Dear Sister Sassy: Guest Editor

Due to her many social engagements, Sister Sassy has invited a guest editor to answer some of her many letters pleading for guidance.  Guest editors W. Dean Belnap and Glen C. Griffin wrote  About life and love: Facts of life for LDS teens published in 1968.  Their answers to these questions (as drawn from the above text) are denoted by quotation marks. In some places Sister Sassy inferred from the text what Belnap and Griffin would have to say and answered on their behalf — no quotation marks in those places.

Church leaders always tell us we shouldn’t date just one person, but that is the cultural norm now and if I try to date around then it makes me look bad.  Should I have a boyfriend?

 “If you go steady, you are tied to one person.  There is no uncertainty, no suspense, no worry about a date, but there is no variety . . . just the same dull ‘creep’ with the same jokes, the same hair dressing, the same date pattern”

 Okay, but what about after you’re married? Will my husband seem like a boring creep?

“ These consistent qualities will be great and the same faults tolerable when you find that very special person and become married.”

A good friend of mine lost her life in an car accident.  Can you offer me some comfort?

 “We talk about the death rate due to the automobile in this nation, how we kill on the highways during the year more than we have killed during many major wars in the United States, and yet these dead people will ultimately live again – they will be resurrected.  Have you ever thought of the spiritual death rate in an automobile? Sexual intimacies that can lead to tragedy and unchastity? These are the real tragedies in the automobile.  This type of death is not as easily taken care of as mortal death.”

So you’re saying the real question is whether she was a virgin or not?


She was a virgin, but I am still really upset that she died.

Again, the real tragedy is parking.  Mortal death is easily taken care of.

I recently got married and I love to imagine myself and my wife being middle aged and established in the world.  What do you think that will be like?

“What happens to your dream girl in 20 or 30 years when she gets wrinkles around her eyea ns her flesh has lost that yougthful charming beauty and her hair gets stringy, perhaps from leaning over a hot stove, or her body gets a little slack from child-bearing? Forget the dream.  Alight yourselves with reality or you’re liable to be disappointed.”

My preschooler is defiant, hits and calls me names.  His teacher assured me it is developmentally normal and encouraged me to read some parenting books or join a support group to talk with other parents in the same situation and get strategies for appropriate response.  Do you have any advice?

 “When you needed spanking as a child, your parents should have spanked you instead of giving you a few pats on the behind – stopping when you blurted out a loud cry.  A crying child does hurt parents.  Yet, children must be properly disciplined.  If a youngster deserves punishment, the parents hurt or sympathy should not be cause to let the crime go because this only leads to a lack of respect for law and authority.  We’re sure you see this now, and hope it isn’t too late.”

The research I’ve read suggests that hitting children is, in the long run, a bad thing.

Your child will grow up to be a criminal and you are a bad parent who stops hitting your child just because he or she is screaming in fear and pain.

I’m new to my town and would like to help my kids make friends.  Any advice?

“A boy’s best friend is a boy.  This association is very important because it gives him an idea of what it means to be masculine.  This includes pre-teen boys thinking that they have to be tough and that they have to prove that they aren’t sissies by rough-housing, wrestling with their friends and even punch one another for no reason.  This is nothing more than an expression of growing awareness of masculinity. The interests of girls at this time are totally different from the interests of boys.  Girls change from tom-boy ways and rough activities and become more delicate.”

That seems toxic and is an unnecessarily broad generalization about gender roles.

“Natural childhood activity is for boys to act like boys and girls to act like girls.”

I have two kids and am happy with my family size, even though in the past Latter Day Saint families were often quite large.  Is that okay?

 “All too often the decision is made by young (and older) married couples to wait awhile to have children or to limit the family to a certain few.  President David O. McKay says that most often this is based on selfishly motivated reasons. President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “When a man and woman agree or covenant to limit their offspring to two or three, and practice devices to accomplish this purpose, they are guilty of iniquity which eventually must be punished.”

So my IUD…?

Is a one-way ticket to Hell. Say hi to Satan.


That’s all for today! Feel free to leave a question for Sister Sassy in the comments and she’ll try to get to it in the next edition!


*** Note: I did not ask the authors of the book any of these questions.  This is meant as a satirical look at outdated advice peddled by LDS authors.

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6 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Oh my gosh, this is pure gold. Hahaha!! Thank you, sister sassy and guest editors! This was the laugh I needed to start my day.

  2. Ziff says:

    Yikes! Your guest editors are full of . . . something for sure!

  3. Heather says:

    Bless their sweet souls! Thank you Sister, for this refreshing dose of loud laughter.

  4. Dani Addante says:

    This is hilarious! I especially loved the response to the IUD question!

  5. GEOFF -AUS says:

    We were married in 1970, it was not funny. Better in retrospect, except that is the the time the present doomsdayers hold up as ideal.

  6. jennifer breinholt says:

    To be fair, I bet many non-LDS “facts of life” books printed in 1968 had similar messages. Thoughts about spanking, “going steady,” etc. were common back then. However, the “doctrinal” messages in the book (spiritual death, family size) were/are unique to LDS culture and definitely deserve derision.

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