A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

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Shawn
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A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by Shawn » 09 Nov 2016, 23:20

My dear StayLDSers, I have missed you. I am no longer a believer at all and I need help dealing with a situation.

The Primary President, "Jane," texted me and asked if I'll sit with my daughter's class during Sharing Time on Sunday. I would not have to teach the class.

I typed "Yeah, I can do that." But I didn't send the text.

I remembered walking past the Primary room last Sunday and the kids were singing "Praise to the Man." Gah! I thought they were done singing that. I don't know if they will sing it again, but they seem to be practicing it for something, sometimes in a different language. I will not sit there and listen to kids sing it.

I typed "Will the kids be singing 'Praise to the Man'?" I didn't send it.

Jane would wonder why I asked. It could out me as an apostate. How would she react? Our kids hang out together. Would other neighbors find out?

I told my wife about the situation and she didn't reply at all.

This seems like such a stupid little conundrum, but I'm worried. Any tips?

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DarkJedi
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Nov 2016, 05:46

The choice is of course up to you. I don't think it's stupid at all because it affects your peace. Factors I would consider:

1. Am I really needed there or is there some other reason I'm being asked? Sometimes sharing time can be challenging, but some of those challenges can be overcome by leaders being better prepared and teachers fulfilling their roles in sharing time. If I'm being asked because someone thinks I need a job (that I don't necessarily want or like) then my answer would more likely be negative. If I were truly needed despite those already there doing what they can, I might be more inclined to help especially since I would have skin in the game with my child.

2. Even if I were inclined because of any of the above factors, you correctly point out there are other things to consider. Some of the Primary songs are my most beloved. Others are my most disliked. The one you mention is a hymn that I also thought they were done with in Primary, and one I also don't like. I think I would find that I might have to excuse myself during those times when they're signing something that particularly grates. (I currently take "bathroom breaks" in SM when a hymn I dislike comes up.)

3. Is this going to be a regular thing or is it just this one Sunday? Perhaps the president found a sub for the class but the sub can't stay for sharing time for whatever reason. I'd be more inclined to do it if it weren't regular.

4. Do I have a calling? Will I miss attending another meeting (SS or PH) that does give me some fulfillment or edification?

Just my thoughts.
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."

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Shawn
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by Shawn » 10 Nov 2016, 07:46

Thanks for the response, DJ.

I don't think they really need my help, but I also don't think they are trying to give me a job. Jane is cool.

It won't be a regular thing. I already quit my calling and I definitely won't miss out on any "fulfillment or edification."

I just decided to send her this: "I would be happy to do it as long as the kids don't sing Praise to the Man. I'm not comfortable with that song."
Last edited by Shawn on 10 Nov 2016, 07:57, edited 1 time in total.

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LookingHard
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by LookingHard » 10 Nov 2016, 07:54

Good job being assertive, but not confrontational about it. I hope it works out well for you.

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Shawn
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by Shawn » 10 Nov 2016, 08:00

She replied:
We are singing the books of the New Testament in the tune of praise to the man. Would that be too upsetting? I understand if so. We're just short staffed this Sunday, but I can find someone else!
Haha! I feel stupid. So I'm going to do it. I told her I don't mind the tune. It's an old Scottish tune I believe.

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Shawn
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by Shawn » 10 Nov 2016, 08:03

By the way, the kids sang that song in the Primary program a couple weeks ago. I was hoping they wouldn't sing the second and fourth verses, and they ended up singing the first and third verses. Interesting. Maybe they just picked two verses to sing, or maybe someone said "Let's skip those verses that bring up the Oath of Vengeance and Blood Atonent."

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DarkJedi
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Nov 2016, 08:17

I think you responded well, and it was a good response from Jane too.

I love the tune of Praise to the Man, it's just some of the words I have trouble with. So singing OT books to the tune wouldn't bother me and I might even like it.

FWIW, Praise to the Man was sung everywhere as part of the annual Primary programs (or should have been). It was part of the program published by the church for Primary for the year. Local units could decide how much of it to sing, though. In my ward they did the whole thing but the congregation joined in the last two verses. Not me, of course, I had a urgent restroom need that couldn't wait until after the meeting. :smile:
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."

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Roy
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by Roy » 10 Nov 2016, 14:09

2 thoughts.

1) I participate in several churches with my children. Many of these churches have a Vacation Bible School over the summer. I remember one VBS where they were singing this song about Jesus being the only way and this one little boy got offended. I get that the song was pretty exclusionary. At the same time, this is their church and their doctrine. There is a certain amount of benefit in being able to eat the nice snacks and play in the games but not having to believe in everything that they say.

2) Sometimes I think how weird or church must seem to investigators. Even our primary classes do not seem to focus on the basics of Jesus and being kind to others. Instead there is plenty of teaching about the prophet, and the Q12, and temples, and traditional gender and family roles, and the A of F. It can make it hard for less than full believers to be ok with their kids attending when there is such Mormon specific indoctrination going on.
"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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Shawn
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by Shawn » 10 Nov 2016, 14:59

DarkJedi wrote:In my ward they did the whole thing but the congregation joined in the last two verses. Not me, of course, I had a urgent restroom need that couldn't wait until after the meeting. :smile:
I would have walked out too! I like your bathroom break idea.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A Stupid Conundrum with Possibly Serious Implications

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Nov 2016, 15:11

Any time you can help in a way thàt essentially is just being supportive of people and your kids is a good time.

Praise to the Man is a funeral song written by a dear friend who was grieving - and "praise" in Mormon-speak has no connotations of worship. There is nothing I need the song itself that even implies worship, so, frankly, I suggest to everyone in a faith crisis/transition that they look objectively at the song, shrug off the hero worship that many people choose (inside and outside the LDS Church), and not let that song have any power over them. For people who no longer believe in Joseph as a prophet and seer and don't want to sing it, just don't sing it. However, don't ascribe worship to others who simply are singing a song of praise for a fallen leader.
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

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