Meetings, Meetings, Meetings: Weekend Poll

By: wheatmeister
December 1, 2012

We believe in meetings.  We believe in long meetings, many meetings, and meetings about meetings.  We believe in opening meetings with a prayer, a song, a devotional thoughts, reading of the last meeting’s minutes, and then closing with a prayer and a song.  Actual meeting optional.

How do you feel about the 3 hour block?

How long should church be on Sundays? (choose your preferred answer)

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Discuss.

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25 Responses to Meetings, Meetings, Meetings: Weekend Poll

  1. Juliathepoet on December 1, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    None of the choices would get my vote. I think that regionally there should be decisions made, based on the needs of the members. This happens in some parts of the world fairly naturally. If you live in some parts of the Middle East, you can tap into the video feed of the service from the UAE but you are not going to have a small branch meeting for 3 hours.

    If you are home bound, and get the BYU channel, in the US, you can watch sacrament meeting talks in a 1 hour format, and a variety of half hour to one hour topics discussed by BYU professors and/or church historians. Depending on time and travel considerations, you might get the sacrament brought once a week or once a month, or once every several months.

    I wouldn’t want my personal preferences to be put on the church membership, but if they were, every Sunday would be fast and testimony meeting.

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  2. NewlyHousewife on December 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Things discussed in Sunday School could easily be discussed in RS/PH, and things discussed in RS/PH could easily be discussed during VT/HT.

    Thereby, we kill two birds with one stone: People falling asleep, AND the most repetitive VT lesson on the importance of VT.

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  3. hawkgrrrl on December 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I’ve always said a drive through option for people who are traveling would be nice.

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  4. jcc on December 1, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Do something to cut it down to 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The Church doesn’t know what to do with Primary within the 3 hour block. I teach Primary and it would be much more effective for a 20 min opening/sharing time and then 30 min for class. As it is, the kids suffer with overextended singing time and then have had it by the time class begins.

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  5. Moss on December 1, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    We could easily trim all 3 hours at least 10 minutes and sacrifice very little in the process. For a religion that claims to be so pro-family, the 3 hour block is anything but!

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  6. Chris on December 1, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    I’ve felt that the 3-hour block is keeping a number of people from full Church attendance. Many people with health challenges and young children find it very difficult to sit through 3 hours of meetings.
    Another option would be to move Sacrament meeting to 50 minutes and the other two meetings to 30 minutes with 5 minute breaks in between.

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  7. Douglas on December 2, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    The Sunday Block should be limited to two hours. Here’s how I’d do it:

    Sacrament Meeting is 55 minutes. Period. No running over. Also, keep the Fast Sunday on the First one of the month (keep those Fast Offerings rolling in), but have a “Bishopric’s Forum” to open up after Sacrament, to take up the middle portion, and limit the testimonies and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will they run over!
    A five-minute intermission to go to the next meetings.
    The second hour would rotate with one week being Brethren in Priesthood assembly (15 min) and then quorums (45 min), with the women overseeing entirely the Primary (this includes the 10 and 11 y.o. boys, an auxillary sister would be in charge). This way ALL the brethren are either with their quorum/group or supervising other PH quorums.
    The other Sunday would be Women are able to meet in Relief Society in the second hour, with the brethren to oversee the primary. The only issue would be who’d teach the Young Women. I’d have them meet entirely as a group with the eldest in charge. This way all the sisters can meet in Relief Society.
    Just my “zwei pfening” worth.

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  8. Geoff - A on December 2, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Hawkgirl 3 The only Sunday I spent in Utah in the last 10 years I was caught speeding by a very officious Mormon highway patrol man who said I was to go back 30 miles to the last town and pay my fine, and if I had not paid it within 30 minutes he would put out an all points alert and I could spen some time in jail. I went back and paid the fine to a Stake President. Drive through church?

    At present we have a brilliant SS teacher and a HP teacher who reads from the book. I would like to keep SS but perhaps rotate it with combined RS and P,hood. I see no reason why RS and P’hood should not combine, and separate still into age groups.

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  9. el oso on December 2, 2012 at 7:01 AM

    Let’s improve the quality of the SS and RS/P-hood lessons. I have been in Sacrament meeting and had the scheduled speakers get done 10 minutes early. Why did the Bishop not dismiss us and tell everyone to finish up the next classes 10 minutes early? It would be too hard to remember a non-hour finish? Probably the reason we have a full 3 hour block.

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  10. graceforgrace on December 2, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    I’m fine with church how it is, but where I have issues are with leadership meetings. Half of the time we could just shoot emails or have a quick teleconference rather than holding all of the leadership meetings.

    If someone is in a leadership calling (which luckily I’m not right now!) church is really 6+ hours on Sunday. Crazy!

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  11. graceforgrace on December 2, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    #7 Douglas,

    Canst du Deutsch?

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  12. Hedgehog on December 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    ‘Kannst’ and ‘pfennig’
    though goodness knows I produce enough typing errors myself ;-), and it’s years since I had to speak or read any Deutsch.

    #10
    Yup, we arrive 45 minutes before start (I set up primary, son in the teachers quorum, husband in Bishopric) and then if my my husband is doing tithing we can be hanging around up to an hour afterwards returning home via the bank. So that’s nearly 5 hours. Still better than your 6, but the leadership meetings are all one evening in the week – so another 2 1/2 hours then for my husband.

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  13. LovelyLauren on December 2, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    I have some back problems that make sitting for long periods of time in uncomfortable chairs very painful. I’ve often left church just because I physically have a hard time sitting that long. A two-hour block would be much more manageable for me.

    And as someone who taught primary, those kids are absolutely ready to leave after an hour. Trying to teach five-year olds after an hour of sacrament meeting, sharing, and singing time was just awful.

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  14. Douglas on December 2, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    #13 – I salute ANYONE willing to teach the little darlings. I would politely refuse any Primary calling (other than what was once called “Blazer A and B”, what do they call it now?). And that’s just in English…were I visiting a French-speaking Ward (Quebec or La Belle France Metropolitanie…), I’d have to resist the urge to repeat what Groundskeeper Willie said to his charges…”Boun-Giorno (conflating Italian and French), ya cheese-eating surrender monkeys!”. Maybe I’ve the wrong attitude but I’ve done my all for “King and Country” and taught a legion of everyone else’s brats in my day.
    IMO, not only for Primary but for most of the youth should the YM/YW and Sunday School be less structure and more interactive. Don’t they get enough of that mind-numbing crap during the week?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR5ApYxkU-U

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  15. jmb275 on December 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    In addition to all the points mentioned, we’d have more success getting visitors and interested friends if it wasn’t a 3 hour commitment. Try explaining a 3 hour church meeting to a Protestant!

    Oh how I wish it were only 2 hours! I’m sorry but SS and PH/RS are MOSTLY a waste of time. If you combined all the highlights in those two courses you could perhaps justify the second hour.

    Also, I’ve always said that we have just got to get some ritual in our Sunday meetings. The focus is almost ENTIRELY on the rehearsing of “knowledge,” factoids, and making sure all comments are in line with the brethren. Just one hour of ritualistic worship service and more people would feel more uplifted than 10 hours of sacrament meetings!

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  16. jmb275 on December 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Oh, also, my friend has a full fledged band in her Methodist church. Where the hell’s our band! I wanna band!

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  17. spiderlady on December 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    As an ex-Mo, I no longer have a dog in this fight, but I said for years that Sunday School should be eliminated. And if everything is supposed to be on Sunday, why are there still weeknight activity nights for YM/YW?

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  18. hawkgrrrl on December 3, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    jmb275′s point about the 3 hour block is absolutely right about visitors. I’ve had several opportunities to invite out of town friends from other faiths to church, but since I need to stay to teach SS, it’s kind of awkward for them to attend. Do I send them off in a cab after Sac Mtg? Do I ask them to attend SS without going along with them? And nobody from any other faith routinely attends 3 hours of church. They feel like it’s a hostage crisis, not a friendly gesture.

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  19. Gillian on December 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Amish attend three hours of church also, but their services are every other week.

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  20. Hedgehog on December 4, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    #17
    Yup. Not to mention the ‘cult’ of daily seminary… I advocated replacing the GD curriculum for the 14+ on a Sunday with a weekly seminary class (and make the rest of it home study), but that idea will no longer fly with the recent curriculum changes. So, as of next year, they will get to study the same thing in SS as they get in YM/YW… Are they really going to need 2 hours of it?

    #13 As a member of the Primary Presidency, I’d vote to keep the separate primary classes for hands-on age appropriate teaching activities, then bring them together for singing. Drop sharing time altogether – the age disparity makes it very difficult to handle properly. No more than an hour in total. (How come you had lessons last? I understood all that SS and Primary lesson stuff was meant to be sandwiched in the middle? of the 3 hours).

    So yes, lets cut to 2 hours maximum.

    Hawkgrrrl – I think you’re right with the hostage crisis.

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  21. graceforgrace on December 4, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    #16 “where is our band in church?”…I love it! I played the guitar once in sacrament meeting before I knew that the handbook had something against guitars. Bishop slapped my hand so to speak afterwards, but I think we would benefit greatly from a variety of instruments in church.

    Also, if it makes you feel any better, the new ward I moved into had a guy get up and sing his guitar Johnny Cash style. I recorded it, but I can’t seem to be able to get it up on Youtube. I wanted to share the one time I’ve seen a bishop cool with guitar in church. Even though it was very country- like, I still loved the variety!

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  22. Ben Arkell on December 4, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Three hours is a long time. I think we should do away with priesthood and rs and just do service projects once a month instead. We really do need more of living our religion. However, meetings should be revelatory experiences, so we can’t do away with them completely.

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  23. Hedgehog on December 5, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    #16, #21
    Back before I was old enough for youth (so over 30 yrs ago) the YW would regularly sing a musical item in sacrament meeting, accompanied by guitar. I think they even sang ‘Streets of London’ one week.

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