|Subject:||I decided to check out church this morning- report|
|Date:||Oct 19, 2008|
|We moved to Colorado last year and have had no contact
from the church other than the missionaries tracting us out a last winter.
We resigned 5 years ago and have lived in relatively anonimity as far as the
church goes. So I decided to walk into sacrament meeting this morning and
observe the services and to see if we are missing anything new or exciting.
I arrived about 5 minutes before the start of SM and found a seat on a pew on the right side of the chapel. I was wearing dress slacks and an unbuttoned, long sleeved blue dress shirt. I looked around and the chapel I counted 68 people in their seats when the 1st Counselor stood up to open the meeting.
The opening hymn was "Because I have Been Given Much", an interesting opening hymn. The organist seemed to play a bit slower than the song is intended to be sung and it took 4 minutes to sing all verses. During the song I watched a mother and her 5 kids walk in and sit toward the front of the chapel. Her oldest daughter, about 11 years old, noticed that her mom's dress wasn't zipped in the back and zipped it up for her after they sat down. Their oldest son, a Deacon, went up and sat with two other Deacons in the first row in front of the sacrament table. There were two Priests at the table and one of them seemed to have an interest in a pimple on his forehead that he continually squeezed throughout the song.
The prayer was offered by a plump woman in her 40's. She prayed for the health of President Monson, their Bishop, and the missionaries.
There were a few announcements but two stood out in my mind. One was the urgency of calling friends and family in California and the importance of Measure 8. The other announcement was about the Ward temple night on Friday. They need 36 people to attend to meet the Bishop's commitment to the Stake President. During the announcements I counted another 15 people walk in.
The Sacrament song was "There is a Green Hill Far Away" and it was played like a funeral march, just as the opening hymn was. A gentleman, who I assume was the HPGL, rounded up 3 High Priests to pass the sacrament with the three deacons. The Priest who seemed preoccupied with his pimple went from picking his forehead to breaking the bread without washing his hands.
The bread and water were passed and I enjoyed watching the older High Priests attempt to pass the sacrament without messing up. It was like watching an un-orchestrated train wreck. High Priests waddling up and down the rows in no apparent plan and the Deacons scurring about trying to make sure everyone received the sacrament. When they returned to the front after passing out the water the 1st Counselor stood up and asked if everyone had received the sacrament and if not would they please raise their hands. Two rows in the middle section raised their hands so the deacons got a tray of bread and water each and hit those rows quickly.
After everyone was served and the priesthood guys were dismissed to sit with their families, the doors to the foyers opened and there was a rush of people crowding through the doors. There must have been 20-30 people all rushing in and hustling for their seats. I felt a tap on my shoulder and an older couple said, "These are our seats. Would you please scoot over." So I slid across the pew and sat against the wall.
There was a youth speaker listed on the program but it was apparent that she didn't come to church so the 1C asked that her class President come up to the pulpit and bear her testimony since the first girl didn't show up. A young lady about 15 years old stood up and walked to the front and in essence said that they were trying to reactivate the girl who was supposed to give the talk but that she must have "forgot or something". She said that this girl and her family haven't been to church for 3 or 4 years and she had hoped that by assigning the girl the talk that she would have shown up. So instead she was going to bear her testimony of missionary work and how important it is.
The next speaker was a man who obviously prepared his talk while he was shaving this morning. His assigned topic was the importance of temple work and ways we can motivate ourselves to go twice a month. He listed things like not eating dessert until you have attended the temple, only having enough gas in your car to drive to the temple and not filling up until after you attend, saving your favorite or special outfit or shirt for temple days and only wearing it when you go. This way if you have a designer shirt or dress, or a name brand jacket, you can wear it more often if you attend the temple. He closed his talk that he knows there are people on the other side of the veil who are waiting for their names to be processed so they can enjoy the gospel like us on the earth.
The special musical number was sung by 4 Primary-aged kids who sang "I Love to See the Temple".
The concluding speaker was the High Counselor assigned to the Ward. He gave a 30-minute rambling oration about nothing in particular. Topics covered included: temple work, the traditional family, tithing, the last days, and of course missionary work. The only thing I took away from his talk is that the Stake Presidency is developing a new plan to help the missionary work in the Stake. There will be further announcements about the plan over the next few weeks and then the plan will be introduced at a special fireside in December.
During the services I looked around and saw that out of about 120 people in attendance there were only about 15 people listening. People were snoozing/resting their heads on the bench in front of them, playing with their Blackberries, scratching each others' backs, or looking around aimlessly. And none of the speakers referred to their scriptures once during their talks or mentioned Christ either.
The closing song was, "High on a Mountaintop" and the closing prayer was by a guy who basically recapped the HC's talk and asked for God's help accomplishing the topics the HC spoke about.
After the prayer was over the young Primary-aged kids hurried out of the chapel and the adults stood around in groups and talked. The postlude music lasted one song and then the organist stood up and walked out of the chapel as she had to go play in Primary.
As I stood up and walked out I was approached by a guy who introduced himself as the "new member coordinator" for the Ward. He said that he was there to answer my questions and help me get to Sunday School. I said no thanks and tried to walk past him but then the missionaries walked up. Both had the MTC smiles and handshakes and asked for my name, address, phone number, and how many people were in my family and would we be interested in learning about learning more about the church. I told them that I had learned plenty just by sitting throught their services and had no further interest in learning more. One of them said that this wasn't a normal service and that I should come back next week to see what an LDS Church is really like. I politely declined.
I walked past them and out to my car and left. The "new member coordinator" had followed me out and if I wasn't so paranoid I would swear that he was writing down my license plate number as I drove past him.
My conclusion is that nothing has changed in the 5 years since I last attended church. The same boring songs, uninspired speakers, uninterested members, and pushy missionaries still exist. There was no energy, uplifting messages, comradery, smiles, or anything to show that this was a wonderful place to be on a Sunday morning. Just a drab, dull place where the faithful show up for a few hours and are guilted into doing more with less.
|Subject:||The more things change,the more they stay the same!!|
|Date:||Oct 19 13:58|
|Author:||curious in idaho|
|It sounds like nothing has changed much at all much in the morg. Still the same old boring ,dull services etc..|
|Subject:||I feel like I've just sat through the 90 minutes, too. And the pimple part. Eew. nt|
|Subject:||You went to my old ward!|
|Date:||Oct 19 14:00|
|except I live in Utah. You described it exactly.
One of the first times we went to our new Utah ward, we accidentally sat in the pew where the Regional Representative (a position over the Stake President) and his wife and 10 children always sat. We got glares. Like those old people, "OUR seats."
Don't forget the crying babies.
I was that organist who played for the Primary, too, and accompanied the vocal and violin solos. Only I tried my darndest to keep up the tempo, but the organist must follow the chorister. With each new chorister, I pointed out the metronome numbers at the top of the page. One chorister said, "But that's not the way the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings it." Can we say, "Funeral durge?" No Bach or Mozart allowed.
> "(A) new plan to help the missionary work in the Stake.There will be further annoncements about the plan over the next few weeks and then the plan will be introduced at a special fireside in December."
LOL! Yes, that is what their Christmas fireside will be about, I gurantee it! That and Philanderer Joe's birthday.
You have confirmed one of the many reasons I left the LDS cult: that the Mormons do not preach, teach, or practice the love of Christ.
|Subject:||Re: I decided to check out church this morning- report|
|Date:||Oct 19 14:04|
|Author:||Hap E. Heretic|
|You've seen one Mormon sacrament meeting, you've seen
No wonder they're so boring.
They say the same things every week.
Nowadays, I sleep through all three hours of meetings, and I get more from my extended nap than I ever did in sac meeting!
Come to think of it, I mentally "slept" through meetings while I was there, too, but now I get to do it in my own bed.
|Subject:||I sat through this very same meeting almost 1,700 times.|
|Subject:||Scratching each other's backs|
|Date:||Oct 19 15:17|
|I hated that.|
|Subject:||Re: I decided to check out church this morning- report|
|Date:||Oct 19 15:29|
> A young lady about 15 years old stood up and walked to the front and in essence said that they were trying to reactivate the girl who was supposed to give the talk but that she must have "forgot or something". She said that this girl and her family haven't been to church for 3 or 4 years and she had hoped that by assigning the girl the talk that she would have shown up. So instead she was going to bear her testimony of missionary work and how important it is.
That's rather funny. We tried to get a girl out to church who hasn't been here for 3 or 4 years but our heavy-handed approach didn't work. Now let's talk about the importance of missionary work.
> He closed his talk that he knows there are people on the other side of the veil who are waiting for their names to be processed so they can enjoy the gospel like us on the earth.
I never was told exactly what the "blessings" that they would have on the other side of the veil after their dead dunking and endowing was done. I guess you no longer have to wait outside in the cold but finally know the right handshakes and keywords to get in.
> The only thing I took away from his talk is that the Stake Presidency is developing a new plan to help the missionary work in the Stake. There will be further annoncements about the plan over the next few weeks and then the plan will be introduced at a special fireside in December.
Wow! A new plann to help the missionary work! This must be a sign of the last days. Then NEVER had a new plan to help missionary work before. Har har har!
> As I stood up and walked out I was approached by a guy who introduced himself as the "new member coordinator" for the Ward. He said that he was there to answer my questions and help me get to Sunday School.
My standard response when someone asks if I have any questions is, "Yes, I have a question: what is the capital of North Dakota?"
> I said no thanks and tried to walk past him but then the missionaries walked up. Both had the MTC smiles and handshakes and asked for my name, address, phone number, and how many people were in my family
Social security number, credit-card expiration date, IQ, Sperm count etc.
> and would we be interested in learning about learning more about the church. I told them that I had learned plenty just by sitting throught their services and had no further interest in learning more. One of them said that this wasn't a normal service and that I should come back next week to see what an LDS Church is really like.
LOL Like, what's going to happen next week that's different? This sounds like just about every LDS sac meeting I ever sat through. At this point I would have asked them to tell me what will be different and see what they'd say. Of course, they were just stalling to keep you from going away and never coming back. Standard missionary tactic--never let the mark get away if you can stop it.
|Subject:||Ewwwww! I think I would have skipped taking the sacrament bread! n/t|
|Subject:||Re: I decided to check out church this morning- report|
|Date:||Oct 19 16:49|
|Author:||Anonymous Guy 1000|
|That is exactly how I feel. There is no energy in the Mormon church. You can't feel the spirit. The church I attend now I feel the energy and the spirit just by walking into the building.|
|Subject:||Thanks for confirming we are so not missing *anthing* at all!!|
|Date:||Oct 19 16:56|
|My morning has consisted of sleeping in (always a
treat on the weekends!), a light breakfast while enjoying the peaceful
stillness of the morning, visiting a friend and her new (cute!!!!) kitten,
running a couple errands and now I think I'm going to crack open a fun book
for tonight's entertainment. :)
For the first time in my life, Sundays are Fundays! :D
|Subject:||Isn't THAT the truth!!!|
|Date:||Oct 19 18:04|
|I'm retired now, so basically, EVERY day is Funday for
me (and I LOVE it!!) but I was a bit worried about my hubby, who is still
basically TBM in his beliefs.
He became inactive when I left the church, nearly 4 years ago. For a couple of years, we attended another, much more liberal one.
Then we quit attending church at all because of his graduate school commitments (and he is still working full time.) He NEEDED every spare weekend minute he could get.
I was astonished when he told me that he didn't miss church at all. He still feels totally connected to God and the Savior; he reads his scriptures when he feels inclined to do so; he keeps the WoW. But he has no need to for the mind-numbing rot that Romulus has described in this post.
Once he finishes his degree, we'll be able to celebrate our Sunday freedom with trips to the park, hikes, quiet time together. . .the potential is so delightful!
|Subject:||That's so funny because that is precisely...|
|Date:||Oct 19 17:09|
|what the missionaries told me a couple of years ago
when I went to sacrament meeting with my investigating son.
The high councilman gave that talk on not wearing flip-flops to church and behaving well during sac meeting etc. etc. It was horrible talk that basically said: you are not welcome at our meetings unless you behave in a strict proscribed manner. Of course in the end it helped me out by turning off my son and...
The missionaries said they were really bugged about the talk because they didn't want investigators to hear it. But the thing is...this IS business as usual.
In fact, my oldest son went to church with his younger brother (who is the only active member of my kids) to check it out and give TSCC [this so called church] another try but when the priesthood lesson was entirely about not masturbating he said "forget it..."
Bad luck? Or, are these kind of talks and lessons NOT the exception to the rule and the positive talks ARE? And yes, it is a rhetorical question.