|Subject:||My sacrament experience after 5 years|
|Date:||Oct 18 07:52 2002|
|I attended the Ward Sacrament last week for a friend's talk. It had
been a number of years since I had been in an LDS meeting here. I found the experience
quite strange to my amazement. Now, I grew up in the LDS Church and did every job from BYU
Zoobie to Branch President. I never expected to find it so strange. Somehow, I expected it
to be like meeting up with a long lost friend.
I had been attending other churches for the past 4 or 5 years and somehow found them odd at first. But, I warmed up quickly. For a long time, I had been contrasting the LDS style vs. their style. I always loved the LDS hymns, having sacrament each week, and having the entire family in worship service together.
It was an eye opener to attend LDS services again. I found the worship service extremely noisy, to the point of it bothering me. I don't think it's all the kids because the church I have been attending has kids in the worship service, too. (Some churches do not want kids in the chapel and they have a nursery provided.) However, I found the LDS chapel extremely noisy, except when the Sacrament was being passed.
I found the LDS music to be extremely slow and a bit boring. I nearly barfed when the speakers talked of the CK and how it would not be fair for God to let everyone into the top kingdom because some people are overperformers while others do not do as much(the speaking assignments were on Section 76). It was barf city I tell you.
I took a good look around at the faces in Sacrament. I saw almost all somber faced people...like it was a major chore to be at church. I contrast that with the faces I see at other churches...mostly smiling and happy to be there worshipping the Lord. That was the most eye opening item I found. A lady in front of me at Sacrament was reading a book on recruiting techniques, another was playing a pocket pc game, two kids were playing dots, some people were asleep, and some were just zoned out. Hardly anyone sang the hymns. For that many people, the house should have been brought down(not much in the way of joyful noises to the Lord).
In the church I attend, I look around and see everyone singing to the top of their lungs(most anyway). The church I attend is smaller than the LDS Ward here but probably 3 times as loud during the singing. People look happy to be at church. Let me tell you, the LDS did not look the least bit happy to be there.
Just curious to know of other experiences where someone has attended LDS church after having been away from it for a long while. If I ever had any ideas about going back to LDS then this excursion killed them.
|Subject:||it's probably because you are looking at it objectively?|
|Date:||Oct 18 07:56|
|or do you think it was a better organisation when you last
has it changed in the last few years, or was it ever so?
|Subject:||Re: it's probably because you are looking at it objectively?|
|Date:||Oct 18 08:07|
|I can't honestly say for sure. All I know was that it was very
strange and foreign feeling to me. When they started to talk about BYU and the CK
[Celestial Kingdom] (eventhough my wife and I are BYU grads), I found it almost cult-like.
My wife did not attend with me. I went alone because she said, she would wretch if she had
to go back, even to listen to a talk. So, she went to our church. :-)
|Date:||Oct 18 08:24|
|that's because it _is_ not only cult-like but, in actual
fact, a full-
blown cult. no "ifs", no "ands", no "buts" about it.
JMO, of course. ; )
|Date:||Oct 18 09:05|
|after just 2 years of being out... and found it ANYTHING BUT uplifting. I had actually thought I might feel a tingle of the "Spirit" etc. but no such thing. I also was extremely bored, as all the talks centered on recruiting (missionary work). It solidified my feelings about leaving it all behind!|
|Date:||Oct 18 09:18|
|The last time I ever went to an LDS service on my own
(rather than as part of a family occasion) I hadn't been
in a year or so. It was also my first visit to a regular ward
in several years, as opposed to a student or singles
ward. I watched the people come in. They seemed
washed out and worn down -- and this was in a
prosperous area of California. Everyone seemed to be
going through the motions, half-heartedly fulfilling an
obligation. There was no happiness. Oh, there were a
couple of glad-handing types trying to spread some
positive vibes, but it wasn't working very well.
Suddenly my 27 years of Mormon church life came
flooding back and I realized what I was watching was
pretty much the norm. The scripture, "Man is that he
might have joy, and have it more abundantly..." came to
mind. So where was the joy? I realized many Mormons
were probably just like me, more oppressed than lifted
by a church that left them spiritually malnourished.
That's when I knew -- gained a testimony, if you will --
that I'd never be going back. Not only was there nothing
there for me, but I was in danger of being sucked
further into the LDS tar baby if I stayed around.
|Subject:||Interesting. Someday I may try it.|
|Date:||Oct 18 09:47|
|But then again, maybe not.
I hadn't been to a mormon service for more than a quarter of a century when my husband I signed up for a Sunstone convention.
Even that event seemed narrow-minded and contrived. A woman talked about her experience of helping to revise and update the hymn book for the latest edition which was quite a few years ago. She loved the "free flow of ideas" at those hymnal meetings. Of course when her committee finished, it took years for the brethren to review and revise what the committee had done.
There were lame attemps at mild, inside mormon jokes which elicited a few quickly reined-in titters.
There was a woman talking about violence in mormon doctrine. She wrung her hands and tried her best to make excuses.
There was a gentleman concerned about church censorship of missionary web sites. He was sad to no longer be able to stay in touch with mission friends because the brethren had closed down their sites.
I could only stand the Sunstone meetings for half a day.
My husband took me out for lunch and a glass of wine to debrief after just that small, stiffling mormon contact.
|Subject:||I grew up in Utah...|
|Date:||Oct 18 14:40|
|I served a 2-year mission. I graduated from Brigham Young University where I met my wife. We were married in the Ogden, Utah temple. I've served in 3 bishoprics and on the Stake High Council. I have attended countless sacrament meetings. I have also visited numerous church services of most of the major Christian denominations (nearly 20 different Protestant denominations, as well as the Roman Catholic church). And I must say that LDS sacrament meetings are the most boring, uninspiring, spiritually dead services of any church I have ever attending. And I must add that the hymn-singing in LDS wards is more listless and more painfully slow, than anything I have ever experienced in any other Christian church, bar none. Two years ago my wife and I resigned our LDS membership and became members of the United Methodist Church. In our Methodist church the music is absolutely beautiful. The services are spiritually uplifting. And it is refreshing that the focus of the sermons and Sunday School lessons is on Christian discipleship, rather than on prophet-worship. For a while, reading Sunstone magazine kept me within Mormonism. But I ultimately came to view Sunstone liberals as intelligent, oftentimes spiritual people who lacked the moral courage to make the final break with a Mormonism which in their hearts they must realize is not true. I do not wish to be overly harsh in this judgment. It took me several years of doubt and questioning before I was able to decide to make a formal break with Mormonism. It was hard telling my parents (my father was serving in a Utah Stake Presidency), and had been for nearly 15 years. But both my parents were surprisingly understanding about it. I have to admit, had not my employment taken me out of Utah (to Michigan, where I'm an attorney), I'm not sure I could have summoned the moral courage myself to make the break with a church in which I was so totally immersed. But having done so, and having found what seems to me to be a much truer Christian spirituality within a Protestant church, the thought of once again attending an LDS sacrament meeting is, for me, sickening.|
|Subject:||If, and I am sure, when|
|Date:||Oct 18 15:24|
|Author:||Søvnløsener - Insomniac|
|If, and I am sure, when I attend again it will be with the purpose
of sheer enjoyment and entertainment.
The congregation will now stand as we sing 'Praise to the Man', after which we will have a bearing of testimonies for our love for The Prophet Brother Joseph and our love for our Beloved Leader, President Hinkley and our thankfulness for The One True Church, and the truefullness of the Book of Mormon, and, um...jesus, too, I guess. Amen.
Or maybe its a case of jealously mixed up with a violent mind.
|Subject:||Re: My sacrament experience after 5 years|
|Date:||Oct 18 15:30|
|I don't remember ever talking to someone and having them tell me how
much they enjoy church, or how much they look forward to it.
Most of them look forward to it being over, so they can go home and take a nap.
I remember being more worn out on Sundays than any other day of the week (except for a one year period where I moved furniture for a living! heh.) Why is that? It seems odd that so many can view "church" almost as a burden, yet talk about "The Church" like it's better than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
I don't get it.
|Subject:||Mostly boring and sad people there|
|Date:||Oct 19 13:47|
|I guess it's not a bad place to be if you're already bored and sad
and find solace in commiserating with other bored, sad folk!!
That's it, I remember thinking that I was supposed to feel spiritually refreshed etc. and although I did on occasion feel a little inspiration (I don't think owing to inspiration from God's approval at the meetings but from the genuinely nice and good people that some Mormons are),on the whole, I found it tiring, depressing and that most of the people there were tuckered out as well.
I believe sincerely it is now a case of mindwashing -- why else would they have such repetition and 3 hours -- and that those meetings serve only to indoctrinate and tire out members, rather than give them the positive energy and truths they need to learn.
|Subject:||Prozac usage definitely apparent in Utah sacrament meetings.|
|Date:||Oct 18 18:12|
|My TBM mom has always expressed on the sundays of general conference
twice a year how nice it is NOT to have to go to church. She treats it like a vacation.
She expressed this a couple years ago in front of me. My reply to her was that if she
disliked attending church that much, she ought to try taking a few more sundays off during
the year. To that, I received a prompt mother scowl and this reply, "Just be quiet.
You just DON'T UNDERSTAND." I said, "You're right. I obviously don't understand.
Please clue me in to why you go to church meetings if you don't enjoy them." Needless
to say, we no longer have that discussion...or rather, she knows to make sure I'm not
around when she expresses that sentiment.
Mormons are generally miserable attending church. There certainly can be some enjoyment on a social basis, meeting with friends, but they have been told over and over that attending church and following all the mormon rules are the only way to achieve true happiness. After years and years of this indoctrination, they sincerely believe it. All the years I attended church, I generally enjoyed myself, although I know it was mainly because of the social comraderie obtained there.
The last time I attended a mormon meeting was nearly five years ago. I attended a Fast & Testimony Meeting for the baby blessing of my brother's baby. The meeting was painful to sit through. The congregation looked like they had been drugged. I suspect that the aliens from the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" had landed and set up camp in the cultural hall. For sacrament, they must had distributed the bread, the water, and SEED PODS! (I'm sure many were actually on Prozac.) I especially noticed how lethargic the music was. Most people did not sing at all. The music conductor waved her arms in a figure-eight pattern, which I assume is the new mormon conducting practice that works for ALL music time signatures. I used to be organist when I attended church and with my playing, I could at least keep the congregation on their toes and add some snap to their underwear.
In short, mormons are miserable but keep telling themselves that they are deliriously happy. It was somewhat shocking to see just how monotonous the church meeting was for me after quite a few more years of non-attendance. It takes being away from it and seeing how others really know how to lead rich fulfilling lives to really be able to see just how repressed so many mormons are.
|Subject:||Figure eight pattern Kim? LOL - that's funny!!|
|Date:||Oct 18 22:59|
|One size fits-all conducting. Sadly, it's all too common.
Reminds me of a very funny off-topic story from high school except that the director was a skinny, tightly-wound mormon. He was getting irritated at the choir and the band behind them, none of whom were paying much attention to him. He shouted at the baritone/bass section and then threw his baton at one of the guys who was fooling around. The baton missed the guy and went straight into one of the tubas and got lodged there. It took an inquisition to finally get it out while the entire lot of us dissolved into hysteria on the floor.
Sorry - your figure-eight conductor story got me going. If there's one thing I miss about mormonism, it's the fun I had being an organist and a chorister. Like you, I took no prisoners.
|Subject:||Sometimes I think about attending a meeting again.|
|Date:||Oct 18 18:24|
|It's been about 7 months since we've attended, and I wonder what I'd
think about it now that I know what I know. If I did attend a meeting, it would be in a
nice pair of slacks (I hate dresses), a cross around my neck and my multiple pairs of
earrings. Oh, and I certainly wouldn't sing those boring hymns like praise to the man.
Could you imagine the gossip??
But attending a meeting again will just get everything all fired up about getting my son baptized and all that..it wouldn't be worth it.
|Subject:||I hadn't been to an LDS meeting for nearly 16 years until...|
|Date:||Oct 18 22:22|
|my long-time neighbor died this past summer, and my husband, two
teenaged kids, and I attended his funeral. Instead of it being a celebration of his life
and a tribute to a wonderful man, it was a pseudo sacrament meeting. I was so disgusted!
The bishop, SP, my neighbor's son (who's also a bishop), and other priesthood holders took turns droning on and on Mormon-style about the gospel, quoting scriptures from the BOM and D&C and said very little about my neighbor, the person we had taken time off from work and school to honor. It was boring and torturous. It reminded me of my TBM days, only I didn't have a hymn book to add "...under the covers" after the hymn titles in my head for silly, juvenile entertainment.
I've been attending UU for more than a year, and 99 percent of the services are inspiring, uplifting, and fun. A couple of years ago when I was trying to decide if I was still a Christian, I attended a friend's Presbyterian church. There was too much standing and singing for my tastes, but the minister's sermon was inspiring and entertaining, and the members of the congregation were genuinely warm and friendly.
LDS services are seriously lacking any inspiration or value, IMO. As you said, they're noisy and boring as hell.
|Subject:||Question: Is the Morg still really uptight about...|
|Date:||Oct 18 22:40|
|the musical instruments used in meetings and/or if the music's jazzed up a little? Like, are guitars and upbeat songs still no-no's. Just curious.|
|Subject:||I was talking to a friend today about this thread...|
|Date:||Oct 18 23:11|
|...and realized that when my parents eventually die, I will have to
go to a mormon service once again. But I do have a plan. I will speak, invited to or not,
and I will speak what's in my heart about my parents and there's not a gestapo on earth
who'll have the strength to stop me.
The mormons will not dishonor my parents, who I love, by not allowing kind and reminiscent words to be spoken about them at their funerals. I've spoken out of turn before amidst mormons and I'll do it again.
No one, NO ONE, has the right to dishonor a person at their funeral. By preaching mormonism instead of honoring the deceased, mormons further prove how little regard they have for the fundamental dignity and needs of human beings.
This is one battle they will not win.
|Subject:||My dad was an "apostate," and when he died...|
|Date:||Oct 19 16:04|
|in 1996, my brother and I had a simple service for him where we had
our uncle (a TBM) give the eulogy. He talked about our dad, period. Religion was ever
touched upon because I think he knew we'd go for his throat if he started in on Mormon
bullshit. My brother was a TBM at the time, but we both knew that Morgspeak would have
been inappropriate and too far removed from what our dad and his life had been about. It
would have been disrespectful.
We sang our dad's favorite popular song, not a hymn. We did have opening and closing prayers, mostly for the benefit of our very TBM aunts who were horrified that we'd had our dad cremated. We didn't invite them to go with us to scatter his cremains up in the mountains that he loved. We knew they'd ruin such a spiritual experience.
|Subject:||you are depressed so the Morg doc gives u prozac, that is an upper right?|
|Date:||Oct 19 16:27|
|or does it just create a comatose zombie?
I am not sure how this works! If all these Mormons are on prozac and anti-depressants - wouldn't it ..ahh..err..fire them up..just a tad? Or are they resistant to these meds too?
I was a music conductor for years from a long background in Christian churches and SINGING! I was continually amazed at how lethartic the members are in the Mormon church. Only a very few sing and if their voices can be heard, everyone elses acts like they are embarrassed and snickers or hides!
What is it, Mormons expect to be entertained ? They think they are in an audience - note they rarely use the correct term: congregation! It is called Sacrament Mtg, not Sacrament Service!
No wonder they are goofy. They have changed the whole meaning of going to church from worship and being joyful to an obligation and a commandment.
My TBM hubby tried to tell me he enjoyed church! I laughed and said, who are you kidding? You have been sleeping through it for years. You cannot stay awake. So what you are saying is that you enjoy TAKING A NAP in church! :-)
|Subject:||My post-believer church excursions . . .|
|Date:||Oct 20 02:18|
|One was about 5 months after I left. I was amazed at the mediocrity
of the meeting. A teenager got up and mumbled incoherently about
I-don't-know-what-because-I-couldn't-understand-a-word-of it. I remember thinking how sad
it was that the church thought that two hundred people needed to spend their time
listening to an inexperienced, unprepared, inarticulate teenager. And why? So the TEEN
could have a learning experience? I thought that was why the REST of us came to church.
What a waste.
As I looked around at the bored, lifeless congregation, almost no one was listening (what would have been the point, anyway?).
The next time I went was a F & T meeting I was amazed at the bigoted comments that people would dare to make in a public meeting (non-members might be in attendance, you know). Comments about feeling the spirit at LDS church sites, but not at reorganized LDS church sites and other such things that I've managed to forget. Kind of reminds me of high school: "we've got the spirit, yeah we do, we've got the spirit, how 'bout you?" . . . . "our spirit is sky high, our spirit is sky high . . . "