Friday, December 12, 2008

Mormon Worship

So lately, I haven't been feeling the same old religious services. I want something new and interesting. Don't get me wrong, Mormon worship is fascinating and great, but I want some changes.

Here are 10 Things I would like to see as in changes in meetings:

1. Straight music meetings- no talks, only singing or piano. Even if it's only congregational singing, I would love that.
2. Less administrative business.
3. Expeditionary Preaching- Really delving into passages of scripture
4. Reading Psalms Together. Aloud.
5. Prayers Together.
6. Less focus on white shirts- My bishop here said they are important to pass the sacrament because everyone knows white shirts are crucial.
7. Testimony meetings with less drivel.
8. Did I already mention testimony meetings with less drivel?- And can someone please stop the monthly testifiers who take up time?
9. Christ Centered Meetings- More so than we have right now.
10. Service Oriented Meetings- Let's go live our religion!

What about you? Leave your comments!


Catherine said...

While your ideas are good in theory, they would require extra planning to incorporate and many people would be uncomfortable with the changes. I think the church will continue with the same old unless a real need arises for change.

But if we're going to talk about ideals... I'm rooting for a 2 hour block schedule. =)

veronica said...

my ward is having an all music meeting in January. I don't like it. too much singing is not my thing. but you would so you should suggest it to your bishop.

daine said...

How about an all-white-shirt Sunday? Maybe your beef with the current meetings is that they just can't get into the sophisticated details of how white button-up shirts are actually the quintessential element of Mormon salvation? They could also hit on the important related issues of second piercings and tatoos, which also threaten to derail the church and end civilization as we know it.

Seagulljaap said...


It makes me inordinately happy that you read my blog. I feel like I have arrived. And yes. White shirts= lame.

Madd Town said...

In my home ward, there is a man who gets up every Fast Sunday and gives the dreaded Travelogue. I specifically remember one Sunday when he was talking about music, and he said (I'm paraphrasing) "even when the singers take a breath it's pure music" and then burst into tears. Oooooh my goodness. He's like that every month. And he talks r e a l l y s l o w l y and really softly so he's going on for fifteen minutes about who knows what, and even the bishop is falling asleep...*sigh* People like that are irritating. But on the bright side we have music only meetings all the time. I would bring it up to someone because I love those meetings. It's such a wonderful way to feel the Spirit.
Miss you dude!

danadu101 said...

so, i know it's late, and i may be contradictory to you, but you asked for comments...
I DO love the all-music meetings. but different people learn different ways. You and i connect with music - i've seen you at tunnel singing. But not everyone does.
Preaching - the whole point of sacrament meeting is to edify each other. I wouldn't want someone up there teaching me like they know everything. going into the scripture is great, but i love the way that everyone is represented in our church as opposed to having a preacher.
White Shirts- they have great symbolic meaning. It's a form of purity. We wear white shirts to the temple.. are they unimportant there, too? Formality of dress is important for that reason - it makes it more formal, just like using "thou" and "thee" in prayer. If you go out of your way to look special for sundays, it will feel like a special, set-apart day for worship.
And fourth- testimony meeting. Not everyone is a great speaker. The drivel can drag on sometimes, but as long as people are being honest and sincere, which i'm pretty sure those with the courage to get up are, then good for them. Goodness knows if i were to get up there, i would probably drag on just as long, trying to figure out what i was saying and communicate it across. (like this post...) I don't agree with the "oh, i'm trying to beat everyone else up here", but at least they are getting up, and we can learn from them. It doesn't make their testimony any less real.

told you i would be contradictory...

alea said...


Several things.

1. I don't think jaap was arguing for all music all the time. Just some of the time. Like you said, some people learn differently than others, so it's only reasonable to mix things up once in a while to make sure the musically-learning are included and touched.

2a. White shirts is problematic, because white=purity is a fairly Western convention. So, if someone comes from a non-Western tradition white means other things. Such as mourning in much of Asia, a burden in India (associations with white elephants), surrender (in military terms, which does pose interesting possibilities, what with surrendering our will to gods, etc), cowardice, the gothic (in literature) and violence against women (in the ribbon-for-a-cause lexicon). Now, I'm cool with white=purity and the temple because the temple came out of western forms, but it's fair to realize that we may be turning a false tradition into something of a fetish. And, since temple clothes differ greatly from sunday clothes the connection is iffy at best.

3. Formality of dress might cause more problems than it solves. For instance, the whole point of avoiding unusual styles, is supposedly, so that other members won't be distracted during the meetings. However, if we got rid of a standard of dress, the clothes would matter less and then those deviating from some imagined norm would be less out of place. Thus, more worship, less fuss. Also as for being a "set-apart" day, what about the folks who wear business clothes all week? Doesn't Sunday feel the same for them?

3b. Thee/thou is actual informal, though English has lost that distinction. In other languages that keep the formal/informal you alive, Church members use the informal, making prayers seem a bit, well, chatty. English should probably do the same if we want to actually support the belief of literal children of God.

4. The problem is not that people are bad at sharing their emotions, the problem is that people who think they are good get up every. single. month. We hear too much from too few and it creates an alienating experience for those of us who differ.

I hope you don't take these as personal attacks, seeing as how I don't know you, that'd be hard. Just sharing what I see as concerns.

Seagulljaap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seagulljaap said...


The problem we encounter with your testimony claim is the following quote from Elder Oaks.

A testimony of the gospel is not a travelogue, a health log, or an expression of love for family members.

So, in essence, however much I love you, I disagree with you on MANY levels.

danadu101 said...

Oh, Jacob, i completely agree with what you said.. i wasn't trying to say that... I agree completely that they need to be cut shorter. It annoys me when people get up and tell us their life stories. but still.. some people aren't good speakers and don't know how to condense. i have a good friend that is like that.. she tells stories, and just can't seem to figure out how to make them shorter.. they last quite awhile. That's all i was trying to say. I DO wish there was a way to help people get the hint, though.

rochelle said...

1.i've been to a few all music meetings-- beautiful!
3. Expeditionary Preaching-- if anthing, i think this is more of a sunday school thing than a sacrament meeting thing. also, it varies from teacher to teacher, but also, i agree with what dana said about how we are all there to teach and learn from eachother, and "preaching" connotates something i would think of more as general conference, or missionary work, not sunday meetings.
5. what do you mean by prayers together?
6. i think that wearing white shirts is important, but i also think that it is mostly a cultural thing. white shirt=sociatal norm. i think that this is kind of comparable to girls wearing skirts. "sunday best," for a woman, could essentially include pants, but it is socially unacceptable. granted, i think it is far more important to focus on the fact that we are there to learn and enrich our spirits and repent rather than look socially acceptable.
7/8. i whole-heartedly agree with the less "drivel" part, and i'll also admit that i think it's uber-annoying. haha--my family plays a game called "testimony bingo," and you make a board of names of who you think is going to get up and talk and then whoever gets bingo first wins!(it kind of helps witht the boring/annoying factor :)) but i also have to admit, i bear my testimony almost every fast sunday. for me, sharing my testimony makes it grow more than anything else. i always feel bad for taking other people's time, but i am almost always prompted.

i pretty much love you jacobnewman :)