Relief Society Presidencies no longer sit with Bishopric


Grunt

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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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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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  • 3 months later...

Sadly, the rebellion continues.  Apparently, these women (or some women) called for sisters to "boycott" yesterday's Sunday meetings and the RS broadcast last night over this issue.  Satan is laughing.  In what way does refraining from worship and instruction aid anyone?

Anywho, before knowing anything about the boycott, my extremely introverted self opted not to go to the stake center last night, knowing I could watch it online today (at 2x, with pauses for pondering or notes, as I wished).  So this morning, as I was scrolling through IG, President Nelson's account had a portion of his talk from last night, and many of the comments were sadly negative, including complaints related to this sitting on the stand issue.  I read those negative comments and then went and watched the broadcast.  Funny thing: all but one concern those commenters had was addressed in some way by one of the speakers.  If they had only listened to the broadcast, with humble hearts, seeking answers through the Spirit, their minds could have been enlightened.

Satan is deceiving "the very elect" with things like this, and it's heartbreaking.  Refraining from worship and instruction (surely the equivalent of telling the Spirit to take a hike) isn't the answer, sisters - faith, humility, covenants, Jesus Christ is the answer.  And if you think you don't have power or access or whatever, go re-read President Nelson's October 2019 GC talk, "Spiritual Treasures":

Quote

Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants, and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances, has direct access to the power of God. Those who are endowed in the house of the Lord receive a gift of God’s priesthood power by virtue of their covenant, along with a gift of knowledge to know how to draw upon that power.

The heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood. I pray that truth will register upon each of your hearts because I believe it will change your life. Sisters, you have the right to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love.

This is nothing new.  Stop listening to the world and listen to Christ.

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46 minutes ago, zil2 said:

Sadly, the rebellion continues.  Apparently, these women (or some women) called for sisters to "boycott" yesterday's Sunday meetings and the RS broadcast last night over this issue.  Satan is laughing.  In what way does refraining from worship and instruction aid anyone?

Anywho, before knowing anything about the boycott, my extremely introverted self opted not to go to the stake center last night, knowing I could watch it online today (at 2x, with pauses for pondering or notes, as I wished).  So this morning, as I was scrolling through IG, President Nelson's account had a portion of his talk from last night, and many of the comments were sadly negative, including complaints related to this sitting on the stand issue.  I read those negative comments and then went and watched the broadcast.  Funny thing: all but one concern those commenters had was addressed in some way by one of the speakers.  If they had only listened to the broadcast, with humble hearts, seeking answers through the Spirit, their minds could have been enlightened.

Satan is deceiving "the very elect" with things like this, and it's heartbreaking.  Refraining from worship and instruction (surely the equivalent of telling the Spirit to take a hike) isn't the answer, sisters - faith, humility, covenants, Jesus Christ is the answer.  And if you think you don't have power or access or whatever, go re-read President Nelson's October 2019 GC talk, "Spiritual Treasures":

This is nothing new.  Stop listening to the world and listen to Christ.

If they were my daughters or perhaps my sisters who were involved in such shenanigans, I would probably feel great sorrow. As it is, I think it's wonderful that such wolves are removing their sheepskins so that we can more easily detect them.

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I have a daughter that left the Church because she has concluded that women are 2nd class citizens within the society of Latter-day Saints.  For a number of years this controversy caused divisions (sometimes angry exchanges) within our family and particularly between myself and my daughter.  Over the years I have come to the conclusion that angry exchanges are harmful to both myself and my daughter so for a while I avoided such topics.  Currently, I am able to discuss things without becoming angry or responding to her anger and things have gotten much better --- but there is another side to all this.  Her 4 children (my grandchildren) have continually drifted and have become quite confused over morals.  For a while the grandkids would attend church with us when we visited, or they visited us.  It has been a long time since they have chosen not to go with us to church.

It was decided by my daughter and her husband that kids should figure out their own moral directions and religious connections.  This has been most difficult for the kids and as they are reaching adulthood in this confusing world they have not done well.  Two of the children have become lost and developed addictions.   The addictions have resulted in severe mental illness issues to the point that it is doubtful that they will ever be able to ever live on their own without some assistance.   Sadly, daughter is coming to her senses and realizing that leaving the church and the moral mooring living standards bring – is the primary factor in her children succumbing to damaging temptations – just not enough yet to return to protections of living by covenant.

 It is important that each person develop their own faith in G-d but if a person determines to become an agent unto themselves – it is not just their lives that are affected.  It is not uncommon for innocent children (or others) to suffer consequences sometimes for many generations.  With such damage I marvel that the atonement of Christ is able to unravel whatever damage we can do to ourselves and others.

 

The Traveler

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14 hours ago, Traveler said:

Sadly, daughter is coming to her senses and realizing that leaving the church and the moral mooring living standards bring – is the primary factor in her children succumbing to damaging temptations – just not enough yet to return to protections of living by covenant.

 

Contrary to what a lot of "progressive" individuals wish to believe, a lot of people who identify as "conservative" do so because they believe that old and new need to be tested against each other in order to determine the best way forward, and that rejecting one or the other wholesale will only lead to misery. 

To put it bluntly, a lot of the problems we're seeing in society these days are a result of people rejecting the old norms, traditions, and standards wholesale, only to discover the hard way why things were done a certain way for so long. This includes the realization that rejecting older institutions without providing something that can replace what these institutions offered in the way of structure and guidance was a bad idea. 

It's tragic that your own family is seeing this for itself.

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On 11/25/2023 at 5:34 PM, Grunt said:

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"

Yes, but parents be parents, and parents should discipline their children.

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2 hours ago, Vort said:

Yes, but parents be parents, and parents should discipline their children.

In my younger years as a parent, I remember thinking “why can’t those parents keep their children quiet, or keep them in their seats during Sacrament meeting? My children are able to sit still and be quiet.” I was definitely being judgmental. Then, when my daughter died in a car accident, her two-month old son survived but with a brain injury, (I wonder if it contributed to him being on the autism spectrum?), we pretty much raised him. We would be sitting in Sacrament meeting, and he would suddenly get up and dart up onto the stand. He was a handful. I simply wasn’t prepared as a parent, even though I had raised 7 other children before him, to know how to deal with his behavior, or how to discipline or incentivize him to behave. He’s 20 now, and I still flounder with knowing how to help him flourish. He’s very high functioning, brilliant in areas of language skills, but has an eating disorder and other quirks. I feel like I have failed him as a parent. Anyhow, I’m a little more understanding of children who misbehave. Though, I do admit I find it hard to condone parents who blatantly just sit there and let their children be disruptive. 

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13 minutes ago, classylady said:

Anyhow, I’m a little more understanding of children who misbehave. Though, I do admit I find it hard to condone parents who blatantly just sit there and let their children be disruptive.

Good for you, though I'm very sorry for the tragic route you've taken. Ftr, I'm talking about the parents who smile benignly as their little children run screaming through the aisles.

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9 hours ago, Ironhold said:

Contrary to what a lot of "progressive" individuals wish to believe, a lot of people who identify as "conservative" do so because they believe that old and new need to be tested against each other in order to determine the best way forward, and that rejecting one or the other wholesale will only lead to misery. 

To put it bluntly, a lot of the problems we're seeing in society these days are a result of people rejecting the old norms, traditions, and standards wholesale, only to discover the hard way why things were done a certain way for so long. This includes the realization that rejecting older institutions without providing something that can replace what these institutions offered in the way of structure and guidance was a bad idea. 

It's tragic that your own family is seeing this for itself.

There are two great lessons that I attempted to highlight in my post.  The first lesson is quite obvious.  That is that making bad choices without thinking through the possible outcomes seems to inevitably result in regret.  The second lesson is much more difficult – both in realizing the lesson and figuring out how to reverse or correct it.   It is more difficult because it does not involve so much the initial act of the individual that makes the bad choice – it involves those closest to them that realizes that the choice is flawed.  Especially when we love and care about others it is difficult to sit back and do nothing when the bad choices are made – we rationalize what ever action we take to mitigate and solve the problem for those making the bad choices will somehow respond to our criticism favorably.   Then in addition it also makes it much more difficult for the person that made the bad choices to ever attempt any rectification because not only do they have to deal with the initial bad choices but also the bitterness involved in the exchanges of criticisms.   It is very hard to admit that the critic that cause so much pain is justified – especially if they went overboard in anger.

How can we be “right” if we become an obstacle and not a helper in the repentance of those needing repentance the most.  Like the parable of the Prodigal Son.  The Prodigal must become overly humble before they will come to their senses and return.  That return would have been shattered if the prevailing attitude was the attitude of the brother that remained faithful.  This is the reason that the fated calf was killed of necessity for the returning prodigal and why the faithful son needed no such affirmation. 

 

The Traveler

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