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‘Ponderize’ shirts on sale at BYU Bookstore in wake of General Conference controversy

Posted at 9:53 PM, Oct 08, 2015

PROVO, Utah -- Earlier this week, an LDS Church leader apologized for a family website that appeared to profit from a talk given during the faith's semi-annual General Conference.

Days later, "ponderize" merchandise went up for sale at the BYU Bookstore.

“I bought one for my husband for Christmas," said customer Delanie Mckendrick.

The phrase was used by Brother Devin Durrant, First Counselor in the LDS Church's Sunday School General Presidency, during a speech Sunday. However, by Monday, Durrant was facing criticism for a retail website his son had created to sell "ponderize" merchandise.

While the website was taken down and an apology was issued, a Provo based T-shirt company released shirts with the slogan Wednesday.

“It’s a way to say, 'Hey, I’m LDS: I’m proud of it,'" said Eric Speckhard, co-owner of Vision Wear International.

The company has been making T-shirts with LDS Church quotes for years. Usually, Speckhard and his wife come up with ideas based on speeches given by church leaders. Following Sunday's talk, they decided "ponderize" was a good addition to their collection.

“Those are the kinds of things we listen for," explained Kathleen Speckhard.

The couple decided to delay the release after learning of the controversy on social media Wednesday. But after waiting a day, they decided to move forward with the plan.

"I think it was just an accident, a poor decision that got blown out of proportion," said Speckhard of the Durrant's website.

While BYU did not place an official order for the shirts, they received 29 of them on consignment at their book store, meaning the school receives a piece of the profit. By Thursday, an employee said they only had a few left.

“I don’t have a problem with it. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me and my grandbaby, I think it’s cute," Mckendrick said.

The Speckhards currently have no more in stock, but will consider making more if they do well in stores.