Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back when you could 'Review' LDS Sacrament Meetings ...

I found this intriguing "Sacrament meeting checklist" (copied below) in the September 1961 Improvement Era magazine, page 679 (forerunner to today's Ensign Magazine).
The list wanted members to rate their Sacrament meeting quality, with 340 total points possible. I especially liked question No.15: "Did the speaker(s) ramble?" (worth 0-10 points). 
Nothing like that would fly 53 years later .....
Of course, that was back in the pre-three-hour block time era when Sacrament meetings were 1 1/2 hours or more too.

-What is bothersome about some talks in sacrament meetings?
Speakers who clearly have not timed their talks and have no idea how long it is and/or who can't end on time.

-Another change is that in recent years: most Sacrament meeting talks are plain routine. The LDS Church went from letting speakers talk about pretty much what they wanted to in most of the 20th Century to giving rigid, assigned subjects -- even to returned missionaries -- today.
Many talks today are just recapping what was said at the last General Conference.
Also, "guest" speakers -- those from outside your ward or stake -- pretty much vanished in the 21st Century.
It is somewhat of a balancing act -- teaching basic and correct doctrine while keeping the audience listening. If no one is really listening to a speaker, why are they speaking?
Yes, the LDS Church is a lay Church, without professionals, but having more interesting subjects and speakers would always be a plus.
Hopefully a change in 2015 to have Ward Councils also have input on Sacrament meeting speakers/topics -- with bishopbrics -- could be another future positive.

NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.

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