Missionary Tag

At dinner the other night Abigail started telling us about her experience at school with missionary tag. Not a missionary tag that you wear on your lapel, but a game that you play at school.

I was more than curious. The social influence of LDS culture astounds me, and I am now living through the eyes of my children. There was no missionary tag in Tennessee. I found the idea very entertaining, as I knew it had to be a game made up by some Mormon some time in the last 200 year history. I enquired further. So, how do you play missionary tag?

Abigail responded: “well everyone has a partner.”

Oh, yes indeed. Missionary tag was referring to Mormonism. You see, just like the animals in the ark, God sends Mormon missionaries out to testify two by two. Whenever you see a Mormon missionary preaching anywhere in the world, they will always be accompanied by a companion. When I was a Mormon missionary I had a companion in eye’s view every minute of 18 months, except when I was in the bathroom. You would think I would be a better wife after having that kind of training.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established, 2 Corinthians 13:1

Apparently that translates into a school playground game where everyone has a partner.

Before I let Abigail explain any further, I started heckling a bit. Just because that’s what we do.

me: So, you get a partner and then you go and find your bikes.

Abigail: No mom.

me: Oh yeah, that’s lame, not all missionaries have bikes, um, after you get a partner, you kneel down to pray?

Abigail: Mom, you are so lame sometimes.

me: After you get your partner, you run inside and whoever find a Book of Mormon first wins.

Abigail: Are you done yet?

me: After you get your partner, you sing Called to Serve.

Abigail: Mom, I am not going to tell you if you don’t stop.

me: So, you get a partner, and then….

LG: Alice, it’s not funny.

me: really?

LG and Abigail in unison: Really.

awww man. I was laughing. I thought I was hilarious.

Abigail went on to explain the rules of partner tag. But just so you know, in case you ever visit, in Utah, classic partner tag is called Missionary tag. Even a simple little schoolyard game has been inundated with Mormon doctrine…much like many other facets of living in this great state.

Of course I am loving it.



  1. This made me laugh. I always called that game Elbow Tag growing up (since your elbows are linked), sometime in middle/high school though I remember hearing it called Missionary Tag…probably by someone who had moved here from Utah. 🙂

  2. that is HILARIOUS….i would have been cracking up at your banter with abigail. gotta love utah=}

  3. Adding to what Lori said, I remember it being called Elbow Tag, but also calling it Missionary Tag when played at a Stake Youth Conference.  I actually have fond memories of watching teenagers playing it in my front yard right here in Knoxville, TN.  (Lori being one of those teenagers.) But I love the idea of it being called Missionary Tag in Utah—very appropriate.  Kind of like WWJD in the South and CTR in the West.  J

  4. I love hearing things from both your perspective and Lori's. Not sure if she likes it, but I do. 

  5. I am so honored that you guys actually read my blog and to think you laughed at my silly banter is making me even happier. Your blog is the BEST. It is ALWAYS funny.

  6. I have lived in Utah for all of my 40 years and never once heard of Missionary Tag.
    Does that mean I escaped being indoctrinated?!

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