Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

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Momma Snider
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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Wed 15 Aug, 2012 12:51 pm

Oh, I'm totally aware that it's my problem. I'm just feeling so unsocial by the third hour, I usually fantasize about going in the kitchen and hiding in one of the cupboards. The lesson Sunday really did lend itself well to discussion groups (or it would have if we hadn't run out of time after two of the five groups had reported) but I was cranky about it anyway. I don't think I showed it, though. And I was even the designated reporter for our group.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 01 Oct, 2012 01:53 pm

Yesterday, in a ward in Portland, I heard the concept of "yellow let it mellow, brown flush it down" in a church meeting. It was a guest speaker for the 3rd hour meeting, and she started out talking about budgeting, then went into saving money on foods by buying fresh. That went into a kind of bizarre thing about "generically modified" foods, by which she meant geneTically modified, and she had a handout and poster from Mother Earth magazine. And then she somehow got back to saving money on utilities, and she said, "I recently lost two friends because they stayed with me and they didn't like my hygiene when I told them 'yellow is mellow, brown flush it down.'" There were audible groans, snorts, and giggles, but she kept right on in her animated way.

I heard that in my home ward, a man with a cane was "bearing his testimony" and he held up his cane like a rifle and made shooting noises to the congragation. My son hadn't been listening, so he doesn't know the context, but he looked up when he heard the shooting start.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 19 Nov, 2012 01:54 pm

I totally messed up conducting Primary yesterday for my second time. Last week I did okay except I think I might have said "Uh" a lot. Yesterday I looked at the agenda for last week, and so announced the wrong opening song, and made the wrong kid do scripture and prayer! She looked at me like she'd never heard of such a thing, but then she always looks like that, so that didn't tip me off. And she wasn't there last week, when she WAS scheduled, so that didn't tip me off. Surely I'd have remembered if she'd actually done it. It wasn't until I went to announce the talk that I realized I was on the wrong page. So then I had the scheduled scripture boy come up and give his scripture, and I think everyone was fine, but I felt like a big dummy.

In other news, our sacrament meeting speaker started out his talk by telling us that he's living here with his parents and three of his kids, and that mental illness runs in his wife's family, and she took her own life in 2009. I knew that, but it seemed weird to hear him introduce himself and his family in that manner. I don't know how his kids felt about it. I know they have faced the fact for three years now, so maybe hearing it said didn't bother them, but I think it might have bothered me in their place.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Lady Celtic » Mon 19 Nov, 2012 03:38 pm

No kidding. But at the same time, it brings the issue front and center and he doesn't have to answer a lot of questions about it.

I gave a talk on Sunday and for the first time in my life, I actually remember what I said! I structured it like I was teaching a lesson, and I only turned to try to use the chalkboard twice.
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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 03 Dec, 2012 01:28 pm

Our opening prayer yesterday included a request to "Bless President Obama" which would have been fine, until he followed it with "that he'll have a change of heart and preserve the freedoms that our country was founded on." That's not okay in a church meeting. Rocky was there, so as the presiding guy, he had to be the one to stand up and clarify that sacrament meeting is not the place for political statements. He did a very good job, kept it as general as he could, but anyone who caught the comment in the prayer knew who he was talking to.

That man was absolutely fine and gracious about it. But someone else really chewed Rocky out afterwards. That person said, "I was much more offended by what you said than by what he said." Rocky's response to that was a great one, I thought: "I'm not offended, because being offended is a choice." I don't know if the subtle hint there got through or not, that this person was choosing to be offended.

I felt sorry for Rocky having to do that, because it was very uncomfortable for him, but I guess that's why the stake presidency gets the big bucks. KIDDING! NO, they are not paid.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby SDR » Mon 03 Dec, 2012 03:53 pm

Of course that's okay in a church meeting. Lots of politicians campaign in churches!

Oh, wait, you meant in an LDS church meeting. Gotcha. :)

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby robcan2 » Mon 03 Dec, 2012 04:31 pm

Momma Snider wrote:I felt sorry for Rocky having to do that, because it was very uncomfortable for him, but I guess that's why the stake presidency gets the big bucks. KIDDING! NO, they are not paid.


If we did get paid for serving in the church I wouldn't do it, because there is no way they could ever pay me enough.
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Momma Snider
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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 10 Dec, 2012 12:27 pm

That is so true, Rob!
We had people from another church years ago that came to our house and argued with our kids about whether our church pays its leaders. They told my son that the LDS church spends all the tithing money giving the preachers new houses and boats and stuff. As it happened, my husband was bishop at the time, and we still lived in our old house, which was definitely not a great house, and there was no boat, or even room for a boat in the one-car driveway. They didn't believe him when he told them, though.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 10 Dec, 2012 12:31 pm

I wish we could pay Primary teachers, though, so we could dock their pay if they don't show up. I was a little annoyed by the other counselor yesterday, who was supposed to conduct, but was 15 minutes late to Primary...which is the second meeting of the day, not the first. And we don't start until 1:30. But maybe she had a good excuse. I need to quit being so easily annoyed, don't I? There's no future in it for any of us.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Eric's Fat Brother » Sun 13 Jan, 2013 06:21 pm

One of the speakers today mis-read a scripture and ended up telling us to grind up our loins.
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Momma Snider
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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Sun 13 Jan, 2013 06:45 pm

Was it a youth speaker?

The deacon in the row in front of us was reading a video game magazine all through the opening hymn and prayer and sacrament hymn. I thought about snatching it while he was passing the sacrament, and I also thought about tattling on him, but I did neither. His mom made a comment a few months ago in RS that while a friend of hers was doing really well with getting her kids to be reverent until at least after the sacrament, she wasn't even going to try because she's a single mom.

Anyway, I decided it was none of my business.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby SDR » Tue 22 Jan, 2013 02:23 pm

I'm seeking some counsel here, but it will involve a longish story. Momma will be happy at having something to read, at least. If I've already discussed this (I don't think I have here) sorry for the duplicate. If you don't want to read the long part and just get to the seeking counsel part, skip to the last couple of paragraphs and read back up if you want more detail.

Stanley (my 15 1/2 year old) was finally ordained a teacher in December. Later than normal because of his heathen-inactive-at-the-normal-time father. I guess better late than never. In addition to the normal requirements to be ordained a teacher, there are a couple of extra hoops to jump through because his mother and I are divorced:

1. We need to plan on a specific Sunday that we know he will be in town and not visiting his mother, since it is rather hard to present him for sustaining and impossible to ordain him without his physical presence in church that day.

2. We need to plan on a Sunday that his mother and her family can make the long drive (as she recently moved away from the Salt Lake area to Laramie, WY) so they can be present for his ordination.

We jumped through the hoops by:

1. Contacting the bishop's executive secretary on November 18 to schedule an appointment for Stanley's interview (which was scheduled for December 2, the next Sunday Stanley would be in town).

2. Stanley was picked up for Thanksgiving visitation that very evening, so I gave his mother & grandmother notice that Stanley would be interviewed on December 2 and (assuming all went well, as there was no reason to assume otherwise) sustained & ordained on December 16 (the *next* Sunday he would definitely be in town). I found four weeks notice reasonable.

3. They didn't have the resources to come visit him on December 9 but planned on being here on December 16, so even though Stanley was in town on December 9, we postponed it the extra week so that his mother's family could attend.

One must realize that before I had custody, the only reason I was allowed to be present at his baptism or ordination to deacon were the efforts of good bishops that insisted I be informed and invited. I was not allowed to perform any ordinances, but ultimately that is not important as they were his ordinances, not mine. I was generally not afforded extra time with Stanley outside the normal visitation schedule, and while I am far from perfect, I've tried to be accommodating. When they said they would drive into town on Saturday before his ordination, they asked if they could have a few hours of time to spend with him to which I agreed.

Weird (if not inappropriate) thing #1: I told them they could have time with him from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm or so because we had a ward Christmas party from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Naturally rather than pick him up at 7:30, they decided it would be perfectly normal to just come park in the dark snowy cold church parking lot at 5:30 and wait for him there. I wound up inviting them into church so they wouldn't have to do that. I wish I could say I was being completely selfless and Christ-like, but the truth is I didn't want to look bad by forcing my son's relatives to sit out there in those conditions. I did recognize that it was not *my* personal building to block them out of and that I would be a poor disciple if I had forced them to stay outside, so I don't think I was completely selfish either. I'm just acknowledging that my reasons were not completely selfless.

The next day they arrived at our sacrament meeting to be there for his sustaining and stayed through his ordination in the teachers quorum. After sacrament I told them where the senior Sunday School met as Sandee & I would be teaching our own separate class. As it turns out (and I did not learn about this for a week or two) his grandmother joined into the discussion in Sunday School and shared *something* that was "false doctrine" and was corrected by the Sunday School second counselor (Sandee's cousin's husband). When I asked about it later he couldn't even remember the details of what had been said and indicated to me that it was a relatively minor point. He tried to be kind about the correction, but several other people had chimed in and reinforced that she was wrong. This offended her so they left the class and sat in the foyer to wait for the ordination, complaining within earshot of Sandee's cousin (who was dealing with a cranky 1 year old) about how our ward teaches false doctrine. {sigh}

An aside (because this is not long enough): Before I first started dating Stanley's mother, I was friends with her mother & step father. One night when I was visiting them, her mother shared with me a story about how when she was 17 she and her then boyfriend (later husband) wanted to get married but the parents would not allow it, so they decided to have sex and prayed that she would get pregnant (which she did) so that their parents would have to let them get married. I only share this as evidence that her concept of how prayer works and requesting special dispensation for sin don't exactly mesh with gospel teachings 100%. I should have taken that at the time as evidence that the nut does not fall far from the tree, but love is blind, and occasionally stupid. But I have Stanley, so I guess it wasn't *all* bad. {wry grin}

Stanley lived with his mother & grandmother for 12 years before I gained custody, and he still sees them as often as possible. He occasionally comes out of left field with some weird things that he's heard from his grandmother (exact examples escape me at the moment). I don't let those things just sit unaddressed and try to correct them as best I can, but I don't want Stanley to feel like I'm attacking the other side of his family. Obviously I don't tell him his grandmother is a liar or stupid (though I feel both those labels apply at times). So please, jump in with counsel as to how to delicately deal with discouraging Stanley's view of his grandmother as an authority on all things centered on the gospel when it is necessary to do so.

Note: As was said before, her "false doctrine" was not of an extreme nature. She did not suggest to the class that we take the sacrament to renew covenants with Satan or anything of a ridiculous nature like unto that. It is more along the lines of whatever she thinks is always right, and should anyone disagree with her they are wrong wrong wrong (to the point that she has been known to write to the brethren to seek correction of ward or stake authorities). I'm not saying those types of letters are *never* warranted, but I suspect they are very rarely warranted.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 22 Jan, 2013 03:40 pm

I totally appreciate you giving me something to read! I will now see if I have an opinion. I do definitely agree that it would be rare that a member would need to send letters to the General Authorities to correct their local leaders. Not 100% out of the question, but very rare. I assume that most of the time she gets an answer back that she should talk to the local leaders about the issue.
I was getting my opinion on the rest of it all formulated and was three paragraphs in when it disappeared. I don’t think I had reached the point of saying anything that needed to be struck down by divine lightning or anything. That’s really funny about praying to get pregnant and thinking one is being spiritual about it. I knew a woman whose husband was fooling around with another woman, who had never been married, and she was just sure that this man was her eternal companion, and that as soon as he got temple-divorced they would be married in the temple and live happily ever after. Uh, not if he’s fooling around while he’s still married…
Anyway, it’s always touchy to have differing opinions in the case of divorced parents, and especially since Stanley lived with them for most of his life. You could alienate him if you contradict them. Was he happy about coming to live with you, or was that a struggle for him?
In some situations you could just do the “this is what we believe, and other families believe something different” thing. We used that for all kinds of things, from watching certain TV shows to drinking Coke to playing with friends on Sunday. So maybe “Grandma believes ___, but we feel a little differently about it” might work.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby SDR » Tue 22 Jan, 2013 04:02 pm

Stanley has done okay with the change. We're 3.5 years into it and he has never whined about going back to live with mom & grandma. He misses them, of course, but he seems to deal with it just fine. In fact, this entire school year he's been seeing them a lot less because of how far away they moved away, and his school is better than it has ever been. Admittedly, that is partially due to him growing and maturing and being more responsible, but I'm convinced having fewer schedule interruptions due to visitation has helped.

One of the benefits (from his POV) of going to visit mom & grandma is that he is pretty spoiled and has no expectations, whereas at home he is significantly less spoiled (though he still has a pretty cushy life) but has considerably more expectations placed upon him. The big disadvantage there is that they don't work and live off other people and thus are always short of money.

On the other hand, with us we're doing okay between having two incomes and a nice house of our own and money to go do fun and interesting things. It seems he is (and I hope this is true) getting to a point where he can see the benefits to getting an education and being gainfully employed instead of depending on the church or others for his welfare.

He'll turn 18 the summer after his junior year of high school. We worry that he'll run off to live with mom at that point, but in talking to him recently he seems to be planning to stay here so that he can finish high school and then go to college. {fingers crossed}

Anyway, as for the "we believe, other people believe other" stuff, I try to deal with those things delicately. I also try to give the benefit of the doubt as much as possible because I know my boy isn't always the best at paying attention and might get things wrong all by himself sometimes.

In case it wasn't clear earlier, I'm not trying to hold myself up as a shining example of fatherhood. I am accountable for a lot of stuff that I wish I was not, but all I can do is continue to move forward. I'm also not trying to demonize his mother's family. They love him, they just don't understand that some things they might do out of love are not helpful or good for him, hence the change of custody.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby SDR » Tue 22 Jan, 2013 04:11 pm

And because it reads like I look down at people who take advantage of church welfare or help from others, such is not the case. I've needed that help myself in the past. I guess I do look down on those that could help provide for themselves and don't.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 22 Jan, 2013 04:45 pm

Church welfare wouldn't be there if there weren't people who legitimately need it.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Lady Celtic » Wed 23 Jan, 2013 08:17 am

Very true, Momma.

Scott, sounds like you're handling it just right. I"m the child of divorced parents, and while they divorced when I was much older (20), I still had a few years of backing up and re-evaluating things that I had been taught to make sure that they were in line with reality. And I had to do it all on my own, lucky me. So if you handle it the way Momma suggested, you'll probably be doing Stanley a favor, since he'll have a more correct belief to consider.
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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 18 Feb, 2013 06:44 pm

We have a deaf girl in our Primary. Her mom sits with her to sign for her. Yesterday the girl passed several loud bursts of gas in a row. I was very impressed with our Sr. Primary, though -- no one laughed or reacted in any way, except maybe a couple of glances between the older boys.

We also have a 39-year-old woman with Downs Syndrome who attends the Valiant 9 class. Everyone is always welcoming and friendly to her.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 03 Sep, 2013 12:48 pm

There was an interesting testimony Sunday. About half of it was appropriate, meaning an actual testimony. In the other half, she told us that she's from Trinidad, and she had been very offended that someone asked what language they speak there. Well, she has a very strong accent and looks exotic, and Trinidad is barely off the coast of Venezuela, so I don't think it was THAT dumb a question, but she did. She told the person that they speak Monkey there, and he believed her! So he asked her to say something in Monkey. She said "Ooh ooh ahh ahh," like a monkey, and he asked what that meant, and she said, "It means 'You're a damn fool.'"

I'm glad I wasn't the one who asked!

I know now that Trinidad used to be a British possession, but I didn't know then.

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Re: Curiously inappropriate things seen at church

Postby lisapants » Mon 23 Sep, 2013 11:27 am

I feel like my little family has been the inappropriate ones lately. Trying to get through Sacrament meeting lately has felt like trying to contain a 3-ring circus. I hate being disruptive. People with older kids smile knowingly, like they remember what it was like to take small children to church, but it doesn't make me any less embarrassed at the time. Sigh.
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