Not necessary for our salvation

Carl C. is a PhD student in systematic theology at the Catholic University of America, where he gets into arguments with Catholics a lot. This is more fun than his MA at Yale, where nobody wanted to argue very much because they were mostly liberal protestants and generally didn’t care enough about differences of doctrine. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but Carl does enjoy a good disagreement now and again. He hopes to have several of those while guest blogging at BCC.

One of the most frustrating things for me about the church culture in Sunday school is the phrase that I’ve heard cropping up more and more recently, and in multiple wards: “that’s not necessary for our salvation.” It’s frequently used when we dive into the more obscure topics. Sometimes I’ll hear it used when we dive into the non-obscure topics, but in a complicated way.

I’m not sure what the members of the church who say this are trying to get at. It seems there are several possible meanings behind it. Perhaps they just feel we’re getting off-topic, or delving too much into “the mysteries.” Perhaps they disagree with the point being made, so it’s a way of turning the conversation back to subjects we all agree on. Perhaps it’s becoming a knee-jerk reaction to all of the above as more people begin to say it and it catches on in church culture.

I’m sympathetic to the difficulty of trying to create a lesson that will cater to everybody in the class. And when you open the floor up for comments, heaven only knows where the discussion is going to go. Sticking to what is “necessary” may also help Mormons become theological minimalists, which I personally applaud. (I don’t long for the days of the rampant theological speculations of Brigham Young in general conference, and think that a good dose of what we don’t know and what hasn’t been revealed is generally more valuable and humbling than focusing on what we do know.) And since there are those subjects that we simply do not know a lot about, speculation is not going to be terribly useful until we have more concrete revelation on those subjects. But the idea that we are only to study or talk about what is “necessary” for salvation troubles me on several levels.

First, what knowledge, exactly, is “necessary for our salvation?” Do we need to know that Jesus is the son of God (D&C 46:13, 1 Corinthians 12:3)? That the church of Jesus Christ is the only true church (D&C 1:30)? About the revolutions of Kolob (Abraham 3:3-5)? How to shake an angel’s hand (D&C 129)? What does it mean when Joseph Smith said that a man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge?

Second, if it is true that “no man can be saved in ignorance” (D&C 131:6), does that mean that we will be handed a scantron sheet and a test at the pearly gates, and we must get a 70% or higher to be admitted? Nobody thinks the answer to that question is “yes,” so we mostly focus on the basics of the gospel only, and rightly so. It seems true that some pieces of knowledge are not necessary for our salvation. If a perfect understanding of gospel topics were a requirement, many noble and great saints from yesteryear would not be found first in line with those who lived after 1918, when President Joseph F. Smith received his revelation on the redemption of the dead. I’m convinced that there are many non-members with no good understanding of the gospel who are further along in the line for salvation than many a seminary graduate.

Third, while Sunday schools are primarily for more devotional purposes (probably the easiest way to cater to a varied audience), let’s not forget that intelligence itself is the glory of God. The classrooms at BYU are dedicated to learning. Ought not our Sunday school classes at least not shy away from knowledge of any relevance, even if that doesn’t have to be the principal focus?

Fourth, whatever intelligence you obtain will rise with you in the next life (D&C 130:18), so we should be gaining all possible intelligence. In other words, we ought not to summarily dismiss things that aren’t the basics (whatever those are, anyway).

I don’t know if the people who say “that’s not necessary for our salvation” would disagree with anything has been said here. But the phrase indicates that we should only study what is necessary, which is clearly not true. There are better ways of dealing with complicated issues that distract from the main purpose of Sunday school—ways that don’t involve implying that learning is not what God wants us to be doing. So the next time someone says “that’s not pertinent for our salvation” I would hope that we could all find some way to address what they really mean, while not implying that God wants us to be ignorant about some things.

After all, we claim to follow the one who called himself the Truth. The least we can do is try to figure out what truth means in our church classes.

Comments

  1. When I read the teaser for this post, I thought this statement referred to things like avoiding R-rated movies, or wearing a white shirt on Sundays. Got me all excited. :/

  2. In my experience, virtually no one but the teacher — and even then, not more than half the time — comes prepared to discuss the lesson topic, having read the assigned scripture block, much less having followed up any peripheral ideas by chasing through the scriptures or looking up other sources.

    In other words, while the answer to “Ought not our Sunday school classes at least not shy away from knowledge of any relevance” is “Of course not! No shying! Bring on the knowledge!” — in realistic terms, what you get is not knowledge. What you get when a teacher lets a class wander off is rank speculation, or half remembered and misattributed quotations, and “I’ve always heard that …” (followed by stuff *I* never heard before). It is *not* Truth. Ever. It’s idle chatter. Always.

    So yeah, it’s up to the teacher to cut off that pseudoscholarship, unless the teacher happened to have studied that particular idea in preparation for the lesson. And I only use that “not necessary for our salvation” line when the weirdness is not only bizarrely irrelevant but also unknowable (e.g., Zedekiah’s daughter becoming Queen of Ireland, then sailing to the New World to join the Mulekites. True story! or true at least that someone wanted to discuss that in class a year ago!). When what someone wants to discuss is a real gospel principle, but I’m not prepared to discuss it AND NEITHER ARE THEY, I suggest leaving that until another time when some of us have actually read up on the topic.

  3. I think we get a sense of what our theology sees as essential for salvation in which ordinances we perform on behalf of the dead. For example, all those who get worked up about calling & election issues, that’s not something being done for the dead so it doesn’t seem to be essential.

  4. I agree with you Ardis except for your extremes. “*not* truth. Ever. It’s idle chatter. Always.” I know enough to come prepared for a lot of things, like correct quote attribution, how many wives Joseph had along with specifics like how many likely vs. how many solidly, etc. A handful of amateur scholars reside in every area that ‘know’ their lds scholarship and although there will be ‘wandering off’, oftentimes it is those scholars that reign it back in, even if they are usually quieter than the average ‘know it all’ who gets it wrong so uses volume to force it right.

  5. I agree with Ardis. The biggest problem with letting a class wander off on tangents is that they often don’t know what they’re talking about. While it shouldn’t make us shy away from trying to learn as much as we can, how much are we going to have to un-learn when we get more direct information from the Heavenly realm, by revelation or in person?

  6. What knowledge is necessary for our salvation? What knowledge was Joseph Smith talking about?

    It looks to me like knowing God is necessary for our salvation. Knowing Him, not believing He exists:

    “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, . . . ”
    See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pages 345-346 – the REAL book, not the RS/PH manual.

    There are many scriptures, as well as talks by Joseph Smith that tell of the necessity of seeing Jesus for ourselves in this life. I think people in classes are confused. They either don’t know or don’t remember that the church was restored to prepare a people who would not be burned at Christ’s presence. It isn’t about some distant “salvation”, so we can ignore uncomfortable or “unauthorized” topics.

  7. Hey Carl! ;)

    1. I think it’s informative to talk about saving ordinances vs. non-saving ordinances in this context. Moreover, I don’t think that knowledge means knowing *things* as much as it is knowing *people* (e.g. John 17:3) – and you cannot know someone unless you become like them, whether in actuality or have it revealed by the Holy Spirit.

    2. See #1 for what I think is a better model for gospel knowledge than a bubble sheet. ;)

    3. If we’re talking of *facts*, then we’ve got to make sure it’s knowledge. Let’s get some discussion of usefulness of source material in Sunday School, eh? And definitely call out speculation as just that. Also, for as much as BYU’s motto is cool, I think it’s based on bad exegesis. In what I’ve read of Joseph Smith’s writings, there’s nothing to suggest that “intelligence” therein means “capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.” It might be called the capacity for divine actualization, perhaps. Besides, intelligence does not equal knowing things, let alone the things known.

    4. Again, intelligence =! knowledge. Could we say that intelligence equals the capacity to discern what is important to know/practice by means of the Spirit?

  8. I also think that the keeping of covenants is a source of saving knowledge, just to throw that out there.

  9. Not meaning to spam, but I think knowing others – Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our neighbors – through the Holy Ghost is perhaps the most important purpose of the Church. If we invite the Spirit into lessons and include everyone in the sharing of the knowledge that comes from knowing God, we can better learn about each other and be “of one heart and one mind.”

  10. I think its important to realize the rhetorical short-hand that is often used in Church. For me, “That’s not necessary for our salvation” can mean “I’m not really interested in that topic” or “I’m not interested in thinking about that topic” or “I disagree but I just don’t care about that topic.” Mostly likely it just means “That’s not necessary for my salvation.” But what I would not do is mistake this rhetoric for a kind of theological determination as to what is or is not “necessary” for salvation.

  11. #3 -that calling and election stuff was performed for the dead in the past. Maybe it used to be necessary?

    Carl, as far as that whole “can’t be saved in ignorance” he’s speaking of being ignorant of being saved.

    Part of salvation is to gain all knowledge, basically to learn everything, the same way God knows all things. So wouldn’t that make everything essential to our salvation? (every true thing anyway)

  12. I think Dustin is right. It seems pretty clear to me that the gospel, the purpose of life, however you want to frame it, is about becoming. Becoming like God, ultimately. But becoming more like Him in the meantime. If it is true that we are only saved, or in other words only become, as fast as we get knowledge, it seems to me the central questions are: in what ways are knowledge and becoming related, and what can we say about knowledge that it is interconnected with becoming.

  13. As I read through the post and comments, I was feeling back to see if I’d ever heard anyone say that. I can’t recall it, so I guess I’m lucky. I can recall a lot of eyeball rolling when a certain member of my class interjected long historical monologues that some found self-important (they just didn’t bother me, but I think it’s because he’s older and I have a soft spot for older folk and think they often get sidelined in church, so what’s it to me if he gets to feel important/contributing for 10 minutes in SS?)

    I find, when I ask for feedback, that the class prefers a lot of changeup. If I do historical stuff, some think it’s a bit “academic” and so I only do those occasionally or just toss in tidbits weekly. If I do too much behavioral gospel, some of the more intellectual thinkers look bored. So, it’s a SONG and DANCE, LOOK, we’re doing something DIFFERENT, and isn’t it ENTERTAINING? I jest, because I have a wonderful ward that I never want to leave, but Ardis hits is right on the head. Nobody comes prepared to have a real discussion, my class doesn’t like debate, and for the most part they file out of class and shake my hand and tell me what a good lesson it was (what I would do for concrete feedback, I’m tellin ya.)

    So I wonder sometimes if SS is a pablum that may get in the way of the things that are necessary for salvation because people have a false sense that they are studying the gospel there and it’s enough. So I’ve taken to asking tons of questions that have no answers and then asking them again the next week. Sometimes people have thought about them. To me, the things necessary for salvation are revealed doctrine that come in the form of question, study, testimony, and they are private. That’s just me.

  14. Chris Gordon says:

    Love it. Thanks for the perspective. Ardis, I’m only grateful that Heavenly Father is merciful. Even when we show up collectively unprepared, there is still the opportunity to leave collectively uplifted. I wonder how it would be if he really left us on our own. Maybe he ought to once or twice, just to help us realize that we need to bring something to the table in order to eat together.

  15. I spec therefore I am says:

    If you don’t long for the days of rampant speculation, why are you on the bloggernacle? This post is filled with rampant speculation, right down to the point that Brigham was a rampant speculator.

  16. As always, an interesting discussion. I like the idea of Sunday School as being a devotional exercise. If we don’t leave a lesson with a spiritual impression to *do* something more or better in our life, then we are wasting another hour in an unnecessary meeting.

  17. I think some of the above comments miss the mark on the OP’s original intent. I don’t think he’s encouraging random speculation or what I like to call “The High Priest Arguments”. Jk Jk it isn’t only the High Priests that do it…it’s just usually the High Priests. Anyway, I think the Brigham Young comment makes that clear. I think the argument that we use a better vernacular to steer away from the topic is the real intent. The words we use are important, and making sure we encourage knowledgeable inquiry and stop demonizing academic pursuits is something we could do better at as a faith.

  18. Baby blessings. Not necessary for our salvation. Speaking as a clerk…

  19. Baby blessings, baptisms, missionary going-aways etc.. should all be done on a Saturday (or other day) imo. I think if it doesn’t pertain to the ward or ward business it should not be in Sacrament Meeting.

  20. What is necessary for salvation? How about, what is salvation? Try bringing that up in Sunday School and getting a concensus on what salvation means. I’d be surprised if you don’t encounter a range of opinions on what salvation means and then an even broader range of what’s necessary for it.

  21. You’ve proven my point, dallske. If you know “how many wives Joseph had along with specifics” then you’re more knowledgeable than the finest scholars of Mormonism and should immediately hie thee to the Joseph Smith Papers project where you can expect to be crowned King of All. If you “come prepared” to bring up and discuss topics which you know in advance are not outlined in the printed lesson and are not going to be on any normal teacher’s planned agenda — even if you yourself can see a possible opening for bringing up “how many wives Joseph had along with specifics” in, say, the recent Gospel Doctrine lesson on Jacob — then you are coming with the intent to derail the lesson with your amateur scholarship because you know beyond any doubt that such a detailed discussion goes far outside the scope of that lesson. And I say that as a teacher who did spend about 25% of that class period discussing plural marriage. I’d have shut you down cold had you tried to hijack my lesson with your “preparations.”

  22. A functional equivalent of “that’s not necessary for our salvation,” but coming from a different angle, is “that’s between us and the Lord.”

  23. #10 aquinas is necessary for my salvation. That same sociality, etc.

  24. I’m with aquinas in understanding this phrase as a shorthand way to circumvent uncomfy, irrelevant, or otherwise speculative side-tracks. The phrase is interesting to consider especially in terms of our claims against creeds, though. Creed, from the Latin credo, or “I believe,” creeds were formalized largely to provide baseline measures of proper belief. It is interesting that our Articles of Faith begin with “We believe”! I think it would be really interesting to examine the histoty of this phrase’s usage through the lens of adiaphora, which generally refers to “matters of indifference.” It was an important idea during the Reformation from what I understand. Recent church statements on official doctrine seem to rely on adiaphora in this “not necessary for salvation” way.

  25. I agree that this phrase is often used to avoid subjects that are controversial. My home teacher is a PhD in Genetic Studies at BYU. Unsurprisingly, he accepts evolutionary science. But he refuses to even address others’ questions on the subject at Church because such a topic is “unnecessary for our salvation anyway so why get pigeon-holed as one of those intellectual people?” I think that one reason why this phrase is used is to serve as a non sequitur to avoid controversy. There is certainly an anti-intellectual element among many members of the church, such that denigration of science, for example, is an act of faith instead of a substantive negative answer.

  26. Hmm. I used the “not necessary” idea with my last two primary classes (CTR 12 and CTR 11), but not as a tool of discouragement, rather as a tool of discernment. I drew a big bullseye on the board and explained that there are levels of significance to all the things they’re going to hear about in church, and that some ideas/teachings are more important to one person than to another. I had some really smart kids and we had a tendency to get way off-topic with discussions about geologic time or how planets are formed, and some very fun tangents from the OT. I explained to them as best I could that they would hear A LOT of ideas, speculation and questionable interpretations as they persisted in the church, and I reassured them that as long as they had a solid understanding of the basics (love God, Jesus is the Saviour, baptism, repentance, love one another, keep the commandments, go to the temple) that their own personal interpretations of “non-core” stuff were under their own purview.

    I’m sure I must have heard the phrase used to discourage controversy or discussion, but I’ve always looked at it as a license for intellectual freedom – if it’s irrelevant to salvation, then I can hold whatever opinion I like, or draw whatever conclusion seems most logical/sensible/noble/etc to me. It’s where the fun starts!

  27. “I’ve always looked at it as a license for intellectual freedom – if it’s irrelevant to salvation, then I can hold whatever opinion I like, or draw whatever conclusion seems most logical/sensible/noble/etc to me. It’s where the fun starts!”

    Melissa, in that situation, what I hear people saying more often is “There is no official doctrine on this point” or “the Church does not have an official position on this point.” Thus, they are not claiming the idea is not important or worth discussing, they are just saying that no one can use church orthodoxy to reject their ideas. But all of these kinds of phrases are rhetorical maneuvers individuals use to achieve some goal.

    For example, in the example of people wandering off on tangents, we can use code language and say “That’s not necessary for salvation” but in many cases it is being used as a substitute for telling people that what they are saying is factually inaccurate or has no grounding in reality. But it would seem that sometimes we don’t want to offend people so we use these euphemisms or code language in our classrooms as a way to get along with others.

    I think it is perfectly fine for a teacher to tell someone that a particular discussion falls outside the domain of the lesson, or that some idea is not substantiated by either scripture or the historical record. I’ve seen instructors simply disagree with what a class member says and explain why. It was civil and on point. In fact, I’m really in favor of abandoning all of these euphemisms and short-hands that we use in ward environments, in favor of more direct language and direct approaches. There may be some growing pains at first, but in the end, I think everyone is better off.

  28. Sharee Hughes says:

    So, Ardis (#2), where did someone get the idea that Zedekiah’s daughter was the Queen of Ireland? And they really believed that? I think that way back then, Ireland was ruled by the wee folk, right? :-)

  29. Theological Minimalist. That’s a terrific description. I’ll take it.

    I’m all for exploring (topical) ideas in sunday school, but I prefer that they have giant disclaimers stamped on them that it is Gospel Theory when they are not factually Gospel. Of course, that line can get a little murky at times and that is why I pull back to the very basics of “what is necessary for our salvation”. I don’t think I’ve ever used that phrase before, though. I can see how it can either be useful or extremely condescending and diminishing.

  30. aquinas (27) I agree with you in theory, but in practice it just usually doesn’t work that way. Enough people leave The Church for no other reason besides someone has hurt them/judged them/been mean to them/spoke curtly to them/etc… It is hard-wired into the personality of a lot (lot) of people to be so easily offended as to not even be able to handle gentle criticisms or disagreements. Some people unfortunately take it very personally if they are not agreed with immediately and enthusiastically. If there were a way to get around that then I would be the first saying “Euphemisms, get thee behind me!”

  31. Boy do I sure long for the days where the Gospel was more work and less talk (at least perceived in my head…) Hard work seems to bring greater personal inspiration and revelation than Sunday School discussion has ever done.

  32. Sharee (no. 28) — You haven’t heard the story of how Jeremiah and his scribe Baruch took Zedekiah’s daughter Tea-Tephi, where she founded a line of Davidic kings? This isn’t a Mormon myth. See http://www.biblemysteries.com/library/jeremiah.htm. But the stretch to the Mulekites is new to me, and must be a Mormon myth…

  33. I wonder if the phrase “That’s not necessary for our salvation” isn’t just shorthand for “That’s LESS necessary for our salvation that the content of the lesson manual. Given that our time is limited, let’s maximize our efficiency by focusing on the core doctrines.”

    I don’t consider myself an LDS hardliner (ask any of my BYU professors who have to repeatedly remind/demand that I get a haircut and shave more often than once a week), but I find myself saying “Let’s move on” or “That’s not necessary for our salvation,” whenever my quorum (it never seems to happen in Sunday School . . . ) launches into an argument about whether Hitler is eligible for vicarious baptism, or whether our pets need the atonement. The problem is not at the extremes (i.e. we know that faith in Christ is necessary, while the above pets question is irrelevant) but in the middle. But the fact that the boundary is hard to define does not mean that there isn’t one.

    I don’t think that such “unnecessary” conversations are heretical, and I relish the opportunity to debate things of that nature, but OUTSIDE of the 3-hour block. The way I see it, we have too many meetings as it is, and as official church meetings that we are commanded to attend, Sunday School and quorum meetings should focus on those things which directly affect our salvation (i.e. directly impact how we conduct our lives). If you want a debate on the causes of the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society, or the landing site of the Nephites in the new world, do it on your own time.

  34. Ardis, I agree that too often Sunday School is filled with rampant speculation and tangential commentary. But I don’t want the phrase “that’s not relevant to salvation” to be used to get things back on track, whatever that means, because of its implications.

    haycockm, I think you’re right that knowing people (including God) is more important than knowing facts, but that of course doesn’t mean we should ignore facts either.

    Thomas Parkin, some great questions at the end. It’s one of the reasons “The Challenge to Become” by Oaks is one of my favorite talks-it kind of destroys the idea of the gospel of lists, and I like that too.

    i spec therefor I am, rampant speculation is much more appropriate in the bloggernacle than in church, I think, and especially than in general conference.

    Depressed Mormon Mommy, don’t be depressed about your understanding of the major point of my post. You nailed it.

    Melissa, that’s a great approach that could also work for adults, and I think it does show that there is wiggle room regarding LDS doctrine more towards the fringes.

    Aquinas, about lovingly calling people out when they’re wrong . . . Amen!

    Sam, see my above comment to Ardis.

  35. EOR (#30), you make a great point and I largely agree. One of the reasons why this language persists is that it is so useful. It can help us get what we want without appearing confrontational. So these euphemisms are definitely valuable as we negotiate our voice within these social groups. So, for example, we argue something isn’t “necessary” instead of honestly stating that the class is wasting precious time with these inane comments.

    What I’m hoping for is more aspirational to be sure. We all have to pick our battles, and in many cases we simply choose to remain silent because we run a cost-benefit analysis and decide that it isn’t worth it to speak up, or that it isn’t worth it to go above and beyond saying “That isn’t necessary for our salvation.” But I do think that there are infinite ways for people to be offended. People can get offended when some outrageous thing is said in a Church meeting or lesson and not one person says anything or challenges it. It could be equally disturbing when an entire group of adults simply decide to say nothing instead of speaking up. And if that goes on week after week and month after month, that too could cause someone to rethink why they even bother attending Church at all.

    I’m more concerned that we realize that the phrase “That is not necessary for our salvation” is actually a social coping mechanism and not a meaningful statement about soteriology. Because if we really did in fact, take this phrase to be making a meaningful statement about the nature of salvation, it would lead to absurdities. Is anything we say in a Church meeting or lesson really necessary for salvation? And when an individual states “That is not necessary for our salvation” they cease to be speaking about their personal salvation and our now passing judgement about what is or isn’t necessary for the salvation of other people. Am I really in a position to make that statement? What I may think is not necessary for salvation may be something that another person is infinitely interested and anxiously concerned about. Who says that something needs to be necessary for “salvation” in order to be a topic of discussion in a Church meeting? Isn’t that really a made-up criterion? If that were the case our meetings would be three hours of silence. So, again, I’m not advocating that we start to offend others. I’m merely hoping that we would simply say what we mean and mean what we say. Otherwise we end up actually taking these phrases, which are nothing more than social coping strategies (as infinitely useful as they are), as if they actually contain some meaningful theological content.

  36. Amen to Carl (great post!), Thomas Parkin, and aquinas. I worry that when our mouths are saying “that’s not necessary…” our minds and hearts are saying the equivalent of “we have a bible.” One of my favorite things about Mormonism is that it is a faith founded on curiosity, and the idea that new understanding generally needs to be asked for and worked for before it is given.

    And in that spirit, I definitely would have put my lesson notes aside if someone wanted to talk about the Queen of Ireland. #badteacher

  37. Geeze, I hope it’s a scantron sheet. I sure don’t want to be handed one of those black and white wide ruled composition books at the pearly gates ….

  38. I think it’s more of an open-book test.

    As in, they open a book and you better hope your name is there…

  39. Sharee Hughes says:

    ji (#32) Thanks for the info on Tea-Tephi. I hadn’t heard that one before (although I’ve heard lots of various legends about the Stone of Destiny). So I guess when Mulek got to the Americas he sent his sister a cable and then she caught the next flight out and came and joined him. Or maybe she had the fairies bring her. Legends are pretty easy to make up.

  40. Carl, do you think that response comes in part to discourage members from leaving the church over trivial disagreements? While that line has never come up in the Sunday School lessons I’ve taught (knock on wood), I think it’s intended as a way of reminding others not to build their testimony on a foundation of sand.

  41. I often strive to derail a lesson from the monotony of Standard Answers, I see so much unintentional vain repertition, it is a mix of untrained teachers and disengaged members. I have developed a little bit of a reputation for speculation, it’s fun to challenge the natural course of a lesson an stretch it to it’s more absurd application.

    In a recent lesson on Family History, I suggested that not everyone is supposed to do family history work. My argument was that as Paul said the body of Christ is made of differing parts, the hand has a different role to play than the knee. Some are to focus on Missionery work and others on the various aspects of the gospel especially family, my point was don’t feel guilty for the hundred 1000 things your not doing, but focus on those things you are doing well.

  42. Amanda in France says:

    CARL!!!! We knew each other at Yale! So great to see you here!

    OK, off to read your post….

  43. aquinas (35) thank you for your addition. Now I really see where you’re coming from and completely agree because this exact thing happened to me at SuS (not entirely comfortable calling it SS) this past week. Honestly, I don’t even know what the focus of the lesson was supposed to be. We read half a verse from Mosiah 3 then we were talking about Facebook and homosexuality. It was terrible. I wanted to say something about these bigoted and irrelevant comments so bad. If it happens again I will have to. Also this other gal said “People in UT are using that bumper sticker (Don’t Judge Me Because I Sin Differently Than You) to mean don’t judge me for anything I do. I thought in my head YES! Because that’s exactly what it means!!! It means mind your own damn business already!

  44. re # 36 and 38 — loved those comments, Kyle.

  45. Shorter Kimball (#41): I care nothing about the instructor or my classmates, and I’m a crank.

  46. “People in UT are using that bumper sticker (Don’t Judge Me Because I Sin Differently Than You) to mean don’t judge me for anything I do. I thought in my head YES! Because that’s exactly what it means!!! It means mind your own damn business already!

    Ha, the key is to make that observation with a very “Mormon nice” voice and affectation, yeah?

  47. BHodges (46) which is nearly impossible because I am a half-deaf Italiano from NY. I am very loud, and my tone is forceful (unintentionally) ;)

  48. I’ll see your “not necessary for salvation” retort and raise you an “I can still do this and carry a temple recommend” conversation-ender.

  49. David79 says:

    And such quandaries of offending folks who are looking for a reason to be offended is a big part of why I love teaching my little Sunbeams every week. Of course, once I made the mistake of telling a parent that we missed her little angel for 3 weeks straight, and now I haven’t seen the kid for nearly two months.

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