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JAHS

Sacrament meeting nursery

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I have often had ask of me why doesn't the church offer to have a staffed nursery during sacrament where parents can take their noisy crying babies so the parents and rest of the congregation can enjoy the meeting without the noise.  I have my own answers for this question, but I was wondering if anyone knows of any "official" word or policy on why the church does not allow this? 

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14 minutes ago, juliann said:

Because they would have to pay people to work on Sunday.

Some people would suggest that members would take turns staffing it, like a calling.

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A quote of Pres. McKay:

"If we are to instill faith in our children, they must see us demonstrate our faith in their young lives. They must see us on our knees daily, asking the Lord for His blessings and expressing our gratitude unto Him. They need to see us using our priesthood to administer to those in need, and to bless our children. They need to see us reverently worshiping in our sacrament meetings...."

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1983/04/train-up-a-child?lang=eng

They used to have glassed in rooms in older chapels.  They probably got rid of them starting in the 50s or 60s (I remember a number of them growing up visiting relatives, including in the Tabernacle).  Last one I remember seeing was in late 70s in a Provo chapel, they were probably waiting until renovation to remove it.

Edited by Calm

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9 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Some people would suggest that members would take turns staffing it, like a calling.

Which means they would miss the Sacrament and other reasons to come together to worship.

PS:  little kids will not be happy getting watched over by strangers usually.  It would need to be the same people each week in order to work.  SM would be interrupted as much by volunteers coming in to get parents as the usual otherwise, imo.

Edited by Calm

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I agree...but it is also family time.

When I was a young girl and worked for contractors for the army..I had a boss that was non LDS and from Colorado.  He was very curious about the church and sincere about it. I invited him to a Stake thing where they talked about the welfare system and different things..He loved the bazaars and how the welfare system was set up...so..I wanted to join me and the family at a Sacrament meeting..which happened to be fast Sunday.  He asked me "Can I go to the pulpit and give a talk??"  He wanted so much to express his impressed feelings..I kind of told him no that it was a Mormon testimony meeting and that maybe another Sunday would be appropriate if he talked to our bishop and/or pastor.  In any case, he was impressed only to a point because he said...it was so noisy...kids screaming and parents leaving...he had never seen this before in his own protestant church.  So ...in a way..if one could get teenagers (boys and girls) or adults to switch off..or yeah..a calling or payment for the toddlers..that would be good.  Set up prayers with the family and sacraments...and then watch them march out quietly with arms folded to go to nursery...

Edited by Jeanne

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There's also the aspect of the socializing influence of sacrament meeting on children. Some parents don't parent and let them run wild and be really loud and disruptive, but most parents try to help their children behave and listen. Even when this effort appears to be completely futile and a failure, it has in impact and will pay dividends later. Ditto for encouraging children to participate in stake and general conferences. 

I have a quote and joke of the day that we use in class. One of them is from the mathematician Blaise Pascal: "All human evils can be traced back to this: the inability of people to sit still in a room." There is a lot of truth to that. Even adults today are increasingly incapable of sitting in even sacrament meeting before "going to the restroom" or "getting a drink." I'm not talking about people with legitimate back trouble who cannot sit that long, I'm talking about normal people who are physically capable but due to attention span and boredom are constantly walking in and out of church meetings. You notice it when you sit up front especially. It's the same adults, teenagers, and children. Any effort to teach self-discipline and control starting in young childhood is good.

As hard as I am on LDS youth, they obviously benefit from "learning the rules of civilization" in an LDS setting in a way that their non-LDS peers do not, for the most part. 

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IIRC sacrament meeting in the early days was an adults and older youth meeting. Children stayed home under the care of family. As with Calm, I too remember the " cry rooms" on the second level of the back of the chapel, glassed in so as to cut down on the noise. I still think it was a good compromise  but I was over-ruled by Salt Lake ( Ok , I didn't have that much influence anyway ) . Now the cry room is the foyer with a speaker system . We always take the sacrament out  there . Maybe we could put out more soft chairs and a big screen TV on close circuit. Nah, the HPs would occupy the place first !

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25 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

Maybe we could put out more soft chairs and a big screen TV on close circuit. Nah, the HPs would occupy the place first !

Yeah. I know a few HPs who go out there because it's easier to sleep in the big soft chairs. :lazy:

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34 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

As with Calm, I too remember the " cry rooms" on the second level of the back of the chapel, glassed in so as to cut down on the noise.

Bring back the cry rooms! 

cryroom.thumb.JPG.cc794cdbd5fda3dc26a7c6d18849c24b.JPG

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1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

IIRC sacrament meeting in the early days was an adults and older youth meeting. Children stayed home under the care of family. As with Calm, I too remember the " cry rooms" on the second level of the back of the chapel, glassed in so as to cut down on the noise. I still think it was a good compromise  but I was over-ruled by Salt Lake ( Ok , I didn't have that much influence anyway ) . Now the cry room is the foyer with a speaker system . We always take the sacrament out  there . Maybe we could put out more soft chairs and a big screen TV on close circuit. Nah, the HPs would occupy the place first !

Using the foyer as a cry room is just a disaster. The doors to the chapel are open and you're sitting with a screaming toddler 10 feet away from the people in the back row.  You might as well stand at the back of the chapel for all the good it does.  When my kids were babies and really struggled with church we would end up sitting with them in the parking lot, which really makes you wonder why you bothered, especially if you live a block away. You'd get more out of such a sunday going home after taking the sacrament and watching the BYU channel.

But I think that most of the people who are in a position to change things have the attitude that suffering like that as a parent is a right of passage that they survived (or, more usually, that their wives survived) and so it's not that big of a deal.  Rather than a 'how can we help these suffering mothers get more out of church on Sunday' perspecrtive, it's a 'how can we get mothers to be willing to get very little out of church but still come every week' perspective.

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I was sufficiently apostate that when we had kids, we hired a babysitter to watch our youngest at our home for the hour of sacrament at least.

The Sabbath Day lessons are going to take a beating when I mention this. :vava:

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Using the foyer as a cry room is just a disaster. The doors to the chapel are open and you're sitting with a screaming toddler 10 feet away from the people in the back row.  You might as well stand at the back of the chapel for all the good it does.  When my kids were babies and really struggled with church we would end up sitting with them in the parking lot, which really makes you wonder why you bothered, especially if you live a block away. You'd get more out of such a sunday going home after taking the sacrament and watching the BYU channel.

But I think that most of the people who are in a position to change things have the attitude that suffering like that as a parent is a right of passage that they survived (or, more usually, that their wives survived) and so it's not that big of a deal.  Rather than a 'how can we help these suffering mothers get more out of church on Sunday' perspecrtive, it's a 'how can we get mothers to be willing to get very little out of church but still come every week' perspective.

It would be really nice to have a room with the speaker on a screen like we can manage for Stake Conference.  I understand the tightness of rooms, but it could be shared by any ward in the building so it would be only one additional and not two or three.

Put a lightweight curtain in that can give some privacy (so men or teens can be in there taking care of kids as well) and that area could be used as the nursing or sleeping baby space.

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24 minutes ago, Calm said:

It would be really nice to have a room with the speaker on a screen like we can manage for Stake Conference.  I understand the tightness of rooms, but it could be shared by any ward in the building so it would be only one additional and not two or three.

Put a lightweight curtain in that can give some privacy (so men or teens can be in there taking care of kids as well) and that area could be used as the nursing or sleeping baby space.

Having a mostly soundproof space devoted to kids who aren't old enough for nursery but are mobile would be HUGE!!  It would be a game changer.

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Partaking of the Lord's Supper is a sacred moment for the Christian experience.  It's an important moment, and not something Christians should kick some people out of just because "they're too noisy".  

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I don't remember the last time a Bishop stood during the sacrament and ordered some noisy child out of the meeting !! Parents generally do it to try to preserve some semblance of reverence for the rest of the congregation. Mind you there may be the odd " look " coming their way from those close by to the offending little one.

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31 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

I don't remember the last time a Bishop stood during the sacrament and ordered some noisy child out of the meeting !! 

I have never seen or heard of this.  Has this actually happened in your meetings even if eons ago?

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If anyone has been in a young marrieds ward where everyone has babies, it gets pretty noisy, but if they took their kids out the entire chapel would be empty so they somehow get use to the noise and the speakers just talk louder.

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The older chapels in Utah had a sound proofed glassed off room (usually in a balcony) looking into the chapel: which is were you were expected to take children who couldn't sit and be quiet.

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My wife and I were both Adult converts. She had always been in in a SIngles Ward where you could hear a pin drop during Sacrament. I had always been in a family ward where you were lucky to hear the speakers over the kids. It was quite a shock for both of us when we attended each others meetings for the first time.

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On 2/13/2018 at 3:55 PM, rongo said:

There's also the aspect of the socializing influence of sacrament meeting on children. Some parents don't parent and let them run wild and be really loud and disruptive, but most parents try to help their children behave and listen. Even when this effort appears to be completely futile and a failure, it has in impact and will pay dividends later. Ditto for encouraging children to participate in stake and general conferences. 

I have a quote and joke of the day that we use in class. One of them is from the mathematician Blaise Pascal: "All human evils can be traced back to this: the inability of people to sit still in a room." There is a lot of truth to that. Even adults today are increasingly incapable of sitting in even sacrament meeting before "going to the restroom" or "getting a drink." I'm not talking about people with legitimate back trouble who cannot sit that long, I'm talking about normal people who are physically capable but due to attention span and boredom are constantly walking in and out of church meetings. You notice it when you sit up front especially. It's the same adults, teenagers, and children. Any effort to teach self-discipline and control starting in young childhood is good.

As hard as I am on LDS youth, they obviously benefit from "learning the rules of civilization" in an LDS setting in a way that their non-LDS peers do not, for the most part. 

Sort of a counterpoint from Nibley:

"Yet Joseph Smith commends their intellectual efforts as a corrective to the Latter-day Saints, who lean too far in the other direction, giving their young  people and old awards for zeal alone, zeal without knowledge--for sitting in endless meetings, for dedicated conformity, and unlimited capacity for suffering boredom. We think it more commendable to get up at 5:00 a.m. to write a bad book than to get up at nine o'clock to write a good one--that is pure zeal that tends to breed a race of insufferable, self-righteous prigs and barren minds. One has only to consider the present outpouring of "inspirational" books in the Church which bring little new in the way of knowledge: truisms, and platitudes, kitsch, and cliches have become our everyday diet."

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13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Sort of a counterpoint from Nibley:

"Yet Joseph Smith commends their intellectual efforts as a corrective to the Latter-day Saints, who lean too far in the other direction, giving their young  people and old awards for zeal alone, zeal without knowledge--for sitting in endless meetings, for dedicated conformity, and unlimited capacity for suffering boredom. We think it more commendable to get up at 5:00 a.m. to write a bad book than to get up at nine o'clock to write a good one--that is pure zeal that tends to breed a race of insufferable, self-righteous prigs and barren minds. One has only to consider the present outpouring of "inspirational" books in the Church which bring little new in the way of knowledge: truisms, and platitudes, kitsch, and cliches have become our everyday diet."

Sort of.

I think making through sacrament meeting is a pretty low bar, though. Don't you? In the scheme of "unlimited capacity for suffering boredom" and "endless meetings" (all of which I grant with respect to LDS church culture), don't you still think that most normal people should be able to make it through even a boring sacrament meeting without numerous bathroom/drinking fountain/walk around and look at the bulletin board trips? 

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On 2/13/2018 at 3:37 PM, bluebell said:

Using the foyer as a cry room is just a disaster. The doors to the chapel are open and you're sitting with a screaming toddler 10 feet away from the people in the back row.  You might as well stand at the back of the chapel for all the good it does.  When my kids were babies and really struggled with church we would end up sitting with them in the parking lot, which really makes you wonder why you bothered, especially if you live a block away. You'd get more out of such a sunday going home after taking the sacrament and watching the BYU channel.

But I think that most of the people who are in a position to change things have the attitude that suffering like that as a parent is a right of passage that they survived (or, more usually, that their wives survived) and so it's not that big of a deal.  Rather than a 'how can we help these suffering mothers get more out of church on Sunday' perspecrtive, it's a 'how can we get mothers to be willing to get very little out of church but still come every week' perspective.

Why are the doors to the chapel open? In our ward once the meeting starts they are kept closed, not only for the reason you speak of but also we have another ward there who can be pretty noisy while going to their third hour.

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

Why are the doors to the chapel open? In our ward once the meeting starts they are kept closed, not only for the reason you speak of but also we have another ward there who can be pretty noisy while going to their third hour.

The only time our doors are closed (or the doors of the other two wards that meet in our building) is when the sacrament is being passed.  Otherwise, they stay open.  It makes it really fun for parents who have mobile babies that aren't old enough for nursery but are too noisy to keep with them in Sunday school.  All the rooms in the building are in use, so the only option is the hallways, which lead right to someone's sacrament meeting.

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15 hours ago, rongo said:

Sort of.

I think making through sacrament meeting is a pretty low bar, though. Don't you? In the scheme of "unlimited capacity for suffering boredom" and "endless meetings" (all of which I grant with respect to LDS church culture), don't you still think that most normal people should be able to make it through even a boring sacrament meeting without numerous bathroom/drinking fountain/walk around and look at the bulletin board trips? 

Yes, but then I have my tablet to read my scriptures on.

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