How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4378
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by nibbler » 20 May 2020, 11:15

Would god have protected Jesus if Jesus threw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple?
Minyan Man wrote:
20 May 2020, 09:47
My wife had a telephone conversation with a long time member of our ward & this older member said, "we will be safe at church
because we are a enclosed group." She didn't say what "enclosed"meant. The implication was we will be safe at church regardless of
what happens outside. That didn't make sense to either one of us.

I'm sure that is the belief of a lot of members. Or, a variation of the same thought.
My interpretation of the enclosed group comment...

Each individual member of the group has been doing safe things in their personal lives, so there's more of a guarantee that no one will bring the virus to church. Like if every single family in the ward had stayed home 100% of the time and the only time they've ever ventured outside was to go to church. Theoretically no one would bring the virus to the church, the group is "enclosed" in that no one in the group has done anything risky that would cause them to bring the virus to church.

It's a big assumption/gamble.

If I were to translate what they're really saying I'd guess that they really, really want to go back to church but safety is still important to them. Working backwards from their plan to go back to church, they come up with some justification as to why church is safe. It doesn't really matter whether church is actually safe, it's a justification to satisfy one of their requirements for going back.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

Roy
Posts: 6000
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by Roy » 20 May 2020, 12:36

DarkJedi wrote:
19 May 2020, 17:59
I've seen that discussion about whether breaking the bread is part of the ordinance. I think it's a matter of interpretation. When I do it at home I bring our two small pieces of bread to the table already broken.
In my area prior to COVID the deacons were not permitted to assist in breaking the bread or filling the water cups because that is part of "preparing" the sacrament. I therefore found it interesting that our current instructions (that I was informed of) when taking the sacrament to a widow's home is the following: The widow prepares her own bread and water. Priesthood holders enter home and stand at least 6 feet away from the widow and the sacrament. Priesthood holders say prayer. Priesthood holders leave. I suppose in some situations the priesthood holders could perform the prayer from outside the residence but it seems that would be discouraged.

To me it is an interesting example of something that we thought was a rule because "only priests and above have the proper priesthood authority to prepare the sacrament" changing to "maybe priesthood is not strictly required to break the bread after all."

I feel that Jesus used the necessities of exigent circumstances to demonstrate the pliability of religious rules.
"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

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4378
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by nibbler » 20 May 2020, 13:44

...and we're off:

https://www.ksl.com/article/46755370/ut ... meet-again
In a letter to stake presidents, the area presidency approved all Utah wards to enter into the first phase of the church’s reopening plan and hold in-person meetings again, with added precautions.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16764
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 20 May 2020, 19:02

A friend said on one Facebook post, "I will wait and see what the prophet says."

I responded, "He already has spoken. We closed church, and even temples, completely before most other churches."

The friend didn't respond.
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

grobert93
Posts: 120
Joined: 30 Nov 2015, 16:05

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by grobert93 » 20 May 2020, 19:36

Heber13 wrote:
20 May 2020, 10:38
It was interesting to read the reaction of people in comments below that article. People still doubt if it is a significant danger to expose others or not. Some reactions..."180 exposed...zero become sick." Things like that.

So there is a wide range of opinions out there.

Some will say "God will protect us."

Others will say "God is trying to protect us by telling the experts to direct us all to stay distant and wear face coverings."

Others will say "There is nothing to protect us from."
On mothers day I called my family. My dad was complaining about shops being closed. My parents were shaking their heads in disgust. I mentioned our concern with my spouse working in public still as an "essential" worker and how I hope we will be ok. My parents said there was noting to worry about because there was nothing happening.

It's amazing.
nibbler wrote:
20 May 2020, 13:44
...and we're off:

https://www.ksl.com/article/46755370/ut ... meet-again
In a letter to stake presidents, the area presidency approved all Utah wards to enter into the first phase of the church’s reopening plan and hold in-person meetings again, with added precautions.
Finally, I can go shopping on Sundays in peace now, instead of being judged by obvious mormons (who dresses up to go shopping in Costco?) who are also shopping.

Curt Sunshine wrote:
20 May 2020, 19:02
A friend said on one Facebook post, "I will wait and see what the prophet says."

I responded, "He already has spoken. We closed church, and even temples, completely before most other churches."

The friend didn't respond.
But.. but the prophet was only following government orders to avoid lawsuits. He... he wasn't really talking to god in THAT instance.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1870
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by Minyan Man » 20 May 2020, 20:18

I have watched news reports that details the suffering of native americans on reservations because of the Covid virus. The latest
report talked about the Navajo tribe in New Mexico & Arizona. One of my wishes would be for the Church to find a way to perform
compassionate service projects that would serve the health needs within these areas. The local hospitals are operating at capacity.
The overflow is sent to motels in the area & monitored remotely.

I would think there could be fast moving medical teams that could serve remote locations throughout the world at a moments notice.
It could be a powerful tool for missionary work as well.Trying it out within the US would be a great opportunity to experiment & see if
it could work. You have to heal the body before you heal the soul. Wishful thinking I'm sure.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7029
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by DarkJedi » 21 May 2020, 04:46

I saw that report about the Native Americans as well. It was very sad and very moving.

I do recall seeing something about the church sending some aid there within the last month or so. The church has done a fair amount of humanitarian aid during the crisis.

I agree that a response team, possibly consisting of missionaries, would be great. Normally when we read about the church sending aid anywhere (besides Helping Hands) the church isn't actually sending the aid directly. The church partners with organizations like the Red Cross, Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army (and several others) which already have logistics in place to deliver the materials/food to the site of the disaster.
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
DarkJedi
Posts: 7029
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by DarkJedi » 21 May 2020, 05:14

From the KSL article about returning to church in Utah (which does give me some hope although there are still too many "recommends" and "shoulds" - which I emphasize in the quotes - in it for me):
The area guidelines recommend only sacrament meetings be held during weekly Sunday services, citing space limitations due to the size of some ward congregations.
:thumbup: SM, only. If the reason is only because of space limitations though that's not going to apply to my ward when we resume. (For clarification I am not in Utah and I'm sure our guidelines will be different when the time comes.)
Following state guidelines, wards should make sure there’s a 6-foot radius between household groups and members should avoid gathering in the church lobbies and are encouraged to wear masks.
:thumbup: Doable where I live, especially in the light of the next quote.
High-risk individuals (those 65 years and older and those with underlying medical conditions) are discouraged from attending an in-person sacrament meeting.
:thumbup: Again, this is literally about half my ward. Our bishop is over 65. I expect the bishop and several others will not follow this guideline if it's part of ours.
The use of hymnbooks and printed programs should also be discontinued, for the time being, the guidelines say.
Shouldn't singing just be discontinued? I like singing and it's an important part of church for me, but I also believe singing exacerbates the spreading of droplets. And how are the Luddites going to sing without the hymnbook anyway?
the guidelines recommend those breaking the bread use hand sanitizer and do so in view of the congregation
:thumbup: In our ward there is a big container of hand sanitizer up there. Maybe somebody reading this 2000 years in the future will surmise that hand sanitizer must have been part of the ordinance like some believe the actual breaking of the bread is. DW said the blessers should be instructed in how to properly use hand sanitizer.
Enough trays should be used so bread pieces can be fully separated from each other and water cups can be spaced out to avoid them being inadvertently touched.
I think this will be difficult with the bread. We do have enough trays, but I don't really see how the bread is supposed to stay separated. I like the water idea. :thumbup: DW said it should be encouraged that parents get the bread for their small kids.
Those passing the sacrament should offer the tray individually to visitors and not pass it down the row, which has been the custom for Latter-day Saint meetings.
Sacrament trays should be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use
:thumbup: Both good, although again I think some instruction in what constitutes cleaning and disinfecting the trays is in order.
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

Roy
Posts: 6000
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by Roy » 21 May 2020, 14:41

grobert93 wrote:
20 May 2020, 19:36
But.. but the prophet was only following government orders to avoid lawsuits. He... he wasn't really talking to god in THAT instance.
My understanding is that President RMN closed down church meetings before it was required and in areas where it was not yet required. My personal speculation and belief preference as to his motivation is that his medical training as a heart surgeon gave him an increased awareness of how viruses operate and he therefore took the burgeoning pandemic more seriously than some others might have. I do not have any evidence one way or another but that is my vantage point until more information becomes available.

I am proud of my church for seeming to be out in front of this crisis. Regardless of what happens moving forward, I am pleased with how they have handled the pandemic so far.
"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

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4378
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by nibbler » 21 May 2020, 15:45

They happened very close to one another.

On March 12, 2020 the governor of Utah announced that gatherings would be limited to 100 people starting March 16th. Later that same day the church suspended gatherings until further notice. The church's suspension of meetings was to occur starting at the time of the announcement (not delayed until the following Monday as was the case with the local government announcement).

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/03/12/ ... eads-utah/
https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2020/03 ... pends-all/
https://www.thechurchnews.com/members/2 ... ngs-176927

I remember people speculating whether church would close, the Utah governor's announcement, and there being enough time between it and the church's announcement for people to have the conversation, "How can we do church if we're limited to 100 people or less? Church has to close, right?" But that conversation didn't last long before church was officially closed.

Limiting to the state of Utah, the government beat them to the punch by less than a day. They probably knew each other's plans before any announcements anyway. That said, the church could have come up with a plan to limit meetings to 100 people (like Utah is currently doing), but they chose to close down.

Widening out to the world gets tricky. The church had already closed a few temples in impacted areas in late February. Temples worldwide didn't close until March 25th, despite the suspension of meetings that came on the 12th. Temples closed after the first coronavirus related death in Utah on March 22, a man that had attended the Bountiful temple the week prior.

The church was ahead of the game for quarantines in some areas and behind in others.

Despite my reservations with the plan for the phased reopening and despite my reservations that phase 1 has already been authorized in Utah, I feel the church has done a better job than most other churches.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

Post Reply