this quite amusing.

* To which complaints my transplanted-to-Alaska self simply replies: Amateurs!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Does it actually work?

What is it with church leaders saying over and over again that we have to make sure new converts “get to the temple” so that they’ll stay active in the church? I mean, i’ve known plenty of inactive endowed members…

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Basketball for girls (or not)

So there’s a longstanding Mormon meme about basketball being the default youth night activity for the young men when the leaders don’t have anything real planned.

But after having lived a couple places with a daughter in young women, might i suggest that “health and beauty nights” serve exactly the same purpose for that organization?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Reverence is more than just quietly sitting…

This has been making the rounds lately, and i liked it enough that i wanted to archive it here:

    Q: What do you call a Primary child who’s been gagged and handcuffed?
    A: Reverent.

Yeah, that seems to be a pretty good explanation of what “reverent” really means, no matter what they might say…

Friday, January 11, 2013

What’s up with the cities?

So i’ve been traveling to the east coast the last little bit (hence the lack of posts), and that led me to an observation:

     →We are such an incredibly non-urban church!

Or, more precisely, we just don’t seem to do central cities. I mean, the way conferences in my field work is that they generally end on Sunday around noon and then i spend my afternoon flying home so i don’t get to go to church, but this time i actually had the time to go to church after the meeting ended—but there wasn’t a Mormon congregation anywhere i could have gotten to.

And i was in downtown Boston, which is a pretty big city—over 625,000 people. Really? We only have one ward in the entire city,* and i’d’ve had to have figured out a way to the suburbs to get to another one?

And i’m not cherry-picking here—Philadelphia has a similarly meager presence in the city itself compared to the suburbs, as does Washington DC. Even here in Alaska, where we’ve got a good presence in Anchorage, the suburbs have more congregations than you’d expect given their comparative population.

And even in the heart of Mormon country, there’s gobs and tons of church units in Salt Lake City, but compared to its suburbs? Not even close.

So what is it about our church that doesn’t appeal to city dwellers so much?** Back when i was growing up on the east coast people used to chalk it up to our whiteness (what with the cities having such a large number of non-white individuals), but that kind of falls apart when you see the same pattern in Anchorage and Salt Lake City.

So: Any ideas?

* One English-speaking non-singles ward, that is.
** In the United States, at least. My intuition is that you’re more likely to see Mormonism as an urban church is some other parts of the world.