Ep 75 – Bob’s Mormon Cred Scale

Panel Discussion

Posted May 10th, 2014

Bob is joined by Glenn, Jake, Matt, and Tom to discuss the concept of Mormon credibility and to share what we’re calling Bob’s Mormon Cred Scale. Just how Mormon are you? Find out here:Β https://proprofs.com/survey/t/?title=kedrt

  • Darth bill

    Went to BYU without seminary. But considering I was one of three active aaronic priesthood, I think I got a pass. I wonder if being outside of Utah worked in my favor.

    • Darth Bill

      BTW, scored 85. Didn’t have any historical connections, but no extra for HP and temple worker.

  • Jack

    Fun podcast. Was feeling shafted getting only 65 points. I ate, breathed, slept Mormonism until I was 25. Studied it, actually READ Nibley’s volumes as published by FARMS (yeah, uhm, don’t judge). Studied church history at the BYU History Department, contemplating a career in apologetics/CES. I was pretty ‘in’, I think.

    I lost points for having sex before marriage, but I’d left the church and was late 20s when that happened. So I didn’t marry in the temple, and missed out on all the points with kids too. But I’d contend that the Single’s Ward experience, living with folks LONGING for marriage, this sub-culture of Mormon experiences is every bit as Mormon as married at 21, kids by 22.

    Anyway, great podcast and a fun idea precisely in keeping with the tradition of ecclesiastically ranking each other. I’ll probably go right on judging Mormons at my discretion despite your plea to refrain.

    • No worries, Jack, you actually deserve Celestial Mo’ Cred. You didn’t have sex until your late 20’s and after you left the Church? Yeah, you deserve the points you should have gotten from that question.

      I’ll have to find the right way to reword that question because, of course, it’s in reference to having sex before marriage as a practicing Mormon or as a rebellious teen in a Mormon household. And the fact that you didn’t until so late in life and only then after you left… welcome to Celestial Mo’ Cred. Judge freely.

    • This was my issue as well. I was raised in the Church, served a mission attended byu etc etc. but, because I left in my mid twenties, before I had sex, I never felt guilty and never raised a child in the church.
      That being said, i love the idea of the scale, mostly like it’s execution, but agree with everyone else it could use some tweeking because i feel mormonism runs through my veins but only got a 50.

  • M

    This pod cast is great! I scored only 35.
    I escaped years ago and my sibling is just now making his escape. Our perspectives are so different. We were both raised in the same house, with the same rules (loads of regular prayers, scriptures, limited tv/books). I did baptisms for the dead, I went to the young women’s events, I had seminary, primary, and eventually had the pleasure of experiencing the singles ward…

    The impact when I left was painful and massive -Lots of family/friend dramas and rejections but after all this time I’m great! Where I am going with this…. πŸ™‚

    When I left it was hard, really awful sometimes, BUT I didn’t have my whole adulthood tangled up in it too. At the time my sense of self was completely defined by religion BUT my sense of self wasn’t completely figured out yet either. No college degree from Utah, mission served, little ones partially brain washed, or spouse to argue with. There are different levels of hard and adding any of those experiences could make that choice that much harder to follow through on.

  • simateoako

    A lot of mixed feelings about this episode.

    First and foremost, I’m Matthew Timion, so it was a bit weird hearing people talk about me in this regard.

    While listening to Bob’s scale, and his rationalization, I kept thinking outliers that nullify his intention. I, for example, did do temple work for my ancestors, which Bob said normally correlates with being raised in the church (having pioneer stock, etc.)

    I also thought about the hypothetical 9 year old convert who had the exact same experience as the BIC kid who was inactive until he was 18 and then went on a mission. All things being equal, the person who joined at 9 could have scored 20 points less, even though by all accounts he experienced more.

    And yes, I joined when I was 18, lost all of my friends as a result, baptized friends, served a mission, married in the temple, held a “major” church calling, etc. etc… but I only scored 40. (-15 was my conversion).

    This means I am not really qualified to talk about Mormonism, or my Mormon experience… even though when I left the church I had the identity crisis, lost friends again, eventually lost my marriage over it.

    The point of me rambling is this: When I joined the church I never felt like I really belonged. I didn’t have the pioneer heritage and the 3rd great-grandfather who used to polish Joseph Smith’s shoes. I was always an outsider, even in the community where I was told to be a full-fledged member. I have spoken with friends of mine (that I baptized into the church) and they feel the same. They are still active, returned missionaries, married-in-the-temple Mormons who don’t feel like they belong.

    And now the same mentality comes into play post-Mormonism. When I was drawn to former Mormons because I felt they could understand me, truthfully I am an outsider with them too.

    I do think the Jaredite example in the podcast is a great one thought too. I dated a Mormon girl who never knew blacks were denied the priesthood. With her pioneer stock she could have easily had a higher score than I had, but she knew nothing about the church other than she knew it was Trueβ„’. Worst yet, I knew the tricky issues and still managed to cog-dis myself into believing them… with her, she never had the privilege.

    Maybe the solution is an episode of IOT where we discuss why Mormons (and ex-Mormons) like to quantify everyone into a category so that they can feel superior? I’ll play the role of Satan, saying we should force people to accept others as equals.

    • Wait, what? You lost all of your friends and also baptized three of your friends?

      One clarification: your hypothetical is already dealt with a bit in the structure of point assignment. Nine-year-old converts perform better, in terms of points, as compared to adult converts.

      Anyway, as was discussed on the podcast, outliers do exist and the scale certainly isn’t perfect. And I don’t want to make you feel like an outsider. More to the point, it isn’t just black and white (i.e., outsider vs. insider). I just don’t think that your six year highly condescend Mormon experience is representative of the end-to-end 20-30+ years experience that is Mormonism.

      • simateoako

        Yeah, I saw the “no friends then baptizes friends” thing. I baptized friends I had made after joining Mormonism… mainly through work or acquaintances I had previously.

        As for the 9 year old convert, I was comparing him to an 18 year old born-in-the-covenant with pioneer heritage but inactive until he was 18, at which point he got his act together and magnified his calling πŸ˜‰

    • Polly Anna

      I am feeling you Mathew. I thought it was weird they were discussing and dissecting your life so publicly.

      On another note: this survey really does not accomidate my very very Mormon and TBM cousin who grew up LDS in Michigan, but is 37 and still single. Basically if you’re single and childless and from “the mission field” you have very little Mormon Cred according to Mormon elitist death eater Bob. He only wants pure bloods who have offspring to count. Us mudbloods are no good according to Bob “Salazar Slytherin” Caswell!! She loses points for not being from a pioneer family, going to a Michigan University, not being married, and not having children. She would be decimated in the points system, yet she too eats, sleeps, and breaths Mormonism and it would be highly offensive to her to suggest that she isn’t a Mormon enough.

      • Matthew has written two books about himself and came on a podcast to discuss his life in this very specific way. So it’s not a big stretch to comment on what he already said publicly. This isn’t an expose where I interviewed his neighbors for an exclusive profile. He was the catalyst for a conversation that was five minutes about him and more about a concept at large.

        As for your TBM single cousin, that’s a fair point. Truth be told, that’s a use case I’d need to accommodate for in v2. That is, the believer that goes on into their 30’s or later without marriage or kids… It happens even more rarely by comparison, and I think there’s some point at which more years in just takes over for not doing the shit you’re supposed to by that age. Maybe right around the time you’re kicked out of the singles ward even though you’re still single? If you make it that long, then yeah, you get some cred there.

        • simateoako

          Bob is right… my books get WAY more personal than anything covered on this podcast.

    • Although i sympathize with what you are saying, that as a convert, by your own admission, you never felt fully accepted into Mormonism, does say something against your ‘Mormon cred’ (and perhaps the accuracy of your score?) Since part of being Mormon is feeling, very much, like an ‘insider’ to a special club of which the rest of the world is an outsider.

      • simateoako

        I still felt like part of the super special club. The members did not always see me as one of them. After all, the church is true, the members are not.

        • Not according to what your comment said earlier: “When I joined the church I never felt like I really belonged. I didn’t have the pioneer heritage and the 3rd great-grandfather who used to polish Joseph Smith’s shoes. I was always an outsider, even in the community where I was told to be a full-fledged member.”

          • simateoako

            I can concede with that.

      • Steve Lowther

        Don’t most TBMs have a conversion experience, when they suddenly feel Heavenly Father answered their fervent prayers? How is that any different than someone born outside of the Church?

  • Brandon

    Thought provoking. But feels pretty bad and judgemental even though I’m one that scored 75. Since I now have attained celestial mormon god cred status, I hereby bestow said status upon all who deign taking Bob’s survey worthy of their time (especially Matthew Timion whose podcast and thoughts were great). You may now render appropriate oblations of gratitude in my name.

    • simateoako

      Oh Brandon, hear the words of my mouth.

      • Brandon

        I hear you. rofl (This site is too much fun)

  • simateoako

    I have taken Bob’s Mormon Cred scale for and behalf of Joseph Smith Jr., who is dead. He scored a 50.

    *I assumed that he didn’t experience Joseph Smith III going through puberty b/c JS 3 was 13 when his dad died.
    *He received a pat blessing from Oliver Cowdery in 1835
    *Fanny Alger is one example of him having sex before marriage without regret

    • Brandon

      It is well – Me (having true forms of mormon godly cred per bob’s survey)

    • Lol, another caveat! Surprise! This is more designed for Mormons who are likely to still be alive today…

  • Polly Anna

    I just took the survey and ya’ll can suck my dick. πŸ˜‰ I feel like this is heavily bias toward the out west experience, men, and married couples with children. It’s not my fault that I wised up before I brought kids into this church! I lost major points for not going on a mission and not having children, but I’ll be damned if I’m not Mormon. I got married when I was 18 and shortly there after started my faith crisis, but I was such a Molly Mormon in my formative years. I attended every fireside, EFY, bishops youth night, achievement days, dance, youth conference, church volley ball team, seminary, women’s conferences, general conference, ward party, listened to every John Bytheway and Tennis shoes tape there was, read GA books as a teen for fun etc etc. but none of that is conveyed or counts in this survey. I’m not Mormon enough for the judge-y pant infants over here. Ya’ll are snobs. (*tongue in cheek)

    That gripe being said, this is probably my favorite podcast to date. Really funny stuff guys.

    • Lol, Polly Anna, you’re my favorite criticism comment so far. πŸ™‚ Just so you know, v2 will give points for early marriage as an alternative to the mission.

      So what was your score? And tell me more about the circumstances that led to you sounding pretty Utah-area-ish cred worthy… maybe we should adopt you into the house of Israel, after all.

      • Polly Anna

        Whatever, Lord Voldemort. I know you’ll only hear the “pureblood’s” complaints about mormonism. Well, my therapist’s bills say I’m a Mormon. πŸ˜›

        I scored like a 60 something. My family has no pioneer roots, but I’m a 3rd generation from Michigan (or the hood of Detroit as Brandt likes to call all of Michigan) who went to college in Michigan. I got married very young and went to church childless for years. (it sucked balls. Thanks for asking).

        I feel like my Mormon experience wasn’t that different or less than any of you pioneer spawn’s was. I still did and experienced the same things you all did. I wasn’t an out west Mormon or someone who popped out tons of babies, but I was no less committed or invested.

        • Ah, so you were surrounded by grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins that were all Mormon? Makes sense. And if your not having kids had anything to do with infertility… that’s another one that deserves some cred. But if you didn’t have kids like me just because you were clearly worldly and selfish, not the same.

    • Kristi

      I agree that this scale is skewed toward men, but probably because the church is skewed toward men. I do have to give Bob props for trying to make it less skewed.

      I do think that the mission experience for women is something that does need to be addressed. Why should a woman be penalized 10 points because she is discouraged from going on a mission by the church leaders?

      Also, in a ward, there are only 3 president positions for a woman: RS, primary, and YW. For men, there are at least 5: Bishop, EQ, HP, YM, Sunday school. And at a stake level, there are still only 3 available for women, but even more for men: SP, high council, YM, SS. And like Polly Anna talked about, there is the single woman problem. She may be completely stalwart and valiant, but she is usually overlooked to serve as a president of the organization because she doesn’t fit the ideal.

      • Polly Anna

        This is an example of why they need more female voices on the podcast πŸ˜‰ It totally fails in his goal to make it universally applicable IMO. The female experience isn’t reflected.

        • Totally fails? The female experience isn’t reflected? Ok, so getting very specific, there are the 3 questions out of 18, that are in question in terms of gender “fairness” (i.e., possibly favor men):

          1) Did you serve a mission?

          Explanation: Women can go on missions too AND I concede that points should be given for women who fulfill their other mission in life by getting married before a mission is even an option for them.

          2) Have you served in a calling capacity that is more than a counselor or teacher?

          Explanation: This could be worded better. It’s essentially asking if you’ve had the very key Mormon experience of having authority over others. Women can experience this too even if, granted, their are more authority-based callings for men obviously. But that doesn’t diminish this being a very crucial part of the Mormon experience.

          3) Have you had delusions of authority grandeur and assumed you’d eventually be bishop, stake president, or at least mission president some day (or wife of one)?

          Explanation: I confirmed with women that “proxy authority grandeur” is a real thing. Sure, women don’t get the real thing, but that’s not my fault. Truth be told, women have every chance of getting points from this question as men.

          Every other question is equally relevant for men and women.

          • Kristi

            Bob, I know you tried to make the quiz as fair as possible, and I think you did a pretty good job. I actually scored an 80, so I do have pretty good Mormon cred. However, it is still problematic from a woman’s view.

            I truly do appreciate the authority grandeur question, because I did think that my dh would be a stake president. When he was a missionary, an apostle put his hand on dh’s shoulder and told the MP that “one day this young man will be a stake president.” I thought that was so cool, but I don’t think it will happen now that I’m an apostate.;-) So I personally did have the proxy authority grandeur.

            I still think the mission thing is problematic, because as women we are not only not encouraged to go on missions, but often women (including me) are/were actively discouraged from going on missions, which is changing. I guess the getting married young points would help in that regard.

            It’s the question about having a calling in a place of authority over people that is absolutely male-centric. I had originally thought that the question was about leadership more than authority. And women have fewer opportunities to serve in leadership capacities. However, after I listened to the rest of the podcast (and now saw your comment), and you were talking about authority, this becomes even more problematic. As women in the church, we are continually put in our places by the men with authority. Even as leaders of the appendage organizations, we have absolutely no authority. It is simply not a part of the female experience in the church.

          • Ok, so we are down to one question in question (in terms of how/if to tweak it) that makes up 5% of the total point value of the end-to-end Mormon experience… But authority as part of the experience can’t be ignored, and I’m not sure I buy that it’s simply not part of the female experience. Perhaps one way to address it is by asking it as is followed by something like, “Or, alternatively, did you ever think you had a calling that gave you authority or power even though you really had very little in hindsight?”

            The point is that we partake of the experience that much more when we think we have authority or power. And the Church tries so hard to invent things for women, and most of it you can see right through (even when active). But if you’re in the thick of the Mormon experience, you could fall for it, and I’d give credit for that, I think.

          • Kristi

            I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. I certainly think that while authority is an integral part of a Mormon man’s experience, it is not a part of a woman’s. For a woman leadership is lots of work, but no more authority. And like you said, it’s only 5 points out of 100.

          • Polly Anna

            Agree with you Kristi. Women do not have authority in the church. As John Larsen likes to point out, all women’s organizations are auxiliary ie nonessential. Even if you were a YW pres or something you reported to the priesthood for budget and final say. I think perhaps prestige may be a better word. Did you have a calling with prestige makes more sense to me. Idk.

            I also second that missions were not encourage or emphasised for women, but you already acknowledged that.

          • Polly Anna

            First of all “whoa!” You are taking this arbitrary ruling stick to judge us all by really to heart.

            Secondly, I wasn’t clear. It wasn’t the gender thing that you failed at; That can be tweeked. It the aim at universally that you missed the mark on. I relistened and it’s only really you that is taking this elitists position on true mormonyiness. The other infants seem to be looking more holistically and considering commitment and identity instead of milestones. I would be interested to see Glenn’s version.

            I just feel like this whole exercises is a manifestation of the true Scotsman fallacy. You dingbat! (+1 for ad hominem).

            I just don’t think it’s fair to say that folks such as myself who didn’t grow up in a Mormon heavy area and

          • Polly Anna

            *phone was spazing

            I just don’t think it’s unfair to say that folks who don’t have pioneer heritage and therefore didn’t grow up in a Mormon heavy area and who were not inclined towards LDS school and who do not get married are not Mormons. A lot of us non-Utah Mormon types don’t care for Utah or Utah Mormons and make a point NOT to go to LDS school because of that. (It probably had something to do with this type of additude).

            I’m just saying when we non-Bob’s Credit approved types bear our testimony do we not cry? When we masterbate do we not feel guilt? When we pay our tithing do we not lose 10% of our income?? We are Mormons too. :’-(

          • Glenn

            Polly Anna, I don’t think Bob’s Cred scale is meant to determine how “Mormon” someone is/was or not. It’s more like… out of the possible “most common types” of Mormon experience from birth to death in the life of the most abstract Mormon-ish strawman example, how many of those experience-types have you actually personally experienced? (and therefore, how many of these experience-types are you actually personally qualified to comment on/complain about — based on your experience with that type.)

            And I’m not planning on putting together my own cred scale. Should I?

          • Polly Anna

            Oh I get it, Glenn. I’m a Mormon, just a Mormon with caveats and less credibility. πŸ˜‰ I got it. I’m a terrestrial Mormon according to Bob. (Thanks for putting me in my place, Bob. I didn’t get enough that in church).

            As for your survey, I would just be interested in seeing your take as you alluded to a more holistic approach. It seems it may capture, ironically, a more universal experience because it would be less based on cultural expectations that are regionally aided to be preformed and more on the internal commitment and identity or at least it seemes.

            You we’re the main one who seemed to be defending my position to the almighty Bob when you said “there is no one true end-to-end Mormon experience.” Which obviously I agree with. So, thank you.

            You we’re right about the Church owned schools thing. I just don’t think you should be penalized for lack of interest in college esp LDS college. So, only educated Mormons get credibility? Not everyone goes to college? Blue collar folks in Michigan often go straight into trade.

            This whole conversation is triggering my memories of Utah Mormonism moving into our ward acting superior and changing our ways and costumes. Sounds melodramatic and perhaps it is, but it always bothered me. Ya’ll are snobs.

            So, Glenn, if you decided to make a survey I’d definitely take it. I’m clearly too interested in the crap you guys produce. But it’s up to you. It may be over kill.

            But before you do, I’ve made a survey you all can take!! It’s called Polly Anna’s Ex -Mormon Douchebag Cred Scale. There is only one question and you can take it right now! I’ll post it below:

            Polly Anna’s Ex-Mormon Douchebag Cred Scale

            1. Have you ever made a survey so you can more effectively judge your fellow ex-mormons?

            Yes – 1,000 pts
            No – 1pt

          • Lol, Polly Anna, I’m the one taking this to heart?!

            One of the main ways I tried to address universality is to make sure that the barrier to entry into Bob’s Celestial Mormon Cred happy-judgy place was actually pretty low (70/100). Interestingly enough, behind the scenes, Glenn actually thought that number should be higher. Of course, it can’t be too inclusive because then it becomes useless as an exercise and we’d just have to revert back to not having it in the first place.

            Which leads to my second point… One thing I’ve noticed as a theme throughout all the feedback I’ve gotten is how unlikely it is to get feedback with a recommendation or alternative. Generally speaking, it usually comes down to complaining out of a perceived lack of fairness. And I get that reaction even if I’d argue the scale would be meaningless without it. πŸ˜‰

          • Polly Anna

            Lol. Truth be told I’m not as outraged as I may sound. I’m just enjoying acting outraged. Like I said I loved this podcast. I found it hilarious and I’m glad you did it. It’s very silly.

            I’m also having a good time beating up on you because as you recall the other infants encouraged listener abuse, so I delivered. πŸ™‚

        • WHen I hear females complain about a lack of women voices in the podcast realm, I can’t help but think ‘just start your own podcast!’.

          Unlike in areas of real power, like politics and business where women may be actively discriminated against and in no position to simply start their own Government or multinational corporation,
          the primary thing keeping women voices from Mormon podcasts is women themselves. If you own a computer, there is no barrier to starting your own podcast. So, not enough women voices? Don’t complain to men who made their own podcast that you want to be invited on theirs, Create the spaces for which you advocate!

          • If you’re a woman and want to come on the podcast, let us know. Of course, if you’re a man and want to come on the podcast, let us know too. We’ve had an open invitation now for quite some time that’s independent of gender. But it’s true that, in our little sphere, men typically want to come on the show more than women.

    • Randy_Snyder

      Jesus Polly Anna, if that is your real name. I’ll suck your dick any time when you grow one. But until you do, you must submit to those of us who were born with one bc we are your rightful overlords no matter how many Heimerdinger books you read/listened to. Just trust that our prophet Bob knows better than you that your gentile upbringing in Meeechigan can never equate to a Moridor upbringing no matter how strongly you bought into your counterfeit version of “Mormonism”. Humble yourself sister and realize that you are a mother. A chosen vessel of The Lord and we could never attain the favor you have in Zion. Now sit in the corner and shut up…thou chosen and blessed daughter…

    • Polly Anna

      Randy, you weren’t even on this podcast, so the invitation to suck my dick is not extended. And I’m pretty sure you know this is my real name because you commented on my Facebook profile picture.

      But you are right though, what do I know about Mormonism compared to you with your 95%?

      • Randy_Snyder

        I thought it was until I tried to look you up on FB and couldn’t find you.

        • Polly Anna

          I deactivate from time to time. I’ll be back.

  • Desert Rat

    Good Lord, I scored an 80. Simply reminds me of the time, money and energy I put into the Morg. Thanks a lot gentlemen. Going to bed depressed once again.

  • yellowdogfever

    I don’t think it matters, even on a global scale, what you participate in with the church when it comes to mormon cred. I feel that it all centers around that yummy filling. If the filling is there it permeates everything you do; how you think, how you behave, what you want out of life, how you learn, and how you worship. Just upon some quick reflection I can think of some behaviors and qualities I had that absolutely defined me as a Mormon. I think the core Mormon cred comes from dictating your life choices on a level greater than social conformity and you can relate to experiences like being nervous or afraid to read anti-mormon literature, bending over backwards for the priesthood authority and either compromise or seriously struggle with making a compromise based purely off of counsel from leadership, hearing someone badmouth Joseph Smith and you have a strong emotional reaction, kneeling before the Lord pleading for direction and guidance on decisions entirely mundane and also ones that may have a significant consequence simply because you want to do the will of the Lord, and having a deeply burning desire to build the kingdom of god because somehow the church is suppose to have all the answers to world peace and bring happiness. These are just a few behaviors that I can think of off the top of my head, but I honestly thinking anyone with cred can really relate to them on a deeper level.

    I don’t think that the true Mormon experience has a requirement on how long you have been a member, what ways you socially participated in the church, your familial history with the church and to be frank how long you had that experience. One month is as good as 20 years in my book. In my mind the cred comes from reaching a certain point, as a believer, where everything you want to do is propelled by a deeper and greater desire to see the kingdom of God grow, where you have an absolute conviction that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and where you are willing to give up, even though there may be struggles, your will over to God in order to please him and follow an unknown path he has supposedly layed out. Permit me to use Dan Wotherspoon as an example. Going back 4+ years, as a believer, I would have a lot of problems with Dan’s belief system, qualifications for doctrines, and his general views towards things like revelation and scripture. My specifics would be entirely different than his. Despite the differences both he and I would have a deeper and complimentary understanding about what being Mormon was and it would mesh together enough that we could bond over it. His candy, so to speak, might have an entirely different outer texture and taste, but inside we would both have the same filling from the same source and it wouldn’t matter if his candy had a different taste than mine. I could find myself thinking “it’s absurd that Dan Wotherspoon doesn’t believe in a literal Adam and Eve, but despite his misunderstanding he’s still a good Mormon and I’m glad he’s a member of the church.” He might lose cred on specific things, but overall………

    Fuck it. I’m just going to say it. Mormon Cred is all about sacrifice, faith and the appearance of testimony. Let’s all be honest here. Put two guys in a room. One, a stake president who has openly said he has doubts about the historicity of the BOM and the other a Elders Quorum president, who converted 5 years ago and makes you cry when he bears his testimony and talks about how his deceased daughter came to him in a dream and told him to join the church even though he would lose his job, home, and have no idea where or what he was going to do. The stake president scores a 90 or higher on the survey and the Bishop quite a bit lower. Let’s not bullshit. As a TBM we would be far more likely to take the spiritual advice of the EQ pres over the stake president. Also Glenn Beck has more cred as a Mormon than a lot of Mormons I know. Hey who says Mormon cred is a good thing? Let’s not be pedantic Some things that are true are not very useful and stuff like that.

  • Kristi

    One thing about the living in Utah question, I know lots of people who have gone to school in Utah, but not at church schools, to get the Utah experience. I think that should be valid.

    Also, here’s my family story about Gordon B. Hinckley: Back in the day, my grandpa was a stake president. When the GAs would come for stake conference, they would stay at my grandpa’s house. One time when then Elder Hinckley came, as he got into the bed at my grandparents’ house, it broke. He had to fix it before he could sleep in it. He told this story to my cousin a couple of years before he died.

    My own personal GA story is that on my mission, I was in Hans Ringger’s home ward. My very first Sunday in Switzerland, I was just introducing myself to all the members and went to him to shake hands with him. I had no idea who he was, but he rudely dismissed me and would not talk to me. What an asshole.

  • alta_parent

    I scored 95, but I deserve it. I was so bought in I nearly became a mortality casualty on the “battlefield”. One could argue that I should lose points for my years of disaffection, but I should also be awarded the purple cock!

  • Allison

    The whole time I was listening to this podcast, NOFX’s “punk guy” kept going through my head. (Have a listen below). I probably lost mormon cred points for listening to punk music too. πŸ™‚ Of course, I did stop listening to any sort of music with cuss words in it after I joined the church, and even burned any CDs that contained even one cuss word–even just damn or hell. That was a lot of CDs thrown into the fireplace….. Did you know they make blue and green flames when they melt? (The color of sadness and regret). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZPrFVPrbO4

  • sonya_d

    I only got 45 points. I actually think this makes sense. Since I never married (I’m in my 40s now) and have no kids, I missed out on a ton of points. I don’t get much cred in church, either, which is why I left.

  • Brandon Miller

    Love it. This is classic, quintessential Mormonism (judgy classification of people to lift ourselves above others). At Ex-Mormon parties and meetups, people (including myself and my wife) do this all the time. We talk about how so-and-so is not as “Ex-Mormon” as I am because of . “No True Scotsman”, right? I think it mainly comes from the fact that people can relate better to one another when they have a base of common experiences.

    I still feel left out because I didn’t go to a church-sponsored school. πŸ™

  • Polly Anna

    “Mormon Stories Shared Values Statement
    We acknowledge the richness of Mormon heritage, teachings, and community in all of its diversity.
    We believe that one can self-identify as Mormon based on one’s genealogy, upbringing, beliefs, relationships, and other life experiences, regardless of one’s adherence or non-adherence to the teachings or doctrines of any religious organization.”

    I just wanted to point this out to you, Bob. I’m gonna go to a podcast where my complaint won’t be held under scrutiny! And my kind is accepted……..jk that shit is boring.

  • simateoako

    What a lively conversation. I think it’s important to remember this is “Bob’s Mormon Cred Scale,” and as a result, reflects the author’s understanding of the “Mormon Experience.”

    As a convert and short-lived Mormon my version of one’s Mormonness would probably be more inclusive, as my understanding of the Mormon Experience is different than Bob’s, or Glenn’s, or the born-in-the-covenant woman in Hong Kong.

    Are they all valid Mormon experiences? Yes. Are they all the same? Nope.

  • Caligurl2012

    Polly Anna:

    I know you like busting Bob’s balls here, but it is only a silly survey. πŸ˜‰

    I live in Michigan, first generation Mormon. I went to Michigan colleges (undergrad and grad). I joined the church at 16 (only member in my family), married at 32 to a RM in the DC Temple and went through YEARS of infertility treatments (we did adopt). I know everyone’s experience is different, but I did NOT feel that the survey was only geared to Utah Mormons. I took the survey and my score was a “Terrestrial Mormon”. I too was heavily invested in the Church and when I found out the real history in the fall of 2012 , my world came crashing down.

    So what I am trying to say is – I feel your pain!!!

    • Polly Anna

      Yeah, I’m mostly tongue in cheek. I was just in a silly mood that week.

  • IMO, a scale cannot possibly be done for men and women at the same time. The Mormon expectations are so different! Missions, marriage, babies, types of callings, YW recognition awards, number of kids, age at marriage… All these mean something different to men vs women within Mormondom.

    And I agree that number of years since leaving is relevant to the scale.

  • Landon Simmons

    I love the concept of Mormon cred and I do think it exists within the Mormon paradigm. That being said I was disappointed in how the survey was set up as well as regarding the discussion.

    My core issue with both is that Mormon Cred is completely related to what the Mormon Cred is being applied to.

    Is the mormon cred to determine who is the best authority on a particular mormon subject? (the mormon cred would be different depending on the subject)

    Is the mormon cred to determine who is the most mormon? (whatever that means)

    Is the mormon cred to determine who was traumatized the most by their lds beliefs? (this would depend largely on their personal belief system)

    Is the mormon cred to determine who can complain about the lds church? (this would depend largely on who the interviewer was of the podcast. If the podcast interviewer has substantially more mormon cred then the interviewee then it seems weird that the interviewer would be the interviewer rather then the interviewee)

    Is the mormon cred to determine who ______? (This is the question that has to be answered before another podcast or survey should be done)

    That is what was missing from the entire survey and podcast. What is the purpose of mormon cred. Unfortunately, the mormon cred is completely different depending on what it is related to.

    As such I would recommend future survey’s and podcasts regarding this subject have a uniform question that they are answering.

  • poohat

    The test was broken. You can’t ask an either/or question and have the only answers be yes or no. You have compound questions that are asking two different things or are worded in a way that it’s unsure what the outcome is supposed to be mean.
    Losing fifty points for not having an answer for a virgin in the sex/murderer question invalidates the whole thing.

    • poohat

      For the record, long Mormon heritage, live in the thickest Mormon part of Arizona, served a mission, 25 years old, all of them in the church.

  • Michael Carpenter

    100 points!!! Suck it, baby!!

  • Ryan

    My favorite part of the discussion was whether having a delusion of grandeur (to aspire to church office) was worthy of points. Everyone aspired to be a God for Hell’s sake, which is a lot higher than a mission president.

  • Steve Arthur

    Wow, I only scored a 45. Now I feel like I’ve always felt… that I never measured up as a mormon. Good thing a departed 18 years ago. Why am I still resentful. Fucking caste system.

    • Steve Arthur

      Okay, now that I’ve listened to the pod cast I get it. Based on the “full-mormon experience” there’s no way I compare.

  • Lee

    85. Lost out on not going to a church school.

    • Steve Arthur

      Well I did go to BYU and graduated and still only scored a 45. But hey I’m sure you have suffered more than me with all your mormon ancestors. : )

  • DRY Ink

    I demand a recount! I may be a convert but I was a member for over 20 yrs, more than half my life and I worked for the church for over 10 years. (And obviously just discovering IOT and digging though old episodes.)
    *slinking off with 40 pts

  • Thomas Moore

    I only got 60??? That’s because I married a non-mormon, had a vasectomy. So if I would’ve had kids (especially BIC) I probably would’ve gotten higher.

  • Kathryn Teleste

    Since I bitched about this episode over on Mormon Stories, I figured I might as well say something more constructive over here.

    The whole conversation gave me the heebeejeebees. (Or rather, the part of the conversation I listened to, because I stopped listening midway since I wasn’t enjoying the conversation on any level. Perhaps I’ll listen to the rest of it on a day I have more tolerance for in-group/out-group discussions.)

    From a religious perspective, I would think converts should get extra credit because they generally make more sacrifices to become Mormon and, in my conversations with them, often take the doctrine way more seriously than the average born-Mormon. My sample could be off, though. (Disclosure: I’m a NeverMo, I just get easily offended on other people’s behalf.)

    A lot of the ick factor could have been done away with by framing this as “The Mormon Culture Cred Scale,” “The MorDor Cred Scale,” or “The Getting Cred with People Who Were Born in the Covenant” scale.

    Of course, it’s fully possible that the ick factor was an intentional part of the episode.

    It’s good that it’s “Bob’s Mormon Cred Scale,” but perhaps the panelists could have delved more into what that means: that it’s basically an amalgamation of Bob’s own experience and prejudices (Which sounds judgy toward Bob; I don’t mean it that way – we all have our own prejudices.) Maybe they did toward the end? But the part I listened to, and why I just stopped, was that the panelists (except for Tom) seemed to be treating it as an objective exercise – that even if the scale was flawed, with revision it had the potential to reflect an objective truth.

    Maybe you all ended up flipping it on its head in the end? But I’m guessing not from subsequent podcast references to the episode and the discussion here. Eventually I’ll listen to the rest and maybe I’ll have the opportunity to eat my shorts.

  • David

    I think this cred scale idea is pretty messed-up.

    If you get a high Mormon cred scale score, then you get to say, “Wah! I am the biggest victim. I am the only one the Mormon church ever really hurt. The people with lower scores should shut up. Their unhappiness and suffering is invalid. I am like the only one who got hurt and the only one with anything interesting to say.”

    If you get a low Mormon cred scale score, then you get to say, “Ha! I am like the only one who saw what was going on and I got out of the cult quickly. All the rest of you stupid suckers really got taken in. Where were your brains? I am just so intelligent. Bow down before me.”

    Getting a high score gives a person permission to act like a jerk. Getting a low score gives you permission to act like a jerk. I think people just shouldn’t act like jerks.

  • JRon

    What’s wrong with Bob’s survey? It assumes everyone who takes it is heterosexual and married? I was forced to answer I am a murdered and thus scored -5! How rude it says I am below Ok!

  • Steve Lowther

    Of course it is all in fun, but I don’t agree with the evaluation. Having experienced the intense pain of divorce and family alienation from having devoted so many hundreds of hours studying Church history, I feel rather slighted. So a pox on you weenies!

    By the way, Scott Rowley’s father was my TBM wife’s divorce attorney! I’m giving myself points for that!

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  • You cred scale is crud. Not well thought through because you do not know spit but LDS arrogance.

    • I’m afraid I don’t follow. Try restating your point with a little less name calling and a little more articulation.