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Dispute Over Saving Seats In Church Escalates To Fight In Parking Lot


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PLAIN CITY, Utah — A man was arrested outside a church in Plain City on Sunday after authorities said an argument over “seat saving” in the pews escalated to a fistfight in the parking lot and another man being hit by a car.

Weber County Sheriff’s deputies received multiple 911 calls from an LDS chapel reporting a fight in progress in the parking lot on Sunday morning.

Deputies said it began with an argument before sacrament services over “seat saving.” The bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Meadows Ward told FOX 13 it was an unusually packed meeting — more than 400 people were in attendance for a missionary’s farewell and a baby blessing.

“There was some seats that were allegedly saved, and there was a disagreement over whether they were saved or not and an individual sitting there,” Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Lowther told FOX 13. “This continued to escalate throughout the day.”

The argument continued outside to the parking lot, Lowther said, where punches were thrown. One man went inside to clean himself up and returned and was then struck by a car, Lowther told FOX 13.

“He ended up on the hood of the car,” he said. “We did an investigation, there was conflicting stories (between the two men), but according to witness accounts there was enough probable cause to make an arrest for aggravated assault.”

Wayne Dodge, 51, was booked into the Weber County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, and disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor. Jail records show Dodge posted bail and was released a short time later.

The victim in the incident was not hospitalized, deputies said.

LDS Bishop Brett Ferrin said he was saddened by the fight. He said he was counseling both families and trying to bring his ward together.

“This is a place of worship,” he said. “The bottom line is we have to come back to church next Sunday.”

Ferrin said if there is a “teaching moment” to come from all of this, it is that “split-decisions affect the way we live” and there are consequences.

“Some decisions were made that we can’t change at this point and time,” Ferrin told FOX 13. “But the reality is we’re going to let the court system take care of the things we can’t change now, and we’re going to focus on bringing the families together and bringing this community together and making this a situation that unifies not destroys.”

http://fox13now.com/...-at-lds-church/

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It seems like at those major events in life such as a baby blessing, a missionary farewell, a marriage, birthdays, and all other holidays, stress levels rise and each individual wants to make sure that it is a great day. However, their expectations of a great day are not what would help others have a great day, but in expecting that they personally will be cared for. Some one saving the ideal seat where one's own family could sit for the great event is the last straw from the stressful morning of getting to church on time. When we forget to serve others, when we forfeit our own selfish desires, we can often avoid the rancorous feelings that lead to unfortunate circumstances. You know that when a grown man of 51 has so completely lost sense of right and wrong that they get into a bout of fisticuffs after Sacrament meeting that it is a really bad day for a lot of folks. A very human and a very unfortunate situation.

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Not related to your post, but it reminded me of my two pet peeves when attending church.

First, people who socialize in the hallways without making any effort to get out of the way of others trying to get through. It happens every week. There's no problem with catching up, socializing, etc., but when when it's obvious there are a number of people patiently waiting for you to finish your conversation, maybe it's time to at least try to move to the side.

Second, people who sit on the aisles during sacrament meeting but don't make an effort to get up and out of the way when the meetings over, leaving those sitting in the middle to patiently wait. It's one thing if it takes some time to gather your belongings and pick up after your kids; it's another when you get into a five minute conversation.

OK. I feel better now.

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There may be something else going on...I would hope at least. There is something significantly wrong with thinking it is reasonable to use a car to make point about moving out of the way or whatever it was. It is so contrary to anything I've seen at church even when there has been an issue with saving seats....and for it to continue rather than just blow up and be handled right then and there. There would be significant pressure not to act that way at church, so for someone to not only ignore that but continue to rage.....really sounds like there is much more to the story than just that incident.

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http://www.sltrib.co...puties.html.csp

More detail...the guy saving seats apparently was saving three rows of seats for family members for the baby blessing, Brother Dodge is a regular there and sat in his regular seat, words were exchanged and then later he punched the guy's nose apparently or whatever that caused the guy to get some blood on his face (maybe a lip?). The guy cleaned himself up and went outside and then there is some debate on whether or not Brother Dodge swerved into the man who jumped up on the hood to avoid being hit or whether the visitor was attempting to harrass Brother Dodge.

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Not related to your post, but it reminded me of my two pet peeves when attending church.

First, people who socialize in the hallways without making any effort to get out of the way of others trying to get through. It happens every week. There's no problem with catching up, socializing, etc., but when when it's obvious there are a number of people patiently waiting for you to finish your conversation, maybe it's time to at least try to move to the side.

Second, people who sit on the aisles during sacrament meeting but don't make an effort to get up and out of the way when the meetings over, leaving those sitting in the middle to patiently wait. It's one thing if it takes some time to gather your belongings and pick up after your kids; it's another when you get into a five minute conversation.

OK. I feel better now.

I totally agree! I climb, or walk, over seats sometimes to get around people who obviously don't get the fact that they occupy space with other people

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More detail...the guy saving seats apparently was saving three rows of seats for family members for the baby blessing, Brother Dodge is a regular there and sat in his regular seat, words were exchanged and then later he punched the guy's nose apparently or whatever that caused the guy to get some blood on his face (maybe a lip?). The guy cleaned himself up and went outside and then there is some debate on whether or not Brother Dodge swerved into the man who jumped up on the hood to avoid being hit or whether the visitor was attempting to harrass Brother Dodge.

What an apropos name. Better get out of Dodge...'s seat. etc. etc.

:lol:

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First, people who socialize in the hallways without making any effort to get out of the way of others trying to get through. It happens every week. There's no problem with catching up, socializing, etc., but when when it's obvious there are a number of people patiently waiting for you to finish your conversation, maybe it's time to at least try to move to the side.

This is one of my pet peeves... but I've reached an age where I don't give a darn... I simply say in a cheerful, albeit fairly loud voice... Sorry, we can't get through... can you move to the side... thank you... (smiling all the while).

Anyone who is boorish enough to continue standing in the way should not be offended if they get jostled as I move past them.

GG

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Lends new meaning to the term "laying on of hands" ... OK ... that was bad. I apologize! :huh:

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People can get very possessive about their seats in Church. (Some churches actually allow members to sponsor their pew so it is theirs whenever they attend - or so I've heard.) When my wife and I started attending Church about 10 years ago, we didn't really give it a second thought where we sat, but apparently we had displaced an elderly sister. (I don't understand why since we did not take up the whole row, sat all the way in against the wall, and the elderly sister always sat right on the aisle. She could easily share the row, but I guess I smell bad.) She has never said anything, but she scowls at us when we arrive a little later and she had reclaimed her row, spreading out her stuff so we can't really share the row with her. I just smile and sit behind her, displacing, of course, the young family that usually sits there. Now, it's a game to see who can get to Church first and claim the pew. We win when the Choir has practice before sacrament meeting because I sing in the choir so we have to be early.

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In the Immortal words of that [Now Departed] Great Philosopher, Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" :unknw::huh:

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This is one of my pet peeves... but I've reached an age where I don't give a darn... I simply say in a cheerful, albeit fairly loud voice... Sorry, we can't get through... can you move to the side... thank you... (smiling all the while).

Anyone who is boorish enough to continue standing in the way should not be offended if they get jostled as I move past them.

GG

This is what elbows were evolved for.
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