17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tactics of a Disgruntled Organist

A few days ago I was having lunch at the home of one of Princess' preschool classmates. We chit-chatted over the chinese chicken salad and soon got on the topic of families. She briefly mentioned a number of her brothers and sisters. When I added them all up, it came to eight--just like my family. I was a little surprised at this similarity (especially with a non-mormon). She immediately asked if my family was religious. I smiled and said yes. Hers too--Catholic. "Mormon." I responded-- yes the two religions usually blamed for overpopulating did not fail their stereotypes in this instance.

"Are you still practicing?" she asked.


"Not me. I like to call myself a recovering Catholic."

Not knowing exactly how to respond I said "Oh."

She continued on to tell the story of her last days in the church. She played the church organ for many years. She finally got so sick of it that she asked the "powers that be" (not sure who) if she could quit. She was told that God had given her the calling to play the organ and she needed to keep doing it. Bitter, she went back to playing the organ. Soon after, she got the "great idea" of playing "inappropriate" music during communion.

I was a little puzzled. What did she mean by "inappropriate"?

She must have seen the question on my face because she continued with details. The Beatles, Queen. The soundtrack to The Godfather.

It didn't take them long to free her from her "God-given" organ playing calling after that.

This is probably blasphemous, but I couldn't stop laughing. The thought of the sweet woman who is the organist in my ward playing "Bohemian Rhapsody" as the sacrament meeting prelude music was just too much. Then I thought about the people in our church who really dislike their callings - it does happen on occasion I think :). It made me wonder to what lengths one might go to get released from said calling. I mean, in this case, the woman was obviously not just ready to leave her calling--she was also ready to leave the Catholic church. But you have to give her some creativity points for her exit.

If anyone else has heard of (or fantasized about) creative ways to get released from your calling please share. I promise I won't judge. Although the blasphemous laughter might take me down to hell anyway.


  • I thought getting pregnant would get me out of sunbeams, and it did. Then I got put with three 10 year old boys who lock me out of the classroom everyweek. I constantly think about how much it would cost to move so that we coule be in a different ward so that I could get away from those awful boys.
    posted by Blogger Razzy at 3/02/2007 01:32:00 PM  

  • AHHHAHAHHHAA. that is too rad. I want to meet this lady and give her some kudos.

    My DH always dares me to play something inappropriate on the piano for church so they won't keep on asking me, but I'm too chicken (plus I enjoy playing - its one of the easier callings).
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 3/02/2007 04:24:00 PM  

  • That is a pretty funny story! When I was young and bored in SM, I would often fantasize about our ward choir, full of white haired men and women, standing up and clapping their hands and singing like the black southern church choirs sing....not blasphemous by any means...but definitely out of character for our church.

    When I was in YWs in Astoria, and having a particularly hard time w. the calling, I considered getting my nose pierced to see if the bishopric would release me. Even though I have wanted to pierce my nose FOREVER, I didn't because a) knowing our ward, I probably wouldn't have been released b) too much guilt (prophet's words and my mom's reaction when I warned her I might do it) c) I loved the women I worked w. in YWs and didn't want to let them down. I'm glad I kept the calling (in this instance) because I really grew to love it...more after-the-fact than during...

    Oh yeah...and when I was a senior in high school, I was crazy-busy and was asked very last minute to give a talk in SM on the priesthood. I was really stressed out with all of my commitments and annoyed that they had asked so late....so I wrote a talk titled "Why Young Women Like Me Should Have the Priesthood"...of course, I chickened out and did a "real" talk...I wish I would have kept a copy of it though.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 3/02/2007 05:40:00 PM  

  • Man, I would love it if Sister Jones busted out with Bohemian Rhapsody!!
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 3/02/2007 10:20:00 PM  

  • I love this story. And I know there have been times I have fantasized, but none or coming to the surface right now...
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/03/2007 06:02:00 AM  

  • Jen-

    I don't think nose rings will do it. I've had two RS presidents who sport that particular style. Awesome people, too, which is why, I suppose, they were called as RS presidents. You'll have to come up with somethin' else. Maybe a belly button ring and a mid-riff baring top?
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 3/03/2007 08:09:00 AM  

  • My nose is already pierced- if I put a ring back in it, I might get released from my calling?? Really?! Cool!
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 3/03/2007 09:27:00 AM  

  • I think the closest I ever got was wanting to tell everyone in my new ward that instead of a music major I was a chemical engineering major (or something like that) so I wouldn't have to do so many musical number. Figured I couldn't keep that lie up though. Oh well....

    Funny story.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 3/03/2007 11:56:00 AM  

  • Heather O - Yeah, I'm sure my post-baby bare midriff would have sealed the deal as far as getting released....esp with my g's hanging out ;-)

    Tracy M - cool...I didn't know your nose was pierced! Did it hurt to get it done?
    posted by Blogger Jen at 3/03/2007 07:36:00 PM  

  • No, but I had the master piercer, Fakir Musafar do it when I lived in Santa Cruz many moons ago...

    My life was pretty, uh, colorful, for a while... ;)

    I haven't worn any jewlry in it for years now, so I don't know if I could even get a hoop back through it... it's not very Mormon to have a pierced nose, or so I've been told!
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 3/03/2007 07:58:00 PM  

  • Oh that is so funny! It reminds me of some ridiculous reality tv show a little while back. Something about two people trying to get fired from different jobs--so that had to come up with clever ways to get fired. I think I saw one episode and it was hilarious.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 3/04/2007 03:44:00 PM  

  • I just got a calling to the Sunbeams, today was my first day in class and I could really use any ideas to get me out allready, these kids are out of control!!
    posted by Anonymous jessiejo at 3/04/2007 06:03:00 PM  

  • Jessiejo, just start reading Charles Dickens to them in monotone and don't do any disciplining. Then I bet you'll get released. Leave the door open so other leaders can see (and kids can roam).
    posted by Blogger Katie at 3/04/2007 07:30:00 PM  

  • jessiejo - I was SO SCARED when I got my sunbeams calling b/c my class was VERY YOUNG and a few were a bit crazy! It ended up being one of my favorite callings and I still miss those kiddos. I prayed a lot though. :) Good luck.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 3/04/2007 07:32:00 PM  

  • I'm the ward organist (in addition to being the Elders Quorum President -- couldn't they pick just one?), and this week I made a bet with my wife. If I lost, I had to play the Star Wars theme on the organ during prelude next week.

    Here's to hoping that I'll win. Because if I have to get released from one of my callings, I'd want to keep ward organist :)
    posted by Blogger Inexperienced Dad at 3/05/2007 08:50:00 AM  

  • This is an awesome story.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 3/05/2007 10:10:00 AM  

  • I always threaten to tell J. Golden Kimball stories (especially when it's a talk that I'm being asked to give).

    I also have threatened to refer to a certain OT story as "Balam and His Talking ...", you get the picture. (But I really, really wish that I did do this! Especially after, as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, nobody batted an eyelash as I said "that's a load of crap!" in class.)

    I also joked with another Gospel Doctrine teacher (who I'm friends with) that we should pretend to smoke in the parking lot ... but since our husbands were in the Bishopric of the university wars we were in at the time, we didn't have the nerve to really carry it off.
    posted by Blogger Allanna at 3/05/2007 07:54:00 PM  

  • Oh Jen, I would have loved to see you with a nose ring, but you are right, it wouldn't have taken you out of YW in Queens.

    If you can wear a denim suit and sport a faux-hawk and still be a member of the bishopbric, you can definitely be in YW with a nosering.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/06/2007 09:31:00 PM  

  • Wow, the worst thing I've ever done was tell the bishop that if he didn't release me from my calling IMMEDIATLY I was going to stop coming to church and could not be held responsible for any other actions I might take.
    He just winked, told me it would be okay, took a piece of candy from my trick or treat bowl, and walked off.
    I WAS released the next Sunday for what it's worth.
    Sadly, there are so few people in our ward to hold callings that if you get released from one you're almost immediatly called to another one. I don't love the one I have now, but the other ones would be worse!
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 3/07/2007 01:27:00 PM  

  • Our ward organist used to sneak in tunes from popular songs (like Beatles, etc) into the sacrement meeting prelude music. He did it very subtly so no one could tell unless they were listening for it. It was a joke between the organist and the chorister, my father, which is the only reason I knew to listen for it. Sorry, that wasn't a story about a calling I had.
    posted by Blogger Brittany at 3/07/2007 02:33:00 PM  

  • mo mommy,

    I think that's more my style too, but I might try something more creative now if the opportunity ever presents itself. :)


    I love that you know someone who has actually played some "innapropriate music" at church. Even if it isn't to try to get released frmo a calling. I bet it's great knowing you are in on their little secret.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/07/2007 02:50:00 PM  

  • For the record: "On Eagles Wings" makes a perfect segue into "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina." Not only will no one notice the difference, they'll probably keep singing right along! --another disgruntled organist
    posted by Anonymous Victor Ney at 12/05/2007 08:56:00 AM  

  • I like to get up early to go out and breathe fresh air. I feel that it is good for health and a good habit

    posted by Blogger Love Kpop at 3/15/2018 08:50:00 PM  

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