R.M. Contract Smackdown

Lightmindedness

Posted August 14th, 2016

Glenn, Heather, and Jake get together to smack down a “Returned Missionary Contract” that has been circulating the bloggernacle recently. Fun times and terrifying flashbacks ensue.

Glenn

Heather

Jake

  • Ryan Gregson

    Will this iot agreement conflict with my billion year sea org contract?

  • Thomas Moore

    Okay, I’m going to put back on my Mormon mindset and explain why this RMC is wrong and from the Devil. Yes, Mormons make many promises and covenants with God and in turn God is bound to provide you with blessings. Tithing, boom Windows of Heaven are open. Marriage and Children, Kapow Eternal God and Father of your own worlds and universes. So this “contract” made with a man is made without any kind of priesthood power, keys or promises of blessings. Therefore it becomes a “Secret Oath and Combination” just as much as Gadianton Robbers, Mafia, Nazi Members sign. It’s a signature and promise to an “idea”, even if that idea or principle is good, it’s still made to another man who provides you no reward (and can’t make the same promises as God does). It’s a vain and foolish tradition that signifies more of an indenture to a Man, than to Jesus or Elohim… It cancels out free will and mirrors Lucifer’s plan of losing our agency. This is a sign of a true cult.

    • AxelDC

      Isn’t it redundant to your baptismal and temple covenants?

  • prickley.pete

    I remember returning home and they immediately called me to be Assistant Elder’s Quorum Secretary in my family ward. I asked who the secretary was that I would be assisting, turns out there wasn’t a secretary, they said they just didn’t want to “burden me with the responsibility and title of being Elder’s Quorum secretary.”

    So I was able to be a Zone Leader and be in charge of 20 missionaries, but I couldn’t handle having the title of EQ secretary? Granted I still had to do all the work, I just couldn’t actually have the title of secretary. The didn’t trust me to be a secretary! I was still a little kid in their eyes. Such a let down.

    • Thomas Moore

      Your post made me laugh. When I was working for a Fortune 15 company and I had many, many titles. AP Process Improvement Coordinator, during Sarbanes-Oxley I was also SAP SOD SOX Coordinator (SAP [the inventory/accounting software] Segregation of Duties [basically, if you could create vendors, you couldn’t pay them also, so I had to define roles and transactions individuals could access and utilize] SOX (Sarbanes Oxley). So yes, my job title was just a way to keep me happy since no one ever left the company, promotions were almost impossible, so we got ridiculous titles.

    • Glenn

      You mean “Assistant TO the EQ Secretary”

      • Thomas Moore

        Hey Glenn, you all are going to have to take on Politics again because the Utah theocracy keeps getting into politics… So to talk about BYU not getting into the Big 12 or Prop 8 or the hoopla that was brought up because Planned Parenthood was giving out “CTR” condoms…. Sorry guys but many, many of us have personal and judgements on the words and actions of the cult that often try to take away personal and social freedoms.

    • AxelDC

      Considering you weren’t getting paid, it’s funny that they couldn’t even afford you the title.

  • Never having gone on a mission, I have yet to return from one, but I laughed out loud at Glenn’s description of his friend’s personal improvement program with the calendar and checklist and “scripture snake.” That’s me, that’s me! I was ten or younger when I wrote out my first personal improvement program (I know because it was before we moved). I wrote it Monday or Tuesday and it did not survive the weekend. I’ve been doing it ever since.

    I love setting it up, but I never follow it any longer than a New Year’s resolution. Everyone loves to say, “It’s not the destination, but the journey . . .” With me it’s not the destination or the journey; it’s the preparation for the journey. And, having perfectly prepared myself for a journey, I abandon that one and begin preparing for another—because that’s what I really like to do: plan and prepare. One thing I’ve done a lot is use a particular day as a stake in the ground to measure the journey from, Milepost Zero. Of course New Year’s Day is the most obvious, but if that comes and goes without any real progress, I change it to the ides of March maybe or April 1st or April 15th or May Day or Cinco de Mayo or the Fourth of July or my birthday or (being from Utah) Pioneer Day or whatever. When you get down to using February 2nd, Ground Hog Day, as your stake in the ground, you need to give up and wait for the next boat.

    I can take something on and finish it. At one point I began to feel less than whole because I’d never received a bachelor’s degree, so I quit work and knocked one out in about two and a half years. I can pull a pretty big wagon up a pretty steep hill, but I can’t drive for shit. I need a college or an employer for that—sounds like so do a lot of other folks. But I still love the illusion of self-directedness. I can sit here and watch myself be deluded about being a self-directed free thinker and still love it. That’s why people do stuff like the RMC.

  • Scott Pot

    Would you do a podcast on Jeffrey Holland’s recent talk: ( https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/bound-by-loving-ties?lang=eng ), with at least Heather, Randy, Glenn, and John (Hamer says NO!). (Even though Glenn will probably not want to do it because he’ll say IOT has already covered this topic too much and he’s tired of covering the same things [by the way, did Glenn share his thoughts on 1 Corinthians 15:40 when the bishopric came over?].)

    If IOT were willing to do a podcast on the talk I would hope for the “I went to a pretty good school” line at the appropriate spot. Also, when Holland mentions the Civil Rights movement it’d be fun to contrast MLK Jr.’s religious influence (of which Holland spoke highly) vs. Ezra Taft Benson’s religious influence (which Holland criticized [JK, Holland didn’t mention Benson, obviously.)

    I think part of the reason I’m requesting a podcast on this talk is because when I listened to it, most of my thoughts were along the lines of, “Randy would be so irritated if he heard that,” or “I wonder if Glenn would argue with Randy over that,” or “I wonder what Heather thinks about this,” or “I want to know what Hamer would say.”

    • Cliff

      and Scott!

      What happened to Scott?

      Where the HELL IS SCOTT??

      WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SCOTT???

  • I never went on a mission and I was surprised to hear there wasn’t some kind of magical laying on of hands releasing ceremony. Not sure why but that really surprised me.

  • Sker

    Although I hate for one episode for me to kill a long standing tradition, I can no longer listen to the Infants. The moment Glenn brought up seiyaku dendou, I had a PTSD flashback involving the chills, curling up into a ball, vomiting and pulling out my hair. As soon as my wife came home, she had to call 911 and rush me to the ER and then I was admitted to the psych ward.
    When we did seiyaku dendou (SD), my companion made a covenant to the Lord to be 100% (and I do mean 100%) obedient to each and every rule in the shiroi tebiki (Now look what you have me doing, I can’t even say “white handbook”). (Glenn, yes I love my parenthetical expressions and I even talk this way, you might have even met him or heard of him. He was the one who tried to convert the contact at the door to skiing in a role play in a Zone Conference role play because his “building relationships of trust” wasn’t going just perfectly. He was also the one who gave a 10 minute closing prayer at the same conference. Nice guy buy more than a little off center.) Thing is, he didn’t tell me and although rather majime (strict) I sure as heaven wasn’t going to commit to that knowing that, realistically, it was IMPOSSIBLE.
    Sure enough, the impossible happened. That day, we had to give our investigator (Notice I didn’t say kyudosha. I think I’m getting a little better.) a little extra TLC and although he insisted on leaving and was getting antsy, I wasn’t having it.
    After the meeting, he told me about his covenant and how it was ratified by the Holy “the friendly” Ghost. Lovely… In spite of our very best efforts and stitches in our side from riding like mad men, we were late by about 3 minutes.
    That was it. He had committed the unpardonable sin, the sin against Holy. I KID YOU NOT. He thought he was a son of perdition. He was in the grasp of Satan. There was no hope for him. Dramatic, huh…
    I think I spent the next 4 hours trying to talk him down; y’know MY agency led to this and I hadn’t made the contract and it was possible for him to feel the spirit when he settled down for 30 seconds to read his favorite verse yadda, yadda; he wasn’t having it.
    I finally made him call the President Utagawa who had to spend about an hour talking him down. He still wasn’t sure until I pulled out the “He’s your priesthood leader and does and has received revelation for you” card. Still pretty shaky for him.
    I do well in the middle of crises but when they are over, I have MY meltdowns. Freaked out. Pissed off. Exhausted. Etc. Etc.
    I insisted on some splits for the next few days to get me away from him until my head was on straight.
    In conclusion, I’d just like to thank Grant von Harrison for his book “Drawing on the Powers of Heaven” for introducing covenants for the success of missionaries and telling them they can get 100’s of baptisms WHERE EVER they serve. I’d also like to thank you Glenn for bringing up this pleasant, sun-shiny experience for me.
    (Dis)Regards,
    Steve “Super-Infected Ingrown Toenail” Clark-Rasmussen

    P.S. – While writing this, my wife convinced me that the level of meltdown was only in my head and that you didn’t commit the sin against Holy, so I can still keep listening to the Infants. The story about this companion is real, however.

    • Sker

      P.P.S. – I didn’t read my post for possible typos and grammatical mistakes.

  • G-money

    I never agreed to things like this because I knew that if I did, there was a VERY high likelihood that I would miss a day of scripture reading or something and then I would be guilt stricken for promising to do something I didn’t do.
    The interesting thing for me to learn was that there is an entire set of people (thinking mostly of my sample group, namely my wife’s family) who love to put this stuff out there for people to see the great things they’ve got cooking. There’s a switch in their mind that is flipped as soon as they’ve had the intention to do something, and they receive the same emotional reward as if they had actually done it.
    I think it is just a personality type because they do it in non-church related ways just as much. They will tell you (and all their friends) about the great things they’re going to do with you this year. the year comes and goes and it never happens. Do they feel guilty? Quite the opposite, usually they act as if they actually did my those things because they told everyone they were going to.
    I think for the majority of people, this kind of goal oriented plan will NOT work. You have people who know it won’t work and just try hard to progress in their own way. You have people who think it works, but when you quantify their results, they’ve actually “progressed” the same amount as the first group. Group three commits, thinking it will actually work and gets frustrated and feels guilty because they slipped up somewhere and they actually end up worse off than before. Then there’s the fourth group that it actually works for.