Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Primary Kids and Testimony Meetings -- Not like before 1980

Where do LDS Church Primary kids learn to publicly share their testimonies?
Sadly, it looks like for most kids it is mostly only by watching what adults do in a fast and testimony meeting.
When I grew up, you had ample opportunities in a small stage to do so in a junior Sunday School meeting every single month on Fast Sunday.
Not so, since the block time meeting schedule arrived in 1980.
On May 5, 2013, a kid, about age 6, was the first to stand up in my ward's fast and testimony meeting.
He didn't know the procedure, or any formula -- he just talked for 45 seconds explaining how the Holy Ghost prompted him not to open his sister's diary to read it -- and how good he felt about following that feeling.
Yes, it was cute, but it illustrates the shortfall with young church members in training.
Perhaps in my youth there were too many chances for kids to bare testimonies. Now there are certainly far less as the church pendulum of change always seems to swing too far the opposite direction.
Again, we're not talking doctrine here, just policy, that could be changed.
At times, the Brethren appear to want to discourage young kids from standing up in fast and testimony meeting. But, at least these kids go from the heart and don't give a travel log or long, overblown discourse too.
Yes, the church is teaching its under age-12 youth better in most all areas than when I grew up. The big shortfall may lie in testimony sharing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ward Names Sometimes Sport Local Flavor

   What's in a name? Plenty, if you're looking at the names of wards or branches in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
   In recent years, the church has generally moved away from numerical designations, in favor of using more local place names. Sometimes, these names don't include cities or towns.
   For example, one ward in Layton was renamed from the Layton 36th Ward to the Green Leaf Ward. There were once huge fields of alfalfa or onions where most of these ward members now live.
   This non-city orientation has also led to numerous intriguing or off-beat ward titles — some of which may seem strange to anyone not knowing local history or tradition.
   For example, in Weber County, the Hooper 4th Ward was renamed the Muskrat Springs Ward. In pioneer days, Hooper was first known as Muskrat Springs for an artesian well where the critters were plentiful.
   The two wards in Sandy, Ore., located east of Portland, were also retitled. One is named the Sandy River Ward, in honor of a prominent local river. But the other is named the Tickle Creek Ward, a much more odd designation, but also a reference to a local stream of water.
   In Ogden, the 41st Ward was renamed the Waterfall Canyon Ward after a popular canyon directly east of the congregation's boundaries.
   Some wards still use a city name — some of which are already somewhat unorthodox. For example, how about the Moose Jaw Ward in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada? Or, the Humble Ward in Humble, Texas?
   There's also the Fred Branch in Fred, Texas; the Carry-the-Kettle Branch in Sintaluta, Saskatchewan; the To'hajilee Branch in the Canoncito, N.M., area; and the Little Flock Ward in Rogers, Ark.
   Here's a sampling of some other ward/branch names that rank among the most unusual out there:


   • Angel Crossing Ward, Layton, Utah
   • Angel Fire Branch, Angel Fire, N.M.
   • Angel Park Ward, Kaysville, Utah
   • Adams-Friendship Ward, Friendship, Wis.
   • Bearspaw Ward, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
   • Bible Park Ward, Denver
   • Bishop Ward, Bishop, Calif.
   • Bitteroot Ward, Boise, Idaho, area
   • Broadway Ward, five different wards in three separate stakes
   • Captain's Island Ward, Stansbury Park, Utah
   • Crowfoot Ward, Parker, Colo.
   • Crows Landing First Ward, Crows Landing, Calif.
   • Deseret Ward, Layton, Utah
   • Desert Ward, Boise, Idaho
   • Fiddlers Creek Ward, Layton, Utah
   • Gibson Jack Ward, Pocatello, Idaho
   • Golden Branch, Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada
   • Golden Ward, Golden, Colo.
   • Grapevine Ward, Grapevine, Texas
   • Happy Valley Ward, Portland, Ore.
   • Happy Camp Branch, Happy Camp, Ore.
   • High Desert Ward, Bend, Ore.
   • Hollywood Ward, Hollywood, Fla.
   • Hollywood Ward, Los Angeles
   • Horse Heaven Hills Ward, Kennewick, Wash.
   • Lost Mountain Ward, Powder Springs, Ga.
   • Martha's Vineyard Ward, Vineyard Haven, Mass.
   • Mount Olive First Ward, Mount Olive, N.C.
   • Mount Zion Branch, Maple Hill, N.C.
   • Northern Lights Ward, Anchorage, Alaska
   • One Hundred Mile House Branch, One Hundred Mile House, British Columbia, Canada
   • Peavine Mountain Ward, Reno, Nev.
   • Russian Jack Ward, Anchorage, Alaska
   • Silverbell Ward, Tucson, Ariz.
   • Superior Branch, Superior, Ariz.
   • Superstition Point Ward, Mesa, Ariz., area
   • Temple City Ward, Arcadia, Calif.
   • Ten Mile Ward, Meridian, Idaho
   • Ten Sleep Ward, Ten Sleep, Wyo.
   • Thornydale Ward, Tucson, Ariz.
   • Thunder Mountain Ward, Mesa, Ariz.
   • Tithing Hill Ward, Riverton, Utah
   • Treasure Mountain Ward, Park City, Utah
   • Vineyard Ward, eight different wards in six separate stakes
   • Wines Park Ward, Lehi, Utah
   • Ward Canyon Ward, Bountiful , Utah
   • Zions Peak Ward, Holladay, Utah
   • Zionsville Ward, Carmel, Ind.
 

(Distilled from an article originally written by Lynn Arave, in the Deseret News.)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What NOT To Do In The Temple ...




OK, I thought I had seen it all ...
I'm in the Salt Lake Temple on May 1, 2013, in a sealing room, about a minute before a nephew's marriage ceremony is to begin.
I'm enjoying the serene, quiet spirit and recognizing that the feeling here is like no other place in the world -- to be in a temple of the Lord.
Then, I  happen to look over to my left, two people down my row.
What do  I see?
A man texting and then surfing the Web!
We were on holy ground. There are just some things that can wait 30 minutes or less to take care of.
Do people not understand there are truly some sacred places?
If a 40-something year-old man is doing this, what about the younger generation? Hopefully they know better, cause he didn't.

--In a related matter, I am kind of amused by the sign at the Salt Lake Temple entrance. It basically says all cameras need to be checked-in at the desk, but cell phones just need turned off.
What?
This is the 21st Century.
That's a 20th Century type policy, outdated and missing the point that MOST photos today are taken by cell phones, not cameras.

--We also don't teach members enough about the Sacrament passing portion of Sacrament meetings. I regularly see members come and go during sacrament passing for no apparent urgent reason. Others, just walk in an sit down shortly after the blessing on the bread, likely having never even heard the prayer that day.