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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 02:52PM

This post made me think of something recently that happened.

https://www.exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,2165007,2165194#msg-2165194

At the most recent SM I attended in a very long time the clerk dude "took the numbers." While I understood exactly what this suited very tall man was doing I was distracted and annoyed by it. Kudos to recovering line upon line, precept upon precept for me.

I admit I was offended. He choose my daughter's mission farewell talk as the exact time he wanted to do this task and he was walking in front of her and around us in the chapel for a good 10-15 minutes of her 20-30 minute talk.

She is a very good speaker. Of my kids, she is the orator. I was enjoying her personality and then up lurks and lurches this very tall and lanky middle aged man in a suit. It was like the tall man, or a spirit, or a ghost from 6th Sense was meandering around my girl's moment.

Very rude and ridiculous. If this "sacrament" meeting is supposed to be "so spiritual" why let a distracting figure walk around and no one even cares? Well, I cared. What crap.

Thanks for listening to me complain.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2018 02:53PM by Elder Berry.

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Posted by: Elmo ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 10:36PM

The guidelines for quite a while are that Sacrament meeting attendance is supposed to be taken discretely, and not walking all around. Someone has not gotten the message.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 11:04AM

Yeah, like WTF? He couldn't have done it outside of the middle of the meeting? Why not during The Sacrament? He could have just grabbed his little cup while he walked around!

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:03PM

That was standard operating procedure when I was a kid. I knew some of the ward clerks quite well over the years (several of them being fathers of my friends). I remember often paying more attention to their counting antics than to whoever was up at the pulpit.

But why do they need someone to count the exact number (and you know they probably never got it exactly right anyway)?

They should know the approximate seating capacity. If the chapel is full, just put the figure for full capacity down. If it's half empty, put the half-capacity figure down. Approximations should work just fine for whatever they need.

The fact that they have some guy actually counting heads just shows that the leaders are a bunch of bean-counting technocrats, collecting statistics and managing the organization the way you would manage a factory.

#not_feeling_the_spirit

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Posted by: Bean Counter ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:14PM

I have been to plenty of other churches that do a count as well. I understand the dislike many on this board have for TSSC but this is a ridiculous criticism.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:25PM

I think it's a valid criticism and if some bean counter gets up in the middle of a worship service in another church/denomination, it's equally ridiculous.

Of course, if you don't really take the worship aspect seriously, then sure there is no problem having some guy visibly counting people in the middle of it.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:44PM

when we were children: "Just because other people do it, doesn't mean it can't be criticized."

If the Methodists started wearing strange underwear sold to them by a church-affiliated business, it would be just as ridiculous as the Mormon garment situation. It doesn't become non-ridiculous just because others do it.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 12:21AM

Bean Counter Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have been to plenty of other churches that do a
> count as well. I understand the dislike many on
> this board have for TSSC but this is a ridiculous
> criticism.

I am fascinated by this statement.

I have been to many different churches and houses of worship throughout my life, and I have never seen ANYONE make a count of the number of people at ANY service, so I am interested in the denominations you are speaking of.

I do not recognize the Bean Counter name. If you are new here, I am a nevermo...I was raised Hindu...I am a Jew...and when I was growing up and in my young adulthood I attended a great number of Christian churches (Southern Baptist, Congregational, Lutheran for several years because our Camp Fire Leader was in congregational leadership there, Unity School of Christianity, First Christian, Presbyterian, Catholic off-and-on for a number of years because of acquired family, once Russian Orthodox, a couple of other ethnic Orthodox churches...these are the ones I remember).

I would have noticed someone counting the congregation, because I just naturally notice these kinds of things (and I can remember first doing this at the Vedanta temple when I was around four years old, maybe a bit earlier).

I am a writer, so I am automatically (and perpetually) looking for the "eccentricities" or "peculiarities" so I can use those details for "color" if I were to ever write about them at some point in the future.

If someone ever counted a congregation during a service (or at any other time, as well) I WOULD have noticed--and very likely written down the experience, and then filed it for if-and-when use in the future.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that I, personally, have never been in a congregation of any kind where this occurred.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2018 12:25AM by Tevai.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 12:08PM

Tevai, I agree. I've attended many church services in a number of different denominations and never seen an overt headcount. I can see why a church might wish to count attendees, but if they do, they've found a more subtle way to do it. Many churches have ushers that hand out programs and help people find seats, and it would be very easy to assign one to count heads as people enter the chapel.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 11:06AM

Bean Counter Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I understand the dislike many on
> this board have for TSSC but this is a ridiculous
> criticism.

I vehemently disagree with this assertion. IF people are going for some kind of beyond normal experience and psychic boost, this is a total killer. Like Satan wandering around distracting The Holy Ghost from focusing attention on their mind melding for Jesus or something...

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:12PM

Are they counting heads for total numbers, or are they noting specifically who is there? If the clerk is merely counting heads, that could be accomplished in a much less distracting manner and entirely from the back of the chapel.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:30PM

who isn't. But that was not the objective. Actually, that's part of what the home teaching program was supposed to be about. "Brother's keeper" and all that. Home teachers, family, friends are supposed to be aware of who's there and who's not and if there is any special problem affecting a member's attendance and such.

The bishops are also supposed to be generally attentive to the flock.

When I was in, as far as I know, the clerk was just compiling statistics.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:21PM

I'm glad other people on this board get it.

There's an inveterate lack of respect among Mormons. To this clerk, and to the Mormon cult, his job was far more important than anything a mere--female--minion might have to say.

That's not why you were there at the meetings, people! You were not there to be uplifted, or to be spiritually comforted, or to learn anything (it was all made-up lies, anyway.) No, you were there to be counted as a number. You filled a quota. You paid tithing. Women were there to bear children and raise them in the cult, to do it all over again--be counted and fill a quota. I knew this every early in my childhood.

Elder Berry, there is something inside of you as a human being (I'm no psychologist, so I'll call it "self-respect", that you need to speak out about this! I mean it. Otherwise it will eat away at you. Go complain to your bishop! I strongly suspect that the man has to have the calling of "officious, attention-grabbing, body-counter", because he is unable to fit into any other calling. He probably has a handicap. Find out. It will make you feel better. Don't let the Mormons get away with it, anymore!

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 11:09AM

exminion Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Elder Berry, there is something inside of you as a
> human being (I'm no psychologist, so I'll call it
> "self-respect", that you need to speak out about
> this! I mean it. Otherwise it will eat away at
> you. Go complain to your bishop! I strongly
> suspect that the man has to have the calling of
> "officious, attention-grabbing, body-counter",
> because he is unable to fit into any other
> calling. He probably has a handicap. Find out.
> It will make you feel better. Don't let the
> Mormons get away with it, anymore!

Yeah, I think I'll start a movement and hope to be excommunicated for attempting to stop ward clerks from doing their job during the most important ritual meeting for the church...wait...isn't the temple the most important? Who counts those people?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2018 11:09AM by Elder Berry.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: October 11, 2018 11:31PM

jolly well taken, Excellent point!

taking attendance is nearly identical to what happened in grade school;

in church it not only doesn't help those in attendance, it's a distraction.

it certainly doesn't do anything for those absent either.

the only reasonable expectation is that helps the COB/GAs decide which direction to drop a few crumbs (ward budget).

I've been to no other church or denomination that does this, it's demeaning & counter intuitive to Christ-Like living.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2018 11:52PM by GNPE.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 12:53AM

Elder Berry, on the rare times I’ve gone to sacrament meetings recently, I’ve found that I’m stressed out simply by being in the building. Everything about it—the smells, the wood, the carpet, the suits, the Cheerios-on-the-floor bothers me.

I’m sorry that you experienced this additional stress of the “bean counter” during your daughter’s farewell. I know you love her and miss her very much. After she’s returned home and things are back to normal, you may find that all the unpleasantness of farewell/homecomings become distant memories.

I’m sending you a big virtual bro-hug!

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 12:18PM

BYU Boner Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Elder Berry, on the rare times I’ve gone to
> sacrament meetings recently, I’ve found that
> I’m stressed out simply by being in the
> building. Everything about it—the smells, the
> wood, the carpet, the suits, the
> Cheerios-on-the-floor bothers me.

Shuddering. Yes.

> I’m sorry that you experienced this additional
> stress of the “bean counter” during your
> daughter’s farewell. I know you love her and
> miss her very much. After she’s returned home
> and things are back to normal, you may find that
> all the unpleasantness of farewell/homecomings
> become distant memories.

Thank you for your support Boner. I expect the homecoming to be the same dude and at the same time. This is just how some people are and no one cares. Too many babies crying, people talking, and other distractions as well.

> I’m sending you a big virtual bro-hug!

Received Boner. Love saying your name.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 01:05AM

Count the empty cup holes in the sacrament trays after sacrament meeting is over. That way you aren't distracting the meeting. Oh well. Makes too much sense for the church to do it.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 01:09AM

I think babies are counted as attendees Before they partake;

thus an undercount would happen.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 11:10AM

"empty cup holes"

Good name for a band.

Good name for Mormons now they can't be called this anymore.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 12:23PM

Rubicon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Count the empty cup holes in the sacrament trays
> after sacrament meeting is over. That way you
> aren't distracting the meeting. Oh well. Makes
> too much sense for the church to do it.

A lot of us that served as clerks wanted to do that. We already had a brain to add additional people to the overall tally. However, if the bishop thought you were cheating him (under-counting) then he would demand a real-time head count. I actually had to sketch the seating arrangement of the chapel just to fill in my chicken scratches. I was one of those bozos that had to interrupt SM while walking around with a clipboard. I agree that it wrecked the spiritual aspect of SM.

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Posted by: Lowpriest ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 01:20PM

I was membership clerk and ward clerk multiple times. I always felt like a creep walking up and down during the meeting. Finally I stopped and just started estimating. No one ever complained.

I always felt like the activity was a culty thing.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 01:32PM

Lowpriest Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I always felt like the activity was a culty thing.

I seemed so strange and I was raised in it.

There is my beautiful daughter entertaining people and this guy walking in front of her several times.

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Posted by: Benvolio ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 01:45PM

When I was a ward clerk in the UK more than fifty years ago we kept detailed minutes of sacrament meeting. This included attendance by category (sex, priesthood grade, non-member, etc.) This wasn't hard. Attendance was in the mid-thirties and I knew everybody. I could do the job sitting down.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2018 02:05PM

There was quite a crowd for my kid. She is loved by many.

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