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January 4, 2005 1:48 PM   Subscribe

The Mormons Got Game!
"Mortality!" Finally, a truly fun, uplifting gospel game!

Mortality is built around gospel principles as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, no LDS background is necessary in order to play, enjoy, or win the game, which makes it a wonderful missionary activity. It's great for parties and mixers. Get a game going with your friends, and you'll find yourselves laughing over the troubles each player meets: Your children come home from school with lice; a hailstorm wipes out your tomato plants; you break your arm on the kids' jungle gym; mice invade your teenage son's stash of Twinkies. If you have enough inner strength, you'll grow from each of these challenges. Otherwise, they may do you in!
posted by miss lynnster (33 comments total)

 
"Ooooh! The Game of Lent!"
posted by Captain_Tenille at 2:00 PM on January 4, 2005


Ah, I fondly remember the spiritual growth I gained when my snack cakes were ravaged by rodents.

I learned, but, oh, the pain!
posted by sourwookie at 2:04 PM on January 4, 2005


I'd make a remark about Pepsi Blue®, but Mormons don't drink caffeinated beverages.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:11 PM on January 4, 2005


Broken arms! Lice! BWAHAHAHAHA!
posted by SisterHavana at 2:12 PM on January 4, 2005


Technically, only coffee and tea are prohibited. Other caffeinated beverages are discouraged, but you can still drink them.

/hair-split

Hmm, come to think of it, perhaps that's what lead me down the path of sin.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 2:13 PM on January 4, 2005


I haven't had this much fun since I was a Catholic!
posted by ronin21 at 2:22 PM on January 4, 2005


[go straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect 200$]
posted by adrien at 2:24 PM on January 4, 2005


I think that the Game of Life started out as a religious game also.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:25 PM on January 4, 2005


It's not the Mormons' fault, but the phrase "take turns being the bishop" is pretty much damaged goods at this point.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:29 PM on January 4, 2005


It's not the Mormons' fault, but the phrase "take turns being the bishop" is pretty much damaged goods at this point.

I was always disappointed as a young lad that our bishops didn't wear cool hats.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 2:31 PM on January 4, 2005


snopes on mormons and caffeine.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:31 PM on January 4, 2005


Broken arms! Lice! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Seriously. Where's the real stuff, like losing a limb and some of your humanity in a war? Where's the heart-wrenching choices in discovering that the woman you're engaged to and love dearly may carry genetic trouble that would mean your kids could have learning disabilities (happened to someone I know, and the choice to marry the woman anyway was not an easy one)?

But... I actually think a game that examines the paths your life can take, one that examines some real turns can be useful. A couple of years ago I was dating a woman who told me she'd been part of a family conversation where her younger sister said "When I get my first job, it's going to be something important, not fast food -- that's for people like Becky." Becky had in fact started working at Hardees, but was no slouch -- degree in international finance, spoke three languages, interned with Arthur Anderson in Germany, but had for personal reasons, chosen not to parlay all that into the heady career it could have become... which apparently caused her younger sister to look down on her.

I saw this a lot in some high school students, too, when I student taught, and even to some degree in myself, and also, in a number of my more succesful acquaintances... no apparent understanding of how different life events and different choices can take people different places. The closest way I could think of explaining it was to show "Good Will Hunting" to some of them and see what discussion came out of it. Could a well-designed game help?

Now that I think of it, I do remember one of my friends having a discussion like this in one of her human development classes back in school...
posted by weston at 2:34 PM on January 4, 2005


Technically, only coffee and tea are prohibited. Other caffeinated beverages are discouraged, but you can still drink them.

Huh. What's so wrong with coffee and tea? I can almost understand coffee... but tea? What's up with that?
posted by sbutler at 2:40 PM on January 4, 2005


If that were only the strangest thing about Mormonism, I would probably be less bitter towards it than I am now.

I assume, though, it's because coffee and tea, along with alcohol and tobacco, happened to be the substances people were familiar with back in the 1840s or thereabouts that might not be necessarily good for you. That the gist of what I was I was told, anyway. Had the "Word of Wisdom" been written now, it would be quite a bit longer.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 2:45 PM on January 4, 2005


People with different beliefs, man are they funny!
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 3:00 PM on January 4, 2005


Huh. What's so wrong with coffee and tea? I can almost understand coffee... but tea? What's up with that?

I am not a Mormon, but my family is. I have been to their churches. I was a Boy Scout in a Mormon troop. The prohibition against coffee and tea was explained thusly: your body and mind must be pure to get into heaven, and drugs pollute your body.

From that point of view, drinking Coke but not Coffee (as my entire family does -- if my Mormon relatives quit drinking Coke, the stock would tank) is just plain stupid. But then again, so taking Aspirin would also be verboten. I am sure there is much convoluted, nonsense logic in official church doctrine to explain these difficulties, but I am not interested. Like all religions, logic is not going to help you understand it.

But I wonder if Grandma and Grandpa will want to play this game at the next family shindig?
posted by teece at 3:11 PM on January 4, 2005


MetaFilter: People with different beliefs, man are they funny!

A very meta troll indeed!
posted by basicchannel at 3:13 PM on January 4, 2005


Darn, I just noticed that my title got partially deleted... it was supposed to read: "Next up: Matzo! The Jewish Game!" or something like that.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:19 PM on January 4, 2005


[The actual text of the prohibition that applies to coffee and tea, taken from the 1833 Word of Wisdom (also known as Doctrine & Covenants), applies to "hot beverages": "And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly." (D&C 89:9) This prohibition was specifically defined as coffee and tea later, in 1842, since those two beverages were the dominant hot drinks of the day.

Later, church leaders made clear that cola drinks were strongly discouraged as well, saying that imbibing them was a "violation of the spirit of the Word of Wisdom" (Bruce McConkie). There is a general prohibition on coffee and tea, but just "counsel" against cola drinks.]

This game looks pretty cool, but it's no Oregon Trail. Oh no, my family died of cholera!
posted by jeffmshaw at 3:20 PM on January 4, 2005


"Run to fellowship the player who has lost all his testimonies, and you will gain more strength for yourself."

What does "losing all (one's) testimonies" mean? And how is "fellowship" a verb?
posted by beetsuits at 3:24 PM on January 4, 2005


As a youth, you begin making decisions on your own that can help you later on or be a detriment to your later progress. You can serve as an LDS missionary, go on dates, and either get a civil marriage or a temple marriage. Avoiding a civil marriage may require some careful advance planning in order to avoid landing on the "civil marriage" square.

Mormons don't get marriage licenses and register their marriages civilly, in addition to the religious ceremony? (I mean, at least for the first wife.) I've never heard that before.
posted by Melinika at 3:24 PM on January 4, 2005


Your children come home from school with lice; a hailstorm wipes out your tomato plants; you break your arm on the kids' jungle gym ...

You get tarred and feathered.
posted by grabbingsand at 3:32 PM on January 4, 2005


My born-again Christian sisters talk about her fellowship and testimonies constantly... I'm sure it's basically the same concept. Found these Christian definitions on the web:

FELLOWSHIP: "To fellowship means to have something in common. While we as Christians have many things in common, the one essential ingredient of Christian fellowship is Christ Himself. We can have fellowship with one another, but we also can have fellowship with the Father and with His Son."
TESTIMONY: "A testimony is also called "faith sharing" which is the recounting of how the Lord is working in someone’s life. It is always a first-hand experience, not another person’s story. If the testimony is led by the Spirit, the result will be that the center of the testimony is the honor and glory of Jesus, not the person sharing."
posted by miss lynnster at 3:37 PM on January 4, 2005


This is nothing like the missionary games I've heard about.
posted by effwerd at 3:52 PM on January 4, 2005


Melinika:

I grew up Mormon, though am no longer. About marriage, what they are referring to is this: Good Mormons get married in the temple, where they are "sealed" to each other for all eternity. This is called a "temple marriage".

If you don't get married in the temple (i.e., you were "bad" in the church's eye and can't go to the temple) you have a typical wedding outside of the temple - or what they consider a "civil service". In a civil service, you don't get all the blessings of being sealed to each other, and when you die, you won't be together in heaven.

In order to be recognized by the state, etc they still have to get marriage licenses and all the stuff us normal folk do.
posted by Keurigirl at 4:26 PM on January 4, 2005


They get magic underwear, too.
posted by effwerd at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2005


I went to the house of my then-gf years ago, and the people she was boarding with made us have fellowship - by doing the washing up! Fellowship sucks. Testify!
posted by Sparx at 5:13 PM on January 4, 2005


effwerd,

fringe benefits.
posted by pmbuko at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2005


Man, when will people stop cloning turn of the previous century game designs?
Here's a Mormon game that might actually be fun. YMMV :-)
posted by C.Batt at 5:30 PM on January 4, 2005


There is nothing wrong with having faith in God. There's nothing to be snarky about when discussing the humiliation of having a kid with lice, or the alarm of a child's broken bone. There's something to be said for starting with smaller matters. Otherwise, they wouldn't recommend it at a party. It's like a religious cross betweein Scruples and Truth or Dare.

But there's nothing wrong with having faith in God. I vote that the blue staters start joining churches and returning them to the respectable behavior of their illustrious past, such as defense of immigrants, labor rights, and the homeless. Despite the efforts of the evangelical masses, many churches are chock full of real ChristiansSnark is dismissive and unproductive.

Many of the people who share experience and views with the average MeFite believe in God. I sing as an alto in a choir full of sinners, and we nevertheless pray plenty. We pray for a safe drive home, and we say thanks for waking up and having the activity of our limbs and mind. We pray to sound good, and to feel good when we sing, and to sing with a spiritual perspective.

When not at choir, some members smoke pot and drink and fornicate and lie. Some are on oxygen. Some are gay. Some are foster moms, or have lost their kids, or have no job and few resources, and we all come back to the choir to pray and sing with a vengeance. We have just celebrated our 27th anniversary. The choir meets in Michael's basement, and at Christmas we fill the room from the bar to the couches in back. The rehearsals are best, where we are singing for ourselves and, hopefully, God's enjoyment.

The songs that we sing are about ordinary life, and contemporary gospel music has the frank and moving poetry of modern hip hop and is intensely personal.

It's good that a faith decided to use a game to talk about religion, and as false as it rings, it's no more false than any other early iteration of any other form of game - or any other form of art for that matter.
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:20 PM on January 4, 2005


Thanks for explaining that, keurigirl!
posted by Melinika at 7:16 PM on January 4, 2005


By The Grace of God: Any snarkiness I've had in this thread (which isn't much, imho) is from discussing a religion I was brought up in. I think I have the right to say what I will about it. In fact, I think I've held back quite a bit.

As far as asking more Mefites to believe in God, I'm sorry Dave, but I can't do that.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 8:48 PM on January 4, 2005 [1 favorite]


I totally missed the part where anyone said there was something wrong with having faith in God. And with all due respect, my personal faith in God includes the idea that having a healthy sense of humor is a major blessing in life.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:33 AM on January 5, 2005


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