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Comments I Did Not Make Yesterday in Church

By Carina Hoskisson

  • Sister, I don’t care if your baby is a little noisy, no one else does either, sit down and enjoy the lesson.
  • I really don’t think that scripture means what you think it means.
  • Please don’t gloss over that scripture, it’s beautiful and means more than you think it does.
  • Honey, you’re young and not thinking about this, but when you cross your legs like that we can see all the way to Zarahemla.
  • One of the things I love most is that living revelation trumps dead, which means that that quote you just read has been supplanted with something more compassionate and relevant to our times.
  • Why don’t we wear hats to church anymore?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Your hair is so lovely today.
  • We’re all dancing around the idea that for women virtue was almost always tied to sexual purity, but since no one else wants to bring it up, neither will I.
  • I really, really don’t think that scripture means what you think it means.
  • I like that even though your husband walks past me like I don’t exist, you always smile warmly and wave to me a little with your hand.
  • Leggings make you look stumpy and believe me, someday you will regret them.
  • I love the work you do in nursery, my child always loves to go.
  • Why did you put the end of year tithing statement in my husband’s name when I pay the tithing? It’s always my full name on the slip of paper, my signature on the checks?
  • Did I just see you sneak a cracker? That’s awesome. Eat away, I don’t care.
  • Your story is taking too long and good luck finding your way back to the point.
  • I was worried you were about to make it political, and you didn’t, nice.
  • “Peculiar” doesn’t mean strange; it means something far deeper and more profound. The true meaning is so beautiful, and deep, that it would make you cry. So it’s OK that you read that section quickly, made a little joke and moved on, I’ll save it for my own thoughts.
  • I finally feel like I’m fitting in around here, and that feels peaceful.

About Carina Hoskisson

Emerita

66 thoughts on “Comments I Did Not Make Yesterday in Church”

  1. Sounds familiar. Yesterday I actually opened my mouth and made one of my thoughts reality. So I blogged about it, the title of the post is "I'm a Jerk."

    All we sinners getting together to talk about sin and redemption is bound to be interesting!

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  2. Delightful post. Some I didn't say:

    * Oh, that was kind of an overshare. You can go home to take medicine for that condition without telling me what it is.

    *If I am bored, how are the primary children not going absolutely bonkers!

    *You think the world revolves around you, and that's okay. Eventually you'll grow out of it. I know, because I did.

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  3. I thought along the same lines as your 5th unspoken thought.
    Also, I wondered (not aloud), "I think that statement negates the atonement."

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  4. Yesterday I really wanted to tell the poor woman behind me (she's in my ward and I do know her) to just take her two-year-old home because after an hour of Stake Conference he was more than done and spent the last hour throwing screaming fits. Of course I was there by myself with three small children, including my three-year-old who climbed under the chairs and got louder every time I shushed him…

    I'm so glad most people I go to church with are gracious and understanding!

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  5. -Yes on the leggings.
    -Yes on the "living revelation trumps dead."
    There's a guy in our ward who likes to print out quotes from days gone by in preparation for class and keep them as ammunition when his favorite topics come up. A few weeks ago, I guess he was waving a quote high in the air in Elder's Quorum, face red, chanting "Talmage! Talmage! Talmage!"
    -Yes on the awesomeness of awesome nursery leaders.
    -And no, I'm not pregnant, and I'm never wearing that empire waist dress again.

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  6. I was standing up and walking to the back of the room to take my fussy baby out in the hallway a few weeks ago when the Relief Society teacher that week interrupted herself to tell me to stay in class, nobody cared that my baby was squawking a bit, she would just talk a little louder. It was awesome. I bounced him, pacing the back of the room, and got to listen to a lovely lesson.

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  7. There was a woman wearing a lovely, summer hat in church yesterday. I loved it πŸ™‚

    Things I didn't say in church yesterday.
    * Why are we so hung up on declaring, "I based my talk on someone else's talk!"

    * What a lovely hat!

    * It's a pretty top, but are you trying to conceal a pregnancy?

    * I need to get the name of her hair stylist.

    * Yo. Girls. How is it that you're having such a conversation with my husband that doesn't seem to be about ward business? I know it's fine. I'm just curious, but I'll stand over here in an attempt to not be territorial.

    * Why does today's lesson have fifteen billion prophetic quotes? Focusing on one of them alone could provide a good fifteen minutes discussion.

    * No I am not participating in the Bishop's Book of Mormon challenge. No, I didn't do any reading for it this week.

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  8. Love it!

    kadusey, I want to hug that teacher for being so aware and attentive.

    I am the bishop's wife sitting on my bench "alone" with 5 children, age 10 and under with the sixth one due in a week. Forgive me if I let my 18-month old wander into your bench and beg for snacks. (And bless the nursery leaders that let her start coming two months early–no, I didn't ask!)

    And here's one more for the list, "When the meeting is over, it is OVER, and my attention span is exhausted. Seriously, if you haven't made your point when the time is up, give it up."

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  9. Carina – do not hesitate to compliment your child's nursery teacher. As a current one, it makes all of the work and worry give way to feelings of relief. I love my nursery calling, but it makes my week when a parent tells me a story from the week that showed they learned from the lesson we hoped they were listening to. I love those little nursery kids – even if they have their moments!

    I had a few thoughts, too:

    *Thank you Bishop for pointedly not making your talk at all political. You are better at restraining yourself than many others…

    *Please don't approach me about HOA crap. I'm at church. Thanks.

    *That solo was heartfelt. It brought the Sprit. But man was that out of tune.

    *Asking who your child hit is not discipline.

    *She looks so great in that dress with her new haircut.

    *I hope they don't mind my child sneaking under the bench to play with their kid… Good thing I know them…

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  10. Those made me laugh. I teach primary so I don't even get to contemplate things like that. But I do get to hear things like " I love to swim like heavenly father– you know, in my clothes". πŸ™‚

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  11. "Sister, I don’t care if your baby is a little noisy, no one else does either, sit down and enjoy the lesson."

    Our ward has an awesome solution to this called "the cry class." Everyone with children under nursery age bands together and runs their own gospel doctrine class in a room where kids can run around and be crazy. I'm scared to go back to regular Sunday school in two weeks.

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  12. "Honey, I'd appreciate it if you didn't show my husband your underwear or your breasts."

    He's in a BYU singles bishopric, in a lecture hall, with ladies in short skirts sitting at the top of the aisle.

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  13. Your thoughts are just like mine are, sometimes. Full of good, bad, and silly. Good thing we usually don't act on all of our bad ones, and too bad that we don't act on enough of our good thoughts.

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  14. I am so grateful that your special needs son has an amazing testimony that he shares through song. I really love him. But, right now, all I can think about is "Frankenstein, Tarzan and Tonto" singing on old SNL. And, yes, I am going straight to Hell. I know.

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  15. Did you go to Church with me? I swear I have some of those exact same thoughts. My husband and I have a little notebook that we write some of those thoughts in and make them to each other, particularly the scripture type ones. It keeps us from making the lesson much longer.

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  16. Am I the only one who actually says most of these things (particularly when it comes to the lesson)?

    I know I'm not the only one thinking them because I get tons of people every week thanking me profusely for saying them.

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  17. After reading and enjoying many of these comments, I realize that I am getting old, out of touch, and maybe even insufferable. Because I do mind when noisy children are kept in sacrament meeting, especially during the sacrament. It's probably a generational thing, because when I had kids none of us would let them make even a peep without either standing up to see if they'd be quiet in the back or else taking them out. These days, I hear kids full on talking and/or shouting and sometimes even screaming right in the middle of the sacrament without being taken out of the chapel. To me, it seems irreverent. And it makes it lot hard to concentrate. (Another sign of getting older…loss of ability to multi-task!)

    I don't mind at all if children are playing under the bench or going from seat to seat a bit, as long as they are reasonably silent about it. So I'm not quite an ogre, am I? (I may be sorry I asked that question…)

    πŸ˜‰

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  18. Awesome.

    My husband and I love to compare our "lists" {often leading to fits of giggles} Sunday evenings when the kids are way out of earshot.

    Laughter is good for the soul.

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  19. "Um, yes, 11 year old boy in front of me, I CAN see the book you're reading that you've slipped inside your scripture covers."

    "What were you thinking packing popcorn and a pack of cards [not 'playing cards,' though] in your 2 year old's sacrament meeting entertainment bag?!"

    "Could you please not repeatedly interupt the people whose comments you asked for?"

    "Slow down! I can't understand most of what you're saying!"

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  20. I don't mind a whimpering child, but a crying, bawling, screaming baby ruins things for everyone. When my kid is the culprit, we are in the hallway. I know I can't hear any part of the lesson when my kid is acting up. Nor do I feel comfortable about my kid possibly ruining church for someone else.

    A cry class would be great. Back in the day (the 70s) they had a cry room where you could take the crying kids but they piped the sound in from the chapel so you could still somewhat hear the lesson.

    I always want to say "I know you aren't reading your scriptures on that iPod." And "sandwiches are not a snack. unless you are diabetic you have no excuse."

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  21. *I really like how much you love your sister, but is it really ethical to use her life as an object lesson about breaking the word of wisdom and leaving the church? I hope she never comes to visit you in our ward…

    *I was sitting here by myself, feeling awkward, and you came to sit by me even though you don't know me very well. Thank you.

    *I love you and your adorable child, but she won't stop kicking my seat. Over and over and over. During this entire Sacrament meeting. Can you PLEASE make her stop? Please?

    *That was a great lesson. I can't believe you just made that Old Testament that I've heard a thousand times new, relevant, and interesting to me and my life. Thank you.

    *I hope no one hears me munching on this apple in the back of the chapel. Is it okay to eat an apple in the chapel? Whatever, I'm starving.

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  22. I really don't care what people are reading on their iPods or iPhones or how short their skirts are or what they're eating.

    I'm too busy trying to be amused rather than annoyed and all debate-smackdown at my home teacher's comments in Sunday School that are aimed directly at me in that obnoxious self-righteous faux-helpful way we've probably all heard before. You know when someone makes a point and it's clear it's being said for one person in the room? Maybe even a hobby issue for the commenter? An incredulous chastisement that sounds like something like, "SOME people think [totally ridiculous something] or do [offensively absurd something else] and woe be to them and it's so sad and such a counterfeit, ha ha ha [insert a wry smile and a bit of mockery here] but really, we need to pray for people like that…."

    The little things don't bother me a bit. The judgmental gits who dare to talk about trials and situations of which they know nothing make iPhone gamers look like Mother Theresa in comparison and probably are. I'm so glad the gits are not called to any leadership positions where I actually have to listen to them.

    I'm grateful for the sweet mercy and kindness and softness of our bishopric and Sunday School teacher.

    And I, too, wondered this Sunday why we can't/don't wear hats!

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  23. *to the teacher and any sisters commenting in RS -"could you please NOT use your quiet little polite RS voices??!! We`re trying to simultaneously translate what you are saying back here and we can`t hear a word of it!" (even with a microphone, this makes no difference to some sisters – they just hold it away from them and talk in an even quieter voice!)
    *in SS – "please could you NOT dismiss Deborah and the other female prophets as totally not important and completely less than male prophets?!"
    *this one I did say – "Wow, Sister T, I LOVE that skirt!!!"

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  24. It drives me crazy when kids are obnoxious in Sacrament, and I have three of my own. I've logged countless hours with them out of the chapel because they were unable to be still and respectful. I hated it, but it is part of the process. Over time, they learned to function with a level of respect equal to their ages.

    My problem now is that my children question me every week as to why they are expected to behave one way when their peers are still allowed to act like toddlers. It is difficult for a 7 and 5 year old to understand that our family has different rules about respect and behavior than many other families do, but that doesn't change our rules.

    As someone with a hearing loss, I can tell you that your loud child is bothering me. There are Sundays when I literally cannot understand what the speaker is saying because of the background noise in our chapel. Now, we have over 150 children in our ward, so there is always going to be some noise- but there are weeks when I watch teens and older children make more noise than the toddlers. That is a lack of training on the parent's part. there are also parents who try for far too long to soothe a screaming child. If you can't get them to hush in less than the amount of time it takes to remove them from the scene- then get up and take them out.

    In a RS class, I don't mind so much, as long as the child isn't screaming. Little ones are a challenge in that pre- nursery stage!

    Those are my preferences, anyway. I know others have different feelings.

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  25. I would wear hats if they looked good on me and if I could find any that fit my humongous noggin. There's one sister in my ward who always has a pretty hat on. Some years my girls have had hats for Easter, but the last couple years I haven't found any good ones.

    Kyliemm, I like to think I would dare to turn around, smile at the kid, and whisper, "Could you please not kick the back of my chair?" If you did that to my kid I would just be embarrassed that I'd been too absorbed in the meeting to notice. (Because if I'd have noticed, I definitely would have put a stop to it. But I have five kids and a talent for tuning things out.)

    Like others of you, I save a lot of my comments to tell my husband later–sometimes I have 20 minutes worth of monologue ready for him when we get home (lucky guy. Ha.) But I also speak up a lot, and sometimes I immediately regret my irrelevant comment and wish I should have kept quiet. I always hope my relevant and worthwhile comments outnumber the lame and time-wasting ones. (Which is the same thing I hope for my blog comments, come to think of it.)

    I'm definitely in the camp of taking out noisy unhappy children, although I find the timing tricky: sometimes I think my kid is on the verge of quieting down and that a big march down the aisle would only be more distracting, when suddenly instead of getting quieter my kid doubles in volume. And one of my kids was a handful and a half; among other stunts, she would sneak away from us and make us chase her. One time I actually had to chase her across the front of the chapel, and it was really hard not to believe that letting her do her thing would be less distracting. I had to remind myself that although in the short run it would make more commotion for me to intervene, it would pay off in the long run. (And, in fact, with that one it has. She's rarely unruly in church now, about a year later.) I was also grateful for observant friends who helped prevent her escape. (Here's my favorite church story about that one: http://myimaginaryblog.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/and-why-would-i-think-that/ )

    Happy noisy babies are even trickier. I do believe in taking them out, but again it can be tricky to figure out whether an intermittent squawk every couple of minutes is too much noise, or whether they have to be squawking continuously before having to be taken out. Some babies are so unpredictable with their squawks that you could spend the whole hour in the hall, only to have them be quiet out there. So you head back in, only to have them let loose again. Probably they are just trying to make their contribution to the discussion.

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  26. Possibly one of the truest, funniest posts (and comments) I've read here.

    What I DID hear at the temple, from a whispering temple worker: "By the way, I love your dress." (My regular dress? Are we allowed to acknowledge things like that in the temple? The unexpectedness of the compliment made it even nicer.)

    What my husband DID say yesterday after Stake Conference went long: "Why in the world is the adult session shorter than the session that we have the kids with us?"

    What I DID tell my 10-year-old: "I'm sorry you're bored in Primary…most of the classes at church are boring, so just get used to it."

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  27. "I'm glad you made a promise to yourself, Sis. X, to share your testimony every month, but could it please be 3 minutes instead of 15? Thank you."

    "I'm sorry, my dear YW, but I am not Sister X and will not hand-make extravagant birthday cards for you, crochet you a scarf in value colors, or sew you a purse for your PP prog. book. I know SHE did. But I won't. Sorry. I'm me."

    "Wow! Thank you Bro. X for pulling those scriptures into the lesson to help me learn that concept. Amazing. That said, how is it that polygamy never came up in discussing Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Hmmm."

    "Please, please just give al four of my kids a talk on the same day in church! One of them does something every week and I can't keep track . . ."

    "Please mini-skirt, tight-shirt wearing Primary Pres., don't call my husband Sunday evenings anymore to discuss primary. Please email. Thanks."

    "Thank you, speakers, for preparing amazing talks for sacrament meeting."

    "Yes, son #2, primary is a little boring. Save up those wiggles, though, and we'll go for a nice long walk after. Please?"

    I could go on and on. . . Most things I just don't say unless they are sincere compliments because aren't we, most of us, doing our best? I am–most of the time. And I know there are probably a few snarky comments or two floating around out there about me. πŸ™‚

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  28. This is hysterical! Thank you for sharing. I commented on a discussion about the word "peculiar" and now I'm wondering if I commented correctly! πŸ˜€

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  29. About the background noise issue…most North American chapels are wired such that a portable device with headset will broadcast whatever is said over the microphone, right into your ear.

    In our ward, regulars get to just keep them indefinitely, so you don't have to worry about picking one up every week…

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  30. While many of these are funny and we all tend to think things like this, all this made me do is wonder what is being thought about me (and said) behind my back when some days all I can do is show up at church and survive the three hours. Are people really thinking my outfits look bad? Are they judging what I am doing with my children? Did they think my lesson sucked?

    I know we all do it, but why?

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  31. *i love these kids

    *i didn't really want to serve here…i am so happy

    *i haven't seen Bob for the past three weeks

    *her hair looks nice…new blonde strip in the front

    *he looks so sad, and thinner

    *how could we ever find a better Primary chorister

    *sure glad sharing time is over…they were so much better than last week

    *please oh please oh please let me play this organ without making a mistake

    *he is an animated speaker…i'll bet he adds a lot to the high council

    *ooops, i'm supposed to start playing but there's no chorister

    *i wonder why my husband is giving the closing prayer…he's not on the program

    *gee, enough praying already

    *the bishop is sweet to stop at the organ each week with a smile… today he's glad i showed up πŸ˜‰

    *i love it here and i love these people. they are my family

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  32. *If you can't control your little monster, do you really think the nursery folks can?

    *Seriously, we're going to sing all 2700 verses of If I Could Hie to Kolob? We could walk there before this song ends.

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  33. FYI, the tithing statement thing just means that you and your husband are placed together on the financial records. It's easy for the clerk to list you separately, if you wish.

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  34. Wow, now I feel even more self conscious at church. I have 3 kids under the age of 4. My husband is at church meetings before church so I have to get them ready all by myself. I am exhausted by the time I get there and after teaching primary while holding my 7 month old, I am exhausted by the time I leave. Sorry if my kids are noisy or I have bad breath. Sometimes posting comments anonymously is worse than saying it to someone's face-at least then you would only be hurting one persons feelings.

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  35. I just wanted to add, I thought the Original post was good. Many of the following comments were particularly viscous though.

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  36. The original post was great. It sounds like normal thoughts happening in someone's head. You can't really say every thought you have in class (it isn't your own personal lesson) and you only have a few seconds to talk with others as you pass them in the hall.
    Sure there are things we edit (because we are good people) ad there are things we wish we had been able to say (but we're only human).

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  37. *Wow. Someone has been practicing their General Conference voice.

    *"A prayer, to be eternal, does not need to be everlasting" (Elder Packer). How come nobody told this guy?

    *Still praying? Did you write this one last night? I think you did. And practiced it. In a tape recorder. Holy schnike. We're going to have to cut one of the speakers.

    *Way to go youth speaker. You rocked it.

    *That was a fantastic talk.

    *I think you recycled that story about yourself from a general conference talk. Really. I remembered it word for word.

    *Please notice me having to pull the strap from your church bag out from underneath my rear every time I move.

    *You clearly just checked out someone else's wife. Ew.

    *I heart these primary teachers. Blessings on all of their heads.

    *How did she get even skinnier? She is rocking that dress.

    *So glad I don't have that calling. Or that one.

    *What am I having for lunch?

    *This lesson is painful today. Followed by:

    *This person worked hard on the lesson. It's my job to get something out of it and be appreciative. Followed by:

    *Guilt. Followed by:

    *This lesson is still really painful to sit through.

    *Her husband hasn't been at church for at least two months. She looks really tired. I need to bake bread and pay a visit.

    *I'm so comfortable in this ward. I think I have a "place" here and I really like it.

    *Our bishop is amazing. I love that man.

    *How did so many awesome people end up in one ward? I love it here.

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  38. I'm kinda with Rachel and Vanessa…wonder what others are judging me on? Could it be…
    -Oh, that really doesn't match.
    -You must have made that skirt.
    -Get used to being tired. You only have one kid, I have x.
    -Wow. You're an English teacher and you just said *that*?
    -Why are you bugging me for these reports all the time?
    -Why don't you wear nylons? Don't you know you're supposed to?

    Hm. Love the original post, made me happy. But the more I thought about the implications of it, the sadder I became. Hm. Maybe I also need to evaluate what little thoughts cross my mind unmentioned.

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  39. Dear Stan, Ask me how much I LOVE that you wore actual 3D glasses over your regular glasses to church today. And that I only spent maybe 30 seconds pondering whether they were from Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, or How to Train Your Dragon before my thoughts turned back to the meeting at hand.

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  40. This made me laugh. But it also made me remember the years I couldn't go to church because I was too worried about what other people thought about me.

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  41. Here's one I want to say every single week: This is church, not a buffet. Leave the food at home! Do you honestly expect me to believe that there is no other way for your child to be kept quiet than by putting food in his mouth constantly?

    I have to disagree about TMI. I hate when people get up and talk about some mysterious trial that has been so hard. Either tell me what it is or shut up about it. Stop being coy!

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  42. In defense of food at church, I just have to say that sometimes the only thing that gets me through a particularly boring relief society lesson or church talk is the distraction flattening my swedish fish into the shape of lips before I eat them. A little snack or two helps medicine go down, in my experience. πŸ™‚

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  43. This is probably one of my favorite posts so far. Love the word "peculiar" for all its deep, beautiful, wonderful meaning. And I love the "living revelation trumps dead" comment. For some reason we often forget that…

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  44. I'm always stealing my kids snacks.

    The tithing thing really gets me. Now that I'm not working I don't care so much, but when I was supporting him during his masters it was still his name and he didn't pay a dime. It bugs. I guess I need some humility.

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  45. Yeah! What about hats?

    Great silent thoughts. Next time mine eyes behold a terrible vision of Zarahemla, I will be able to laugh, thanks to you.

    You might enjoy this, might notβ€”on Sunday somebody I know chose not to suppress what ought to have stayed a silent but deadly remark. It was subtle. It was loaded. And it was directed at me. But it didn't quite have the punch to beat the moment the mentally ill lady in our ward tried to drive me out of the church for being a moneychanger in God's holy house. (She overheard me talking to a young mom about her emergency housing needs.)

    What was my offense this time? I wrote a short readers' theater because the teacher of the class asked me to.

    "Well. Aren't YOU the creative one."

    (It's all about tone, baby.)

    This is my cue to stop going to church, right?

    Riiiiiight.

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  46. Usually the ward clerk puts whatever name you put on your slip. If you put it in your name on the slips, it should be your name at tithing settlement. My husband doesn't attend church so I'm the only one paying tithing and it's always been in my name in the last few wards I've lived in.

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  47. We put both names on our tithing slips, our tithing statements come with both names on them. I put my name on a slip, I get another statement with just my name on it. Must be up to the clerk. Talk to him.

    I guess some of the unsaid things need to be said.

    And hooray for those who keep their politics out of their worship!

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  48. interesting comments about how people think the single women are looking at their husbands.

    my comment, as if. ps find something else to make up.

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