Ponderize T-shirts sold at BYU Store


The recent controversy over the “Ponderize” conference talk grew new legs when the BYU Store began selling “Ponderize” T-shirts.

Vision Wear International T-shirts are being sold at the BYU Bookstore. Recent controversy surrounds the term “ponderize” coined by Elder Devin G. Durrant. (Jordan Murray)

On Sunday, Oct. 4, Brother Devin G. Durrant, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, gave a talk in which he challenged church members to “ponderize.” In an apology statement on Facebook the next day, Durrant stated that the week before his talk was given, his son created a website to sell ponderize paraphernalia.

“I should have stopped the process,” Durrant said. “I did not. That was poor judgment on my part.” Since then there has been an outburst of opinion over whether or not “ponderize” should be marketed.

After his son’s website, ponderize.us, was taken down, the Bookstore began selling “Ponderize” T-shirts, produced by Vision Wear International.

According to Carri Jenkins, spokeswoman for University Communications, the Bookstore received 16 shirts on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from the company Vision Wear International.

“(They) are a long-time supplier to the store of novelty-themed T-shirts,” Jenkins said. “The BYU Store still has a few of these shirts left.” Jenkins noted that “the BYU Store does sell other shirts with phrases from LDS Church leaders on them” as well.

Kathleen Speckhard, along with her husband Eric, are the owners of Vision Wear International. “The T-shirts were created on Tuesday, and delivered by Wednesday to BYU,” Kathleen Speckhard said. The pair have been creating shirts with conference quotes on them for three years.

“We are not associated with the Durrant family in any way,” Speckhard said. “We do sell other conference quote shirts … Our first quote is from Anne Dibb’s talk, and we have three or four others.”

Students on campus also weighed in on the issue of selling the shirts.

“I think (the T-shirts) are ridiculous because that just barely happened,” said Chase Johnson, a junior at BYU. “I think it is taking too lightly what is meant to be more deeply understood.”

Ponderize T-shirts are being sold amongst other conference quote paraphernalia in the BYU Bookstore. Recent controversy surrounds the term “ponderize” coined by Brother Devin G. Durrant. (Jordan Murray)

However, other students are in favor of the T-shirts. “I think they’re funny,” said Marissa Laughlin, a senior at BYU. “I thought, ‘Oh they have that out already, that is funny.’ … But I wouldn’t buy one, I don’t buy many T-shirts. Also (ponderize) is not a real word.”

In asking for comments on the T-shirts, many students would not comment because they didn’t want to get involved in such a controversial “hot” topic. Many acknowledged that it has been the topic of conversation in some of their classes this week.

“I’m surprised they’re already out, I mean this was just last Sunday, it’s not even been a week,” BYU alumna Karen Madsen said. She thought the shirt would be a good reminder though.

“I think it is a fantastic time to be marketing,” Merrill Madsen said. “I have some friends that were talking after (the talk) about making an app for (ponderize), and I know there already has been some requests to the LDS tech support to create an app.”

Whether negatively or positively, “ponderize” has certainly made its mark on the LDS community.

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