Reader Question Box #3: “lds bishop ‘no more than two nights per week'”

Reader Question Box is a series where we answer questions that show up in our website traffic monitoring statistics as Google search terms that led people to us. Copious oddities are to be found in the search term logs, and some worthwhile questions. #1 here, #2 here.

Question: “lds bishop ‘no more than two nights per week'”
Answer: Dear reader, No, being an LDS Bishop definitely takes more time than two nights per week. Typically, bishops will attend the weekly youth activity (Wednesday nights), then there are youth “firesides” (a kind of evening devotional, sometimes held at the church building and sometimes held in someone’s home) on many Sunday nights. Then there are the endless pastoral duties of meeting with individuals, couples and families in his office (couple nights a week) or visiting their homes. Just about the only night a Bishop is likely to have for his family (barring emergencies) is Monday night, which, by LDS tradition, everybody in the church reserves as “Family Home Evening” (brief scripture study/devotional, then board games and the like, then dessert). The church has perennial concern about the amount of time bishops, who are lay ministers with regular day jobs, spend in their service. Bishop’s wives, especially if they have young children, carry an enormous burden due to the frequent absence of their husbands (and of course children miss their dad). See BCC posts here and here.

Question: “is dry humping against law of chastity”
Answer: I’ll let our readers handle this one.

Question: “daniel craig topless”
Answer: You might think that BCC is the wrong place for search engines to send somebody searching for this phrase. If so, you’d be wrong. We do in fact feature Daniel Craig topless. Praise be.

Question: “naked man in canola fields”
Answer: Can’t help you there.

Question: “creepy mormon blog”
Answer: Hey!

Question: “do i have to pay tithing on gift cards”
Answer: I vote yes.

Question: “it gets better for nerds”
Answer: It does. It really, really does. It gets better. Hang in there, kiddo.

Question: “sorry, we can’t do that”
Answer: Can I just say that I LOVE that Google decides that a Mormon blog is the right place to send somebody searching for this otherwise very generic phrase. That is fantastic.

Question: “mormon neighbor is mentally ill”
Answer: I really want to hear this story!

Comments

  1. Praise be.

  2. If you are going to “dry hump against” something, I would choose something a little less abstract.

  3. You really think “being bishop” is what was in the mind of the “no more than two nights per week”er?

    Better BCC than me on the “creepy mormon blog” thing. Congratulations!

  4. “The pricks,” Taysom?

  5. Well, dang. Not turning in my application for bishop now. I figured, 3 hours on Sunday, couple nights a week. I can handle that. I believe all the others involve honor code violations, so can’t comment. Especially being mentally ill.

  6. Cynthia L. says:

    Ardis, why, what do YOU think it refers to?

  7. And I just told my husband Bishops don’t have meetings on Friday because that’s the church-approved official Date Night… So it’s just Monday eh?

    But I have to disagree about the gift card thing–to any random person that wonders if Mormons pay tithing on everything , no not all of us do (and due to the financial state of things I’m starting to believe that particular practice is in the minority anyway).

    Lastly, according to the Strength for Youth (take it what you may) dry humping will lead to pregnancy breaking the law of Chasity. So technically no, but you shouldn’t go around bragging about it.

  8. Does Strength of Youth mention that? What else is on the list. Failure to inhale?

  9. I vote no on tithing on gift cards. On one hand, I don’t tithe on gift-gifts to spare myself having to determine the fair market value of the gift, and I just see gift cards as the lazy/kind extension of a gift. On the other hand, I do tithe gifts that come in the form of cash or check; mostly that’s because it’s easy to whack a tenth out of and fork it over.

    Though it would be entertaining if the church started permitting payment in gift card or pieces from a box of chocolates. It’s certainly make an even bigger challenge for the financial clerks!

  10. #3 via #6
    Seriously. Ardis and her innuendo. Can’t we post about ANYTHING without her bringing the conversation back to THAT?!? ;)

  11. On the question of dry humping I suppose it depends on what is being humped. When I worked for the Forest Service up on the La Sals, we humped logs for hours and weren’t done until the truck was stacked with the trees we’d failed. In the Army we humped ammo often enough, again for hours. One time we humped ammo for almost six hours. We were exhausted but we got the tanks loaded and ready for action. Now the problem with the question as stated was that while we started dry, often we were soaked after humping for so long. At what point does dry humping become wet humping? We often would take off our shirts while humping and I suppose that this is the root of the chastity question. Yes, back in the day, I did bring lustful thoughts to the women watching us hump, with my bronzed bare chest working the breeze as it were, but in all honesty with our semi nudity we were just trying to keep our dry humping from becoming wet humping. I hope this helps the person asking the question.

  12. STEVEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I think the BCC Google rankings just went up for the word “hump”

  14. The Forest Service is different than I thought..

  15. Ok, fine, I voted “No” in the gift card poll, but I’m leaving the text as Yes. So there.

  16. Ok, but what did you vote in the dry-humping poll?

  17. Steve……. hump day.

  18. I’d pretty much already suspected as much about the Forest Service from reading between the lines in those Norman MacLean books.

  19. 6: Oh, I’m sure somebody was looking for a Mormon bishop’s advice on a question like, oh, “How often can I serve my husband green jello before he is justified in divorcing me for cruelty.” Or something.

    (By the way, would the BCC computer guru consider adjusting the widths of the BCC columns by a pixel or two? For months now, what should be the right sidebar has appeared below the rest of the page. Now this afternoon, I see just the left sidebar (with a wide blue-gray emptiness to the right); when it ends, the main blog appears, with a wide blue-gray emptiness on each side; when it ends, the right sidebar suddenly begins below it. In other words, I have to scroll forever to find the post and comments. Am I the only one who sees BCC this way these days?)

  20. Ardis,
    The site looks fine to me–maybe you hit your head a little harder than you thought when you fell off that bicycle in your dream?

  21. observer fka eric s says:

    When I saw “no more than two nights a week”, I thought the the OP was going to be a reference to dry humping counsel at BYU or something.

  22. Yes, Eric, dry hump in moderation.

  23. When will BCC dare to handle my search query “can i pick my nose and eat it on fast sunday after all it’s not really putting anything new in my body”?

  24. observer fka eric s says:

    Like the La Sals and Forest Service, there is not much to do in Provo 7 nights a week.

  25. Folks, you don’t all have to talk about JUST dry humping. There are LOTS of other less-scandalous topics in the OP. For example, we could have a delightful conversation about Daniel Craig’s pecks.

  26. Yes, Scott, I should have used those pecks to illustrate my point in #11 rather than Peck’s pecks.

  27. Mommie Dearest says:

    What on earth do you mean by “Daniel Craig’s pecks”? Nevermind, I don’t wanna go there. Now, his pecs, on the other hand, could make a worthwhile topic.

  28. pecs…pecks….stupid autocorrect…

  29. Kenji!

  30. SteveP,
    So, so funny. I literally LOL’ed, not this “laughing-in-my-heart-but-typing-‘LOL'” business that so often happens online.

  31. I note that now, when you google search “creepy Mormon blog” BCC is number one. Thanks Cynthia!

  32. I love this particular series, thanks for the humor.

  33. Here’s our top search traffic today:

    by common consent
    “utah mormon”
    bycommonconsent.com
    common consent
    keep sweet
    creepy mormon blog
    bycommonconsent
    modesty
    bcc lds

    Let’s hear it for creepy mormon blog, #6!

  34. @32: Thanks anon!

  35. I voted no on gift cards.
    Its fine with me if you want to tithe them, but there would need to be a new spot on the tithing slips for “Target–points” and a way to credit it. Maybe that would make it so we could all direct deposit our tithing a little easier than the current set up though, so that would be cool.

  36. Kevin Barney says:

    After my mission I lived in a house in Provo with a bunch of friends from Illinois. We had a sign made for the front of the house in the shape of the state; it read “The House of Ill” (such a clever double entendre!). I slept in a room upstairs.

    One night fairly late I came down the stairs to get a drink or go to the bathroom or something. There in the living room the hide-a-bed was pulled out, and my downstairs roommate (who was a major chick magnet and could have been a model) was furiously dry humping some girl. I calmly walked around the bed, did my business, whatever it was, and walked back upstairs and went to bed. They never even noticed me, or if they did they totally didn’t care and remained focused on the task at hand.

    Just a part of the BYU experience…

  37. Witnessing a roommate dryhumping is like tunnel singing. An almost mythic, iconic BYU experience.

  38. Bishop Burton did a leadership training for our stake a few months ago where he recommended with the new emphasis on the ward council that bishops should limit the time they spend on church stuff to two nights a week, one of which should be Mutual. I suspect that’s where that particular search came from.

  39. Can we get a difinitive ruluing on whether “dry humping” is one word or two words or a hyphenated word? It should be in the BYU handbook somewhere, under “activities nerdy voyeuristic alumi wax nostalgic about.”

    Oddly, the only reference to it in the University of Utah handbook says: “see, BYU”.

  40. When I get a gift card, I pay my tithing on it by dropping six french fries and a wedge of lettuce into an envelope at the restaurant. I’m resisting the urge to order a Diet Coke until the Church gets thicker envelopes.

  41. @Droylsden, interesting! I don’t see how that is possible at all, but it would be nice for Bishops and their families, that’s for sure. When my husband was EQP it was 4 nights a week, easily. (The stake sent out an edict that all EQ members were to have a PI with the EQP quarterly, so that took up a ton of time; and there was another edict that the missionaries in our ward were to have splits 3 nights a week which nobody wanted to do and my husband had to cover in case of absence or nobody signing up; and just taking care of needy individuals…)

  42. The only gift cards I ever get are for iTunes. So I tithe them by making sure one out of every ten downloads is Afterglow or something by Orrin Hatch.

  43. Apparently none of you remember Joseph Smith’s Naked Man in a Canola Field prophesy:

    In the fullness of times, the church will rise above the world as a naked man in a canola field, and woe be to the little yellow canola flowers in that day, for the boldness of the church will know no bounds. [1]

    [1]from the journal of Sparky Woodruff, Wilford’s less-known brother, and his account of a hemp-burning party.

  44. Since over 58% of the votes at the time of checking say “yes” for dry humping, will the disciplinary actions be different in comparison to one ‘doing the nasty’? Will doing it once result in 6-12 months of no bread?

  45. I always get excited now when I see a new Readers Question Box post up at BCC; you folks get the most fascinating search hits. (And it’s no wonder, as creepy as the blog apparently is!) The most peculiar search that’s led to my blog in the past month has been “today, the fourth world to expose breasts to a religious community called strange”.

  46. I’ve been told about the 2 nights thing, and as a Bishop I wonder if its possible. Whether or not it is I’ve been working on it, mostly by working with the Ward Council and then getting the Ward council to work with their counselors as well as more use of HT and VT.

    I think in a Zion society you won’t have a small group of people doing all the work and everyone else benefiting. The work needs to be spread out.

    I think that there is an unhealthy expectation from members as a whole that the Bishop is supposed to always be working. It’s kind of a two edged sword, I get from members that they are grateful for all of the work that I do but I also feel an expectation that its what I’m supposed to be doing all the time as well. I really don’t think I am, not only for my sake but for the sake of the ward as a whole. Everyone needs to pitch in.

  47. JTB, I think that in a Zion society Daniel Craig will show his pecs more, and there WILL be naked men in Canola fields. But I guess everyone has their own religious beliefs….

  48. I had a friend that was a bishop and he strictly limited his “bishop time” to Sundays and Tuesdays. The only exceptions were occasional phone calls and some YM/YW activities. I don’t know if he was the very best bishop ever but I noticed he was able to be good at his job, be there for his family and still get stuff done as a bishop. So it can be done.

  49. StillConfused says:

    So I originally found this site by typing in “heavy petting” in google. Seriously. I was very confused by the whole concept of heavy petting (I took the term a little to literally apparently; also, apparently it does not involve a zoo) and came here to be schooled. (I still recall that there never was true consensus on the exact definition of the term). And alas, I was hooked.

    For what it is worth, I have never referred to this as the creepy blog. I personally call it the smart people blog.

  50. I wonder if the person asking about dry humping was married or not….

    On an unrelated note, I think most nerds hang out on-line. That’s why it gets better for them. (Clearly not me because, well, it’s me.)

  51. Ok, so now we need a definition of heavy petting too. Is someone writing these things down? We need some new entries in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Dry humping and petting (heavy and otherwise) and necking and I’m sure there are several more. Someone start a list please.

    We can’t call this “the smart people blog,” because T&S has trademarked that term. It doesn’t really fit that blog, I know, but don’t tell them that because they’re kinda touchy about it.

  52. Oh for the love of toast! In the real world “petting” is known by it’s more sensible name “foreplay.” You know, stroking various parts of the body to turn your partner on. I always assumed that “light petting” was over the clothes and “heavy petting” was under the clothes.

    I’d go into a rant about how giving it the euphemistic name of “petting” and making it a no-no without defining it only hurts LDS couples who have to figure out sex from scratch on their wedding night, but that’s a rant more appropriate for the Mormon Missionary Position blog.

  53. I think that in theory it would be possible to do bishop work only 2 days a week, if one had a middle-class, middle-aged ward with few welfare issues, few funerals or civil marriages, few convert baptisms, and few disciplinary procedures.

    In reality, all our convert baptisms are on Saturdays, so that the people can be confirmed on Sunday. An average of 1.5 per month (a month or two without any, but one month there was one every weekend). If there are both English speakers and Spanish speakers, there might be separate services, which means about 3 hours. Yes, the bishop himself doesn’t have to be at every service. But in our case, one of the counselors worked his paid job on Saturdays and the other might be off at a scout campout or something, so plan on attending at least half of those.

    Funerals (one per month) seem to take at least three visits: one right after the death to express condolences, one to plan the service, and then the funeral itself, which is often on a weekday or Saturday. Plus phone calls in between. More often, if it is a terminal illness, there is also at least one visit to the hospice or deathbed in the days before. Expect this to be more of a burden as the baby boom ages and dies.

    Temple marriages require a series of interviews, and some families got offended when we couldn’t take off during the work day to schlep a few hours away to the temple when we were invited to the sealing. Civil marriages (at least 3 per year) take much more effort. Usually multiple interviews, a visit to plan the service, a rehearsal (and people get offended if we don’t stay for the rehearsal dinner), and the event and reception (from which we always left early, probably offending more people). Then a visit a month later to encourage them to be sealed in the temple.

    Then there are the welfare concerns, which took up a lot of time. Everyone who asks for help was supposed to be interviewed by the bishop himself, unless he is out of town. The bishop is supposed to actively seek out those in need. I can’t count how many times our plans for a Friday evening were adjusted to include a trip to a transient motel or mobile home park in a scary part of town.

    The bishop is bishop to an assigned area, to both members and non-members who reside in that area. This can become an issue.

    We are fortunate to live in a town with multiple wards, so there is a yearly rotation of responsibility for the prisons, homeless and hospitals. But in smaller towns, they might have to handle all of that. And I am sure that for small wards near a big prison, this can be a time sink. Even so, people whose family member was evacuated by helicopter to the teaching hospital in our town don’t know who to call, so every bishop gets some of those calls. Even if it gets delegated, that still means a minimum of one incoming and one outgoing call.

    We live in an area where LDS Social Services has stepped up their offerings, sending a counselor to town once a week on a regular basis. This allows the bishop to refer for professional counseling regarding marital issues, healing from various trauma, etc. This is very appropriate, and a great resource. But not available everywhere.

    Also, the stake can make a big difference in a bishop’s workload, by requiring stuff beyond the quarterly bishop’s council (thursday night), quarterly leadership (thursday night) and semi-annual priesthood and stake conference leadership meetings (saturday afternoon). One year our stake required the bishop to speak to the ward once a month. That was very hard on us, sucking a saturday afternoon and evening each month.

    For us, one of the hardest things was that when my husband was called, the stake president asked him if he could cut down on traveling for work. My husband agreed. But it was very hard to turn down so many invitations–it definitely impacted his career. And our vacations all had to be 12 days, so that he missed no more than 1 Sunday at a time. This is not cost-effective for us, and hard on our bodies when it involves international travel.

    I don’t mean to be all whiny, we are glad to serve wherever needed. But I don’t think a bishop should feel bad if he fails to get it all done in 2 days. Yes, delegation is important, for leadership development as well as the bishop’s sanity. But every situation is different.

    And I agree with Ardis that this was probably not what people were looking for, anyway.

  54. StillConfused says:

    Maybe if we type in Smart People Blog enough Google will declare this the Smart People Blg, T&S be damned!!

  55. #36 Kevin:

    To stop dry humping would be a tacit acknowledgement that dry humping is wrong….

  56. I’m not positive, but I think the “naked man in the canola fields” might have been an old roommate of mine. (Or maybe this sort of thing happens to other people.)

    My other roomie got a call in the middle of the night saying that this guy had been found by the police, dancing in the fields, with no clothes. This would have been 16-17 years ago. The guy was totally brilliant, super nice, but just a little bit odd in an eccentric sort of way.

  57. You can be a bishop in two nights a week. And four mornings. And three afternoons.

  58. FHL, that’s pretty crazy. But who would be searching google for that now? Maybe the guy himself, out on the job market, wondering if any public evidence of his adventure exists? (it does now!)

  59. From the heading, I thought some Bishops were ordering Ward married members to have sex only twice a week. That’s one way to slow down the number of baby blessings on Fast Sundays for some couples.

    Question: “naked man in canola fields”

    Maybe that has something to do with the X-Men Origins movie. Logan/Wolverine sure made tracks in the buff in that one part.

    When I get a gift card, I pay my tithing on it by dropping six french fries and a wedge of lettuce into an envelope at the restaurant.

    Calvin Grondahl’s cartoons strike again!

    I always assumed that “light petting” was over the clothes and “heavy petting” was under the clothes.

    I thought “light petting” was above the waist, and “heavy” was below the waist, clothed or not. Of course, I had trouble getting a straight answer about *all* forms of what a “unnatural sexual practice” was, when they used to ask about it in TR Interviews in the 1980’s. But, *everything* sexual can seem unnatural to the newly married, after some serious “overkill” Standards Night.

  60. #36 Kevin Barney: when I was dating, my GF (now wife) had a roomie & boyfriend really passionately making out on that apartment’s couch. GF got the glass of water she wanted, but slammed the door when she went back to her room, to the point where the roomie insisted the next day “we kept our clothes on!”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,837 other followers