Lions and Tigers and Bedlamites, Oh My!

First things first, we can’t say enough about how wonderful April 2011 General Conference was this past weekend, we felt saved, sanctified and Holy Ghost filled! Now let’s get to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland! When Elder Holland made that hilarous remark about trying to hold Family Home Evening inspite of the bedlam in a house reigned by little “bedlamlites,” he had us rolling (urban translation, rolling: laughing extremely hard). The word Bedlamites is definitely getting added to the Mormon dictionary, right next to Nephites and Lamanites.

Bedlamites will now be the beloved word used to reference rambunctious children; it will be the loving way Primary teachers refer to their unruly pupils. Sunbeams and Bedlamites will probably now be interchangeable. We can see the t-shirts that Desert Book will start selling; “My Bedlamite is cuter than your Bedlamite,” “Lions and Tigers and Bedlamites, Oh My!” “Todays’ Bedlamite’s are tomorrow’s Stripling Warriors.”
Now, when we looked up bedlamite on, (we were checking to see if the Church had copyrighted it yet, LDS folk get things done quick, fast and in a hurry) it said, and we quote “Bedlamite: an insane person; lunatic.” Yup, Elder Holland just politely called ya kids crazy!

Is there anyone out there who knows the art of politely telling it like it is better than the Mormons do? If you aren’t LDS and a young man was to tell you that you’re daughter has a sweet spirit, you would probably be so flattered. Well don’t be, cause that means that boy thinks her personality is nice and all, but he’s not really feelin’ her in the looks department. I know you can’t believe it, but that is what that sugar-coated comment actually means.
ESPN writer, Rick Reilly recently wrote an article about Jimmer Fredette that some Mormons were upset about, this is what Rick had to say about the hate mail: “The best hate mail in America comes from BYU fans. Even when they’re spitting 20-penny nails, they’re still incurably nice. Alabama fans will write hoping you die a slow, painful death, staked to an anthill while your mom watches, but the worst a BYU fan will say to you is that you’re not going to heaven.”

That’s how we roll. We LDS like to L-D-S (Let’em Down Sensitively). Rick Reilly, take a lesson from the Mormons next time you’re talking about Jimmer’s fans say something like, “I can’t believe all the Bedlam those BYU Bedlamites are causing”, it may go over a little better. On the real, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk was excellent, you can catch it here. And just in case some of you still don’t believe us about the phrase “sweet spirit,” here’s the lyrics to the song “Sweet Spirit” by Sons of Provo.

God Bless,
Sista Beehive & Sista Laurel

  • Raizy Lou

    I have been calling my kids little belamites all week! Great post!

  • I about fell out of my chair laughing at the video that you have with this post. That catch phrase of “sweet spirit” was like dating poison when I was in college and applied equally to gals and guys.

    It’s a shame that we have allowed popular culture to infect the attitudes within the church to the degree that young men and women are not willing to give someone a chance in dating because they are not a “well-tabernacled spirit”.

  • Funny post. I’ve missed your posts lately. I hope this means your back on board.

  • The Sons of Provo’s soundtrack is the Best LDS CD of all time. Movie- horrible, the CD- an unexpected delight.

  • @Raizy Thanks!
    @Shelley “well-tabernacled” that made our day.
    @Tracy Thanks for missing us, we are back 🙂
    @Salt We just started listening to the songs for the first time and love it!

  • I love you guys. I always get an awesome laugh or some good food for thought (or both) when I read this blog. Keep it up!

  • Welcome back, Sistas! Thanks also for your recent comment on our site.

    Conference was so wonderful. I felt sad when it was over, sort of like the post-Christmas letdown.

    Bedlamites was a classic. I’m also going around talking about the doo-bee-doo-bee-doo talk with my kids. 😉

  • @Kristina Thanks for the kind words!
    @Mormon Women You are right, Conference was AMAZING! Cheer up, unlike Christmas Conference comes twice a year so it’s just a six month count down. And the doo-bee talk has making our To Be lists already. 🙂

  • I’ve only recently found your blog and have loved reading it. Keep posting.

  • FWIW, the definition given is rather incomplete, I think. Bedlam also refers to the racket that a group of insane persons might make.

    In fact, the Free Dictionary (known for much more complete definitions) gives “noisy uproar and confusion” as the first definition.

    But, the etymology of the word shows the insanity roots of the word. Bedlam was the name of an insane asylum in Victorian London.

  • @Darcee Welcome and thanks for encouragement.
    @Kent We were actually giving the definition of the word bedlamite, not the word bedlam. Thanks for the tip about Free Dictionary!

  • good stuff

  • @teamlaws Thanks!

  • I missed all of conference because we were moving across the country. I planned to start digging in this morning. I guess Elder Holland will be first up.

  • I am dying over here. I have never heard this song. It is so funny and awful all at once.

  • I agree Alice, it is funny and awful all at once and I think us ladies need to come up with one for all the “sweet spirited” men out there. Like the nerdy, tightwad, bald, stalker who never gave up asking me out after I point blank kept telling him I was “just not interested.” He also wanted to become a millionaire so he could feed hungry children in Africa… I’m sure he is a millionaire by now after taking all his dates to Wendy’s and ordering off the $1 menu. 😉

  • Grrrr

    I don’t think that song is funny at all. I find it insulting and the fact that women are ok with being told that their only worth is in their looks is absurd. Way to go Sons of Provo for perpetuating the problem of objectifying women. How about a song about the vapid, shallow women who are more concerned with the height of their ratted hair bump than being a good person? How about a song about the real women of this church: who are beautiful, strong, smart, leaders and yes, might have a sweet spirit.

  • susy

    The term “Bedlamite” dates back to the middle ages. It defines a patient at Bedlam, which is a colloquialism of the Royal Bethlem Hospital, which, founded in 1247, is the oldest public mental asylum in the world. Bedlamites were known to roam the streets looking for food and clothes, easy women, and worshipped the moon. Another term for a Bedlamite was “Mad Tom”, “Mad Tom o’ Bedlam”, “Tom o’ Bedlam”, or just “Poor Tom”. This term can be found in King Lear by Shakespeare when Edgar disguises himself as such. It is also the name of a famous ballad dating back to the early seventeenth century. The Royal Bethlem Hospital had a very big reputation back in the day as it was, in the full sense of the term, a madhouse. Patients were kept in terrible conditions, and very unsanitarily. Aristocrats, as a social outing enjoyed visiting Bedlam and poking the “freaks” with sticks. The history behind the word is exceedingly interesting.  

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  • Ashley Nance

    It’s funny because they’re not serious. It’s a total joke. It’s putting words to the elephant in the room whenever anyone calls someone a “sweet spirit” – it’s not actually a compliment. They’re making fun of people who say that to people and make it impossible for anyone who’s heard the song to believe it’s a nice thing to say.