I was a Teenage Mormon

Over at Pilgrim Girl, Jana discusses how she was told as a teen that her life would be a movie that everyone would watch in the hereafter. She writes:

When I was a young Mormon teen, we had a special speaker for a Youth Conference about ‘morality.’* This speaker told us that at the Judgment Day everyone would have perfect knowledge of everything we’d done in our lives. He explained that there would be a ginormous movie screen on the top of Pike’s Peak (the tallest mountain in the vicinity) that would replay our lives for _everyone._ And, as this speaker explained, the only way that parts of the movie could be ‘edited’ was through repentance—those sins would then be cut from the reel of our life story as if we’d never done them. The speaker reinforced this notion repeatedly throughout his talk decrying various sexual indiscretions, explaining that “It’ll be in your movie” and everyone will know what you’ve done if you don’t repent. Following the conference the theme was reinforced in numerous ways by our church leaders. The refrain “It’ll be in your movie” was repeated in church venues for months afterwards.

She goes on to discuss how this idea affected her view of herself. I can remember similar discussions of “your life is a movie,” also in church venues. (And as I recall, Lynnette Eve had a post comment about this idea as well a few many months ago.) It seems that this frightening (and, as far as I can tell, completely non-doctrinal) idea is often a regular part of teen instruction.

But really, I didn’t worry so much about the movie. The idea seemed a little weird and embarrassing, but it wasn’t a big factor in my own teen angst and fears, because I had bigger things to worry about. What scared the daylights out of me as a teen was another idea that I heard from Young Men’s. It is, as far as I can tell, as doctrinally dubious as the “movie” — but I was definitely taught it, and it stuck, and played a large role in my own fears. It was this idea:

If the priest who blesses the sacrament is at all unworthy, then the sins of the entire congregation are on the head of that priest.

When you think about it for a second, this is a very frightening idea. A congregation is big — and there are doubtless some people in that congregation who have Very Big Sins. There’s going to be a lot of collected sin in that weekly sacrament. One wayward thought about the cute girl in History, and BAM! all those sins attach to me.

So sometimes I tried to dodge the actual saying-of-prayer. If I could be the middle priest — the one who just breaks bread, but doesn’t say the actual prayer — then clearly I wouldn’t be in danger. Problem was, a lot of priests tried to dodge the prayer-saying. Usually, it seemed to be for less theologically motivated reasons — people were just uncomfortable speaking in public. And so the non-speaking priest was a bit of a plum role, and I often found myself in the danger zone of having to actually talk.

And then I’d start wondering. What had I done that week? Was a bad thought really enough to trigger the effect? (What about a cuss word?) Had I really sinned that week? Couldn’t that be counted for last week instead? Didn’t I get any credit for stepping up and praying and helping out the other priest? And on, and on. Enough to keep me busy through Sacrament, at least.

Teenage angst combined with quasi-doctrine — ain’t it wonderful?

60 comments for “I was a Teenage Mormon

  1. June 4, 2007 at 3:39 pm
  2. June 4, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    John, I’d be interested in having you expound upon how exacty a priest could take upon himself another’s sins.

  3. June 4, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    John, I’d be interested in having you expound upon how exacty a priest could take upon himself another’s sins.

  4. June 4, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Oh man you are gonna burn burn burn…

    4th ring, 5th pit, cook.

  5. Adam Greenwood
    June 4, 2007 at 4:16 pm


    I don’t see the impossibility myself, but if you check back to see what Kaimi W. describes as “completely non-doctrinal” or follow John Mansfield’s link you’ll see he’s not talking about unworthy priests being held to account for the sins of the congregation.

  6. ronito
    June 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    What a great post. Let me tell you, my growing up in Utah county was horribly completicated by “psuedo-doctrine” and mormon folklore. And the funny thing is that none of it, not one, was actually about the church or being a better mormon, they were all about new and exciting ways to guilt you into being good. Whenever I have the opportunity to teach the youth I try to stick to the factual important stuff.

    I remember the whole movie thing and how it was repeated over and over and over again in seminary. I remember being asked how that made me want to live my life by a certain seminary teacher, and by then I had had enough of this silly idea and replied, “I’d want it to be so interesting that the people watching it would say , ‘Man, that guy is SO going to hell. But I wish I could’ve had his life.'” Needless to say the teacher was not pleased.

  7. June 4, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Oh, OK–I didn’t follow the link. But of those scriptures, there are only about 3 which apply–and those are saying that there will be secrets that we try to hide that will come out in the end. The doctrine that we cannot hide our sins from the Lord seems very different than a video of our most private moments, even going to the bathroom, being played for everyone to see.

  8. WillF
    June 4, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Sounds like we would be watching a lot of lascivious stuff on Judgement day if that movie doctrine were true. Since we are commanded not to watch that kind of stuff, then would anyone see the movie anyway?

  9. WillF
    June 4, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    The worst piece of psuedo-doctrine I heard was in the MTC from someone in our MTC ward (or are they branches?) bishopric who told us that the more obedient you were on your mission, the more good looking your future wife would be. The scary part is that he didn’t seem to be kidding.

  10. bbell
    June 4, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    There is lots of crazy lore floating around the LDS world.

    On my mission we were all convinced that the harder we worked the hotter our wives would be. Guys would sit around discussing it openly.

    Lots of lore simply is an atttempt to scare kids straight or to get missionaries to work harder.

    I do not think that the LDS are unique in our lore. Take a look at the evangelical “Left Behind” series for some context on this issue.

  11. halojones
    June 4, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Aw, the teen years…..We had a Mia -Maid teacher who always told us girls we were the moral gatekeepers in romantic relationships, and it was up to us,and this is a quote, to keep Satan\’s big toe from getting in our front door. She used that phrase over and over again, and it would creep us all out every time.

  12. June 4, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I imagine that the movie concept is extrapolated from Chapter 46, “The Last Judgment,” of Gospel Principles:

    There is another record that will be used to judge us. The Apostle Paul taught that we ourselves are the most complete record of our life (see Romans 2:15; 2 Corinthians 3:1–3). Stored in our body and mind is a complete history of everything we have done. President John Taylor taught this truth: “[The individual] tells the story himself, and bears witness against himself. … That record that is written by the man himself in the tablets of his own mind—that record that cannot lie—will in that day be unfolded before God and angels, and those who sit as judges” (Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Latter-day Prophets Speak, pp. 56–57).

  13. June 4, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Actually, the first quasi-doctrine doesn’t seem that well off. Not if you take the part about Pike’s peak litereally:


    This scripture (D&C 1:3) seems to say that in the last days, at least some of the secret iniquities are going to be revealed to the general public. That’s what I take the word choice of “housetops” to mean, at least. Maybe it’s something like Moses’ vision in the PoGP:


    Not to say that the idea isn’t quasi-doctrine at best. I’d have to see scriptures that describe exactly what about our personal lives is going to be revealed at the last day before I completely accepted the “in heaven your sins will be revealed to everyone like a movie” teaching as an essential doctrine.

    As for the part about the sins upon your head as a priest thing, that just strikes me as completely non-doctrinal. It also strikes me as a teaching that drives people away from Jesus Christ. The whole point of the gospel is to point to Jesus Christ. If you’re so obsessed about being perfect in every law, and see repentance as a checklist instead of a lifestyle, then you’re letting the law obscure your faith in Christ, and that’s just wrong.

  14. June 4, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    sorry, should say “doesn’t seem that FAR off.”

  15. Smart Alec
    June 4, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    “to keep Satan\’s big toe from getting in our front door.”

    Since Satan doesn’t have a body, he must not have a big toe either!

    “Stored in our body and mind is a complete history of everything we have done.”

    So if you lose your mind, or get Alzheimer’s, etc., is your mind erased?

    Gee, isn’t Mormon folklore fun?? :)

  16. Eve
    June 4, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Kaimi, I too was a Mormon teenager. Some days I still am.

  17. Sally
    June 4, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Gee whiz, you read all the mormon folklore and wonder how anyone could get the idea that our religion is weird…

  18. Gilgamesh
    June 4, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    That must be what we need the 1000 years of the millennium for – watching life movies. My assumptuion is anybody stuck watching the movies would be those of the second resurrection, because watching the ins and outs of menial life and sin would be pure hell.

  19. June 4, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    I heard the “movie” metaphor as well when I was a teenager… and that was 20 years ago. It’s not an entirely bad metaphor, inasmuch as the act of judgment will have the effect of our sins being “shouted from the housetops”. The problem with the metaphor, from my perspective, is two-fold:

    One, with 70 billion (and counting!) movies to be played, I think that we have little worry that anyone but us and the Lord will much care. Our lives are ours alone, and, in the end, it’s not what Tommy, Blaire, or Javier think — but what the Lord and our Father in Heaven think of us. The second problem is that it’s being used to scare instead of inspire. Fear-mongering begets only short-term gains and then long-term resentment.

    The crack about all the congregation’s sins being on the poor priest who wasn’t perfect/worthy/whatever is, I think, worse… as it turns people into legalists — and fails, on multiple fronts, to inform. Yes, the sacrament is a holy ordinance, and it’s a serious thing to administer it or partake of it in a state of unworthiness… but isn’t that heavy enough without dragging out bad doctrine?

    The big two, well, that made me laugh. Out loud. Until it occurred to me that such reasoning is probably a large contributor to the who “it’s the girl’s fault” claptrap.

  20. christopher johnson
    June 4, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I heard that pseudo-doctrine on my mission from my mission president, and then it was reinforced by his wife; both of them held straight-faces. I was somewhat shocked and further formed my behavioral expectations of them. It don’t think it had too much of an effect on the mission with the possible exception of the missionaries excited to return home soon.

  21. DKL
    June 4, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    That’s nothing. More than half of my teachers in high school told me I’d never amount to anything because I told them that they were wasting my time.

    Oh, and you know, they used to tell boys that they’d go blind if they masturbated.

    These kinds of superstitions are stupid. But it’s all too cheap and easy to poke fun or hold up to ridicule the superstitions of one culture when you pretend that your own life is altogether free of them. Moreover, most kids are ugly or fat or have bad acne, so their self esteem is being besieged by much weightier matters.

  22. PoNyman
    June 5, 2007 at 12:08 am

    Could someone remember to hit the record button when Kaimi\’s life comes on? I may be sleeping and wouldn\’t want to miss anything.

  23. WillF
    June 5, 2007 at 12:17 am

    How about the teaching that Satan cannot read our minds, so if we avoid speaking of our temptations, he won’t know how to get us.

  24. worm
    June 5, 2007 at 12:20 am

    Does everyone have to wait for the public release?

    “The spirits of the just…are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith.” (TPJS p.326)

  25. Smart Alec
    June 5, 2007 at 1:07 am

    Will there be popcorn, nachos, and soft drinks provided at these exhibitions and will they be free? Will they include previews of coming attractions and celestial commercials? Having to watch 70 billion lifetimes of the most boring drivel sounds to me more like hell, not heaven! Not to mention that some of it is probably R- or X-rated!

  26. KyleM
    June 5, 2007 at 1:09 am

    What kind of voyeuristic society must the afterlife be if we’re going to sit around and review other’s sinfull lives? I don’t think a movie would be necessary for us to be racked with guilt. Neither is an audience required to fill us with shame. Just seeing the Savior would be enough for me to remember everything I haven’t repented for.

  27. Starfoxy
    June 5, 2007 at 1:41 am

    I was also fed the movie-screen-in-the-sky story in seminary. I also heard boys tossing about the idea that righteousness will be rewarded with a super hot wife, (though I have reasonable doubt as to how much any of them believed the idea). I always answered this assertion with a princess Jasmine-esque “A woman is not a prize to be won!”

    Another one I heard that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that a woman can be forgiven of sins by giving birth- the theory went that the pain she experiences is unselfish in nature and is therefore purifying. A friend of mine, upon hearing this immediately asked “how many sins?”

  28. Myka
    June 5, 2007 at 2:21 am

    Wow- you’ve heard the movie idea in Seminary? That’s always been my dream! I would love to sit and watch my life, provided, of course, that I had a remote control to skip the bad stuff! Repentance is a good way to go too to erase all the things we realized were sins. What I always imagined was that you watch your own movie, alone, and then judge yourself. I sure hope we get to see the movie of our lives. It sounds so fun. I’d probably be disappointed by what really happened in my life because of how much I exaggerate. I’m so glad to hear that this has some (weird, pseudo) doctrinal basis!
    Why would they tell you that everyone else would watch it? Who would want to? I love that the seminary teachers used peer pressure to encourage us to do the right thing: “It will be in your movie! Everyone will know what you did!” This isn’t supposed to be a concern of ours on Earth, and it better not be in heaven! What happened to do the right things for the right reasons?

  29. Norbert
    June 5, 2007 at 3:38 am

    I remember an efy where a speaker — Don Black, perhaps? — had been at a Pink Floyd concert and had seen satanic spirits visiting the bodies of the audience members. Or did someone he know have this experience? I thought at the time there might have been something in those browinies he had.

  30. Sarah
    June 5, 2007 at 6:18 am

    You know, there really are aspects of Mormon culture that you miss when there are two kids in Seminary and one of you is stuck teaching Youth Sunday School (and the teacher is the YW president, and has had both jobs since the current freshmen were in Kindergarten.) The worst thing I got was that anything bad, or uncomfortable, or weird, or annoying in one’s life must be something that “builds character.” Seriously: waking up late because there was a power outage? Accidentally eating a bug? Character building moments, all.

  31. June 5, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Okay so this is embarrassing, but after reading this, I’m starting to realize that even after years and years of watching everyone overanalizing everything Mormon in the nacle, I still do have layers of teen fed psudo doctrine lying dormant in the back of my skull.

  32. dangermom
    June 5, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Wow. I was a Mormon teen, and I had really loopy Seminary teachers, but I never heard these ones. Thank goodness; the movie idea is too horrifying for my 15-yo self to contemplate. Though my loopy Seminary teachers did turn me into something of a skeptic, so maybe I wouldn’t have believed that one either.

    These things always make me wonder what seemingly-good ideas we’ve completely accepted that we’ll have to let go of some day.

  33. June 5, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    When I was a kid, I half believed that there was a movie camera somewhere recording everything I was doing, and so I sometimes tried to act like I was in a movie. I don’t know if it came from this pseudo doctrine or not, but it’s kind of similar. I also believed that scientists in spotless white lab coats two hundred years from now would be extremely interested in reading and analyzing my journals.

  34. June 5, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Yep, we got the shouting from the rooftops thing too, and it totally freaked me out. However, this same seminary teacher insisted Christ would show up in the year 2000. As you can imagine, he totally lost his street-cred with that one.

    Where does the church find these people, anyway?

  35. Tona
    June 5, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Maybe somehow that’s where Albert Brooks got the idea for his film “Defending Your Life,” where everyone has to sit in a room with judges and watch a film of their lives. Of course, Brooks’ film is full of the worst and most painful moments of his life, while the svelte Meryl Streep gets to watch herself saving the family cat from the housefire. Everyone’s in long white dresses in the afterlife, too, which I always thought was an interesting touch, from a Mormon perspective.

  36. June 5, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a movie of my life so I could go back and check on the exact details of occurrences or conversations. My brother and I have an ongoing dispute about the details of a statement he made several years ago. I want to rewind the DVD and replay the conversation to sort it out because if I’m right, he has to eat a tree. He claims he said something different and is exempt from his tree-eating exclamation. (For the record, my wife witnessed the conversation and her recollection agrees with mine.)

    Here’s an additional problem with the life-as-a-movie pseudo-doctrine:
    Let’s say that Sally and Bobby commit a serious sexual transgression (to use the General-Conference-correct term) together. Sally repents but Bobby doesn’t. When all of Sally and Bobby’s friends are gathered together to watch the movies of their lives, they would see that there was a bit missing in Sally’s movie where she had repented (presumably the details of the sin would not be discernible). No big deal. What happens when they watch Bobby’s movie and see Sally’s transgression in lurid detail? Doesn’t seem very fair to Sally, does it? Or would Bobby’s movie change (I’m not gonna go there)?

  37. Talon
    June 5, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Psuedo-doctrine debunked:

    I was a terrible missionary, but my wife is super hot.

    Case closed.

  38. Julie M. Smith
    June 5, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    “Where does the church find these people, anyway?”

    Unfortunately, the pool of people willing to take on a roomful of surly and/or sleepy teenagers every blessed day at 6am is small.

  39. Ryan Bell
    June 5, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    What about this one: If you have repented of a sin, but then you commit the same sin later in life, all of your past repenting is cancelled and now you carry the combined weight of each instance of that sin on your head.

    Anyone get that one? Is it based in reality?

  40. June 5, 2007 at 5:48 pm


    I think that one is actually fairly “doctrinal”.

  41. It's Not Me
    June 5, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    I think the movie thing is a metaphor (though I never heard it myself), and therefore was probably not intended to be taken literally.

  42. Melinda
    June 5, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    It would be funny to point out to the mission presidents who promise hard-working missionaries a hot wife that Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan are hotties. That’s not very nice of them to give their Zone Leaders degenerate party girls in rehab to marry.

  43. Kaimi Wenger
    June 5, 2007 at 7:49 pm


    I’m fairly certain that at least some zone leaders would disagree with you about whether that interpretation would be seen as “nice” . . .

  44. WillF
    June 5, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    And it wasn’t hard working missionaries, it was obedient missionaries. Let’s not let the doctrine drift here.

  45. Bro. Jones
    June 5, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    So hey, a question: are we rejecting/debunking the “movie” theory? Or are we just uncomfortable with it?

    Lord have mercy, I’ve made at least as many stupid decisions since joining the Church as before I was Mormon, and I think much of it will take a lifetime of repair. Does that mean if “I’ve repented but haven’t forgiven myself,” and I have a fatal car accident a few years from now, that my licentious and useless college years will be in my movie? :-(

  46. Nathaniel Scott Cannon
    June 6, 2007 at 12:15 am

    I’ve always wanted to write a book entitled “All the False Doctrine I Needed to Know I Learned in Primary”. The sequel would be “Things Blue-haired Ladies Told Me in the Temple”.

    As a youth in the Church it was sometimes hard for me to sort through personal interpolation versus accurate doctrinal extrapolation. One thing I really like to do now is try to figure out just where these things come from. I find that they usually contain a grain of truth, spun out of control by misinterpretation. Dissecting fact from fiction is one of the best exercises I’ve learned since my recent teen years.

    For example:

    Jacob 1:19 “And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.”

    It seems to spell out pretty clearly that if you don’t officiate in your calling to the utmost of your abilities you will take their sins of those in your stewardship upon yourself. So the notion of this applying to blessing the sacrament unworthily might be a bit of a stretch, but I disagree with Kaimi that it is completely “doctrinally dubious”. Again, I think most of these pseudo-doctrines can me boiled down to well-meaning exaggerations or misapplications of less understood principles.

    So, with the movie thing – I’ve seen a lot of hopeful comments that it’s not really the case, but again, it seems to stem from a misguided albeit not totally unfounded interpretation of some pretty well known scriptures. Of course, whether seminary teachers should be spouting this stuff is a totally different question. In my opinion the seminary program needs a lot of work in that regard. At least it gives me material for my book…


  47. June 6, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Heather and Julie
    Hey, don\’t diss seminary teachers. I used to be one myself and it was HUGE fun. And I promise that my students never heard any \”It\’ll be in your movie\” or \”convert thousands on your mission so you\’re wife will be sexy\” stories from me.

    Perhaps I traumatized them in other ways, though? :)

  48. J.A.T.
    June 6, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Here are some more great YM/YW hits:

    1) Don’t perm or rat your hair, wear make-up, have too much jewelry* (especially the dangly kind), or pierce your ears girls –crimping irons will make your hair fall out after you’re ressurected and a lot of other really ugly things will happen to such Jezebels. (I’ve never figured out why teenagers get this lecture while the official RS hairdo and look includes a perm, hair dye, large clip-on earrings, manicures, toe-scrunching high-heels, and make-up.)

    *CTR rigns are an exception- and have near protective powers, as do ‘Strength of the Youth’ phamplets kept in your wallet.

    2) How many GA’s have sat next to (insert any current rock star from a popular band of the era– starting with the Beetles and Rolling Stones and ending with Bon Jovi) on a plane and had the “What do you sing about?”, “I sing of Satan” conversation? I think it might have happened once and the story keeps getting recycled with different GAs and different rock stars. I think it has fallen out of popularity since President Hinckley and others have been flying on private jets.

  49. TDS
    June 6, 2007 at 11:57 am

    I think the original rock star on a plane story was from Gene R. Cook, with Mick Jagger. There’s a link to the original talk at http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/art/cook_jagger.htm

  50. Melinda
    June 6, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Nathaniel – I’ll buy your book!

    J.A.T. – That lecture about hair crimping and earrings is based on 2 Nephi 13:18-24. The crimped hair falling out in the resurrection is probably from verse 24: “And it shall come to pass, . . . instead of well set hair, baldness . . .” A speaker in a singlse ward quoted that scripture to warn us women against being too concerned with appearances. He was smirking as he said it, and I thought it wasn’t fair that vain men don’t get a smackdown like Isaiah gave the women. I never heard a seminary teacher say that though, just the weird sacrament meeting speaker.

  51. John Williams
    June 6, 2007 at 4:03 pm


    I am only aware of a Gene R. Cook / Mick Jagger version of that story. Have you really heard other versions of it?

    I don’t think you’re doomed to Outer Darkness if you listen to the Rolling Stones, but I think Cook’s story is awesome. I first heard it from a missionary having dinner at my house when I was in high school.

    I believe it really happened, although Cook probably exaggerrated it a little. I’ll be honest– I wish all GA talks had stories that interesting.

  52. bbell
    June 6, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Its always Gene R Cook.

    I haead a tape of his story of the encounter about 2 months ago.

    Its pretty interesting stuff.

  53. jab
    June 6, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    #40 and #41 – I had a conversation with a YW who’d been taught that repentance idea by her seminary teacher. She was totally concerned about it b/c as she said, “I have no idea how many times I may have hit my brother or whatever say btwn the ages of 8 and 12. How can I make sure I repent for each and every individual event?” I told her I thought Heavenly Father cared way more for your progress than saying “I’m sorry ten million times. Assume you lost your temper and called your little brother ‘stupid’ the day after your baptism. You remember to repent for that, but 2 months later you lose your temper again and call him ‘stupid’ again. So you repent for that and also manage to remember the first time and re-repent for that. But 6 months later or a year later or 3 years later when you slip up and call him stupid again, will you really remember the first 2 times it happened so you can re-repent for that? I really don’t think that H.F. cares about all the little individual mistakes you make. Are you progressing? Are you trying to keep your temper and be nice to your brother? Do you eventually succeed in having a good relationship with him? Do you try to repent and ask forgiveness when you make a mistake? That’s what matters. Not keeping a tally sheet of every wrong you’ve done and making sure to go back and “re-do” your repenting b/c obviously you didn’t truly repent. Repentance is a process of changing yourself.

  54. akl
    June 6, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Another couple of old ones that you don’t hear much any more: when you sin, it’s like driving a nail into a board. Repentance pulls the nail out, but the hole always remains. A person who has been unchaste is like a piece of the toast with the butter licked off. Who would ever want you? I heard both of these growing up in the Church in Southern California in the 1960’s. Well-intentioned to keep youth on the straight and narrow, but devastating in their denial of the full power of the atonement. Thank heavens that, for the most part, times have changed.

  55. Melinda
    June 6, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    akl – my seminary teacher started off with the nail in the board object lesson, specifically explained that it’s wrong to think that the nail holes remain, and taught that we get a new board when we repent.

  56. John Taber
    June 7, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I heard Elder Cook give that talk (well, tell that story among others) at a stake conference in 2002. I don’t think he exaggerated a whole lot but he could have done a better job of explaining the context.

  57. jat
    June 7, 2007 at 10:17 am

    I’ve heard the airplane story used incorrectly (then) citing lots of other GAs, including Monson, Ballard and Packer. In true folklore tradition, the memorable moral and story outline continue and the details flail in the wind. The point is the thing that matter in the end I guess.
    Thanks one and all for the correct citation.

  58. nephi4
    June 7, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    When my life\’s movie is being played I think I\’ll be more worried about those times I picked my nose and less worried about the times I felt my girlfriend up.

  59. Jeff
    June 7, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    About the mission obedience => hotter wife idea … That came up during my mission. We had fun with it as a joke and to continue the fun had a philosophical discussion about whether we would just find someone who was more attractive or if somehow the girl we married would physiologically become more attractive as we worked harder. Any ideas?

  60. nephi4
    June 7, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    About the mission obedience => hotter wife idea …

    After meeting my mission president’s wife, I wouldn’t have been inspired to work harder in order to get a hot wife.

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