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Shorten Sunday Block Of Meetings?


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Just out of curiosity… has anyone else heard of or in favor of further shortening the Sunday block of meetings? I seem to remember hearing some rumors (which is probably all they are) that Church HQ had considered a shorter meeting schedule, something along the lines of a 45 min sacrament and 30 min each for Sunday school and priesthood / relief society.

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Just out of curiosity… has anyone else heard of or in favor of further shortening the Sunday block of meetings?

Sundays are already too "open". I really enjoy meeting with my brethren, and sistern, too.

That said, however, with three or more wards meeting in a single building, it's really difficult to have a good Sunday schedule. Sunday School (which I believe to be useless, a crutch for the "spirito-intellectually" lazy) might be eliminated entirely, and another half-hour given to Priesthood and Relief Society for our critical organizational meetings. We just don't have the time to do both a lesson and the structure processes.

On the whole, I'd rather see the block lengthened to four hours, but that would really make Sacrament Meeting rowdy: not a child in the chapel could sit through the whole block, and toddlers would need a place to nap. (Not a bad idea in any case; we High Priests could use one, too.)

Lehi

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Just out of curiosity… has anyone else heard of or in favor of further shortening the Sunday block of meetings? I seem to remember hearing some rumors (which is probably all they are) that Church HQ had considered a shorter meeting schedule, something along the lines of a 45 min sacrament and 30 min each for Sunday school and priesthood / relief society.

This sort of rumor has been circulating for many years. I don't think it's going to happen.

If it did, I'm afraid the casualty would be Sunday School. That would be a shame. Maybe some Sunday School teachers aren't very good, but the answer is to improve the quality of teaching, not discard the Sunday School hour altogether.

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Sunday School (which I believe to be useless, a crutch for the "spirito-intellectually" lazy) might be eliminated entirely, and another half-hour given to Priesthood and Relief Society for our critical organizational meetings.

I wrote my post before I had seen yours. Suffice it to say, I have been a part of too many spiritually edifying Sunday School lessons -- both as a teacher and a class member -- to agree with this statement even a little bit.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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I have been a part too many spiritually edifying Sunday School lessons -- both as a teacher and a class member -- to agree with this statement even a little bit.

I have had the same experiences, as well, but they are far too rare to justify the cost and effort to have Sunday School eat up 40 min of valuable Church time. Most people don't even read the trivial assignment, and we hear the same explanations year after year. It really doesn't matter if we're "studying" the New Testament or Doctrine and Covenants.

I have nothing against repeating the same ideas again and again. Israel is a stiff-necked people, and always has been. My concern is that we never actually learn those lessons. We just learn how to parrot the responses.

Sunday School was established because fathers were not living up to their privileges. It hasn't really made us Saints more knowledgeable about the Gospel nor has it, in my opinion, at least, made us better Saints. I'd rather spend the time with my Jacquie talking about the principles as we need them to adapt the Plan into our lives and those of our children and grandchildren.

That said, I support our bishop and the Sunday School and only rarely express this opinion where others can take offense. Still, I believe a Priesthood quorum is a better place to explore the Gospel than Sunday School, and it's scriptural, where Sunday School is not.

Lehi

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Am I the only one old enough to remember life before the block? Priesthood from 8-9, Sunday School from 10:30-12, then Sacrament meeting from 3-4:30 (Maybe 5 if it was a testimony meeting)? It was basically church all day with breaks for meals-maybe a quick nap before Sacrament. And Ward Council was every week-on a weeknight. I remember because my dad was ward clerk.

The time demands the church makes to day are much lighter than back in the day. And don't even get me started on budget assessments.

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Am I the only one old enough to remember life before the block? Priesthood from 8-9, Sunday School from 10:30-12, then Sacrament meeting from 3-4:30 (Maybe 5 if it was a testimony meeting)? It was basically church all day with breaks for meals-maybe a quick nap before Sacrament. And Ward Council was every week-on a weeknight. I remember because my dad was ward clerk.

The time demands the church makes to day are much lighter than back in the day. And don't even get me started on budget assessments.

You're not the only one. The things you speak of are very vivid in my memory, both as a youth and a young adult.

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Sounds more like Sacrament Meeting to me.

Both are needed: the speaker-congregation arrangement of sacrament meeting and the less-formal classroom setting with focused and moderated interaction between teacher, student, and other students "that all may be edified of all" (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:122). In fact, it's the latter that seems most closely consistent with the phrasing "speak one with another".

Or, perhaps, the foyer during Sunday School.

If you're among those who are out in the foyer sluffing Sunday School class, no wonder you don't see value in it.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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I don't see the point of a 45-min sacrament meeting and/or 30 min P/RS mtgs... Why bother at all?

I happen to like the schedule and the time seems to go by quickly... of course, our ward is blessed with regularly inspiring Sac mtgs/speakers... and with quality teachers for Gospel Doc and P/RS. So to me, I fail to see the value of cutting the time alloted to these activities on this one day of the week we are to keep the Sabbath.

Yes, we get the occasional yawning speaker in Sac Mtg but even then it is rare that one cannot find some kernel of uplifting truth in what is offered... if one listens and opens mind and heart for the Spirit.

I too remember the "old times" when the meetings were split, and I much prefer the bloc. As far as I'm concerned, those 3 hours set the tone for my coming week, and strengthen me not only through the talks and lessons, but by allowing me time to interact with my spiritual brothers and sisters for this short time... 3 hours out of approx 168, away from a world seemingly becoming more secular, violent, and superficial each day.

GG

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This rumor has been going around since I was in the MTC over a decade ago. The first time I heard it it supposedly came from the son of Seventy and the person telling me was the son of another Seventy.

It may have been bandied about but I doubt it is going to happen. If I was to shorten it I'd keep Sunday School and shorten Priesthood and Relief Society and ditch the lesson in those meetings. Then again I'm biased towards Sunday School as it teaches much more directly from scripture and I'm not a fan of the curriculum for Priesthood/RS for the last several years. My heavy involvement in Missionary Work has convinced me of how critical Sunday School is for many new and returning members. I've seen Sunday School change a lot of lives. I've seen a lot less of that from Priesthood lessons and I wouldn't know much about Relief Society lessons. While Priesthood meetings are critical I don't see the need for a lesson in them.

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Am I the only one old enough to remember life before the block? Priesthood from 8-9, Sunday School from 10:30-12, then Sacrament meeting from 3-4:30 (Maybe 5 if it was a testimony meeting)? It was basically church all day with breaks for meals-maybe a quick nap before Sacrament. And Ward Council was every week-on a weeknight. I remember because my dad was ward clerk.

The time demands the church makes to day are much lighter than back in the day. And don't even get me started on budget assessments.

I remember Sunday School from 10:30AM to 12:00 noon. Sacrament Meeting 7:30 PM to 9:00PM. Priesthood meeting was either Monday evening or Thursday evening 7:30PM to 9:00PM.

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I remember Sunday School from 10:30AM to 12:00 noon. Sacrament Meeting 7:30 PM to 9:00PM. Priesthood meeting was either Monday evening or Thursday evening 7:30PM to 9:00PM.

Woah. I thought that I was the old fart. When did weeknight-Monday night!-priesthood meetings end? Before my time, and I'm in my 50's.

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This rumor has been going around since I was in the MTC over a decade ago. The first time I heard it it supposedly came from the son of Seventy and the person telling me was the son of another Seventy.

It may have been bandied about but I doubt it is going to happen. If I was to shorten it I'd keep Sunday School and shorten Priesthood and Relief Society and ditch the lesson in those meetings. Then again I'm biased towards Sunday School as it teaches much more directly from scripture and I'm not a fan of the curriculum for Priesthood/RS for the last several years. My heavy involvement in Missionary Work has convinced me of how critical Sunday School is for many new and returning members. I've seen Sunday School change a lot of lives. I've seen a lot less of that from Priesthood lessons and I wouldn't know much about Relief Society lessons. While Priesthood meetings are critical I don't see the need for a lesson in them.

Hi Nehor...

I've always heard that many PH lessons are not taught all that well... and that RS lessons were better. I don't know what it is but even in my ward I understand our RS lessons are much better to the point that I say, Huh? Are we teaching from the same book?? And one of our teachers uses the scriptures for each lesson as the main source for reading and discussion. With thoughts from the book included for discussion and focus. We have some lively discussions with wide participation from the sisters. And because we have so many visitors we get to hear from others not of our ward. (Our visitors fall in love with our ward and many come back each year to visit). BTW, what would PH do if there was no lesson? We always seem to run out of time and can't believe the hour is ended. I rarely leave not feeling energized with notes of things I want to study further when I get home.

GG

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We are teaching from the same book but I think it is something fundamental like men being worse at sitting still for three hours. I teach fourth Sunday Priesthood and I don't think it lacks in the Spirit completely but I believe that many of our teachers spend little time preparing and even when they do the class is generally just counting time until they can leave in any case. I think we would be more invigorated by a shorter meeting involving what the Priesthood should be doing and making plans (as long as it is not just a 'do your home teaching' thing).

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We are teaching from the same book but I think it is something fundamental like men being worse at sitting still for three hours. I teach fourth Sunday Priesthood and I don't think it lacks in the Spirit completely but I believe that many of our teachers spend little time preparing and even when they do the class is generally just counting time until they can leave in any case. I think we would be more invigorated by a shorter meeting involving what the Priesthood should be doing and making plans (as long as it is not just a 'do your home teaching' thing).

Hi Nehor...

See above bolded part... this, is what I find to be sad. Why is this so... we're talking about the gospel. Don't you find it just a little sad that people "count time" till they can leave? Have they become so jaded... we should be spending the 3 hours of the whole week at least being thankful for what has been given to us regardless of how many times we've heard the lessons. But then, that's just my opinion... as someone who spent just over 30 years as an inactive member entrenched in the big and spacious building. I still ponder the years I wasted... yes, to me, wasted... so I guess I look at things differently. But I'm still saddened by the attitude of those who are bored or can't wait for class to end, etc etc...

sigh...

GG

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Hi Nehor...

See above bolded part... this, is what I find to be sad. Why is this so... we're talking about the gospel. Don't you find it just a little sad that people "count time" till they can leave? Have they become so jaded... we should be spending the 3 hours of the whole week at least being thankful for what has been given to us regardless of how many times we've heard the lessons. But then, that's just my opinion... as someone who spent just over 30 years as an inactive member entrenched in the big and spacious building. I still ponder the years I wasted... yes, to me, wasted... so I guess I look at things differently. But I'm still saddened by the attitude of those who are bored or can't wait for class to end, etc etc...

sigh...

GG

I think it has more to do with men being little boys with delusions of grandeur with all the reckless energy and squirminess with classrooms that implies and not apathy about the gospel.

Even at home I can spend an hour and a half studying scripture and enjoy the whole of it but after about that long I need to get up and punch my punching bag or move around in some other way.

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Woah. I thought that I was the old fart. When did weeknight-Monday night!-priesthood meetings end? Before my time, and I'm in my 50's.

It sounded weird to me too. I know there was a time in Church history when priesthood meeting was on a week night, but I thought that was in pioneer days. I'm in my late 50s, and I don't ever remember a time when priesthood meeting wasn't on Sunday, nor do I remember my dad talking about it.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Apparently Priesthood meetings switched from Monday evenings to Sunday mornings in the 1930s.

Another change in 1908 required that all ward priesthood quorums cease meeting at separate times and instead meet together weekly in a ward priesthood meeting on Monday nights. For the first time bishops regularly met with and presided over all ward priesthood groups at once. In the 1930s ward priesthood meetings shifted from Monday nights to Sunday mornings.

In the 1970s and 1980s....Monday nights were reserved for family home evenings, when no ward activities were to be held, thus giving both bishops and members more time for their families. By the 1980s the Church had consolidated all ward meetings, previously spread throughout the week, into a one three-hour block on Sunday, saving bishops and members much travel and meeting time, particularly in wards that covered large areas.

http://www.lightplan...op_history.html

Edited by calmoriah
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Am I the only one old enough to remember life before the block? Priesthood from 8-9, Sunday School from 10:30-12, then Sacrament meeting from 3-4:30 (Maybe 5 if it was a testimony meeting)?

Not to mention separate Primary and RS meetings during the week (in the daytime). Of course that was in the day when most women weren't working and could attend.

If we went to a 4 hour block I guarantee Primary kids and their teachers would go bonkers!

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