Date: November 19, 2018 10:44PM
When I converted in the 70s, church was twice a day: AM Sunday school and PM sacrament. In between we were allowed to play outside and eat lunch. Attending twice on sunday with a break in between didn't seem as tortuous as the three hour block with no break for eating/playing. Prior to combining all meetings, AP/YW (not sure what they call it now), Relief Society and Primary were held on weekdays and not thrown into the Sunday mix. Many woman loved getting away from home for a good Relief Society meet-up while hubby stayed home and looked after the kids. I loved the Wednesday AP/YW meeting because after the lesson we all played in the gym. It was fun. Holding all meetings on Sunday without a break did not allow for any play time. All fun had been sucked out of church.
The new more structured and very boring correlated lessons allowed for less creativity and therefor did not foster creative discussion. What had previously been somewhat interesting lessons with lively discussions were now dumbed down and incredibly boring. I remember the new relief society lesson manual after correlation. Almost an entire year of lessons focused on the lives of the prophets, starting with Joseph Smith and ending with President Benson, I think. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were a little interesting, but the rest hadn't done anything remarkable, and the teacher reading verbatim from the lesson manual about their lives was incredibly dull and uninspiring - the most boring lessons I remember.
Three hours of boredom on Sunday was just too much, and I was TBM! I started attending only sacrament meeting, and even that was super boring. I finally stopped attending all together and didn't miss it. I had served in many callings, including a full-time mission, but just couldn't take the boredom anymore.
I think cell phones also contributed to the decision to reduce meeting time. Before cell phones, kids would scribble on the program when they were bored. It was a quiet activity that didn't bother anyone. Adults would just stare blankly ahead, their thoughts elsewhere. That's what I did. Now, with everyone focused on their phones, it is very obvious that NO ONE is paying attention; EVERYONE is bored silly. It must drive the Bishop mad when he looks out onto the congregation and observe that all eyes are on the cell phones.
I think the change to two hours of meetings on Sunday is just the beginning and more is to follow. I really think the church will transition to online meetings, where members can sit at home in front of their flat screen TVs and have weekly lessons from the first presidency, broadcast from Salt Lake City. Ward buildings will be sold because LDS Inc. is greedy for cash. Some buildings will be retained for the occasional gathering of the saints.
See what LDS Inc. is doing? They're slowly changing the corporation with more emphasis on business/making money and less on the religious/churchy/social side. The members will eventually fade away but LDS Inc.'s real estate/business holdings (shopping malls, sky scraper office buildings, condos, apartments, cattle ranches, logging operations, Deseret industries, etc...) will thrive - - and that's all they really care about.