Burning Bosom

Theology, History, Culture, Politics & Life from a LDS (Mormon) Perspective

The Promise of the Rings: Answering the Call for New Mormon Folklore

Posted by Andrew on February 15, 2008

RingsIn a recent Mormon Matters post, my compadre Super Nerd lamented the endangered status of stories about Big Foot, the Three Nephites, and the Lost Tribes of Israel that used to abound in Mormon culture. Whether he intended it or not, I interpreted his lamentation about the disappearance of those magical stories as a call for New Mormon Folklore. So ladies and gentlemen, I now humbly come before you, with slight trepidation yet firm resolve, to answer that noble call!

As with any enduring folklore, it all begins with a kernel of truth. So I am going to tell you two brief, bona fide, 100% true stories, which I will then use to reach a completely fantastical conclusion. With your help in spreading these stories around, as well as your creative embellishments that I encourage you to add, we can together create a new generation of Mormon folklore that will sustain the fruit of our loins for generations to come!

True Story #1

Two weekends ago my wife and I were in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, enjoying a late-night soak in the world’s largest hot springs pools. Although it was a chilly 20 degrees with a light snowfall, we were comfortably enveloped in the warm mineral waters that filled two enormous outdoor pools. After spending a good two hours exploring the pools from end to end–which measure a total of 529 feet in length and 100 feet in width–we walked the back into the locker rooms, changed into our clothes, walked out to our car in the snow-covered parking lot, and drove to a convenience store for a quick Gatorade run.

When we arrived at the convenience store, my wife gasped. She was holding up her left hand to show me her wedding ring which, as luck would have it, no longer held a diamond in its setting. Needless to say, my wife was beside herself. She frantically searched her clothing and the car, but couldn’t find the diamond. We then mentally retraced our steps and quickly realized it was the worst-case scenario for losing a diamond. My wife’s wedding ring had just spent two hours soaking in the largest pools we had ever seen, and the prospect of finding a clear diamond in that much water seemed hopeless. Worse, nearly every inch of ground in between our car, the locker room, and the pools was covered with snow that, I soon realized, looks an awful lot like diamonds.

Regardless of our hopeless situation, we said a prayer and retraced our steps, hoping against hopelessness to find the diamond. To make a long story short, when my wife emerged from the women’s locker room where she had previously changed her clothes that night, she was beaming, with the lost diamond tightly clenched between her fingertips. Thankfully, the diamond had gone unnoticed by others as it sat on the wet locker room floor.

True Story #2

A few months ago, my cousin and her husband were surfing at one of our beautiful beaches in South Orange County, California. As she sat atop her surf board, my cousin realized she had forgotten to remove her wedding ring before entering the water. Not wanting to risk losing it, she took off the ring and handed it to her husband to place in a zippered pocket. But in the transfer, the ring got dropped, and quickly sunk to the ocean floor.

They quickly tried to take note of their location by memorizing the locations of nearby landmarks. After much prayer, they returned to the location with a rented metal detector to search for the ring. But unfortunately, they couldn’t take the metal detector into the water, so they had to float out to the location where they thought they’d dropped the ring, and waved the metal detector over the water’s surface. The only problem was that there was too much distance between the water surface and the ocean floor, so the metal detector couldn’t pick up any signals, and they couldn’t find the ring.

Undeterred, they did some more praying and researching and found a place where they could rent an underwater metal detector, which they took to the location in the water where they thought the ring had been dropped. And, against all odds, they found the ring!

The Magical Conclusion: The Promise of the Rings

Now, one could easily cite these stories as examples of the power of prayer, but answered-prayer stories are a dime-a-dozen these days, aren’t they folks? And besides, we can never just be satisfied with the blessings that naturally flow from living the Gospel, can we? No, we feel compelled to morph the promised blessings of Gospel living into more fantastical promises, typically involving material rewards.

So in that spirit, here is the magical moral that I propose we take from the true stories I just told you, which I want you all to immediately start spreading to all your Mormon friends and family. I call it the Promise of the Rings, which is:

When wedding rings are exchanged in the temple, those rings are sealed to their owners forever, and can never be lost!

Now, I know what all you skeptics out there are doing already. You’re thinking about your Aunt Eliza and your Cousin Orson and every other Mormon you know that has lost their wedding ring and been sealed in the temple. But I’ve got a wooden stake to drive through your doubt-ridden hearts, because there’s an important caveat to my magical moral:

The Promise of the Rings will be honored only so long as the the couple remain faithful to their covenants.

So you see, the reason why the Promise of the Rings came true for my wife and I, and for my cousin and her husband, is that we are obviously holding up our end of the bargain. But as for your Aunt Eliza and Cousin Orson, well, I hate to say it, but it looks like there are some family secrets that you ain’t discovered yet.

So go forth now, my friends, boldly and nobly, taking with you the story of the Promise of the Rings. Carry it into your church hallways and foyers, your Sunday School classes and Relief Society rooms, your cultural halls and social halls. Teach your youth this important concept of Ring Insurance. Add embellishments to these stories at will, and see if you can find a way to slip Bigfoot, The Three Nephites, and the Lost Tribes of Israel into them somehow.

Together, we can restore the magical world that has been trampled upon by the thundering jackboots of skepticism and disbelief!

Each of us!

One magical story at a time!


10 Responses to “The Promise of the Rings: Answering the Call for New Mormon Folklore”

  1. I play a lot of golf and basketball, which do not go along well with wedding rings. Particularly golf. I have lost my wedding ring several times, and each time I have eventually found it after prayer and searching. Except for the last time.

    Maybe this only works like 7 times. Either that or I need to talk to my bishop.

  2. Chris H. said

    Another one for the folklore files:

    I recently was in Tempe, shooting photographs of the Tempe Arts Center as the sun was setting. After a couple of hours of wandering all over the adjoining grounds, I finally decided to wrap it up and head home. I had just started to walk back to my car when I realized that I no longer had my wedding ring. Because I had been intently concentrating on the shots I wanted to get, I had no idea when the ring had come off. I carry a little LED headlamp in my camera bag, so I pulled that out and started sweeping it back and forth across the huge expanse of lawn, recognizing that the odds of finding the ring were infinitesimal. After searching for a while, I finally gave up, but as I was getting ready to leave, I had a flash of inspiration. Maybe the ring had fallen off in the camera bag when I was moving equipment around. And, lo and behold, there it was.

    The reality of the Promise of the Rings manifests itself yet again.

  3. Marc L said

    The “Promise of Rings” can also include empty gas tanks.

    When my wife and I were first married we had a difficult time financially. We had made some bad financial decisions and these, along with some bad luck, had colluded to create a situation whereby we were quite broke.

    An interesting opportunity had come up whereby I would make a significant amount of money by creating a web site for a large and well-known company. They had found me somewhat by accident and had contacted me and wanted to get started immediately.

    The catch was that I had to meet them in their offices, located 30 miles away, within the next few hours of our original phone conversation. No problem, except for the fact that we were broke and the gas tank in the car (we had one car then) was empty.

    After significant soul-searching, we decided to pray. We did pray and it seemed that I was prompted (it could have all been my imagination and another poor financial decision) to go ahead and go to the meeting on the empty tank.

    Even at 25 miles to the gallon (which was iffy at best in the older SUV we had then) it would take at least 2 or 3 gallons for the trip. The needle was impaled on the “E” and the red, “you’re an idiot for letting it get this low” light was beaming it’s mocking glare directly into my eyes when I turned the key.

    I decided to go for it and deal with the consequences afterward. I got on the freeway, all the while trying HARD to ignore the dead fuel indication needle. I instead looked at billboards, license plates, buildings and stared intently at other drivers just to avoid looking at the fuel gauge.

    I made it to my meeting. I got the gig and was ecstatic. But I had to get home.

    I got back on the freeway, said another prayer and off I went, ignoring the Red Light Of Emptiness all the while.

    41 minutes later I pulled back into our garage. I had made it. I still don’t know how. Maybe it was all coincidence and a faulty fuel gauge. Maybe it was divine answer to prayer. Whatever it was, we immediately wrote out our tithing check and eventually got back on our feet financially.

    I saw three homeless guys on the way and maybe, just maybe, they were the three Nephites.

  4. Brent A said

    Hey Marc, out of curiosity, was it during Hanukka when your gas story happended?

  5. Mike L. said

    I lost my wedding band about a year ago. I had been sinning because my wife was overwhelmed with laundry and I wasn’t helping like a good husband. After about a week I repented and started to do a load of laundry. As I picked up a big pile of clothes that had accumulated, I saw my ring in the carpet underneath.

    I’m a believer. In fact, I’ll add that when we are sinning the ring is bound to be lost until we repent. Much like the liahona stopped working with Lehi’s family lost faith. And we can know that we haven’t yet been forgiven if we still haven’t found the ring.

  6. Craig A. said

    I lost my ring once while changing a tire by the side of a road. As I searched in the loose dirt and gravel, this mexican looking guy with a headband on and golden armbands came up beside me and handed it to me. This was after I prayed of course. He didn’t tell me his name but drove off into the sun.

  7. Mike L. said

    Did this man happen to have rediculously huge muscles?

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