Two Hour Church

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2891
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by LookingHard » 06 Oct 2018, 18:48

I don't get why Elder Holland was going around saying, "You had better have your testimonies strong before conference as it will be test your faith". What? There is NOBODY that is upset with this. Maybe Elder Holland thought people loved every minute of the 3 hour block. I have seen nothing but smiles and happy words.

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by dande48 » 06 Oct 2018, 19:31

LookingHard wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 18:48
I don't get why Elder Holland was going around saying, "You had better have your testimonies strong before conference as it will be test your faith". What? There is NOBODY that is upset with this. Maybe Elder Holland thought people loved every minute of the 3 hour block. I have seen nothing but smiles and happy words.
My mother-in-law was sorely disappointed. I think there's a type, among the most faithful members, who are proud of all they commit.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16447
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Oct 2018, 20:36

People who expressed hope for shortened time on Sunday can't complain or nitpick when it happens.

Just saying. :smile:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6486
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Oct 2018, 21:04

LookingHard wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 18:48
I don't get why Elder Holland was going around saying, "You had better have your testimonies strong before conference as it will be test your faith". What? There is NOBODY that is upset with this. Maybe Elder Holland thought people loved every minute of the 3 hour block. I have seen nothing but smiles and happy words.
My faith was tested by a few other talks....
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7147
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Oct 2018, 06:23

I'm glad it happened. It has these effects:

1. People with young children may wonder less why they bother to come. I heard that over and over and over again when my kids were young from other parents. It was 3 hours of hell every Sunday with really young kids.

2. My wife is a nursery leader and explained how the first hour in nursery is fine, but the second hour is really really hard. And she's very active in the way she runs the nursery with activities etcetera. She was in tears of happiness when it was announced.

3. You need fewer teachers now. People only have to teach twice a month rather than four times a month. This leaves more people for other callings. You could even put your best people into teaching positions and still have more people available for other work in the ward. Taken with combining the priesthood quorums, this frees up a lot of time.

4. 3 hour church was a major stumbling block for my parents when I first joined the church. They thought that was excessive. This addresses that fact, although my parents would never consider getting involved with Mormonism.

5. You don't have to build as many chapels, which reduces the financial burden on the church -- and to some members who are often assessed a certain fee for the building of a new chapel.

As far as nitpicking goes, remember, Curtis, we have many beefs with the church, those of us who post here. Some of us have suffered leadership abuse, repeatedly, feel lied to, feel trapped in our Mormonism due to the impact on our family or marriage if we went completely inactive. Others feel the leadership is stubborn and almost arrogant at times about what they feel are inspired programs, only to reverse these programs. And to reverse them for the very reasons many of us were labelled apostate or disloyal in suggesting such changes previously.

It tends to lead to a kind of cynism when these changes are made. I posted a thread on it previously, about how I find myself in a quandary when the church makes positive changes like this. There's a kind of "why did everyone beat up on me when I suggested this X years ago, only to do it now?". "What took you so long?" and stuff like that.

And of course, given my own history, I wonder about the role that financial and temporal considerations play in these decisions. The ability to reduce the number of buildings you need in certain areas by 1/3 is certainly a strong financial reason to go to a 2 hour block. And we have seen the church let the members suffer and suffer and suffer, even go to jail over doctrine (as in the plural marriage imprisonings before the Manifesto) when there was no temporal cost to the church. It was only when the government threatened to confiscate the church's property over the issue that the Manifesto revelation came. Money is a big deal to the church. So, I tend to look at these changes through temporal glasses and partly as if the organization is acting out of naked self-interest.

And of course, my own experiences when it comes to the church and its temporal concerns (non-welfare, by the way) only makes me see these situations differently than others.

So, yes, it's a good change, although i wish they cut out all the boring one-way talks in Sacrament and kept the two-way meetings for Ph/RS and also SS. But it's a step in the right direction, regardless of the motives of the church in doing so.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

nibbler
Posts: 4025
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by nibbler » 07 Oct 2018, 06:47

LookingHard wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 18:48
I don't get why Elder Holland was going around saying, "You had better have your testimonies strong before conference as it will be test your faith".
He doesn't want members to have a patty-cake, taffy-pull experience.

nibbler
Posts: 4025
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by nibbler » 07 Oct 2018, 07:05

SilentDawning wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 06:23
3. You need fewer teachers now. People only have to teach twice a month rather than four times a month. This leaves more people for other callings. You could even put your best people into teaching positions and still have more people available for other work in the ward. Taken with combining the priesthood quorums, this frees up a lot of time.
It gives people teaching lessons two weeks to prepare the lesson. Yeah, I think a lot of people are going to start preparing Saturday night before the lesson or even during SM, but if I were an instructor I would use the full two weeks to prepare.
SilentDawning wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 06:23
4. 3 hour church was a major stumbling block for my parents when I first joined the church. They thought that was excessive. This addresses that fact, although my parents would never consider getting involved with Mormonism.
That's an interesting point. I remember many people "investigating" the church (man that phrase rubs me wrong) that balked at the idea of 3 hour church. I wonder whether the move to 2 hours will help with the effort to get people to join the church.
SilentDawning wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 06:23
So, yes, it's a good change, although i wish they cut out all the boring one-way talks in Sacrament and kept the two-way meetings for Ph/RS and also SS. But it's a step in the right direction, regardless of the motives of the church in doing so.
There's a subtle change that came with the two hour block, one hour SM. I don't know whether it is policy or just my experiences but SM typically lasts about 75-80 minutes. If we go shorter the BP will fill the remaining time until we hit the 75-80 minute allotment. I've also seen SM go as long as 1 hour, 45 minutes with individual speakers going over a half hour. Limiting SM to one hour will hopefully help tighten up the meeting, IMO you start to lose the crowd after 10 minutes or so anyway, I don't know why we assign 15 minute talks... must be to fill all the prescribed time.

Not to derail, but it's my experience that GC and PH classes can be one way lectures too. I think it's a function of class size. The larger the class, the more tendency there is for it to become a one way lecture.

I kind of like SM if only because it gives me a chance to hear a lecture from more than just the same two people each Sunday (GD teacher and EQ instructor). A few things:

1) If the GD instructor and PH/RS instructors aren't that engaging... you're stuck. You'll be hearing lectures from them and only them until they are released.

2) My lament at church is that hardly anyone has a voice. Often I mean input, here I'll say "opportunity." If you aren't assigned to be the GD or PH/RS instructor you never get an opportunity to give boring lectures ;) but with SM you get that once every two years (or once a month if in a small branch) opportunity to say something, anything, at church.

It's not really what I mean when I say having a voice at church, but SM gives opportunities to hear from more than the same three or four people and it gives you an opportunity to be a lecturer for a day, where otherwise you'd have to wait for a calling... that you might not want. ;)

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7147
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Oct 2018, 07:51

The thing I wonder -- what data were they looking at when they decided to make all these changes?

I am proceeding on the assumption that the higher ups make decisions much like managers do in large organizations. They have reports and numbers that inform their impressions. What data inspired a kinder, gentler, more effective home teaching program? What data inspired two hour church? What data inspired combining the priesthood quorums?

It's not too hard to see that public opinion informed changes that elevate the voice of women in the church. Movements by Kate Kelly clearly probably had something to do with those changes, even though she paid a high price for the change of which she was a part.

We will probably never know. What I find odd is that for years everyone was proudly stating that "a religion that doesn't require the sacrifice of all things can't produce faith sufficient for salvation". There was pride that it was a hard religion, and often considered a reason for it's purported success.

Now, they are watering it down (this is not criticism). Fewer meetings, shorter church, less demanding programs with less hassling of the members.

While I'm not advocating a change back to the ineffective hardship of years past, I wonder how they are justifying these changes given the historical attitudes of how good it is to require sacrifice. Also, this historical attitude that "if you don't enjoy church its your own fault". These changes seem to shift the burden away from the member -- in these attempts to make structural changes to improve the experience.

[Aside: I want to say that my wife and I were talking. We were lamenting how in past Wards, throughout our last 30 years in the church, we normally ended up heads of auxiliaries with normally two lame duck counselors. People on whom we couldn't rely for jack diddly. The new changes may well allow you to put three strong people into a presidency so you can actually DO SOMETHING in the average ward].
Last edited by SilentDawning on 07 Oct 2018, 08:12, edited 4 times in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 7067
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by Heber13 » 07 Oct 2018, 07:57

I like SDs comments about his wife and how much better this is for primary callings. So true. So very true.
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."

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7147
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Two Hour Church

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Oct 2018, 08:16

LookingHard wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 18:48
I don't get why Elder Holland was going around saying, "You had better have your testimonies strong before conference as it will be test your faith". What? There is NOBODY that is upset with this. Maybe Elder Holland thought people loved every minute of the 3 hour block. I have seen nothing but smiles and happy words.
Perhaps he's tapped into a segment of the church that has been around for so long, they would find these changes radical. Not us. To us, these changes seem welcome, and perhaps even a bit insufficient given our unorthodoxy. But to long standing members, they could be significant and maybe even unsettling.

One problem the church has is this -- when EVERYTHING IS INSPIRED, how do you justify significant changes to inspired programs? Does it imply that old ways of doing things were never inspired? This can rock testimony. My testimony was already in the crapper when they came out with the gospel essays disavowing the priesthood ban, so it presented no challenge. And their disavowal only confirmed that what passes for doctrine is often someone's erroneous opinion -- including a prophet who "will never lead the membership astray". It didn't affect my testimony. But it could have been hard on long time faithfuls -- which is probably why they were buried in an obscure corner of LDS.org

But the "everything is inspired" culture makes it very hard on people's testimonies when there are radical changes.

I think his comments were directed at orthodox, long time members rather than people like us.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Post Reply