Tuesday, August 25, 2009


As in, Mormon Standard Time. I'd almost forgotten how it worked in Florida. Which is kind of weird, considering most of the ward was from Utah. But everything always started more or less on time. So there's been a little bit of culture shock for me too in coming back here. Even so, I really hadn't noticed it much, it's been more like "oh yeah, everything starts at least fifteen minutes later than you expect," sort of thing and I just roll with it. But this past Sunday . . . well, let's just say it reminded me of all the things I don't understand about MST. (side note: this one's not really a vent . . . at least I'm not trying to sound like it. More of a puzzled giggle at Utah culture.)

As we (mostly) all know, Sunday was the Oquirrh (did I spell that even close to right?) Mountain Temple dedication, and apparently all of Utah had church replaced with dedication broadcasts. I found that a little odd and confusing, but that's beside the point. I can't speak for any other wards, but in our ward they've been announcing the dedication in both sacrament and Relief Society (and, I would assume, elder's quorum) all summer. Get your ticket, get your handkerchief, and make sure you're there half an hour early because they lock the doors and you won't be able to get in. Standard stuff, right? Should be pretty familiar to anyone who's ever been to a temple dedication before . . . and I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say that would be everyone in our ward except Luke.

So, being the obedient, punctual, and conveniently childless couple that we are, Luke and I show up at 2:15 - not super early so that the images of the temple get monotonous (we saw it three and half times as it was), but not so late that we're running to the doors scrambling to get there right as the swing them shut and we're left out. (I'm imagining some medieval castle doors here. So cool.) We pull into the parking lot, and ours is literally the only car. Weird . . . So Luke does the whole "are you sure we have the time right? Are you sure it's here and not at the stake center?" thing, and I'm like "yeah, this is it," and everything and we walk in and - yay! - there's people there. About five other couples, to be precise, and I'm guessing they all walked since there's tons of apartments all around our building. We're probably in the minority in that we live far enough away that it's possible but not really practical to walk to church. So we sit down, and as I figured, people start trickling in. By 2:30 - the time we were all told to be there because the doors would be locked - the chapel is a little more than half full. But people are still coming in. I keep waiting for the flow to stop, but it only slows down. The last I saw people come in was at - and I know, because I glanced at the clock - 2:58. Ummmm . . . what?

First off, I know they do lock the doors, because I've been to other dedications where I saw them lock the doors half an hour before. So what happened here? What's with the not following through? I mean, I'm totally into the whole "better late than never" thing but 2:58? These people have had all day to get dressed and show up on time and they can't manage it? I would cut some slack if it was the 9:00 dedication, but the 3:00? Lame!

On a slightly similar note, picture this situation: You're at the Pearly Gates (yeah, I know, just go with me. The conventional imagery is easier to work with.) and you've just passed through a few hours ago. Someone comes running up to St. Peter's desk . . . or podium . . . or whatever, and starts saying "I'm here! I'm here!" all out of breath and stuff. St. Peter looks through the book and says something to the effect of "well, everything seems to be in order , except . . . (dramatic pause) . . . you were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago. I'm afraid we can't let you in now." The newly dead person kinda starts to freak out, and then St. Peter starts laughing. "No, man, I'm just messing with you! Come on in - just don't be late for choir practice!"

Am I the only person who would be laughing? Anyway, I guess my point is, why tell people the doors will be locked when they won't?

Nextly - what is it with Mormons being incapable of getting anywhere on time? Okay, I know the first answer is going to be kids. And I get that. And anyone with a child under the age of five gets a pass, and the more kids you have the longer you get the pass. Stuff happens. But it's not just young families. Practically no one in this entire state ever shows up on time. (Case in point: I was ten minutes early for my interview last week. My interviewer wasn't back from lunch, and didn't get back until 3:15 . . . classic MST lateness!) In my parents' ward, half the time it's the oldest ward members walking in during the opening hymn. And of course there were no kids at the dedication on Sunday. Even then, most of these couples don't have kids. What is it that makes everybody late all the time? Something in the water? The air? Some genetic mutation that I've been fortunate enough to avoid since neither of my parents are native Utahns?

Seriously though, can anyone explain the whys of MST? I've always wondered, and Sunday just reminded me of how much I don't get it.

P. ost S. cript
So very wrong. So very awesome. I want one.


  1. Utah "may" be worse, but mST prettymuch works that way every where. However, notice that General Conference ALWAYS starts and stops on time.When your Great Grandpa was Bishop in Luna, he always tried to start on time, regardless of who, or who wasn't, there. Have a great day

  2. I'm proud to say that as a mom of a 2 year old. We always make it to church on time, even if it's 3 minutes before church starts. but I would definitely made it to the dedication on time (we weren't able to go because of a lack of babysitter. We were told to go to our assigned time and not another time. Later I found many people split babysitting with their spouses and went separately). See, we're rule followers, unlike others I know.

  3. Okay, how come there are no boys being eaten at the zoo? We should all be sacrificed evenly!

  4. I have always made it to church on time, even when the kids were small. I don't understand MST either. It just doesn't make sense to me. We were told to split the times that we went with other families or family members so that small children could be babysat by others. We had families that traded- one family tended while the other went and then switched for the next service.

    We went to the 9 am session, were there before they opened the doors at 8. The doors were closed and locked at 8:45 It is all in the leadership and whether they believe in meeting out the consequenses or not. I bet if you were to look at their personal life you would find that they are the ones that end up saying to their children "this is the last time I am saying this is the last time" or counting to three and then not giving said consequence etc. It seems to be a package deal.

    I could go on for pages about this, but I won't. I'll just say that I wish our chapel had been warmer than 2*, but it was a beautiful dedication anyway.

  5. I want you to know we've NEVER been late. Even after Sammy...

  6. We were never late, even with seven children. Washed, dressed approaitely, hair fixed, bathroom taken care of, drinks taken care of toys left at home and early. Using the children is an excuse for their slofflness. I know I didn't spell those right. Love Grandma

  7. I am laughing because this hits such a nerve at our house. My Dad (as noted above) hated this attitude so bad and started all meetings on time. My husband is the same and his meetings (when he was bishop) also started (and ended, I might add) on time. We always are and were early to church, even with all 7 kids in tow, even when I was getting them ready alone (for years) because Mike was already there. I think it has to do with how you are raised. Mike always says that starting a meeting late just punishes the ones who come on time. Sorry I got on my soap box, but I too hate that attitude.

  8. Hmmmm. Clearly the early thing and not being late was either beat into us all or genetic...

    We're clearly not the random sampling to answer your question properly!

  9. We were told to split and 1 spouse go to the first session & the other spouse go to the second session if you have kids that couldn't attend. OR share babysitting with another family & one go to 1 session & the other go to the second session. We exchanged with friends...Tanner went to their house for the 9 o'clock session, James came to ours for the 3 o'clock. We were there about 8:05 am and had to sit in the gym because it was already getting full. There was a note on the doors that they would be locked at 8:25am just as announced in all the wards........and they were.

  10. i have no experience with MST, but it sounds rather similar to "India Standard Time" ... I went to an Indian wedding once, it was supposed to start at 10am, because only if they started then would they be able to hit the "auspicious time" in the exact right point at the ceremony ... 10:15, and we're still waiting ... among others, the groom and his family still hadn't shown up.