Brother Devin Durrant, the second counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, has responded to criticism from social media users about a website selling “ponderize” merchandise.
Durrant, who spoke in General Conference this past weekend, invited members around the world to “ponderize” the scriptures every week, a combination of memorize and ponder. Within hours, Facebook groups and posts were up accepting Durrant’s challenge. The problem? Durrant’s son had registered the domain name ponderize.us a week before the conference, selling t-shirts and wristbands with the phrase on it.
After severe criticism from users on social media, claiming the family was trying to make a profit on Durrant’s conference message, the site was taken down. On his official Facebook page, Durrant shared the following statement:
Yesterday, I had the wonderful privilege to speak in General Conference about a topic that is near and dear to my heart – the pondering of God’s word in an extended and deeper manner on a weekly basis. I have been touched at the outpouring of support for my message. Please know of my heartfelt gratitude for the positive responses I have received from so many!
However, I have also received some negative feedback. A week before my address, my son obtained the ponderize.us domain name and subsequently created a website to offer t-shirts and wrist bands to highlight and extend the ponderize message, which we have long talked about in our family. Although we didn’t invent the term, as far as we know our use of it is unique. Because of the backlash he received in associating a commercial venture with a General Conference talk, he initially lowered his prices to cover his costs and then decided to keep prices as originally set and to donate the profits to the missionary fund of the Church. Ultimately, he decided to take down the website last night. The site will remain down. I was aware that my son was creating a website related to the topic of my talk. I should have stopped the process. I did not. That was poor judgment on my part. Of course, none of the Church leaders were aware of the site. I offer a sincere apology to any person who was offended in any way by the site.
My message remains the same – overcome evil by choosing to elevate your thoughts by ponderizing God’s word every day.
Thank you, again, to so many of you for your kind messages of support and your willingness to accept the invitations given yesterday.