I Stand All Amused

Church is different things to different people. It can be a respite, a haven. It can be divisive; it can knit us together. It is often boring. It can fill us with peace or with pain, and sometimes both within the same meeting. It can be the source of angst and pure joy. But I hope we can all agree that church is the best when it’s funny. The following are my favorite remembrances of irreverent laughter – the kind that causes you to slump over in your pew to hide your shameful shoulder-shaking and tear-wiping from God and the bishop.

That time my husband quoted Mean Girls during Fast and Testimony meeting. A visitor was well past the 10 minute mark when Jon leaned over and whispered “He doesn’t even go here!”

This: “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this water- -bread. My bad. O God, the Eternal Father…”

That time a missionary prematurely made his way up to the pulpit to give the benediction (in his defense, The Spirit of God really is more of a closing hymn than intermediate). When he reached his destination, he and the concluding speaker both stood there, regarding each other, before the missionary realized his mistake and hastily took a seat on the stand.

The best over-the-pulpit Freudian slip of all time: The bishop stood up to announce that next, we would be singing the beloved Christmas hymn “With Wandering Eye.”

The best over-the-pulpit Canadian slip of all time: The second counselor stood up to announce that next, we would be singing “Upon the Cross of Calgary.”

My favorite program typo ever (well, that I’ve personally witnessed. This one wins everything, if real): My then-boyfriend circled “choister” and wrote next to it “Rhymes with oyster?”

That time my friend Lianna, through a brilliant pantomime, jokingly accused my sister of having taken a handful of Sacrament bread, squished it into a ball, and stored it to nibble on throughout the meeting.

That time my friend Christa pointed out that a ward member was cleaning his fingernails with a large knife during the passing of the Sacrament.

That time my husband made an astute, whispered comparison of Facebook to drugs during someone’s testimony. “I got on it because my kids and a lot of my friends were on it.” “That’s what they say about meth.”

Honorable mention because I didn’t find it funny at the time (more like bewildering), but it IS: That time my parents had an uncontrollable laughing fit during Sacrament meeting. The speaker was reading “The Night Before Jesus Came,” a terrible spin off the Christmas poem. When she got to the part about flying to the window, tearing open the shutters, and throwing up the sash, my dad leaned over to my mom and whispered, “That’s why I don’t eat sash anymore.” It’s important that you know how composed my parents typically are, particularly at church (very). I’ve never seen them lose control like that. My crying mother hunched over and started furiously reading her scriptures to try to counteract it, and the speaker even paused to give them an admonishing look.

Second honorable mention because it didn’t technically happen at church but must be included: That time my sister, during a session in the Salt Lake temple, stood up in the middle of the room, clutching her envelope and gazing expectantly around for a good six seconds, before realizing with horror that it wasn’t yet time to move to the next room. My mom and my other sister were also present, and all four of us completely lost it.

What’s the hardest you’ve ever laughed when you were supposed to be reverent? Spill.

Comments

  1. A Happy Hubby says:

    I guess the following is why we don’t allow video recording of sacrament meeting.

    You have to really watch his face really closely.

  2. someone once read “Love you forever” from the pulpit. My husband and I lost it. This is the book I endearingly refer to as “love you forever, stalk you for always” and consistently get hate mail from my top review on Goodreads. We can always use a little creep factor in sac mtg…….
    ps for the love of all things holy if you love this book I have no problem with that, just let us all have different opinions, eh?

  3. liz johnson says:

    My bishop was giving a guy in our ward a calling after he had been gone for the summer. He proposed that we sustain “Danielle Evans”… and then stumbled… and then said “Uh, oops. He must’ve had a sex change over the summer.”

    The entire congregation lost it.

  4. Mark Brown says:

    1. On the bulletin there was a reminder for the youth of the bishop’s standards night fireside. But it was abbreviated to “bishop’s STD night”.

    2. Once in the temple, when the lights dimmed and the film started, one of the cool octogenarian high priests started to pass a package of beef jerky down his row. When I’m 85, I aspire to follow his example.

  5. jenotice says:

    This: “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this water- -bread. My bad. O God, the Eternal Father…”
    This happened in our ward a couple of months ago, but instead of “my bad” it was “oh shit”. The priest was kiiinda embarrassed. Classic

  6. After what he considered to be a lackluster choral number, our bishop got up and said, “That may not be the best musical number we’ve ever heard, but it was definitely sincere.”

    For the record, our bishop is the nicest person ever, and an awesome bishop. But yeah, he really said that.

  7. “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this water- -bread. My bad. O God, the Eternal Father…”

    This was about how it went the first time my son blessed the sacrament, except that, instead of “my bad” he said “oh crap.” All I could say was it could have been worse.

    Great post, thanks!

  8. Oh, and there was the time I told my toddler to settle down and think of Jesus during the sacrament, and he yelled, “How am I supposed to be reverent when I’m thinking of all that blood?!”

  9. Kevin Barney says:

    During F&T an older woman was talking about her recent vacation to Florida, and how wonderful it was to be able to walk on the beach wearing thongs. It took about three beats before she realized that “thong” has a different meaning today than flip flops, and she turned crimson red.

    When I was a teenager (so a long time ago), there was a guy who was visiting our ward, maybe like 7 years older than I was, and he was giving a talk in sacrament meeting. And during his talk he starts telling this long story about how he went to BYU, but since he had not gone on a mission he simply couldn’t get any traction with the ladies. So he starts on this procedural as to how to give the impression one is wearing garments. There was a store he named where you could but scoop necked tshirts. And before he went on a date, he would put rubber bands just above his knees under his pants, so that when his date caressed him there to surreptitiously check for garments, she would be fooled into thinking he was wearing them. (He reported that all dates made this surreptitious check.) And he got lots of BYU coed action that way. We teenage boys were taking careful notes! I have no idea what he was thinking in pursuing that line of discourse over the pulpit…

  10. Once I looked over at my SIL during a temple session – the ribbon tying her veil under her chin had come off and her veil was slowly sliding back soon to be on the floor. She couldn’t use her hands as they were holding someone elses, so she stuck out her lips three inches as far as she could to stop the ribbon from sliding further up her face. I could not look away, and I never had a harder time staying silent during a prayer. It was like a minute to win it game trying to move a cookie around with your face. Maybe you just had to be there.

  11. I knew you guys would have some good ones. I’m LOLing at work, just hoping no one notices and asks why. Bishop’s STD Night…

  12. A lady in RS told a story about a man named Dick Hammer. She kept repeating his full name, and I was giggling uncontrollably in the back row while several sisters got upend left to laugh in the hall.

  13. We had a Sunday school lesson about tent stakes or something and the teacher talked over and over again about pitching a tent. My husband and I had to get up and leave after the 8th time he repeated it.

  14. Julie shill says:

    Last week An older member stood up to speak. Her non-member adult children came to support her. When she stood to speak, they quietly stood raising their hands high and did “the wave”.

  15. That time a girl several rows behind me in sacrament meeting set down her knitting, pulled an ENTIRE CUCUMBER from her purse and began crunching away.

  16. A speaker talking about the handcart company rations of flour and how they mixed it with a little water and made what they called “Lumpy Dick”

  17. Years ago (when Happy Days was on TV) a visitor with slicked back hair stood up to speak at fast and testimony meeting. My 4 year old brother said in a loud voice, “Look, it’s Fonzie!”

  18. In a ward we visited in California, the speaker (who our pillar-of-the-ward family friends didn’t know) bore her testimony about a Mel Gibson movie that had helped her through some grievous trials. This was in 2004, right after the Passion of the Christ came out.

    We all rolled our eyes, until she said she was talking about the movie Signs.

  19. A YSA guy was giving a talk on Proverbs 31 and virtuous women. He quoted Erma Bombeck’s “Motherhood: The Second-Oldest Profession” for some reason, then said, “I asked my mom what the oldest profession was, and she said she didn’t know.”

  20. Jenny Evans says:

    My 3-year-old says loudly “Are we done?” after anytime we say “Amen.” It gets old in a hurry during testimony meeting.

  21. My husband and I both bent over double when a stake councilman said over the pulpit, “I can assure you that the stake presidency is finely attuned to the Spirit.” We both could have sworn he said “finally.”

  22. Anon for today says:

    One Sunday right before Christmas, a gentleman read Luke 2 and had his daughter play “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera on the piano as background music. Stalking music to celebrate Jesus’ birth–might have been more appropriate if he were telling Herod’s part of the story.

  23. Anon for today says:

    Watching General Conference on a big screen in a stake center, I heard a speaker quote Brigham Young: “The worst fear … I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church.” My 3 yr. old stood up on the pew and yelled, “WAX FAT?!” Everyone started laughing and completely missed the next paragraph of the talk. Who says kids don’t listen in church?

  24. When I was in college, one of my wards met in the testing center at BYU. For some reason we were blessed that day with a special musical number during Relief Society. I’m sure the girl was a fantastic singer, but my friend and I had gotten home from an out of town trip at like 4 am, and we were running low on patience for the type of extremely long musical number/talent show that one can only find in a BYU singles ward. As we both stared over her head out one of the long windows behind her in an attempt not to fall asleep, there was suddenly a huge BANG as a bird flew straight into the window and met a sudden end. The girl just kept on singing like nothing had even happened, but we were dying with laughter.

  25. On the mission, a non-native-english-speaker ZL could never pronounce the word “success” (when announcing time in our regular meetings to share success stories), stumbling over and over saying “succ-secks”. We sat through this every week, never saying anything because hey I wouldn’t want anyone judging me on my terrible pronunciations in other languages.

    One week the APs came to visit, and when the time came for them to share a few words (immediately after “suck sex” story time), the Utah-raised AP stood and said “Well, it sounds like you all are having a lot of sex up here in [city name]!”

    If only.

  26. This is only funny for those who remember initiatories as they used to be done. We had a stake temple night. In the chapel session our SP told us that he and Brother ___ had spent the morning doing iniatiatories. Then he said, “I saw a side of Brother ___ I had never seen before…”

  27. My BIL wearing his very tight temple pants, white shirt protruding through his unbuttoned fly, walking into the temple chapel. His wife whispers to him to let him know, but his pants are too tight to zip the fly up discretely while sitting, so he has to lift himself off the bench, which nearly topples it over.

  28. I should add, I’ve never seen a human face so red.

  29. David P. says:

    My father was teaching a “Teacher’s Prep” Class in a very white-bread, middle of the road, boring suburban ward. There were many earnest attendees, as I could discern from their questions to my father on various subjects of preparation, lesson planning, and eventually, class discipline.

    My father proceeds to tell a story about the time he taught art at a day school to children, and was really struggling with one particular unruly student. The entire class was enthralled in the story, both with my father’s description of the child’s behavior and how he suffered through it. None of us could have forseen the climatic crescendo to his story, in which he concluded, “Some times you just have to call a child an asshole.”

    everyone lost it. It was amazing.

  30. tbennion says:

    My parents have a funny story from their time in graduate school. A sister got up to bear her testimony. It was somewhere in the 1970 – 1972 window and her husband stood out as a big crew-cut towheaded “marine type”. The sister began to discuss the couple’s trials trying to conceive a child – not normally a funny topic – but then she blurted out, “We have just tried, and tried, and tried until [her husband] is just plum tuckered out.” My dad said that he could see her husband, who was sitting up in front, blush bright red all the way to the top of his head right through that blond crew-cut.

    On a related and more recent note, did anyone else giggle even a little at the email from the church of a little over a week ago titled: “Church Releases Sexual Intimacy FHE Lesson | 5 Things You Should Know About the Second Coming”? I admit that I forwarded that one to select family and friends with a snarky comment.

  31. A Happy Hubby says:

    This wasn’t “in church”, but it was a group that went out to eat after the Saturday night stake conference meeting. I was sitting with my wife on one side and the wife of one of the stake high counselors to my right. The guy across from us had, … well not quite a lisp, but kind of pronounced things a bit odd. He could play the piano very well. He started telling a story about a “pianist”, but it clearly came out as “penis” every time he said it. I noticed, but just ignored it. But after he said it the second time the wife of the high counselor just exploded with laughter to the point of tears and not even able to say anything. I couldn’t keep it in either. The high counselor, my wife, and the guy across the table kept asking us, “what is so funny?” We couldn’t answer, then the guy would start up again and say “Pianist” and she would just bust out again. People from other tables were looking at us and the guy talking never figured out what we were laughing about.

  32. Any story that begins with, “so my husband and father in law have narcolepsy” should really just allow you to understand what we go through regularly.

  33. Our ward’s Sunday bulletins always have a cover with a “church themed” (?) clip art line drawing taken from the Internet for the kids to color. Nice concept except they are usually out of context, terribly drawn, and just plain weird. Also, there’s never any text to explain the image. For example, Fathers Day last year was an image of a potted plant. Google “religious coloring pages” and pick the worst ones, you’ll get the general idea. Each week my family and members who’ve moved away request I send them a pic of that Sunday’s cover, and I’ve even created a tumblr page featuring the “best” ones.

  34. During singles ward F&T: “I was watching that movie, ‘Les Miserables’. And it was a really powerful story. And I realized that sometimes, I am just like Jafar!”

    Then there was the old guy who bore his testimony of the time he pissed blood on a city bus.

  35. Christine Webb says:

    That time I was visiting a ward and this lady got up to bear her testimony. She talked all about a trial they had due to her husband’s recent injury to his scrotum, how much pain he was in and how he ended up having to have surgery to his scrotum and what a long recovery it was….
    She sat down and her husband got up seconds later, walked to the pulpit and said “Sternum” and sat back down. 😂😂😂

    There was also that time this guy PROPOSED to his girlfriend at the pulpit during F&T meeting…

  36. College branch – the first counselor interrupted a guy bearing his testimony to announce “There’s a car in the parking lot that’s on fire.” Rest of F&T meeting was to the sounds of fire trucks. So, for the closing hymn, the branch president announced “We’re making a change on the closing hymn – we’ll sing ‘The Spirit of God Like A Charger Is Burning'”.

    Current ward – a priest messed up the sacrament prayer for the seventh time and said a naughty scatological word into the microphone. The ward was way too polite to laugh out loud.

    A former boss of mine had once been a pitcher for the New York Yankees. On the 4th of July they all stood to sing The Star Spangled Banner as the closing hymn, and at the end of the first verse, his 4-year old son shouted “Play Ball!”.

    The family I currently home teach has a couple of special needs children, and the hearing-impaired, highly hyperactive one has been sitting on my lap for the past few years during sacrament meeting. His two-year-old little sister has now decided she should have that spot. A couple of weeks ago, while her dad was conducting the music, she turned to me and said, “That’s my daddy. He says ‘no’ to Johnny”.

  37. My dad frustrated with one of my fellow Teachers who kept talking during his lesson grabbed him up in a fit of anger and yelled: “Do you believe in the priesthood of God?” The poor kid answered “Yes” and dad threw him back in his chair and said “Then support your leaders.” That’s not funny? No one gets my dad’s angry jokes. Which is too bad because I’ve got a million of them.

  38. In F&T meeting, one teenaged girl bore her testimony about how she and her sisters befriended some non-member boys on a recent cruise vacation and how the boys remarked that they were amazed she and her sisters were “not slutty” and still cool.

    About 10 years ago, fresh out of BYU, my husband and I moved into a new ward on the east coast. One of the first months we were there, the Bishop reserved the 3rd hour of 3 consecutive Sunday for “love chats” with the RS, then Elders/Priesthood, then combined. I guess there had been a recent rash of adultery in the stake and the Bishop wanted to nip it in the bud. He talked about “filling our love tanks” and we had to write down on a note card ways your husband could fill your love tank and, basically, get you to put out more. An older sister remarked, “I’ve found that my husband is more willing to take out the trash if he is taken care of in the bedroom.” The next week the Bishop read our cards to the brethren. He encouraged them to scheduler “nooners” and there was a report that he told them, “Brothers, I’m tried of hearing your wives say they feel like a hole in the mattress.” Good times.

  39. When I was a young teenager our ward started doing a “practice hymn” right after sacrament meeting but before we dismissed from the chapel to our classes. We’d either practice singing an unknown hymn in order to learn it or someone would come up and sing the hymn to the congregation to introduce it/present it so that it wouldn’t be so obscure.

    This particular Sunday morning, right before we were supposed to leave for church, my mom remembered that she had agreed for our family to sing the practice hymn that day. We were shocked that this was the first time we had heard about it and we didn’t even know the hymn–at all. We quickly huddled around the piano so my mom could plunk out the melody with her basic piano skills and so we could at least feel confident presenting it to the congregation in about an hour. The entire stake presidency was sitting right next to the piano when we got up to sing (because they were there to install a new bishop) and my mom was too timid to play the hymn loud enough with their heads right next to the piano so we couldn’t hear the piano for support or even to start us off right. I remember Dad was closest to the microphone, followed by younger brother, then me, and one of my older sisters back from her mission. (My two other siblings were at college.) NONE of us could remember the tune. Like, at all. We stood up there so embarrassed but kept mumbling out a few words/notes. I remember my dad after the first verse having to just chuckle and say into the microphone: “This is brutal!”.

    To this day I have no idea which hymn it was nor do I think I’ve ever heard it played since. Rather than being funny for us, it was our most embarrassing family moment at church. We left the pulpit with our heads down in shame and even got a sympathy card in the mail!

  40. Morthodox says:

    A young female visitor to our ward one Sunday F&T meeting very emotionally declared: “Being here in Berkeley these past few days makes me realize how extremely grateful I am to live in Logan!”

    We looked at each other for a second and then burst out laughing.

  41. ^Every single Sunday in Manhattan.

  42. lynvinc says:

    My very young niece once stood up to bear her testimony and said…” I’d like to stand and bare my testicles…..” I’ve had three back surgeries since that moment of unexpected laughter overtaking my body in such an uncontrollable, convulsing manner.

  43. fuddyduddy says:

    I’m not sure this beats the sacrament meeting program mistake linked to in the post, but…

    In my BYU ward years ago, there was a typo in our program. The closing hymn was listed as “Sin We Now at Parting.”

  44. Typos in the program are a regular occurrence in my BYU student ward. I did a piano solo a few months ago and instead of “Come, Ye Disconsolate,” it was listed as “Come, Ye Desolate.” I went up to the Bishop before the meeting and asked him to please not announce it as such.

  45. Christine Webb FTW. Snorting laughing, stomach hurting. Best story ever.

  46. Radicalpatience says:

    My husband gave a talk at church when we were newly weds. He intended to say “Heavenly Father wants us all to have success.” Instead very clearly and loudly he said “Heavenly Father wants us all to have sex.” He claims it was the spirit talking that day.

  47. Agreed, Megan. I’ve been snickering about it for the past two hours.

    You guys are hilarious.

  48. aredesuyo says:

    Our bishop during my freshman year at BYU was kind of a J. Golden Kimball type, and once while giving a talk in sacrament meeting he said, “I keep promising myself that someday I’ll stop cussing, but dammit, it’s just too hard.”
    He also gave our Elders quorum the best chastity talk I’ve ever heard. He said, “God made men with two heads. And one of them has to think for the other.”

  49. Fathers Day: Primary kids assembled on the stand to sing “Daddy’s Homecoming” (more commonly known as I’m So Glad When Daddy Comes Home). After the last few words (“Pat his cheeks then give him what? A great big kiss!”), my 4 year old looked shocked and exclaimed, “That’s DISGUSTING!”

  50. My daughter (soprano) and I (alto) had a big fight before church. When it was time for the intermediate hymn, it was “Home can be a heaven on earth.” We did fine until we got to the lines “Parents teach and guide the way, children honor and obey.” We both just lost it. We ended up leaving the room we were laughing so hard.

    Similar to “my bad”: Chuck was in a wheelchair, motorized, and was blessing the sacrament from the floor vs. behind the table, because we didn’t have a ramp. His hand slipped and his wheelchair slammed forward into the railing. Deacons scrambled, the bishopric was frozen in horror as Chuck yelled, “Oh shit!”

    For Mark B., not a Mormon story: There is a video taken of the communion interlude music at a Sunday mass in Vacherie, in St. James Parish, where the organist is playing a lovely and reverent take on “Iko, Iko.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wNSHPQj0W8 (original by the Dixie Cups)

    http://999ktdy.com/organist-in-vacherie-slips-in-mardi-gras-music-during-communion/

  51. Morthodox says:

    One year when I was growing up, Christmas fell on a Sunday. Going to church on Christmas was the absolute last thing any kid wanted to do when we could be playing with our new toys. It was decided that we’d just meet for sacrament, except the sacrament meeting consisted of a Christmas Cantata composed by a member of our stake and was about 2.5 hours long. I’m sure the cantata was well-intended, but it felt truly interminable. Especially to grouchy, sleep-deprived, sugared-out people and hyper kids. The cantata dragged on. Finally one impulsive boy in the pew ahead of me stood up and yelled “I’ve had it!” and stormed out, to the admiration of everyone.

  52. Wendy Bethke says:

    During the sacrament meeting Christmas program, the narrator read 1 Nephi 11:16 as “And he said unto me: Knowest thou the ‘condensation’ of God?” –nothing like Rain on the Christmas Story!

  53. Primary Program, circa 2003. Six-year-old (ish) boy goes to the mic to do his lines, but instead of his prepared part says (loudly, with mouth very close to the mic), “I don’t like my mom! I only like my dad!” And then sat down.

    “Mic dropping” wasn’t a thing back then (and the mic was connected to the podium anyway), but as he stepped down, he effectively conveyed the same idea.

  54. mariann lucy says:

    How about the elderly man that stood up to bear testimony, held up his injured finger and said how grateful he was for it as he flipped off the entire congrgation in the process! Then there was the time a brother said how thankful he was for the CONDENSATION of the Lord. My friend immediately whipped out the hymn book and opened it to “As the Dews from Heaven Distilling.”

  55. Suleyman says:

    One F&T Sunday years ago in our Stake, a pretty, loquacious young girl about 7 years old came to the stand. She told in very simple words the story of how she had gained a testimony of prayer. She had lost her kitty. She recounted how she looked high and low for the thing and finally felt impressed to pray. She told the congregation how she was then prompted to look in the closet. She declared boldly that upon opening the closet door “there the s– of a b—– was!” At that moment, her proud parents slumped in their seats .

  56. Another story from a singles ward: there was once a Fast Sunday where someone’s testimony included the line, “I’m so grateful for the gospel because if I didn’t have it, I’d probably be toking up in Mexico!”

  57. Two-year-old, standing on pew in front of us, spinning a tampon by the string like a lasso.

    Hearing laughter and looking around, mortified mother gasps and dives over her other two children to confiscate the item stolen from her purse.

  58. Lew Scannon says:

    In Gospel Doctrine one Sunday a sister in our ward got lost somewhere between “incremental change” and “exponential change,” and it came out “excremental change.”

  59. Years ago my daughter was sitting on her teachers lap in primary. The Bishop came into to speak. My daughter turned to her teacher and asked “Who the Hell is that?”

  60. Angela C says:

    Before my mission I was attending a session at the temple with my then boyfriend who could not stop laughing. In the celestial room he pointed out that the old guy in front of him had apparently lost the insert in his cap and replaced it with a round ice cream lid.

  61. ^ Very resourceful! ^

  62. Steve G. says:

    One F&T meeting in Singles Ward, A guy got up and bore testimony of how much he hated contraception. My friend next to me said “Amen brother, gets in the way all the time”.

    On my Mission in Germany I had baptized a lady that was not very reverent and laughed at everything. She had attended Sacrament Meeting with us several times and we were told by the MP not to let her take the sacrament until she was baptized. (new handbook states otherwise now). The Sunday after her baptism, when the water came to her, she grabbed the little cup, held it up high and said Prost!

    Once in the temple, my wife was escorting an old Hungarian woman who was going through for the first time. I went up with this lady to be in the prayer circle next to her. The officiator said the longest prayer I’d ever heard in the temple and I could feel her slipping downward and I could tell she wouldn’t last much longer standing there. Finally I let go and grabbed her as a matron shoved a chair under her before she hit the floor. As she landed in the chair, she said “Boy, he’s a longwinded one isn’t he.” I can’t remember how the prayer ended, but it came quickly after that.

  63. Teenage girl at F&T meeting saying that when she felt the pain of the wedgie from her swimming suit during water skiing, it made her think of the pain of the Savior as he suffered on the cross. Just likening the scriptures unto herself!

    Elderly gentleman in the middle of a talk on enduring to the end, started marching up and down the length of the stand singing “You put one foot in front of the other!” Bishopric had frozen deer in the headlights looks, trying to decide whether to trip him or not. Thankfully after the 2nd full march, he wrapped it up. My kids still talk about that one–even they knew how out of place it was.

    Male seminary teacher telling my sister’s class that every time girls menstruate, they are testifying of Christ because they are shedding blood like He did.

    Bishop asking our congregation to stop talking about times when they were prostitutes/pimps or drug dealers before they joined the church in their testimonies because they were forgiven and it wasn’t appropriate to dwell on or for the little ones to hear about. Sadly, F&T meeting became very homogeneous after that.

  64. While on a business trip to NY my husband and I decided to spend the day in Palmyra. We were just going by the temple when an older gentleman drove up and asked if we would like to attend a session in the afternoon. We had no intention of attending the temple that day and I wanted to be polite, so I said we hadn’t brought our temple clothes with us. “You don‘t need any clothes,” he said. “We’re doing initiatories.”

    At a stake fireside following girls camp each bishop in the stake was asked to award the young women their certificate of completion. Attached to each certificate was a patch with the YW torch on it. The bishop of our ward got up, looked at the certificate and said, “Well, that’s a sexy badge!”

    At my brother’s missionary homecoming, my youngest brother was sleeping sprawled out in the pew, his head leaning back over the bench. He was about ten years old. Suddenly he snorted a loud and wet gurgling snore that jolted his head forward. We all burst out laughing. He kept sleeping.

  65. TyInTheSky says:

    My wife and I had just dropped off our then six-month-old daughter with a relative while we went into the temple for her sister’s wedding. As we got to the recommend desk, my wife realized that her recommend was in the diaper bag that was with the relative. As she turned around to go back out to get her recommend, she inadvertently exclaimed, “DAMMIIT!”

  66. I play the organ and sometimes my 4 year old sits with me on the stand when his dad isn’t in Sacrament meeting. One such Sunday, the Bishop announced that he had some ward business to take care of. Having just watched the Lego Movie and apparently misunderstanding the Bishop, my son stood up on the seat, looked around frantically and yelled “Lord Business?! HERE? At Church? WHERE?” I nearly died while the congregation snickered…

  67. Stephen J says:

    The time we were singing “He Died! The Great Redeemer Died” (hymn 192) for sacrament, and I misread the word “wept” in the first verse and instead sang (very loudly): “He died! The great Redeemer died, and Israel’s daughters slept around.”

  68. Molly Bennion says:

    After a long silence in Fast Meeting, a sister got up to say “Rather than let this time go to waste, let me tell you about the vitamins I’m now selling.” She did.
    Which reminded me of a funnier story my husband’s grandmother told of the man who rose in a similar silence to elicit business for his bull “now standing at stud.”

  69. During my time in a YSA ward, there was a fireside we attended where one of my friends sang a solo of “Love at Home” for a musical number. At one point he sang, “making love, a bliss complete…”. Truer words have never been sung.

  70. Michael N says:

    At stake conference in Rockford, Illinois, during the late 80s or early 90s, a couple of recent converts to the church were invited to talk about their conversion stories. The first was typical, the kind you’ve heard many times. The second was unforgettable. A man in his 20s who described how the gospel had helped him overcome his habit of self-stimulation. And then, he described how easily he could self-stimulate, without even using his hands. Parents took children out, audience members looked at each other in disbelief, and the stake presidency seemed helpless to stop the unexpected lesson in masturbation. I rarely remember the talks that people give in church but this one will stay with me forever, for better or worse.

  71. Really, the best thing I’ve ever read here!

  72. Also in the Rockford stake, but not in stake conference, in the early 90s: The older boys (ages 6-11) were teasing their younger sister, age 4. They were notorious for poking each other, and doing the annoying things that siblings do. By the time that the bread and water were being passed, the daughter was completely fed up with it. In the quiet of that moment she yelled, “F*** you!”

  73. Along the same lines, my wife tells a story of a youngster who pushed the limit and was carried out by his father. On their way to the foyer he cried out, “Someone, help me!”

  74. A Happy Hubby says:

    I wonder if the Lord knew how much humor was going to come from fast and testimony meetings.

  75. When my middle son was 4, he shouted at an unfortunate young man: “hey, there’s Moe!” (From the Simpsons) in his defense, he did look a lot like Moe.

  76. And when we asked our 3 yo who his primary teacher was, he goes: “a fat guy in a shirt”

  77. My favorite was in a geeky college student branch. It was right around the launch for Star Wars Episode 1 and we had goaded one of the councilors who was conducting into using the Jedi hand wave – “The congregation *will* (hand wave) now take out our hymnals and sing…” We all lost it. Except his wife who was NOT amused.

  78. At a poorly enunciated announcement for help with an “Eagle project” in Sacrament meeting my six year old turned to me and loudly asked, “Evil project?!??” This went on for weeks until, at last, the evil project was finished.

  79. My son was three and not able to pronounce the “x” sound. About a year ago, in the middle of the sacrament prayer, he yells, “What the fock….(pause)…say?” Another pause. Ning ning ning na ning ning ning ning.

  80. My favorite by far was an older couple, newly moved into the ward. We had no idea what the man was like when he first got up to bear his testimony and brought a portable CD player with him to the pulpit. After a long-winded testimony, he finished by saying, “I haven’t seen this movie but I just love the message of this song so I want to play it for you ” and proceeded to turn on the music to “My Heart Will Go On”, Of course, those of us that know the movie were NOT having celestial thoughts at that point…… This was made all the funnier for the bishop being a letter of the law kind of guy and was only nonplussed because the song and CD player were not “approved”.

  81. Lew Scannon says:

    One of our neighbors when I was young was a notoriously long-winded speaker. During one of his sacrament meeting discourses, the microphone made a loud screechy noise. When the bishop got up to close the meeting, he apologized, sort of: “Sorry, Max, I hit the wrong button. I was trying to open the trap door.”

    A few years ago, at my great aunt’s funeral, the bishop closed the service and invited all the pall bearers to conjugate in the foyer. We were wondering which verb they going to work on. Maybe I carry, he carries, we carry . . .

  82. One last thing: my first RS lesson in my east coast ward was on chastity. Let’s just say rural south has some interesting locals…..and the woman teaching went on to describe how she first learned about sex (her dad told her penises kind of look like worms on the ground after it rains), and she decided to tell us how she taught her 12 yo son about sex (and his friends!!!!!) about sex, boners, and wet dreams.

    Finally at that point the RS pres (from ut) held up both of her hands and said really loudly “stop!!! Can we please just read some of the paragraphs in the lesson manual?”

    After church I was pretty happy that when my husband asked what our lesson was on I got to say “boners and wet dreams”.

  83. Not sacrament meeting, but at a Relief Society meeting, the sister giving the benediction asked Heavenly Father to bless the refreshments “that they will not be fattening.” She was standing next to the refreshments at the time — several platters piled high with cookies and brownies. A friend leaned over and whispered, “We’ve been wrong all these years. We thought it was about dieting, but really it’s just about faith.”

  84. What about “CANDY!… awwww”

  85. Hedgehog says:

    The day my daughter turned to me convinced roast fox had just been called as primary president.

  86. larryco_ says:

    First, my mess-up: I was teaching the gospel doctrine class about D&C 88 & 93. I MEANT to say “all truths are circumscribed into one great whole” but, sure enough, out came the word “circumcised”.

    A friend of mine was a young bishop in his ward. During F&T meeting a sister cried through most of her testimony. She apologized to the congregation, saying that she was sorry that she was such a big boob. My friend stood up after her to conclude the meeting and said “that’s okay, Sister ——-, we like big boobs.”

  87. Glenstorm says:

    One elderly visitor got up to bear his testimony, soon launching into a travelogue about his recent trip to the Holy Land. When the tour bus arrived at the Jordan River, their guide said that that was where Jesus had been baptized–and where thousands of Christian pilgrims come to be baptized each year. This elderly gentleman then raised his hand and said that he had the authority to baptize people.

    Then he baptized everyone on the bus.

  88. During a talk that was generally way TMI, this woman confessed she was “trying to live a champagne life on a beer budget.” I almost exploded.

    Second hand J. Golden Story (from the teller). My teacher’s quorum advisor said he once decided to share the following joke to start a talk: “A priest walked up to JGK and said ‘You Mormons are all going to hell!’ JGK responded ‘I’d rather know I was going to hell than not know where the hell I was going.'” Un/fortunately, he botches the joke right off the bat by saying “A priest once told JGK ‘You Mormons don’t know where the hell you are going!'” Now, having just cussed over the pulpit AND blown the joke, my advisor said in the moment, in a desperate but failed effort to recover, he simply muttered, “Aw…dammit!” much to apparent horror of the congregation.

  89. Some favorite memories:

    -the time a woman called Satan a “butthead” over the pulpit in F&T meeting

    -the man who used to use F&T meeting as stand-up comedy practice hour…seriously, would practice his non-church-related jokes and wait for laughs

    -the man who would use F&T as personal practice time for his freestyle rapping…including a nearly 10-minute long rap about the economic crash that included shouting “Where’s my tax rebate Uncle Sam!??!”

  90. Anon for this one says:

    My wife has a good friend who’s from a semiactive family who are large enough that they take up a whole bench at church. When said friend was five or six, she was coloring at one end of the pew and was trying to get her sibling’s attention at the other end because the sibling had the rest of the crayons. Whispering wasn’t cutting it; even asking in a normal voice didn’t seem to get her sibling’s attention. Finally she stood up and yelled down the pew, “Gimme the f***ing crayons!”

  91. Our new Bishopric Counselor on his first Sunday conducting welcomed all the Brethern to Sacrament meeting. He thought it was a universal, all inclusive welcoming term.

    He still gets flack for that.

  92. A few years ago I attended a YW third-hour lesson on (what else) modesty. Trying to relate with the girls and to bridge the age-gap, the well-meaning teacher decided to base her lesson around a phrase that she had seen on facebook – WTF – which she assumed meant “what the flip.” Regretably, no one present had the guts to correct her. We just watched in horror as she filled the chalkboard with an oversided ‘WTF’ and proceeded to teach the YW “now, if your friends say you should wear dresses above the knee, you tell them ‘WTF’, and when Hollywood says you should have pre-marital sex, you tell Hollywood ‘WTF’! and if any boys want you to date before 16 you shout, as loud as you can, ‘WTF’ !!!” On the bright side, at least the girls remembered the lesson long after it was given.

  93. Two more stories – both involving F&T meetings in Virginia in the late 1980s.

    1) F&T for December. Sister stands up and says, “I have a testimony of honesty. Children, your parents have been lying to you. The truth about Santa is … ” You can imagine the rest, but sufficet to say, the bishopric counselor was not quick enough to shut off the microphone. Later in the block, RS had to be disbanded because of “a strong spirit of contention.”

    2) Some months later. Different sister stands up and says, “I have a very heavy heart and feel I must confess this to the ward. For many months I have been engaged in an illicit affair with …” and points to a brother in the middle of the congregation who has his arm around his wife and is surrounded by their several children. The sister is silent for about 15 seconds (it felt like an hour) and then elaborates by saying “in my heart.” At that point, the man’s wife breaks down and runs out of the chapel. He follows. Bishop is close to fainting. Counsel (gently) helps the sister to exit the stage.

  94. Brent Vernal says:

    A few of you may have had the same experience. Attending the temple with my wife and in-laws an individual in our session required ASL assistance. A couple of TV’s were brought into the session to accommodate the participant. It was kind of exciting because that’s not something I had experienced before. The TV’s had prerecorded people in white temple clothing performing the sign language of the endowment session; it would switch between 3 or 4 different interpreters. One of the interpreters became very animated and distracting. Imagine Chris Farley dressed in a tight fitting white suit frantically performing sign language; he begins to sweat and his comb over becomes undone. I almost died laughing. Fortunately it would switch back and forth between different people, but whenever Farley would come back on I would almost lose it.

    Another instance I took the Missionaries to the temple early one preparation day morning. I fell asleep midway during the session and woke up when it was time to pass through veil. I panicked and asked one of the elders why he didn’t wake me up to perform the steps of the endowment. He said that I stood up and did all of the things, he didn’t know I was asleep. I slept-walked through half of the session, I have no memory of standing and actively participating.

  95. Andrea S says:

    A couple of years ago my husband was in the nursery, and one of the kids in his class was a particularly rambunctious boy named Clayton. One day a little girl in the nursery came up to him and said what my husband thought was “Clayton is bad”. My husband corrected her, saying something like “he might be a little energetic, but Clayton is a good kid”. She got wide eyed and said again “NO, Clayton is bad!” My husband corrected her again. This went on for a few minutes, the little girl getting rather flustered and my husband trying to come up with words to convince her that Clayton was, in fact, a good kid, before my husband finally realized that she wasn’t saying Clayton… she was saying Satan! Luckily I was friends with moms of both Clayton and the little girl, and we all got quite the laugh out of it. We told the story to our older kids, and to this day whenever one of us brings up the story my husband gets this embarrassed smirk on his face!

  96. When my husband and I were in the local singles ward we were sitting in the chapel overflow for a ward council and heard the other ward announce in Sacrament meeting that Thursday evening they would have an adult game night…we just looked at each other, giggled, and new that we were meant for each other…no one else picked up on it except for one of the Bishopric members who was also stifling laughter…

  97. Frank Lee Lunee says:

    File these under “memorable object lessons.”

    When I was a kid, a visitor spoke in our ward (which was common back then). He was dressed nicely in a white shirt and tie and a sport coat. His topic was judging others by their appearance. He pointed out that we all probably thought he was a respectable, well-dressed individual. He then took off his his sport coat, revealing a shirt that had been scribbled all over in ballpoint pen, except for the part that had been visible with the coat on. Then to further drive his point home, he started taking off his shirt. Lo and behold, under the inky shirt was a clean white shirt. Lots of effort to drive a point home, but I’ll give him this much credit—I haven’t forgotten it in over 40 years.

    A few years back we had an acupuncturist in our ward. As he approached the pulpit to speak, he pulled out an acupuncture needle and stuck it in the forehead of the first counselor in the bishopric. He then proceeded to give his talk. The counselor just sat there rather amazed, with a long needle poking straight out of his forehead. We were all waiting for the obvious object lesson, which never came. I can’t remember anything he said, but at the end of the talk, he simply walked over the the counselor and pulled out the needle and sat down. If his goal was to keep the counselor awake during the meeting, he certainly accomplished his goal. The acupuncturist was a pretty funny guy, so this was not out of character.

  98. Second hand story — a bishop was speaking to his mostly elderly congregation about his plans to infuse the ward with more energy and enthusiasm. Thinking he had made up a new word based on “youth,” he said, “We need to euthanize this ward!”

  99. The Bishop’s counselor announced the Sacrament hymn as “While of These Embers We Partake”

  100. SurferAmity says:

    As my mother was passing the sacrament bread down the pew, my 3 year old son shouts “No thanks, Grandma. I brought my own snack.”

  101. More than once I have heard Moses 1:39 read from the pulpit as follows: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the IMMORALITY and eternal life of man.” Fortunately for the speaker, most of the congregation was too sleepy to notice.

  102. A very dignified man in my ward (who is also a competitive cyclist) was describing an event he was taking part in, and drawing parallels to leadership in the church: “The responsibility of the group leader is to break wind for the other members of the group.”

  103. Steve G. says:

    When I was the 1st counselor my 5 yr old son liked to sit on the stand with me. The Bishop got up to make a very mundane announcement about not having enough erasers, so could people please return them. My son misheard and thought he was talking about racers and very audibly said “They need more racers? cool!”. I think he had visions of driving a race car for the church.

  104. the other Marie says:

    The hardest I’ve ever fought back laughter in church was when my sister, a Beehive, was giving her first talk in Sacrament Meeting. Her talk was full of references to the Gentiles, but every single time she pronounced it “genitals.” To the ward’s credit (or maybe they were asleep), no one laughed out loud. Poor thing was so nervous, it would have killed her. She didn’t know until years later what she’d done. Because I told her. Because I’m evil.

  105. MN, March 4th 11:35: With the stake president “finally inspired” – was this like 25 years ago? A young woman called to give a spontaneous testimony at Stake Conference? And her father later saying that she must have meant “Finely”? I remember that – he was a fine stake president, and inspired. And both her comment and her dad’s correction got a good laugh, especially from the Pres!

    My youngest daughter once bore her testimony, at the age of 4 or 5, after our dog had died. She told the ward that she wished she could dig the dog up from where we had buried her in the yard “so that my Dad could stuff her and I could keep her in my room.” Our ward has never let her forget that, and she’s now 14. :)

  106. As our bishop (who does not deviate from the script) conducted sacrament meeting, he used the printed program as his reference notes in announcing the order of the meeting. After welcoming all, he announced that we would then sing the opening song, “Improve the Shining,” and without a blink or a smirk he turned and sat down. It might just be me, but I don’t think that ANYONE can improve on Jack Nicholson’s performance, despite a direct and succinct admonition from the bishop over the pulpit.

    That one time that a young husband and brand-spanking-new father stood at the pulpit and gushed that not only had his wife given birth to a beautiful baby but that she had worked super hard at the gym and had her smokin’! hot! bod! back! and! he! was! so! proud! of! her!

  107. I may have told this somewhere before, but in a F&T meeting in downtown SLC, a nonagenarian sister who’d been single her whole life stood (this was just after the shock ‘n awe invasion of Baghdad) and began talking about the man she’d fallen in love with on the TV. She went into considerable detail, including her hope that perhaps she and he could meet in the millennium and get married. For the longest time I thought she was talking about one of the apostles (Holland, maybe) speaking at a BYU forum on KBYU. But no, it finally became clear that she was talking about Anderson Cooper on CNN.

  108. I have a testimony of honesty and feel impressed to “Snopes.com” the scrotum/sternum and “I’ve committed adultery many times…with that woman!” stories, which are multi-denominational urban legends going back decades.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled funny stories.

  109. A very emotional man got up and opened his testimony with “I bear you my testimony that Joseph Smith was a tool……(long deliberate pause followed buy a choked up tearful conclusion to the sentence) ….. in the hands of the Lord”. My best friend and I burst out laughing after the third steamboat in a five steamboat pause between the first half of the sentence and the last.

  110. I agree with Ken–I’ve heard of some of these as Mormon urban legends too often to believe they are all real. No need to make up stuff or repeat stories, folks, we Mormons are amusing enough.

  111. Carl Ericson says:

    All right this is a really old one. President George Albert Smith was in my dad’s ward and gave his last public address at my dad’s missionary farewell. Pres. Smith was the concluding speaker and began to tell a story about an experience he had had with my dad’s grandfather. Before finishing the story, Pres. Smith got distracted and went on to other things and eventually closed his talk and sat down. The congregation then sang the closing hymn and the brother who was to give the closing prayer was at the podium but hadn’t yet started. Suddenly, Pres. Smith shouted out “Wait, I didn’t finish my story!” He then stood up and completed the tale before the the benediction was said.

  112. Three stories about my (then 3-5 year old) son:
    1. When I was deployed to Bosnia, my wife valiantly tried to keep going to church with our two small children. Once, she was sitting in the back of the chapel when my son stood up on the pew and angrily yelled, “MOM, THERE’S A ROCK IN MY PENIS!”

    2. My son had a hard time in primary. He just didn’t enjoy it. One day he was especially bored/frustrated/angry when the teacher, trying desperately to include him in the discussion and hopefully calm him down a bit, asked him, “Does Jesus love you?” His response: “NO! JESUS DOESN’T LOVE ANYBODY!”

    3. A few years later, someone asked him how he knew his mother loved him. “I know my mom loves me because she gives me Paxil every day so I can be happy.”

  113. When my husband was serving as Branch President, he was asked to marry a couple that had just moved to our ward. The would-be wife was a member and they were pretty advanced in age. They wanted to be married in the chapel. After the short ceremony, they shared a very long kiss (make-out session really). My husband told them that was enough and physically pulled their shoulders apart. Our twelve year old son was laughing to the point of tears.

    Also, we once had the first counselor in our ward share a long testimony during f&t mtg about “Shallow Hal” starring Jack Black and how it inspired him. He assured us that we shouldn’t worry because he had seen the edited version only.

  114. In Sharing Time a particularly energetic CTR 5 in our class was doing his utmost to keep still. It was apparent that his mother, also a primary teacher, had given him a talking-to about his disruptive behavior. Wanting to acknowledge his efforts, I leaned over and whispered, “Thank you for being so reverent.” The child beamed and then shouted across the room, “Mom! I’m being reverent!”

  115. Lew Scannon says:

    Gee thanks, Ken.

  116. No charge.

  117. My best friend from my mission and I roomed at BYU together. That first semester he gave a talk about Alma 32 and our choice to either be humble or be compelled to be humble. He gave some sort of farming analogy that ended with “and we either have the choice to be humble or sometimes the Lord just plows the shi* of us get us there.” It sort of just came out.
    I’ve never let him live it down.

  118. out*

  119. Ok, I’m late to the thread, but it made for a fun Saturday morning, so thought I’d chime in.

    1. A few weeks after my wife and I got married, we went to the temple with her parents. At the recommend desk (with my father in law right behind me), I reached into my wallet to pull out my recommend, but accidentally pulled out a condom instead (which I kept in my wallet b/c, you know. we were newylweds…). Flustered, I dropped it, and it kind of went under the desk, so I had to get on one knee to fish it out. My father in law still teases me about that years later.

    2. I met my wife in a BYU ward. She had been dating the EQ President, but I went ahead and asked her out one day behind his back. Bad form, I know, but I ended up marrying her, so I’m ok with how it worked out. Suffice to say, he wasn’t. A few years later, I was a temple ordinance worker doing a shift in the initiatory, when he suddenly walked into my booth. We recognized each other, which was awkward. It became more awkward when there was a delay in front of us, giving us time to make small talk. Apparently feeling the need to save face, he quickly told me, “I’m married now myself, you know.” I congratulated him, and thought that was that. But when he came back around, there was another delay. This time, unprovoked by any questioning from me, he said, “My wife and I are trying to conceive right now. We’re trying really, really hard, all the time. I mean, all the time.” Suffice to say, it didnt have the intended effect.

  120. Redbeard says:

    A friend of mine was with a group of youth attending the temple to do baptisms. As they were entering, the temple worker asked the bishopric 2nd counselor, “Brother, are you endowed?”. He replied yes. The temple worker then asked my friend, whose reply was, “Why yes. In fact, even more so than him (pointing to the councelor).”

  121. The Gospel Doctrine teacher (a notoriously bad speller) didn’t want to write Assyrians, so she abbreviated it A S S. And didn’t realize until half the class started snickering.

    She tried to fix it by adding a Y. Didn’t help.

  122. The time in Sunday school at our BYU student ward my college roommate and I were passing a note back and forth with stupid insults to each other. Then when it was his turn he got this dumb grin on his face, wrote something down and held up the note so that only I could see that he had written just the word ‘P3NIS’.

    I did one of those loud snort laughs that come out when you’re trying to hold it in. We were in the middle of one of those BYU classrooms and I had no where to go and no where to hide.

  123. This happened two weeks ago in a ward I was visiting. We got to Sac. Mtg. early and watched as one of the priests preparing the bread at the sacrament table held up each piece of bread and carefully examined it on all sides as if looking for mold. During the sacrament service I considered skipping the whole thing but then decided to find the smallest piece of bread in the tray.
    Note to future sacrament bread preparers: if you must do this, please do it in the back room — what we don’t know won’t hurt us :)

  124. caraspendlove says:

    This one guy in our singles ward was bearing his testimony and was saying how he couldn’t find the right girl out there. Then he started plucking the rose petals off the flowers next to the pulpit one by one and slowly dropped them on the pulpit and then compared himself to The Beast and was running out of time to find the right one.

    Another time in that ward, a guy was giving a talk and instead of paraphrasing or quoting Elder Scott, he whipped out his iPhone and put it up to the microphone and said that Elder Scott could say it better than he could, so he had us listen to the conference talk for a while until the bishop made him stop.

  125. My husband was a counselor in the bishopric, sitting on the stand “resting his eyes.” Our friends, with their toddler son, were sitting in the second row. Said son looked at my husband, stood on the pew, and shouted “Jim! Wake up!”