LOL. I haven't thought about 2 and a half minute talks in years. Decades. They were training-wheel talks for kids. I always wondered who decided that two minutes was too short, and three minutes was too long. I was never that finely calibrated myself.
There used to be little hard-cover books of Sacrament Gems and Two and a Half Minute talk topics, if memory serves correctly.
And there was a practice hymn in Sunday School too. That was often a bumpy ride.
I was never in Primary but converted to Mormonism where we only had a small branch. For that reason, everyone got the opportunity to speak in sacrament quite often. I was always anxious about speaking in public but soldiered through it.
Like you, when I took a speech class in high school I was able to stand and give my speeches with a bit more confidence than the other class members.
There were some positives that came from being a Mormon. Tithing requirements, however, kept me living a life with fewer material goods than most of my peers. I still have a way of squeezing the last bit of usefulness out of most of my belongings.
I remember when I was first learning to read, maybe 1st or 2nd grade, we had talk cards for Jr. SS. They had a picture on the front and a little 2 or 3 paragraph "talk" on the back. We'd hold it up so they could see the pic and we'd read the talk. I'm sure they were put out by the church. Anyone else remember? I was so proud that I could read it perfectly.
In my ward, two youth speakers were selected to speak each month. Most kids did their best to avoid speaking and would stare at the floor when being asked to volunteer. Believe it or not, yours truly always volunteered in January. Why?
Because I got it out of the way and they always remembered that I was the first to volunteer, they never asked me to speak a second time before the year was over. I interjected spontaneous humor and I usually had most of the ward laughing. Speaking mormonese and serious religious doctrine was never my style. It annoyed the subsequent speakers because members appeared to be happy if not giddy.
One bad thing that I recall was that youth speakers always scheduled on the same day as the High Council speaker and some sort of uppity sister who was assigned some high-drama subject like "How the atonement makes me cry 7 days a week." It made for a very long meeting and resulted in a 90 minute sacrament meeting. Yes, SM was last for many years and I hated it because it went way too LONG!
When I returned home after serving a mission, the youth were reading a story from the New Era. What the hell? Apparently, they were being instructed by the church leaders to read verbatim an article that was between 2 and 3 minutes long. A lot of shy speed reading youth speaking 100 words per minute in a race to finish.
Old like Junior Sunday School. Old like a Primary bandalo [or bandelo].
It was no more than one of the Primary kids going up to the mic and reciting a pre-selected verse of scripture immediately before the sac hymn. The verse was usually printed in the program so the congregation could follow along.
I gave many 2 1/2 minute talks in the 1940's and 50's When I was between 11 and 16 years old. I never recall reading someone elses talk or article. I got really good at it and when another speaker flaked out I was sometimes called with very short notice to fill in. I don't know why they were stopped but I think that it had to do with controlling what the young speaker might say.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2020 03:29PM by thedesertrat1.
> I don't know why they were stopped but I think > that it had to do with controlling what the young > speaker might say.
And I had a friend (we were 14 or 15 teacher age) who spoke his mind about "knowing that the church was true."
He did not know and told my ward that he was still looking for it. This did not abode well with the bishopric (who were squirming in their seats, fidgeting with their neck-ties). A member of the high council was also steaming (it was embarrassing because my friend's Dad was also on the HC). After SM my friend was marched into the office and told to address the ward the following week: I now believe the church is indeed true and apologize for any misunderstanding I may have caused.
My friend refused and they found him guilty of apostasy. His own Dad voted with the stake president. They gave him 6 months of disfellowshipment to get his mind right (clear). And yes he continued to attend, but was free of any mormon responsibilities (no prayers, no class participation, no preparing and or cleaning sacrament trays, no sitting in the back as church ushers). Damn, he had it good!
I remember still being a fairly new convert in a singles ward and having to call someone to say the closing prayer. There was this nice, very tall guy about my age that I had hoped to get to know better sitting in the second row. I asked him to give the prayer. He declined politely.I had never heard of anyone doing that. I thought he was being shy so I urged him to please give the prayer. He sort of blushed, hung his head, and stated that he could not give the prayer. I asked someone else but thought this guy was giving me the brush off.
Seems that disfellowshipped members cannot give prayers. Or possibly he was being punished in some other way, but I had no idea of this practice. When I figured it out I felt horrible for putting him on the spot. At least the bishop had not embarrassed him by announcing it to the whole ward. I still wonder what kind of things he could possibly have done. And then I wondered why he stayed to endure the humiliation. I still think he seemed too sweet a guy to have done anything really horrible.
I played the organ as a teenager for Priesthood, Sunday School, and Sacrament Meeting in the days when there were three Sunday meetings.
I really got a workout playing prelude and postlude three times each Sunday, not to mention tons of hymn playing too. I hardly ever made a mistake.
The Sacrament Gem was an inspirational thought of one-two sentences max.
Alexander Schreiner (1901-1987), Temple Square Mormon Tabernacle Organist (chief/senior organist) produced three organ prelude/postlude volumes for the church organist. Some of them had interludes at the back which Schreiner composed. They were very brief.
The purpose of the interlude was to play it BEFORE and AFTER the Sacrament Gem was read from the pulpit. This was done AFTER the Sunday School Service's Sacrament hymn singling had concluded and was took place just before the blessing of the Sacrament.
As organist, you had to have everything ready so things flowed smoothly.
The gem was to give the audience something to think about during the "meditative time" of passing the sacrament to make this portion of the service more meaningful.
Well, like the Temple penalties, and the Five Points of Fellowship at the veil which have been removed from the all-so-important temple experience I had to endure, the Sacrament Gem ended too when the meetings were condensed to the block schedule. I guess the gem was also not necessary for my eternal salvation!
First of all, in asking the question you have to hope that there are people on the board who remember what in the holy hell you're talking about. But remember that in the early 1990's, the church stopped the Sunday school opening exercises, and with that went the 2 1/2 minute talks, the "sacrament gem," the sacrament, and the practice hymn. It was okay by me at first, but being active back then, I missed the congregation singing the opening hymn, and saw that this would end only with people forgetting certain landmarks within the church. Last I looked, there were about 10 unused hymns in the hymn book, all about Sunday school. New-comers might wonder what that is about, since they have no reference. My bigger fear is that eventually the church leaders will insist that it's always been this way.
Was back in the days when L-d$,inc actually had prograss to involve most everyone of any age group. Sports programe - even All Church tournaments. Primary meetings and Relief Society and MIA during the week - and many Wards and Stakes seemed welcoming and glad to see people at the various activities.
The 2 1/2 minute talks, Sacrament gem and practice hymn gave more members an actual look at their ward and congregation. Adults saw more of the kids. The music leaders had more to do.
Now it is Corporate Mormonism - far from the friendly group we knew in the 1950's and 60's.
Oh wow, 2 1/2 minute talks. There is a term I had long since forgotten. Having those neurons dusted off, I have associations with similar terms like Green and Gold Ball, roadshows, sacrament meeting in the afternoon split from Sunday School and other such items.
When I was a young feller, I asked my grandfather what I should talk about for my two and a half minute talk. He told me to get up on the stand and say, "When I get on the stand my heart goes pitty-pat, for fear someone will say, whose little dunce is that." I proudly say down after this short diatribe.
For some reason, public speaking held no fear for me.
I do remember a friend or two who said, "Polly---how come p.s. is so easy for you? It would terrify me".
One incident I remember was when one of my 'classes' was working in the schools student-affairs office, and I was required to go from rm. to rm. to let the teachers/students aware of some rule change. Again, the "How can you make yourself do that", from friends.
This was also true for my career in public affairs, such as my serving two terms as a commissioner on the city council, and which sometimes required a healthy debate on what should be done.
Still on this topic, a met a man yesterday while taking my morning walk, who crossed the street to talk to me, and said, "I always knew that what you had to say was speaking for me".
It would seem that everyone has their "clam to fame" moment at some point in their lives.