I Have a Question: How do you get banned from speaking in Sacrament meeting?

Our semi-regular feature at BCC, in which we answer questions from our readers and then Rank stuff. Have a question you want us to answer? Send us an email!

What would someone have to say during a talk or testimony to get escorted off the stand and not allowed to speak again? I’m not talking blatantly speaking against the church or preaching false doctrine, but here are some hypotheticals: Talking too candidly about their own transgressions; outing another ward member on a serious transgression; direct MLM pitch over the pulpit; threatening to physically harm President Obama (I wonder if this one has occurred and gone unchecked); quoting an R-rated movie … with the attendant R-rated language.

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On Internet Rumors

These last couple days, there’s been a thing going around on Facebook. Maybe you’ve seen it. Some anonymous poster’s friend’s relative is high-up in the Boy Scouts and has the inside scoop on why the BSA allowed gay leaders, knows that the church is going to leave BSA, and knows that it’s going to be over gay issues, not in the interest of gender fairness.

And with that description, you know it’s not true, right? Like, it’s as credible as those email forwards your uncle sends every election cycle (frankly, whether your uncle is liberal or conservative, because what really matters is, your uncle’s crazy, amirite?).

And yet, people are credulously sharing and believing it. So, as a public service, and in the interest of not getting email forwards or seeing these kinds of things on Facebook, a quick review of how to evaluate the plausibility of internet rumors:  [Read more…]

Church-Hacker #18: Stick to the Manual (Margins)

After a four-year hiatus, it’s time to reboot the Church-Hacker series. For those of you who weren’t here four years ago, everyone’s input is welcome, and this series is simple: We post ideas that you can try in your ward or calling to make the meeting block more spiritual or more engaging.

Routine can become rut, and after a lifetime of sameness, even very small changes to The Way Things Are Done can make people sit up, put their phones away, and pay more attention in lessons and meetings. Church-Hacker hunts for those small ideas that can have an outsize impact.

And now for this week’s idea:

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I Have A Question: Book of Mormon Names

As a new semi-regular feature at BCC, we’ll answer questions from our readers. Have a question you want us to answer? Send us an email!

What’s the best Book of Mormon name to give a kid? I think if you are going to do a BOM name you’ve got to stick with Nephi. That makes it easier for everyone to hate you.

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Stones, Ranked

What with all the talk of Seer Stones and Peep Stones and whatnot going around these days, Steve and I figured we had better set the record straight as to the proper ranking of stones.

John Stones, Everton Hero

John Stones, Everton Hero

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Gospel Topics Essays Lessons: Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham

For the last several months, my ward has had monthly priesthood lessons on the Gospel Topics essays that the church has released over the last year or so. I teach in Primary, so I haven’t been to most of them. A friend taught the Race and the Priesthood essay in June, though, and invited me to his class; he did an excellent job, and it was well-received.

And then, three weeks ago, he asked if I’d teach a class. My topics? Book of Mormon and DNA Studies, Book of Mormon Translation, and Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham. (If only the class had been two Sundays later … ) [Read more…]

Minor Star Wars Characters, Ranked

It’s all Star Wars these days, guys!

Aunt Beru

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Trek, Mobs, and Spiritual Escalation

The version of this post I originally drafted in my head was going to be easy: I’d describe a trek activity (mob attack—more on that in a minute) that, in spite of its being clearly inappropriate, seems to be gaining currency. Then I’d have a poll, asking you what you thought about it, with lighthearted, smart-alecky answers. The end.

The post would have been good for a couple laughs and, hopefully, an icebreaker if you were on a trek committee and somebody suggested said mob attack.  [Read more…]

Things Eagles Do In Patriotic Art, Ranked

Yesterday was Memorial Day, but just because Steve and I weren’t ranking things on the blog doesn’t mean we weren’t ranking things in our hearts. Indeed, our text messages show that we both bleed red, white, and blue. Mostly just red and white, though, since Steve is a Canadian, and hates freedom. So I am really the only one with blood the color of a mountain sky over Kansas. But I have enough for the both of us.

MURICA!

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Houses, Ranked

Scott: some quality in here
Steve: it’s perhaps better than the ranking we have up now!
Scott: easily!
Steve: who cares, let’s post another one right now.
Scott: i’ll load it up

d&c109

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
[Read more…]

Reasons We Didn’t Rank Stuff This Week, Ranked

It’s been a busy week! So busy, in fact, that Steve and I realized we’d deprived the 27 people who still read this series of their guidance for maintaining order in their lives. We apologize, and offer this list of reasons we haven’t been ranking things like we should be.

ulrich von lichtenstein

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Things That Can Be Explained In The Following Six Important Principles, Ranked

Over the past few years, it seems like there are a lot of talks in GC in which the speaker introduces some specific challenge to living the gospel and then proposes a numbered list of principles to help explain how we can overcome said challenge. Steve and I were talking about this and concluded that there are still some things that need to be explained in this fashion.

First

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Things the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Should Not Wear, Ranked

Our coverage of General Conference has been spectacular over the past week, though definitely a bit different than the open threads we’ve hosted in years past. Admittedly, Steve and I found ourselves actually missing the commentary on the outfit selections for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir that were usually found in our GC open threads. Fortunately, we used this as our inspiration for this week’s rankings.

MoTab

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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19 Times General Conference Was THE BEST, Ranked

Some people love General Conference! Some other people don’t love General Conference! Some people, like Steve and I, have experienced both highs and lows during General Conference. Earlier this week, we talked about the lows. Today, we’re going to talk about the highs.

President Monson

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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23 Times General Conference Was THE WORST, Ranked

Some people love General Conference! Some other people don’t love General Conference! Some people, like Steve and I, have experienced both highs and lows during General Conference. Today, we’re going to talk about the lows.

1st Presidency GC

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Animals, Ranked

To some–notably John F.–ranking things is not a worthy endeavor. But Steve and I know better, and we know that ranking things is the responsibility of every Latter-day Saint as part of the building of Zion. It is part of our faith. Indeed, you could say that Steve and I follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things should be ranked, we hope all things will be ranked, we have ranked many things, and hope to be able to rank all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek to rank these things. If there are any things that aren’t like those other things, we seek to rank those things also. Today, Animals!

manimal

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Word of Wisdom Violations, Ranked

Are we reaching the bottom of the barrel? Are we running out of things to rank? A day may come when the supply of things to rank fails, when Steve and I forsake our weekly foray into meaningless listicle nonsense and break all commitments to carrying on this ridiculous tradition, but it is not this day. No, today we rank violations of the Word of Wisdom, in order of least to most sinful.

cooking wine

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Williamses, Ranked

Two (2) authoritative rankings in one week? Events over the past few days (i.e., we both happened to have 20 minutes free) have mandated that we do so, even at risk of shark-jumping accusations from our colleague by john f. This time, Steve and I settle a controversial topic that has plagued society for years: Who are the best Williamses?

ash williams

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Things Anonymous Will Reveal, Ranked

So did you all hear that Anonymous has threatened to take over LDS.org if the big JD gets the axe? I don’t want to play spoiler or anything, but the truth is, Steve and I have been running LDS.org ourselves for the past 3 years, and we can already tell you the dirtiest-dirt there is. Brace yourselves, folks–Shiz is about to get real.

lds.org anonymous

As always, these rankings are authoritative.
[Read more…]

Boggs-Doniphan Non-Mormon of the Year 2014: Pope Francis

Pope Francis greets President Eyring at the Vatican.

Pope Francis greets President Eyring at the Vatican in November of 2014.

Since his ascendance as Pope, Francis has provided a bold new vision of engaged, bridge-building religious leadership in the 21st century. From brokering a detente between the United States and Cuba, to perhaps suggesting animals can also attain heaven, to taking a strong religious stance on preserving creation by stemming global warming, Pope Francis has successfully caught and held the attention of a world that had seemed to be slipping inexorably to secularism.

This has even left some Mormons, especially more liberal-minded Mormons, thinking aloud about a growing Holy Envy (or maybe just envy) of the Holy See. What could LDS leadership or LDS people learn from the Pope?  [Read more…]

Religious Exemptions, BYU, and Beards

About two months ago, BYU admitted in the New York Times that, although it had a medical and a theatrical exception to its no-beard policy, it didn’t allow for religious exemptions from the policy.

That struck many of us as outrageous (see this prior BCC post and the comments), especially in light of the LDS church’s sincere commitment to encouraging and protecing religious liberty. Well, the policy has changed.  [Read more…]

Things Financial Transparency Would Reveal About the Church, Ranked.

In response to Ronan’s recent post about financial transparency, Steve and I looked into our seer stones and decided to share a little bit of what would actually happen if the Church’s accounting books were made public. BRACE YOURSELVES!

fts
As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Ghosts, Ranked

See, I personally believe that the time for ranking spooky things like ghosts is past, what with Halloween being just over a month ago now. But Steve was all like, “No way. Mormons love ghosts.” And I was like, “No, let’s do something more Christmasy!” and Steve was all like, “Dude, I’ll ban you unless we do ghosts!” and I was like, “Sheesh, bro. Whatever.”

christmas ghost
As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Thanksgiving Quotes from Prophets, Ranked

One of my favorite things to do during Thanksgiving is revisit some of the choice words from modern prophets and apostles about this great holiday!

Thanksgiving
As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Scary Mormon Halloween Costumes, Ranked

It’s Halloween week (though perhaps you already celebrated with a ToT), so Steve and I figured that it would only be appropriate to have a super-spooky ranking! This is some scary stuff!

CTR Pumpkin
As always, these rankings are authoritative.
[Read more…]

Book of Mormon Weaponry, Ranked

It’s been a couple of weeks since we ranked something, and due to some pervasive accusations of shark-jumping, Steve and I put in the overtime for this list. We all know that the Book of Mormon is a treasure-trove of spiritual food and nourishment, but to the careful reader, it is also home to some amazing guns.

BoM Weaponry
As always, these rankings are authoritative. [Read more…]

Conferences, Ranked

Would it have made more sense to post this ranking last week, before GC? Yeah, it probably would have.

October 2012 GC
As always, these rankings are authoritative.
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Church Movie Supporting Characters, Ranked

When our co-blogger John F. suggested that our last ranking had jumped the shark, he not only lost our respect and friendship, but he also unwittingly inspired our hearts and minds by directing Steve and me toward the many great acting performances in Mormon cinema. This week, we give much-overdue praise to some of the lesser-recognized latter-day thespians.

Crow
As always, these rankings are authoritative.
[Read more…]

Three Nephites, Ranked

Had I known that Steve was never a Zone Leader, I probably wouldn’t have allowed him to have as much influence as I did on last week’s rankings. Fortunately, we both share a high degree of personal knowledge about this week’s topic.

The 3 Nephigos
As always, these rankings are authoritative.
[Read more…]

An Economic Explanation for BYU-I’s Dress Standards(?)

Ashton Kutcher couldn't walk around BYU-I like that.

Ashton Kutcher couldn’t walk around BYU-I like that.

As Steve highlighted earlier today,[fn1] the BYU-Idaho dress and grooming standards are arbitrary and relatively absurd. I mean, seriously, as a born-and-raised Californian, I can’t comprehend a dress code that bans flip-flops.[fn2] The dress and grooming standards can’t be all about modesty, because ankles and toes and beards, oh my! And if all they’re about is obedience, well, that’s stupid. There’s no spiritual value to obeying arbitrary rules.[fn3]

But maybe their actual function isn’t modesty. Or obedience. May it’s economics.  [Read more…]

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