7 Habits of Highly Effective Stealth-Mormons

So I was just about to swear off any resolutions for 2010 when I read this story about radio host Delilah pulling her kids out of Crosspoint Academy because the school adopted a book by Stephen Covey as part of its curriculum.

“I would like to say that I am merely ‘deeply concerned’ about a recent addition to the school’s teaching philosophy, but instead, I am forced to admit I am actually HORRIFIED by the recent addition of a book by Mormon author Steven (sic) Covey,” she wrote in a Nov. 24 open letter to Crosspoint parents.

Further, she wrote that she believes in freedom of religion and does not object to Mormon beliefs or the yoga-type, Eastern religion activities Covey advocates. She said in a recent interview, however, that the materials don’t belong in a Christian school.

“It’s not about being intolerant. It’s about being true to my faith,” she said. “I don’t have a problem with Stephen Covey and businesses that use it. I don’t have any problem with people who want to sign up for yoga classes or attend the church of Satan if they want to. That’s their right. But I can’t imagine someone paying money to send their kids to Brigham Young University so they can get a good basis in Mormon faith and then having their kid come home and saying his new teacher was a Catholic priest teaching the Apocrypha.”

Some commentators have said this shows Delilah is anti-Mormon. I really don’t care if she is or not. I don’t blame Delilah for trying to maintain the purity of her children’s Christian education, and where she sends them to school is none of my concern, deep or otherwise. (She could send them to a Satanic school, for all I care!) Her BYU analogy is a little off, though. Surely most Mormon parents would be confused if their kids’ Sunday School teacher turned out to be a Catholic priest teaching the Apocrypha as though it were canonical Mormon scripture, but I don’t think any would object to their kids studying the Apocrypha in a university setting; if nothing else, having a non-Mormon professor would be a missionary opportunity, but more on that later.

I admit that I have never read any Stephen R. Covey books. I think I may have once read a Reader’s Digest article authored by him–something about parenting–but I don’t really remember anything that was in it. I have glanced over Covey’s “seven principles of highly effective people,” and I can only make heads or tails out of the first five. Once he gets to “synergize,” he loses me. But apparently Delilah “is concerned [wait--would that be "merely" concerned?] that the leadership materials [based on Covey's books] introduce Mormon tenets in a way that is palatable to non-Mormons.”

So look here: I’ve been a Mormon all my life, and despite my lack of BYU degree, I know quite a bit about Mormon theology. I don’t think Brother Covey would be nearly as successful as he is if he’d based his Seven Principles business on something as esoteric and wackado as that. I don’t doubt that Covey’s Mormonism has strongly influenced his personal philosophy–Mormonism is a pervasive corrupting agent–but I suspect that reading one of his books and coming out of it with a greater tendency toward believing in Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling would require more work than most grade-schoolers are willing to perform. (Not that Delilah asked for my reassurances, but there they are.)

However, I am curious about how “Mormon” Covey’s work really is. Delilah says it is “veiled Mormonism.” (Really, is there any other kind?) I don’t think she has any basis for saying this, as pinpointing the distinctly Mormon qualities in something would require a thorough knowledge of Mormon theology and tradition, and anyone who goes to the trouble of acquiring that would probably not be “HORRIFIED” when her children are tangentially exposed to it. But I’m open to the possibility that she has inadvertently hit on some truth here.

Actually, I’m particularly hopeful that she has inadvertently hit on some truth because while the Church strongly encourages its members to share the gospel with all the world, I myself have never been inclined in this direction. Religion is just so, you know, personal, and I hate to make other people feel uncomfortable. I hate it almost as much as making myself uncomfortable. Inviting someone to church or giving them a Book of Mormon is so hard-core. If I could get away with just handing them a Stephen R. Covey book and thereby introducing them to Mormonism in a way that is palatable to them, that would a) relieve some of my guilt over not evangelizing as I ought, b) not make anyone uncomfortable, and c) seduce some unsuspecting innocents into joining the Mormon Love Train. Win-win-win.

Just so we’re clear, I don’t want to debate the question of whether or not Delilah is some kind of religious bigot. Bigot is such an ugly word; I myself would go with “hysterical” and/or “ignorant.” But none of that interests me. I’m sure she’s a very nice person, anyway. No, I want those of you who have read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or are otherwise familiar with Covey’s work and leadership programs to tell me more about this “veiled Mormonism.” I’d read the books myself, but, you know, I didn’t drop out of graduate school so I could do research on “synergy,” dig? What’s the point of having a blog if you can’t exploit your readership for free information?

Your cooperation is appreciated in advance.

Comments

  1. John Mansfield says:

    The first person I heard describe Stephen Covey’s work as veiled Mormonism was Stephen Covey. That was back in ’84 or ’85, a few years before the Seven Habits book come out. Brother Covey had been bishop of my student ward before I got there and came back to give a ward fireside one evening. He talked about ideas he used in his business consulting, and showed the gospel principles he was basing those ideas on. He joked about how when he was on the job he couldn’t be explicit about those gospel principles and had to dress them up in business-speak.

  2. Sterling Fluharty says:

    I always thought the origins of 7 Habits was Covey’s 1970 book, The Spiritual Dimensions of Human Relations.

  3. Ugh. What about those people who attended BYU because it had good undergraduate academic programs, was friendly financial-wise, and had a large cluster of singles with like-minded values? Do people *really* think that people go to BYU for the religion classes? Really?

  4. Hmmm, I’d plot 7 Habits closer to Mr. Krueger’s Christmas than to Battlestar Galactica.

  5. Mark Brown says:

    Rebecca, you don’t want to debate whether Delilah is a bigot because you are a nice person. Fortunately, I am under no such constraint, so it doesn’t bother me at all to say that she is a hysterical, ignernt bigot. Just so you know.

    Covey’s Mormonism in the 7 habits book is so stealthy that you can’t even recognize it as Mormonism. But I guess that just goes to show how low-down sneaky he is.

    But I’m with you, any talk of synergizing paradigms makes my eyes glaze over. I’ve had much better success reading Scott Adams’ Seven Years of Highly Defective People, featuring Dilbert. Have you tried it yet? I testify that it is a true book.

  6. Given that Delilah’s been married several times, I’m thinking she’s probably in the ignorant category when it comes to Mormonism and Covey. She obviously does not want her kids to get the kind of education that could free them from her own predilections….

  7. Having never read Covey’s books, I can’t offer any help. But I can go off on some irrelevant tangents. His 1970 book wasn’t “Dimensions”–it was “Roots.”

    There’s a rumor that another of his books was all set to be published as “The Christ Centered Life” when Elder McConkie gave a talk warning against too much focus on any one member of the Godhead, which led to a quick change to “The Divine Center”.

    But to give Jezebel or whatever her name is some credit: there’s a man in my stake who first became interested in the LDS church when he read one of Covey’s books, and then attended one of his seminars. So, for all the snarky things I’m inclined to say about Covey, he’s done at least one bit of good.

  8. I think Delilah is on to something here. If you want you’re kid to turn out a certain way — in particular, a certain way defined at least in part by not being something else — you just got to put limits on what they’re exposed to. Otherwise, their beliefs just won’t be pure.

    For example, if you want to teach your kids that all good behavior comes from having faith in God, you just can’t have them meeting any ethical atheists. Likewise, if you want them to believe in the restoration of the gospel, you just can’t be exposing them to the humanitarian efforts of the Catholic church (being “great and abominable” and all).

    It’s the same for Evangelicals. If Mormon thinking starts appearing compatible with Christianity, their kids could become confused, find some common ground, and even fraternize.

  9. Sorry. That was a stupid comment.

  10. “–Mormonism is a pervasive corrupting agent–”

    Love it. :)

    PS: I haven’t read Covey either, so I’m interested in piggybacking off your “exploitation” here…

  11. Aaron W (north Idaho) says:

    Garsh, what will we do without the support of the queen of sappy love songs?

  12. Elder Bednar’s talk in conference last April about “creating” our day spiritually and then physically was more or less a match with Covey’s principles regarding “beginning with the end in mind.”

    Wait…they both taught in business schools…hrm…

  13. Stephanie says:

    The fact that she uses the “church of Satan” in the same comment as Mormonism says a lot about her true feelings.

  14. I can’t speak for Covey, but I heard from a good source (my imagination) that OSC and S. Meyer are conducting secret focus groups to determine the best strategies for winning converts through their novels. In upcoming books all vampires will wear white shirts and ties or modest dresses, and Ender will start a MLM scheme.

    You heard it here first.

  15. I thought I was the only Mormon who had not read Covey; for many years I have been under the impression that he had simply re-packaged the Gospel in business speak and made millions off of it in a priest-crafty way.

    Yeah, I wasn’t that positive about him.

    Now I am so torn: I don’t want to side with Delilah OR Steve!

    Seriously–I had a Catholic professor at BYU. She taught science. Part of her opening spiel on the first day was an admission of her faith and a note that she welcomed students at her office hours, but just wanted all of us to know that she really HAD heard every possible proselyting pitch, so we shouldn’t get our feelings hurt (or faith shaken) when she wasn’t converted by the end of our semester.

    I would have been much more interested in a class on the Apocrypha.

  16. Which Book by Covey are we talking about here? Which Stephen Covey? 6 most important decisions for Teens (By Covey Jr.) does quote Gordon B. Hinckley in it, so I guess that could freak an ignorant/hysterical person or two out.

    Covey notes in his 6 events that he has always made every effort for the teachings in his public writing to be based on universal truisms which he has found in all religions. Stuff like the Golden Rule, etc.

    While I can’t speak directly to “the Leader in Me” program. I bought “6 most important decisions” as a gift for a close Evangelical family friend who just turned 13. The 6 decisions I guess can be sort of Mormony. They are:

    1. Get an Education
    2. Have good friends
    3. Get along with your parents.
    4. Dating and Sex
    5. Word of Wisdom type stuff
    6. Self-Esteem

    But maybe not in that order. I thought it was pretty good.

  17. I hope she has some sort of clear concept that she is running towards in her children’s education, instead of merely running away from everything that isn’t something enough.

    I think I’ve read covey sometime. Maybe you could argue it’s works focused because it requires you to actually do something instead of the “jesus take the wheel” approach.

    Or maybe if I were MORE mormon I would recognize it and if I had been to EVERY part of the temple then I would know what’s really going on…or I could just ask Delilah.

  18. I’ve never actually been bored enough to read 7 Habits or any of his other books, and I was wise enough to pick a more practical and enjoyable path than business school, but that doesn’t stop me from saying that Delilah is clearly a bigot and a moron.

  19. Tanya S.- Ouch. Business School was practical and fun. 7 Habits is enjoyable and worthwhile. Stephen Covey is Mormonism’s most underrated theologian.

    What’s your degree in?

  20. John Mansfield says:

    How about John Tesh? He needs to get roped into this somehow, asked to express his views on Delilah’s views of Covey’s views.

  21. what’s up with the yoga attack too? I reread the article to see if I missed anything. what about covey screams yoga? his baldness? Is he really flexible?

  22. Matt, apologies for dissing business school. Not my cup of tea, I’ll admit, but I was in snark mode, not totally serious. My degree is in molecular biology. I have a great love for viruses.

    Though I really do have no interest in reading 7 Habits.

  23. britt- If you can’t understand the Yoga connection, you obviously don’t go to the secret Elder’s Quorum meetings.

    Tanya S. – pfft- Molecular Biology. That’s practically a liberal arts degree. And about as enjoyable as the Flu. (Sorry, best I could do on short notice.)

  24. I worked at the Covey Leadership Center for a few years, and then at the post-merger Franklin Covey. I taught the material internally, but not externally.

    The book started as “The Five Habits of Highly Successful Missionaries”. A chapter deals with the “mind over mattress” mantra of which some missionaries used to get an earful from Mission President Covey. It’s got a few casual references to “teaching at the Y”, has a few general quotes from people like David O. McKay, Ezra Taft Benson, and other notable LDS authorities. The word at CLC in the early days was the the company goal was “to prepare the world for the Millennium”. Late at night, when nobody was around, we’d joke about philosophies of men….

    That being said, there’s a reason why the material, books, and training (used to) sell so well. A lot of people find that it works for them. Yes, there’s a strong Mormon influence in the work. More than most people know. But, it’s been used in a lot of countries, a lot of cultures, a lot of churches, a lot of businesses, and in a lot of homes. It’s mostly a way to teach common sense. But, I don’t recall anything about Joseph Smith, the nature of the Godhead, baptismal covenants, or priesthood authority in there. As such, somebody teaching 7 Habits would have a very difficult time counting it as a Missionary Moment.

    If radio host Delilah has a big problem with “No success can ever compensate for failure in the home”, then that’s her business. She’s free to take her business (or children) elsewhere. I’ve met rabbis who could discuss things they admired from the Book of Mormon. It didn’t mean that they were ready to start eating Mormon funeral potatoes, green Jello, or TVP anytime soon.

  25. Wait, has anyone read 7 Habits? Twenty-something comments and no one has been able to shed light on what gospel principles it contains. I’m dying of curiosity here.

  26. I’ve read 7 Habits, Spiritual Roots, and the Divine Center. 7 Habits uses universal principles that no one would mistake for veiled Mormonism. I’ve heard Covey refer to it as coming from his understanding of the gospel, too. But I always figured that was just his selling point for Mormons. Divine Center and Spiritual Roots are quite different, directed specifically at LDS, and more religious.

    I wonder if the book by Covey, Jr. that Matt describes in #16 is the one Delilah is dissing. It sounds more likely to be something a Christian school would use in its curriculum than 7 Habits.

  27. Oh, crosspost. Apparently Michael has read it.

  28. John Mansfield says:

    The yoga bit is a reference to how the gospel was secretly taught in Czechoslovakia (and will be in Delilah’s daughter’s school). “In the public yoga classes that he taught, Otakar Vojkuvka, known to many as the ‘greatest missionary in the Czech Republic,’ expressed gospel ideas and philosophies that planted seeds for many conversions. The first missionaries to serve in the newly reopened country were soon able in 1990 to baptize several Czech converts.” (link)

  29. John Mansfield says:

    Trying again: (link)

  30. I think that the danger to Delilah’s children comes more from her messy personal life then anything that could possibly come from Covey

  31. I can’t believe, ESO, that you would rather study the Apocrypha than chemistry from Prof. Boerio-Goates.

  32. #29 – Yup.

  33. What my wife said (#31).

  34. AHHH I just read through some comments on the article because the yoga thing was baffling. Apparently there is a poster in the school with a woman doing …. yoga. Delilah sent out a three page letter to all of the parents at the school informing the parents of the obvious anti christian message this poster was sending.

    oh and bbell for the win.

  35. I’ve read 7 Habits…though I don’t remember it all in great detail. As BiV said, I think the “gospel themes” are, for the most part, universal principles that would be true just about anywhere. However, I do remember noting a section on “spiritual creation” that I thought was especially Mormon-y.

  36. I don’t recall the Yoga chapter in my copy of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Perhaps it was in a later edition?

    Covey’s book was very good, until it tried to sell his version of the Day Runner/Planner. But the concept that there are important things and urgent things, and not all urgent things are important, has helped me to organize my life immensely in a world where trivial things seem to take front seat.

    Maybe she was afraid that her kids would get severely injured by trying to “sharpen their saws”? Or afraid that their ladders would end up on the Mormon/Satanic roof, and not the evangelical one?

    Perhaps she can find a school that uses Dilbert’s “7 Habits of Highly Defective People”?

  37. Mommie Dearest says:

    When I took a Bible as Literature class at BYU a few (quite a few) years ago, we used the Apocrypha as our text because it has some literary scriptures in it that are not found in the canonical version. It was fascinating information, and it didn’t corrupt my spiritual faith. Perhaps Delilah ought not to be afraid of her children being exposed to “impure” information but pay more attention to teaching them pure doctrine herself. And good luck keeping them pure and all.

  38. Uh oh. My daughter takes yoga and is learning about the chakras. Is she going to grow up to be Hindu?

  39. I own a business, so I figured it’d be a good idea to read up on some of the classic literature for business. This, of course, included 7 Habits. I read one chapter and was so bored that I quit. The habits are so common-sense today that I can only assume that folks didn’t think about business in this way 30-40 years ago.

    Maybe I would have found more veiled Mormonism in it if I’d read the entire book, but the overview and the first chapter were basic principles of good business and good living, and not much else.

  40. I think she just ends on the other side from Delilah ;)

  41. Michael, I knew I should have gone to you first! But then I wouldn’t have had a blog post, so….win-win-win. (I’m not sure who the third winner is, but there’s got to be someone out there.) Thanks for your insight. I forgive (i.e. ignore) your skepticism re my BRILLIANT! missionary idea.

    The Covey book in question here is The Leader in Me. But I read at least one review that said it was just a repackage of his earlier works, so I figured any Covey book would do for this discussion (or potential missionary work).

    I don’t think it’s necessary to comment on Delilah’s personal life. Insofar as she says things that are inaccurate or nonsensical, feel free to call her on it, but her personal life is irrelevant to the issue at hand and also not our business.

    Also, I don’t think she meant to lump Mormons in with Satanists. I assumed she was offering an extreme example in order to make a point. I do that myself sometimes (i.e. all the time), so maybe I’m just projecting, but let’s try to take offense only where it’s intended.

    I mean, let’s not forget that this is a post about missionary work.

  42. Mark B–she seemed like a lovely woman, and if she taught an Apocrapha class, I would be right there; Moles and I just don’t get along.

  43. I’ve read Covey’s “Roots”. “7 Habits”, and another book on business ethics, the name of which escapes me at the moment, and actually helped to teach an abridged version of the 7 Habits seminar at one work place. The closest I think he came to overt Mormonism was the discussion of “True North” principles, or things that are true, regardless of whether or not you choose to recognize them. However, if you made the assertion that he was a devout Catholic, or evangelical Christian, you might be able to claim to detect strains of those faiths in his work just as easily.

    Delilah is a nut job. Maybe she should run for Governor of Idaho.

  44. Also, I don’t think she meant to lump Mormons in with Satanists.

    If she is an evangelical Christian, she most certainly did.

  45. Well, she also lumped us in with yoga classes, so it wasn’t all bad.

  46. Well, she also lumped us in with yoga classes, so it wasn’t all bad.

    Yoga, martial arts, and any hint of a whiff of any Eastern philosophy are in the same grouping as Satanists and Mormons.

  47. Anne (U.K.) says:

    One ward I was in used to let the local yoga group meet in the Cultural Hall, until someone complained about it and that was the end of that attempt to build interfaith bridges. I think the complainant could have benefited from a yoga class, really.

    As for Covey’s 7 Habits: I gave my (10 years old but still pristine) copy to the local charity shop just before Christmas, having come to the conclusion that my inability to keep to the programme made me a very ineffective person, Mormon or otherwise. Maybe if it had been pink……

  48. Yoga, martial arts, and any hint of a whiff of any Eastern philosophy are in the same grouping as Satanists and Mormons.

    Well, then perhaps it’s Satanists who should be insulted.

  49. Well, then perhaps it’s Satanists who should be insulted.

    That’s my feeling, as well. Can you imagine being that misunderstood?

  50. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    It’s been fun reading this little post and it provoked me to google “The Leader In Me” and to read about the AB Combs elementary school, where the system was pioneered. Go to theleaderinme.org and look at the videos of kids quoting the 7 habits. I was taken back at first by the kids doing this. Nevertheless, the teachers seem to be inspired by the program and where teachers are inspired, their effectiveness goes up. A greater degree of leadership training in schools sounds good. Leadership skills come to some kids naturally, not others. One of my daughter’s teachers was better at developing it than other teachers, but her freedom to develop it was limited by the traditional demands placed on teachers. So, while I might sympathize with Delilah that seeing young kids rattling off a mantra of one of the 7 habits is a bit strange, other features of the system as it was developed by AB Combs and Steve Covey seem genuine. Perhaps she thought they were quoting the Articles of Faith????

  51. I listened to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on tape, and there is nothing overtly Mormon about it. I actually felt it was somewhat wishy-washy, composed of mostly generic platitudes. The only time he got remotely spiritual (from what I can remember) is when he talked about replenishing yourself with something that enriches your soul or something like that. I don’t remember because I’m not a very effective person.

    If he said things like “Goal setting – How to hie to Kolob”, I could understand. But unless Delilah is against spiritual enrichment in general, I think she misunderstands the purpose of her own faith.

  52. The 7 Habits are: 1) be proactive, 2) begin with the end in mind, 3) put first things first, 4) think win/win, 5) seek first to understand, then to be understood, 6) synergize, and 7) sharpen the saw. There is nothing inherently Mormon about these concepts, nor do they contradict Mormonism at all. Here are the links you could make:
    Habit 1 – this is just 90s business speak
    Habit 2 – In the description, he talks about things having a mental or spiritual (can’t remember if he says spiritual) creation first, followed by a physical creation. It was really just saying that you make a plan and then execute your plan, but it actually explained the temple a little better to me at the time I read it (of course without referring to the temple at all – but as a Mormon I saw the parallel he had to be thinking about).
    Habit 3 – Talks about family first, which many motivational speakers do, but also about prioritization in general.
    Habit 4 – General 90s business concept.
    Habit 5 – Sounds like Delilah could use some of this one, but it’s the same as salespeople doing a needs assessment and then selling based on needs.
    Habit 6 – Total business speak, nothing particularly Mormon here.
    Habit 7 – This is one that many Mormons complain the church does too little to encourage (taking time to reinvest in yourself).

  53. hawkgrrl,

    The church as a whole may do not enough to encourage the actual practice of No. 7, but I heard someone once in RS refer to “that scripture about sharpening the saw.”

    aaaaaaaargh.

  54. I’ll leave it to others to judge whether this person is bigoted, hysterical or what.

    Anyhow, the 7 Habits could be confused with Catholicism, too, since it has the word “Habit” in the title.

    But on a more serious note: What Stephen Covey teaches in his books has no overt link to mormonism other than bro. Covey being known to be a Mormon. If he weren’t I can’t figure how she could point out his religion. Some of the things that he advocates in his book(s) could be seen linked to it either by a) being also taught by some Church leaders, but not of Mormon-related origin or b) having risen out of Covey’s experience with the teachings of his religion.

    But, people, one book that does not even mention anything of a purely religious nature? Wow.

  55. Ted, #50:

    But unless Delilah is against spiritual enrichment in general, I think she misunderstands the purpose of her own faith.

    I suppose if she is against spiritual enrichment by general, it is hard for me to guess at her religion (which she claims with little credibility to be Christian).

    Kristine, #52: “that scipture about sharpening the saw

    If I had a nickel for each time someone quoted something totally unscriptural to me and called it scripture, I’d be better off financially, if I hadn’t blown the millions off in stocks. (A millionaire these days… rich?)

  56. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    Habit 4…Think Win/Win

    Parent feedback from the Covey web site:

    My son is in 3rd Grade. He has been at English Estates since kindergarten. One time when he was with me at the daycare where I work, there was a little girl that was having trouble with her shoes, and the other kids started picking on her. My son stood up and said, “You guys are not being leaders. We need to think win/win. Let’s help her.”

    OK…it’s kinda cute, but if I my kids were spouting a habit each time they were confronted with a situation, I might want to ‘kick the habit’.

  57. Maybe her kids are demanding green jello and shredded carrots and she’s trying to find the source? I think it’s high plausible.

  58. My daughter loves Delilah. How am I going to explain this to her?

  59. Bogolubov says:

    #15 – I take it the chemistry professor was Dr. Goates? I’m sure the reason she mentioned having heard every conceivable pitch is that her husband is Mormon and on staff. Their daughter is exceptionally bright and surprisingly well adjusted even after attending mass and sacrament meeting on alternate weekends for her formative years. She also distinguished herself as possibly being the only Democrat at the Old Executive Office during the Bush years. This led to an interrogation by Karl Rove who asked her point blank if she was Republican to which she responded “well, I’m from Utah…”, which was apparently good enough for him. Sadly, I don’t believe she attends church anymore which can be blamed on either the Catholics or not reading enough Stephen R Covey books (or perhaps too many).

  60. Bogolubov–indeed. That first day of class she did mention her husband, but she also made it clear that every semester she got a fresh batch of eager recently returned missionaries who were sure they could help her see the light.

    Here is a fun essay about the experience from her point of view
    http://rsc.byu.edu/pubJBoerioGatesCatholicRediscoversGod.php

  61. Back in the days when I was working for BYU Education Week, I once had the job to escort Steven Covey from his class to the “teachers lounge” to keep the adoring fans at bay. We were standing in the elevator with two custodians who were complaining about their dates the previous evening. Brother Covey turns to them and gives them some vague advice and tells them to keep trying. After he got off the elevator, I heard one ask the other, “Who was that nerd?” And this was shortly after his big Oprah appearance. Which leads me to believe that most of the people who bought his book did so to fill a space on the shelf more than anything else. You can’t believe all the hype. Most people are too busy living their lives to actually care about the religious motivations of the author of some book they probably will never bother to read in the first place.

  62. I am a Mormon and have read the 7 habits. Great book. The first habit is life changing. I have read it many times over the years.

    Bascially, the first habit talks about taking responsibility for your actions and not blaming outside things for what is happening to you. A proactive person gets the job done withour saying “its not my job”. A proactive person is not driven by outside circumstance but by their own chosen values. They are the boss of themselves. This is good stuff even if it does smack of teachings such as agency.

    The thing is, Mormon doctrine and teachings are pretty sensible, practical, useful and down to earth. If a person excludes everything that is espoused by Mormons just becasue Mormons teach it, they will be pretty miserable. They will not work hard, save for retirement, get an education, etc.

  63. Adam Greenwood says:

    A friend in law school got 7 Habits and it touched off a general religious awakening in him. He started praying and proposed to his girlfriend and generally seemed happier and more spiritual. Don’t ask me why. I read the thing a long time ago and it put me to sleep.

  64. Adam Greenwood says:

    Peter,

    One time I started to accept responsibility for my life but the resulting depression was just too debilitating.

  65. The first habit is life changing. I have read it many times over the years.

    Dude, that must suck. If I ever decide to change my life, I hope it just takes once.

  66. Delilah’s response has nothing to do with Covey’s actual message and everything to do with evangelical Christianity’s (and other anarchic Christian movements) refusal to accept “Mormonism” into the fold of the Christian Diaspora. There exists this dogmatic pride and enthusiasm in berating the Mormon Church. For example, every evangelical Christian I have ever met has felt zero sense of moral turpitude in describing me as “not Christian,” even though I believe in J.C. and “accept him as my personal savior.” It’s ridiculous.

  67. You said:

    “If I could get away with just handing them a Stephen R. Covey book and thereby introducing them to Mormonism in a way that is palatable to them, that would a) relieve some of my guilt over not evangelizing as I ought, b) not make anyone uncomfortable, and c) seduce some unsuspecting innocents into joining the Mormon Love Train. Win-win-win.”

    I feel exactly that way about “Battlestar Galactica.”

  68. Whoa, “synergize” rhymes with “baptize.”

    I think Delilah is on to something with the “veiled Mormonism.”

  69. Nothing of import to add. Just wanted to say thanks so much for a great post and so many hilarious comments. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve read BCC and this thread reminded me of all there is to love about this place. I squirted Dr. Pepper out my nose from laughing so much. I might be in love with all of you.

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