Relief Society Presidencies no longer sit with Bishopric


Grunt
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I've seen reports going around, linking a paywalled article in the SLT, that this was put out by an area authority.  I didn't know this was a thing.  Does the entire Ward Council sit on the stand during Sacrament in other places?   

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32 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Does the entire Ward Council sit on the stand during Sacrament in other places?   

I've never seen such a thing.  What I have seen:

  • Members of the Stake Presidency sitting with the bishopric
  • The Stake High Councillor assigned to the ward sitting with the bishopric
  • A member of the EQP sitting with the lone bishopric member in attendance

That's it.  Anyone else on the stand is over where the speakers sit, and they're speaking or otherwise participating (or sometimes another person from the Stake High Council there to present stake callings).

I wonder if some wards have been having the RSP sitting on the stand and Church HQ got wind and told them to stop.

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56 minutes ago, Grunt said:

paywalled article in the SLT

I can see the whole article (if you can't, disable javascript - apparently their paywall isn't sophisticated), so here's what I can see... Title and sub-title: "'A slap in the face': LDS Relief Society leaders ordered off the stand" and "Area president puts an end to this Bay Area tradition.  Many women are asking: Why?"

Apparently some wards in San Francisco have been doing this for "a decade or more".  The article then goes on to create as much controversy, contention, and drama as it can manage.  Humility and logic appear to be lacking.

Edited by zil2
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26 minutes ago, zil2 said:

I can see the whole article (if you can't, disable javascript - apparently their paywall isn't sophisticated), so here's what I can see... Title and sub-title: "'A slap in the face': LDS Relief Society leaders ordered off the stand" and "Area president puts an end to this Bay Area tradition.  Many women are asking: Why?"

Apparently some wards in San Francisco have been doing this for "a decade or more".  The article then goes on to create as much controversy, contention, and drama as it can manage.  Humility and logic appear to be lacking.

Do local wards/stakes get to decide who sits up front?

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2 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

Do local wards/stakes get to decide who sits up front?

The handbook states who should be invited to sit on the stand.  It doesn't specifically prohibit anyone, but I personally wouldn't work outside of those listed in the handbook.  I've never seen anyone else work outside that, either.

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11 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

Do local wards/stakes get to decide who sits up front?

Not to my knowledge.  At least, it has always only been bishopric, stake presidency, stake high council representatives (on one side, speakers / participants on the other).

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6 minutes ago, Grunt said:

The handbook states who should be invited to sit on the stand.  It doesn't specifically prohibit anyone, but I personally wouldn't work outside of those listed in the handbook.  I've never seen anyone else work outside that, either.

 

6 minutes ago, zil2 said:

Not to my knowledge.  At least, it has always only been bishopric, stake presidency, stake high council representatives (on one side, speakers / participants on the other).

Thanks. I don’t think I ever noticed who was sitting up front. 

Edited by LDSGator
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When I was in the bishopric, we had 4 small children and the two older boys were difficult for my wife to handle by herself.  I asked the bishop if I could have one of my boys sit with me on the stand.  It worked and my boys were better behaved for it.

As a side note – not so long ago, as a member of the Elder’s quorum presidency, I was left to preside without any other priesthood leadership – everybody else was out of town.  As it turned out all the others on the stand were ladies.  Both the talks, youth speaker, music conductor, organists and opening prayer.  Those blessing the sacrament and the ward clerk sat at the far sides of the stans so they did not really count.    I took the opportunity to comment that sitting on the stand in the midst of such spiritual ladies, that I felt like a lion in a den of Danials.

 

The Traveler

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4 hours ago, Grunt said:

The handbook states who should be invited to sit on the stand.

Yep - this is about everything said on the topic: 

29.2.1.1.3: "Presiding authorities and visiting high councilors should be invited to sit on the stand. General Officers are also invited to sit on the stand unless they are attending their home ward."

29.2.1.2: "The bishop presides at sacrament meeting unless a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy in his area, or a General Authority attends. If the bishop and his counselors are not able to attend sacrament meeting, the stake president designates who presides. Normally he designates the elders quorum president. However, he could invite another Melchizedek Priesthood holder."

 

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6 hours ago, Traveler said:

When I was in the bishopric, we had 4 small children and the two older boys were difficult for my wife to handle by herself.  I asked the bishop if I could have one of my boys sit with me on the stand.  It worked and my boys were better behaved for it.

 

That’s a really great idea. It shows how much the church values families. 

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5 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

That’s a really great idea. It shows how much the church values families. 

I've had kids wander on the stand during Sacrament and plop on my lap or give me a fist bump.   I think the generally accepted rule is "kids be kids, yo"

Edited by Grunt
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On 11/25/2023 at 2:26 PM, Traveler said:

When I was in the bishopric, we had 4 small children and the two older boys were difficult for my wife to handle by herself.  I asked the bishop if I could have one of my boys sit with me on the stand.  It worked and my boys were better behaved for it.

Alternate title for Trib article:

Bay Area Relief Society Finally Deemed Reverent Enough to Rejoin Congregation 

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Quote

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

 -- 1 Cor 14:34-35

A particular problem with the women of Corinth was being addressed.  Now, it looks as if the Saints in the Bay Area are promoting something similar.

People think that this is about the simple act of opening one's mouth.  The language is so archaic that people have no clue what this is actually talking about.

Joseph Smith pointed to the word "speak" and said it was to mean "rule".  Today, we only have one remnant I know of that uses this linguistic equivalence: Speaker of the House ( I'm sure @Vort or @Just_A_Guy could come up with more.).  Today we say that the Speaker presides over the body. 

The word "preside" literally means to "situate in front of" or "before" the main body.  That person situated before the main body is assumed to have authority over the body.  In our parlance, they have priesthood keys (either directly or delegated) over the whole body. That's the bishopric and visiting authorities.  To place any individual without specific reason to be there (such as speakers, errand boys, music personnel, etc) would indicate that they were of the presiding body.  Relief Society would not be part of such.  So, if they don't have a specific reason to be there, they shouldn't be there.

When we have the traditional separation between the place where the presiding individuals sit, vs the speakers and other functionaries who do not "preside", we have clarity.  But when some sit right along side the presiding individuals, confusion or misinterpretation occurs.  That is why they shouldn't be sitting with the bishopric.

I have to wonder how they can say that it was oh-so-important, yet it didn't mean anything.  The are essentially saying, "We know what sitting there without specific reason means that we're part of the presiding group.  But we assure you that we're not usurping authority. We'll just complain about it when we're no longer allowed to do so."

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