Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Church Schedule

With the recent change to 2 hours of Church rather than 3 I noticed a couple things.  The times, duration, and even when exactly to pray and or not pray to has all been rigidly outlined and given to every ward in the world by the First Presidency. We're not supposed to deviate from the printed program and schedule or even when to pray.

For the primary the shortened meeting block has resulted in a much shortened class.  So short in fact the leaders of my ward had to send out a letter to parents asking them to help their little ones use the bathroom before primary as there isn't enough time for both a meaningful class and all the bathroom breaks.

By contrast, the new home study program allows total freedom.  We can pray, sing, dance, read scriptures, end short, or go long.  We can cover totally different material than what the manual says. We can do whatever we feel inspired to do at home.  The Spirit can govern at home.  Which gave me pause as to the contrast of what governs at Church.  It's different from what can govern at home.

It goes to show how nice it is to worship and teach and learn the Gospel in a home setting where all the rules are not prescribed or regulated.  You may even quote from something not carrying the Church logo (gasp).  You can invite whomever you want. The agenda can change easily.  At home it's more like a fellowship of believers and equals.  At home the Holy Ghost has a chance to get a word in.  It's preferable in my opinion.

It dawned on me that perhaps the Holy Ghost doesn't really get to have a say in how meetings are conducted for any LDS ward on any Sunday anywhere in the world.  It's all already been decided. This is deemed "organized" and "structured".  Because without it, it would all be chaos and craziness right?

To someone who's only seen LDS type church meetings, anything lacking that that same level of organizational rigidity could be perceived as undesirable and uncomfortable. Kinda like that hot and cold buckets of water experiment from last post.  The first experience (what we're accustomed to at the LDS chapels on Sunday) can color the next experience, and make the second appear weird at first.  When in reality it’s not.

The freedom to conduct a meeting by the spirit (like in a home centered situation) seems much more like what we read in the Book of Mormon.
And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.
Why would scripture have bothered to tell us how they conducted their Church meetings?  I think sometime we fear that if we implemented their method it would be disorganization and chaos so clearly our way in 2019 must be just as good or better than what the scriptures said.  It's "modern" for a modern global Church.  And it might be chaotic for a time if attempted, at least until it's acclimated to.  But once the learning curve happens then it might turn out to be preferable.  Who knows, maybe the scriptures way of doing things is better after all.  Least we all forget, the scripture folks who led their meetings as seen above were the ones having spiritual experiences at Church, vs 2019 where in every ward I've ever attended people normally can't wait for the block to end so they can go home.  Shortening the 3 hour block to 2 brought almost universal joy.  For reasons which seem obvious.

The church meetings I read about in the scriptures above resembles the freedom we have at home, or with friends and others we fellowship and learn the Gospel with.  Maybe the Church will eventually work itself out of a job.  I'd just as soon make home church my only Church.

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