Saturday, December 22, 2007

The CTR Ring

Over at “The Journal of a Black Mormon Girl”, she talked about a CTR ring. And she talked about how cool the originals were. You know, the adjustable ones that turn your fingers green.

I used to have one of those many years ago (though still in my adulthood). I loved wearing it, but occasionally it would snag on something, pull away a bit, and then the ring would pinch my finger something awful. Ouch!

So, I got one that was a full ring, instead of the adjustable kind. I don’t remember what happened to it. I think it fell off and was lost.

I never had one as a child. I used to joke that this was the reason I turned out the way I did. If I’d only had a CTR ring, everything would have been fine. One ring to rule them all, you know…

So, as I began my adult life, I got one and wore it pretty much constantly. Once someone asked me which way it should be worn. If you hold your hand out flat in front of you, should the shield be right-side-up, visible to you? Or Upside-down, visible to others? That got me thinking. Who is it really for?

On the one hand (pardon the pun), it should be there to remind me to Choose the Right. The symbolic way to wear this one would be facing me. The problem is, it never worked that well for me. I mean, if I’m going to be an idiot, I can do it just fine, with or without the ring, ya know? And I know this to be true, because I’ve done plenty of stupid things while wearing a CTR ring.

So, I ended up choosing to wear it facing out, because it really did a lot of good for me that way. At the time, I was living in Utah, and I was working a lot in the local music scene. I’d mix sound for a band, or record another one in the studio. I was often in places and with people who didn’t maintain my own standards. In those situations, having a CTR ring was a great way to let people know I was a member of the church, and I didn’t have to announce it or say a word.

It was amazing to watch. People would correct their swearing around me, they would automatically not offer me cigarettes, beer or any other banned substance. There were some that did, having not noticed the ring, or choosing to ignore it anyway, but there were many more that did not. Many times I got into quite deep conversations about the church and life as an active member as people mentioned the ring.

I’m not a big fan of a lot of the Mormon kitchy home decorations, but I allow them in my home. Partly because my wife loves them, but also from something I learned when I was delivering pizzas. You can tell immediately when you walk into the home of an active church member. Nobody has to say anything, but there are pictures of temples and the savior all around. It’s a way of announcing, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And you don’t have to get up in anyone’s face about it.

So, the BMG (Black Mormon Girl – She didn’t post her name at her blog) wants to start a fraternity/sorority using the greek CTR. “Chi Theta Rho” And have everyone wear the greek CTR ring. I don’t have to do anything embarrassing to pledge, do I?

Mark Hansen


  1. Haha, Nice! So maybe we can be Chi Theta Rho family, yeah?

    I'm working on the t-shirts ;)

    hazing starts next week

    ~ A Black Mormon Girl

  2. Very cool, I like it.

    Hazing . . . hmmmm, yeah, no. Not gonna!

    By the way, I tagged you on my blog yesterday. Sorry I forgot to tell you. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Wow, here's how ignorant I am. I had never heard of the CTR ring before this. I have an album by GTR, but I think that is diffrent. Had I ever seen such a ring I would never have made a connection to LDS or any other church. Similarly, it took me forever to figure out the WWJD thing too.

    That's pretty cool that people recognize a symbol of your faith and, though they may not share your beliefs, at least respect them enough to mitigate their behavior. People see the ring I wear (a simple pentagram), and reactions range from, "Don't you know what that means?!?" to. "Why do you wear such an eeevilll symbol?!?" and usually the attempts at soul-saving begins. Those who share my faith, if they say anything at all (we usually don't say anything in public), will only say, "nice ring". That's about as far as our "secret handshake" ever goes.

  4. Created the secret handshake over christmas. It's sooo cool.

    Whattayamean No gonna on the hazing?

    Who DOESN'T want to wrestle in green jello with carrot sliver shavings?

    My youth put a twist on the WWJD?
    They created those rubber bracelets that say? WWJD? DJWW!
    What Would Jesus Do?
    Devil Just Wont Win!

    Pretty clever. I like this one even better though:
    WWJD? (who wants a Jelly Donut?)

    haha! Release the peace!

  5. I know an office manager who decided that WWJD meant What Would "J" (the boss) Do? No one in the office was LDS or Christian for that matter and weren't in on the joke. But it stuck. hehe

  6. Nice story, I used to always flip mine around depending on the week, whether it was facing towards or away... prob should've staid inward more often too. If you want to pick up a new CTR ring check out, they have a bunch of cool designs, I don't think they sell those finger color changing ones anymore :)



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