I may choose to ignore anonymous comments. I consider this type of anonymity dishonest. Also, I don't post regularly. I post when I have something worth writing and something worth reading. I explain all this in: Don't Let Telling Tales Trip Up Your Truthfulness.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Decision Delayed: What SHOULD I Do?

Church was canceled the first Sunday of January because of the monster snow and cold that hit the Midwest and other areas. Because of extreme sickness we've missed the last two Sundays.

This has served to delay my decision.

I can't decide how stupendous it is or how important or even what I should do.

My ward Relief Society will give me a Joseph Fielding Smith manual, however, I have to SIGN for it. Yup, sign for it. Otherwise, I can't have one.

I'm not certain how this bizarre practice got started but the rationale is that sisters lose their manual and ask for another one. Well, they can't have one, can they! We'll show them their signature of the first one they received and they will just have to lump it if they don't like it.

This policy is enforced.

In fact, the Relief Society president loaned a manual to an investigator sister I was sitting by last year. After Relief Society was over, she came and took it back. If you aren't a member, apparently you don't deserve one either. Me and the senior sister missionary sitting on the other side of this hapless investigator were both mortified.

I have a fundamental problem with all this.

When I was teaching Gospel Principles the only extra manuals to be had were in the library. The librarian told me they were strictly managed because the missionaries were handing them out to "just anybody!" Can you imagine?

I find all of this extremely offensive. I just can't nail down the reasons why. Part of me says just sign for it and the other part of me says to take a stand and order my own copy myself, and then flaunt it in the Relief Society president's face.

Is it just me or do you have a problem with it too?

Update: See March 13, 2014, "Decidion Still Delayed"


  1. That is interesting. Never heard of signing up for a manual, except for the Church Handbooks. In our ward, the Joseph Fielding Smith manuals were available to anyone who wanted or needed one. They did however ask us not to take one if we had electronic devices that could be used in place of a paper manual (ie. ipad, smartphone, tablet, etc). That is actually in line with the direction the Church in general is going however. I can see how someone might have a problem with your situation. If it were me, I would just order a copy, or maybe ask them if I could buy one from them. Then everyone is happy, you get to keep it without signing for it and they can provide one to someone that can't afford to buy one.

  2. My ward was a bit weird with the manuals too - it was suggested not to take one unless we "needed" one. I wasn't sure what "needing" one meant, so I went and bought my own. I'm guessing it was something like Jack said above - if you were just going to use an electronic version, then don't take and waste a paper version. Oh well. Now the ward will have extras for investigators! :) Was there maybe a good reason for taking the manual back from the investigator? Like it was the President's personal one that she had annotated or something? I really hope so, because otherwise that is sad and embarrassing for everyone.

  3. Sounds like a budget crisis to me. I'm sure the relief society president would be pleased as punch if you ordered some on your own dime and passed them out willy-nilly. Flaunt away, but I hope there will be a distinct lack of umbrage at your distributions, unless you do it spitefully, which is hard to imagine ("Here, have a book, the relief society presidency doesn't want you to have your own copy, we'll show them...").