Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Laid For Your Faith

My ward recently, as all good singles wards must, held a chastity lesson. This was no ordinary chastity lesson, either--it was a special two-hour, everybody-all-together, question-and-answer chastity extravaganza.

(I told my dad this and he laughed out loud. "I hope they make a big deal out of it," he said, "as that's the closest you're going to get." I'd like to think that was a plural you.)

The lesson, in contrast to many of my more awkward chastity lectures at BYU (I remember, as a freshman, leaning over to my friends sitting next to me and wondering what on earth "Levi loving" was, and why my bishop was so against it), was intelligent, articulate, and refreshingly specific, though, frankly, I could have used a little less repetition of the word "probe" in close proximity to the word "genitals." But, you know, maybe that's just me.

As we were setting up the chairs for the lesson, the first counselor in the bishopric told us to pass out hymnbooks for our opening hymn. "Will we sing a special chastity song?" my friend joked.

The counselor considered for a moment: "If you can write a chastity hymn before the meeting starts, we'll sing it."

My mind instantly started racing with possibilities, but, unfortunately, the chairs were set up and the meeting began before I could figure out how to force lines like "As I have loved you, love one another, but try to avoid probing one another's genitals," and "God is love, but we mean agape and not eros, so, please, keep your hands off each other" into the tunes they were meant for.

Had I been given another ten minutes, though, we could have begun our chastity lesson appropriately:

Onward single Mormons,
Chaste and true and pure.
Bear the cross of virtue;
Abstinence endure.
Sex oral and otherwise,
Petting heavy and light
All these things we do without
In our celibate plight.

Onward single Mormons,
Chaste and true and pure.
Bear the cross of virtue;
Abstinence endure.

It's probably just as well, though, as I already had my hands full during the meeting trying to explain the proceedings to the Indonesian investigator I've been translating/explicating for; justifying an entire church meeting dedicated to the details of celibacy was so hard--"Um, you know we don't usually talk about "passionate kissing" in church, right?"--that I can't imagine what I would have done with an entire hymn dedicated to those same details.

Oh, and our real opening hymn? "How Firm a Foundation." I'm a terrible person, I know, but I snickered.


thefinitemonkey said...

You did much better than I would have, as I've sat here for the past couple minutes laughing out loud over "How Firm a Foundation". That's hysterical!

And a wonderful hymn BTW. Perhaps we can get it included in a new songbook for Young Men's and Young Women's.

Too Much Info for Your Mother said...

Is it acceptable to "probe the mind?"

ambrosia ananas said...

[snickers] That's really great.

lanada said...

i lose it every week during at least one of the hymns in sacrament meeting. no way could i have sat through that song in that context. no way.

Misaneroth said...

Props. Now I have one more hymn to laugh through.

Anne said...

::snort/guffaw:: for your post and the opening hymn titles

Th. said...


I think this should happen more often.

Though not, as happened to me a couple years ago, sitting between my wife and my mother (dad on the other side) as the bishop talked to us about talking to our children about Sex.

Didn't work, by the way.

I'm still waiting for my parents to tell me all about it.

Anonymous said...

"Question-and-answer chastity extravaganza."

The Joo said...

Yeah, I'm going to have giggling problems the next time we sing How Firm a Foundation. Not as bad as the time the Bishop announced the next hymn was "Fark All Ye Nations". I barely made it out alive of that one.

Amber said...

Oh, wow. "How Firm a Foundation"? Snort, snuck.

Confuzzled said...

Ha ha. I think they chose that hymn on purpose. I was also laughing because I totally remember talking to you about what, exactly, Levi lovin' meant . . . I spent our fall semester partially convinced it meant if two people's jeans touched along more than half their legs, they were "in trouble" . . .

Petra said...


Yeah, I might as well 'fess up: that hymn was chosen intentionally, which is a fairly good illustration of why I think the boy who was in charge of the hymn that day is the BEST. EVER.--even if he did miss the more obvious choice, "Come, Come Ye Saints."

Confuzzled said...

I need to move out of state, sigh . . . there isn't a single person in my current ward who knows me that wouldn't be scandalized by me snickering my way through "How Firm a Foundation" after a chastity talk. Or maybe I just need to know more people and find the ones that would snicker along . . .

The Dancing Newt said...

Laid For Your Faith... HAHAHAHAHA!!!

The Franchise said...

I've got your firm foundation right here.

(Wait, no, that's my wife's firm foundation...)