Let me kick this off a bit autobiographically.

I have been paid for work since I was 16 (before that I was a slave laborer for my parents) and have been quite fortunate in my jobs. That said, some jobs were more worthy of my time than others. A quick overview:

Job Title

Job Description

Deadly Sin to which my labor contributed

Courtesy Clerk at Ukrops (a grocery store) Bagged groceries and carried them to people’s cars Gluttony
Vendor of dog t-shirts Sold t-shirts depicting various dog breeds to people (who cared WAY TOO MUCH about their animals) at a cart in the mall Pride
Clerk at Music Store Sold CDs and Videos Sloth
Receptionist for Defense Contractors Answered phones, took lunch orders, maintained security binders, while everyone else in the office did heaven knows what! (very hush hush) Wrath
MTC Teacher Beat out plenty of contestants with my stellar Japanese to train forces in the army of God (actually, it was the summer, they were desperate…) Envy
BYU Archives Organized and catalogued documents Pride
Factory worker at Sentry Safes Manufactured safes for hiding “valuables” from other people Greed
Medical Coding Data entry of medical codes to be used by insurance companies to deny coverage of necessary health care Greed

I left my volunteer stints out (mission and Peace Corps), but I think your cynical self could find a place among sins for either activity.

Similarly, I could not categorize my teaching as contributing to any sin, but let me know if you disagree (I think that cases might be made , but basically I feel that public education has enough redeeming value not to qualify).

In reviewing my condensed work history, I am surprised I covered so many sins: my specialty is PRIDE and the only one I have not contributed to is LUST. I think that is a gap I can live with.

It seems that many of us end up in jobs by accident. I wonder, if we could actually sit down and engineer our lives, on what kind of work would we want to spend our precious time? Are there any jobs you feel are above reproach? Are there any jobs or fields you would specifically rule out for yourself?


[Let me emphasize the last question pertains only to yourself, and not to jobs you would rule out for all Mormons, or righteous women, or sane people. Thanks–I don’t want to get fired my first day.]