I didn't realize until recently how blessed I was to be in my old Claremont ward--not just because of the fellow grad students, but also because of fairly significant number of fellow ward members who seemed to at least enjoy thought-provoking talks and lessons during our Sunday meetings. My new ward in blessed Orem is quite different. Stale talks, stale lessons, stale conversations. As I endure the meetings I find myself looking at my hands, expecting to find a tarnished stainless steel ring with a green CTR shield staring back at me. Why? Because these are the same childish lessons and ideas that I was being taught in primary.
Thank God for a 3-month old who I can use as an excuse to get out.
It seems like lately there are numerous blog posts from others in the bloggernacle decrying the state of our Church meetings. Clean Cut wrote one today, and this was my comment:
This post reminds me of a post on the Church's media blog a while back, where they asked for opinions on the new Gospel Principles manual. While most complained about the stupidity and overall crappiness of the manual, a few jumped in saying that it was wonderful and criticizing anyone who would didn't like a book that had been approved by "The Brethren" (TM).
There is a certain mentality among many in the Church--an Orwellian brain-washing of sorts--that makes it so that no matter how sh***y a talk (especially from on of "The Brethren" (TM)), lesson, manual, video, or whatever may be, the person will respond to it with praise and amazement of how wonderful and spiritually edifying the piece of crap was.In a similar discussion in Sunday School a year or so ago, I made the point that if the value and spiritual edification of a talk were really just up to the listener, then we should just do away with talks altogether and pass a stone around (no allusion to seerstones was intended) and just expect everyone to get the most out of it.
The sad thing is that I think a large percentage of Mormons, after passing the stone to the next person (Oh how Sunday School lessons feel like passing a kidney stone), would remark on how wonderfully edifying and spiritual the lesson was.I realize that this is a pretty lame post. But after a 4 month hiatus, it's a start... right?