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Church Reminds Leaders That Foyers Should Be Focused on Christ


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5 hours ago, Duncan said:

Part of me thinks though with all that is going on this is part of the leaders thinking? What the foyer looks like to people that can't even attend Church?

What better time to tell everyone to get new artwork? Wards and stakes do not have a lot to spend their budget on right now.

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If they wanted to be serious about this, just put huge Christus statues on the exterior of each building as they build them.  They could buy some factory somewhere and build a bunch of Jesus' to put on buildings, hands open, arms out inviting everyone to come and feel his wounds.  Shoot as part of their profit grossing efforts they could sell to all sorts of Christian churches, they may just end up having to hide their involvement behind some levels of business, in order to keep some Christian groups from picketing.  

I say, the Church really wiffed on not putting me in charge when they had the chance.  

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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

They said reverence, not "reverence for Christ." The notion of reverence as relatively quiet and still can make it harder to make the proper introductions to others and give them the information they might need to participate.

 

The announcement linked to in the OP explicitly uses the phrase “reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ.” I thought that has been the antecedent, express or implied, in this thread. 
 

And again, it’s not self evident that anything in the link forces the conclusion that friendliness, brotherhood/sisterhood, “making proper introductions to others” and “giv[ing] them the information they might need to participate” will henceforth be precluded or discouraged at our meeting houses or other places of worship.
 

It is apparent to me you harbor a needlessly restrictive definition of reverence. None of the online definitions I consulted included  “relatively quiet and still.” They did rather uniformly define it as a feeling of profound awe and respect. 
 

“True to the Faith,” a Church-published reference work, has this content for the “reverence” entry: 

“Reverence is profound respect and love. When you have a reverent attitude toward God, you honor Him, express your gratitude to Him, and obey His commandments.
“You should be reverent in your behavior as well as your attitude. Reverent behavior includes prayer, scripture study, fasting, and payment of tithes and offerings. It includes wearing modest clothing and using clean, wholesome language. The depth of your reverence is evident in your choice of music and other entertainment, in the way you speak of sacred subjects, and in the way you dress and act when you attend church and the temple. You show your reverence for the Lord when you serve other people and treat them with kindness and respect.
“As you become more reverent, you will notice a quiet transformation in your life. The Lord will pour out His Spirit more abundantly on you. You will be less troubled and confused. You will be able to receive revelation to help you solve personal and family problems.
“Just as reverence brings you closer to God, irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary. Satan will tempt you to follow the world’s trend to more noise, excitement, and contention and to less restraint and quiet dignity. Like a commander mounting a military invasion, he will try to jam the channels of communication between you and the Lord. Beware of such tactics, and strive to be reverent in all you do.”

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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32 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The announcement linked to in the OP explicitly uses the phrase “reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ.” I thought that has been the antecedent, express or implied, in this thread. 
 

And again, it’s not self evident that anything in the link forces the conclusion that friendliness, brotherhood/sisterhood, “making proper introductions to others” and “giv[ing] them the information they might need to participate” will henceforth be precluded or discouraged. 
 

It is apparent to me you harbor a needlessly restrictive definition of reverence. 

Nope, I'm just trying to understand the other poster. 

It is common knowledge that people have different notions of what reverence means. Jesus even pointed this out when he invited the children to approach him despite the apostles' rebukes, and when he flouted the existing rules for the Sabbath. The modern LDS church has, over time, found it necessary to give instruction on reverence and leaders have been known, locally and generally, to also be specific about what  reverence requires, sometimes with adjustments to previous instructions. I'd guess that most long-time members of the church are familiar with the existence of different opinions about reverence among church members and even between leaders.

So it's not really as obvious as you seem to be implying. It would have been just as easy to validate the statement by acknowledging the existence of faulty notions of reverence and validating brotherhood and sisterhood being compatible with true reverence for Christ. 

Sometimes reverence means quietly pondering in the chapel. Sometimes it might mean leaving the chapel to rescue brothers and sisters on the pioneer trail. Sometimes it might mean cancelling a meeting so that the members can go to their homes and mourn a sudden and premature death in the ward. Sometimes, like now, it might mean taking the sacrament at home, or just quietly pondering when taking the sacrament is not possible. Or, if you're a doctor or nurse, it might mean attending to the sick.

Edited by Meadowchik
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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

What better time to tell everyone to get new artwork? Wards and stakes do not have a lot to spend their budget on right now.

Well like usual, ask the members to donate the funds.

Also, why not in the chapel, this has always made me wonder. The place we could contemplate the Saviour there is no better place than when taking the Sacrament to remember Him always.

Edited by Tacenda
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8 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Nope, I'm just trying to understand the other poster. 

It is common knowledge that people have different notions of what reverence means. Jesus even pointed this out when he invited the children to approach him despite the apostles' rebukes, and when he flouted the existing rules for the Sabbath. The modern LDS church has, over time, found it necessary to give instruction on reverence and leaders have been known, locally and generally, to also be specific about what what reverence requires, sometimes with adjustments to previous instructions. Most long-time members of the church are familiar with the existence of different opinions about reverence among church members and even between leaders.

So it's not really as obvious as you seem to be implying. It would have been just as easy to validate the statement by acknowledging the existence of faulty notions of reverence and validating brotherhood and sisterhood being compatible with true reverence for Christ. 

Sometimes reverence means quietly pondering in the chapel. Sometimes it might mean leaving the chapel to rescue brothers and sisters on the pioneer trail. Sometimes it might mean cancelling a meeting so that the members can go to their homes and mourn a sudden and premature death in the ward. Sometimes, like now, it might mean taking the sacrament at home, or just quietly pondering when taking the sacrament is not possible. Or, if you're a doctor or nurse, it might mean attending to the sick.

Before I read this post I added to my last post to include a quotation from “True to the Faith.” It gives a definition of reverence for Deity that I have found to be consistent in the Church during my lifelong association with it. 
 

I find it to be consistent with your expressed understanding of reverence, and again, I don’t see it as precluding friendliness, brotherhood/sisterhood, making proper introductions to people at Church and giving them the instructions they need to participate. It is not self-evident to me that our understanding of reverence for Christ must be “tempered” in order to facilitate those things. 

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9 hours ago, Duncan said:

Part of me thinks though with all that is going on this is part of the leaders thinking? What the foyer looks like to people that can't even attend Church?

They're thinking about the near future when we go back to church.  Bishops can assess their foyers now and fix them up, maybe order new pictures and have it ready for when we can attend church again. 

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5 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I like instead big cardboard boxes for a shoe collection program and big posters on tripods announcing the ward barb b que. 

Sweet, I think the Saviour would agree, he'd probably not like all the portraits come to think of it. He'd just like His words to be taken seriously, take care of the poor and needy, by collecting shoes...

And why the display of look, we believe in Jesus, it's in our name... or no more using the word "Mormon", replace with emphasis that we are members of the church of Jesus Christ. 

I guess it's part of the program of church PR.  

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23 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Well like usual, ask the members to donate the funds.

Also, why not in the chapel, this has always made me wonder. The place we could contemplate the Saviour there is no better place than when taking the Sacrament to remember Him always.

They don't need to donate funds, buildings have budgets for the artwork. When my husband was asked to fix up a family history room, he was reimbursed for the artwork, so I'm certain this will be paid for. 

This emphasis on the foyers is because the investigators get their first impression of the church from entering into the foyers. I'm sure our missionaries will appreciate this effort. Attention to detail is sometimes forgotten. And I agree, I'd like to see pictures of Jesus in our chapels one day.

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32 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Sweet, I think the Saviour would agree, he'd probably not like all the portraits come to think of it. He'd just like His words to be taken seriously, take care of the poor and needy, by collecting shoes...

And why the display of look, we believe in Jesus, it's in our name... or no more using the word "Mormon", replace with emphasis that we are members of the church of Jesus Christ. 

I guess it's part of the program of church PR.  

Not everyone worships in the same way and level, I think having pictures of the Savior helps children and youth to be reminded of why we are there. It should help remind us all why we are there. Also for investigators who are just learning about the church,  and maybe don't speak or read English that well, a picture of Christ is universally understood and even gives the spirit the opportunity to witness; this is his house.

As Jesus once said, the poor are always with us, and we are to serve them, but showing our allegiance to Christ through depictions of him in our churches is something that is a universally understood symbol we can take the time  and resources to display. And it doesn't preclude the neverending service projects and activities we'll always have.

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1 hour ago, alter idem said:

Not everyone worships in the same way and level, I think having pictures of the Savior helps children and youth to be reminded of why we are there. It should help remind us all why we are there. Also for investigators who are just learning about the church,  and maybe don't speak or read English that well, a picture of Christ is universally understood and even gives the spirit the opportunity to witness; this is his house.

As Jesus once said, the poor are always with us, and we are to serve them, but showing our allegiance to Christ through depictions of him in our churches is something that is a universally understood symbol we can take the time  and resources to display. And it doesn't preclude the neverending service projects and activities we'll always have.

I have to agree, but in my experience there have always been portraits of the Saviour in the foyers, so I guess the church putting out this message is therefore a good one. Maybe it's a Utah thing, but like I said every ward building I've been in has had one. 

Another note, I appreciate that you agree we should have one of Jesus in the chapels. I remember a conversation a few years ago about this and members on this board trying to explain to me why they aren't put there. Memory is bad or I have a terrible time articulating what those reasons were now. But I sure do appreciate that you're open enough to say that you would like it too. :)

So on that note, I wonder why the church thinks it's so important for non members and members to have these in the foyers but not in the chapels? I guess I could ask the church by calling church headquarters, haha, it wouldn't be the first time.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Sweet, I think the Saviour would agree, he'd probably not like all the portraits come to think of it. He'd just like His words to be taken seriously, take care of the poor and needy, by collecting shoes...

And why the display of look, we believe in Jesus, it's in our name... or no more using the word "Mormon", replace with emphasis that we are members of the church of Jesus Christ. 

I guess it's part of the program of church PR.  

Um, just a hunch, but I think Bob Crockett was being sarcastic and meant the opposite of what you think. 

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2 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

I like instead big cardboard boxes for a shoe collection program and big posters on tripods announcing the ward barb b que. 

I clearly recall that years ago a bulletin was issued from Church headquarters asking for the discontinuance of posters on easels in the foyer. Instead, announcements were to be confined to one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet tacked to the meetinghouse bulletin board. 
 

That directive has been rather routinely ignored. 

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2 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

big cardboard boxes for a shoe collection

Not to worry, every year I give plenty of notice that I am going to collect all the items left for months in the church cloak rooms. Never fails to get a couple of large bags to donate to the local charities. 

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3 minutes ago, JAHS said:

I wonder if stained glass windows like this in some older church buildings are going to be a problem?
stained_glass_first_vision.thumb.jpeg.c78af318c6f8e051e0434438403f2ebf.jpeg

I'd take some stained glass window depictions! Our ward buildings are so bland! Cinder block walls and rough material called Sisal part way up them? Found this that I didn't know about, I guess the church wanted to replace them in 2019? 

https://www.ldsdaily.com/entertainment/church-to-replace-all-scratchy-meetinghouse-wall-coverings/

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15 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

We have a problem (or did before the pandemic) of raucous noise coming from the hallways and foyers into our sacrament meeting — even with the doors closed — as the other ward leaves their classrooms. It’s a real issue, in my view, that ought to be addressed. 

And make them kids stay off the lawn, too. ;)

 

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30 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I'd take some stained glass window depictions! Our ward buildings are so bland! Cinder block walls and rough material called Sisal part way up them? Found this that I didn't know about, I guess the church wanted to replace them in 2019? 

https://www.ldsdaily.com/entertainment/church-to-replace-all-scratchy-meetinghouse-wall-coverings/

I wonder if the reason for having such walls in the first place was to help muffle the noise in the walls and classrooms?

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I clearly recall that years ago a bulletin was issued from Church headquarters asking for the discontinuance of posters on easels in the foyer. Instead, announcements were to be confined to one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet tacked to the meetinghouse bulletin board. 
 

That directive has been rather routinely ignored. 

I like how the tripods interfere with foyer traffic.   How some of the posters are absurd.   Blood drives offering raffles, etc. and etc.

 

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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I clearly recall that years ago a bulletin was issued from Church headquarters asking for the discontinuance of posters on easels in the foyer. Instead, announcements were to be confined to one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet tacked to the meetinghouse bulletin board. 
 

That directive has been rather routinely ignored. 

I wonder if that made it into the new manual.  I'm not sure how enforceable all those old bulletins might be.  The iconoclast that I am, foyers should be stripped of all art.  But in my daughter's stake center in Aurora Co somebody went to a major  effort to collect prints from old masters.  The collection is amazing.   

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3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I clearly recall that years ago a bulletin was issued from Church headquarters asking for the discontinuance of posters on easels in the foyer. Instead, announcements were to be confined to one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet tacked to the meetinghouse bulletin board. 
 

That directive has been rather routinely ignored. 

I don't recall seeing this.  It wouldn't work in our building.  When the stairs and foyer were redesigned to accommodate an elevator the bulletin board was put in a spot that is out of the way.  Many historic meetinghouses have the same sort of problem for various reasons.  Some of them don't really have anything that we'd call a foyer.

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19 hours ago, katherine the great said:

I love the noise Papa! I love seeing people hugging (not lately of course) and laughing and enjoying their time at church. I feel like expressions of joy are a part of reverence too--as long as they move it out into the hallway so the next ward can prepare for their meeting. Mine may be a minority view.  ❤️

I love it too, unless scheduling is too tight, and the noise is happening while the Sacrament prayers are being said, or while the Sacrament is being passed. However I never suggested no one ever spoke or embraced one another, as these activities take place in Temple foyers, and should take place. 

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23 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Temple and meeting house:  Two very different things.  We don't normally take small children and babies to the temple.  The ward or branch meeting house needs to be a happy place, where children feel comfortable.  It has a cultural hall which doubles as a basket ball court.  Nothing like that in a temple.  The chapel itself does need to be treated with reverence, but Mormons are very social and love to meet and greet --- and maybe we will do so again sometime when the current restrictions are over.

I think I have been misunderstood, so be it. I addressed it in one reply, no need to continue. 

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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I'd take some stained glass window depictions! Our ward buildings are so bland! Cinder block walls and rough material called Sisal part way up them? Found this that I didn't know about, I guess the church wanted to replace them in 2019? 

https://www.ldsdaily.com/entertainment/church-to-replace-all-scratchy-meetinghouse-wall-coverings/

That article was an April Fools day joke. But I’d love to see that stuff replaced. My daughter ran into a corner in a dark church hallway and had a set of “stripes” on the left hand side of her face for quite a while. 

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