Three Degrees of Eagerness

August 1, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 5:18 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

From the fake scripture file:

1 Among “active” Mormons there are three levels or degrees of Eagerness;
2 And in order to obtain the highest and most time consuming jobs in the church, an active Mormon must enter into this degree of activity [meaning fully "Eager" and not "Less Eager" or "InEager"];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may enter into the other less demanding callings, but that is the end of his institutional progress; he cannot have a promotion.

I feel a new cross-stitched wall hanging coming on…

23 Comments »

  1. I can see the truth of this, provided eagerness is fairly broadly interpreted (includes DNA??). But I’m not hanging this on my entrance wall. Maybe in the basement.

    Comment by WVS — August 1, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  2. Hehe. Genetic eagerness. That is an amusing idea.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 1, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  3. As a Ward Young Men’s President, I can whole-heartedly call this false doctrine.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 1, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

  4. Eagerness is graded on a curve from ward to ward Matt.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 1, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

  5. My problem is I have tried hard not to be eager, and they keep giving me leadership callings. Maybe I am TOO eager to be the bulletin editor.

    Comment by Kim Siever — August 1, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

  6. Hmmm… well some wards have a lot of people who are quite good at being active/less-eager or active/in-eager Kim. And since eagerness is graded on a curve you may have to step up your game a little if you don’t want to look eager.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 1, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

  7. Yet, I do think it is possible to be over-eager.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — August 2, 2010 @ 5:35 am

  8. If Eagerness = shmoozing with the stake presidency, then no, I am not eager.

    If Eagerness equals not threatening to go Corporal Klinger when people say I will be in the Bishopric someday, then I am eager.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 2, 2010 @ 7:01 am

  9. Yep Matt — because of the grading on a curve thing sometimes not being willing to go all Corporal Klinger is all it takes to be considered eager enough.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 2, 2010 @ 8:46 am

  10. How is eagerness related to anxious engagement?

    Comment by Jacob J — August 2, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  11. That’s a helluva curve, Geoff.

    Comment by Rusty — August 2, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  12. True Rusty. But the same jobs need to be filled in every ward regardless of the talent pool…

    Jacob — I haven’t decided how to work anxious engagement in to this silly concept yet. Any ideas?

    Comment by Geoff J — August 2, 2010 @ 9:31 am

  13. Oh, and happy birthday Rusty!

    Comment by Geoff J — August 2, 2010 @ 9:49 am

  14. So if a General Authority was to visit my ward, say yesterday, because his son was blessing their baby, and my wife and I made a list of who we thought were going to stand up and give “extra special” testimonies, where would a) we lie on the eagerness curve and b) where would the testimony talent show people lie?

    (PS I beat my wife by getting 4 of my 5 names)

    Comment by Riley — August 2, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  15. Riley, you’re being cynical. Besides, being eager for a GA doesn’t usually help. You’ve got to save that for the SP.

    Comment by WVS — August 2, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  16. “testimony talent show”

    Classic.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 2, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  17. Noted. Plus I think the SP was there too…

    Comment by Riley — August 2, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  18. I like this very useful term, “eager”. When compared to the obviously pejorative “upwardly-mobile” or “brown-noser,” being “eager” is so wonderfully ambiguous. Thanks.

    Comment by Hunter — August 2, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  19. Geoff, my worry is that eagerness and anxious engagement are pretty much the same (or closely correlated) and that my lack of eagerness is my own character flaw rather than just a character flaw of those who are eager for the wrong reasons.

    If Screwtape Letters taught me anything, it is that there are diverse ways to get to hell. Being overly eager for positional power and the praise men is one. Being lazy and not wanting responsibility is another.

    However, I don’t see many people gunning for callings where I live, so I may not be properly calibrated to appreciate this post fully.

    Comment by Jacob J — August 2, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  20. Well if it makes you feel better Jacob let’s relate eagerness to pining for prestigious callings and anxious engagement to our relationship with God. That way you can let yourself off the hook if you are not super eager.

    If Screwtape Letters taught me anything, it is that there are diverse ways to get to hell.

    Maybe another reason to lean toward universalism… Life is hard enough without all the self-imposed guilt/misery/self-doubt we like to heap on ourselves.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 2, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  21. Alas, now I cannot even be eager
    to offer my service, however meager.
    For wife, no calling would surely relieve her.
    Too bad, I’m just a brown-nosing little beaver.

    Comment by Hal — August 6, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  22. Life is hard enough without all the self-imposed guilt/misery/self-doubt we like to heap on ourselves.

    Geoff, as a leaner toward universalism myself (as you know) I hope it is clear that I intended “diverse ways to get to hell” as a colorful way of saying that the people who are not “eager” for callings should be a bit careful about how eagerly they sneer.

    Comment by Jacob J — August 6, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  23. I suppose it is unavoidable that words like Eager would be construed as sneering. I actually don’t mean it in a sneering way. Rather I was hoping to provide a light-hearted terminology that described the situation among active LDS in a non sneering way. Oh well.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 6, 2010 @ 11:36 am

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