If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

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Beefster
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If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

Post by Beefster » 22 Jan 2018, 08:42

Church leaders seem to be doubling down on "keeping the Sabbath Day holy", whatever that means. In focusing on something, I suppose that implies there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

What is the general membership doing wrong then?
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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mom3
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Re: If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

Post by mom3 » 22 Jan 2018, 10:00

I had that question too? Every active member around me seems to be playing by the book. They wear their Sunday clothes all day long, stay hidden in the house to read scriptures, attend mega hours of church (bored or not), so I am baffled.

If they wish to reach the wicked world, it isn't working. The wicked world is doing it's thing no matter how like the Amish we are trying to become. I appreciate keeping a day Holy, a day of Rest, even of more spiritual pursuits - but six months of it is beyond crazy. We were initially told "not to make lists" that immediately flies out the window when you have to focus on it every month for six months.

On a macro level, we are such a small religion, we aren't going to change the arc of the world with our judgmental dedication to sitting home in our Sunday clothes.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Heber13
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Re: If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

Post by Heber13 » 22 Jan 2018, 10:35

I'm guessing it is about commitment levels. The thing they probably notice the most is when people don't attend church, because...well...they see they aren't there or are skipping 3rd hour or other things which make it hard to hold meetings when people aren't there or are not doing their callings.

So...my guess is that they want more commitment to church, and have to address the competing factors of doing other things on Sunday instead of church.

I took my son skiing last weekend. It was great. But...I'm probably not the only one doing that more than in times past. They are probably trying to address problem people like me.

The programs of the church seem to be geared towards family commitment to the mormon lifestyle...church, youth activities, service and meetings and home visits. It takes strong commitment levels and some community support to keep the fold together.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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nibbler
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Re: If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

Post by nibbler » 22 Jan 2018, 10:55

Pretty much what has been said. Not attending church enough and not participating in the programs of the church enough. What's ironic is that:

1) They're preaching to the choir. The people that attend church regularly will hear this message the most.
2) The constant focus on this will almost certainly make me want to attend church less, not more. Why do I want to go to church to hear "keep the Sabbath day holy" again? And again. Etc.

But the main reason I suspect they are doing this is because they truly feel that this is the fix for the current ills of the church, which I suspect they identify as the number of inactives. Boil off the excess water and you're left with: the fix for people not coming to church is for people to come to church.

Also... something has to be the theme, right? Might as well be keep the Sabbath.
Beefster wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 08:42
What is the general membership doing wrong then?
Why everything, of course. ;) I wouldn't worry about it. Spend the whole day in a suit and tie, go to church, read scriptures, and home teach all day? You'd still get treated to the keep the Sabbath message. Slob it and watch sportsball half the day? You'd still get treated to the exact same keep the Sabbath message. It's more of a personal thing. I wouldn't worry about why others want to make it an endless subject of discussion (lecture).

What you have here is a last minute realization that you were on the hook to come up with the lesson plans for the next 6 months and you forgot until opening prayer in the meeting where you're supposed to present your ideas.
The night stared me in the face, amorphous, blind, infinite, without frontiers. Not a single star relieved the darkness behind the glass.
― Stanisław Lem

AmyJ
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Re: If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

Post by AmyJ » 22 Jan 2018, 11:12

Heber13 wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 10:35
So...my guess is that they want more commitment to church, and have to address the competing factors of doing other things on Sunday instead of church.
I can see this.
Heber13 wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 10:35
I took my son skiing last weekend. It was great. But...I'm probably not the only one doing that more than in times past. They are probably trying to address problem people like me.
We all stayed home yesterday - the 2 girls have had colds and were on the tail end of them. I could have probably gone (was not feeling great, but ok), but I don't have the commitment level to attend church without my husband anymore. I am also 99% certain that he will never take the girls by himself if I am sick. We stayed at home for a good 6 weeks after my toddler was born because he wasn't going to take our daughter by himself, and I wasn't going to leave the baby with him (full-time breadwinner, so the weekend is the main amount of time I get with our daughters).
Heber13 wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 10:35
The programs of the church seem to be geared towards family commitment to the mormon lifestyle...church, youth activities, service and meetings and home visits. It takes strong commitment levels and some community support to keep the fold together.
I feel the traditional community supports are shifting as more people use the internet to form groups and communities. When we moved from California to Michigan, it was absolutely essential to plug into the local LDS community - and they are good people. But now I find myself drawn to other good people.

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LookingHard
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Re: If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

Post by LookingHard » 22 Jan 2018, 11:14

I would chalk it up to retrenchment and a bit of mistake causation.

There are some (most) in leadership that find church attendance and following the rules to a T strengthens them. I don't think some of them really understand others look at it totally different and even "feel" differently. I saw something in facebook that was interesting:
My wife and I are called to work in our stake to help leaders understand faith challenges. We presented some material in our stake council, including research by our own ATF's Benjamin Knoll and Jana Riess which was recently published in Dialogue on Belief and in American Contemporary American Mormonism.
We shared one finding that for self identified Mormon's that are doubters 60.4% say that "At the end of church, I usually feel tired or burned out". 11.4% of Believers felt the same. One leader was very surprised and couldn't understand why someone would feel tired or burned out.
I was in church/church meetings for 7 hours and I admit coming home and was just drained.

Roy
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Re: If the theme for the year is keeping the Sabbath day holy, what are we doing wrong?

Post by Roy » 22 Jan 2018, 14:04

Looking back I can see these themes recurring.

ETB wanted to flood the world with the BoM.
There was the "Second Rescue" where selected stakes did the temple work for the people that died on the Mormon trail.
GBH pushed temple work and bringing temples closer to the people.
There was Lengthen our Stride then Hasten the work.
I am sure that I am missing some. Now we have keep the Sabbath holy.

If I look at all of these they all seem like very internally focused ideas. None of them appear to make a dent in how we might interact with the world or how the world might see us. Overall it seems to say that we continue to do everything we have been doing, with perhaps a renewed focus one particular area to see if we might not be more adherent in that area.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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