SvitheCon! (the whole world's invited)


Speaking of Cons, I was just reading on LDSPublisher about the recent LDS Booksellers Convention. Disregarding my depression that less than 20% of the companies involved have anything to do with books and that fewer and fewer publishers even bother to attend each year (o say nothing of the companies that are going under), I want to talk about a disturbing trend that's well summed up on one product: Mormon-themed wrapping paper.

The Mormon Rap

What bothers me about this? Well, it's not the attempt to enforce a Mormon culture. I'm fine with Mormonism having it's own culture. I'm all for it.

What bothers me is that items like this are emblematic of an utter unwillingness to engage the world in any way. We are not separated from the world, we should not be afraid of the world. We should be venturing forth into the world with healthful regularity.

As I wrote for AMV, it's my opinion that this is a time in Church history wherein we are called to be very much in the world --- engaging it and working with it and bringing it close. Building walls between ourselves and the world around us is, in fact, a sin if you want me to be blunt about it. If we are called to engage the world (and we are), then failing to do so is such immoral naughtiness.

Here's my feeling:

Mormon culture is good as long as it is inclusive. But when we start wrapping ourselves up in it in order to hide the rest of our planet's population from view, then we are falling short of our calling.

Mormons are called to engage. To be friends with our neighbors. To be involved in our communities. To love as He loved.

So let's open up and listen. Let's be part of this daily convention we call the world, and try to listen as well as preach. No more la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you.

Go forth.

last week's svithe


  1. How dare you sir, suggest that a company like mine, that creates CTR embossed vinyl siding for homes in Utah, which is manufactured only by Mormon's for Mormon's, means I am hiding away from the world. IF a gentile wished to buy my tacitly G. A. endorsed CTR embossed vinyl siding I would consider selling it to the gentile, for a spec home as long as it was to be sold to a member.

    You are probably the type of person judging by your comments that doesn't appreciate poorly made scriptoral cartoons either.

    Sorry, I can't keep the lunacy up.

    I am amused at some things people come up with, that rather than possibly extending what they do beyond these pale walls, they are happily contained for the sake of falsely percieved security which denotes neither quality nor expression nor even a moral high ground just mediocrity for camp.

    You're either braver or crueler than I am, because I wouldn't post about such efforts. But I am commenting so maybe I am almost as brave or almost as cruel to poke fun at (well-meaning but W.T.H. are they thinking) wrapping paper makers.

    I'm assuming they are well meaning.

    As for the decline in book sellers, a thought just occured. Could the advance of electronic media more movies, more games etc be killing young people reading books just like (I think) video games killed young people reading comic books a couple decades ago?

  2. Back to building the bomb shelter

  3. .

    Heh. You got me.

    The deeper I get involved into Mormon Culture the more a gadfly I become. Someday they will torch my house. Unless of course they are truly Saints. Then they will merely love me as I love them, no irony intended. Because I'm a pretty danged good example, best I can tell.

    From my perspective, the real issue is that no one buys Mormon books. I used to think it was Deseret Book's monopolistic business practices, but since learning that even with those practices they still can't make a profit, I'm blaming the inability for publishers and consumers to connect. The deeper roots of that problem I can only speculate on.

    And I, of course, never speculate. Never.

    And I too choose to assign good motives to the wrapping-paper makers. It's just so . . . I don't know. Monastic? Quarantinular? Something.

  4. I agree. But what really bugs me is how the description for the wrapping paper says, "Strengthen their faith with these lds themed wrapping papers..." Seriously? 'Strengthen their faith'? I'm sorry, faith can't be strengthened with lds themed wrapping paper and gift bags.

  5. I do not have a serious problem with lds themed wrapping paper (or other lds themed stuff, some people like those things, not me, but others do), I just have a problem with businesses that try to sell their products using the idea that you can buy spirituality. A testimony cannot be purchased with money. YOu can buy many things in this world with money, but faith/testimony is not one of them.

    Presenting your wavering-in-the-faith child with a gift wrapped in lds themed wrapping paper is not going to stop the faith-wavering. Which is what that business is claiming.

    Now if the gift was a set of scriptures or a copy of the Ensign, then you might actually help to strengthen his testimony. But the paper the gift is wrapped is not going to have any real affect.

  6. CTR wrapping paper? Seriously? I guess I don't really have a problem with that (per se), save only that I think it's pretty silly and insular; but that advertising slogan sounds an awfully lot (as Lady Steed points out) like the idea that we can buy anything in the world for money. And I think we know whose slogan that is.

    Shady, shady, shady.

  7. Me being the shallow, consumerist person that I am, I'm most offended by the horrible design. It'd be a lot more faith strengthening if it was actually cool.

  8. I think you're all going to hell for mocking such obviously divine inspiration.

  9. .

    I already took out a time share.

    This reminds me of a joke I read last night.

    Fellow gets acquited and is leaving the courthouse in a funk.

    Lawyer: Why so glum? We got you off!

    Free Man: But this morning I signed over my condo on a three-year lease!

  10. Oh, amen, Th. And I'm totally with Lady Steed on the nightmarishness of the "strengthen their faith" bit.

    SvitheCon! Yes! Please get going on that at once.

  11. .

    Wanna join a committee?