'Easter Duty'


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Having Conference coincide with Easter this year made me wonder whether the Church had any requirements similar to the Easter Duty for Catholics? That is, if you don't go to church any other time during the year, you should go at Easter and receive Communion. For Jews, Yom Kippur is thought of the same way - if you don't make it to the synagogue the rest of the year, you should go on Yom Kippur.

 

I always thought it odd for synagogues to sell tickets for the High Holy Days services, but learned it's because 1) they don't take money on the Sabbath, so no collection at other times during the year that can be used at this time,, and 2) so many people don't regularly attend, they need the money to handle the expenses of the big crowds that show up for High Holy Days services.

 

Is there anything like this for LDS? It seems so odd to me that we wouldn't be going to church on Easter; why not schedule Conference for another weekend?

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Having Conference coincide with Easter this year made me wonder whether the Church had any requirements similar to the Easter Duty for Catholics? That is, if you don't go to church any other time during the year, you should go at Easter and receive Communion. For Jews, Yom Kippur is thought of the same way - if you don't make it to the synagogue the rest of the year, you should go on Yom Kippur.

 

I always thought it odd for synagogues to sell tickets for the High Holy Days services, but learned it's because 1) they don't take money on the Sabbath, so no collection at other times during the year that can be used at this time,, and 2) so many people don't regularly attend, they need the money to handle the expenses of the big crowds that show up for High Holy Days services.

 

Is there anything like this for LDS? It seems so odd to me that we wouldn't be going to church on Easter; why not schedule Conference for another weekend?

 

In LDS world: there's no week you "have" to go to church.  You should go every week though, if possible.  There's also no plate-passing or anything on Easter (or any other week).

 

As to having conference on Easter (when it happens to be the first week in Apr) vs rescheduling it some other week: I could see the wisdom of either way.  Gathering as a world-wide church to hear from prophets of the Lord to celebrate His resurrection seems like a valid way to celebrate Easter.  On the other hand, gathering as neighbor in a local to church to celebrate the same thing also sounds like a valid Easter celebration.

 

Personally, I kind of like having it varied.

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My own interpretation is this: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not have "holidays" in the same sense other churches have them. Rather, every seventh day (Sunday) is a holy day for us. We do observe other Christian holidays in a cultural sense, so that Easter is always mentioned and the First Presidency offers a devotional before Christmas. But there is no "sin" in refusing to celebrate or even recognize Christian or other "holidays" through the year. We worship God every hour of every day, and we keep the Sabbath day holy. The other holidays and feasts are superfluous.

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Having Conference coincide with Easter this year made me wonder whether the Church had any requirements similar to the Easter Duty for Catholics? That is, if you don't go to church any other time during the year, you should go at Easter and receive Communion. For Jews, Yom Kippur is thought of the same way - if you don't make it to the synagogue the rest of the year, you should go on Yom Kippur.

 

I always thought it odd for synagogues to sell tickets for the High Holy Days services, but learned it's because 1) they don't take money on the Sabbath, so no collection at other times during the year that can be used at this time,, and 2) so many people don't regularly attend, they need the money to handle the expenses of the big crowds that show up for High Holy Days services.

 

Is there anything like this for LDS? It seems so odd to me that we wouldn't be going to church on Easter; why not schedule Conference for another weekend?

I've alwasy felt that spending 8-10 hours over the easter weekend being able to get instruction straight from the apostles, rather than your standard 3 hours from local leaders and neighbors. is pretty darn special and probabbly the closest we have to an actual church holiday outside of the the weekly sacrament.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I'm of the opinion that every Sabbath is a "holy day" in the LDS faith, because of the opportunity to partake of the sacrament and feast upon the word of God. On both Sabbath and non-Sabbath days we are expected to live our faith fully. I absolutely LOVED the Sunday morning session of this most recent general conference, because it was completely focused on the atonement and resurrection. I can't think of a more worshipful way I could have spent those hours than by being spiritually fed by God's ordained prophets and apostles. I recognize that Easter is more celebrated in other Christian faiths than it is in the LDS faith, but I suppose it depends upon the definition of "celebrated." Mormons tend to downplay pageantry and oratorical passion, preferring instead the quiet worshipful acts that invite the Spirit and lead to individual conversion and increased testimony. There may be a few extra musical numbers on a typical Easter Sunday, and certainly a focus on the atonement and resurrection, but that's about it. Similarly, Mormons don't observe Lent -- perhaps because we give up so much every day that there is little need to eliminate something else for those 40 special days. But that doesn't mean we don't honor the Savior's fast in the wilderness after His baptism; we simply have a different way of showing it. And our quiet Easter celebrations are yet another opportunity for each member to reflect, as we hopefully do daily, upon the goodness of God in sending His son to this world to atone for our sins and bridge the gap between earth and heaven.

Edited by gebaird
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