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! We can’t do this column without you. Actually, I guess we could.
You can drop three hymns from the hymnbook, and you can add three hymns in their place. Which do you drop/add and why?
Steve: Now listen — no matter what answer we give, someone out there will say “that’s my favorite hymn! I converted to the Church because of that hymn!” so I fully recognize that this is a trap question. That said, without ANY COMMENTARY on the substance of the hymn: are you sure I can only drop three? There are lots of duds in there. The key to a dud hymn is lots of repetition and lame rhyme, and here are the worst:
1. I Believe In Christ
2. Because I Have Been Given Much
3. Nearer, My God, To Thee.
All three of those songs are usually sung as monotonous dirges that suck the life out of the congregation. We should put them in the Primary Songbook. Now, as for three hymns to put into the hymnbook, I KNOW someone out there has got it bad for “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” but that one is played out. Anything the Piano Guys has done is OFF THE LIST. Here’s three:
1. Amazing Grace. No-brainer. Even a Muslim president can sing it!
2. Holy, Holy, Holy. What’s that? Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity? Sure you do. Move along.
3. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf would also be acceptable.
Scott B.: As usual, Steve overthinks this. I’m going with
1. America the Beautiful, because c’mon;
2. My Country ‘Tis of Thee, because c’mon;
3. The Star-Spangled Banner, because c’mon.
For additions, I want (1)”Jingle Bells,” (2) Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” (preferably the live version where Martin Gore does some extra guitar work, but I’m not picky), and (3) The Parting Glass.
How many threads are currently keeping the Constitution in place? Is there anything I can do as a concerned Elder?
BCC: There are lots of threads keeping the Constitution in place. LOTS. Threads like the Supreme Court and the Executive Branch. As a concerned elder, you should be sure to hand out copies of the Constitution at Church and quote from it extensively during every meeting. It wouldn’t hurt to buy a white horse.
How can I get sacrament meeting speakers in my ward to stop beginning every single talk by telling the story of how they were asked to give a talk? If this is impossible, can bishopric members be required to creatively or outlandishly ask people to give talks so the story is interesting?
Scott B.: I’m really grateful for the opportunity to answer this question. And actually, it’s funny–a couple of days ago, I was at home playing with my kids or making dinner or doing some other utterly uninteresting thing that actually isn’t funny, when I heard a soft “ping” emanate from my phone. Looking down, sure enough–there was a little red icon on my email app, showing that I had received an electronic message. Had I known at the time what the message was, I probably wouldn’t have looked at it (LOL, Right!?), but I checked it out. And right there, on the spot, out of the blue, a BCC Reader was asking me–ME!–to explain why we always have lame talk intros in Sacrament meeting, as if I know anything about that topic!?
“When Brother 2nd Counselor called me last weekend, I was a little nervous because I was in a whorehouse at the time I took the call”
As a member of the congregation, there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent this practice. It shall never end. There is a secret additional verse to If You Could Hie to Kolob:
“There is no end to intros;
There is no end to dictionary definitions;
There is no end to introducing your family;
There is no end to quoting from the Ensign.”
It’s not a very popular verse.
Theoretically, a bishopric could require all speakers to make up a completely outlandish story to introduce how they were asked to speak. That would liven things up a little. But after a few talks, wouldn’t that get old? People will get less creative and interesting as things go along. The first couple of them would be all Indiana Jones or cyberpunk, but by the end of the year you’d run out of material. “An angel threatened me with a sword if I didn’t speak in sacrament today.” Sure, buddy, we’re heard that one before.
Here’s a crazy idea for better talks: don’t require people to talk about other people’s talks.
What is in my file at church headquarters? Will the contents of my file be considered at the final judgment?
BCC: The second question first: yes. The contents of the file are considered in the final judgment, I kid you not. This is where the Church takes things very seriously: our records are kept as a sort of sealing up of testimony. We ACTUALLY BELIEVE that your membership record is a matter of heavenly things. There is significant scriptural precedent for this. Ask a clerk.
The first question: less than you might think. Dates of ordinances performed, marriage, mission, patriarchal blessing, that sort of thing. Tithing. Notations can be added for church discipline under certain circumstances. Other than that, nada mucho. And you should be grateful.
If anyone else wants to know the contents of their file, just send us an email. We’ll be happy to look for you.
My 3 year old has taken to being a bit violent. He keeps pinching his brother and kept biting me today. He also tries to punch me when he doesn’t get his own way.
So, how do I defend myself against my family?
Scott B: Have you considered asking your child to think of his favorite hymn when he’s tempted toward violence?
Steve:Some people will tell you that it’s wrong to punch a little child in the face.
The best way for you to defend yourself against your family is to avoid them entirely. If you’re a man, having a busy job and being a bishop is the one-two punch you need to not be around Lil’ Nibbler. If you’re a woman, well, disregard the Proclamation on the Family and get a serious career path job. You’ll thank BCC later.
What if ward leaders did an anonymous survey to learn what ward members thought would make the Sabbath more holy?”
Steve: Yeah, wouldn’t that be great?
Scott B.: I don’t think anonymizing my responses would really help. Everyone knows I dedicate my Sabbaths to the Caber Toss.
LDS-Themed Art Recharacterized as LinkedIn Invitations, Ranked:
As always, these rankings are authoritative.