Stalked by the Living Scriptures

August 8, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 10:51 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

I am not good with sales people whether they come to my door or they call me on the phone. I try to be nice despite my extreme annoyance but it is very hard. My husband is very good with sales people who initiate contact with us. I think it was his years on a mission that make him more compassionate in this area than I am. Some of the sales people I am most irritated with are those who use my religious affiliation to get me to buy their products. Let me tell you of an experience I had just last week.

It’s mid-afternoon and I’m going about my daily business, laundry, dirty diapers, entertaining and feeding all of the neighborhood children. I’m not expecting much today, just the normal stuff. Suddenly I hear a very friendly and adult sounding knock at my door. Hey, I think to myself, somebody’s comin’ to chat, this could be fun.

I open my door to a very clean cut, twenty-something, young man. Down at his feet I see, no! Please, anything but that…his duffel bag has Living Scriptures embroidered on it. I think I’m feeling faint.

He gets a smile on his face, takes a big breath, but I hurriedly shout, “I’ve already seen your presentation and we’re not interested!”

Still smiling Living Scriptures Guy (LSG) says, “Well, when did you last hear our presentation?”

“Uh, when we lived in California,” I reply.

“Let me come in and show you some of the latest things we’ve added to our program in the last couple of months.”

“No really, I’m not interested,” I try to sound a bit more forceful. I think about closing the door but I worry he’ll stick his foot in the door and start shouting about the new US presidents line they’ve come up with. I want to tell him that my family doesn’t believe in going in debt over a series of animated videos but I don’t think this will affect him in anyway.

Luckily I can see in his eyes that he believes me. Whew, I think, I’m off the hook. Wait, he’s not finished, “Do you know anyone in the neighborhood I can talk to about my videos?”

“No,” I reply. “The person who gave you my name probably gave you the same names that I would tell you.”

“I don’t have any names,” he states.

“Really, I don’t know anyone.” He looks like he doesn’t believe me. I throw out the name of a family down the street and hope they will understand and forgive me for what I have done. I quickly shut the door and heave a sigh of relief…

The next morning I’m going about my daily business, laundry, dirty diapers, entertaining and feeding all of the neighborhood children. Suddenly I hear a friendly and adult sounding knock at my door. Sweet, I think, someone wants to chat. I throw open my door and aaaggghhh, it’s LSG! How can this be, what horrific things did I do in a previous life?

He gets a big grin on his face and say, “Sister Johnston”

“Dude, you were just at my house LAST NIGHT.”

He looks perplexed (I think it’s an act), “Here, I came here? Wow, are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m very sure,” I state.

“Gee, I must have a terrible memory,” says LSG.

“Yes, you were here and we’re just not interested.”

I quietly shut the door and hopefully this chapter in my life.

255 Comments »

  1. Hey, when those Orkin guys come around to try to sell you a deal on the “injection system” service because their “trucks are in the neighborhood”, they’re probably Mormons too. Trust me, their trucks are always in the neighborhood.

    When I was a kid I loved those cartoons. Still have the first one memorized, “You’re always sticking up for NEPHI!”, “What does the Lord want this time?”, “Get out of my house, ROBBER! GUARDS!!” The sales techniques probably aren’t very ethical, but the videos are pretty good for kids.

    Comment by Rusty — August 9, 2005 @ 7:01 am

  2. You know what I hate? It’s those punk teenagers that come to your door telling you they are trying to raise money to go to Disneyland or Magic Mtn by selling the newspaper. “Nope, not interested,” I say. “What about just the Sunday paper?” “Nope, not interested.” “Well how about just a donation???” they counter. I feel like saying, “Dude! Magic Mtn is $25 bucks with a coupon. You can’t come up with $25 bucks?!?!” It drives me crazy.

    Comment by Jamie J — August 9, 2005 @ 8:09 am

  3. Sister Johnson

    Right there I would have asked him how he fealt about priestcraft, let him know that he would likly burn in hell and that regardless of how nice the product is, I could never purchase from the Dark Side.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 9, 2005 @ 10:22 am

  4. Yeah, one of those fellows came by our door a month ago. I successfully got through five or six variations on “no, I’m really not interested,” without losing my composure, and he went away. It was an exercise in patience which I managed to pass. You can guess what I would have said had I lost it. Maybe: “Sonny, people who use the Church network as nothing more than a list of sales contacts ought to be excommunicated. Except for real estate agents. And life insurance agents. And maybe multi-level marketing schemes, although that’s a close one.” I think these gospel salesmen prey on the unwillingness of LDS members to get angry with fellow Mormons.

    Comment by Dave — August 9, 2005 @ 10:50 am

  5. You know, I would love to buy the videos but I’m unwilling to spend $2000+ dollars on the set. I’m not sure I could overcome my annoyance at being exploited for my beliefs in the church to actually buy them though.

    My friend said she and her husband almost got divorced when her husband signed up for the videos. She said when she called up to cancel their contract she was told that the only way you could get out of it was to have someone buy your contract from you. She eventually ended up “paying off” the dang videos (or so she thought). A month or so later she got another bill so she called the company up and they informed her that she only paid off what she had received so far and that she still had 6 more videos left in her contract to purchase. My friend said she would not be kind to any LSGs that showed up at her door in the future.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 9, 2005 @ 10:59 am

  6. Here’s their website: http://www.livingscriptures.com/

    Their motto is: “Teaching values. Changing lives.” There are several ways to interpret that. The values they teach obviously aren’t “LDS values,” since the Church explicitly forbids the use of ward lists for merchandising or sales pitches. I’m offended they splash LDS images all over their web pages. I guess the primary value they teach is that moral principles or rules can be freely ignored in the quest to make money — NOT a value most Mormons want to teach their kids (or anyone, for that matter).

    If I’d heard your story and reflected on things a bit before LSG showed up at my door, I would have taken a different approach. First, enter into friendly conversation, in order to obtain his real name and home town. Then report his activities to my bishop, with a request that he contact the offending LSG rep’s bishop, requesting that action be taken to stop him from using LDS membership information as part of their commercial operation. Too harsh? Seems like the “official” way to do things.

    Comment by Dave — August 9, 2005 @ 1:05 pm

  7. I absolutley despise anyone who comes up to me, either on the street or to my home looking for money. It’s this dang capitlistic economy of ours I tells ya!
    Rusty,
    My favorite line (aside from the goofiness of Lemuel, of course) is when Nephi tells Sam he believes their father after he prayed about it and Sam says “Of COURSE Nephi! Father’s a prophet!” Just goes to show you how much more faithful Sam was then Nephi, I suppose>:p

    Comment by Bret — August 9, 2005 @ 1:28 pm

  8. Kristen didn’t even mention the part about our neighbor staring down some guy that appeared to be casing the neighborhood. Then his eight year old son said, “That’s the guy that came up to us when we were playing and asked where the Mormons in the neighborhood lived.” My neighbor was pretty ticked at his son for even talking to some weirdo/stranger on the street.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 10, 2005 @ 10:14 am

  9. Living scriptures has a negative approach. You have to sign up to the 2 year program. I offered the rep that visited my house to pay cash today for the whole set and he said that they cannot do it that way. He wanted a credit card and a two year commitment. Seemed crazy to me.

    Comment by leonard — August 11, 2005 @ 8:18 am

  10. Ha! That is ridiculous. How do these people stay in business?

    Comment by Geoff J — August 11, 2005 @ 8:24 am

  11. They need to lower the prices and maybe I would buy them. If they did, they could probalbly lose the salespeople as well. I prefer Veggie-tales – not because I don’t like Living Scriptures, but I pay $9.00 for a half hour bible styory that is decently written instead of $30.00 for a half hour video that is decently written but 20+ years old. Plus with V-tales I don’t have salespeople at my door.

    Comment by Gilgamesh — August 11, 2005 @ 3:23 pm

  12. Yes, we are huge veggie-tales fans here at our house

    Comment by Kristen J — August 11, 2005 @ 5:47 pm

  13. You guys are funny…I am asuming that you have never heard of Mormon Doctrine, Stand a Little Taller, or buy anything from Deseret bookstore. I don’t see any Church logo on those but I am sure you won’t mind reading from those….Is that using the religion? LSGS don’t use ward list and if they do they will get fired!! Just prove it to the company! Sorry that you feel that way. They don’t prey on Mormons because they don’t think that they will not get mad. Mormons are still human after all…obviously!! J. Stapley “Dark Side”?? Burn in hell?? Priestcraft??? That’s a little extreme!! You should double check what side you consider the Good side. If Living Scriptures is the Dark Side then the dark side helped produced a movie that is showing in most temple visitor centers, the Joseph Smith movie!! You should check it out, it’s phenomenal..for a movie from the dark side. Oh yeah, Dave, sorry to burst your bubble but the church don’t work that way!! You can’t just request something done about somebody’s membership…That is not the official way the church do things. Don’t tell people that’s how the church works please. Don’t get me wrong, I understand most of your concerns and you’re entitle to them but I am hoping to clear some misunderstandings. Church is true!!!

    Comment by Bill — July 10, 2006 @ 11:05 pm

  14. Bill, Sometimes people exaggerate to make a point. I doubt if anyone here would have a problem with people buying Living Scriptures productions online or at a retail outlet. It is relatively high pressure, direct sales techniques that get people agitated. I am a member of the Republican Party, but when their fundraisers call me on the phone I know better than to give them the time of day.

    Comment by Mark Butler — July 11, 2006 @ 9:53 am

  15. I have the PERFECT way to get rid of a LSG’s.

    First of all, point out that their company is a for-profit company. Then whip out 2 Nephi 26:29. In my opinion they’ve got the whole priestcraft thing going on–making money off the gospel. Yuck.

    If that doesn’t work, point out that most of their videos are created by NEST Entertainment, who has Ed Decker (yeah, the Guy who created the Godmaker videos and is the founder of Saints Alive: an anti-mormon ministry) on their advisory board. Decker even brags on the internet: “They gave me the power to review every video, book and workbook they had produced. Any LDS doctrine that I found present would be taken out, videos redone, reissued and all the booklets, etc., with such material
    scrapped.”
    (http://wholesomefamilyentertainment.com/nfart.html)

    Tell them you prefer to study the plain and precious truths of the gospel and don’t appreciate a watered down version.

    If necessary, have them pop in a New Testament/Old Testament video to show them the NEST Entertainment logo then turn on the computer and refer to the NEST Entertainment advisor page on their website.
    (http://www.nestentertainment.com/store/pc/viewContent.asp?idpage=3)

    Who knows you may even make the LSG’s reassess why they’re working for this unscrupulous company.

    Comment by Tiffany — August 22, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

  16. I agree with the person who had the divorce story. Living Scriptures is making a big mistake in the way it slithers in. When I signed up, I worked as a contractor for Nest selling videos they sold on TV. They had a the situation that you could cancel at any time.

    When the lady on Main Street in Manti during the Mormon Miracle Pageant sold me on them I asked her if it was the same deal. She said it was, that I could cancel at anytime. Then as I went to read the fine print, she said something cute about that just says you’ll have family home evening every night. She didn’t say, “You’re locked in as long as we can lock you in, or you only got 90 days to view a video and replace it, if it’s defective.”

    The flag should have went up there, but at the time, I felt I could replace the cable TV with them, and still keep my wife happy who wanted them really bad.

    Now its just on a long list of financial decisions I made. I’m accountable for them. But let this be a warning to all. These guys are helping people put themselves $2,000 in debt. What have the brethern told us. Get out of debt. That’s what I’m doing.

    I’m an honest man. I will pay my Living Scriptures debt off. But, I warn all that they do not stand for LDS values. Anyone that encourages you into $1000 to $2000 dollar contract and lies through their teeth doing it, isn’t representative of the LDS Church or its values.

    Beware this traps, brothers and sisters. If you feel the same. Voice it on this forum, and send me an email to: djpaystrup@peoplepc.com

    David Paystrup

    Comment by David Paystrup — December 4, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

  17. I heartily agree with the comment above by David. I bought a few living scriptures videos from a woman selling them on craigslist.org. They were $5 a piece. I started looking for the official LS website so that I could buy the ones that were missing. I quickly realized that this is little more than fraud, designed to ensare unsuspecting trustful people. For an alternative to plopping your kids in front of a video produced by an unscrupulous company to teach your children the scripture stories, why not sit down with your little ones with a book, or buy the Gospel Art Kit at the distribution center and talk about the pictures and the scriptures that are on the back? Children learn better while interacting with a grownup anyway.

    Comment by Kristy — December 19, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

  18. I was dumb enough to subscribe for these videos years ago…and I’m still paying for it..literally!!!I wish I never would have done it..there billing dates are always changing, I never know when I’m going to recieve a bill..it costs them under a dollar to send me a video but yet they charge me almost 5 dollars…I’m struggling financially but they don’t seem to care. I’m not saying they are not a good product, but if I could go back I would defanately not have subscribed!

    Comment by Becky — December 31, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

  19. I grew up with these wonderful videos. Not only do I appreciate how they taught me the stories in the scriptures, but I appreciate how they helped me to understand the whole spirit of them. My parents were low on money when they bought these video’s for our family and ever since then they have been very grateful that they made that decision. The messages that were taught have helped me to want to come closer to Christ. That which persuades man to do good and love God is of God. The prices of these videos may be higher than regular videos, but they are well worth it. Also, I don’t know everything about the founders and who is on the board of directors, but I again, I know these videos are good. May God bless all.

    Comment by Caleb Kriser — January 26, 2007 @ 10:09 am

  20. You might think LSI is priest craft and that is just fine; you probably do not have these videos in your home or you would feel differently. All I know is if we don’t support companies like Living Scriptures there won’t be any good products on the market for our families. Only pornograghy and other garbage. So you put your money where you want but I am thankful their are people who will invest their money into products like these and we need more companies just like them!!!

    Comment by Scott — February 14, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

  21. I actually have the living scriptures, I bought them on e-bay for $20 for a set of 8 videos out of the NT lineup.

    So I will support a product like Living Scriptures. I will not, however, support a company like living scriptures. I’d rather buy garbage from an honest man than “quality material”* from a piece of garbage.

    _________________________________
    *- Jury’s still out on that one.

    Comment by Matt W. — February 14, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  22. I hope everyone of you bashing living scriptures has never boughten anything from DESERET BOOK or SEAGULL BOOK, or any other church book store, cuz that is exactly what they are doing. Making money off quality products. It aint preistcraft, if you dont like their methods of marketing(door-to-door sales) simply be a good christain and tell the salesman your not interested. Its a little childish to bash the company that has put a lot of time and effort and money, to try to make a product that is an alternative to the garbage that your letting your kids watch, or that you are watching. The church is very aware of the company, and the legal issues with using ward lists. Every summer the church lawyers and the vice president of sales for lsi, has lots of conversations. Ward lists are forbidden, that doesnt mean some dishonest salesmen might use one from time to time. That makes the salesman dishonest, not the company. Many families love these videos and continually rebuy them, when they come out with new dvd versions, because they know investing in what your children watche, really pays off. The church does say you should go into debt for education, and a home….Have you ever been educated and spiritually moved or prompted by a video that the church put out…i have….and living scriptures has collaborated and help make lots of movies with the LDS church. So dont think that the church is against LSI when they work together to try to bring some good wholesome media to this nation that is struggling morally, because of all the other bad media out there.

    Comment by jack — March 20, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

  23. I own the whole set of Living Scripture movies. I bought it years ago on VHS and would like to be able to own the DVDs but I don’t want to get into the contract deal again. I wish they would just offer the movies singly and allow people to buy one at a time when they are able to. I like the movies but was sick about the contract entered into that lasted for 4 years… and I couldn’t break it.

    Comment by michelle — March 30, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

  24. Ok, my husband sold Living Scriptures for the first 3 summers of our marriage.
    (Please don’t hate me)
    I went with him a few times, and I just have to say, it isn’t a great job, but he could make $13-15K in a summer, which was enough to get us through the school year. I appreciate your patience with the sales guys, they don’t like it anymore than you do, but there are plenty of nice people who are willing to give out your names to get a free DVD.
    The products are good, IMO, but expensive. I grew up on the NT series and learned a lot.
    Anyway, the experience has scarred us in some ways, but also makes my husband a lot more sensitive to door-to-door salesmen. In fact, he helped a 9 yr old selling candy with his door approach, “you can have the gummy bears and pretzels, or the peanut brittle and jelly beans, What will it be?”
    Sales is definitely a learned art.

    Comment by Jessawhy — April 2, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

  25. It is interesting to see what people think of LSG. You either think it’s a good product or you think that the people selling it are going to hell. I wonder about those who have such negative feelings about the product and company really understand the gospel you say you know.
    If you have financial trouble because you invested in LS products then ask yourself, ” who forced me to buy these?” if you think the films are expensive, i personally think they are, then aren’t you in enough control of your wallet to say “no”?
    If you think that the salesman are too pushy, you’re probably right. But these guys are trying their hardest to make a living, just like you. It’s too bad that some salesmen cross the line, but why do you judge the product or the company on what an individual does? W
    Why do you judge at all?
    The films themselves are fabulous. They’re not word to word with the scriptures, but they teach kids the basic story and the the basic lessons. it’s a good way for kids to get more interested in the scriptures.
    uh oh, does that mean that these non -church made DVD’s take the place of family scripture study? if they do it IS YOUR OWN FAULT. am i wrong? after you’ve read to your kids the words of the scriptures and taught them then that’s where LS comes in. would you rather they watch Nephi or Homer Simpson? Abraham or Spongebob? Prophets, or porn? bc kids will look for something to watch in the meantime, this is just a good alternative.

    i hope that some people may look at this product with a different perspective. some people can see the good in them, other people need to take a chill pill. Peace out.

    Comment by Brian — April 25, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  26. Look, their little “monthly payment plan” is just creepy. That’s all it comes down to for me anyway.

    I seriously wish that they would let people buy one video, or video series, for just one single payment. I would love to buy them for my kids. I would even pay $20 a pop. I refuse to do it while the only way you can buy them is with this creepy payment plan method.

    Guess what? I would have written this post if it were the orkin guy that tried to sell me the same product twice in less than 12 hours. Unfortunately for him it was the LS guy that showed up at my house that day.

    Take a chill pill. Peace out.

    Comment by Kristen J — April 25, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

  27. This post is like a faucet with a very slow drip.

    Kristen, you posted this in Aug 2005 and it still gets a comment a month, that is amazing.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 25, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

  28. I know. I’m always surprised to see a comment show up on this post.

    Comment by kristen j — April 26, 2007 @ 8:05 am

  29. And kristen said she is a thread killer, more like she is the queen of the thread that never dies!

    Comment by Matt W. — April 26, 2007 @ 8:51 am

  30. Hey Matt, I think I know you. You’re that one kid in Logan that has a really great roomate, I can’t remember his name though, oh well.

    Comment by Brian — April 29, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

  31. Never been to Logan in my life, sorry.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 29, 2007 @ 8:30 pm

  32. Oh Matt! Just admit that you are from Logan and you have a really great roommate. Why must you always deny it?

    Comment by Kristen J — April 30, 2007 @ 10:05 am

  33. DO NOT BUY LIVING SCRIPTURES!!!!!!!!

    I got suckered into these two years ago. At $37.10 each and about 20 minutes long…go read a book. Not worth it, period.

    (And for all of those who are wondering…I’m active in the LDS church.)

    Comment by Laura Brandon — May 3, 2007 @ 10:54 am

  34. I know for a fact that the Living Scriptures products cost over $100 million to produce. I also know for a fact that when people order the movies that get a work book with each movie and around $400 in free bonuses for signing up. Does $30 a month to give your family wholesome programming really seem to be such a ripoff? Almost everyone I know spends that kinds of money on dish, cable, fast food, and extra junk at Walmart. Do you really think that Living Scriptures is responsible for you almost divorcing your husband or being in trouble financially? I have worked for the company for a while and I know that the sales representatives are not telling people that they can cancel at any time. I also know that they tell them that the company asks them to finish collecting the movies that they signed up for. Living Scriptures has had over 50,000 customers. Does that tell you a little bit about the quality of their product and the benefit of having it in your home? In addition, Living Scriptures does not charge interst and finance on their videos, they also give discounts on shipping if families speed their payments up. That’s fine if you don’t like contracts and expensive videos. But you chose to buy them. You didn’t have to, but you did. So how is it Living Scriptures fault that you signed up for them?

    Comment by Ren Hollow — May 10, 2007 @ 1:15 pm

  35. Kristen J. & Brian:
    I know for a fact that Matt W. has a really great roommate. And, frankly, I am puzzled by his denial. Don’t let up on him. He’ll break!

    Comment by Mondo Cool — May 11, 2007 @ 10:49 am

  36. Kristen J.,

    I think that you are getting some astroturfers here, which keeps the comments coming. Also, if you google “Living Scriptures” this thread comes up in the #3 slot. Given how little information there is on the actual LS website (no prices, just an 800 number) it is a small wonder that people seeking info might end up here.

    I think Ren Hollow’s comment is pretty funny. If they have 50,000 customers and have spent $100 million on production alone then how much did they have to charge each customer? $2,000. What a deal!

    The best comments on this thread though are the threats that if you don’t buy LS you’ll only be left with porn. Well, that and the Brick Testament.

    Comment by a random John — May 11, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

  37. Um…I think I state pretty clearly that I didn’t buy the dang videos. If I were going to I would just buy them off of ebay.

    There’s no way in heck I could even afford to buy them on the 2 year payment plan because all of my extra cash is spent on In & Out burgers. (Or so comment #34 assume at least)

    Look, the fact that this Salesman even caught me at home was weird because when I’m not at In & Out burger I’m almost always rifling through the clearance bins at Walmart.

    Comment by Kristen J — May 12, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

  38. Living Scriptures have great products, they’re educational etc. I’m just EXTREMELY upset that they didn’t care to warn me that I was signing over a two year contract. Had they been up front with that, I honestly wouldn’t have purchased them. They knew, I mentioned it when they were suckering me in, that I was a starving college student. To cancel right now I have to pay $200+ What BULL! Had they been honest about it, it’d be okay. Admittedly they never told me I could cancel any time, but the man selling it only casually mentioned that I wouldn’t get charged if I return it within 3 days. Never a “You’re stuck paying for at least 4 years.” Someone mentioned Deseret Book or Seagull Book etc…

    “I hope everyone of you bashing living scriptures has never boughten anything from DESERET BOOK or SEAGULL BOOK, or any other church book store, cuz that is exactly what they are doing. Making money off quality products.”

    (By the way it even has great grammar and spelling…I’m not the best myself, but… wow.)
    THEY DON’T SNEAK IN CONTRACTS! Totally different. They sell quality products, ONE AT A TIME. These guys flat out refuse to do single sells… oh and you can’t legally sell them on ebay or anything similar either. It’s ALSO part of the contract. You can sell stuff from ANY other LDS related store on those sites… Living Scriptures contracts are complete bull…

    Comment by Jamie B. — May 16, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

  39. Some young boy I know was talked into “selling” for these guys. He was told he could make great money and it was “just like serving a mission.” After a week, he realized that he couldn’t force himself to “con” people who could not afford it, into paying for this product for 4 years. When he told his supervisor he was going home he was told that, “If you can’t sell Living Scriptures you will never succeed on a mission” They also miss quote Church pamphlets about finance saying, “It is okay to get into debt for a home, education or “other” worthwhile items.” Some people I know think a new boat and a new 4 wheeler are worthwhile items. I am sorry, but whoever said that it is like buying from Deseret Book is off just a little. I don’t think that I have ever had to pay on “time” for a book from Deseret Book, although when you join their book club it is pretty close. By the way, I am active in the Church and yes, early in our marriage my husband was “conned” into buying Living Scriptures. We could not afford it at the time, but struggled through. Out of all the sets be bought, we listened to 1 tape. I really prefer to read it from the real source.

    Comment by Val H — May 17, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  40. Living scriptures is a wonderful wholesome, educational, and uplifting program. The only reason they set people up on monthly payments is so people can fit them into thier budgets easier. It would be more unreasonable for LSI to expect people to buy the DVD sets all up front, however, customers can do that if they prefer. I can’t understand why anyone would bash on a program that can replace what the world has to offer. These movies were $30 back in the 80′s when they were on VHS. That is how this company got its start. Now we have them on DVD with a ton of interactive programs, games, activity books, and other options, and they have never raised the price. Thank you Living Scriptures for sharing your product with the world.

    Furthermore, these LSI salesman are just college students trying to earn some money for them and thier wives to go to school. I am 46 years old, and every few years when one of these kids come, i at least give them some water and a snack for the road. I wish i could help them out more, but i have already purchased everything LSI has made for myself, and for my grown children. Again, thank you living scriptures for helping out these young men and women by providing them with a job.

    Comment by Jackson L — May 18, 2007 @ 3:02 pm

  41. It cracks me up how this thread never dies… I guess that’s what happen when we end up in the #3 spot on Google for the search term Living Scriptures.

    Jackson L — Are you really not understanding the complaints all these commenters have expressed or are you just pretending?

    If it is the former (which I somehow doubt) let me lay it out for you again: The issue is that people are willing to buy some of the videos but object to being forced to buy all or none as the LSI folks force upon consumers. The issue is exacerbated by some apparently less than forthright salespeople who get poor Mormons to sign the longterm contract without letting them know that they can’t get out of it without large financial penalties or by having their credit ruined. Things get even shadier when ward lists are used for this profiteering.

    Comment by Geoff J — May 18, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

  42. Geoff J- I understand the complaints of the commentors, but do you? Everyone who has commented isnt only worried about LSI getting “poor Mormons to sign the longterm contract without letting them know that they can’t get out of it without large financial penalties or by having their credit ruined.” Alot of the Comments have been made in regard to the product. And by the way, are you assuming that the people that buy these are illiterate and don’t know how to read, because they are the ones that sign the aggrement. I will agree, and it’s unfortunate, that some of the young men and women that come around aren’t 100 percent honest. But just as the church is true, sometimes the people in it aren’t. My point is this is a great product for families, regardless of who is selling it. I think families should make every effort possible to have these in thier homes, whether they buy it all at once, or they are set up on a one a month program.

    Comment by Jackson L — May 21, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

  43. Alright Jackson L — go ahead and buy the whole set for everyone you know if you’d like. Knock yerself out bro.

    Comment by Geoff J — May 21, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

  44. A Living Scripture salesman found my basement apartment in Oakland at a time where there is no one in the ward (which we had just barely moved in to) who knew our address outside of the ward directory. And no one knew us well enough to be making that kind of recommendation (i.e. we weren’t friends or family). And no family members had the address except for those who I know would never give the time of day to an LSI salesperson.

    Make of that what you will.

    Comment by William Morris — May 21, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  45. Furthermore, these LSI salesman are just college students trying to earn some money for them and thier wives to go to school. I am 46 years old, and every few years when one of these kids come, i at least give them some water and a snack for the road. I wish i could help them out more, but i have already purchased everything LSI has made for myself, and for my grown children. Again, thank you living scriptures for helping out these young men and women by providing them with a job.

    Jackson L.,

    Do you have any association with Living Scriptures other than as a satisfied repeat customer?

    Also, while I admire the fact that they provide jobs, it isn’t like they are the only organization on earth that does so. This fact alone doesn’t really set them apart from door to door pest control or home security salesmen, does it? In fact the same could be said for the casino industry and worse.

    But just as the church is true, sometimes the people in it aren’t.

    So now Living Scriptures is “true” in the same sense the Church is? Are you going to bear your testimony about them next?

    I am not a customer of the organization, but I know several people that are. They have never said anything positive about it and all of them regret the decision to sign up.

    Comment by a random John — May 21, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

  46. What a crack up this is!! I love all the energy here. It really was a fun way to learn about The Living Scriptures.

    Comment by Michelle P — May 27, 2007 @ 11:45 am

  47. Thank you all for your honest information. I was ready to slap down the credit card and buy these DVDs, but after reading this website, I think I’ll take the kids to Disney World for a week instead.

    Comment by MeMe — May 28, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  48. The Living Scriptures guys just left about an hour ago. They’re coming back tomorrow for our answer. Now my husband and I sit at our computers doing research, which is where I found this whole threadie thingie. :)

    I’m pleased to see that our guys were honest and up-front about everything. We are aware we have to buy everything. They did say that it doesn’t have to take as long, that if we wanted to use tax return money to “pay it off” or to pay for 5 in a month instead of one (or 2 or 3.. depending on the “plan” we chose) that would be fine.

    I also see that the website has the same package deal but says, “DVDs may be purchased in smaller sets with fewer free DVDs – call for information” and my husband says the contract form had a place to write in how many DVDs you actually want.. like we could get less than the package deal thingie if we wanted to.

    Anyway.. we’re still mulling it over. I remember watching a few of the ones on tape when I was a kid and really liking them, but it definitely is a huge financial commitment. The jury is still out.

    Comment by Kat — May 29, 2007 @ 11:08 pm

  49. …and after re-reading my post I apparently say “thingie” too much.

    Comment by Kat — May 29, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

  50. Kat, personally, I recommend getting them on ebay, It’s cheaper.

    Comment by Matt W. — May 30, 2007 @ 7:44 am

  51. Yeah, that’s what we decided too. Especially if we wanted to watch them on VHS.. but even the brand new DVDs are cheaper on Ebay.

    When he came back today we said no. I feel good about our decision and don’t have any anger toward the salesmen or the company.. we’re not against people making a profit for honest work, but the mark-up was just too much for us.

    Comment by Kat — May 30, 2007 @ 10:54 pm

  52. Be carefull of them. If your DVD doesn’t show up they will still charge you for it. For such a great product that teaches honesty, they are very dishonest and un-Christlike company.

    Comment by Brent — June 1, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

  53. There is a way to cancel within 3 days of the day you sign the contract. That’s what I’m now going to have to do. *sigh* You just have to send in the notice of cancellation or send them a telegram saying you want to cancel by the third day, and make the products they left with you available for them to pick up in “a substantially as good condition as when received”.

    Comment by Louise — June 14, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

  54. Decker and the FEN Episode (“Put-em On The Payroll”)

    In the late 1980s two Mormon businessmen from Ogden, Utah, Jared Brown and Sheldon Young, decided to create Bible Story and Book of Mormon Story animated videos. They both owned a company called “Living Scriptures” which had, since the early 70s, produced dramatized Bible and Book of Mormon cassette tapes which were sold to Mormons throughout the U.S. Brown and Young wanted to produce animated videos on the same subjects. So, they hired Mormon writers and producers who, along with Korean animators, produced a series of Bible and Book of Mormon animated cartoons of a very high quality. Mormons bought them up like hot cakes!

    Just then, Brown and Young decided to expand their market. It was decided that the “Christian” market was 20 times larger than the Mormon market; so they decided to distribute their Bible Story videos to the Christian market. However, they soon discovered that “Christian” bookstores and distributors would UTTERLY REFUSE to buy or even stock “Mormon” videos or any sort. What to do? They decided to use a little strategem!

    Brown and Young formed a subsidiary of Living Scriptures called “Family Entertainment Network (“FEN”), and they recruited several prominent Evangelical Christians to become “partners”. One was Jerry Falwell. The “partners” would basically be “partners” in name only. In return for the use of their “names” they would receive a portion of the profits from the sale of every video.

    Brown and Young then placed an “Evangelical Christian” as President of FEN, and openned an office in Dallas, Texas. No mention was made that FEN was wholly owned by Living Scriptures; a company owned by two Mormons in Ogden Utah.

    It worked!

    FEN began to distribute the Bible Story videos all across the country! Evangelicals began to buy them as soon as they hit the shelves. They went like hot-cakes! Soon FEN was taking in millions of dollars.

    But, all was not well in Paradise!

    A man who worked for an anti-Mormon “ministry” in Oklahoma purchased several of the tapes, and noticed in the “credits” that “Orson Scott Card” was the “scriptwriter”. He KNEW that Orson Scott Card was a famous MORMON writer! He then began to check things out. He called FEN in Dallas, and they DENIED that they were associated with the Mormon Church in any way. He did more research and discovered that FEN was owned by “Living Scriptures” of Ogden, Utah. He called FEN and “Living Scriptures”. Both denied they had anything to do with the other. But, he had the information and began sharing it with other anti-Mormon “ministries”; including Saints Alive in Jesus.

    As soon as Decker learned that FEN was “Mormon owned” he began his anti-FEN crusade. Decker went on a Christian radio campaign, saying:

    *FEN is owned by the Mormon CHURCH.

    *FEN was created by the Mormon CHURCH as a way to get Mormon teachings into Christian homes.

    *The money Christians pay to FEN for the videos goes straight into “Mormon Church coffers”.

    *FEN videos were full of Satanic “subliminal messages” that try to hypnotise young Christians into Mormonism.

    *Buying FEN videos was “letting Satan into your homes” and “just like letting Mormon missionaries into your homes”.

    NOTE: The LDS Church does not own FEN nor Living Scriptures. The LDS Church has no stock in either company (which are privately owned and do not issue stock). The ONLY connection the LDS Church has with FEN or Living Scriptures is that the two owners of both are Mormons. There is no “business tithe” in the Mormon Church. Neither FEN nor Living Scriptures pays a dime to the Mormon Church.

    Sales of the Bible Story videos began to decline rapidly. What to do?

    Brown and Young had a stroke of genius!

    They decide the best way to shut Decker up is to put ‘em on the payroll!

    They put ED DECKER on the payroll of FEN!

    They asked Decker to become a member of the “Board of Advisors” of FEN, and to “review” each Bible video FEN produced; for an “advisor’s fee” of $1000 per video. There were 28 Bible videos.

    Decker accepted!

    Apparently no longer concerned with filling “Mormon Church coffers” Decker “reviewed” the 25 FEN Bible story videos, andthen came out with this written statement:

    “I am pleased to report that FEN has enthusiatically implemented my recommendations and the products now stand clean of any Mormon or other not-orthodox influence. As such, I endorce them as products of the highest quality and I confidently recommend them to Christian families and churches.” (The Christian Research Journal, Summer 1992, p.34)
    We don’t know what “recommendations” that Decker made to FEN, but we DO know this:
    *The two Mormons (Brown and Young) remained the controlling-owners of FEN.

    *Mormon writers and producers continued to produce animated Bible videos for FEN.

    *Not ONE of the 25 Bible Story videos produced by FEN that Decker allegedly “reviewed” was edited or changed in any way.

    Does that sound “clean” to you?

    Nothing changed except the weight of Decker’s wallet!

    Decker presented FEN as a “Mormon Church conspiracy” to get Mormon doctrines into Christian homes to try to convert Christian children and, at the same time, fill “Mormon Church coffers” with Evangelical money. But, after they put Decker on the payroll, and he “cleaned” the videos (?), he couldn’t endorce FEN highly enough!

    Comment by BuyerBeware — June 22, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

  55. BuyerBeware,

    What part of any of that is sinister? Based on the tone of your comment I kept hearing sinister music in the background but nothing I read justified the tone of the story you told. It all sounds like standard business wranglings that happen in every industry every day. If the videos are solid and based on the scriptures why should any Mormon or Evangelical care about the various marketing plans that go on behind the scenes?

    Comment by Geoff J — June 22, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

  56. I grow tired of this thread! The only reason that I don’t shut it down is because my fellow bloggers here at the thang are amused and entertained by the slow trickle of threads that come in on this post.

    I may soon have to end their amusement.

    Comment by Kristen J — June 23, 2007 @ 9:21 am

  57. Don’t do it Kristen! You have to please the masses, and the masses clearly love this thread. Think of it as a public service.

    Comment by Jacob J — June 23, 2007 @ 9:27 am

  58. This thread can’t end now. WE’ve got to get atleast another 500 comments to hit the record!

    Comment by Matt W. — June 23, 2007 @ 11:36 am

  59. Ok, but only because I like you guys!

    Comment by Kristen J — June 23, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

  60. i sold living scriptures for 3 summers. honestly, i can understand the perspective of many bloggers here who are upset. However, i have met and associated with Jared and Seldon (owners of LSI Inc.) and many of the other individuals who are responsible for the distribution of the DVD’s. I will attest to their character. contrary to popular belief they are not making a killing off of anyone who purchases the DVD’s. if anything they have lost money with this venture. living scriptures has changed and affected many lives for the good. i know because i have met hundreds of good families and they told me first-hand.

    the bottom line is LSI is just a good company that makes money doing good. like it or not, it is not quite fair or accurate to accuse the salesmen (who are usually return missionaries getting ready for school or marriage etc.) of maliciousness. the words “priest craft” are prematurely tossed around by many who think they have it all figured out… because they know what these salesmen are all about. i have been there and in my opinion i think that the way many of the good members of the church are so willing to accuse good young men of sin and greed is modern day kick in the shins. its really quite convenient for the person behind the door, but a dark reflection of character to the one knocking on it. at least think about what is you’re saying next time you get a knock at the door.

    p.s.
    if you’re not sure you want them… my experience tells me Do Not Buy them. for most people its 35 bucks a month for 4 years. if you’re gonna buy them pay in cash (if possible)

    Comment by rob — July 1, 2007 @ 12:21 am

  61. I guess I will help you get at least 500 hits on this site….I too am on a very limited income and I had mentioned that to the salesperson and it does not seem to matter!! The sales crunch goes on…I almost felt forced into buying, my fault for finding it hard to say NO. I will admit that the DVD’s are great teaching tools but, not for the price you pay $2000.00 plus. It is on a contract that automatically goes to your credit report so you have to explain(when needed) why this is on your credit report..does not look good. I have written many letters and made many calls trying to explain to this company my financial situation, they DO NOT CARE!!!! So now they are threating to go to collections…great! They say to get a letter on letterhead from my doctors to prove that I have medical debt. My doctors like really have time for this. I have asked and they are going to try to help me. Why put me through this? MONEY MONEY MONEY not for the church but for a company that has an anti-mormon rep in his company? I wish I had known this earlier b/c like many of you I would NOT have purchased this product! …and yes I am a believer…but not to get taken!

    Comment by Peggy — July 20, 2007 @ 6:53 am

  62. Haha. I laughed when I first saw this blog. I think it’s funny that people feel the need to bash on others. Take a chill pill and cool off. It’s not a big deal. If you don’t like the living scriptures, don’t buy it. You could be doing so many more worth while things with the time and effort you put into being angry about some cartoons.

    Comment by Casey — July 20, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

  63. Casey,

    I don’t think anyone here has expressed anger in the cartoons. If it’s not a big deal, can you spare some money for the people trying to pay off their contracts? Let me know and I can forward the cash on to them (or paypal, or moneycheck, whatever).

    Comment by Jacob J — July 20, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  64. I had a problem with these guys 7 years ago…same old contract thing. I asked the salesman, when I signed up, if I could cancel at anytime, and he said Yes! Then, after I bought about 6 of them (I was single and had no kids), I decided I could no longer afford something I wasn’t watching, so I called them to cancel. They told me it would cost me $200, even after telling them that the salesman told me I could cancel at anytime (they later said they spoke with him and he denied saying that). I fought and fought them on it, to no avail. They are great at conning money out of people. Good movies, yes, but when I think of the sleezballs swindling (yes, swindling…he lied to make a sale!) money out of us, the movies don’t seem so great anymore. End of story!

    Comment by Nellie (a victim of LSI) — July 24, 2007 @ 12:09 am

  65. Oh, BTW, Happy Pioneer Day!!!

    Comment by Nellie (a victim of LSI) — July 24, 2007 @ 12:11 am

  66. Love the movies, still trying to get out of the contract that I too was told I could cancel anytime, yah right!! And Casey, you had time to write in this blog…..and like Jacob said, do you have the money to get all of us who were told we could quit anytime out from under this ridiculous contract? I am sure that the company is doing what they are supposed to do, but we should be able to buy one video at a time so that we CAN afford to share these videos with our children and grandchildren. This blog gets alot of attention b/c it gives people a chance to vent and not to feel they were the only ones to get screwed by the LSI contract. So much for all of this complaining, everyone enjoy the videos they do have b/c you can learn alot from them.

    Comment by Peggy — August 1, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

  67. Oh my gosh! I have this sweatheart- ready to work 20 year old girl that is staying at our house this week to sell L.S. in our town. (long story, we couldn’t say no) I did stipulate that we wouldn’t be buying anything. Now I am feeling guilty for not giving her any names… but $2,000!! We live in a small town… not many people can/should be spending that on videos…. but she needs the money for college… what a dilemma!!

    Comment by nmgirl — August 13, 2007 @ 7:38 am

  68. I had seen these videos years ago, but I was not aware that there was a four-year contract. I wanted to purchase the DVD set and noticed the website didn’t offer much information. Like everyone else, apparently, I found this thread, and it has caused me to change my mind about buying the animated series, as much as I had wanted it for my children. I weighed the positive and the negative, and I CANNOT afford $2000.00 on videos. It is a shame that they cannot offer them piece by piece like the bookstores do. They’ve lost a customer they never had.

    Comment by R. J. — August 13, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

  69. We got a free video at the fair and signed a contract for the “college” plan. It’s significantly less of a commitment than the full set, but still a big commitment.

    I have to say my little boy is LOVING the two videos we came home with, as well as the coloring book, quiz questions on the DVDs, and . He sat and listened to the sales pitch, and now is asking me, “When do we get the next Jesus video?” So I have really mixed feelings.

    Does anybody know, is there anything out there that is comparable in quality to these videos? Because if there’s not, I think it might be worth the 35 bucks a month for the rest of my life…oh wait…I mean, the next 2 years. I could cut back on my cable programming and save 35 bucks a month if I chose to. I’m not saying this is affordable for most families, but there are a lot of people that pay a lot more than 35 bucks/month for things like piano lessons, gymnastics, etc. My little boy will probably watch each video at least 9 or 10 times, not to mention doing the workbooks and questions. That’s quite a few hours of learning good principles that he wouldn’t be getting otherwise.

    And what I notice with myself, when I see the videos, it makes actually reading the scriptures a lot more interesting to me. ANd I’m an adult.

    I am still going back and forth on my decision because it is a big commitment to buy that many videos. So this thread has been very interesting to read.

    Comment by Kaly — August 16, 2007 @ 12:41 am

  70. get them on ebay

    Comment by Pam J — August 16, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

  71. Well, the college student is gone now, and as nice as she was, and as happy as we were to help out, I don’t know if I would do it again…. Just because of the L.S. thing. She managed to slip in a few of those sales lines every now and then, and mentioned several times how she wished she had more names.. hint hint.. I guess that goes with the job. We unfortunately for her did not give out any. What got me really thinking though, was one night when she told me how much she loved L.S. and how they had changed her life. She actually said “I know I probably sound like I’m bearing my testimony but I just think they are so great”..
    I wonder if somewhere the lines here have gotten a little blurred. Maybe the L.S. people forget that they are selling a “product” and not “the gospel”. We can still be good members without the videos. I mean if they were that important, the church would have sent them free in the Ensign. If you want/like the videos great, buy them- but the company should sell the product like everyone else- in stores and online NOT DOOR TO DOOR AND MEMBER TO MEMBER!!! I think the way they sell them now is a little fishy.. it’s not so much the money that bugs me, or the product itself.

    This girl was almost in tears telling me how they probably won’t have anyone in our town again for a couple more years. (I didn’t have the heart to burst her bubble and remind her that if people here really wanted L.S. they could buy them online)

    Comment by nmgirl — August 17, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  72. this has all been very amusing to read! I actually signed up for the “eternal” program, and I tell you what, my 3 kids and I both learned more than I can tell you in this short space. When my 17 yr. old daughter was about 7, we were in a conversation with someone who was bashing the videos, I became amused at the level of animosity that he seemed to possess about them, so I decided to test him. I started by asking his 12 yr. old son some basic scripture questions, to which he could only answer about 2 or 3 out of maybe 10 questions- the sad part was, he could only answer a few more! When he asked what that proved, I told my daughter to answer them, and she answered every one! She was 7!
    All of my kids’ teachers in church without fail, would ask my husband and I how our kids knew so much about the scriptures. (But I have to tell you that we USED them as teaching tools-not entertainment). It sunk in better when we read the actual stories in the scriptures. And you know what? I’ve blown so much more $ on stupid crap! All you all that are throwing such a hissy-fit should be ashamed. I look forward to every product that they come out with. And our video/dvd collection in our home is something that gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies inside when I look at it :)

    Comment by brenda — August 20, 2007 @ 12:18 am

  73. Ok, let’s say this one more time and see if it sinks in this time…

    No one is bashing on the actual products and I’m sure that any child raised on these videos will grow up with an extremely strong testimony of the videos.

    It’s the sales methods and the extended contracts that people are taking issue with.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 20, 2007 @ 8:27 am

  74. With a little bit of knowledge about the cost of that type of animation, and the task of re-vamping the first initial investment, some people might begin to actually comprehend the genius of their marketing plan. Because, honestly, you and I both know, that if we COULD go to seagull book and buy them one at a time,(which you actually can with some of them), that you would own like 5 or something. Because if you are going to complain about buying one a month, please, you would hardly ever go buy one. And then they would not have survived as a company, and none of us would be able to continue to be blessed with such an amazing product, which is something that we all seem to agree with. And even if the became wealthy- SO WHAT! Good for them! What a great success story.It seems like the BIG complaint that everyone has is that the salespeople are somehow the lowliest, most unscrupulous, dishonest people that walk the planet. Hmmm…. let’s really think about that. So are you suggesting that they have the incredible gift to find and hire these horrible, dishonest, return missionaries? Or maybe they have a special training in being unscrupulous? And they say, “well you know that we aren’t SUPPOSED to use the ward directory, but we’ll do it anyways and just LIE! MWAH-ha ha ha hah!

    Comment by brenda — August 22, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

  75. brenda: Because if you are going to complain about buying one a month, please, you would hardly ever go buy one.

    No duh.

    And then they would not have survived as a company, and none of us would be able to continue to be blessed with such an amazing product

    Whoop dee doo. LSI shouldn’t bilk anyone.

    As far as the product goes — the cartoons are annoying to me. They water down and occasionally misrepresent the real thing, aka the scriptures.

    Besides, this talk of how expensive these cartoons are to make is a bunch of smoke. The reason for the extended contracts is to maximize profits. Period. I don’t believe for a second that the company would go under without bilking people and too-often tricking them into long commitments they can’t get out of. My strong suspicion is that the only thing that would happen is that company profits might drop a little (and even that is debatable). These retarded defenses that people show up here and make could hardly be more annoying to me.

    To me the whole company reeks of the same stank a multi-level marketing company gives off. The videos may be hunky dory for some people, but don’t come here and tell people who feel bilked that they shouldn’t feel that way.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 23, 2007 @ 8:12 am

  76. …it keeps going…and going…and going…

    Comment by Pam J — August 23, 2007 @ 8:40 am

  77. When this post hits 200 comments, [Jacob is] going to fly everyone down to my house for an all night viewing of all the living scriptures videos.

    On a side note, a Cousin of my wife just gave us a box of like 50 of these. My 4 year old daughter loves them.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 23, 2007 @ 8:57 am

  78. brenda,

    That is interesting, I have been thinking just the opposite. Every other product I can think of (including various cartoon series like veggie tales) sell dvd’s individually. I suspect living scriptures would do better if they just followed the standard business model that everyone else does. Any product (any) that tries to make me sign some extended contract to buy what could easily come in small increments (cable companies do this, phone services, everyone who is scared of losing you to competition) makes me immediately suspicious. Just think, if everyone owned 5 dvds instead of a few people owning 50, they would sell a lot more dvds. Unless, of course, the product is garbage, which I can’t comment on because I have never seen one. But a lot of people seem to like it, so I don’t know why they would be able to sell a whole lot of them.

    Trying to make me sign a contract to buy every one, that is just lame.

    Comment by Jacob J — August 23, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  79. 198

    Comment by Mondo Cool — August 23, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

  80. 197

    Comment by Mondo Cool — August 23, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

  81. 196

    Comment by Mondo Cool — August 23, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

  82. you actually are allowed to purchase 2 or 3 from each set individually, and any of them in sets of 6 at a time with NO further commitment. Also, they really have no competition. Veggie Tales? Are you serious? Sure, they’re cute, (I guess). But do they teach the stories in the Book of Mormon? Or even the bible stories in a way that is even close to the story? Honestly, I have never felt the spirit while viewing veggie tales, but I often do with Living Scriptures. My 3 yr. old grandson is going to inherit all of ours on vhs, (because we just got ALL of them on dvd), for Christmas because his mother just got done telling me the story of how he mentioned “John” in a conversation, when she asked, “John who?”, He responded , “John the Baptist- the one who baptized Jesus”. Then told her more about the story. Because they had borrowed that video. And I do understand that it’s still necessary to actually read the scriptures, and we do, but when they are very young, the kids don’t get it! I don’t always get it! But when the kids have seen the movie that goes along with what you are reading, they become more interested because THEY feel like they understand better. They also remember the names better because the characters use each others names when interacting with each other. It’s done in a way that actually makes them interested and ask questions. I don’t know all of the reasons why the company sells them like they do, and to tell you the truth, I don’t care! Because they were the instrument that got my kids excited about the scripture stories, and we were excited each month to get one. And since they don’t charge interest, it didn’t bother me to get them one a month.

    Comment by brenda — August 27, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

  83. Brenda,

    Do you or one of your family members work for LSI?

    Comment by Geoff J — August 27, 2007 @ 10:19 pm

  84. Yeah, I think she does. I think her supervisors gave her the assignment to go on our blog and list all of the fabulous characteristics of LSI over and over and over and over and over again.

    I think they are hoping that if she makes the same comment 50 bizillion times we’ll eventually say, “Fine Brenda! LSI is so wonderful that we are now recommending that everyone go take out a second mortgage on their house and buy a set for themselves. Just please, please, please leave us alone!”

    Comment by Kristen J — August 28, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  85. Your comment makes me laugh because my husband just told me the other day about a show he saw where someone had to hire a “professional blogger” to do just that kind of thing! They paid this guy to go on to all these different blog sites and post positive comments about this business that had gotten a bad rap. It was on 60 min. or some show like that.. hmmmmmm

    Comment by nmgirl — August 29, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

  86. This wouldn’t be the first time that would have happened here at the thang.

    Once I wrote a post about some really awful treatment I had received from America West airlines and there were a couple of people making comments that I would bet money were AW employees.

    114 more to go Matt!

    Comment by Kristen J — August 29, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

  87. I just had an experience like this with Gold’s Gym. Those guys called me like 6 times in about half the number of days. Worse than a used car saleman at his worst, I tell you.

    Comment by m&m — August 29, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

  88. I just have to say that the audio CD’s of the New Testament and Church History have probably been the most important influences in my desire to gain a testimony that I can point to. Orson Scott Card wrote them and he has changed my life as a result.

    Comment by KW — August 30, 2007 @ 9:19 am

  89. That’s great, I’m glad that they had such a positive impact on you. I have also read/listened to some books from some of the church leaders that really impacted my testimony… and my children love listening to the audio cd’s “Tennis shoes among the Nephites”. The great thing is that I was able to just go pick them up at Deseret Book and not have to listen to a sales pitch, sign up for a contract and monthly payments, give out friends names, yada yada yada. I somehow managed to gain a testimony without L.S. Can you believe it? Maybe it can be done!

    Comment by nmgirl — August 30, 2007 @ 6:43 pm

  90. …I DON’T work for Living Scriptures in any way! …

    [Comment massively edited for redundancy. Thanks for playing brenda! Now please go away! You are an annoying guest at our blog! Oh, and I think your exclamation key might be stuck!!]

    Comment by brenda — September 4, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  91. This blog is hilarious! I too am “under contract” and no I did not realize I couldn’t cancel at any time. Have any of you been late enough on payments to recieve the letter that tells us how we need to be honest in all our dealings? I’d like to throw a few scriptures their way myself! I just got a call today asking if I’d like to get their 10 Commandments series “they use animals and it’s really comical”. He actually asked my if I wanted to put the whole series on my credit card, I said No way I’m having a hard time paying for the ones I’m getting now. Funny thing is last time I got a call the lady made the same comments this guy did about the weather and we need more rain, do they have a paper in front of them that tells them how to be human and carry a conversation?

    Comment by becks — September 19, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

  92. Look, I worked for Living Scriptures for 7 years and please allow me to shed some light. Love them or dislike them I do not care, that is for you to decide. But please let me set the record straight from someone who actually knows what he is talking about. Please do not try to act like you know of a better business plan for a company who has survived for 30 years in a very diffuct, narrow, nitpicky market, as this blog proves, like the LDS market! 1st of all, should they sell them one by one and would that be better? Yes it would be better, i agree, but impossible. They are too expensive to make and it is absolutely necessary to sell them in sets in order to survive and make more. Call it the better of two evils if you want but financially THEY ONLY WAY….PERIOD!!!!

    Secondly, Does the company train the sales people to lie about canceling and do they use ward lists? No they do not, if a rotten salesperson does that it is unfortunetly on their own accord!

    Comment by Scott — October 15, 2007 @ 7:29 am

  93. Look, I have worked for Living Scriptures for 7 years and please allow me to shed some light on your discussion. Love them or dislike them I do not care, that is for you to decide. But please let me set the record straight from someone who actually knows what he is talking about. Please do not try to act like you know of a better business plan for a company who has survived for 30 years in a very diffuct, narrow, and nitpicky market, like the LDS market! (As this blog proves that fact implicitly)

    1st of all, should they sell them one by one and would that be better? Yes it would be better, I agree, but impossible. They are too expensive to make and it is absolutely necessary to sell them in sets in order for LSI to survive and to make more products. Call it the better of two evils if you want but financially THEY ONLY WAY….PERIOD!!!!

    Secondly, Does the company train the sales people to lie about canceling and do they use ward lists? No they do not, if a rotten salesperson does that it is unfortunately on their own accord! If the company finds out they will fire them.

    Third, are the products worth it! That is opinion but we have sold these for 30 years and they have taught people in a ways nothing else could! The stories of how they have helped our customers would take years of blogging! Do they do good… yes they do! I always find it so interesting how members of our church fight a company trying to make good products! Please put your energy else where!

    Lastly and again about the contract! We sign contracts for everything, phones, satellite, pest control you name it! Do you blog about paying a fee to cancel your phone? No you do not! Just so you know when you sign up we pay depending on your purchase many hundreds of dollars in commisions, we send the customers hundreds of dollars in bonuses upfront, and you buy one video! So is it ethical for you to cancel and we lose thousands of dollars? Obviously LSI could not survive! Do the business math on that! You have to pay a fee to recoup those costs! We would prefer believe me that you by them upfront! In fact we pay our salesmen more if you do! You actually think we want to hound you and collect your money for years. We don’t. The company only does that for people who can get them no other way! It is a service to you, to use if you wish, and they charge no interest of finance charges! Because to the company, getting the products out to the world are above all the most important thing! It is not to be unethical or to try to prey on members. It is a service! This is a business and it was a $100 million dollar investment to get these products made!

    Now the price, say what you will but the DVDs were a half on a million to a million dollars to make per movie. The price is what it is because it has to be. If you don’t like it don’t buy them! IT HAD TO BE THAT WAY. Origionally it was going to be $40 a video because they didn’t think it would work! But now with the quizzes, activity books, and bonuses it really is not a bad deal at all!

    Lastly, I don’t care if you don’t get them but please if you knew the owners and their intentions with these products you would be embarrassed of what you have said. They are great men with the best intentions and have not made nor never will ever make a good profit on their investment of these products! I know through t personal experience they teach values and change lives. But by all means if you would rather put your money into media, because you all do, to companies that produce garbage be my guest, but please do not bag on a company trying to make a difference! And I just want to say if you buy them and use them as they are intended you honestly will find it is the best thing you have ever bought! But of course you have you use them! But buy them or not you will buy stuff to entertain your kids and spend thousands on crap that does nothing for them at all! Thanks for your time!

    Jordon

    Comment by Jordon — October 15, 2007 @ 7:58 am

  94. …and going…and going…and going…

    Comment by Pam J — October 15, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

  95. No kidding Pam.

    Umm… Scott/Jordon — mellow out on the exclamation points bro (or sis). I counted something like 36 exclamation points in your 1.3 comments. That has to be some kind of record.

    Oh, and “Thanks for your time!”

    !

    Comment by Geoff J — October 15, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  96. I have to say, Living Scriptures taught me the gospel through their audio tapes written by Orson Scott Card; I’m a big fan.

    Comment by Kent — October 15, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

  97. Geoff,
    That was a fantastic rebuttal about the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!! You really have a strong argument there. I give up!!!! I’m really just kidding and I understand as an outsider how someone would feel the way you and others have felt about Living Scriptures. But I hope next time, before you start demoralizing a company you get all of your facts straight. People just need to realize even though these are church products it is still a company and their are certain things they need to do to function and to stay in business. I hope I helped you see that. If you have further questions please ask, instead of assuming and attacking a company who has dedicated itself to create wholesome, worth while products!!!!!!!!!!
    jordon

    Comment by Jordon — October 16, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

  98. What attacks are you referring to Jordon? I personally find the videos to be obnoxious. That is not an attack, it is just an opinion. I have no problem with others who may love them though.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 16, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  99. Heavens to Murgatroid! I guess we’re now only going to be getting comments from the more “rabid” fans of LSI because everyone else got bored and left at comment #12. Unless you are Pam who finds a sick and twisted delight with every comment made. You go girl!

    Comment by Kristen J — October 17, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  100. 100!!! WooHoo!!

    This post does make me giggle like a school girl. Each time I see a new post for it my arms raise in triumph and I exclaim, “YES!”

    Sick and twisted – you’re just now figuring that out? ;)

    Comment by Pam J — October 17, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

  101. Well Geoff this will be my last and final rebuttle but just to clarify what attacks I am referring to, i will quote you!

    “Besides, this talk of how expensive these cartoons are to make is a bunch of smoke. The reason for the extended contracts is to maximize profits. Period. I don’t believe for a second that the company would go under without bilking people and too-often tricking them into long commitments they can’t get out of. My strong suspicion is that the only thing that would happen is that company profits might drop a little (and even that is debatable). These retarded defenses that people show up here and make could hardly be more annoying to me.

    To me the whole company reeks of the same stank a multi-level marketing company gives off.”

    Do you need anymore proof my friend! That is exactly what I mean about attacking a good company you obviously know nothing about. So in the future, before you start to say someone is lying about their profits, or tricking people you should have some proof to back up your statements. The only thing that is a bunch of smoke on this blog are your remarks! Good talking with you I truly enjoyed myself. I too may be a bit sick and twisted as well, but i do love these products and this company, and hope and pray there are still people out there willing to make quality products regardless of the opposition.

    Jordon

    Comment by Jordon — October 18, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  102. Ooh — nice pull Jordon. This thread is so old and tired I forgot I wrote that gem. I think I was feeling annoyed with some retarded commenter at the time but I’m glad you repeated it — I like that quote.

    Anyway, as for the fact that you like LSI a great deal — all I can say is: duly noted.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 18, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

  103. Geoff I am glad we finally see eye to eye. Your annoyance towards these cartoons too is; duly noted. If you like, I would love to send you a few Living Scriptures to diffuse this bitterness created most likely from your parents refusal to get you a set of your own!
    take care

    Comment by Jordon — October 18, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  104. Jordon,

    I hate to say it, but your self-congratulation may be premature. In #98 Geoff said he thinks the videos are obnoxious but that is just his opinion of them.

    The stuff you quote in #101 simply makes the point that the reason for the long stupid contracts is to maximize profits. You admitted as much in the second paragraph of #93. So, you have already backed up the exact point Geoff was making in his supposed “demonization” of LSI.

    Frankly, I don’t buy your assertion that the only possible business model is to offer the whole bundle in long contracts. Lots of companies produce videos which are expensive to make and continue to survive. How do they survive? People like the product and buy the videos one by one as they come out. Why wouldn’t that work for LSI? The answer could be that it would work, or it could be that it wouldn’t. I am not so sure it would not work.

    But let’s pretend that it wouldn’t work as you assert. The reason would have to be that the demand for the videos does not support the cost associated with making them. If they are in it as a business that means they need to cut costs. If they don’t care about the business side because they are altruists (as your glowing description of them suggests), then they should make the movies at a loss and do it out of the goodness of their hearts. However, trying to cover the excessive cost by using contracts to trap people into buying more videos than they actually want is an offensive financial tactic. That is the undeniable purpose of the contract, to trap people into buying more than they want. Because, obviously, if they wanted all of those videos independant of the contract, the contract would be unnecessary. It is so obvious it hardly needs to be pointed out.

    Please do not try to act like you know of a better business plan for a company who has survived for 30 years in a very diffuct, narrow, and nitpicky market, like the LDS market!

    Please do not pretend that just because you come along on this thread and say you know what you are talking about that we must blindly accept your unargued assertions. You didn’t give one shred of an argument about why their business model must be what it is. All you can say is that it is “THEY ONLY WAY….PERIOD!!!!” (I assume the caps are backup in case I miss the four exclamation points.) To assert that this is the only possible business model when there are tons of media companies in every kind of nitch market making money with different business models is just silly on its face. It is going to take more than your exuberance to convince me.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 19, 2007 @ 10:22 pm

  105. Doh!

    I was hoping Scott/Jordon would just go away Jacob. That’s why I chose not to point out the obvious gaping holes in his/her logic. Now he/she will likely come back and try to once again assault us all with a barrage exclamation points and and ALL CAPS (along with more unsubstantiated claims)… Oy.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 19, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

  106. Geoff, don’t worry, your tactic was not lost on me. In truth, part of my reason for responding to him was to foil your plan of getting Jordon! to go away.

    And of course, contrary to Jordon!’s first line of #97, all of us who have blogged for any length of time know there is a strong correlation between the number of exclamation points and/or smiley faces and the kookyness of the commenter, so that actually was a solid rebuttal in my book.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 19, 2007 @ 11:22 pm

  107. sorry to disappoint but this truly is my LAST THREAD!! and it is not because i have come along this thread that i am saying i know the business model jacob, it is the fact that i know the business model. i have worked there for just under a decade. really i just want you guys to understand so here it is in brief detail. take it or leave it. the owners wanted to make cartoons on the book of mormon. they went to hanah barberah and it was going to cost way to much so the scrapped the plan.

    at that time richard rich, a member of the church, had just left disney and was available. they had already decided not to do the films. they decided to quickly me with mr. rich even though they felt it would be impossible. mr richs’ bid came in with better quality and cheaper. they decided to reavalute the idea. they did major market research and found the videos would have to be $39 to be profitable. again the ideas was almost scrapped. they then went back to the negotiating table and decided if they sell them in an sets they could produce for $29 each. they researched the market again if they would buy and they it started to look possible. the book of mormon and 12 new testaments were started. the customers would have to buy sight unseen as the movies were done individually. the owners would show no real profits for years.

    our customers loved the movies and wanted more videos but the company could not afford it. so the got outside investors to help do the rest of the collection. lsi still to this day does not hold all the rights to the rest of the collection. and the dvds did not prove profitable at all to the investors. but luckily we have the collection we do today. lsi has survived through many turbulent times and it is a miracle they are still there producing these risky but important products today. i hope you see why we sell in bundle and i promise i am done. you obviously do not care to know the truth so a i give. do and say ignorantly what you will.
    jordon

    Comment by jordon — October 20, 2007 @ 7:47 am

  108. jordon,

    I guess I get the last word then, since you are done commenting. What you are leaving out of your explanation are the economic reasons for why the stuff you are saying is true.
    For example:

    they then went back to the negotiating table and decided if they sell them in an sets they could produce for $29 each. they researched the market again if they would buy and they it started to look possible

    Telling me they did market research and found out this model was the only way doesn’t do anything to explain to me why that is the case. Why does selling them in sets reduce the cost to $29 each? In fact, how can the way in which you sell them possibly change the cost to produce them? That just makes no sense. Similarly, what in the market research led them to conclude that this model would work when the other one would not. The problem is not that I don’t care to know the truth, it is that you have not presented the truths I most care about on this topic. Your story sounds believable enough as far as it goes though. Cheers.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 20, 2007 @ 9:57 am

  109. whew! my arms are getting tired!

    Comment by Pam J — October 20, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

  110. JACOB,
    I KNOW I SAID THIS IS THE END BUT I AM LIKE AN ALCOHOLIC NEEDING ONE MORE SIP! BUT TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION… HAVE YOU EVER BOUGHT FROM COSTCO OR SAMS CLUB? WHY IS IT CHEAPER THERE? BECAUSE PEOPLE BUY IN BULK. THE COMPANY COULD SELL THEM AT $50 INDIVIDUALLY HERE AND THERE OR SELL 12 AT TIME FOR $30. DO YOU SEE! THE ENTIRE INVESTMENT INTO THE LSI COLLECTION IS UPWARDS OF $60 MILLION DOLLARS. SO WE NEEDED TO KNOW PEOPLE WOULD BUY PART OF OR THE ENTIRE COLLECTION TO BE ABLE TO COVER THE COSTS. ITS WHY MCDONALDS BURGERS ARE CHEAPER THEN CROWN BURGER. ITS THE BULK! BY KNOWING PEOPLE WILL BUY ALL OR MORE THEN THEY WERE WORTH MAKING. IF PEOPLE ONLY BY ONE THAT WOULD OF COURSE CHANGE THE PRODUCTION COST OF THE ENTIRE COLLECTION!

    BUT I DO WANT TO MENTION SOMETHING WHERE I AGREE WITH YOU AND YOU ARE RIGHT ON. THIS IS ALSO TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS, LIKE YOU AND GEOFF HAVE SO OFTEN POINTED OUT. I SHOULD HAVE AGREED WITH YOU SOONER ON THIS POINT. I DON’T BELIEVE THERE IS A COMPANY ON THE PLANET THAT IS NOT TRYING TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS. AND WHY SHOULD LSI BE DIFFERENT? IF YOU HAD INVESTED $60 MILLION DOLLARS AND HAD HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WHO WORKED FOR YOU, I WOULD HOPE YOU WOULD DO WHAT YOU COULD TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS AS WELL.

    BUT THE POINT I WANTED TO MAKE IS IT IS NOT ONLY TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS, BUT THE ENTIRE BUSINESS MODEL WOULD ONLY SUCCEED IF PEOPLE BOUGHT INTO THE ENTIRE COLLECTION. LIKE YOU SAID IT WOULD NOT CHANGE THE COST OF PRODUCTION FOR THAT ONE VIDEO IF WE SOLD THEM INDIVIDUALLY BUT THEY WERE CREATED IN SETS AND NEED TO BE SOLD IN SETS. HOPE THAT MAKES SENSE!

    Comment by JORDON — October 22, 2007 @ 10:18 am

  111. Geez, I don’t know. Matt said he would fly us all out to Texas when this thread reached 200 comments. Since we only have 90 to go maybe we should encourage all the CAPS and !!!!! lovers to make as many comments as they want so we can all go on vacation. Maybe Pam should come too since she has been so beneficial to this thread.

    Comment by Kristen J — October 22, 2007 @ 10:28 am

  112. So, by selling them in (sets) bulk, sure you sell them a little bit cheaper, but you trap people in to buying way more videos then they normally would.

    Sure, I could go to Costco and buy the 5 gallon vat of peppercinis at $15.00 but usually 4.75 gallons of the peppercinis go to waiste. It would have been better if I had bought the quart size jar for $5.00, I would have saved myself $10.00 and there would be a lot less waiste.

    Comment by Kristen J — October 22, 2007 @ 10:37 am

  113. Kristen: I figured I’d have atleast 4 years to save up… Yeesh. I guess I’ll have to fess up and admit, that just like the “Livings Scriptures” sales strategy, my promise of flying you here are also a load of crap. Though if you ever end up in SA, I’d definitely take yo uto dinner (If it was under $20…)

    Comment by Matt W. — October 22, 2007 @ 10:48 am

  114. Helping to get to 200 comments. Just make sure you stop by my place too when Matt flies you down here.

    As for the Living Scriptures- seen them, don’t really have them in our house, have had the salesmen and enjoyed talking to them about their missions and/or mutual acquaintances, and that’s it! :)

    Comment by Jordan F. — October 22, 2007 @ 10:54 am

  115. Darn- Matt posted his retraction as I was posting my comment… And here I was also hoping that you would all hire me to help enforce Matt’s promise… lol.

    Comment by Jordan F. — October 22, 2007 @ 10:55 am

  116. Jordon (not Jordan F, but JORDON!!!),

    Your explanations of why Costco and McDonald’s are cheaper are massive oversimplifications which fail to address the key questions. Selling in bulk has many possible ways of helping a business. It can lower costs due to Costco buying in bulk and getting cheaper prices from their suppliers. It can lower costs in terms of the supply chain because the volume of sales can support a massive infrastructure which lowers the unit cost (see Wal-Mart). These are just two examples, but let’s stop there for a moment. Notice that neither of these have anything to do with whether the end customer buys the product in bulk. Case in point, McDonald’s sells hamburgers one by one with no contract, so your comparison of LSI to McDonald’s is sorely lacking. Another reason McDonald’s hamburgers are cheaper is that they are lower quality and smaller than Crown burgers. This doesn’t help your comparison either. So, your explanation so far convinces me you don’t know what you are talking about, despite your claims to the contrary.

    It seems clear that LSI business model needs to sell, not in bulk, but through long-term contracts for the exact reason I stated in #104 which is “to trap people into buying more than they want.” This is different than Costco or McDonald’s or Wal-Mart.

    As to maximizing profits, I am a huge fan of profits and their maximization. The problem is that there are some tactics that can be used which I find disagreeable and profits, per se, are not a moral good.

    One thing you have nailed though: this site is addictive.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 22, 2007 @ 11:25 am

  117. Ahem that’s “JordAn F.”

    [Jacob J: Sorry Jordan, fixed above.]

    Comment by Jordan F. — October 22, 2007 @ 11:39 am

  118. First, I want to tell Pam thanks for starting this blog. I must be a groupie or something because I have to keep checking in to see what people have written. I guess I will write something so you know I am still here, enjoying your blog. (I am wondering if I will get an invite to a party, a married mom of three kids needs a break now and then-#77)

    Second, though I am no business scholar, isn’t it good business to make the customer happy? Seems like LSI is more concerned with the bottom line. I am still confused though, and forgive me if it was explained, I confess, some responses were a little tooo long to read .. but it does seem other companies have still made money selling one video at a time. I wonder if their companies have blogs where people complain that they have to buy the videos one at a time and they wish they could just buy a whole bunch of them with a contract and pay monthly. Maybe some blogger there is doing this, too?????!!!!!!!

    Comment by nmgirl — October 22, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

  119. Thanks for the kudos nmgirl, but I by no means started this blog/post. I’m just an old friend of Kristen’s, who did start this post. She’s a fabulous writer and I stalk their blog often in hopes to find she has posted another insiteful and witty story. I love this post the most because of it’s longevity. I didn’t even know this blog site existed when it was written.

    I also love the fact that if you Google “living scriptures” this post is 3rd only to 2 LSI official sites. Which is why this post is still going…and going…and going and my arms are dang tired.

    Comment by Pam J — October 22, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  120. Jordon,

    First let me point out that it is pretty well established that the credibility (and sanity) of a commenter is inversely proportional to the amount of exclamation points and ALL CAPS that commenter uses. Guess where that leaves your credibility here…

    Second, Jacob is absolutely correct that your arguments so far are completely inane (except for the part where you agreed that the contract thing is only to maximize profits). The economies of scale argument isn’t even the issue here. The issue is with the long term contracts that the company insists on foisting on a bunch of poor and too-often naive Mormons. The issue is the predatory sales tactics that often even the naive salespeople themselves are unaware of. The company preys on the fears that Mormon families have that their children will all go to hell if they don’t know the scriptures and on the belief that these videos are the solution to that problem. Then when the frantic parents are in deep percieved pain the company pulls the take-away move and says “sorry, we can’t sell one at a time because (BS, BS, and BS)”. So the naive parent or grandparent says “but I love my children so I can’t afford not to make this investment of thousands of dollars in their spiritual future”. So sales person has them sign on the dotted line and promises easy monthly payments. Three years later the easy monthly payments are still sucking the family dry in too many cases. And in too many cases the part about “you can’t cancel once you sign the contract or we’ll send your butts to collections and kill your credit” is conveniently not mentioned at the time of the sale.

    Lovely.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 22, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  121. [Edited despite the slight reduction in exclamation points]

    Geoff,

    I have said it before but seriously mean it this time. I am done with this blog. You remind me of my business teachers … [Geoff says "thanks for the compliment" - Editor]

    I have worked for LSI for 7 years and am telling you the total and complete truth [as far as you comprehend it - Editor]; which you could obviously care less to understand. But you say I am not credible. I have worked hand in hand with the owners, sales people, artists, and personal of this company. [Singing Kumbaya as you held hands no doubt - Editor]

    Let me explain your last complaint before I surrender. When you sign up for a plan that consists of lets say 4 sets you pay $30 as a customer upfront. Now the company pays out about $400 in commisions and sends the customer about $800 worth of material upfront.Lets do the simple economics on that Geoff. The company is in it around $1,000 and have $30 in hand. Now you want to cancel. We would go out of business. We do the plan not to screw people but to allow those who want to get them an easy way to do so. We pay our sales people upfront to help get them through college!

    What is so naive of members like yourself is you do not think of that side, you think “Hey this is a mormon product and if I don’t want to make good on my end of the agreement then they should just let me out of this contract. This is church stuff for petes sack”

    You tell me one company on the planet that goes through the cancellation process at the point of sell and I will say you have a pot to piss in. And even better one that just forgives all the debt their customers collect.

    Geoff you obviously do not nor I doubt ever will own your own business. [Actually Geoff does own his own very successful business - Editor] I don’t know how else to say it but you are wrong, wrong, wrong, about what you think our practices are. You attack a company who has done nothing but earnestly try to create wholesome products. [Yawn - editor] It honestly reminds me of the how the adversary tries to make good bad and bad good! [Har! - editor] This products have helped tens of thousands and you don’t need to like them or support them. Soon no one will make good products and all you will have to rip on will be pornography and other garbage overtaking our country. [Yawn again - editor]

    But please send us all your information so next time we need to change how we have run our business for 30 years we can get your stamp of approval! [Send your board of directors and executives to this thread for advice - Editor]

    Comment by JORDON — October 22, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

  122. Who is this mysterious editor at the Thang?

    So Jordon — what is/was your job title at the company? Were you a VP or higher who actually was privy to marketing decisions? Are you on the board of directors or something? What makes you a qualified to be a spokesman for the company the great defender of its’ sales and marketing practices?

    Also, are you saying that every contract includes sending “$800 worth of material upfront”? What is this $800 dollars worth of valuable goods that everyone receives when they sign an LSI contract?

    (It is easy to change comp plans for sales people so that claim is just silly.)

    Comment by Geoff J — October 22, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

  123. Hey, I know what they can do…they can sell ONE (now my credibility is shot) video at a time for just the price up front. Now, they have sold the customer $39 worth of goods and they actually have $39 in their hands.

    Seriously, if the LSI guy came to my house gave me the whole spiel and allowed me to purchase the videos individually I probably would have dropped a hundred bucks or so on their products. Instead, they would only allow me to purchase the videos in sets and they ended up getting their butts kicked to the curb.

    Also JORDON Geoff and I have sent LSI salesmen over to friend’s homes who were converts who had never heard the spiel and were wealthy enough to purchase the sets out right if they chose to do so.

    Comment by Kristen J — October 22, 2007 @ 9:05 pm

  124. Videos not so great; audio CD’s – priceless!

    Comment by Kent — October 22, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

  125. [Edited]

    Thanks for all of your advice on how to run the company. I will run it by the big wigs! So Long,
    Jordon

    [That's a lovely idea Jordon. There have been some excellent suggestions on how to improve your customer relations in this thread - Editor]

    Comment by Jordon — October 25, 2007 @ 9:43 pm

  126. Didn’t Jordan say he was done with this blog? (#121)

    Bye Jordan, Your defensiveness is draining me………..

    Comment by nmgirl — October 26, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  127. Judging by how long this thread’s life has been, I don’t know if I’m late to it or not…

    It seems like the company has decided that they have two ways to sell the product. First, is the one they have chosen. That is, sell the complete line to a few customers, and risk the bad publicity they get from enforcing those long-term contracts. The other, which several commenters have suggested, is to sell (potentially) fewer products to more customers. That is, allow customers to buy only a few DVDs without any long-term commitment.

    Put me in the second camp. If the product is really good, once customers see the quality of the couple of DVDs they purchase, they will buy more on their own. Sell them at retail or on the website, and eliminate the expensive commissions for the salespeople. In the world of the internet, I don’t see why this approach wouldn’t work.

    As an analogy, say I go to Deseret Book or Seagull Book and buy a book. I like the book, and decide I want to get others that the same author has written. Make it a series, and I’m spending a lot of money on what I believe is a quality product. JK Rowling didn’t make a fortune selling books by forcing readers to buy the entire Harry Potter series at once. On a smaller scale, how many books are there in the Work and Glory series? Did sales drop as the series went on? Or the Tennis Shoe and the Nephite series?

    Closer to the DVD example, how many box sets of TV series are there? For the right fan base, the producer can do pretty well. I’ll bet there are lots of fanboys who have the complete Star Trek sets for all of the series. If I like the way the First Nephi DVD is done, I am more likely to want to buy the Alma, or the Third Nephi.

    The only reason I don’t have any of the Living Scriptures products is that I don’t want ALL of them. They just aren’t worth it to me. Part of what bothers me about the sales/business model of LSI is that I know they don’t want ME as a customer. If they did, they would make it easier for me to become one.

    Comment by CS Eric — October 29, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  128. CS Eric-Thanks, that is exactly how I feel.

    Comment by Kristen J — November 1, 2007 @ 8:54 am

  129. Check out the Liken series. They have 8 movies now, hour long musicals – and NO CONTRACTS.

    http://www.LikenIt.com

    Comment by Josh — November 2, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  130. Sorry, that last post was a too much of an advertisement.

    I just wanted to say that there are other options out there beside the contracts of Living Scriptures. The Liken people don’t even offer a contract to buy all of there movies – you can get them at deseret book or seagull or wherever, one at a time.

    Comment by Josh — November 2, 2007 @ 9:47 am

  131. I need to cancel, but they want $250+ cancellation fee. I thought my total contract was only for about $250 (NT DVS’s only)…turns out the door-to-door guy also added on B of M, which I didn’t want. I already have B of M on tape. I feel this was dishonest, but even though it is my mistake, I must I pay a $250 penalty, and NOT get any more DVD’s for the $250 penalty?

    Comment by Larry Christensen — November 13, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

  132. Larry: If I were you I would cancel and then refuse to pay the $250. If they have direct deposit or something, do a stop charge. Something like this can not ruin your credit, and living scriptures, worst case, will send you a bunch of letters telling you that you need to pay.

    Comment by Matt W. — November 13, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  133. If you search you can find the DVD’s or videos at better prices. For example: You can buy some of the DVD’s without a contract for $12.95 each at NestEntertainment.com, or simply check out eBay or CraigsList. I have also seen videos at D.I.

    Comment by Rick H. — November 14, 2007 @ 10:54 pm

  134. Somebody should do a post on the topics of LSI, debt, and the prophet’s counsel to stay debt free.

    It seems from comments on this thread that LSI has blown $60 million on production costs but has over 30 years realized $10 million in sales. If these numbers are at all accurate (which I very much doubt) and LSI continues to sell at its rate of the past 30 years with no additional costs it will break even in 2157. Sounds like debt was a bad idea.

    Now let’s look at debt from the point of view the consumer. If you sign a contract with a cancellation fee you are in a form of debt. You now have a monthly obligation that you cannot drop without penalty. This seems to be contrary to the counsel we’ve been given. If you can pay cash up front for the set then go ahead and do it. Otherwise I’d suggest buying the videos as you are able to on Ebay.

    Finally, at some point about someone claimed that $400 + $800 = $1000. Perhaps it is this facility with mathematics that has put LSI a reported $50 million in the hole. Furthermore, saying that they are shipping you $800 worth of product is a lie. Their marginal cost on this at this point is near zero. They can claim that it is worth $800, but it cost them almost nothing to make that extra copy. So they are not out $1000 (or even $1200) to start off the contract. This is an example of misdirection and dishonest in my opinion.

    Comment by a random John — November 15, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  135. I should add that I find this thread and the astroturfers highly entertaining. Pam, you really hooked them with this one. Hooray for The Thang! Hooray for Google which points people here each time the look into the matter. Hooray for Living Scriptures! May they make money due to the quality of their product rather than the length of their contracts!

    Comment by a random John — November 15, 2007 @ 11:26 am

  136. Again, thanks Random John, but I had nothing to do with the inception of this post or the length of the thread. I just get a “sick and twisted” delight seeing it last so long.

    The great and powerful Kristen J is the mastermind behind this thread and Google is, I believe, responsible for the length.

    I’ve got some LSI products available at my garage sale I’m having this weekend. Come on by if you’re in the Phoenix area and I’ll make you a sweet deal.

    Comment by Pam J — November 15, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

  137. You tell me one company on the planet that goes through the cancellation process at the point of sell and I will say you have a pot to p*** in.

    Umm, when I worked a summer for Orkin, we did it. We had to. We knew that if we didn’t, it was only a matter of time before someone sued us to Kingdom Come.

    And not to be overly prudish, but it’s interesting to hear language like that coming from the producers of children’s videos.

    Comment by JimD — November 16, 2007 @ 8:36 pm

  138. Hello All,

    As many I have found this interesting. After reading through many comments I have become completely turned off from buying the videos, due to both the people in and out favor of these videos. There are too many voices proving points or trying to discredit another persons post. I would hope that the next people who comment to this site will act more with facts and maturity then having to win the battle that has taken up a good part of this thread. This site can be a great tool to educate people like me who are on the fence about this product and need a little bit more information. (Like comment #54 excluding the last 5 sentences) It would be great to have more people share their opinion without it being fueled by emotion, or hard criticism.

    P.S. if you are going to slam me please do it so lovingly:)

    Comment by Lyle — January 28, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

  139. Hello,
    I agree that this thread could be a little more civil with each other and politely talk about the issue at hand. But I would just like to note that with the big problems facing the world it seems a little silly to be fighting over scripture movies. When sex is the number one word looked up on the internet and 90% of young men have looked at pornography by the time they are 17 maybe we as members should put our energies to better use. I just don’t see the good in attacking one of the few companies that like it or not are attempting to make a difference.

    I own the Living Scriptures and wish you could get them easier and cheaper but I do stand by the fact that they are one of the best things I have ever bought my kids. We buy a lot of crap for our kids but these really are worth it! I hope they keep making more.
    James

    Comment by James Ogden — February 8, 2008 @ 11:04 pm

  140. I have to second that last comment. Everyone on this thread should feel just bit ashamed. I understand all of your concerns I really do, but I attribute these videos in helping to reactivate my 17 year old son. All I know is something that can do that can’t be bad. If parents buy other movies before these they are selling themselves short.
    Garret (A 20 year customer)

    Comment by Garret — February 9, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

  141. That peachy, Garret and James. I actually have a complete set of these videos now, some where given to us by family members, andthe rest we bought on e-bay. The videos are fine, the sales strategy, not so much…

    Comment by Matt W. — February 9, 2008 @ 11:16 pm

  142. Agreed Matt. This thread is not about the products themselves — this thread is about the oppressive (slimy?) sales/marketing strategy used by the company.

    Comment by Geoff J — February 10, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  143. Everyone on this thread should feel just bit ashamed.

    Uh oh, Garret. By commenting, you are now part of the shameful thread. Shame on you. As for me, I love this thread exactly as it is.

    Comment by Jacob J — February 10, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

  144. Im just waiting for these to come out on i-video

    Comment by Annie — February 17, 2008 @ 1:02 pm

  145. This has been very interesting to read, I have wasted about a half an hour doing this when I should have done homeworkd but oh well. i found this becuase I was trying to find a number to call because I am thinking about doing summer sales for them( I am getting married and buying a house ) I was conflicted about doing it and am even more conflicted now ( maybe the spirit led me hear!) ust kidding that was a joke, maybe a little inapropriate. I am always weary about sales jobs any sales job no matter what company it is for yu have to be a little cut throat thats the business, it is not necessarily bad but it can be. I really do think they are great products but I never knew how much they cost thats crazy. I imagine that doing sales for them would be a lot like what some of my friends do selling security systems or pest control, crappy work. But it would be nice to make 13,000 in a summer to help pay for the house we will buy and pay for school. if anyone has sold and can give an honest description please so. And to end even if you dont like the company or sales people or Ed Decker it is not our place to call them un-christ like or priestcrafts, let them do their thing and dont worry about it, it doesnt effect your life as far as I am concerned from what I have read on here LSI is not different from any other company in this world whether it is Wal-Mart, Maceys(for you Utahns) Target, MGM grand, Disneyland, Paramount, Smiths, Vons, Dell, Best Buy, and Reams(another one for the Utahns) they are all out to make as much money as they can.

    Comment by SUUStudent — March 10, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  146. SUU student,
    Hey I have sold for Living Scriptures and i went to SUU as well. I miss being down there alot so enjoy it. The one thing i really disliked about this blog was that these people talked as if the customers were niave and unintellegent. I drew very strong moral lines when i would sell, and I used a marvin j ashton quote as my guide. ” any communication with the intent to decieve is a lie.” I believe I actually grew in honesty during the summer. But my point was I simply explained the benefits of the product and the responsible intelligent families i dealt with made their own decision. These people that are angry at the company are really angry at themselves for getting in over their head and not making good decisions for themselves. The way the contract is setup is not for everybody and the company new that when they decided to do it that way but being a business major when i was there at SUU i realize that it was the only viable way for the company to operate. I am also not a very pushy person at all infact i have quite a white personality the good thing about representing such a good product is that you dont have to lie or be pushy in order to sell it, i just worked hard. The reason i guess i am taking the time to post this thread is that i feel very passionate about summer because more than the money i made i loved the person i became through those summers. My brother said his mission president would always talk about when he was going through college he did sales in the summer and he loved the humility it brought and the challenge it was and how much growth he experienced as a result. my brother and i both went out that first summer and it was the best decision i have made aside from my mission. I have friends who have sold security and pest control and they make comments like they become less of a person each summer they find they make subtle little sacrifices of self, well each summer i become a better and better person. Sales can be cutthroat like you said but it depends on the product, company, and system. i found Living scriptures to be great in all those areas and i made good money but it wasnt about that for me. i honestly wouldn’t care if i made a dime it would have been worth it for the growth i experinced. getting out of utah, seeing somewhere new, meeting lots of people, learning and polishing people/sales skills were just a few benefits. one last thing the price of these things really aren’t that bad. My mom paid $29.95 for them back when gas was 86 cents a gallon and we werent wealthy at all. people drop 30 bucks today on crap with the drop of hat. We also liked the contract, its kind of a fun concept for kids to get something in the mail, we waited out by the mailbox for them as kids. It might not be a good fit for you but i wouldnt have gone through school in any other way especially being married, so atleast give it an honest fair look i dont think you will regret it. go tbirds!

    Comment by Lance — March 15, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  147. i loved the person i became through those summers

    It’s testimony meeting at the LSI thread again, love it. Forget watching them, even selling them makes you a good person.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 15, 2008 @ 11:39 am

  148. snort!

    Niiiice Jacob.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 15, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  149. I ran across this blog because I am leaving on my mission and wanted some of the videos in Spanish to use in the mission field. I have to say I feel really sad about this thread because I had these videos growing up and can honestly say they made a huge, positive, influence on my life. And all some of you guys, mainly Geoff and Jacob, are doing is veering parents away from a great product their kids could really use now days. And believe me we need all the help we can get. Anyway I am only 19 but will for sure buy these videos for my kids.

    Geoff and Jacob what is your deal anyway making fun of people who like these great videos? You really should use your great persuasion skills for something better.
    Jenson 19

    Comment by Jenson — March 16, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

  150. Oh good grief.

    I recommend the real scriptures “Jenson”. Mormon parents will do just fine if they veer toward them.

    Anyway I am only 19 but will for sure buy these videos for my kids.

    If you are 19 and have kids already apparently the videos didn’t positively influence you all that much…

    (Yes, I’m kidding. But I find it a bit odd that “Jenson” has the very same IP address as fellow LSI lovers “Garret” (#140) and “James Ogden”(#139)…)

    Comment by Geoff J — March 16, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

  151. Jacob what is your deal anyway making fun of people who like these great videos?

    I swear I will quit if the people who like the videos stop saying things that are begging to be made fun of.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 17, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  152. So, I just read the whole thing. Interesting

    Jacob J., Geoff J. Are you two related or something? Like, as a family are you together on this? You both seem to know each other fairly well, and have put a LOT of time on this site. Congrats.

    anyhow, that was just a question out of curiosity.

    As for my stance, I do feel like a lot of people are taken advantage of. It’s not the fault of the company, but of the salesman. You’ll find that in any business, and in any sales. I did phone marketing for a long time, and I left because I didn’t in anyway respect my coworkers, nor my employers for what they expected of us. Living Scriptures however doesn’t expect that of its salesman. The salesman do it of their own accord (point and case, if a salesman uses a ward list, the company fires them. Salesman was at fault, the company did the right thing).

    I’ve never sold Living Scriptures, but I’ve known people that have and that do. It’s one of the only ways to make ENOUGH money to pay for college without going into debt. Plus, college students nowadays in the mormon community don’t just pay for tuition/books/housing anymore. Gas prices have tripled, and that hits us pretty dang hard (we’ve got NO money as it is. I’m constantly losing weight, because I literally don’t have enough money for substantial healthy foods. I eat lots of ramen and canned soups). At some point, we’re going to get married. Diamond rings aren’t cheap. If you’re like the guys at BYU, then you’ll have 3 kids (exaggeration) by the time you get your degree, and they’re expensive too.
    Essentially, from the eyes of a perspective salesman, you’ve got to pick between selling different types of products. Sell security systems, pest control, knives, whatever…or sell mormon cartoons. What else would they pick if they’re good people. LSI salesman get paid a LOT less than satelite salesman, which means the LSI guys are doing it because they are trying to be good people (even though not everybody is. I don’t think anybody would ever assume that they all would be.)

    As a last note, most of the animosity on this site is from Jacob and Geoff. You two are more than welcome to your opinions, but if you’d watched more Living Scriptures you might have learned things like “judge not lest ye be judged”, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her…”, etc. It’s all there. Obviously, Living Scriptures isn’t a replacement for the scriptures. I don’t know any movie that is supposed to be better than the book it’s based on.

    Funny how long this thread is going. Here’s my contribution to the 200 :)

    Zack

    Comment by Zack — March 24, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

  153. Zack,

    Geoff and I are not related. I adopted the final J in solidarity with my blogging compatriots Geoff and Kristen, who were kind enough to invite me to blog on their site.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 25, 2008 @ 10:57 am

  154. I sold Living Scriptures and quit half way through because I felt I was being forced into pressuring people into buying these videos. They are great but they are also expensive. I buy them on eBay at a third of the price and there is no contract.

    Comment by Allan D — April 10, 2008 @ 8:56 am

  155. We got sucked into a contract with them after we were told we could cancel at any time. After several months we decided to cancel. When I called in, they told me the only way to cancel was to pay $500, and I would not receive any dvd’s for it. It put up a big stink and talked to the manager there. He told me the only way to get out of it was pay $500 or continue with the contract. I told him I would just pay it all off now. He said it would have been $2100 to buy out the rest. When I figured it out, to buy the remaining dvd’s at 29.99 each, the total only came to like $1300. They were trying to screw me out of $800!!!! They don’t charge shipping for such a big order either. So I threw another big stink and was able to get them down to the $1300 since It was not fair to pay all that extra money, and no dvd to go with it. Another cruddy thing, they report to the credit bureau. It is still on my wifes credit as a closed credit line. I do not believe they do business in any fair or friendly practice. Word of caution to all: DO NOT SIGN UP FOR LIVING SCRIPTURES!!!! You can buy them at Deseret Book for cheaper, or go to e-bay.

    Comment by Matt — April 10, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  156. You know, although I agree that some of the LSI scriptures salespeople are not as honest as they should be, and I’m sure some probably outright lie to you, as in ANY business that tries to sell their product, I’m pretty sure you could get around being conned into a contract you don’t want if you just read the fine print before signing anything. And I repeat, “some” of them are dishonest. Most of them really are just trying to honestly sell a product that they believe in, and make some money for college. I am truly sorry for those of you who have had bad experiences with the salespeople, but please don’t believe that all of them are like that. I believe that overall, LSI is a really good investment for those who can afford it. Like most kids, I had trouble paying attention to primary lessons and didn’t understand the scriptures; LSI made them interesting for me and helped me to understand what I was learning better when I got a little bit older. I’m not saying you should go into debt for LSI, if you are a poor starving college student like I am now. But if you read the fine print and do some research you can avoid that, and I hope you’ll consider getting some of the DVD’s when you do have enough money in later years. They are not absolutely necessary of course, but they are definitely a helpful tool to get kids to understand and be excited about the gospel. Also, if you don’t like the fact that LSI sells their videos in sets instead of individually, don’t buy them, or wait until you can afford the set to buy them. It’s as simple as that.
    Oh and FYI, I have never worked for LSI, I just believe in their product and, after spending nearly an hour reading this huge blog, thought I would put my two cents of support in.

    Comment by Dani — April 14, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

  157. Most of them really are just trying to honestly sell a product that they believe in, and make some money for college.

    I feel sure that you are right about this. Agreed.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 14, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

  158. I spend a lot of my time on this blog, and I have to say that most days for the last six months I’ve been listening to their audio CD’s (or tapes which I bought at DI for $3 a case) almost daily and they are excellent. I got to hand it Orson Scott Card for writing the characters so well. He didn’t do the dramatized scripts for the Book of Mormon, so those aren’t very good; but the rest are great! I’m in the New Testament right now and loving it. Seriously, next time you are at Deseret Industries look for the audio tapes for New Testament or Church History. I can credit Orson Scott Card for creating a world view where prophets aren’t supposedly infallible.

    Comment by Kent — April 14, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

  159. Hey Jenson #149 in case you dont know any missionary rules you cant use these videos on your mission so it doesnt matter anyways. I also wanted to let everyone know that i will not be going out doing sales for them. One reason when I talked ot the guy I told him i heard a little about the company and guess what the first thing he said was? “You probably read that blog that is on the internet.” I did not even hint that i had read this. This company is teaching their trainers to combat this site, I thought that was a little crazy. Second I agree with people bearing their testimony about this product and selling it. I like these videos and do think they are great for kids but one thing I have learnded about any business in the whole world is that when anyone is making large amounts of money someone somewhere is getting screwed and I am sorry LSI is no exception just because they make church stuff. I think they are a great company and are very legitamate but someone is still getting screwed. Last I will bear my testimony, I know that working any job can be a good experience to help in life,I know that people who are married or home from their mission for years and are still quoting mission stories from themselves or others have real problems and need help, move on with life and keep those sacred experiences to yourself. I know that the coucil my mission president gave to me is for me and not the whole world so keep it to yourslevs people. And I testify that the LSI videos are no substitute for the real scriptures. Hope you all enjoyed that I thought as long as all these jackasses are bearing their testimony about this product I would too!

    Comment by SUUStudent — April 25, 2008 @ 11:59 am

  160. SUUStudent: I told him i heard a little about the company and guess what the first thing he said was? “You probably read that blog that is on the internet.”

    Har! Are you serious? They must LOVE us… That cracks me up.

    Comment by Geoff J — April 25, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  161. What is the big deal? I just got a visit from a couple of salesguys and yes I signed up for this, their every other month plan. Did you know that in most states you have a “cool off” period? Which means , read your contract people, if within 3 business days after you sign that contract you mail a cancellation to LS then the contract is null and void. That is exactly what I am thinking of doing after reading this blog. But I did think the free video was of very high quality, I just felt like I had to buy something from these young men b/c they were so nice. Anyway, I don’t know, I may keep the contract, I may not, but I have until tomorrow to postmark my letter of cancellation to LS. Also, have you guys never heard of DoubleDay Book Club, BMG Music, Disney Movie Club, Columbia House?? They operate on the same business model, get some “free music/dvds” but you are obligated to buy a certain amount of items from them at higher than retail.
    It all evens out in the end, b/c you factor in the cost of all the “free stuff” then what you are required to buy and it all ends up costing what you would pay for something similar at a retail store.

    Comment by Patty — May 20, 2008 @ 8:57 am

  162. Wow…this is insane. I’ve just sat here and read…well, way too many of these things. Some very good information to think about. Well, at least at the beginning. The later posts were just debates, and I’m not a big debate fan, but you’ve all been mighty helpful and informative! Thanks

    Comment by Christa — May 20, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

  163. Wow, fun times. First of all, let me thank Patty for saying the obvious thing: Read the Contract. I don’t care if it was Thomas S. Monson selling me exaltation – if I had to sign a contract, I’d read it. That being said, I’m sure I’m just going to echo what a lot of other people have said to justify what I did for two summers. Then I’ll give some more practical tips.

    The movies are good. As a sales guy, I had the option of getting cash money for my bonuses or the movies. I chose the movies everytime. I’ve watched them a couple of times (not married yet, so no kids to watch them with me). I sold for two years and each year we were strongly forbidden from using ward lists to get names. Usually we’d use techniques to jog the members’ memories to get names. (“Who’s the relief society president? Who’s got the most rowdy kids? etc.)

    Priestcraft? I battled with that one. But in the end I decided no. I wasn’t using the gospel to get popular (notice how the BOM mentions that over money in describing Priestcraft in Alma). I wasn’t trying to rely on the work of others for my lifestyle. It was pretty hard work.

    The debt thing. This is a good point. Maybe LS fits into the “other worthy things” exception. Maybe it doesn’t. I’m not sure. But they definitely fit in the exception better than most things on my credit card. Personally, as an LSG guy (and I wasn’t the most successful one), if I came across a family that said they didn’t want to get into debt (and it was clear they weren’t just saying that to get rid of me – the plasma on the wall of a school teacher is usually a good sign that someone’s not too uncomfortable with debt), I’d totally congratulate them and wouldn’t push. I’d ask them if they wanted to buy in cash up front. They’d usually say no, with some pleasant exceptions, and I’d leave them alone.

    Moral of story, the LSGs are just college kids trying to make money, feeling almost as uncomfortable being persistent with you as you are telling them no over and over. Just a thought about the mixing of business and religion, in the millenium, the line will be pretty thin. I really don’t see the harm in a company that is going there just a little too early.

    Now the practical advice. You can buy just a single set. Technically, you can buy a half set (6 movies). You might have to wait for the LSG to be sure he can’t get you to agree to anything else, but he’ll do it. When they say that only they can give you the bonuses, they are telling the truth (believe it or not). While a lot of the bonuses are pretty lame, the audio cds are top notch (as mentioned in a post above).

    You can pay in cash. I don’t know what dumb LSG told the people above that you can’t, but the LSGs actually get a slightly higher commission if you pay in cash. Granted, a higher commission on 12 movies is less than getting you to do a four year agreement for 50, so it may take some patience to wait for the LSG to try to convince you to get more and pay later, but if you really want to just get some and pay up front, you can.

    If you just want one video, sometimes the LSGs will sell a personal copy of theirs (see the part about bonuses in movies above). When I was doing it, we could get 1 movie for every $10 in bonuses we earned. So try and see if you can’t get a single movie out of the LSG for $15. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t.

    With the contract, you do have three days to cancel. Make sure you do send the paper in on time if you plan on doing this. And as I said before, just read the contract. The LSG will try to breeze you through it. Not out of dishonesty. I never tried to cover up the long term commitment of the contract. They’ll breeze through it because it takes so long to read and selling is like flirting. If you wait to long before the end of the sale, the moment might get ruined and doubts will come rushing in. But take the time to know what you’re signing.

    That’s it for me. Incredibly long post, but I felt like I should give what I feel is an accurate picture of the company and maybe help some of you who want the movies to know exactly what your options are. Better to hear it from someone who’s not getting commission than someone who is.

    Comment by Former LSG — June 12, 2008 @ 9:59 pm

  164. Yay! Is this where I can tell my very own sordid tale of dealing with the Living Scripture people?

    We were/are FOOLS! The LS peeps probably sniffed us out a mile away. Anyway, back in 2000, we did it. We signed up for the whole dang set. For the most part our kids loved the videos and workbooks. Then we got a sour taste of LS customer service.

    You see, we could only watch the VHS copies a few times (sometimes only once) and then they’d get all fuzzy, static screened, non-working pieces of videotape crap. When I contacted customer service about their inferior product and to remind them of their money back guarantee I was told that for 15 bucks more they would replace it with a DVD since they no longer were selling VHS. If I didn’t accept that offer I got nothing to compensate the crappy VHS copy. Wow. So generous.

    We had the same problem with a few DVD’s too. I thought it just might be our home TV/video player but we tried them at other places and had the same difficulties.

    I was laughing because a friend of mine that lives in Washington and myself both had to stand up and make it abundantly clear during a Relief Society activity that we would SHUN and PERSECUTE any member who dared give the LS reps. our name again.

    Comment by elasticwaistbandlady — July 7, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  165. Thanks Kristin for inadverdently providing the LS venting forum! :)

    Comment by elasticwaistbandlady — July 7, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

  166. Hehe. Thanks for dropping by EWBL. Your comment (and blog) is amusing.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 7, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  167. You can’t stop someone from trying to make a buck but don’t give your hard earned bucks to Living Scriptures. Before my wife and I were married she was pressured into sigining with LSI. After we were married I found out about her deal with LSI and relized it was not a wise addition to our modest budget. The products are okay, not great and much to expensive. I called the company and the “wolves” I spoke to would not cancel the contract. I know this will affect my wifes credit but this company is engauging in unethical business practices and has not earned the right to do business with you or I and should not be rewarded for their cunning. Do not have anything to do with Living Scriptures.

    Comment by Cory — July 29, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

  168. Just doing my part for the 200.
    First of all I just want to thank Laura (#33) for the clarification. The first thing I thought after reading her opening line was she is totally less active. That is what I get for judging.
    I have never bought any of these products** but if I am to understand #36 & #121 I am supposed to get porn instead. I checked our TV shelf and I couldn’t find any. LSI is totally lying in that regard and I for one feel cheated.
    **In my house we get our animated spiritual stories presented by vegetables, the way the Lord intended. (I am now happily humming the Bunny song to myself)

    Comment by TStevens — July 30, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  169. This blog is driving me crazy and I hope someone can answer this simple question. Everyone on this thread is mad at Living Scriptures for trying to get their customers to complete with the agreements they each signed up for.

    WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE????? I just had to change the dates of 4 plane tickets and it was going to cost over $1,000. I wanted to get out of my cell phone contract and it was going to cost $500. EVERY company has these things in place to protect themselves. And you all vilify Living Scriptures for doing what they need to do to keep their business going….WHY?

    It sounds to me like all the people not wanting to make good on their end of the bargain are blaming Living Scriptures when in reality they are the ones trying to leave someone else holding the bag.

    If you really think about it, it all makes no sense whatsoever. So if their is a logical, business oriented, disgruntled customer that can tell me where I am wrong, I would honestly like to hear it??? The only difference I can come up with is this is religious stuff so people feel the company is obligated to let them out of the transaction. And I understand that to a degree, but come on you can’t run a business like that can you?

    Confused

    Comment by confused — July 31, 2008 @ 7:07 am

  170. I signed up on the 31st after a long presentation and at first I was confused when he came to the door because he acted as if he knew me. I thought he was new to our ward by the way he first started out the whole pitch.
    After thinking about it and my dad dropping by and telling me the nightmare story from his experience I signed the 3 day cancellation thing and mailed it on the 1st. Since I did that right away does anyone know if I will have any problems getting out of this? Also he left a DVD for giving a few names. Will he be back to pick it up? I haven’t opened it. I feel horrible that I even gave any names now! Do they tell the people you gave the names of who gave them? Should I call and warn people? Thanks.

    Comment by Glad I canceled! — August 7, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

  171. Replying to ‘Glad I canceled!’, if I were you, I’d call those names you gave, and tell them that it could cost $2,000 over a couple years! My wife bought a contract with them about a year ago(probably a little too trusting), and we ended up paying $600 to cancel because we knew that it would kill our savings to stay and pay the full 2 grand.

    Comment by Spike — September 11, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  172. Why doesn’t the church just buy Disney and make everyone see these! If they are released in the Theaters, and people buy the Stuffed Characters, and plastic figures in happy meals. Then we could pay $20 a piece for these dvds new!!! Or even get them on Ebay for $10!!!

    I did see a new set on Ebay, but it was still not cheap.

    Get real! We should have just stuck with reading…heck we should have just stuck with the Bible too, less plastic, less paper, less confession.

    What if the BIBLE was the only book copies in the world!

    Comment by Jacob — November 24, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

  173. Every time a comment appears on this post, an Angel loses its wings.

    Comment by Matt W. — November 24, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

  174. Matt, you are just dreading that 200th comment because of your #77. Just remember, I have a cached copy of this thread, so editing it now is not going to get you out of anything. I am looking forward to seeing your place.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 24, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  175. I have no idea what you are talking about. :)

    Comment by Matt W. — November 25, 2008 @ 7:24 am

  176. It’s been 5 months since my last confession on this site.

    I still believe that the Gospel is true and I still HATE Living Scriptures.

    Amen.

    Comment by elasticwaistbandlady — November 26, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  177. This thread is just too hilarious! Reads like a novel. It’s a good thing grandma bought all the videos, so we don’t have to spend the money! Go grandma! (wondering who will get them when she moves on… probably not allowed to according to the contract…lol)

    Comment by this thread rocks — December 30, 2008 @ 12:13 am

  178. Oi! I try to ignore this thread, but I got a little curious after seeing today’s comment and decided to go back and re-read all of it.

    Good times!

    That’s what a girl gets for trying to be funny.

    Comment by Kristen J — December 30, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

  179. Matt-179!

    Comment by Kristen J — December 30, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  180. I really wish I had read this and other comments about living scriptures before getting stuck in a contract to suck me dry. I had been given the video’s on the Book of Mormon by a friend who’s children had grown. My children and I liked them. So when the ex-missionary showed up on my door, using the fact that he was LDS and if I was a good LDS I of course would want these, I listened to him. The way he explained it seem like it was comparable to the BMG music type of deal where I could cancel at anytime. I received the one video when he left and signed up to get only one DVD at a time. When we fell on hard times, I contacted the company to cancel. Of course I couldn’t. I was and still am furious! I changed my deal to getting one every three months which is the only thing they would do for me like that was suppose to help, HA HA. When we had a major medical problem hit us and now have to pay several dr’s a month I fell behind in the payments. I tried to contact LS several times, had to leave messages. Never got a call back. When they sent me a nasty gram telling me that they put me into collections, I tried once again to call and finally did get through to them and paid the ridiculous fee. They put a report on my credit report and it froze all credit.

    If the reason they have to charge the outrageous fees they do is because they have to pay commissions to the sales force who are either untrained, or deceiving then why don’t they try selling them at a store where people could buy them as they can? They are nice video’s and I would buy them one at a time as I could just as I have bought all the Veggie Tales in the past (not now with finances). Of course the VT’s aren’t $30 a pop. Maybe LS is afraid that they can’t compete in a free market environment.

    As for those talking about being no different than Dessert Books, well, you make a choice to go into the book store and there is no one there to intimidate and harass you until you give in and buy $2,000 worth of products. You see the entire product and the price ticket on it. There are no misunderstandings. Things are not triple the cost of similar items.

    I will for sure be telling anyone I can not to buy LS products from the company themselves, go to ebay or craigs list and get them for a fair cost. After all, some sucker like myself has already paid the extortion fee to get them. Yes, extortion is correct in the definition in the dictionary (the charging of an excessive amount of money for something).

    I like these videos. They tell a good message. I just wish that every time we sit down to watch one I didn’t feel like someone just punched me in the gut and I have a foul taste in my mouth.

    Comment by Juanita — January 9, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  181. In the spirit of not letting this comment thread die… It has been a few months since the last post, after all. :)

    My wife was approached by one of these “gentlemen” almost a year ago and agreed to the terms of their contract without checking with me. I don’t really care that she did so, and the monthly cost is honestly not outside of my budget. So my issue with LSI has nothing to do with cost in specific.

    Here’s my problem: the movies simply have terrible production quality when put against the test of time. This is 2009, yet the LSI videos appear as if they were hand drawn around the turn of the 20th century for a flip book and then discovered 70 years later and turned into animated films. I simply cannot even fathom the possibility that these videos cost $100 million to produce as even Disney films at the time these movies originally came out had vastly superior animation and were just overall better. I won’t even presume to guess how they came up with that number, maybe if you add inflation, carry the one… who knows.

    We got these to help my son understand gospel principles better, however the stories are basically exactly that: stories. The only moral end you can get out of them is through direct teaching and explanation. I can’t have my son watch one of the videos and ask him what he learned, I have to tell him what he should have learned. That’s not a very good tool, in my opinion.

    Whoever said that Veggie Tales was terrible is way off, in my opinion. They teach MORALITY stories in an interesting way, they are MUCH cheaper (I could buy the entire set of VT movies, stuffed animals, coloring books, CDS, etc for probably less than the Living Scriptures videos). My son gets quite bored with LSI videos, but he will watch VT videos all the way through and can explain the moral point of the movie to me. And I can buy the videos one at a time whenever I want and whatever videos I feel are appropriate for my son.

    Which brings up another annoyance with LSI. They arrogantly believe that everyone who wants one LSI video wants them all. I don’t. I’ve received at least six videos I don’t care for at all, but of course I can’t return them for a refund.

    If this was a movie club and you “only keep the videos you want”, I wouldn’t complain. As it stands, the way it is set up is a crock and a scam.

    I really don’t think it matters what “market research” found or what the intention of the owners is. Anyone who would hire (or, frankly, even correspond with) Ed Decker to make a buck is not someone I really want to give money to or associate with in any way.

    I’d write more but my hands are tired and I need to get back to work! :)

    Comment by Brizz — April 8, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  182. Brizz, a worthy contribution, thanks.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 8, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  183. Finally paid off my grand total. They have been good quality, but now that you can buy them one by one or on Ebay, I think I’ll be buying them that way. I won’t fall for the contract again.

    Comment by david paystrup — April 9, 2009 @ 8:15 am

  184. You know, the church hardly makes anything on their own. Almost NOTHING is endorsed by the church as an organization, yet you will find stake presidents and bishops across the country encouraging members to invest in something, anything, that will help their children to grow up with a love for the gospel. Most films that the church has come out with are primarily produced by LSI persons. Example: The Testaments, Joseph Smith, prophet of the restoration and so on. You people will spend hundreds of dollars a year buying films you know you shouldn’t watch, and complain that a small company with hardly any monet at all is making a good product that costs more than something bad.
    If you want to look at it that way, you can. Sure it costs more now, but wait 15 years when your kids don’t care about church, it’s your fault really. Good luck trying to get you 7 year old to pop Isaiah open and dive in. Yeah right. By the time their old enough to understand, they won’t care.
    Call it what you will, but at least somebody out there is trying to make a difference in the media. Like mentioned above, NOTHING in Deseret Book or Sea Gull Book is endorsed by the church. Theyre just good people trying to make a difference. If you supported them the products would cost less too.

    Comment by stephen — May 10, 2009 @ 6:38 pm

  185. Deseret Book LDS retail stores and Deseret Book LDS publishing (and now Deseret Book’s newly purchased competitors Seagull Book LDS retail stores and its sister LDS publishing company Covenant Communications)are all owned by Deseret Management Corp. (the for-profit company arm of the LDS Church). This makes the LDS Church the owner of the vast majority of the LDS book industry. The question that needs to be asked is why does the Church want to do this? It has been reported that Deseret Book Corp. has been bleeding red in the financial books for many years since they bought-out another major LDS publisher Bookcraft in 2001. Interesting that Bookcraft was helped started by members of the Church’s Qrm. of the Twelve and President Grant. They felt that Deseret Book would need compitition so many of the Brotheren published their works only with Bookcraft. This tradition continued with later members like Kimball, Maxwell, etc….

    As Deseret Book has grown bigger over the past years, I have seen first hand how distructive Deseret Book’s behavior has been on this industry. Their strong arm tactics on the independent retailers and publishers has put many out of business and ruined many careers.

    I bring this little history lesson up to you so members of the LDS Church will understand what is going on. And many of my friends complain about what the Obama Administration is doing to the free market in the USA. I asked them if our Church should also be “picking winners and losers” in businesses. They have no answer for me since they know this is not right. Everyone in the LDS Book Industry knows that Deseret Book Corp. has been poorly run for many years and the direction it is going is not good for the industry, its LDS members, and the LDS Church.

    I have worked in the LDS Book Industry for more than 20 years. I have to use a fake name on this blog because like many in this industry, we are scared to go up against our own Church since we have seen what has happened to some. When they have complained to the media or Church leaders, Deseret Book has come in “with an offer to buy their company”. They also mention that they are planning to put a Deseret Book store in the area so the independent LDS retailer has no choice but to sell. Usually Deseret Book offers a fair to better price to sell so it accomplishes the goal to get rid of the problem.

    Now, think about why Deseret Book Corp. has bought all their major LDS competitors in the publishing/music/software area and almost all the major LDS retail bookstores in the US.

    So next time you complain about the Living Scriptures company (and yes, they are not a perfect company but what company is), remember that at least they are not owned by the Church and are trying their best to compete in an unfair marketplace.

    Comment by Fred — June 5, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  186. It seems to me that Deseret Book buys out independent LDS publishers and bookstores so they can control as much as possible what appears on the shelves of such stores, and cancel projects and products they don’t particularly like.

    Comment by Mark D. — June 5, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  187. That is just the beginning – they can not compete in an open fair market. And they know it. Right now everyone that works at Deseret Book (DB) is scared for their jobs and wishes that somebody will finally give Sherri Dew (who has wrecked the company with her mismanagement but loves all the attention) the good-bye. How many publishing and book retail company presidents do you see that are more self-promoting than Sherri Dew to make their books #1 in an industry? None in North America. Everyone at DB knows that when she wants to write another book that they must make sure it is #1 and sells-out or their jobs are on the line. It is an “unwritten rule” around the company.

    Many at DB want to seperate the publishing and retail divisions into two seperate companies. The retail not owned by the LDS Church. Many in the LDS book industry have been pushing this for 20 years. I’m concerned that the IRS will finally ask how much money the Church has been funneling to prop-up DB (a for-profit company). The Church shares its Bishops’ mailing list with DB. DB mails info and ads to the Bishops addresses.

    The time is coming fast that many LDS people will start to understand that maybe DB needs to be restructured or go the way of ZCMI.

    Comment by Fred — June 5, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

  188. As interesting as the last three posts are, I fail to see what they have to do with this conversation.

    ???

    After having read the entirety of this thread I take comfort (a little anyway) to know that I wasn’t the only one dupped by LSI. I, too, was told that I would be able to cancel at any time. I previously had an acount with a DVD club, and was able to send back movies I didn’t want and I cancelled that account succesfully without any hassle. I was led to believe LSI had the same service. They don’t. I felt and feel cheated. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t even trust a returned missionary to tell me the truth about a scriptural product he was selling. Isn’t it sad that so many of us have to learn the lesson of trust in such a hard way.

    …A returned missionary…

    It breaks my heart to say it, but even with a product as wholesome an “good” as theirs, LSI is nothing but a company fo modern-day unscrupulous “Bible salesmen”. They prey on the good intentions of religious people, and take them for everything they’re worth.

    PS: Geoff mentioned that once they put a black mark on your credit, all they can legally do is send you letters. They have sent a letter threatening legal action (to pay for product we have not received!). Is this possible or even likely?

    Thanks!

    Comment by Nate — June 19, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  189. I just wanted to add that any company that has an “in-house” collections agency likely does not have many scruples or real “family values”.

    Comment by Nate — June 19, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

  190. Nate,

    I believe they can send delinquent accounts to collections agencies and that can be a pain — especially if you need to qualify for credit in the future. If the bill is high enough they can even try to get a judgment against delinquent accounts but i doubt they do that very often.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 19, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

  191. We tried to cancel within only a few months, and of course they didn’t let us. So, we stopped paying and they stopped sending DVDs. They’re claiming we’re delinquent over $1000 when we’ve payed for everything they’ve sent us. And they haven’t sent anywhere near $1000 worth of movies.

    On June 14 we were sent a letter stating,
    “This matter has been referred to our department for collection. Should this account not be paid immediately, a suit may be filed against you which would reflect on your credit rating published nation-wide through the TRW Credit Network.

    Now our credit sucks anyway, so that bit doesn’t bother me, but the suit does. On the 17th we were sent a letter from their collections agency that stated;
    “Your account has been assigned to this agency for immediate payment in full. Our attorney may take legal action to enforce all account not paid, should it be necessary.

    All accounts… are placed as unpaid items on your credit file…”

    How can they legally claim this? I don’t have any “unpaid items”, at least not $1822.38 worth. I haven’t received more than 10 DVDs in total, and I payed for most of them.

    Their completely unethical and immoral tactics astound and infuriate me, and I have absolutely no intention of paying LSI or anyone associated with them another sent of my hard earned money. What can I do?

    Thanks,
    Nate

    Comment by Nate — June 19, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

  192. Oh, and one more thing. For those of you who think that a company as honest and trust worthy as LSI shouldn’t be responsible for the statements or actions of their sales representatives during the negotiation of a contract (like say telling a prospective client that a contract is cancel-able when it isn’t)you’re wrong.

    A responsible company is accountable for all of the actions of it’s representatives while they are acting in behalf of their company. That’s why missionaries have all of these new rules about how to behave with children. The Church is legally responsible for any suits filed against missionaries (AKA their representatives).

    When I worked in sales, if an employee told a customer a price to make a sale, or even if something was shelved over the wrong price and a customer demanded the lower price, the management is legally responsible to honor the incorrect price. It is no fault of the company, but they are responsible for the actions of their employees whilst they represent their company.

    Bottom line, If an LSI rep tells a prospective customer that the contact can be canceled at any time in the future then they are legally bound by a verbal contract at the point of sale to abide by the terms of that contract, both spoken and written. If LSI does not like to give cancellations to their clients, then they need to train their reps better. It’s not the customer’s fault they were lied to either.

    Nate

    Comment by Nate — June 19, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

  193. The immorality of most retail term contracts notwithstanding, the number one lesson to be learned is never to sign up for them if at all possible. From a typical vendors point of view, a buyer has agreed to pay them two or three thousand dollars which they are essentially financing by letting them pay out over time. Cancellation is a dirty word to them. It is like taking back money they have already earned.

    I signed up for a basic Dish Network Package that came with a two year term. There are lower fees for six months, plus I get free installation.

    From Dish Network’s perspective the deal is like this: We provide installation, equipment, and two years worth of basic satellite television service for a total of $780. It doesn’t matter so much how or when we get paid as long as we get the full amount. We haven’t even begun to pay off the setup costs, so if you cancel now, we want nearly half that amount for you to back out.

    So someone saying to themselves, what a great deal, it is only $9.99/mo for the first six months is fooling themselves. The real deal is for $780, which you may as well have charged up front. Getting any of it back after the fact is by their good grace alone.

    The good news is that you have a legal right to the DVDs you have paid for. The bad news is that you almost certainly have to pay for everything you signed up for. caveat emptor

    Comment by Mark D. — June 20, 2009 @ 12:07 am

  194. Of course if you want legal advice, talk to a lawyer. Or at least start by reading through all the fine print. As a matter of personal advice, I would pay the money, get the DVDs, and count it as a lesson well learned. Perhaps mentally blacklist vendors you think use dishonest, misleading, or unethical marketing practices. Unfortunately, nearly all of them do.

    Promotion price? I don’t care about the promotion price – tell me the real price. That was a conversation I had with Qwest recently.

    Comment by Mark D. — June 20, 2009 @ 12:15 am

  195. Pay them off? Why would I do that? They have already put a black mark on my credit. And I don’t want their ridiculously overpriced low quality animations (I’ve gone to school for animation and I can tell you the production quality of their animation is not good, even for 30 years ago). Someone on this thread has already said that the mark on my credit wont go away if I pay now.

    So you say that LSI isn’t responsible for the actions of it’s representatives?

    (I’ve got to go, but I’ll elaborate on why I wanted to cancel my contract latter today.)

    Comment by Nate — June 20, 2009 @ 11:11 am

  196. Mark D,

    With all due respect, this isn’t like a cable or satellite service. I’m not being charged for a service at all. I’m being charged for a product, “All accounts… are placed as unpaid items on your credit file…”.

    LSI acts as though I have purchased a product from them, received the product, and decided not to pay for it. Like I bought a car, am now driving the car and refuse to make the payments on the car. I have not received more DVDs than I have paid for (except for the “free gifts” thay gave me “just for signing up”. Which BTB I would happily pay for if it would end this hassle). Nor do I want any more of their sub-par DVDs. I have not received $2000 worth of movies, and I will not pay $2000 to get them.

    With a cable company you have (by law) 3 days to cancle your account, as you do with LSI. The difference is with a cable company is that time is 3 days with your TV on. You get to actually use the service for a time before you are committed (that is the intent of the law). With LSI the DVDs don’t even arrive for a week (and your 3 days start the day you accept the contract over the phone).

    Gotta’ go again, I’ll be back.

    Comment by Nate — June 20, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  197. Nate: How can they legally claim this?

    Well you signed a contract and they are using the legal system to try to enforce it. It is slimy but it is legal.

    I have absolutely no intention of paying LSI or anyone associated with them another sent of my hard earned money. What can I do?

    You can do nothing if you want. The problem is that you will continue to have collections agencies trying to collect this debt perpetually. You will probably not be able to get a mortgage or a car loan or a credit card or any other significant loan for as long as this remains unresolved.

    You could try to settle the debt as well. You can often pay as low as $0.40 on the dollar in settlement on these kinds of collection accounts.

    this isn’t like a cable or satellite service

    True, but it is an enforceable contract. I suppose it is more like a cell phone contract that one is on the hook for whether they use the phone or not. The bad news is that they probably have you by the short hairs on this one. I know it sucks but contract like this are enforceable.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 20, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

  198. The bad news is that they probably have you by the short hairs on this one.

    Oh, we agree there.

    And it hurts!

    ;)

    Comment by Nate — June 20, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  199. I know there’s not mutch I can do about my situation. I could talk to the lawer I home teach about it I guess.

    Comment by Nate — June 20, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  200. This isn’t relevant at all, but c’mon we can’t just let this post sit at 199, now can we…

    Unfortunately, I didn’t quite become wealthy enough to buy those plane tickets yet. mea culpa…

    Comment by Matt W. — June 21, 2009 @ 6:16 am

  201. I’ve read the article and most of the posts on this web page. It’s interesting how heated this discussion has become. I did not buy LS because of the price. I don’t think they are a bad company, just a company in need of a better price for their product. It looks like that’s what most people here have been frustrated about. It really is unfortunate that the company doesn’t allow for termination mid way through receiving the product. A lot of circumstances change over the course of two – four years.
    I don’t have problems finding uplifting media. I personally love and support PBS and KBYU.

    Personally, I’ll tell my funny story, I swore I would never buy from LSG when they towed my car. I was in college and the parking lot next to WSU was empty. I was under lots of stress, college with 2 small children no money to eat (literally) etc. When I returned to the lot my car was gone. I noticed then that there was a sign that said parking only for LSG. I went in crying, begging them to please help me. They gave me the name and phone number for the towing company they used. I didn’t even have a way to get there. I told their director that all the money in the world I had was money for food for food for our family of food for the next two weeks. I was waisting my time because he could have cared less. No one there cared, I was the one who didn’t read the sign (they whispered)!

    Well I’m alive and we made it through the next two weeks, I hitch hiked a ride to the impound and wrote the check that emptied out my checking account. So after that day I swore I wouldn’t buy their products.

    My story is metaphorically the same story. I didn’t read the sign, some others didn’t read the contract or didn’t understand the contract, either way LSG doesn’t care. Profit and profitability is the bottom like for all corporations in this, a capitolistic society. It’s the cold hard truth. I’m not anti capitolism, so don’t get all excited like my neighbor, I’m just saying there is a problem with corporate America and basic values, obviously.

    LSG doesn’t add or detract from my personal beliefs. I grew up on the set my parents bought, no doubt for way too much. I personally will just never buy from LSG, but then again, I don’t buy from WAlmart on principle either. Walmart doesn’t notice, I’m sure LGS wont notice either. But, One good thing about a capitolistic society is that everyone has a vote. We vote with our money. If you don’t like something, don’t vote for it by buying it! If enough people vote against LSG they will lose profitability and they will either meet the demands of their buyers or they will go out of business. My advice to any future readers and possible buyers is to not buy from LSG, it is financially not a great decision in these troubled times. There are plenty of alternatives. Children’s friend online has free coloring pages to print off, stories, online coloring, music, etc. That’s what we do on Sunday mornings to prepare for church. VT is also great, as mentioned above, and more affordable if you absolutely want something to watch.

    Comment by Charity — June 25, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

  202. Years ago, when I was gone to Girl’s camp meeting, my very kind hubby let the LSG in…even though he knew I WAS NOT interested in the products. He told me about the conversation and how humorous it was to have LSG ask our 6 year old questions about the gospel that many 6 year olds might not know answers to, but our daughter did know the answers…LOL. The LSGs thoughts were, “Wow, you should get these products so they will know MORE!”

    Did he really think we would say “Oh, YEAH! we NEVER thought of that! We could just stop teaching them the gospel ourselves and have them quit watching church produced videos that contain actual scripture content and exchange all of that for videos that even contain inaccurate information about the scriptures! What a great idea!”

    So, to get LSG to leave my hubby told him to come back when I would be home….my hubby was being a chicken! He figured my training as a secretary gave me the necessary skills to say “Go Away” to this guy, even though he really could/should have done it himself.

    The LSG came and pretty much refused to leave my doorstep, no, I would not let him in. We had spent plenty of money on church produced accurate videos and they were great and my kids learned the real scriptures, not a fictional version. (There is NO girl in the prodigal son story in the New Testament…Sorry LSG. And I don’t really think that the wimpy Laman and Lemuel in your animations could EVER be able to tie up that BUFF Nephi either, do you think my children are really that dumb?) Believe it or not, I was kind and repeated over and over again, I was not interested. He “kindly” implied over and over again that my children could not learn the gospel without his products. I just told him I had all the products I needed to teach my children the gospel and no, I had no names to give him. I would not send him to my friends….he had NO concept of respect or kindness, accept the constant artificial smile on his face.

    He shows up at our ward on Sunday with his wife and children and tells me he will be by this week….again, I say “I am not interested, don’t waste your time or mine.” A friend says, oh, you’ve met him too, how did you say know to him, he is such a nice guy?!” I’m thinking, “you’re kidding….right?”

    Then, while having a meeting with the Youth Camp Leaders in my home, guess who shows up at my door…. “I am having a meeting, I am not interested,” LSG ~ “But I just want to talk to you for a few minutes…” After three times of saying no….I finally had to get mad at this guy. I firmly said “NO! I have told you repeatedly that I am NOT interested in your products, and you continue to bother me, I am having a meeting and YOU are not coming in my house. Goodbye, do not come again.”

    The girls looked shocked and said…”Wow, you took care of him!” And then we discussed appropriate and inappropriate behavior while conducting the campfire programs at Girls’ Camp! And how helpful appropriate behavior is to bring and keep the spirit at camp.

    I don’t know why every one the the LSGs that have come to my home treat me the same way….I feel badly for them that they think it’s okay to insult people and badger them into buying an unnecessary product. I feel badly that they can’t find a job that teaches them better communication/sales techniques. If people want to buy them, they buy them, if they don’t want to buy them, why not leave them alone and go find someone else who does want to buy them? I know, there are only so many LDS people to get money from….but, why didn’t they just follow the scriptures accurately so kids would know what REALLY happened? Many unhelpful things in this whole experience for me.

    It makes me sad that kids in older Primary classes and even 12 – 18 years olds in Sunday School still quote inaccurate details they learned from the Living Scripture Videos as kids….at some point in time you really ought to actually read the book yourselves, guys…..videos won’t give you the power of the real scriptures…and selling in that way certainly does not keep the spirit with you as you try to sell. Disrespect is NEVER going to impress anyone.

    Comment by Betsy — June 29, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  203. I have not read all the comments left on this post, I only got through the first ten, so maybe this has already been said.

    The Living Scriptures company DOES NOT allow their sales representatives to use ward lists to make contacts. If a sales rep was ever found to be using a ward list they would be promptly fired and removed from the program.

    Comment by Rebecca — December 13, 2009 @ 11:30 pm

  204. Kristen, you really struck a nerve. Good job! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every comment, and I believe you have probably saved a lot of people from going through the same grief that other posters have. At least they can make a better informed decision after hearing so many sides of the argument.

    I think it’s kind of funny that most comments weren’t even related to your point, which was that this guy came back within 12 hours to sell you the same product after you already told him no. Seriously, who wouldn’t be annoyed by that??!?

    And regardless of the quality of the product or the reason for Living Scriptures’ business model, it’s still crappy for the consumer. Period. What they need is some stiff competition!

    PS – What’s up with the guilt trip at the beginning of the videos? If you copy these videos, you are committing sin! Like I need a lecture to start off the show.

    Comment by Stacey J — December 16, 2009 @ 12:15 am

  205. OK. I have to keep this thread going. I signed up for the full meal deal. I have been paying them monthly for as long as I can remember. The videos are OK. It bothers me that Ed Deckard is involved in any way with this, and I wish the church would give a thumbs up or down on this material. I’m hoping to pay them off and get them out of my life once and for all. My advice to anyone considering doing a contract with these folks is give the salesman $100.00 for his efforts (because he is probably supporting a family while he’s going through school) and ask him to never come back. By the way, they weren’t very nice when I asked them to cancel the contract when my wife became too ill to work. They have an enforcable contract and they intend to enforce it.

    Comment by Doyle Dean — December 22, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

  206. I love living scriptures, I’m a gradmother and I purchase the DVD’s because I want to share the gospel with my grandchildren. They love them. I remember being you and poor when I was raising 7 kids and my husband worked for very little pay. I bet alot of people that complain about the cost of a DVD spend money on foolishness. We can’t put a price on teaching the gospel to our families, and with the influence that come into our homes minute by minute something like this is well worth the money. I don’t think many people will say that they wished they had spent less time teaching correct principles to their families. We need all the help we can get.

    Comment by Kay — February 24, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  207. My wife was duped into signing a 4 year contract this past summer, she was told repeatedly that there are no obligations and could be cancelled at anytime. After receiving about 8 months of videos we decided that the 30 minute videos weren’t worth the $40 we were paying. When we called in to cancel they said we could cancel anytime if we paid a $500 cancellation fee. They do not care about what their sales reps say, they will do everything they can to hold you to the contract. Consumer protection laws are in place to protect us from deceptive and predatory behavior, does anyone know if LSI been investigated by an attorney general or if there are any class actions lawsuits ongoing? I would be happy to throw in my $500 to prevent others from being taken advantage of. The product quality should merrit the cost not some arbitrary misrepresented sales contract.

    Comment by Matt — February 27, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  208. I love animiation, and I love the scriptures, so it’s hard to not like Living Scriptures. However, the expensive DVDs, pushy sales, and huge contracts are just too much.

    I’ll just keep buying the better live-action “Liken the Scriptures” and hope they make more.

    Comment by David — April 13, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  209. My favorite is when people accuse Living Scriptures and their little salesmen of priestcraft. If that’s the case, then Deseret Book and everything in it, the Church Education System, the “Missionary Mall”, modest bridal dress designers, and Greg Olsen are guilty as well. Quick! You better take down all those paintings you have hung up on your walls… Don’t want to be guilty of priestcraft! This is ridiculous.

    Comment by Mac — April 21, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

  210. Everyone needs to report this to the Better Business Bureau and state attorney general. I’m in the process of doing that now. LSI already has many such filings against them but the more that are filed, the sooner the authorities will sit up and take notice.

    You must begin this now. Don’t wait.

    Also, if you signed a contract under misrepresentation, you have grounds to rescind that contract. LSI does not want you to know this but it’s true.

    Don’t believe what they tell you on the phone. You’ll never have to pay another dime if you stick to your guns.

    Comment by Steven — May 3, 2010 @ 10:18 am

  211. My husband and I were driving home from seeing the open house for the Gila Valley Temple, and my stepmom wanted me to pick up the Gordon B Hinkley dvd for her. There were three salesmen there and they kept pushing and pushing and pushing. We said no four times and they just kept saying how good the customer service is and how many peoples’ lives have changed because of these dvds. They also told us it was easy to cancel and that we could at any time. They sent us a BUNCH of free stuff and when we called to cancel, we said we haven’t even opened our package yet and we would send that back if they’ll cancel us but I guess that’s not good enough. They want us to pay a third of the contract, which is $600. That’s ridiculous.

    Comment by Lauren — May 20, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  212. -Sigh- …I’m just a college student in desperate need of a summer job and LSI is the only company that has shown any interest in hiring me…but after reading all of these posts? Apparently by working for LSI I will become a brainwashed die-hard who equates the products with the gospel while 75% of the LDS world will become my sworn enemy because I have swindled them out of their money. However, on the other hand, it does sound like good money that I really really need, the other 25% of the LDS world will champion my cause, and I’ll be working with a company that from my first impressions seems legit with a long tradition of customer satisfaction. Honestly, do I like the Living Scriptures? No. I think the product is outdated and obsolete since its original production over 20 years ago. Their new products seem decent enough, but again, do I want to work for a company that apparently has so many people who hate it? I realize this post is rather long and drawn-out and I apologize but I’m so frustrated at this point because it’s looking like if I don’t take this job after my month of non-stop job searching I’m not going to have a job and will continue to live off my parents which I’m so sick of doing. It’s that or work for LSI and infurtiate a lot of people…SO FRUSTRATING!!! (I realize my post doesn’t have a lot to do with the conversation, so I appreciate anyone who read my rant.)

    Comment by Blake L. — May 25, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  213. Blake L.

    That comment was awesome.

    Have you asked around at church if anyone knows of Jobs? Have you talked to you ward/stake employment specialist? Have you made a group “Help Blake L. find a job” on facebook and asked all your friends?

    Social Networking is the way to go when it comes to looking for a Job. It is something like 1000 times more effective than applying on Job boards.

    Comment by Matt W. — May 26, 2010 @ 8:23 am

  214. Matt W.
    Well, I’ve posted I don’t know how many times on Facebook that I’m searching for a job…yet the friends remain silent…my stake president is going to try to hook me up with his company (ironically enough, it’s still in sales, but at least it’s over the phone)…and I still have about fifty other potential places to submit an application…perhaps I should fast and pray some more? ;)

    Comment by Blake L. — May 27, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

  215. THE TRUTH ABOUT LIVING SCRIPTURES

    This is a funny thread with some decent comments on both sides but there is a still a few points that need to be made. I used to ba a sales rep for LSI and there are a few things that need to be cleard up. First of all you need to understand how the monthly plans work. The notion that you have to buy all or nothing is a false misunderstanding. Here is how it works there are 8 series 1-Bom 2-NewTest 1-OldTest 2-HeroClassics 1-LiveActionModernProphets 1-LiveActionDocudramas soooooooo when you sign up you can get any number or combination of series. 1,2,5 all 8 whatever so if you know you are going to bail then just get one series so it is easy to bail. They do hint that most family get arround four series (the scripture ones) cause it is true but we never say you HAVE to get everything. They do not sell the DVD’s individually but you can get as low as 1 series (just for those wondering a series is usually 12 DVD’s) (LOL who can tell me how many are in the prophet series i will give you a hint we have done one fore every deceased Modern Prophet.)

    Second for those that have bought them and never used them that is not the company’s fault. Living Scripture movies are a tool for parents. Like any tool it is only effective if you USE IT! Also like a tool it makes the work easier and more effective allow me to explain. Kids as you may have noticed tend to have a short attention span and teaching said children can be difficult at best you can teach all the doctrine that you want but will it get through to them? Your guess is as good as mine. Living scriptures is a tool it is a catalyst to your parentage. It is an easy fun way for kids to visualize the scriptures. Please note it is not meant to replace your parenting however when used with real scripture study and FHE it can dramatically increase your childs understanding and comprention of the scriptures. It can help to give them a foundation that you can then build upon rather laying one by yourself and then waiting for it to set.

    Third cancelations. Federal law states that a buyer has the right to cancel within 3 business days without penalties. Now for those wanting to cancel after that time slot. I do not know how it works if you by online or from a fair but if you buy from a door to door sales rep here is how it works. In order to help them sell the product and to help you get your money’s worth the sales reps are allowed to give away hundreds of dollars of free stuff. Now if you were to just cancel no questions asked after getting all that free stuff then the company would go out of bussiness from all the lost money(BTW you get to choose which bonuses you want). So it is only fair that you pay back at least a portion of the money that they invest in the free stuff. Namely a third of the ramining cost of your remaining contract. So if you sign a 1500 dollar contract and cancel just after getting your first dvd you will pay 500 which is still less the the price of all of the free stuff your getting so they will still lose a little money.

    Fourth Concerning the usage of ward lists. The church is fine with the company selling to members just like Deseret Book and all those others. However they are NOT allowed to use ward lists. They have a written agreement not to use ward lists as those are only for church usage. If you find a sales rep with a ward list tell the company and his employment will be terminated. However they are allowed to recieve referalls for other ward members by word of mouth. When i was a rep what usually happened when i got to new ward was you will find a nice person who loves the product that will then give you the names of most of the other ward members. So i can understand how that might creat the illustion that were are using ward lits.

    Finally Applogies and the life of a salesman. I am sorry for those people who got pushy or corrupt salesman. As another person said the church is true but not all the people are. We are not trained to tell lies that was that persons personal decision. What is even more sad is that not only did you get cheated but then it makes it harder on the honest sales reps trying to make a living. Sigh. As for you jerks that say LSI sells reps are going to hell for priest craft back off. It is a good product that helps to build testimonies. You hipocrates better not have ever bought anything from Deseret or Seagull book. Nothing except free church distributed material. For those that are considering buying this product DO IT!:) Dont let all these grumpy nay sayers diswade you with their ignorant mungering. It is a great product that will help your children especially if you have the “no TV/Games on sunday” rule like my family did growing up. Since i couldnt watch other stuff i watched these dozens of times on sundays so my parents really got their money’s worth (BTW i am 22 and still enjoy them.) Another reason you shouldnt let those whinners diswade you is because they are the minority trust me. For every bad comment on here there a hundread people that are happy they purchased. Sadly the unhappy minority are usually those with the loudest voice but thats life. This is an expensive product but so are all worth while investments. I konw when i have my first child that this will be one of the first things that we get for him/her.

    Comment by T Man — August 10, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  216. LOL i just read my comment and want to apologize for the punk-two-asian and grammuerr errors.

    Comment by T Man — August 10, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  217. Good comment T Man. (I’m going to give you a one-time pass on the caps with an exclamation point combo given the strength of the rest of the comment.)

    Comment by Jacob J — August 10, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

  218. T man, I still say that these products are over 20 years old. If you want them buy them on ebay for $10. Way better deal.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 10, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  219. The real story here is that this post just hit its 5 year anniversary (Aug 8 2005) and it is still generating comments. Awesome.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 10, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  220. Oh for the love! Will it never end?

    And at risk of starting up fresh controversy, I don’t have any Greg Olsen paintings hanging on my walls, they remind me of JW art work (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    Comment by kristen j — August 10, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

  221. Wasn’t Matt W going to take us on a trip when this post hit 200 comments? I think we just hit 221!

    Comment by kristen j — August 10, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  222. Dewd, Matt is right. You can buy this crapola still shrink-wrapped for under 10 bucks on ebay. The set of Dr. Cleon Skousen’s Holy Land visits just went to the top of my wish list. It will be the best white elephant gift ever!

    The ebay price is the true, free market selling price, which means that LSI is ripping people off with high priced junk. But what do I know, I’m just a grumpy nay sayer who is trying to diswade you with my ignorant mungering.

    Comment by Mark Brown — August 10, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

  223. “they remind me of JW art work (not that there’s anything wrong with that)”

    My first laugh Wednesday morning. So many levels to that joke. Thank you Kristen.

    Comment by Riley — August 11, 2010 @ 8:07 am

  224. I Know that these videos are a great product….and so do the people selling them…..BUT…..How does Satan lead someone down to hell? Gently by the hand. DO NOT GET THESE VIDEOS! They are a Wolf COVERED in sheeps clothing……they will chace you down and hunt you with a smile on their face. I got one of their credit officers to admit to me on the phone that he didn’t care about me or my situation! I told him that ‘I understand that it’s just buisness and you’re trying to make money…’ then he cut me off (because i had gotten him angry due to my catching him on everything he was trying to do to SCAM me)and said very boldly with out any hesitation “THEN YOU GET IT”. I told him he wasn’t getting a dime out of me due to the contract not being fild out correctly by their employee and I hung up……DO NOT GET THESE PRODUCTS FROM LIVING SCRIPTURES…..it’s a great product and “they get it”….just like i did:)

    Comment by Jonathan Allen Boyer — August 11, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

  225. PS. “tman?” not all of us are stupid so you don’t have to be condicending. did that work on your mission? and please don’t be offended by what I just said……I mean really.

    Comment by Jonathan Allen Boyer — August 11, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

  226. Re #224 — Lighten up Francis.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 11, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

  227. When you have something that is so awesome and amazing and helps people in so many ways……you don’t do everything you can to hurt those people. you don’t promote something that gives in so many ways and then do everything you can ‘legally’ to take from those who can’t give. I had a really bad experiance with this company and highhly promote getting these things by other sources! They will do anything to get into your dusty dry pocket and it’s really too bad……don’t you think? Take it or leave it, but that’s how it is…..and my name isn’t Francis.

    Comment by Jonathan Allen Boyer — August 11, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  228. I have let myself calm down a bit and I want to first say….’tman’?…sorry for being rude….I really did have a bad experience and it’s been really difficult to get over. I don’t know you from adam and I should never have said that. About the francis thing:) well, my name really isn’t francis (my grandfathers name is), but that shouldn’t have been said either. Geoff? I am sorry. I don’t want anyone here to think that those videos are bad in any way. A cd or dvd that hasn’t been updated for 20+ years or whatever, costs near nothing to make. you copy and copy and copy and then you sell them for alot more then they are literally worth by the physical stand point. the emotional is definately more significant for alot of people. it does not ring positive in my ears when I am told that I have “no choice” but to be bound to a contract that wasn’t even filled out correctly and is legally not binding. That is what I should have said in the first place…..and again I am incredibly sorry for being so cras and rude. Please forgive me and at the same time please understand that there are other ways to have these truths in your home besides getting something about the LDS faith that isn’t even sanctioned by the LDS faith. Just reading the contract word for word will let you know how desperate they are to get you ‘stuck’. Sorry you guys……

    Comment by Jonathan Allen Boyer — August 12, 2010 @ 12:55 am

  229. Geoff – I think JAB is too young to appreciate the comedic genious of Warren Oates.

    JAB – for your education I refer you to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6cxNR9ML8k

    Comment by ola senor — August 12, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  230. Hehe. I’m glad someone caught the reference ola senor.

    Another link

    Comment by Geoff J — August 12, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  231. “Lighten up Francis” has been part of Geoff’s repetoire the whole 18 years we’ve been married. Whenever he’s said that I’ve thought, “Um…ok”.

    Today I have found out why he thinks that’s so funny. If only I was a “Stripes” fan I wouldn’t have been so confused.

    Comment by kristen j — August 12, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  232. I should have got that!:) That’s a darn funny movie. Thanks for the link.

    Comment by Jonathan Allen Boyer — August 12, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

  233. I guess I should add to what I wrote before. We talked to someone about not wanting to pay to cancel since we had stuff that we could just send back. They just had us send back everything that was sent to us plus the “free” dvd we got that day. They cancelled and we haven’t heard from them since, and I hope to not hear from them for a long time.

    Comment by Lauren — September 28, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

  234. Wow. i really enjoyed reading this thread. I wanted to be the first to comment on it in 2011, making this post alive for like 6 years. I must admit, I grew up on LS tapes and videos, and I really loved them. I do agree that they are expensive, and I wish the church would just produce something similar that is all doctrinally true. But, I still wouldn’t mind owning them. I actually want all the cd’s and dvd’s. I have been looking on ebay and they are really hard to find. If anyone here wants to sell me theirs, please let me know. I might be interested.

    Comment by Beckers — January 2, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  235. Thanks for this thread. I will not be purchasing from this corrupt company.

    Comment by Beth — January 16, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  236. My turn. I read the entire thread so I thought I would add my 2 cents.

    My story mirrors many of yours. My wife signed up when we were newlyweds. Somehow she jumped into the 3 at a time plan so we were shelling out $100 per month for VHS tapes (that I thought were dubious at best). This at a time when our rent was only $183/month. Needless to say this was quite a burden on us. My wife was able to get us switched to a one at a time plan, which helped. We completed our set (BoM if I remember correctly) and we were done. Good riddance.

    Fast forward about 8 years. I had finished grad school and got a real. big boy job and here come the LS people again. This time my wife jumps at the DVD’s and she signs up for every single one of them (ouch!). A couple of observations

    1. The transfer quality on the DVD’s is horrible. I could create a better transfer with my 15 year old VHS player and a dvd recorder. The picture is dark and the sound is garbled. Some of the DVD’s are mastered better than others but most are simply garbage. The company can talk all day about the $100 million they spent (doubtful) but that was 30 years ago. If they haven’t recouped that investment yet they never will. By the way, the DVD’s cost them about $0.07 each to press. I am guessing that this company has simply been minting money for many, many years.

    2. My wife used to love these because they were the only products on the market. Hello, Veggie Tales! The Veggie Tales stories are every bit as inaccurate but the characters are more fun, the production quality is much higher and the cost is much lower. My kids “miss out” on the BoM but I don’t remember ever reading that Laman and Lemuel were nasally whiners, oh, and that’s what family scripture study is for.

    3. Once these people have you in their grasp they hate to let go of you. When we had finally finished paying them the king’s ransom they started to call to sell us other items. This time I handled the phone call. I asked to be removed from their calling list and let them know that failure to comply would result in them being in violation of the Telephone Protection Act of 1997. They didn’t seem to understand how much I never wanted to hear from them again as the lady continued to try to sell me stuff. At that point I just let her know that if any of her sales people showed up on my doorstep ever again I was going to punch someone in the nose (yes, I am an early morning seminary teacher). This seemed to convince her that I was serious and she finally hung up.

    I think that Nest’s business practices are dubious. I really dislike how they play to LDS member’s desire to belong and fit in as their main selling tactic. The feel of the sales presentation is really that if you care about your kids and family, and you want to be a good Mormon you have to have these videos. I feel that as a church we have gotten much better at discerning between what is good and what is garbage instead of simply buying if it was produced by a member, features a member…(“The RM” anyone).

    Now I am left with boxes and boxes of DVD’s that I really don’t even want to dump on someone else even though I have invested thousands in the silly things.

    I am just really glad that I live in the boonies now and will never see one of their salespeople again.

    Comment by Paul — March 28, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  237. Realizing we had been duped, we stopped paying in late 2010. Received all of the threatening letters and phone calls. In fact, EVERYONE be careful and read the inside of the envelopes they send you. I opened the return envelope they include. You know, they one that says “Place payment inside.” Well, this envelope also includes a warning not to rip it fully open b/c it is to remain intact to send payment. If you rip it open anyway, you will notice a typed statement that if you send a check in this envelope, you hereby agree to allow LSI to automatically deduct payments from said checking account. Take a look. I can’t believe this is even legal. So how did we get rid of them? Easy.

    In January 2011, I sent a letter via certified mail, return receipt, instructing LSI to stop contacting me. They never signed for the letter (which is deceptive in and of itself). I guess they planned to deny that they ever received the letter so I sent another one via Delivery Confirmation (where the Post Office records the delivery and you can track it online, no need for a signature). This time, it worked. It is now May 2011, and for five months now they have not contacted me at all. If they did, I’d report them anyway.

    Here is an example of some of the terms your letter should include:

    “Please accept this correspondence as final notification of enforcement of my rights as a consumer pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Protection Act. I hereby insist that you immediately cease and desist any further communication with me with relation to any and all alleged debts, including any debt for account number XXXXXX-X. I also request that you discontinue any further communication with my family members, neighbors, friends, and any other party you may try to contact with regard to this issue. Pursuant to the FDCPA, you may not contact me after this point.

    Please be advised that if you refuse to comply with this request, you will be in violation of the FDCPA. If you choose to ignore this request, you will immediately be reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Utah and [insert your state] Attorney General’s offices for appropriate action, including but not limited to any and all retribution available to me through the civil court system.

    Please inform any credit reporting agencies to which you’ve reported this debt that it is being disputed. I demand proof that you have done so.

    Comment by Steven — May 17, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  238. Wow!!! This is very unsettling to me. I bought ONE audio CD set in March and this last Monday, LS randomly charged me $425 for other CD’s. I never signed any contract, nor did I agree to purchase these items. Had I not checked my bank account, I would have never known. It is Wednesday and I still don’t have the credit back to my account and they are telling me that they have already given me the credit. The guy at the bank told me to give it one more day- then he mentioned that he has dealt with many people regarding Living Scriptures-including himself. I let this *%&%$#%# company have it- and I don’t care what they are selling and I don’t care if they are the freakin’ POPE- they are scoundrels- liars and thieves- I told them to never call me again. If they come to my door- I will give them about 20 seconds to get off my property. Then, they are fair game as far as I am concerned. I am bustin’ mad at these jerks. Shame on them!!!!! Booooo!!!!

    Comment by Sonja — May 18, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  239. While reading a lot of the earlier comments, I was struck how similar the pro-LS comments were, including
    *Similar salutation
    *Same date posted, even years after the original post
    *Always with similar grammar and punctuation issues.

    I find it interesting the company, and those that work for it, refuse responsibility for the actions of wayward salespeople. A salesperson is the face of a company.

    We were contacted last year four days after moving into our new ward. As the membership clerk in my previous ward, I moved the records myself that Sunday, then moved that Tuesday. Imagine my surprise when, on Friday, people show up at my door. After following the advice of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons and adding a verbal period after every word: “I’m. Not. Interested.” the salespeople took off.

    I later found out they lived in my ward, and hence had access through the Church’s online directory to people. I wonder if they were scanning for new changes or if we just got unlucky. Either way I have no doubt this is the way they found our home.

    Their salespeople will never be welcome in my home in their sales capacity. I encourage others to turn them away as well, since their business practices are abhorrent.

    Comment by TRod — May 27, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

  240. Hey Geoff & Kristen, could you possibly post how many people from the LS IP address have visited? Or at least a rough guess based on suspicion and hearsay?

    Comment by TRod — May 27, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

  241. Here is a follow-up from my post on May 18. They ended up debiting my account $400 a second time. I was totally beside myself- I was screaming and swearing on their voicemail (not my finest moment). Finally, with prayer and a blessing, I calmed down. I called LS this morning and spoke with a supervisor. She was a very nice woman and she had listened to the recording of our initial sales conversation. Long story short- I had until May 16 to cancel my “subscription”- something that I didn’t realize I had agreed to. I just thought the sales guy would call me and ask if I wanted more- not just charge my account $400. The second $400 was an accounting error. She apologized and I apologized and we forgave each other and I feel better about the situation. This is a huge load off of my shoulders. I think I based my initial reaction to LS out of fear because of the the horror stories I have read about this company. Instead, I should have given them the benefit of the doubt. That being said, I will NEVER buy from them again. And, i changed banking….just to be sure ;)

    Comment by Sonja — May 31, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  242. This thread is a Bloggernacle treasure.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — June 20, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  243. We’re coming up on the 6 year anniversary of this baby Ben. It is hilarious how this one never dies. I’m pretty sure the LSI people hate this thread wish it would just go away. But of course I haven’t heard anything about them changing their strategies so I like that people can vent and research the company here.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 20, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

  244. We got suckered into this last night and sent our cancellation letter this morning. It’s well within the three days, so I hope they don’t hassle us. I just wish we hadn’t signed up for direct payment and am considering changing my bank account as a precaution. Anyway, I should have listened to my gut when the guy was over. I hated the way he implied that I couldn’t teach my kids the scriptures and other way (as if the actual scriptures weren’t good enough), and the implication that my kids would be watching a bunch of other junk on TV if we didn’t buy these (we don’t watch much TV), and even the implication that there are not other good things to watch out there. Should have gone with my gut, hope they give it up easily.

    Comment by Cynthia — June 30, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  245. This thread is awesome guys! Just did a google search for Living Scripture and found it. We had a LSG at our house twice yesterday! He insists that he works from referrals, but yet he seems to be visiting everyone in our ward!! A couple people in our ward thought that Living Scripture was an LDS company, so they let him in & talked to him. From what you guys are saying, sounds like that’s very much not the case! Thank you so much for all the stories and opinions!! Very helpful!! Next time, we’ll slam the door a little faster! Thank heavens we didn’t buy anything from these blood suckers!

    Comment by Christina M — August 9, 2011 @ 7:46 am

  246. Honestly? I am disgusted by what I have read of this. You talk about LDS values, yet all of you threaten to use very non LDS values on these poor college kids, who some I am sure are shady, but some are great guys doing there best to make a living.

    I looked into it after reading this, Living Scriptures does not use church lists, however the church I found out does use Living Scriptures in foreign countries.

    On my mission we used the Bible series for a social services sponsored bible study we taught. They were very helpful and even sent written permission to my Mission President so we could use them.

    I am sorry if you have beef with a company its one thing, but to take it out on a random college kid you have never met is another.

    Comment by Jesse — November 9, 2011 @ 12:04 am

  247. Yeah Jesse, you’re right. We’ve made a terrible mistake. As punishment, we’ve actually had Kristin J stop blogging here, and relegated Geoff J to only posting on sports topics, and only then half-heartedly, because there is no hope for BYU football this year. Jacob J is only allowed to post once every blue moon, and then only on non-important topics unrelated to Living Scriptures. Most people who have commented on this thread are no longer commenting here. Lastly, my own personal punishment has been that I own almost every one of their videos, which my kids enthusiastically watch on sundays. Their favorite is the talking Cucumber.

    We are so sorry Jesse. We regret having posted this, and only leave it up as a warning to others, so that they too will not post such terrible and incendiary things in such a non-LDS value-y kind of way. Thank you so much for being so brave and commenting here. It has given me a moment’s respite from my otherwise terrible existence of regret and despair.

    Comment by Matt W. — November 10, 2011 @ 8:58 am

  248. Occupy Living Scriptures!

    Comment by Riley — November 14, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  249. I applaud your humility Matt. Your kind words are an inspiration to me and my facebook wall.

    I pray one day to have the same humility as you, and same witty humor.

    Comment by Jesse — November 19, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  250. I’m glad to see these people selling a wholesome and goods product. It may seem they are using a ward list, but honestly, what LDS person is going to refer them to a non-LDS person? And when was the last time you gave a missionary a referral, for that matter? I would rather buy these materials for my kids (grandchildren now) then a lot of the sicko games that are so pervasive today. Priestcraft? Get serious. I do think things are expensive, and wouldn’t buy more for that reason, but I do think the few of them that we did buy are quite good.

    Comment by Paul M — December 14, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  251. Thanks for every other excellent article. Where else may just anybody get that type of information in such an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such information.

    Comment by Her Game Room! — September 22, 2012 @ 12:32 am

  252. I have a question should I sell for living scriptures or should i find a job else where?

    Comment by mike G — March 16, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

  253. Mike G–you should NOT sell for LSI. The commissions for selling DVD sets are not as high as for other things you can sell door-to-door. Plus, just take this thread as an example of the anger and malice you may be subjected to when you show up on a doorstep to sell overpriced spiritually uplifting entertainment to LDS families via networking through ward members–not fun. I grew up on LSI and I know they were quite expensive but I am glad my parents chose to buy them and now my own kids are enjoying them. They are the best on the market compared to their competitors like silly veggie tales and the like. The songs and music are really good and spiritually uplifting and I think the animation is decent enough. My 3 & 5 yr old kids never complain about the quality of the animation, instead they make heroes and role models out of the prophets. (just last night my 5 year old daughter stood on top of her plastic play house in the yard and said “behold, I am Samuel the Lamanite!” Then, my 3 yr old son did the same but he declared “I am Moroni!” (pronounced Mo-row-nee). My wife reads the children’s BOM with them daily and we teach them the stories and principles but nothing cements it in like these overpriced animated stories–for me, no price can match the value of that kind of scriptural education.

    I sold LSI and hated it. Since I grew up on them and loved them personally I thought selling them would be easy until I knocked on a few doors in Utah and got the sort of responses listed in this thread. Then I talked with other salespeople in other industries and realized that for my time and effort, my commissions weren’t that great. I hear about successful LSI sales people switching to security or pest control or other products. Plus, do you really want to be in the position of selling ANYTHING to budget conscious young LDS families? Probably the worst consumer market to try and sell anything to. (I should know, I am one!) I spent years in the military where young enlisted men would spend $150 in one night at a bar and you have mormon moms on this thread mad about musical scripture movies that last for eternity in the educational value to their children costing $30! I am not saying you shouldn’t be budget conscious but to treat LSG as if it was the biggest scam and rip-off on earth is a bit exaggerated.

    The price of the DVD’s seem overpriced. $30 for a half hour DVD. However, I really think the value of the story and the way it teaches your kids is worth it. My advice is to save up the money and buy “cash sets” meaning you pay the whole price upfront in one lump sum for the particular set you want. That eliminates the monthly shipping charge you would pay as part of the subscription service and it eliminates the contract nature of the sales arrangement that everyone hates so much. Just pay with a 0% credit card and give yourself 12-18 mos to pay it off without interest or something like that. Better yet, buy used DVD’s online (this is hard to do because the demand for these videos from the people who so hate the sales guys is so high on the secondary market that used DVD’s go quick and go for a decent price). The best thing to do is to find places on the web where they sell the foreign version NEST DVD’s in a complete set that have two episodes per disc and sell for a fraction of the LSI price. Then just pay the LSI price for the Book of Mormon set.

    Anyone who home schools or is familiar with the price of teaching aides or educational media is familiar with how overpriced curriculum and things like this are. In comparison to that, LSI prices are not crazy. For budget conscious young families I have a suggestion–cancel cable, get an antennae for OTA HDTV (PBS, etc.) save yourself $75 to $100/mo and after a year buy the LSI set! In 10 years you will be happy you did.

    Ok–for the entertainment of all those that love this thread here is my most cherished LSI sales story:

    I knock on the door of a nice upper middle class home in Utah Valley and a 30 something mother answers the door with a friendly demeanor. I think to myself–YES! finally a solid sales opportunity. I can hear children in the background, I see toys for kids aged 3-10 and am really stoked about my chances. I begin to introduce myself and explain that I am selling Living Scriptures DVD’s etc. She says “we don’t allow our children to watch inappropriate shows with bad words.” I am slightly confused and happy at the same time thinking this means they WANT to buy the DVD’s and so I explain that I think that is a good position to have as a parent and that LSI can help with that. She then responds that she does not approve of LSI videos because they use bad words like the “S” word. I am really puzzled until she says “stupid.” And it dons on me that some of the Nephi stories feature Laman/Lemuel calling Nephi “stupid.” (I should know, I nearly have all the videos memorized from my childhood). I thank her for her time and move on completely shocked!

    Comment by Josh — June 3, 2013 @ 7:43 am

  254. thank you josh.

    I found out myself that living scriptures are full of crooks starting at the top.

    Comment by mike g — June 16, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

  255. I have been trying to decide if I wanted to pay for 1 or 5 a month living scriptures a month or get them used before looking into further details, but I’m glad I read this. It would have been a mistake since the DVD’s are quite pricey, its already a sacrifice buying them…and if you can no loner afford it or the situation has changed, being forced to buy something can be very stressful. I know these DVD’s are wholesome, educational, and invite the spirit and some people say the price is worth it but those are the members with a little more means. Everybody would love to buy the world for their children but not everybody can afford it. As far as suites and all the legalities has anybody looked into filling a Class Action? I’m sure some attorney’s would love to pick that up…especially with so many people willing to file…just a thought..

    Comment by Manny — July 28, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.