Things Mormons Would End Up Doing in Westworld, Ranked

Do you watch Westworld? I don’t, but Steve does and he says it’s great and he’s never wrong (I guess?). It’s about a place where there are human-looking robots that are available for people to hunt or kill or do whatever to without consequence. SOUNDS FUN. Even though visits to this place aren’t technically forbidden by the TR questions, it seems pretty clear that it’s not a place for the devout Latter-day Saint. But would a Mormon even have fun there, anyway? Steve and I considered this question, and the answer heavily depends on what you’d call “fun.”

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

Diluted Mormon Versions of WWJD?, Ranked

I’ve always felt like the only thing we lack as a church is a really great acronym that would immediately communicate to everyone inside and outside the church how cool we are and how great it is to be a part of us. “Your abbreviations are so hip and efficient! Do you have a pamphlet I can read?” This is an area where I feel like evangelical Christians have clearly outdone us. It’s not too late, though!

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

Forms of Being Broke, Ranked

Apparently there are some super-boring videos on the YoobTube these days in which some LDS Church leaders are overhead using the term “Church Broke.” This has inevitably led to much speculation about the true meaning of the term, and Steve and I decided the time was right to seek revelation on the matter. Unfortunately, the inspiration didn’t clarify the phrase in question, but instead just highlighted many other forms of being Broke that we humans are likely to encounter during our mortal sojourn.

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

U2 Albums, Ranked

It is GENERALLY true that Steve and I are of one mind, not just with respect to the revelations we receive pertaining to Things, Ranked, but also with respect to the Rankable Things we seek revelation on. But every now and then, one of us feels the (probably unrighteous) desire to pursue our own agenda, and we end up ranking things that clearly have nothing to do with our personal salvation. For example, earlier today, Steve decided that U2’s discography needed to be ranked.

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

Alternative Expressions to Great and Abominable, Ranked

You ever just get a hankering to rank stuff? Yeah, Steve and I got that hankering last night. And we surrendered to it. Big Time.

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

Encountering Mormonism on Route 66

IMG_3884(This post isn’t really a Fourth of July thing, except that there’s something distinctly American about Route 66. So we’ll go with it.)

We talked about taking a Route 66 vacation this summer. After all, we live in Chicago (and Route 66 starts across the street from the Art Institute!), and it ends in L.A., just north of my parents’ home. But with this year’s Every Kid in a Park (which, btw, if you have a kid who just finished fourth grade and you haven’t enrolled yet, I don’t think it’s too late), we switched to a visit-National-Parks trip.

Still, our National Parks roadtrip ended up overlapping briefly with Route 66—we were going to Petrified Forest National Park, which is on historic Route 66, and we decided to stay in nearby Holbrook, in Wigwam Village #6.[fn1] [Read more…]

Rough Draft Commandments, Ranked

Ranking stuff in sets of 10 seems normal and natural for us now, but that’s because we have thousands of years of conditioning that all started with the very first list of Stuff, Ranked–the 10 Commandments. Since Moses went up the mountain, mankind has continually ranked things in sets of 10 (though most of these rankings are non-authoritative and therefore wrong). But you probably didn’t even know that the 10 Commandments were actually the result of a negotiation between God and Moses; God wanted to give more commandments; Moses didn’t want to carve too much stuff in rocks. That’s right, folks–the 10 Commandments are just a compromise of divine counsel and human laziness. Had Moses not been so adamant, we would have had a much longer list of commandments, and the history of ranking stuff would have been fundamentally different. Steve and I aren’t sure exactly how many commandments were in the original draft, but we know it was at least 21. We also don’t know whether revealing these missing commandments causes them to be binding on all mankind for the rest of eternity.

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

People in the Book of Mormon, Ranked

You know what is a pretty good book of scripture? The Book of Mormon. It has some great gospel teachings in it. You know what else it has in it? People–lots of them! Some people in the Book of Mormon are really important, and some people are sort of forgettable. You’ve probably wondered who is the most important, and Steve and I sought revelation on this very matter.

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

Codes, Ranked

After the snot-nosedness from some of the commenters last week–suggesting that The Process is somehow non-revelatory in nature–Steve and I decided that you’ll no longer be treated with clear insights into how stuff gets Ranked. Anyway, all of the talk recently about Honor Codes led us to seek inspiration on the true ranking of Codes.

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

Councils, Ranked

We’re going to give you a peek into The Process today: How stuff gets ranked. I’m going to lift the veil of secrecy and show the names of who lists what, and how we hash out our differences, with time stamps and everything. You won’t be disappointed.

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

Things About Candy That Make Me Mad, Ranked

It’s been a long time since we ranked stuff! I apologize for that! With our ranking muscles kind of flabby, Steve and I had a pretty hard time ranking stuff today. Here are some of our failed efforts before we finally found our stride today:

  • Things That I’m Stressed About, Ranked

[Read more…]

Stuff I’d Buy If I Won The Lottery, Ranked

Because we know you’re all playing the LotteryBall tonight, Steve and I thought we’d put together a short list of what we plan to buy when we win tonight.

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

Are Mormons Anti-Modernists?

As the Ammon Bundy headlines continue to dominate the news cycle, many have been wondering whether these views are inherently Mormon as the Bundy clan claims or if Mormonism encourages these types of attitudes.  While this episode has a libertarian theme, which may or may not relate to the question of anti-modernism, I wanted to revisit a post I wrote in 2013 about the anti-modernist streak that seems to be emerging in various faith traditions, including Mormonism.

[Read more…]

How Many Days It Will Take Until It Feels Okay To Crack A Joke Again, Ranked

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

Once I Was a Beehive in Chicago

beehiveGod’s Army came out my senior year at BYU. And it was a revelation. Fifteen years later, I can still remember the impact of seeing a movie, an actual real live movie, about my people, about my experiences. One that took those experiences seriously.

At the time, I was studying English, with a focus on creative writing. And I was thinking seriously—or, at least, as seriously as I could—about Mormon art. I mean, there was plenty of kitsch, plenty of inspiring-but-not-artistic stuff out there. But Richard Dutcher created a Mormon movie without the kitsch, something quality.[fn1]

After I graduated, though, and moved away from Utah, Mormon filmmaking had almost zero impact on me. Some Mormon cinema was great—I have New York Doll sitting in my DVD collection. Some of it wasn’t. Most of it I never saw, because it never came to New York or Chicago, where I lived. So I was excited to hear that Once I Was a Beehive was going to make its Chicago debut on Friday, October 30.  [Read more…]

I Have A Question: Can You Break Commandments in the Holodeck?

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!

Your questions have been burning a hole in our inbox. We must answer.

If I’m walking across the BYU campus in the morning when the national anthem plays over the speakers, do I really have to stop walking and put my hand over my heart?

[Read more…]

Authenticity: Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

It’s a common claim among participants of Mormon internet groups that people feel they cannot be themselves at church or can’t say what they think for fear of being ostracized.  They feel they are discouraged from being honest or authentic, that they would be rejected if they disagreed with the party line or articulated a non-conforming viewpoint.  Certainly many examples have been given of individuals who were viewed suspiciously for sharing unpopular opinions openly.  These are complaints that they feel they must be inauthentic to be accepted. [Read more…]

Police Beat Roundtable XXVII

To protect or whatever

The 27th installation of our ongoing look at that most charming column of the Daily Universe. Previous installments can be read here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Steve Evans: We’re back! And I need to warn you guys that I’m going to be interspersing some lyrics from #Hamiltunes

GST: I don’t know what that is.

Steve: KEN DOES! All right. Let’s get this Spruce Goose off the ground. I call Police Beat my Spruce Goose because I collect my urine in empty milk bottles, just like Howard Hughes. Just FYI.

Ken Jennings: show me all the blueprints
show me ALL the blueprints
show me all the BLUEprints

[Read more…]

I Have a Question: Will Lame Talk Intros Ever End?

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?

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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:

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]