Morning with those that morn

In Hell, there will be 9 a.m. Sacrament meeting. And 8 a.m. choir practice. There will be various other meetings to attend, some before the block and some after. And there will be cold, wet, foggy mornings.

So I suppose it’s really just a matter of timing. I can go now, or I can go then.

I wonder sometimes if Joseph knew what he was getting into when he started restoring plain and precious truths. It turns out that some nefarious Hebrew scribe, somewhere down the line, abridged some of those scriptures about the meaning of the Sabbath. Take out a few key words, and most folks are left with the idea that the Sabbath is a “day of rest.” Only in the Restored Church do we see the full scripture in action with its missing text restored: The Sabbath is a day of *very little* rest.

But like I said, it’s either now or later, either on earth or in Hell. And either way, there’s just no sleeping in.

So wake me in ten minutes, honey. I can shower extra quickly today.

26 comments for “Morning with those that morn

  1. It boggles my mind how much a church focused on family can separate us from our families on the sabbath.

  2. You should have been in NY this morning – sheets of ice on the roads, hard cold winds, the weathermen telling people to stay at home, all good indications that 9:00 a.m church is not a good idea. Luckily, in anticipation of my pending move to CA, I have been released from my previous calling, which would have required me to attend 7:00 a.m. meetings and stay after the block as well. So, I “slept in” until 7:45 and cheerfully left for home at noon.

    Truth is, I much prefer to schlep to church early in the morning when the kids are actually awake, than to have to wake my kids up from their afternoon naps to take them to church at 1:00 – only to get home just in time to eat, read some books and get them to sleep. For me, hell will be afternoon church in the 100 degree summer heat. Ugg.

  3. I’m so looking forward to 2007 and the relatively glorious luxury of 11am meetings again… oif. The only really positive thing about 9am meetings is that I can set up my classroom in advance (last year I had the kids sing songs & dance while I set up my classroom.) Also I can come home and take a nap if I need to, and wake up well before it’s time to go out to some fireside or another.

  4. I’m a recent convert (last year) and in 2005 our ward met at 1 pm. I’ve never been to church that late in my life and it took some time for my family to adjust to it. This year we meet at 9 am and I would much rather do that than go late and feel like the whole rest of the day is shot. But then next year it’s back to 1 pm but at least it won’t seem so strange then.

  5. I hate mornings. Hate is too mild a word. I merely exist on Sundays for a year when we meet at 9 am. Much of the year, I just tell myself, for me, church starts at 10:30. I can’t wait till we have two hour blocks of time.

    Now, Bill, my husband, is a menace to society. He starts waking up at 4 am and by 6 am is bouncing off the walls. And he likes to talk in the morning. He chats and makes all kind of noise and he’s hungry.

    When we went to Salt Lake, I thought I would lose my mind. One of the nicest times in our marriage was when he hemoraghed however you spell it, after a colonoscopy, and he was anemic and it was just lovely.

  6. I have fond memories of PEC meetings held at 6:30 AM on Sunday mornings when I was in college. Of course, we’d all stayed up until 2AM watching videos and eating junk food. I admit I was late on more than one Sunday.

    By the way Kaimi, you’ve been selected to appear in the lead supporting role of the debut of Bloggernaccle Theater.

  7. Kaimi, quit yer whinin’. This morning (8:30) I had to walk to church (see NYC weather conditions above) because my metrocard expired yesterday (and I didn’t know it until the bus driver told me I couldn’t ride). Lovely.

  8. 9AM church means 6AM bishopric meetings. That is simply an unholy hour. Nothing good can happen before 7:30.

    Which is why I’m glad I’m no longer executive secretary and now teach Sunday School.

  9. A humorous thread, but the real meat here was in Post #1 — why does our Church break up the family so insistently on Sunday? In particular, I think the priesthood holders with big callings (like Bishop and Stake President) cannot be with their families at all on Sunday. It seems very odd.

    As to the topic at hand, try doing some meaningful music at 9:30 a.m. It just doesn’t happen for me, and for most people.

  10. The church occasionally makes token attempts to reign in the tyrrany of Sunday meetings. But they never stick, and the bureaucracy always comes back to the fore.

    Since the church is incapable of doing it, I “self-medicate.” I don’t go to all the Sunday meetings I’m supposed to; I pick and choose the ones to attend. This practice has probably saved my activity in the church; if I had to go to every last meeting, I could see myself throwing my hands up and just chucking it altogether.

  11. “why does our Church break up the family so insistently on Sunday? In particular, I think the priesthood holders with big callings (like Bishop and Stake President) cannot be with their families at all on Sunday. It seems very odd.”

    Amen, D., and “odd” is not the term I have used to describe how I feel when my husband has to go early and stay late, and we are holding Sunday dinner for him, or eat without him on many occasions because everybody in the family is starving and therefore resembling ravenous wolves. And he’s only the ward clerk. I pity the families of the bishops, who must get home at least an hour after Nate does.

  12. Re. 1 and 11:

    On a number of occasions non-member friends have spontaneously asked me if they could attend church with me. When they find out it’s three hours they don’t want to come. Not even once. And I don’t blame them.

    Anyone who has a family, or friends or anything else going on in their lives does not want to spend half a day in church. This wouldn’t be so bad, except we need these people. Badly. We need their skills and capabilities.

    At the same time we are attracting those who, to put it kindly, have nothing else going on in their lives — those for whom half a day in church fills a void. While I realize that the worth of souls is great and that we are all children of God, in order to run a ward we need a balance between those who are more and less socially adjusted.

    I think at one time the idea behind all those meetings was to somehow strengthen the flock. In a predominantly LDS community that may have worked. But in a ward of mostly converts it doesn’t. I wonder if church leaders realize that we are systematically weeding out the people we need the most, I mean in terms of usable skills.

    It also saddens me that a number of my friends are missing out on hearing about the gospel because they are turned off by the rigorous meeting schedule. But people just don’t have that kind of time these days.

  13. A few years back when I was on the high council, our stake president reported to us about his most recent stake president training with Elder Oaks. At the meeting, Elder Oaks pulled out the letter from 1981(??) in which it was explained that the Church was going to a 3-hour block meeting and the reason why (to allow families more time together on the Sabbath). Elder Oaks said that in the intervening years we have gotten away from that and crammed our sabbath with meetings. He counseled that we need to “clean up” (my words) the sabbath schedule. Our stake president interpreted and implemented this immediately and moved all meetings (other than the block) off of Sunday. There was a lot of complaining, but within 6-8 months all wards in the stake fell in line.

    Since that time, some meetings have crept back in, and with a new stake presidency our Saturday evening stake priesthood meetings have been moved back to Sunday mornings “to allow families their Saturday activities.”

  14. Additionally, the stake president advised the bishops to finish up and get home to their families ASAP. Only the most urgent interviews were to take place on Sunday.

  15. If you live far from the church building, ‘cramming’ meetings into Sundays is preferable to coming to church twice or three times a week. And doing so early in the am means you still have time with your family in the afternoon. Sleep is what has to be sacrificed, rather than your kids.

    What really needs to happen is LESS meetings. We use phone conferences for presidency meetings sometimes and it really helps not to have to drag my three kids to church an hour early or spend several hours on a weeknight away from my family (just the commute to and from church would be 60 minutes + on a weeknight). And we can get a lot done via email.

  16. Well, why not streaming Church meetings? We’d save a lot of time — no more need to get dressed up, for instance, and no loss of time in transportation.

    And they could stream the best talks, say, from the GAs, right to everyone’s desktop.

  17. I don’t see why Sacrament Meeting needs to be any longer than 30 minutes. Focus on the sacrament itself and perhaps have a single talk. Maybe even a good one. Then have a full hour for Priesthood/RS one week and SS the next. Our ward wastes so much time between the end of SS and the start of EQ that it frustrates me. I think that 1.5 hour church would be completely doable and uplifting. Ask families to spend 45 minutes reading the scriptures or the next week’s lesson when they get home.

    Also, 1 pm church is the worst thing in the world if that happens to conflict with a 2-year old’s nap time.

  18. 1) Favorite hymn in high school:
    “There is an Hour of Peace and Rest, but We Go to (early-morning) Seminary”

    2) If it’s true that LDS commit fewer sins than most folks, it well may be because we spend more time in meetings watching each other. Like when a 1980s Dem pol said that Ted Kennedy hadn’t had Marines blown up in a Beirut barracks like Ron Reagan had, it isn’t a matter of superior character so much as lack of opportunity.

    3) All these meetings train us how to receive revelation through different means. Like dreams.

    4) God’s people bonded in earlier times through adversity: Adam & Eve fell together, Noah’s and Lehi’s family cruises, Moses led Israel 40 years in the wilderness (as Golda Meir noted, to settle in the only part of the region without oil), primitive Christians vs. lions, Zion’s Camp, and trek to Utah (to settle near the only non-potable lake in the region). In our day, we have block mtgs; a clear crescendo building to the end times.

  19. With 3 kids in Nursury last year I can tell you that 1PM church falls into nap time. I much prefer 9AM.

    Plus you get the whole rest of the day to do things.

  20. I have often wondered about the whole focus on the family, but let’s overrun people’s scheduals with meetings hypocracy. What it boils down to is this though, each of us has the right to say no.

    I have said no to doing church things many times because it was more important for me to be at home at that time. You would think I was on fire with the looks I have gotten for doing so, but in the end my family, friends, and especially my husband, are all more important to me than any meeting. Sometimes even having time alone is more of a priority.

    We tend to forget that we have the right to do what we feel is right for us. There are times when meetings are important, but families are more so.

  21. Kaimi, we’re on the 9:00 schedule more or less forever because we share our building with the singles’ branch, and no one wants to try to get them up early. I actually prefer morning church, but I’m not a morning person, and every time I hit the snooze button, I mentally shed a component of preparation. Who needs a shower? Who needs makeup? Why brush my hair? Long ago when I was in an RS presidency, I sometimes attended morning meetings in my pajama bottoms, and now I’m afraid I’m my ward’s advertisement for what not to wear.

  22. The way you can tell an active mormon is that they are allways going to or coming from a meeting.

  23. Sorry Kaimi,

    No sympathy for you.


    I have to get out of bed at 3 AM every morning, including Sunday. I’m bright eyed and cheery at 5 AM, feel like a nap at 10 AM, and go to bed at 9 PM.

    I like 9 AM meetings. Coincides perfectly with my daughters’ nap time.

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