Mormon Culture Tournament – Round 2, Part 2

Okay, so there was way too much time between part 1 and part 2 of round 2. I will be blaming that on the raging cold I am currently suffering through (even though I didn’t get it until today). I am miserable and therefore everyone should be miserable (especially those items that lost last week).

Speaking of which, our winners from the last competition were:

1. Funeral Potatoes (despite heavy anti-tuber lobbying), 10. Johnny Lingo (despite heavy admin lobbying), 5. Missions, and 4. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Hey, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad!

Today’s contestants are:

1. Arnold Friberg vs. 9. Dear John Letters

In the last round, Arnold Friberg flexed his Swartzeneggaresque muscles and crushed Brandon Flowers like the little girly man he is, 86 to 14. Meanwhile, Dear John Letters failed to let Dale Murphy down gently (*sob*), 84-16.

My prediction: In an upset special, Dear John Letters leave Arnold Friberg crying over the fallen Nephites.

2. The Christus vs. 5. The Cultural Hall

In the last round, The Christus’ heart was made of stone, resulting in unsatisfying NCMO, 74-26. Also, the Cultural Hall closed its stage before Gladys Knight could perform, 79-21.

My Prediction: The Cultural Hall represents the center of your church, but the Christus represents the center of the church.

7. Cheerios at Sacrament Meeting vs. 14. Delivering Meals to the sick and recently delivered

In the last round, Cheerios fed the poor and impoverished, while Pyramid Schemes just made more of them. Cheerios, 72-28. Also, Meals were delivered to Janice Kapp Perry in order to help her through her difficult loss, 66-34.

My Prediction: Another upset, with meals delivering a body blow to cheerios.

4. Temple Square vs. 11. The Mission Field = not Utah

In the last round, Temple Square inhabited the space set aside for President Kimball’s resemblance to Yoda, to the tune of 66-34. Also, the Mission Field excluded not only Utah, but also Lengthen Your Stride, 72-28. It was not a good round to be President Kimball.

My prediction: This is tough to call, as both elements are distinctedly Utahn (which some have argued to be a strike against some contenders). However, the Salt Lake Temple is the Sun to the Mission Field’s Moon and Stars, I think.

Vote above and comment below.


  1. Looks like a couple of upsets in the making, HP/JDC. And some close voting, too.

  2. com’on guys, how many of ya had those dear john letters! Don’t let it end now! Vote for Dear John Letters!

  3. I can’t believe the Cultural Hall is winning. That seems totally illogical. Please someone explain this to me.

  4. Cheerios!!!!!

  5. Steve Evans says:

    I can’t believe Dear Johns can go toe-to-toe with Ahnold. When Moroni wraps his pythons around your neck, whatcha gonna do?? Say your prayers and take vitamins, Fribergomaniacs!!

  6. Um…what Matt said.

  7. Kevin Barney says:

    I will explain my vote for cultural halls.

    I like the Christus and all. It’s a nice statue. the original was made by the Danish sculptorBertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) for a Lutheran cathedral in Copenhagen. The one on temple square is a copy.

    So this is something we’ve appropriated. It has become something of a symbol of our Church, I grant you.

    But to me cultural halls are remnants of the 19th century ethic that plays and performances and, well, culture, are all an important part of our worship and our society with one another. I see them as more distinctively Mormon than Thorvaldsen’s Lutheran statue.

  8. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    Cultural halls are also more ubiquitous than the Christus statue. I see the statue on pictures sometimes and at the visitor’s center but I’ve never seen a meeting house (except the one I go to now, which is a converted (ha!) car sales lot) without a culteral hall.

  9. C’mon! Ever go to the Church website! The Christus is like the LDS equivilant of the Crucifix! (Waves hands animatedly over his head, like a truly frustrated sports fan.)

  10. Ardis Parshall says:

    What Kevin said (7). I hate the ubiquity of copies of a copy of the Christus. Mormons are suckers and have no aesthetic. (Uh, I think I’m channeling Bernard De Voto …)

  11. The cultural hall is the location for much of what is Mormon culture. Dances, dinners, plays, weddings, basketball, etc. I can’t even think about how many hours I spent in the cultural hall as a kid when both parents were in meetings. The tourney isn’t about what represents the church best, but what represents the culture best.

    Viva la cultural hall!!!

  12. (#3) Come on, playing basketball on carpet and having dances with that bright orange floor is uniquely Mormon. It even captures the eliminated wedding reception with the basketball hoops.

  13. Cheerios. Humph. Bunch of 20/30 somethings. Cheerios are only even remotely mormon when the kids are under two. Even if you have six of them, that’s 15 years max. Average Mormon lifespan is what? 80?

    Mormon culture is completely child/baby obsessed, though. So maybe a baby-fetish item making it to the Elite Eight IS quintessentially Mormon.

  14. Clark #12, well, I agree, but I would have thought we would want to omit the STUPID things about Mormon culture…

  15. Interesting side note. There was a recent thread here about the movie “Babette’s Feast.” I watched it the other night and saw that promently displayed in the sister’s living room was a replica of The Christus. I thought I was watching a Church-produced movie. Temple Square and were the first things that popped into my mind.

  16. com’on guys, keep the votes for Dear John Letters going. Seriously, what other organization/group/religion has such a thing in their culture? Every other organization/group/religion has some famous painter….but who else has Dear John Letters!

  17. Uh, the Armed Forces?

  18. Dear John letters are pretty common in the military. With Iraq and Afghanistan there have been plenty of stories.

  19. Ok, so Cultural halls symbolize all that is tacky about Mormon Culture, the Christus Symbolizes Christ. Cultural Halls are for the Mormon Culture of Singles Ward, The Christus, the Culture the culture of the as yet unmade Mormon equivilant of Chariots of Fire.


  20. Matt W., The Christus is a graven image and therefore verboten.

    The real surprise, and disgrace as far as I am concerned, is cheerios in church winning out over taking meals to the sick. Can somebody explain that?

  21. Mark, I agree, but I think it is just evidence that those that put the hall before the Christ are morally depraved.

  22. It’s obvious. Those of us who utilize the cultural hall properly don’t get sick.

  23. Arnold
    Cultural Hall
    Temple Square

    C’mon – the Christus is one of the most beautiful statues I’ve ever seen – it’s lovely and it really does symbolize the LDS faith — but the Cultural Hall is the Cultural Hall. It’s been woven into the very fibers of our beings from the time we were Cheerios-eating monsters running around in the overflow. It wins out of sheer popularity (in the most literal sense of the word.)

  24. dang, forgot about the military….still, go Dear John Letters!!!

  25. Re #20 – I think delivering meals is just not unique enough to LDS culture… happens all the time in many other churches, and in tight neighborhoods too.

  26. Tona, cheerios happen outside the LDS church too.

    The Cultural Hall is just a room! You people are the very reason LDS Cinema is “The Home Teachers!” Shame on You!

  27. hey I voted for the Christus.

    I don’t see the Cultural Hall on any part of the LDS website, yet there is the Christus, nice and large for everybody to see, that it now represents our religion and our culture!

  28. Yes, the cultural hall is ubiquitous. It was the easy choice because it’s something we have lived with our entire lives, every single week.

    I like the Christus statue to some extent but it also makes me a little uneasy – especially when I read that commandment against graven images.

  29. Wow, I’m just excited by the lobbying taking place in the comments. I hereby declare Matt W. and Ann unofficial undersecretaries of Mormon culture watchdoggery.

  30. Is the mission field still a common term? I used it the other week with our elders and they had never heard the term (and they’re both Utards).

  31. Poor HP/JDC, the only letters he got were Dear John letters.

  32. And that explains why I am so messed up today!

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