Vort

Changes Are Coming! (or, Putting Up with All Those Weak, Lame-O Saints That Hold Us Back)

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12 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Sure.  And the answer is "Yes.  I stay for the first two hours, then I have to visit elderly relatives and walk my sister's dog".  If your Bishop yanks your recommend for that, I'd go to the Stake President.  Has a Bishop ever done that to someone who could only attend 2 hours?

Well I guess we are about to find out! 

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It wouldn't be going slower. It would be streamlining and making our time more efficient. It would reduce redundancy in lessons for the youth who presently get the same lesson two hours in a row. It would be less wasted time between each of the three hours chit chatting and gossiping. That can all be done after church. 

We went to a non-denominational church this summer on vacation. It was one hour and I came out filled to the brim with love and learning about our Savior. They even had time to discuss charitable causes and serve communion. They sang a whole lot more than we do in our meetings. I'm convinced  it's less about the amount of time than the quality of what goes on in that hour or two.  We waste a ton of time in the three hour block. 

Edited by carlimac

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1 hour ago, carlimac said:

It wouldn't be going slower. It would be streamliing and making our time more efficient. It would reduce redundancy in lessons for the youth who presently get the same lesson two hours in a row.

@Vort, this is not about HOURS.  This is about what the hours are FOR.

1.)  Sacrament Meeting

2.)  Sunday School

3.)  Youth/Priesthood/RS

None of these are the same.  I am confused by carlimacs claim above that the Youth get the same lesson two hours in a row.  I admit, I've never been in Young Womens so I can only speak for Young Mens.  The 2nd hour has a specific purpose - gospel doctrine (basically Sunday School), the 3rd hour has a specific purpose - Duties and Responsibilities of the Priesthood (basically what we call in Catholic School as Christian Living).  I asked my boys just 2 minutes ago if the 2nd and 3rd hours are the same lesson.  They looked at me like an alien took their mother.  I even went ahead and asked them if gospel doctrine is redundant to Seminary.  They didn't take me seriously thinking I was just pretending to be silly.  I insisted I am serious and reminded them I'm an adult convert.. so they patiently said, No, Mom... they are different.  They have different purposes.  Seminary is very in depth in scripture and specialized and has things like scripture mastery.  Gospel doctrine is more on building testimonies of gospel teachings so it's more like "applied doctrine".

So, if we're talking about "reducing hours" to 2 hours then one of those purposes are going to have to go and become "homework".  Now, which one?  Of course Sacrament Meeting is not going anywhere, so you're thinking get rid of Sunday School or get rid of Relief Society?

So, let's start with Sunday School.  That would be weird.  Every single Christian denomination has Sunday School.  It's the only time you learn about Gospel Doctrine.  Catholic children are encouraged to attend Catholic School where they have Religious Education for 3 credits every semester from 1st Grade through 2nd year of College.  If you don't go to Catholic School then you are encouraged to attend Prep which is 2 hours every week or attend CCD.  Protestants have Bible Study every Wednesday so if you live in the Bible belt you can't schedule anything like Scouts or Sports on Wednesdays and expect to have a good showing.  So LDS getting rid of Sunday School... so, where do you go to study gospel doctrine?  Homework?  Why?  I'd say Sunday School after Sacrament is a lot less stressful.

So, get rid of Relief Society or Priesthood?  That's just as weird.  A functioning organization as vibrant, large, and socially necessary as Relief Society can't remain functional without proper meetings.  What's more convenient than to hold such meeting while we are already all together at Church after sacrament?

Anyway... when you're thinking of the hours like in carlimac's experience in her ward where they are useless, then I understand why one would want to get rid of it.  I don't find it useless in my ward.  At. All.

Edited by anatess2

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22 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

I am confused by carlimacs claim above that the Youth get the same lesson two hours in a row.  I admit, I've never been in Young Womens so I can only speak for Young Mens.  The 2nd hour has a specific purpose - gospel doctrine (basically Sunday School), the 3rd hour has a specific purpose - Duties and Responsibilities of the Priesthood (basically what we call in Catholic School as Christian Living).

The overarching topics are the same.  Some of the lesson outlines overlap.  I suppose if your teachers are not using the methodology intended for these lessons, the content may be identical at times.  But if they're doing things the way they're supposed to, while the overarching topic (e.g. The Godhead, The Atonement, etc.) will be the same, the lessons themselves should be quite different.

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So... in our Stake, the youth was given the option of Online Seminary.  So they can do it at any time because it's online.  They have a seminary teacher separate from the regular Seminary teacher.  The online seminary teacher happens to be from our ward.  So I asked my boys if they'd like to move to online seminary.  They both refused.  They'd rather wake up at 5AM every weekday to go to 5:45AM Seminary.  I was hoping they'd take the online one so I won't have to wake up at 4:45AM to prepare their breakfast!  But it's ok.  I'm just happy my eldest finally got his driver's license so I don't have to drive them anymore.  We eat breakfast, then I pack their school lunch, then clean-up the kitchen and go right back to bed to sleep until 9AM when I have to log on to work.

Edited by anatess2

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6 hours ago, Vort said:

I have heard the conversation about two-hour blocks of Sunday meetings for many years. Speculation has ramped up significantly since April General Conference.

I realize that I've been a little out of it recently.  But why has it started up again anyway.  I've heard they were getting rid of Sunday School for 30 years.  It hasn't happened yet.

What is new that started this up yet again?

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4 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I realize that I've been a little out of it recently.  But why has it started up again anyway.  I've heard they were getting rid of Sunday School for 30 years.  It hasn't happened yet.

What is new that started this up yet again?

People posting rumors, and a few people reporting that they know people whose wards are piloting a 2-hour block.  I have yet to hear anything more authoritative than that.

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5 hours ago, Fether said:

I would also add to this that Peter’s “slowness” did not hold Christ’s progression back. Neither should other’s slothfulness and subsequent adjustment of the length of church (should it happen) slow us down.

What would be fantastic would be a 2 hour block and then a separate voluntary 3rd hour for members that want more.

Not sure how to prevent this 3rd hour from becoming a “you aren’t going? You must not have a testimony” situation.

All three hours of church are already voluntary. 

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Some people probably want 2hour church for the wrong reason. These may be the same people that rejoiced that there was no more monthly reporting with home teaching, and then have failed to improve their ministering. 

Im good for whatever the prophet announces.  One thing i do believe is the way we do things is going to change.  Changing is a good thing- to me it’s a sign that we are aligning ourselves to become a more Zion people.  If we go to 2hour church and have an extra hour we will be accountable to the Lord for that hour just like we are with all our time.  

For me i don’t have a pressing calling so 3 hours is not a big deal. When i was in a bishopric it seemed i could spend 6-8 hours at church- 1 hour less would be nice. We can debate the pros and cons all day but the great thing is we have a prophet that sees and if he is being told 2 hour church, i follow emphatically and there is nothing wrong with excitement. 

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https://www.lds.org/church/news/get-a-sneak-peek-at-the-new-church-curriculum-for-2019?lang=eng

 

Rather than just focusing on lessons to be taught in church, the new curriculum shifts the emphasis to studying as individuals and families at home.

“Programs of the Church are home centered and Church sponsored,” said Mike Magelby, director of curriculum for the Church, during the Education Week presentation. “Your study starts at home. You will get the doctrine and learn things from the home manual.”

One of the main ideas for the new curriculum came from section 1.4 of Handbook 2: Administering the Church, which reads: “God has revealed a pattern of spiritual progress for individuals and families through ordinances, teaching, programs, and activities that are home centered and Church supported.”

Rather than focusing on just the teaching in the weekly Church-meeting block, much of the learning is to be done at home so that church learning becomes a support—rather than the primary source—to teaching and learning in the gospel.

Edited by mikbone

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I sometimes feel that our church is designed for only certain types of families. We have a faith that should welcome all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds as we spread throughout the world. We need to be more accommodating to different circumstances. 

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https://www.ldschurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2018-08-28/president-oaks-talks-church-history-lgbt-issues-mental-illness-at-los-angeles-devotional-47877

 

“We have spent many hours talking about how we can simplify our Church programs to perform their essential function for a wide variety of family circumstances ...,” said President Oaks. “Now, I am pleased to tell you that some help is on the way and more is under discussion.”

 

Dallin H. Oaks  August 24, 2018

Santa Monica, CA Devotional

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I await developments.

I was in a Relief Society meeting when they played a video from salt lake. The purpose of the video was to redefine the priorities of visiting teaching. Previously we serviced active sisters first. Based on the video, we were now to serve active sisters last. In our area, that means no visiting teaching for active sisters. We have a ratio of 5:1 inactive to active. 

The sisters were angry and hurt.

i personally would have ‘made an accommodation for local circumstances’ and not changed priorities.

However, in a high needs location when you are treading water all the time, it is hard to think outside the box. Creativity is tough when you are on the firing line.

i see good people making bad decisions in my stake and I sometimes wonder what kind of guidance they are getting from the above the stake level. 

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My prediction for changes (heck, it's just as valid as anyone else predicting and posting online for tens of people to gossip over) are the following:

  • The Sunday school curriculum will include a home study program IN ADDITION TO the already existing 3-hour block.  Such program will have families study together on the same topic.  Possibly included with the FHE curriculum.
  • The Church missionary program will be altered to take into account telecommunications.  The "dial-a-missionary" thing (I don't know the official name) and the "I'm a Mormon" campaign are only the beginning.
  • While phasing in the replacement for the Scouting program, we'll include some changes for the YW program.  Seminary may be affected.
  • Nearly all parts of various programs will have some link to connect them to other programs so that the entire Church curriculum will be brought together into one great whole.  Primary, YM/YW, Sunday school, FHE, Seminary, priesthood, relief society, etc. will all follow the same curriculum for the year with slightly different emphasis.

I have wondered sometimes at the wisdom of having the Sunday School program not follow the same schedule as Seminary.  Yes, we'd still have to deal with the school year vs. the calendar year.  But that would be a minor issue.  Then again, it may be an attempt to help those students who only get one year of exposure to be exposed to as much as possible.  But I have wondered why.

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9 hours ago, zil said:

People posting rumors, and a few people reporting that they know people whose wards are piloting a 2-hour block.  I have yet to hear anything more authoritative than that.

So, in other words, the same thing I've been hearing for over 30 years?  Sheesh!  Why does this keep coming up?

Those wards/buildings were not "piloting" any new program.  These were simply exceptions to the rule for a variety of reason, not the least of which was the lack of space to have so many wards in the same building for a full 3-hr block.  So, some wards were cut back to accommodate space.

Why does this rumor keep recurring?

Edited by Guest

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10 hours ago, anatess2 said:

@Vort, this is not about HOURS.  This is about what the hours are FOR.

1.)  Sacrament Meeting

2.)  Sunday School

3.)  Youth/Priesthood/RS

None of these are the same.  I am confused by carlimacs claim above that the Youth get the same lesson two hours in a row.  I admit, I've never been in Young Womens so I can only speak for Young Mens.  The 2nd hour has a specific purpose - gospel doctrine (basically Sunday School), the 3rd hour has a specific purpose - Duties and Responsibilities of the Priesthood (basically what we call in Catholic School as Christian Living).  I asked my boys just 2 minutes ago if the 2nd and 3rd hours are the same lesson.  They looked at me like an alien took their mother.  I even went ahead and asked them if gospel doctrine is redundant to Seminary.  They didn't take me seriously thinking I was just pretending to be silly.  I insisted I am serious and reminded them I'm an adult convert.. so they patiently said, No, Mom... they are different.  They have different purposes.  Seminary is very in depth in scripture and specialized and has things like scripture mastery.  Gospel doctrine is more on building testimonies of gospel teachings so it's more like "applied doctrine".

So, if we're talking about "reducing hours" to 2 hours then one of those purposes are going to have to go and become "homework".  Now, which one?  Of course Sacrament Meeting is not going anywhere, so you're thinking get rid of Sunday School or get rid of Relief Society?

So, let's start with Sunday School.  That would be weird.  Every single Christian denomination has Sunday School.  It's the only time you learn about Gospel Doctrine.  Catholic children are encouraged to attend Catholic School where they have Religious Education for 3 credits every semester from 1st Grade through 2nd year of College.  If you don't go to Catholic School then you are encouraged to attend Prep which is 2 hours every week or attend CCD.  Protestants have Bible Study every Wednesday so if you live in the Bible belt you can't schedule anything like Scouts or Sports on Wednesdays and expect to have a good showing.  So LDS getting rid of Sunday School... so, where do you go to study gospel doctrine?  Homework?  Why?  I'd say Sunday School after Sacrament is a lot less stressful.

So, get rid of Relief Society or Priesthood?  That's just as weird.  A functioning organization as vibrant, large, and socially necessary as Relief Society can't remain functional without proper meetings.  What's more convenient than to hold such meeting while we are already all together at Church after sacrament?

Anyway... when you're thinking of the hours like in carlimac's experience in her ward where they are useless, then I understand why one would want to get rid of it.  I don't find it useless in my ward.  At. All.

  Let me explain. The manual "Come Follow Me" is used in both Sunday School and Young Women. It is broken down chronologically with a theme for every month. The first lesson of every month introduces the topic. We've been instructed as a presidency when we teach the first lesson of the month to teach the introductory lesson. Apparently Sunday School does it the same way. So the kids will get the same lesson twice on the first Sunday of the month. Granted the SS teacher and the YW teacher don't use the same exact words and may use different videos, etc. But the topic is the same. By the third hour the kids are often saturated as it is.  In our ward another member of the YW presidency has priesthood age boys and they have complained of the same thing. It's just repetitive to have the exact same material for two hours in a row.  After the first week of the month there may be more variation as the teacher can choose from several different topics,  but still under the same general theme. So they may not get the exact same lesson twice in a row on a given Sunday, but within a month they will often have been given the same lessons, seen the same videos, read the same Conference talks, etc. Not only that, but this has been the curriculum for the last 4 years. I'm teaching the same lesson in November that I taught last year. At least I know what I taught last year so I can change it  up and make it fresh. 

Anatess- really? I never said our hours are useless. I said there is a lot of wasted time moving from one venue to the next. And something I didn't say before is that a huge amount of time is spent repeating announcements that were made in Sac meeting and that have been sent out in newsletters both from RS and from the ward newsletter person. Sac meeting ends at 10 -15 after the hour. People socialize and meander and we may get a 30 min lesson in SS. Same thing happens in RS or YW. I don't know what happens in Priesthood but with opening exercises with all the YM and men, then passing to individual classes, they lose a good 5-10 minutes in transition. Actual lesson time within the last two hours adds up to about an hour.  Also when I taught Primary (for years and years), 40 min for a lesson was not enough to cover all the material, but too long for the kids to be confined to a little room. 

These are my real life experiences- not just my perception of them. Perhaps my ward isn't as perfect and celestialized as Vort's and Anatess's but its'a great ward where people are sincere and trying hard to balance all that is required from church programs with the rest of their lives. The challenge is real.

Edited by carlimac

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53 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Those wards/buildings were not "piloting" any new program.

Just for the record, I know for a fact that the Church pilots programs by having some number of wards/stakes try them out.  I know this because (a) my ward has piloted a program (an effort to reactivate returned missionaries, of any age, who had gone inactive); and (b) some of the ministering program videos have featured comments from members whose wards piloted the changes.

Doesn't mean people are or are not testing out ways of managing a 2-hour block with the intent of figuring out what works best so they can roll it out to the whole Church, but they could be.

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9 minutes ago, zil said:

Just for the record, I know for a fact that the Church pilots programs by having some number of wards/stakes try them out.  I know this because (a) my ward has piloted a program (an effort to reactivate returned missionaries, of any age, who had gone inactive); and (b) some of the ministering program videos have featured comments from members whose wards piloted the changes.

Doesn't mean people are or are not testing out ways of managing a 2-hour block with the intent of figuring out what works best so they can roll it out to the whole Church, but they could be.

Well, first, I was obviously talking about "those" buildings that we were specifically talking about phasing out any particular hour of the block. 

Second, sure, the Church tries out some things. No problem believing that.

Having heard this Sunday School phasing out thing for 30 years is getting rather old.  A relative heard it from Elder Packer Way back in the 90s.

  • The Brethren have never heard that rumor.
  • The Brethren are not aware of any plans to phase out Sunday School.
  • Some buildings have had to go to a reduced schedule because of logistics, not because of any plans to go with a church wide program.

Yes, this was fourth hand.  But it is just as valid as these other rumors we've been hearing for 30 or more years which have apparently been proven false.

Edited by Guest

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4 hours ago, mikbone said:

https://www.lds.org/church/news/get-a-sneak-peek-at-the-new-church-curriculum-for-2019?lang=eng

 

Rather than just focusing on lessons to be taught in church, the new curriculum shifts the emphasis to studying as individuals and families at home.

“Programs of the Church are home centered and Church sponsored,” said Mike Magelby, director of curriculum for the Church, during the Education Week presentation. “Your study starts at home. You will get the doctrine and learn things from the home manual.”

One of the main ideas for the new curriculum came from section 1.4 of Handbook 2: Administering the Church, which reads: “God has revealed a pattern of spiritual progress for individuals and families through ordinances, teaching, programs, and activities that are home centered and Church supported.”

Rather than focusing on just the teaching in the weekly Church-meeting block, much of the learning is to be done at home so that church learning becomes a support—rather than the primary source—to teaching and learning in the gospel.

Whereas changes may well be made to help people understand this better, the idea that learning the gospel should primarily be from the home is nothing new. It's actually scriptural. 

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23 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Whereas changes may well be made to help people understand this better, the idea that learning the gospel should primarily be from the home is nothing new. It's actually scriptural. 

Not to mention that the Brethren have been preaching this, well, pretty much forever.

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"The Church cannot be strong if a majority of its leaders and members come from weak families.  Conversely, if most of the families in a ward or stake are strong, the ward or stake will also be strong.  The same is true of the Church."  -   Dallin H. Oaks devotional held in the Los Angeles California Santa Monica Stake Center on Friday, August 24, 2018.

And please see

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1994/10/our-strengths-can-become-our-downfall?lang=eng

Dallin H. Oaks talk addressed at BYU on June 7, 1992

 

Some news outlets and even the snarky title to this topic seem to insinuate the desire to do away with the weaker families in the Church.

I interpret President Oaks words as a desire to strengthen the Church from within the family...

 

Does it take a village to raise a child?  It is a wonderful African proverb & Hillary Rodham Clinton certainly preached it...

But I prefer Nephi

2 Nephi 2:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

27 Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.

Edited by mikbone

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7 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

I sometimes feel that our church is designed for only certain types of families.  

You mean eternal ones? ;)

7 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

We have a faith that should welcome all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds as we spread throughout the world. We need to be more accommodating to different circumstances. 

"We" don't have a faith. It is God's. But...that aside, I'm quite convinced this comment of yours is both correct and not correct, depending on how one reads it. If by "all" kinds of background you mean "ALL" kinds of backgrounds...then....no. If by "all" kinds of backgrounds you mean "a wide variety of backgrounds" then yes.

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