Ann Cannon: With all these church changes, I’m dealing with a new malady — Mormon, er, Latter-day Saint whiplash

Ann Cannon

Please excuse me for a minute while I go to the emergency room to have my sore neck checked.

OK. I’m back now. The doctor took an X-ray and discovered I have a mild case of whiplash.

“Have you been involved in an accident recently?” the doctor asked.

“No,” I said. “Not since that woman with a cast on her leg ran a red light and broadsided me on Second South a few years ago.”

Here’s what I remember about that experience. The instant my car got hit, everything began happening in slow motion. The car spun around in slow motion. The people in the car behind me looked on in horrified slow motion. I hung onto the steering wheel for dear life in slow motion. My Dr Pepper splashed in slow motion. And all I could think was “Damn. My. Car. Seats. Will. Be. So. Sticky. Now. Because. Of. All. That. Dr. Pepper. Spurting. Everywhere.”

(Author’s note: All those periods represent me thinking in slow motion.)

Don’t you think it’s funny how Trauma Brain works? I mean, hello. My car was busy getting totaled on 200 South and I was worried about sticky seats.

Whatever. That’s not the point. The point is my doctor wondered why I was exhibiting signs of whiplash. I should have told him it’s because of all the changes that have been happening in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lately.

Here’s a brief recap of those changes:

1. We’re not Mormons anymore. We’re members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Which, frankly, is a mouthful.

2. This also means that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir isn’t the Mormon Tabernacle Choir anymore. It’s The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Which, frankly, is another mouthful.

3. We go to church for two hours instead of three now. Which has eliminated the need for me to sneak home and take a Dr Pepper break sometime between the first and third hours.

4. Like E.T., missionaries can phone home now on a weekly basis.

5. Also, they can text home on a weekly basis — an option not available to E.T. in 1982.

6. Eleven-year old boys don’t have to wait until they are 12 to be ordained deacons. (The same can’t be said of 11-year-old girls yet; or 12-year-old girls, for that matter.)

7. There have been significant changes in an important temple ceremony.

Shortly after the change from three-hour church to two-hour church was announced, I ran into a woman at the grocery store who’d read a conference column I’d written wherein I expressed a STRONG desire for less pew time. She and I were standing in the deli by that thing that keeps roasted chickens warm. (I add this detail only because I remember everything in my life by what food I was eating or smelling at the time.) She asked what I thought. And I told her that I was THRILLED. But that (surprisingly) I missed the sociability of the three-hour block. I don’t miss it enough to want to go to church for three hours again. But still.

Here’s the deal: Change — even if it’s change you’ve hoped for — can be hard. At least for me it is. You’d think at this age I would be better at dealing with change because by the time you’re my age, you’ve witnessed so much of it. In my lifetime alone, I have witnessed man going to the moon and man not going to the moon, which is part of the reason there are plenty of conspiracy nuts out there who think man never went to the moon.

And then there are the personal changes you experience along the way — children growing up and having children of their own, parents dealing with health issues, a career coming to an end. Wow. So much stuff.

Anyway. I’ll be tuning into conference this weekend to see if there are any more changes in store for us Not-Mormons. But first I’ll buckle up.

Ann Cannon is The Tribune’s advice columnist. Got a question for Ann? Email her at askann@sltrib.com or visit the Ask Ann Cannon page on Facebook.

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