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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mormons & Materialism: Part 2 Stuff & Nonsense

Besides looking at the amount of material things you acquire and keep, you also need to look at the type of things you have and value.


Mormons are notorious for acquiring religious kitsch. If the word kitsch is unfamiliar to you, here is a definition from Dictionary.com:
something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.
Don't get me wrong, having religious art and objects in your home can help you remember Christ, His gospel and our purpose here on this Earth. However, too much of this stuff simply adds to clutter. It can serve as a distraction rather than help you focus. Besides, how much of this stuff do you need?

In later postings I'll talk about valuing something for its utility. Right now, I'm condemning the purely decorative. We spend far too much of our time, money and resources making this stuff, collecting it and giving it as gifts.

It is hard to throw this stuff out, or reject it in some way, because you feel it is disrespectful of the gospel. If you throw away a picture of Christ or some emblem with religious meaning you feel like you are rejecting your religion.

It is best to avoid this dilemma by not acquiring it in the first place. Relief Society is the biggest culprit by far. So much of the sisters' time is spent creating and acquiring this stuff.

Events that promote this stuff are usually just filler. No one wants to go to the trouble of fashioning an activity that is truly useful to the sisters so we just fill up time, and our homes, with stuff that we don't need and can't use.

Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. (See 2 Nephi 9: 51)
How much of the space currently in your home is dominated by religious kitsch? How much do you have in storage? How long does it take you to dust and clean around it? If the answer is far too much and way too long, consider disposing of some of it.

If it isn't somehow doing its job of helping you aspire to greater things then it isn't really an asset.

Ditto for all your non-religious kitsch. You may not have the same religious sensitivities attached to it but much of it may be overvalued on the basis of sentiment. It is still just a plate.

Home decor has its place but it in a cluttered home it can be distracting. Besides, who lives in your home, your stuff or you? Would you have a lot more space to live if you pared things down?

As a child I remember arranging all of my stuffed animals on my bed one night when I was supposed to be going to sleep. I tucked them all in under the covers and they really looked cute. There was just one problem. There wasn't any room for me in the bed. I decided that sleeping on the floor was a viable solution. When my Dad came in to check on me he got angry, which at the time I thought was something of an overreaction. He threw all my stuffed animals on the floor and threw me in bed and told me never to pull that stunt again.

Take a good look at your home. Is there room for you?

Series: Mormons & Materialism Series
Part 1 We Can't Take it With Us or Even Use it Here
Part 2 Stuff & Nonsense
Part 3 Out of Purgatory or Into Heaven
Part 4 What We Consume Ends Up Consuming Us
Part 5 Affluence or the Appearance of It
Part 6 Titles, Labels and Lemon Juice
Part 7 Power and Other Addictions
Part 8 Summer Cottages in Babylon
Part 9 Valuing Based on Utility
Part 10 Get Rid of It!
Part 11: Consecration & Conclusion

2 comments:

  1. Great post. It is hard to get rid of any kind of stuff (for me at least) religious or otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hate RS Super Saturdays! Why would I want to spend an entire day making 6-10 "things" that I then have to get rid of. Ugh!

    Please let me plan a service project instead, please!

    ReplyDelete