A Small Revelation in Sunday School

The scene: a second-hour Sunday school class, “Principles of Exaltation,” with the 12- and 13-year-olds, this past Sunday, the Rolling Hills ward, Wichita, Kansas.

The players: a typically beleaguered Sunday school teacher and nine assorted punks, players, geeks, show-offs, and other children of our Heavenly Father, including the teacher’s own beloved first-born daughter.

The exchange: teacher asks carefully designed meaningless softball question (something about repentance, he doesn’t remember); class member responds: “Thhsandromoswaras.”

The teacher observers his respondent. Short, smart, normally a conscientious sort, hair a mess, his head buried in his hands, which are themselves resting on his knees. The teacher addresses Cousin It: “What did you say, Nick?”

“THHSANDROMOSWARAS.” He speaks loudly, firmly, directly to his knees (or the floor; the teacher found it difficult to judge from his angle).

“One more time, Nick?”

The boys raises his head, his hair standing up on one side, his cherubic face twisted into a wicked grin, his eyes lit with triumph: “THE STANDARD MORMON ANSWERS!” he shouts.

“And what are those, Nick?” the teacher asks, jauntily raising one eyebrow (or so he hoped; the classroom had no mirror to enable him to check).

Momentary silence, during which the teacher pondered the significance of Cousin It’s response, before the aforementioned animal pack begin to cacophonously respond, as they have been trained. A clear, single, direct response, however, was not to be found.

So I turn to you, the Plain People of the Internet, and ask: just what are the “standard Mormon answers,” the ones we can always give, the ones which will work in any occasion? Points will be for creativity, and don’t forget: spelling counts.


  1. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers. Go to church.

  2. My standard Mormon “answer” to the standard mindless question is to delve back into the book I’m reading.


  4. John C., that’s your standard Mormon answer??

  5. Who, me? What have I done, Aaron? I’m just standing here reading out of the manual dude.

  6. Excuse me, I meant John. I saw a comment with lots of capitals, and assumed it was Aaron. My mistake.

  7. Hunter,

    I’ve got my eye on you, buster.

  8. Bro. Jones says:

    In my day it was “Fast, ponder, pray.”

  9. (John C. is just cranky right now because he’s not winning his own poll for Emperor of the Universe. Here’s a hint, Crawford: If you aspire to be a ruthless dictator, don’t use democratic means like a vote to acheive your goal. Duh. Try midnight raids with machine guns or something. That, or start wielding the bannination stick a little. Oh yeah, you have no bannination power, I forgot.)

  10. When I was on my mission in Argentina, my Mission President taught me . . . .

  11. 1. Study the scriptures, fast, and pray
    2. Pay your tithing
    3. Go to the temple
    4. Don’t dwell on the mysteries
    5. To be learned is good, if…..(Emphasis on “if”, and actually to the exclusion of anything except for the “if”)
    6. The Relief Society will provide refreshments (slowly being supplanted with “The activities committee will provide refreshments”, a positive development)
    7. Brigham Young said…(plug in just about anything here, you are bound to be right)

  12. Kevinf’s #7 (in comment #11) wins.

  13. “Teach me all that I must DO to live with him some day”

  14. In my ward, all answers that include “Emergency Preparedness” or “Family History” are always met with nodding heads and shouts of approval from the masses…okay, maybe not shouting…and only from those who aren’t reading something else…

  15. #11, item 7 – awesome!

  16. thatswhatGodsaid

  17. well, that was easy. JohnC’s #11 covered them all.

    we’re done here.

  18. Latter-day Guy says:

    Attend your meetings. Vote republican.

  19. mfranti,
    You execution has been stayed. I hereby declare all of kevinf’s comments mine. Except for the bad ones; those he can keep.

  20. Listen to the Spirit.
    Get married in the Temple.
    According to Hugh Nibley.
    Websters defines (x) as.
    At the Y, they say.
    Do you want net blessings or gross?
    I know that Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet.
    I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet.
    Mormon Doctrine says.
    The Church News says.
    My brother-in-law works for Church Security, and he says.
    Hazard in the horizontal.
    Modest is hottest.
    Just sing a hymn.
    Prozac is of the devil.
    We have an obligation to feed the missionaries.
    Fast harder.
    Make your prayers more sincere.
    Don’t use the internet where your family can’t see you.
    So s/he didn’t play in the tournament on Sunday, and everybody respected him.
    We could have beaten Oklahoma in ’84, no sweat.
    That first kiss should be across the altar.
    Large families are a blessing.
    Would you wear that if Jesus was here?
    Scouting is the activity arm of the Priesthood.
    They will respect you more.
    But he subscribes to Sunstone, so.
    When I was in Nauvoo.
    According to FAIR.
    According to FARMS.
    According to Doctrines of Salvation.
    According to Stephen R. Covey.
    White shirts are the uniform.
    Well, if she had just kept herself looking nice.
    Did that come through correlation?
    So there was a priest, a rabbi, and a minister.
    Only three weeks left to get your home teaching done.

  21. Standard Mormon Answers (a.k.a. Seminary answers)
    1. Say your prayers
    2. Read your scriptures
    3. Go to Church
    4. Keep the commandments

    ***Easy to give, but hard to live***

  22. Moniker Challenged says:

    Have more/better/acceptable faith.

  23. Michael (comment #20) just made me spit Coke onto the computer screen. Bad, bad Michael.

  24. John C, did you claim my statements because of some delusion that you were the Bitter Emperor Ming? Think again! You’re no economist.

  25. I taught the Sunbeams for a while, and they had a favorite “sandromoswara”…. I learned it my first week when the lesson was about helping at home, or something–and I had littered the room with paper and trash prior to the kids arrival to grab their attention. I said “oh no, look at this mess! who could have done such a thing?” The curly haired girl with the rosy cheeks answered sincerely “Jesus”. All the kids nodded in earnest agreement. Those kids rocked.

  26. Steve Evans says:

    “The Bible Dictionary defines [X] as”

  27. (25) I hated teaching primary, but I LOVED when the Sunbeams inappropriately answered “Jesus”.

  28. In our branch Family is the answer.

  29. Russell, am I really known for my liberal use of ALL CAPS? Yikes. Or are you talking about a different “Aaron”?

  30. Well, the standard answers (study, ponder, pray, have FHE, go to church, serve in the temple) just happen to be true. Real life-savers, they are.

    The standard answer isn’t “don’t think for yourself” or “when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done”. Lucifer is just sour ‘coz he knows he’ll lose.

  31. Follow the prophet.
    Obey the commandments.
    Daily scripture study.
    Jesus. (Amen #25 and 27)

  32. We recently had a ward split/boundary realignment. My 15 year old son is anti-standard answers, and attempted to give a not-so-standard answer in his (3 member, now combined deacon/teachers) quorum on Sunday. Apparently the leaders looked at him baffled, and then asked a follow-up question that made it clear that non-sandomoswaras were not really welcome. To be fair, he (my son, not the teacher) does sometimes think he’s funny when no one else does.
    I’m having a bit of trouble with this new ward thing, myself. Probably I just need to pray harder for more love. :P

  33. “he (my son, not the teacher) does sometimes think he’s funny when no one else does”

    He gets that from Boyd, right? ;)

  34. in fact, he reminds me a lot of Boyd- minus the mathematical genius, musical talent, and drive and ambition- but he’s a great kid. threadjack!

  35. #25 reminds me of a lesson I taught about honoring your parents. My favorite quote was “If you do what your mom and dad say, who are you following?”
    To which one of the kids said “The Devil”

  36. 30.
    After becoming increasingly, self-designatedly clever, erudite, and recondite in my answers, I stepped into a hole from which only the Standard Answers could redeem me. I finally found *joy* in them that is so deep that the lesser stuff I was using for diversion (both meanings) are less interesting to me.
    “I found some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism — but I find no salvation in any of them.” Dallin H. Oaks
    “I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.” 2 Nephi 33:6

  37. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    Home Teaching

  38. Home Teaching is the activity arm of the Elders Quorum.

  39. I can’t claim this story as mine and I don’t remember where it comes from, but there once was a baptist preacher trying to instruct some children about God. He started talking about being prepared for the second coming of Jesus and began to talk about squirrels as a parable.

    “Being prepared is a very good thing. Who gathers nuts up and stores them in the tree for winter time? He has a busy tail? Ears and a nose and runs around in parks? ”

    Each question is met with silence. Finally, one of the kids says, “I know the answer is Jesus but it sounds like you’re just talking about a squirrel.”

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