Uber-Deep and Important Doctrinal Questions

May 15, 2009 | 18 comments
By

After reading the post from a couple days ago about optimal tithing rates, I started to think about some of the unanswered questions that have come to mind while I’ve been playing Brick Breaker in Elder’s Quorum pondering the mysteries of the Gospel.  It seems like this audience might be able to offer some differing perspectives on these conundrums that, up to now, have kept me at a loss.  A lot of you seem to be much smarter than I am.

Have at them.

If Steve Martin really was a member of the Church, would I still have had mission companions who claimed to be in his ward?

Has anyone ever suggested to the First Presidency an addendum to the “No R-Rated Movies” rule? I think I’d suggest the following: No R-rated movies unless: 1) the violence is “historic”; 2) you can reasonably rationalize that the movie’s not as bad as Titanic; or 3) if it’s The Matrix. I know a ton of people who already think that’s the rule – seems like it would be a pretty easy transition.

I’ve been told that you shouldn’t pray for your team to win while you’re watching sports because, in doing so, you’re implicitly asking God to make the opposing team lose. Do you think that rule counts when you’re team’s playing against Kobe, seeing as he’s pure evil?

Why does every singles’ ward have a guy who’ll bear his testimony about the parallels between the Gospel and Star Wars? Is it a calling?

Would it take a revelation to allow people who aren’t native Hawaiian to get the congregation to answer back when they say “Aloha” from the pulpit? Follow up question: Will the continuation of this apparently racist policy affect Mitt Romney’s presidential hopes?

If Dan Brown’s next book isn’t really about Mormons (as many girls I went out with claimed it will be), will people finally be able to admit publicly that the The Da Vinci Code isn’t consistent with the teachings of the Church (as many girls I went out with claimed it was)?

When did Bono meet his Mormon wife (come on, “Love is temple/Love the higher law”…It’s so obvious!)? Was it when he was in Utah that one night when U2 was booed off stage? (Note: you probably won’t get that one if you didn’t grow up in Utah during the 1990s)

Which is the bigger TV-related sin: laughing at the Joseph Smith episode of “South Park” or voting against the Mormon contestants on “American Idol?” Is this question moot if you’ve done both?

When Steve Martin attended my mission companions’ wards, was he an investigator or was he just there because his friend was blessing his baby?

Thank you for any comments or insight you’d be willing to provide.

18 Responses to Uber-Deep and Important Doctrinal Questions

  1. Marc Bohn on May 15, 2009 at 12:24 am

    “Has anyone ever suggested to the First Presidency and addendum to the “No R-Rated Movies” rule?”

    Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, you missed the best rationalization of them all. You see, the Church actually took out the reference to R-rated movies in the recent version of the For Strength of Youth pamphlets, so…

  2. Bryan Hickman on May 15, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Oh yeah, I heard about that Marc. It happened the same time the movie studio changed the rating of Last of the Mohicans from R to PG-13…they did that I swear.

  3. Alison Moore Smith on May 15, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Voting against a Mormon AI contestant is pretty pretty much a guarantee of residency in outer darkness.

  4. Tim on May 15, 2009 at 4:54 am

    I’m not sure about AI, but what about voting against Mitt Romney?
    And are you morally obligated to tell your dates that The Da Vinci Code is poorly-written trash, with poor style, shallow characters, and a ridiculous plot? If not, do you tell them that afterwords, when explaining why you’re breaking up with them?

  5. Left Field on May 15, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Granted, I haven’t belonged to a singles ward since 1986, but I don’t remember anyone mentioning Star Wars. Or in any other ward either.

    It’s superfluous to pray for a team to beat the Yankees. The Yankees are evil personified. God already knows that.

  6. Dan on May 15, 2009 at 7:13 am

    What no R-rated movie rule? Some GAs say we shouldn’t see PG movies; others say we shouldn’t see “in appropriate” movies. And if I live outside the US, what do I know from ratings anyway?

  7. L-d Sus on May 15, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I like your idea of Star Wars Guru as a calling. This calling could go to someone who doesn’t like Star Wars and who would be unlikely to magnify their calling. Then when the self-appointed Star Wars Guru tried to do his/her thing, the Bishop could play the “that isn’t your calling” card.

  8. Jacob J on May 15, 2009 at 10:12 am

    How about: No R-rated movies unless: It is just for violence and the violence is either really fake or very realistic -OR- it is for bad language bad and you are not bothered by bad language -OR- it is for nudity.

  9. John Buffington on May 15, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I think if you are going to watch an R-rated movie, make it one of Tarantino’s. If you are going to cross this fuzzy line, you may as well sprint!

    There is a guy named Martin Stevens who is a member. Maybe peolple get them mixed up?

    My testimony has been shaken by praying for BYU sports enough times to consider becoming Catholic; besides, their university will embrace our President.

    Do people actually say interactive things from the pulpit? Do people actually listen to people saying anything from the pulpit?

    I heard Dan Brown’s next book is about Masons and Jews, because, as we all know, they control EVERYTHING. I am hoping it is up to the literary standards I have come to expect. Maybe Dan should give Stephenie a call?

    Bozo is married to a Mormon? Do the kids have red hair and round red noses?

    I think watching Orgazmo would rank worse than either South Park, or AI, unless of course, it is Tarantino’s remake of Orgazmo…[involuntary shudder]

    Why do singles wards even exist? Does anyone actually try to relate Star Wars/Battlestar Gallactica to anything other than fantasy? Would these movies be better if “updated” by Quentin Tarantino?

    I heard Martin Stevens IS a regular church goer.

  10. Kevin Barney on May 15, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I actually have a theory about the persistent Steve Martin rumors.

    On my mission to Colorado in the late 70s, there was a member of the Church in my ward who was the mother of one of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band guys, who had grown up Mormon. She regaled us with stories of how they often would practice in her garage. Steve Martin often joined the group for these sessions, playing banjo. I suspect that this is the kernel of truth underlying all the “Steve Martin is a member” rumors.

  11. SCW on May 15, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Star Wars is not just a single’s ward phenom- my past EQP handed out a CD-ROM containing his essays on the subject of Stars Wars and the gospel. Yes, he is an engineer.

    We had the Matrix in our DVD player and when the missionaries wanted to show us the new Jesus DVD, up flashed “This movie is rated R” when we turned on the machine. Awkward!

  12. Justin on May 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    -No R-rated movies “rule”

    You are overlooking a real doctrinal issue:

    Since when is the MPAA divinely inspired to know which movies are acceptable for Mormons to watch, since this is the unstated premise of this “rule?”

  13. Vader on May 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I have little insight into most of these imponderables, except the issue of R-rated film, where it is quote impossible to be a Church member in good standing and not have an opinion.

    My family all believe all R films are evil except Saving Private Ryan and Passion of the Christ.

    I came within an inch of renting Saving Private Ryan, noticed Das Boot on the way to the checkout and started to reach for it, and then it hit me that if I rented either I would have no idea where to draw the line in the future.

    Put SPR back and rented a musical instead.

    I didn’t say I was a member in good standing.

  14. John Buffington on May 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    You gotta figure that if you are willing to watch a war flick such as Saving Private Ryan (which I clearly am) that you may as well get the full experience and watch Inglorius Basterds by Tarantino when it comes out in August (which I plan on watching)

    As luck would have it, I am exempt from worrying about the R ratings, since it does not exist in Canada and we are not subject to the spiritual divinations of the MPAA.

  15. brandt on May 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    How did I know from that title that the post would be sarcastic in nature?

  16. jjohnsen on May 15, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Awesome.

  17. Floyd the Wonderdog on May 16, 2009 at 10:29 am

    We had a counselor in the SP give a talk in Stake Priesthood meeting about the gospel and Star Wars. I had to go see the doctor due to the excessive eye-rolls. He should be back from serving as MP in a couple of months. I bet the Elders in his mission learned how to access the Force when tracting and other uber-important gospel issues.

  18. Mark D. on May 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    When I lived in Hawaii, saying “Aloha!” back from the audience in response to an ‘Aloha!’ from the pulpit was practically mandatory for all. If the non-native Hawaiians declined to participate I suspect the native Hawaiian members would be mightily offended.

WELCOME

Times and Seasons is a place to gather and discuss ideas of interest to faithful Latter-day Saints.