Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yup it's true. We say we don't gamble but we do play Bingo and Roulette. To make matters worse we play it right in Church at least once a month. MMMMHHH das right! There is somewhat of a method behind our madness.
Have pity on us, we are blessed to worship 3 hours every Sunday. At least. If you are even more blessed to be a Bishop, Stake President or a member of the congregation leadership, you get to spend even more time at church on Sunday. But wait... there's more! And if you act now, you can get your visiting and home teaching done as well which is probably another couple hours depending on how many sisters or families you have are assigned to fellowship.
Really, it's not so bad. After all it is a day of rest right? The Bible says so...
" 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Ok so if you wanna be "technical" about it, it says GOD rested on the seventh day.
But Exodus 20:10 does say
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

I must admit I'm one of those Mormon's who would rather not go or be visit taught/home taught on Sunday. 3 hours of Church is a wonderful and beautiful thing. Much more than that... can be over kill. My brain can only retain so much! Don't get me wrong I LOVE the Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching program. But come during the week... like on a Tuesday, say when I've been cussed out by customers all day... or On a Thursday when I just don't think I can take another work day and wanna smack everyone I see. Them are some of the times when I need me some Jesus Reinforcements the most!

I'm not saying this to discourage going or accepting VT or HT on Sunday. This is just my animated opinion on the thing. Often because it is sometimes hard to have a "DAY OF REST" on Sunday if you are a Mormon. No matter. Idle hands are... blah blah blah.

So with 3 hours of church and a primary and nursery full of kids our Sacrament meetings get to be somewhat "lively." Ok since I'm bloggin about church I may as well be honest... Sacrament meetings get to be somewhat loud!

If Sacrament is the 3rd hour of church instead of the 1st... quite frankly some of these kids have just HAD IT! They fuss and fight. The babies/toddlers throw their cheerios and get away from their parents and run around from bench to bench with an older sibling chasing them down.

So why Not BINGO or Roulette? To tell you the truth it helps us pay attention. It does, True Story. And it's fun for the whole family! Yes, that's right most of the whole family can play. I dare say we adults play it more fervently than the teens or the kids.
Typically we play this game once a month, the first Sunday of each month. We call it FAST AND TESTIMONY Sunday. The first Sunday of each month we skip 2 meals and give the money we would have spent on those two meals to the church for the church welfare system. I think our church is really cool in this department. We are extremely great at feeding and clothing the poor and those in need. Not just in our communities but Word Wide. I'm pleased to be apart of giving such offerings.
This is also the Sunday where the congregation is invited to stand up and bear witness of God, Jesus Christ and any other Gospel truth or principle and to openly give praise and Thanks.
Unfortunately too many of us use this as an opportunity to declare love to family, update us on their family vacations, boast about accomplishments that no one else really cares about or disclose some hardship and gain some sympathy.
You will hear phrases like:
"with every fiber of my being"
"without a shadow of a doubt"
" I feel so unworthy to stand before you today"
"this morning as I was praying"
"I don't usually cry but..."
"The church is true"
"On my mission..."
"President (insert first, current or prophet that just passed name here) is a true prophet"
and various, various other phrases.
It's also on This Sunday that we got out our Bingo Cards! That's right Mormon Bingo cards. I've not only played this game. I've made cards and passed them out to many many people in sacrament. I must say I have been very VERY surprised at who takes one of my bingo cards: Relief Society Presidents, Ward Clerks, Missionaries, Newlyweds, Nearly-Deads and yes, Even Bishopric Members! (That's not always notes they're scribbling on up there ;)
There are Several Bingo Cards. You can make them yourself or get them from online.

Basically it's a regular Bingo Card. Instead of numbers the kid version contains pictures of:
Praying hands
Pictures of the temple
Pictures of Jesus
and various other pictures.
The Free space usually says "AMEN" on it because everything ends with an "Amen."
They listen very carefully to the speaker and mark off the photos of whatever is mentioned. If they get bingo they get a treat in the car on the way home or extra dessert at dinner or whatever mom/dad sees as reward for being precious and reverent and winner testimony bingo.

The Adult version of this are the previously mentioned phrases. Except when an adult gets bingo... they get to leave the meeting and hang out in the foyer! Trust me on some fast and testimony Sundays that IS a winning prize!

There are many of us Mormons who don't condone this type of thing. "BLASPHEMY!" You say! Well it could be. I can see how the appearance of evil might creep into your soul and you may have to make an appointment with the Bishop and confess your bingo habit.
To you I say.... Welcome to Testimony Roulette!
Roulette is much less obvious and basically between You and the Lord as it is an "on my honor" kind of game.
Yes, you pick someone in the congregation. If they get up and bear their Testimony, you have to get up and bear yours. This game is not for everyone. For the poor sport or lazy one's they will ALWAYS choose someone who NEVER get up. I say to you... "WHY BOTHER?? Take a bingo card...if you aren't going to really Roulette."
Roulette is not for everyone, only for the real Spiritual gamblers. If you wanna play it safe and you don't have any noisy kid to remove from the meeting... then Testimony Bingo is your best bet.

It's easy to spot The Bingo players and the Rouletters in the congregation. They throw back their sacrament drink with a little extra seriousness and they have a poker face. Like a cowboy throwing back a shot of Jack or Jim.

There is another kind of Bingo I have yet to discuss.
Twice a year we have our Annual and Semi Annual General Conference. That's basically a world wide broadcast from Salt Lake City with sermons from our church leaders. That's right, Mormons have Mega Church at least twice a year. It's broad- casted from the Supernacle Conference Center on Temple Square. There are 2 two hour session on Saturday (A 3rd for the Men of the church: Priesthood session) And 2 two hour session on Sunday. This might be more like how some of the Black Mega church conferences do it. Gather in HUGE congregations of thousands and listening to some preaching and music for a couple days at a convention center.


The beauty is you don't have to get dressed and go anywhere if you don't want. You can just rollover and turn it on... or hang out in your jammies and watch it on tv. For you Technical freaks you can turn it on you computer while chatting I/M or LDS Mingles, LDSSO or LDS LINKUP. You can turn it on the radio while out weeding the garden, watering the plants or yes, sunbathing. What a perfect way to keep the sabbath day Holy... Pack the kids up in the Expedition or whatever BMW (BIG MORMON WAGON) you may have and go for a Sunday drive in the mountains while listening to Conference! Take a Picnic! This kind of Sunday is like a free spot on your bingo card of life! So is Stake Conference.
For non member friends, stake conference is more like the a "regional" conference. All the congregations in a certain area go to one bigger Chapel in the neighborhood to hear sermons from their designated regional leadership. Stake Conference Sunday is bonus because it's 2 hours instead of 3 and usually held at another building other than your regular meeting house, unless you are blessed to have your regular meetings at the Stake Center. Many Members also consider this meeting to be a free spot on your bingo card of life.
In reality there really are a unique mechanism to help your family pay attention to the speakers and to know the people in your congregation better.
I'm trying to find a way to create Mormon Poker or Black Jack.
One way to really gamble for sure is to make score cards... and at the end of each speaker, hold up their score. This is highly effective on High Councilman Sunday or the Sunday they call a new Bishopric to the Congregation. Don't ask me how I know but I BET you get called to repentance for that game! ;)


Anonymous said...

Karen can I tell you how much you crack me up? I just LOVE reading your posts! Another slightly naughty version on this "testimony bingo" game is when you make your own bingo cards with members of the ward. It can be really funny, and shows who really pays attention to who seems to bear their testimony most often.


ShaBANG said...

It's funny you say that Heather! I JUST figured out how to play Mormon Black Jack and Poker! And it does involve those "favorite" ward members. I'll share with you when I get the prototype all figured out.
lol I'm excited!

manaen said...

This verse helps me with that "day of rest" thing,
D&C 84:24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his danger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, *which rest is the fulness of his glory*
Rest = fulness of God's glory, not time off. Busy Sundays spent acquiring the "fulness of his glory" make more sense to me than do busy Sundays called "rest."
On a lighter note about Bingo, a business version was going around ten or fifteen years ago. In this one, all the players had copies of the same card, which was filled with empty buzz phrases like "reengineering" and "think outside the box." When the group hit Bingo, all the players were to stand, point at the presenter, and say, "That's BS!"
Let me know when you devise Mormon Solotaire.

ShaBANG said...

Even when service in behalf of the Lord becomes a Cumbered Service, it is a service in vain and sometimes you need to slow down and renew. At times that's sitting down and spending time in the scriptures. At times that's staying home in bed so you don't spread the flu. Other times that's foregoing that game of Monopoly or UNO with your kids and taking 1/2 of your dinner to that neighbor who just has a car accident and helping to build up the kingdom t hrough service. For me... It depends on the Sunday!
Rest & Time Off & Lazy are 3 very different things ;)

Wendy said...

Ohhhh too funny. We have Bingo and Roulette in our wards here in Australia too!! :)

You might get a kick out of what I posted about Testimony Meetings. I found it online many years ago and it still cracks me up:


Paul said...

Karen- I found your facebook page and I was wondering if I could ask a favor. I am a graduate student and we are doing a survey where we are researching LDS people on Facebook. Would you mind sharing on your blog and Facebook page/profile and ask Mormon people to do the survey. It's not long and it would help a lot. I don't live in Utah and it is hard for me to get a lot of LDS people to do the survey. So, any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

SURVEY: http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/furibe/

walterbayliss said...

Great Post.
Well written and valuable content will always attract.
Many thanks
Walt Bayliss
CEO and Founder

Catherine Mackie said...

Hi. I'm not a mormon but I did come close to 'converting' at one time in my life. What I love most about mormons is the sense of family and doing good and wholesome things for entertainment. Is bingo in church right? Not for me to judge but if it draws you closer to God how can it be wrong? Enjoyed reading your blog. In the words of mighty Arnold: I'll be back... P.S. A friend of mine from here (South Africa) married a mormon and went off to Salt Lake City. Can't remember her new surname. First name Cheryl and she's quite a bit older than him. If you ever come across her will you tell her Marion from South Africa says 'Hi'!

tren said...

Haha, I've thought about making testimony meeting bingo cards using the members of the ward. I just stumbled on your blog, but I like it so far!

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