Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Pet Peeve

I recently happened upon an online discussion about the culture that has developed in many Latter Day Saint congregations where meetings start at least 15 minutes late because a large portion of the membership can’t bother to get there on time. It is so prevalent that people pass it off by humorously saying we run on Mormon Standard Time.

While the article made some good points about the need to make punctuality a priority, the numerous comments that followed almost exclusively ran in the same vein. Things like “that is my pet peeve” and “people who aren’t on time think their time is more valuable than mine” and “I have 12 kids and I’m an hour early every week, others should be able to do it if I can!”

As I read I got mad, and found myself thinking the following. “What a bunch of self-righteous, sanctimonious jerks! Do they not understand that some of those folks dragging in 10 minutes after the festivities have started don’t have the same life they do? How many people have walked out of the Church forever because of unkind judgment and nitpicking just like this?”

7 seconds later while huffing and puffing, I was reminded by a still small voice that I was currently involved in the conduct I was so harshly condemning those commentators of. Not only that, but in the past had said some of the exact phrases they were using about people doing activities that irritated me.

People being perfectly punctual is not one of the things that bothers me (considering my family runs on Mormon Standard Time regularly) but I do have a large and assorted laundry list of behaviors I like to criticize others for.


So I started looking up information. Here’s what Princeton.edu defines a pet peeve as.

(pet peeve) an opportunity for complaint that is seldom missed.

A search on LDS.org brought up the topics murmuring, judging others, and gossip.

Double bugger.

While it is commendable to strive for the ideal, it is when we start criticizing others for not being as punctual, or neat, or as righteous as we are that we have stepped over into the realm of pride and unrighteous judgment.

Elder Neal A Maxwell said “Those of deep faith do not murmur. They are generously disposed, and they are reluctant to murmur, even while in deep difficulties…”

And in one of the best General Conference talks ever Elder Uctdorf said the following.

"This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?

Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven? . . .

The people around us are not perfect (see Romans 3:23). People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way.

Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way."

Judgement of this kind is damaging in so many ways. It hurts the one it is directed at (yes, they can actually tell that you are annoyed and judging them) and it is destroying to our own souls. Meekness, patience, longsuffering, those virtues that we must acquire to make it home are demolished by this behavior, and it is so easy to fall into.

So the next time I catch myself thinking “it just drives me crazy that they can’t manage to…” or “that is one of my pet peeves” or “why can’t they just…” I think I’ll just STOP IT.




  1. Absolutely loved princeton.edu's definition of "pet peeve". I will never utter that phrase with the same mindset again. And now I shall go have a serious talk with Brad about his judgmental and sanctimonious attitude when I am running on Mormon Standard Time and he is not.

    Now let's talk about why you were up blogging at 2:46 a.m...

    1. I did love the definition. It is spot on but you just never think of it that way. We tend to justify our unkindness. I love it when we can call things what they are and then get better. And so you know the very best blogging almost always happens in the wee hours of the night. :)


Comments are the bee's knees! Thanks for sharing.

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