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Is visiting other church's 'inappropriate'


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If, depending on the faith and on the sort of service, people won't get offended that I won't necessarily know when or where to stand, when or where to sit, what else to do and when and how to do it, or what is going on, I fancy myself a curious chap who finds new and unusual experiences such as the opportunity to attend the services of another faith intriguing, and probably even enriching. 

While how others choose to approach such an opportunity is completely up to them, I don't see anything wrong with their taking the same approach.  If, respect to one's faith, s/he is an insecure snowflake who fears that one's faith would melt away at even the faintest thought of darkening the threshold of another denomination, perhaps he or she should ponder why, apparently, one's faith is so fragile, and/or why he or she seems so insecure therein.

If someone wishes to undertake a sincere study of the teachings, doctrines, practices, and history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with an eye to considering the possibility, if moved upon by the Holy Spirit to do so, of joining the fold, I would endorse that heartily.  However, if one feels secure and happy in one's own faith (or in no faith at all) I would encourage him or her to be the very best [fill-in-the-blank] that he or she possibly can be. 

And even if one follows no particular faith but tries his or her best to do unto others as one would have done unto him or her, to love and serve others, and to make life as good as he or she can make it for those around him or her before (from his or her perspective) "succumbing to the void," I believe that God honors all such sincere efforts.

I don't believe God gives me grapes, figs, bread, and fish when I ask for them while giving those who follow other faith traditions thorns, thistles, stones, and serpents when they ask for grapes, figs, bread, and fish, or even that He gives them ersatz grapes and figs that, actually, are rather thorny and thistly; ersatz bread that, actually, is rather stony; or ersatz fish that, actually, is rather "serpenty."  Good fruit is good fruit, bread is bread, and fish is fish, period, regardless where it is found.  (See Matthew 7:16-20, 7-11.)

If someone asked me to participate (or, Heaven Forbid :angel:, to perform :o :shok: :blink:) in the service of another faith, my reaction would be two fold: I would be (1) delighted, and (2) affrighted. ;) :D

:D :rofl: :D

Edited by Kenngo1969
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17 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

However I can tell you exactly what the crawl space under the stage looked like

Dang man, when I read this it brought back so many memories that I haven't thought about forever. I loved the area under our stage! We had 6 sets of doors under our stage, 3 were used for chair storage, two for tables and the last one was decorations and crap for cultural Hall weddings. There was just enough room in between the interior walls and the stack of tables, if you were skinny enough you could squeeze by and then get to the very back and hang out for hours behind the tables. 

      One of the most embarrassing things I ever did during a sacrament meeting was putting my foot through a ceiling while someone was speaking. We had a room behind the sacrament table in the chapel that was used to prepare the bread and water. And in the ceiling of the room was an access door so people  could go up there and work on the organ speakers. Well, every once in a while one of us would go up in there and just hang out during sacrament for fun because once you were in there you could see through this ugly Brownish/grey speaker material that allowed the sound to go through. While standing up because my butt hurt, I put my foot through the ceiling making all kinds of noise. The bishop came over opened the door and asked me to get down then he walked me over to my mom. I can still remember every single step I took from the door of the room all the way to my mom. I can also remember the laughs from all the young men😂

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Well you are more brave than I am.  I would never ask my family to attend a different denominational service with me.  I would be afraid they wouldn't speak to me for another 13 years to even suggest such a thing.  They barely tolerate me as it is.  Surely in their minds, my motivation would be to lead them away from the true church if I suggest such a thing.

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Before he was appointed a Tabernacle organist full time, Andrew Unsworth had a regular gig for several years playing the organ for services at Salt Lake City's Cathedral of the Madelaine.  I don't think he converted from Roman Catholicism. ;)  :D https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/andrew-unsworth-fulfilling-an-organists-dream-job?lang=eng

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5 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

I have a newphew who makes his full living by being the music guy at a large Methodist congregation.

He has a Phd in organ and has had concerts.  He also directs the choir etc.   What else is he going to do?

He doesn't hide that he is LDS and no one cares.  He arranges his schedule and atttends his ward on Sundays.   He has a church calling.

Everyone at the Methodist church knows he is LDS and has had a lot of chances to share the gospel.

What's not to like!!??  The guy is doing what he loves and makes enough money to be the sole provider for his young family and for his wife to be a stay-at-home mom. 

How can you do better than that?  

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38 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Before he was appointed a Tabernacle organist full time, Andrew Unsworth had a regular gig for several years playing the organ for services at Salt Lake City's Cathedral of the Madelaine.  I don't think he converted from Roman Catholicism. ;)  :D https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/andrew-unsworth-fulfilling-an-organists-dream-job?lang=eng

There you go-see above!

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50 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I have a newphew who makes his full living by being the music guy at a large Methodist congregation.

He has a Phd in organ and has had concerts.  He also directs the choir etc.   What else is he going to do?

He doesn't hide that he is LDS and no one cares.  He arranges his schedule and atttends his ward on Sundays.   He has a church calling.

Everyone at the Methodist church knows he is LDS and has had a lot of chances to share the gospel.

What's not to like!!??  The guy is doing what he loves and makes enough money to be the sole provider for his young family and for his wife to be a stay-at-home mom. 

How can you do better than that?  

On my mission, I would make it a point to attend different church services once a month or so.  The Methodist were always very welcoming.  I remember the sermons were upbeat.  Most of the Methodist churches I went to also had refreshments in the foyer.  Good people. 

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28 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I probably wouldn’t go because I am not a big music enjoyer but the idea of being scared to go seems foreign to me.

I went to one church that was big on having loud gospel rock music complete with it's own band.
By the entrance to the meeting room they had a little dish setting on a table with ear plugs. 😊

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1 hour ago, Peppermint Patty said:

If there is any hesitancy among LDS to attend other religious services it might have deep roots in the notion that God told Joseph Smith that all creeds were an abomination in his sight (JosephSmith-History 1:18-19).

I don't know why that would have anything to do with it.  It's not like they are going there to be converted to their ways unless they are just insecure in their own beliefs.

Some legitimate reasons for hesitancy I can think of would be:

  1. Schedule conflict with their own ward meeting time - (I personally wouldn't want to miss my own Sacrament Meeting to attend another church).
  2. Being uncomfortable with a new environment if they have no friends attending with them - I would feel this way, and I keep this in mind when investigators attend our church.
  3. Being unfamiliar with ritual or procedure and not wanting to stand out or do something that would draw unwanted attention to themselves.
  4. Being uncomfortable with unfamiliar forms of worship (i.e. rock music at a Sunday service, speaking in tongues, etc.)
  5. Fear of being overly welcomed as a visitor
  6. Fear of being pounced upon if they find out you are a "Mormon"  (But this part would be fun if it happened, in my opinion :) )

But some positive reasons for going would include:

  1. Gaining an understanding that people outside our faith can sincerely desire to follow God and his teachings
  2. Learning a new perspective on scriptural teachings and learning of truths found outside our faith (remembering what Joseph Smith taught, see below).  Even if I disagree with the scriptural interpretations of another faith, I almost always gain insights into the scriptures by studying out why I disagree with their interpretations.  But there are also very positive new insights to be gained from the sermons of Christians outside our own faith.

Now the Joseph Smith quote:

Quote

Have the Presbyterians any truth? Yes. Have the Baptists, Methodists &c. any truth? Yes, they all have a little truth mixed with error. We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up or we shall not come out pure Mormons.  (History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844])

 

Edited by InCognitus
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6 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

......................

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

Yeh, they are jerks, but that is nothing new.  There are plenty of jerks out there, and we need to simply accept that.  After all, many non-LDS people think that the LDS experience is counterfeit spirituality.  What goes around, comes around.

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6 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

I hope, Happy Jack, that you appreciate that your family seems to hold that there is one true church. Any other "church" is counterfeit, if one is true. I would not support a musically inclined son or daughter to lend their efforts to possibly "inspire" anyone, to feel at peace outside the one true church. 

Don't think your family are jerks if it is because they are convinced that their church is exclusively true. They aren't necessarily jerks. Because of their love for you, their hearts might be torn a lot more than you might guess.

I do not dismiss the possibility that your family are hate filled monsters. But not likely...you come from them. Maybe you lack something they have, or you have gained something they lack. But it is not a question of somebody has to be a jerk. It isn't.

3DOP

 

Edited by 3DOP
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2 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I don't know why that would have anything to do with it.  It's not like they are going there to be converted to their ways unless they are just insecure in their own beliefs

I don’t know anyone who thought they were going to be deconverted by their experience with the CES Letter or other antiMormon criticisms and yet some were...while many others weren’t, of course.
 

In some deconversion cases, it may have been oversecurity in their beliefs that caused the crisis (hard to know since I am not a mind reader and I don’t think anyone is capable of much more than semi decent insight into their own motivations and what influences them and most aren’t even semi decent I am guessing, hope I am wrong though).

Not saying because we don’t know how something new to our experience is going to affect us, we should avoid it, btw.  

Edited by Calm
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5 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

If, depending on the faith and on the sort of service, people won't get offended that I won't necessarily know when or where to stand, when or where to sit, what else to do and when and how to do it, or what is going on, I fancy myself a curious chap who finds new and unusual experiences such as the opportunity to attend the services of another faith intriguing, and probably even enriching. 

While how others choose to approach such an opportunity is completely up to them, I don't see anything wrong with their taking the same approach.  If, respect to one's faith, s/he is an insecure snowflake who fears that one's faith would melt away at even the faintest thought of darkening the threshold of another denomination, perhaps he or she should ponder why, apparently, one's faith is so fragile, and/or why he or she seems so insecure therein.

If someone wishes to undertake a sincere study of the teachings, doctrines, practices, and history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with an eye to considering the possibility, if moved upon by the Holy Spirit to do so, of joining the fold, I would endorse that heartily.  However, if one feels secure and happy in one's own faith (or in no faith at all) I would encourage him or her to be the very best [fill-in-the-blank] that he or she possibly can be. 

And even if one follows no particular faith but tries his or her best to do unto others as one would have done unto him or her, to love and serve others, and to make life as good as he or she can make it for those around him or her before (from his or her perspective) "succumbing to the void," I believe that God honors all such sincere efforts.

I don't believe God gives me grapes, figs, bread, and fish when I ask for them while giving those who follow other faith traditions thorns, thistles, stones, and serpents when they ask for grapes, figs, bread, and fish, or even that He gives them ersatz grapes and figs that, actually, are rather thorny and thistly; ersatz bread that, actually, is rather stony; or ersatz fish that, actually, is rather "serpenty."  Good fruit is good fruit, bread is bread, and fish is fish, period, regardless where it is found.  (See Matthew 7:16-20, 7-11.)

If someone asked me to participate (or, Heaven Forbid :angel:, to perform :o :shok: :blink:) in the service of another faith, my reaction would be two fold: I would be (1) delighted, and (2) affrighted. ;) :D

:D :rofl: :D

Ken, if I haven’t yet said so, let me do it now. You are on my short list of favorite posters on this board.  

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11 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

Your mom and SIL are jerks (though that's not a good fitting word for it).

Most of the LDS Christians I know would have zero problem with what you describe and going, especially myself.  

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16 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I think it stems from the same idea that existed for a while against reading anything other than Church publications on the gospel and less from the avoid other Churches idea.
It's about avoiding being converted to doctrine the Church would consider false, not about associating with those of other faiths.

But it's still closed minded and wrong and addressed to "the least" of the Saints.

The premise is rather ironic for a church that sends out tens of thousands of missionaries and preaches to its members to seek converts amongst their friends and acquaintances and are constantly trying to get members to bring non members to church events.  I guess when you "know" you have the true religion it ends up with things like this.  

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16 hours ago, CV75 said:

Were you surprised by their reaction? What other types of things have they reacted like this to?

Yes, their powerful negative reactions were surprising.

As you may recall I used to be a bishop and my family can definitely tell that I am not engaged in the LDS church the same way I used to be. Not even close. So over time they've sent me lengthy letters calling me to repentance and even expressed that it would be best that my family experience some kind of catastrophe that would humble us. For me, that kind of engagement only pushes me farther away. So I wasn't totally surprised my parents turned down the invitation but the reaction was pretty rude. And my SIL's reaction, while staying in my home, seemed very hostile.

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1 minute ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Yes, their powerful negative reactions were surprising.

As you may recall I used to be a bishop and my family can definitely tell that I am not engaged in the LDS church the same way I used to be. Not even close. So over time they've sent me lengthy letters calling me to repentance and even expressed that it would be best that my family experience some kind of catastrophe that would humble us. For me, that kind of engagement only pushes me farther away. So I wasn't totally surprised my parents turned down the invitation but the reaction was pretty rude. And my SIL's reaction, while staying in my home, seemed very hostile.

I was going to say it might not have been as bad if they thought you were a church stalwart. It really is kind of shocking how your relationship with LDS family members changes when you acknowledge any degree of unbelief. Mind you, in my case, I wasn't exactly a passive recipient of such changes. 

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