Overdoing Church?

September 10, 2009 | 45 comments
By

Many years ago, a friend told me in jest, when I wondered about missing Church on Sunday, “There are only 48 lessons in the Priesthood manual. Attending anything more than that is brown-nosing.”

Now I’m quite a regular at Church. About the only time I miss my home ward is when I’m out of town, which isn’t all that often. And probably 50% to 75% of the time I’m out of town, I still manage to make LDS meetings. This may mean that I miss 2 or 3 times a year. Is that too much?

Of course at some point missing becomes too much. Two or three times a year may be no big deal. But 10 or 15 times a year, and I know I would be uncomfortable. For me that is too much.

I suppose it is a question not only of maintaining spirituality, but also of participation in a community. Attending Sunday meetings gives us spiritual benefits, it helps us in our daily lives. But it is also for serving others, for helping others. So, it is important that we come to Church.

Still, everyone misses once in a while, and no one is irreplaceable every week. Between illness, travel obligations of one sort or another and vacation, I think most of us aren’t in our home ward every week of the year.

Does this mean we get a bye a couple of weeks a year? I doubt that most Church leaders would suggest this for fear that someone would take it too far, or that one week would turn into two, and four, and so on.

In any case, I’m comfortable with not making Church a couple of weeks each year, if logistics make it too difficult. But even if I did make it to Church all 52 weeks a year, I don’t think it would be “brown-nosing.”

Tags: , , , ,

45 Responses to Overdoing Church?

  1. Dan on September 10, 2009 at 8:13 am

    I went on my mission as a technically less active member. A few years after my mission I looked back in my journal to see how often I went to church (because I knew I wasn’t there all the time), and for the four years previous to my mission, I was at church 40% of the time. Most of those were due to my working on Sundays, but there were times where I simply did not feel like going to church. I wish I could do that these days, but I’ve got responsibilities now, both in my calling and for my daughter. I want to instill in her what my parents instilled in me: a belief that going to church is a good thing. For all the faults my father had, this was one thing which he did good on.

  2. Dave on September 10, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Kent, this is kind of the adult-oriented version of the issue raised in my earlier post “New Primary Lesson Needed,” except it is the adult (for herself) rather than the parent of the child that has to make the decision of when it is okay to stay home from church.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong — in fact, I think it is admirable — with going to church out of a sense of moral duty or obligation to the community. Some thinkers even believe placing a sense of duty above one’s own self-interest or desires is the essence of morality. But on a practical level, there are times when if an adult *really* thinks they deserve a week or even a month off, they should probably just take it.

    The alternative may be that instead of giving himself a pat on the back for placing duty above self-interest, that adult will think he is being “forced” to go to church and will quickly start to resent it. And that adult will probably direct that resentment at a convenient authority figure or symbol (the bishop, the church in general, or even their own parents) rather than face issues related to their own agency, their own priorities, and the status of their own commitments. They’ll end up worse off by going to church than by simply taking a couple of weeks off.

    So, wayward sons, if you really have to, go ahead and take that church walkabout. Get it out of your system and come back happier.

  3. Mark D. on September 10, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I don’t think you are technically less active unless you don’t show up at church for a month.

  4. Matt W. on September 10, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I’ve missed church 4 times in 11 years (Church was cancelled twice, Once we were at Disneyland and the Church we’d map to go to was under reconstruction,and once I went to Catholic Church with my mother). When I’m out of town, I enjoy going to at least sacrament meeting, just for the fresh perspective and to see other wards. It sounds horrible, but I think I am more likely to listen intently to people I don’t know very well.

    My Bishop is fond of telling people who tell him they are less active or inactive that all it takes is one visit to church to change that.

  5. Mike S on September 10, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I have always been very active. That being said, when I have had to stay home with a sick child or for some other reason, I have actually felt at least as uplifted spending a few quiet hours studying and contemplating the scriptures or other uplifting books as i do at church. This is something that is difficult to do for a block of time normally, with work, kids’ sports and lessons, homework, etc. I don’t mean any disrespect, and I’m sure I only get out of it what I bring to it, but out of a 3 hour block on Sundays, there are usually a few comments that truly cause me to think and 2-1/2 hours of pablum.

    I’m sure that I would miss it much more if I ever were to stop going, as there is also a need for the “community” aspect of any religion, but I look at the days I miss church legitimately as a “blessing” in many ways.

  6. Kim Siever on September 10, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Kent, I wonder to whom your friend thought such church-goers would be brown-nosing.

  7. Jeremy on September 10, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I lean towards Brother Covey’s interpretation, that there is a big difference between being “active in the Church” and “active in the gospel.” Obviously we want to be active in the gospel, and not just in the Church since most everyone can go to Church each week, pay their tithing, follow the WoW, etc., and be considered “active in the Church.”

    But continually progressing in the gospel is a different ball of wax. Being active in the gospel requires a concerted daily effort to do the things you know the Lord would have you do – above and beyond the cursory steps of tithing, WoW, etc.

    I fully believe one can be active in the gospel and miss Church several times during any given year. However, it is also possible that one may have 100% attendance and not be progressing properly. It truly is a matter of personal progress.

  8. Stephanie on September 10, 2009 at 9:46 am

    With my husband in the Bishopric, I look forward to being out of town as a family. Those Sundays are heaven.

  9. Hunter on September 10, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Interesting post.

    [pulling out nerd calculator] I think your friend is off-base, though, about his 48 Sundays thing. After you account for stake and general conferences, and not to mention all-ward “5th Sunday” meetings where there is no priesthood/R.S. lesson, 48 priesthood lessons pretty much takes up 100% of the Sundays.

    Of course, your friend was probably not trying to be literal about the 48 Sundays, and instead was just providing a basis for his notion that less than 100% attendance is acceptable. I agree with Dave above — if someone truly needs some time off from church, they should take it. But be honest about it, and don’t do it based on some pretext about “only 48 lessons in the manual.”

  10. Kent Larsen on September 10, 2009 at 9:58 am

    You’re right, Hunter, and I filled in the number from memory. The statement was made several years ago, before the current priesthood/relief society manuals on the teachings of the presidents of the Church. Currently, if memory serves, the manuals have 24 lessons a year, 2 for each month. 2 other sundays are taken up with a conference talk and a lesson directed by the Stake (as I understand it), and then there are the “5th Sunday” lessons — so, yes, 100% of the weeks are accounted for, as they were then.

  11. Alison Moore Smith on September 10, 2009 at 9:59 am

    For some reason known only to a past stake president, our new ward bucks convention and changes meeting times in September instead of January.

    Last Sunday we got everyone ready and were just about to walk out the door for 1:00 church, when we realized that our ward has switched to 9:00 that day. Sam missed Young Men and I missed teaching Gospel Doctrine–with no subs. That probably meets our quota of missed meetings for the year.

    I just wish I’d thought of the excuse before we did all the Sunday dressing and prep.

  12. Peter LLC on September 10, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I don’t think you are technically less active unless you don’t show up at church for a month.

    I seem to recall that “active” are considered all those who attend once every three months. Anyway, it’s less activity than what one would think.

  13. Tyler on September 10, 2009 at 10:34 am

    “I don’t think you are technically less active unless you don’t show up at church for a month.”

    I seem to recall that “active” are considered all those who attend once every three months. Anyway, it’s less activity than what one would think.

    This came up in an EQ presidency meeting not too long ago and the president said that a member’s still considered active when they only attend once a month. Not quite once every three months, but still less activity than I expected.

    And I tend to agree with Jeremy (#7), which recalls this talk about the golden years and gospel activity by Elder Packer. Not that I look for excuses not to attend. I just try to strike a balance between ultra-orthodox zealotry and the being-spiritual-without-being-in-church-every-Sunday attitude—to focus on what I consider true discipleship. (Interpret that how you will.)

  14. Daniel on September 10, 2009 at 11:25 am

    “Less active”? Makes no difference what label you put on yourself or others.

    The only practical difference is whether you are “sufficiently active” to retain your Temple Recommend.

    How “active” do you have to be for that? How many times can you miss Church before the Bishop won’t give you a recommend? That is the question.

    I confess that I take every opportunity to attend Church at other Wards just to keep myself awake. I have heard the same old stories and testimonies and opinions so many times over in my home Ward that it is actually painful to sit through it again and again.

    But if my Bishop doesn’t “see” me at Church, he starts to think me sufficiently inactive to consider withholding my recommend! So, I keep a regular log of my attendance so I can present it to him if he asks.

  15. bdub on September 10, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I often wish the members of our ward with primary callings wouldn’t leave the primary presidency out to dry each week as they create their own interpretations of “active.”

    A few weeks ago we had 0/6 nursery workers, and 3/10 primary teachers in church, none of whom bothered to get subs.

  16. Ziff on September 10, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Matt W. (#4) I think I am more likely to listen intently to people I don’t know very well.

    Daniel (#14) I have heard the same old stories and testimonies and opinions so many times over in my home Ward that it is actually painful to sit through it again and again.

    Interesting. I feel like I’ve had the opposite experience. When I’m new to a ward, or I’m just visiting, I tend to find speakers less interesting in general and more irritating if they do stuff like talk about politics. When I’m familiar with a ward, though, and I have more sense of who people are when they speak, I have an easier time being forgiving if they say things that rub me the wrong way (“Oh that’s just old Sister X–she loves her Bruce R. McConkie”) and in general I find them more interesting because I feel like I can fit what they’re saying in with what I already know of them.

    Of course, this could just mean I haven’t lived in any one place long enough to get truly irritated at people saying the same thing repeatedly. :)

  17. m&m on September 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    For some reason known only to a past stake president, our new ward bucks convention and changes meeting times in September instead of January.

    Alison, we do that, too, and it’s so the youth have the same activity night all school-year long. Don’t know if that would apply in your situation, but, fwiw.

    I still can’t quite get my head around how faithfully attending church could be considered brown-nosing.

  18. Raymond Takashi Swenson on September 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    In our last ward in Idaho Falls, the meetinghouse had been built next to a small rural elementary school back in the 1960s, when Primary was held after school. The problem was that it was 5 miles north of the main highway, 7 miles from our house, and our ward boundaries extended west another 30 miles to several farm homes. During a typical winter, there will be 2 or 3 Sundays when church meetings are cancelled beforehand or after they already started because of drifting snow on the rural roads could trap people at church or in snow drifts on the highway. One time I was racing back from Salt Lake to teach my gospel doctrine class, fighting through the snow for four hours, and discovered that no one was there. It was a strange feeling, like the joke about the missionary who returns home to find that his family moved without telling him.

    While I have missed my share of meetings due to travel (especially with the military, such as 20 hour plane rides that cross the International Date Line), I enjoy going to church and, with the convenience of the internet and Mormon.org, there is almost no excuse not to find a local congregation when you are out of town.

    We were in McCall, Idaho recently on vacation with our son’s family and had an enjoyable Sunday set of meetings that included an outstanding High Council speaker and a Gospel doctrine class that was enlivened with the insights of the editors of Meridian Managazine (who were also there on vacation) into the life of Joseph Smith.

    One Sunday I was in Virginia and attended a High Priests Group lesson taught by Senator Bennett.

    When we visited Palmyra, we attended the ward there, and ran into the retired senior partner of my former law firm, who was serving as president of the visitors centers there. He invited us to dinner that evening with an historian from the Church who oversees sites in the eastern states, and the forester of the Sacred Grove. It was an unforgettable discussion hearing them talk about the life of Joseph Smith’s family and the land they worked.

    One Mother’s Day, we went with my parents to attend church at the Honolulu Tabernacle, a beautiful and unique building full of a variety of Latter-day Saints from many nations. On another Sunday in the Pacific, I attended an inspiring missionary fireside on Guam. When we visited our son while he was in Army medic training in Texas, we met with a handful of young soldiers who were not allowed to leave the base, and had an intimate testimony meeting that was the first time that our daughter-in-law’s father had borne his testimony in her memory–just a week before he drowned in an accident.

    On other Sundays away from home I ran into old friends who had been transferred to new cities.

    I frankly wonder that among a dozen comments, no one has mentioned that there is a commandment about keeping the Sabbath holy. Unless we have a specific reason to not be there (e.g. digging out ward members with flooded basements), going to our own wards and branches is where we find opportunities to serve others and fulfill most of the other commandments and covenants.

    Eugene England’s essay on “Why the Church is as True as the Gospel” pointed out the importance of us learning to live with those less perfect than ourselves, and the place we encounter them is primarily at our Sunday meetings. Being in the congregation for someone who speaks or performs a musical number is as important as being in a group therapy session in a 12-step program. We are all in some way inadequate, and so need to engage in mutual support of each other, even those whom we know only as fellow members of the Church.

  19. Alison Moore Smith on September 10, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Alas, m&m, we still have mutual on Tuesday. I wish it was on Wednesday–I’m all about symmetry. Really, I wish it was only on Sunday, but I’m freakish that way.

  20. Peter LLC on September 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I frankly wonder that among a dozen comments, no one has mentioned that there is a commandment about keeping the Sabbath holy.

    What a bunch of goats.

  21. Dan on September 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Does the commandment to “keep the Sabbath day holy” require attending church?

  22. nita on September 10, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Allison- our ward/stake also changes in Sept. for the same reasons that #17′s does. This started a couple years ago I think.

    What an awful feeling that must have been when you realized you’d goofed on the times!

  23. m&m on September 10, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Does the commandment to “keep the Sabbath day holy” require attending church?

    That was what we taught as missionaries. Church is really mostly about covenants, and renewing them — renewing the connection to God — , and that is key to it all, imo. All the other stuff is secondary to that.

  24. ZD Eve on September 10, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Ziff (16), that’s my experience too. That’s one reason I find my current ward difficult: turnover is so high I often don’t know the speakers very well, and when they say things that grate, I don’t have any broader acquaintance with the person to mitigate my irritation.

    I loved the small branch I lived in because I knew everyone, and no matter what crazy things the speaker said I’d likely sat in her kitchen and played cards with her, or watched old movies with her, or gone on a double-date with her and her husband. For me, that made all the difference.

  25. m&m on September 11, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Alas, m&m, we still have mutual on Tuesday.

    things that make you go ‘hm.’

  26. Daniel on September 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    I don’t buy the “renewing covenant” thing as a main purpose for Church attendance.

    First of all, it is a myth that the sacrament constitutes the renewal of baptismal covenants. It is impossible to renew covenants that were NEVER MADE! Nobody makes a single covenant at baptism. Not one. And nobody especially makes the specific covenants mentioned in the sacrament prayer! I have interviewd people for baptism, I have performed many baptisms, and I have watched many more, and I have never heard a baptismal candidate make ANY of the covenants mentioned in the sacrament prayer. Where this idea came from, I do not readily know, but there is no scriptural or Church administrative/policy support for it!

  27. Daniel on September 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    It is as much a myth as is the idea that baptism “washes away sins”. It does nothing of the sort. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can “wash away sins” and that only through repentance. A person who does not repent can go down into the waters of baptism and come out as tainted with sin as when they went in. The baptismal ceremony does NOTHING to “wash away sins”.

    I mean, think about it. The age of accountability is 8 years old. Prior to that, we are taught, “the sin is on the head of the parent”. So then we baptize an 8-year-old, sinless child in order to “wash away” sins that are not there?

    I think these myths need to be debunked. People don’t make covenants at baptism, so going to Church to “renew” such nonexistant covenants is silly.

  28. Trenden on September 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    RE: “Where this idea came from, I do not readily know, but there is no scriptural or Church administrative/policy support for it!”

    Yes, this terrible doctrine is apparently being spread by the church’s own website! We should inform the brotheren right away.

    It says:

    “The Baptismal Covenant

    “Those who are baptized enter into a covenant with God to take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37). Church members renew this covenant each time they partake of the sacrament (see D&C 20:77, 79).

    “Those who keep the covenants they made at baptism are blessed by the Lord for their faithfulness. Some of the blessings include the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, the remission of sins, and the privilege of being spiritually reborn. If they continue faithfully, they are promised eternal life (see 2 Nephi 31:19–20).

  29. Trenden on September 11, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Oops, a quick google search reveals this false doctrine of baptismal covenants is also being spread by apparently misinformed past and present General Authorities including David A. Bednar, Dallin H. Oaks, Robert D. Hales, Marion G. Romney, L. Tom Perry, James E. Faust, Henry B. Eyring, Joseph B. Wirthlin and Russell M. Nelson, to name a few.

  30. FrankF. on September 12, 2009 at 1:50 am

    I’m so glad someone finally came out and stated what I think is obvious. I’ve been going round and round with my wife over this for years for the same reasons Daniel stated. I am not troubled by the brethren supporting what I consider a tradition (which I’m sure they would be relieved to hear). It’s probably a useful tradition, but I think it trivializes real covenants. I mean, break a covenant – just renew it – no big deal.

    A few minutes later. Okay, I took a deep breath and I feel better now. It’s well after midnight where I am and my eye lids were getting heavy when I read Daniels post and at the same time the Coaster came on Pandora singing “Down in Mexico” (the 1972 version) and I just got carried away.

    Sorry for the tirade and good night.

    -Frank

  31. Casen on September 12, 2009 at 11:39 am

    If you don’t think baptism is a covenant you don’t understand the scriptures.

    And the brtheren are just teaching false traditions? Really??

  32. Toria on September 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    D&C 20:75 “It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus”

    Whether or not you consider the sacrament a covenant, it is sacred and something we are asked (and I dare say commanded) to participate it. I just don’t think you can “overdo” sacrament meeting attendance.

    But Sunday school and Relief Society/Elders Quorum, now that’s a different story. I often think I am “overdoing it” as follow my one-year-old son through the halls at church. Is there really a difference between going home to put my son down for a nap and staying at church just to sit in an empty classroom while my son has a meltdown and then leaving as soon as the bell rings without socializing with the community I came to be a part of and without hearing any lessons or uplifting comments?

  33. mary on September 13, 2009 at 12:40 am

    It wasn’t until I approached age fifty that I realized why some people don’t come regularly to church. When I was younger I
    assumed they weren’t as committed or “active” as the rest of us.
    And then I got an illness that requires medication that changed how I live daily and that
    includes Sundays. Then I understood. My normal young healthy person routine living a regular “active” LDS life with all that means, was not going to be the way I could live anymore.
    I had to make adjustments. You can’t do at 90 what you did at 20 and if you learn that by 50 you might have an easier adjustment at 85 when your life really changes. It’s frustrating because it doesn’t have anything to do with
    willpower–the spirit is plenty willing but the flesh won’t cooperate. We all get to a point in our lives, at different ages,
    where we realize how we once lived we can no longer keep up.
    You get hit with an illness and it’s like, “Okay, now tell me how I’m supposed to do everything an “active”Latter-day Saint does and have this illness?” (Or you take a medication that significantly alters your day.) The answer is that you don’t. And you’re not expected to do what you once could.
    I do half of what I used to and I still hold a temple recommend worthily-and I miss maybe 4 to 6 months of Sundays in a year. (And of course my bishop knows). But every Sunday I’m at home, I still remember the Savior so that I always have His spirit with me. So get over how many Sundays you get to Church because at some point you may be stuck in a nursing home and you should’t feel guilty because it’s Sunday again and you’re not where you’re supposed to be.

  34. Eric Boysen on September 13, 2009 at 2:38 am

    FrankF (#30) – I do not have to break a covenant in order to renew it. My renewal could simply be a reaffirmation of the same intent. Even if I have broken a commandment, before I can renew the covenant I must first repent; it takes more than partaking of the sacrament to get right with God. When done correctly this is not trivial. When done incorrectly it is still not trivial, it is only that we are trivializing something sacred.

  35. jpmuofu on September 13, 2009 at 11:33 am

    No offense but if you don’t think “renewing covenants” is part of the gospel you need to do some serious studying around the topic of the Atonement and what it’s purpose is. No one has ever fully kept their baptismal covenants. We all require the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost that comes by way of renewing those covenants at the alter of the sacrament. This is the whole reason Christ suffered and died on our behalf – that we might be cleansed and forgiven for not keeping our covenants.

    When I partake of the sacrament and recommit in my mind and spirit to never sin again, I can literally feel the burden of sin removed from my soul. That is something that I hate missing.

    “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.”
    — Ezra Taft Benson

  36. jpmuofu on September 13, 2009 at 11:58 am

    “One good but mistaken man I know claimed he could get more out of a good book on Sunday than he could get in attending church services, saying that the sermons were hardly up to his standards. But we do not go to Sabbath meetings to be entertained or even solely to be instructed. We go to worship the Lord. It is an individual responsibility, and regardless of what is said from the pulpit, if one wishes to worship the Lord in spirit and truth, he may do so by attending his meetings, partaking of the sacrament, and contemplating the beauties of the gospel. If the service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you; you must do your own worshiping of the Lord.”
    - Spenser W. Kimball

    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=d56b5991d66db010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

  37. It's Not Me on September 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    “How “active” do you have to be for that? How many times can you miss Church before the Bishop won’t give you a recommend? That is the question.”

    That’s not a very high standard.

  38. Daniel on September 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    jpmuofu,

    You are just propogating more Mormon Mythology. There are NO covenants made at baptism. The baptismal candidate SAYS NOTHING. There is NOWHERE in the ordinance where the candidate makes any covenants. Period.

  39. Craig on September 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    We go to church to worship but we also go to serve others. I find I get a lot more out of attending when I am participating in the lessons and serving in my callings. I look forward to attending church and sharing with others.

  40. Daniel on September 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Please allow me to share my dilemma. I enjoy reading these posts and comments, but I must confess, I feel much like I imagine the child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” to have felt.

    I read how everyone enjoys such wonderful “worship” and “renewal of covenants” and “edification” at Church, and I just don’t “see” it.

    The talks in Sacrament meeting are always just rehashed Conference talks, mingled with a few personal stories from the speaker’s life. Testimony meeting is a seemingly endless stream of “thankimonies” and travel logs, mingled with little children testifying by rote. The Gospel Doctrine lessons are comprised of a couple of completely unqualified people trading off opining about things they don’t understand, reading from the manual, and name-dropping all the GAs they know. And priesthood lessons ARE directly from the manual.

    So when I make these observations, why is it that all the self-righteous turn the condemnation against me? Why is it they play the part of the Emperor’s tailors, true to form, and insist that those who “can’t see” the beautiful clothes being woven for the “Emperor” are just unworthy of their station?

  41. queuno on September 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Daniel, maybe you just attend a crappy ward.

  42. Daniel on September 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    queuno,

    Yes, that is my perception. If I told you all the stories of the things that have gone on in that Ward, you would stand all amazed! There truly is a point at which it interferes with genuine worship. My point is that it is not always the “fault” of the person who feels unedified.

  43. queuno on September 15, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    L. Tom Perry would disagree with you, Daniel, I think (regarding who is at fault when someone doesn’t feel edified). I’m thinking of a conference address sometime between 1989 and 1991. I’m not going to bother looking it up.

  44. Herb on September 16, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I believe that going to church every Sunday is not a requirement to get into Heaven. However I have learned that you can attain a testimony of the importance of attending church faithfully every Sunday. When that happens the desire to go almost always rules over any reason not to. Whether you are out of town or not.

    Although I have problems in other areas, the desire to be in church every week is not a problem. Even if I go to someone else’s ward I want to go to my own. However with my disabled daughter I spend most sacrament meetings these days in the hall with her. The primary frequently does not have a teacher for her and so I end up just going home after sacrament anyways.

    Let me rephrase that, my wife and I take turns taking her home, but we would rather be at church.

  45. Herb on September 16, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Daniel,

    I agree with the crappy ward theory. Some wards are definitely better than others. One ward in our building runs people out faster than they move in. It is really getting to be a problem. This has been going on for over a decade, I didn’t live here before then so I am not sure what it was like prior to then.

    My ward doesn’t sing, except for the bishop. Most people don’t even attempt to try. The few that open there mouths just mumble. It was really disheartening when we first moved here. I have since realized that the lack of singing is related to the songs that are sung. There are roughly three hundred songs in the hymnal. If you sing three different one every Sunday you can go for two years without hearing the same song. By the time the song comes around again you don’t remember it and think that you have never heard it before. We go months without singing a song that I recognize. The first thing that I do when I arrive at church is to look and see what song we are singing that day. I long for the classics. When we go out of town I am so grateful to here the “sacrament music” that I grew up with.