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Church and Gospel => Doctrines & Scholarship => Topic started by: Redd on November 08, 2020, 01:40:33 pm

Title: masks in church
Post by: Redd on November 08, 2020, 01:40:33 pm
I have a very dear friend (I will call him Adam for this forum) who is opiniated, loud, creative, occasionally obnoxious, well informed and not so well informed etc, etc etc...you get the idea.

He has never denied the gospel, the BOM, the priesthood authority on earth.

He has been inactive for the better part of the past 20 years but has started to attend various wards and came back 'home' to our ward today.

  The regional authorities have stated that masks are required for services, though if you do not wear one you will not be kicked out of the building. The governor of New Mexico has MANDATED masks at all locations outside of private property. My stake has complied with the request from both the regional representative  and the governor.  Adam comes to our ward, his original home ward and where his current house is located, with out a mask. No big deal really.   AFTER church is when the big deal starts.

  After services, Adam goes outside and sits on a landscape boulder on the lawn near the door with a sign that had a picture of a mask and the words secret combinations on it. We went over to talk to him and he went on (it should be noted that his voice level is eitherLOUD or off) with his spiel about freedom of religion, quoting Ezra Taft Benson and being louder than he normally is.  Hick and I hugged him and started to leave when a member of the bishopric sauntered over to talk to him. 

  Adam was bringing up the following points: does the government have the right to mandate what you can wear to a church meeting? Does the government have the right to forbid singing in a church?  Does the government have the right to limit the number of congregants that can attend a service? Why isn't the Church fighting the secret combinations that are seeking to destroy our freedom of religion?

  According to NM Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, churches can only have 25% occupancy (it used to be 10% but she had to up it because retail stores are mandated to have no more than 25%)  as per the fire department code, no singing, if musical instruments are played that require breath (flute etc) they have to be away from the people on the stand were they are playing.

  So is this the skinny as to what is going on here in the desert. What do any and all of you say to this? What have your governors said about masks and church services?
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: nitasmile on November 08, 2020, 02:00:31 pm
Your third paragraph says it all. Sorry but mask wearing and limited congregants at this time is about living each other and helping keep each other safe. Sounds like he came back to make a political statement. Glad he has you and your husband to care for him.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: pnr on November 08, 2020, 02:32:33 pm
Those church members who claim mask requirements infringe on their constitutional right to freedom of religion are just wrong.   Just as crying "fire" in a crowded theater is not protected speech, other behavior that creates safety risks can fully be prohibited and still comply with our Constitution (and for heaven's sake, common sense).   (When government says you can open bars, but not churches, THAT is likely discriminating against religious freedom as it is the number of people and the nearness that needs regulation and masks, not the subject matter of the gathering.)

Further, if he wants to die, or risk dying and medical bills, discipleship requires loving our fellow men which requires in this time wearing a mask to protect others from ourselves, even if we are personally willing to be take unreasonable risk and not protect ourselves.

And finally, our leaders, through called servants have set out our church rules.   We are required to honor their instructions as a condition of attending services.   If we don't want to mask, we can stay home.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jason on November 08, 2020, 03:40:29 pm
There has been hypocrisy from various government entities when making Covid regulations. These regulations often adversely affect religious institutions when compared to more favored groups. There are many, many examples, but one is to allow the operation of casinos but not churches. Add to this a pervasive and vocal hostile sentiment from a large segment of the country toward churches and religious groups. Add to this the elevation of wearing a mask to a near religious ritual (even if 95% of people wear them improperly), and this can lead the 'oppressed' people to believe that there is an active effort to suppress and eliminate churches and public religion.

This outcome was predicted when the government officials first started making these regulations. Instead of doubling down, the government officials need to recognize that they are responsible and need to work doubly hard at winning people back.

Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Roper on November 08, 2020, 07:05:59 pm
There are a number of students at my school whose parents have written to me saying that their child has a constitutional right to go to school maskless. My response has become, "I want to keep our school open for in-person attendance as long as possible. I don't want to give the state any cause for shutting us down and making us go online. Please encourage your child to wear a mask." When I put it like that, parents are more willing to go along.

Look, we can argue about the philosophical and religious points of government mask requirements. To what end? Jason alluded to the fact that there is growing sentiment against religious freedom in our government. Let's not put fuel on that fire. Lets not give the government any more reasons to take actions against religious freedom. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Obey the government health orders and wear the stupid mask.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jen on November 08, 2020, 07:07:29 pm
No government mandate in our area, but our stake leaders are finally asking people to wear them. More than half are, which is an improvement. Still not enough that we feel safe going. I go on alternate Sundays to play organ but I just slip in and out.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Taalcon on November 08, 2020, 07:49:12 pm
"Please do your part in what is required in these unusual circumstances. And remember that some of the burdensome restrictions, including even the wearing of masks, are not only for your immediate protection but also for the well-being of those around you." - President Dallin H. Oaks (https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-oaks-byu-devotional-october-2020-talk)
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: AndrewR on November 08, 2020, 08:28:36 pm
With a fresh four-week lockdown in place in the UK we have had to stop having religious meetings. we can only use the meetinghouse to broadcast. So the Bishop, his first counsellor, and myself were the only ones in the chapel for the Zoom meeting. No Sacrament.

We were at least four metres apart from each, and we all still wore masks because that is what we have been asked to do. AoF 11, right?

Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jason on November 08, 2020, 09:48:28 pm
Earlier in the spring there was opposition to wearing masks based on fears that masks would detrimentally affect oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. So I did experiments wearing various types of masks while using the anesthesia machine's monitors to make comparisons about CO2 and oxygen levels. In summary, masks were safe to wear. Those posts were some of the most widely shared posts I had ever put out.

But over the summer and now into the fall opposition to mask usage has continued, and often by the same people who were first citing low oxygen and high CO2 levels. They have added in other reasons, like masks are ineffective and stifling of freedoms. This makes me consider that their opposition has little to do with the evidence leading them to oppose the mask mandates, but rather that they oppose the mask mandates and are now looking for evidence to support their pre-existing beliefs.

The freedom one is easier to address, as I think a libertarian viewpoint is that one can exercise rights as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others, and masks are there to protect others. Similar to the libertarian reason for required vaccinations. We do it to protect the vulnerable, not necessarily the healthy.

The ineffectiveness of masks is one that is harder to refute, because if I look at graphs of positive tests, hospitalizations, and deaths with implementation of mask mandates, there isn't a huge difference in trend lines when compared with areas that do not have mask mandates.

This can likely be explained by a number of confounding variables. Foremost is using "intent to treat" with mask mandates. It is common in medical studies to not compare only those that stick to taking the proposed treatment against placebo, but instead all of those who were assigned to the proposed treatment, even if they didn't comply very well. From my non-scientific observation, 95% of people do not wear masks correctly, which makes them ineffective. One needs to sanitize ones hand before putting it on, put it on correctly, then sanitize one's hands again, then not touch the mask, or if you do touch it, sanitize your hands again. Also, the mask needs to be washed after every use and a clean mask worn every time. This is a high burden and makes it much more likely that masks as worn in the general population are not effective. This goes all the way to the top. Every time I see Joe Biden on TV he is fiddling with his mask without subsequently sanitizing his hands.

Masks may also not be as effective as we want because we do not truly understand the transmission of the virus. Is it droplets? Is it aerosol. Can it be spread by getting in your eyes? How long does an infectious dose remain airborne?

Finally, social distancing likely does more than masks do.

But those that oppose masks are generally not looking into this much detail. They just want any justification to support their desired result.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Redd on November 08, 2020, 11:02:23 pm
Many of you wrote what I was thinking but could not express it.

  I for one do not like masks. I comply with the local and state ordinances when ever I need to. I miss singing in church (they hid our books!) and having choir practice and putting on the yearly freecycle.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: cook on November 09, 2020, 02:05:41 pm
And here in Finland the situation has been that the church guidelines have been stricter than the governments and that has bugged us - we could have had the youth events during summer,  but the Europe area presidency forbid - to have same rules for everyone in  the area. But we did not rebel and say we'll have them anyway.

What would "Adam" have said in such a situation where it is the church leaders putting the restrictions.

(Now the government is catching up with the masks. This week adults in all school will start wearing them. So far it's been only in senior high.)
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jana at Jade House on November 10, 2020, 05:12:59 am
Because the Dutch are tired of it all, our numbers went up and deaths happened, along with hospital admissions.
I am now watching my unit broadcast on Sunday.  Bare faces. If  a mask is on, it gets touched constantly.  Podium is never sanitized even after Sister sings the hymns to us.  They even had a trio sunday.  They were sort of spaced. I hope the pianist stays healthy.
The camera pans the chapel and not.one.soul. is masked.
The RS is planning a music and dance get together in the building.  I think it is illegal because even funerals and weddins are strictly limited.  They promise lots of laughter and a corona proof activity.  With masks, and clean your own restroom before and after use.
The Reproduction number is above 1.
All my alarm bells are going off.
I was in the hospital for tests last week and the number of masks below the nose was remarkable.
This is why I rarely leave my property.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: curlybat on November 10, 2020, 10:07:13 pm
In the midst of a resurgence in several countries, including those with mask mandates, it seems masks can only do so much. Covid lingers in the air for a longer period than previously thought (per the CDC). I suspect that those who wear masks are probably most often the healthy and masks do more to protect the unhealthy from infecting others than the other way around.  However, I wear a mask where requested and required without putting up a fuss. There are more important hills to die on and better ways to express my freedoms. If I exhibited any symptoms, I would prioritize isolation and wear a mask at all times when a public excursion is absolutely necessary. We've chosen activities that take us into nature as a family rather than public spots with lots of people.

That being said, when distancing is not possible, our stake asks that members wear masks. So, I do when I can't social distance (I do find they impede my breathing regardless of the lack of any documented ill effects). I haven't heard any protesting from others. Some wear their masks the whole time. Those who are more vulnerable watch sacrament meeting from home.  Sunday School, Priesthood and Relief Society is done through Zoom for interaction. Areas are "disinfected" after church is over (most people don't leave disinfectants on a surface long enough to kill anything but even the action of wiping removes some contaminants).

I find the best way to deal with people that always seem to have something to complain about is to let them be. Don't feed a fire you don't want to spread.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Iggy on November 11, 2020, 04:42:16 am
I find the best way to deal with people that always seem to have something to complain about is to let them be. Don't feed a fire you don't want to spread.
Or to put out their fire. <3
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on November 11, 2020, 03:25:02 pm
I'm with the majority that say they don't like masks. Who does? We do a lot of things we don't like if we want to live in a civilized society.

If you ask the anti-maskers why they are OK with speed limits, stop signs, lines dividing two-way traffic on the street, DUI laws, fire restrictions in hot, dry weather, or fences around reservoirs holding their drinking water, what would their answer be?

Do they rinse their produce before eating it, or put mesh over their food at a picnic to keep flies off the potato salad or chocolate cake?

Why are they (generally) obeying those dumb stop signs anyway, when everyone knows they violate our personal freedoms?


Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Roper on November 11, 2020, 03:39:28 pm
I think the best comparison is no smoking in public places.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Sparky on November 11, 2020, 05:10:27 pm
My husband is an anti-masker. It hasn't mattered what I've said. He thoroughly believes that masks do absolutely no good. As for the questions Curelom asked about why follow laws, etc? They do provide safety, he would respond. Masks don't do anything. He's to the point that if it is enforced at his work, that he'd rather quit than to wear a mask.  And we really can't afford for that to happen. He has worn them on occasion to please me, but that was back in the early months and lately he won't wear one no matter what. I don't have anything left in me to tell him or to do. I've given him different types of masks to try. It doesn't matter. So, I feel like I have him being unemployed coming up in the next few months because work isn't going to back down. And he won't be able to find work someplace else because of his age and their requirement to wear a mask. And if it is pushed too much at church, he'll stop attending. It's not an easy situation to be in.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jana at Jade House on November 11, 2020, 05:20:15 pm
oh  my, sparky.  He sure has chosen a strange hill to die on...and I hope he stays well.  But to put your job in jeapordy because of a mask?  I would be dumbfounded.
I really feel for you. 
Be well, stay safe, and you are on my list.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jason on November 11, 2020, 10:13:27 pm
I would love to wear a powered respirator around instead of a mask. They are far more effective than N95s. It is nice to have fresh air constantly blowing across my face. They do not smoosh my face. And they would make a fashion statement.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Roper on November 11, 2020, 10:28:02 pm
One of the teachers at my school told me that she absolutely will not be getting a Coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. I listened and tried to reassure her that it was still months away, and that nobody was talking about requirements at this point. She said, "Well, if it becomes required to work in a school, then I will quit." I guess we'll see what happens in a few months...
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on November 11, 2020, 10:44:43 pm
Hmmm, well, people do pick some odd hills to die on. Lots of people are picking some very strange battles these days. Anyway, talk is cheap, & we'll see what happens when the rubber meets the road. If it comes to keeping one's job, having rent or food money, or making it necessary for one's spouse to go out & get a second or third job, or a teen still in school to go to work because a parent has opted to become unemployed over mask wearing, let's see how cheap the talk is then.

There are some principles that everyone should consider non-negotiable. They will vary for each person, but I think we can all list a few that we would have to take to our graves. If mask refusal is one of a person's inviolable principles, I would be interested to know what the others are.  ;)
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: AndrewR on November 12, 2020, 04:24:46 am
I wear a mask where I have to, I don't any place else. We are not required to wear them at work.

I do wish I didn't have to wear one whilst playing the organ/piano at church because as soon as I put my glasses on (required for reading only) they steam up. And I can't see the music - and I, even after having played the hymns for 45 years, can not play without music.

My only real beef with masks is that I think they have a few negative effects that are not helpful in general.

People do not change them, they are in and out of pockets, on dash boards, etc. So if they have caught coronavirus (or any other virus) on them it is being transferred around, eventually to hands.

Also, and in combination with above, the insistence by governments to wear them have made some solely dependent on them as their protection. Thus - less handwashing, use of sanitizer, and general considerations for other vectors.

If the mask is seen as the be-all and end-all solution the virus will spread.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jana at Jade House on November 12, 2020, 06:40:50 am
My great hope is that public health education will step up and produce a good teaching program on mask wearing, including clean hands before donning, after disposal or in a baggie to wash.  How to wear them ON the nose.  Etcetcetc. That everyone is left to their own advice is inexcusable.  If they want masks to be part of mitigation, then teach mitigation publicly, simply and completely.

Andrew, you need a different mask. My made for me clth one is comfy and I can wear glasses without fogging.  Because it ties I can adjust it really well.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Sparky on November 12, 2020, 07:10:39 am
Andrew, I take my mask off to play the organ. That, and when taking the sacrament are the only times I take it off at church. I'm the only one who plays the organ, and there is a barrier between me and everyone else. I've tried lots of masks. I can't see to play with a mask on. It black cks my view of the keys. And like you, despite my 45 years of playing, I still need the music.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: dyany on November 12, 2020, 11:17:37 pm
I recently got a glasses cleaning cloth from Nerdwax called 'Fog block' and it has a substance in it that suppresses fogging (even the best wires aren't perfect). It's not 100%, but it works way better than wires alone. I know there are other similar products out there.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Roper on November 13, 2020, 09:09:08 am
Communal worship feeds my soul. That's changing. When I attend church with individuals who openly reject the guidance of our prophet and defiantly oppose lawful health regulations from our elected officials, when they engage in behaviors which endanger the health of my family, I have no desire to even be in the same room with them, let alone worship with them. In addition to praying for an end to this pandemic, I pray for Prince of Peace to heal this disease of rebellion and narcissism which has infected so many of my brothers and sisters.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: nitasmile on November 13, 2020, 03:14:31 pm
[Masks definitely make it hard to see!! It has been a visuslly challenging year with making, fog, progressive lenses,, rain...trying to read small print.

quote author=Sparky link=topic=1178.msg18156#msg18156 date=1605183039]
Andrew, I take my mask off to play the organ. That, and when taking the sacrament are the only times I take it off at church. I'm the only one who plays the organ, and there is a barrier between me and everyone else. I've tried lots of masks. I can't see to play with a mask on. It black cks my view of the keys. And like you, despite my 45 years of playing, I still need the music.
[/quote]
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jen on November 13, 2020, 05:52:47 pm
Communal worship feeds my soul. That's changing. When I attend church with individuals who openly reject the guidance of our prophet and defiantly oppose lawful health regulations from our elected officials, when they engage in behaviors which endanger the health of my family, I have no desire to even be in the same room with them, let alone worship with them. In addition to praying for an end to this pandemic, I pray for Prince of Peace to heal this disease of rebellion and narcissism which has infected so many of my brothers and sisters.

Same. I've just let my bishopric know I won't be there to play the organ for the foreseeable future. My family doesn't feel safe. It's sad.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Sparky on November 13, 2020, 08:21:48 pm
If it makes anyone feel better about me and hubby, we don't interact with anybody. We sit on the stand in the farthest back row.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on November 13, 2020, 11:56:51 pm
Communal worship feeds my soul. That's changing. When I attend church with individuals who openly reject the guidance of our prophet and defiantly oppose lawful health regulations from our elected officials, when they engage in behaviors which endanger the health of my family, I have no desire to even be in the same room with them, let alone worship with them. In addition to praying for an end to this pandemic, I pray for Prince of Peace to heal this disease of rebellion and narcissism which has infected so many of my brothers and sisters.
This is really, really sad.

I recently got to attend church in person for the first time since March. Many of us have decided we will alternate with online, to 1) reduce the chances of exposing ourselves or each other, & 2) give other people a chance to go. The spirit of community worship & unity was palpable, even though only about 1/8 of regular attendees came. It was obvious how much everyone had missed the experience of going to church each week & seeing people in person.

We did have a little trouble with "personal freedom" attitude, but it was resolved peacefully. Sad to say, the party decided to leave rather than put on masks. I'm sorry they decided that their political or philosophical position was stronger than their wish to join everyone else for worship, the sacrament, & fellowship.

We were given mandatory procedures to follow, in compliance with state & county policies & Area Presidency instructions. Of those who stayed, not one person strayed. No one took off their mask except for the sacrament, & only after the priesthood holder was distanced, no one belted out a hymn, every speaker cleaned the mic & pulpit with a disinfectant wipe when they were done, people didn't congregate inside the socialize afterward, etc. Everyone treated the occasion like a special privilege we had received to come to church in person, & no one wanted to jeopardize it for their brothers & sisters,

The Bay Area has generally been good about compliance. We do have some naysayers - there's always someone who knows what is best for their own selves & everyone else be durned. Up in San Francisco, they have pulled back up on some activities even more strictly than the state, out of an excess of caution. It's hitting people & businesses hard, in a city where tourism, conventions, dining, & cultural events are a huge part of the economic & social fabric. Everyone I know there is worn out. But for the most part, in S.F. & San Mateo County, folks are behaving. Not just to stay healthy, but because they believe the public health is also their responsibility. Isn't that what the Lord had in mind when He said, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" & "Love thy neighbor as thyself"? Isn't that why we frown on Cain for asking, "Am I my brother's keeper"? I understand how self-centered some people are, but it's distressing to see it in folks who have taken the name of Christ.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jen on November 14, 2020, 11:22:39 pm
Our area president strongly recommended going back to virtual meetings, which we are thankfully doing effective immediately.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on November 15, 2020, 01:25:31 am
Our area president strongly recommended going back to virtual meetings, which we are thankfully doing effective immediately.

This is why we can't have nice things.  :(
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Scruffydog on November 15, 2020, 09:00:27 am
To my mind, not wearing a mask when the Church directs us to do so is a sign of pridefulness. When those men that we have sustained tell us that we need to wear masks, if someone does not do so, how are they living up to that sustaining vote? Just like the Nephites, we go through our pride cycle, and I think this is a good indication of where we are in that cycle just now
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Sparky on November 15, 2020, 01:40:23 pm
We just got a letter today that wearing masks is a requirement at church now. It wasn't before. It was suggested, but not required. So my husband wasn't going against our leadership. In fact, a member of the stake presidency was in our ward last week and when he spoke he took off his mask. Yes, after every speaker the podium and microphone was wiped down, whether the speaker wore a mask or not. We won't be attending church until masks are no longer required.

And yes, it probably is prideful on my husband's part, but I can't make him change his mind or wear a mask, though we have certainly had quite a few discussions about it. And I still love him.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Hobbes on November 15, 2020, 04:17:01 pm
That sounds really hard, Sparky. I'm sorry for the tough for position you're in.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jason on November 15, 2020, 10:36:41 pm
To my mind, not wearing a mask when the Church directs us to do so is a sign of pridefulness. When those men that we have sustained tell us that we need to wear masks, if someone does not do so, how are they living up to that sustaining vote? Just like the Nephites, we go through our pride cycle, and I think this is a good indication of where we are in that cycle just now
The pride cycle brought up in the Book of Mormon often started out with misuse of affluence, treatment of the poor, thinking of oneself better than others, as well as acceptance of Savior and life after death. But pride can be considered the root of many different sins and actions and can be exhibited in many different ways.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: dyany on November 16, 2020, 11:34:37 pm
Two weeks ago we got a new bishop. Last week, the governor moved us back to stricter COVID protocols, and as a result, the area presidency has strongly recommended going back to virtual meetings (as Jen pointed out).
Most of our ward, as I've mentioned, has not taken this seriously. But last week in our tithing settlement with the new bishop, we asked a few questions, such as Zoom sacrament (which we've never done) and having a real account for that and other meetings (rather than the free, 40 minute limit accounts or asking people to use their work or personal paid accounts). The bishop was resistant--the constant idea is that things will 'go back to normal' at any time--but then the stake not only told us to go to virtual meetings, but recommended each ward get their own Zoom accounts and provided equipment and training (on Saturday, effective the next day) for sacrament meetings to be broadcast. And because we had mentioned much of this to the bishop on Thursday, we got pulled in and are now unofficially in charge of getting sacrament broadcast.
I feel a little useful again, and am delighted that we are providing for 'the least of these' now. I'm trying to release the resentment that had built up because of the cavalier and thoughtless attitude that so many had shown, reminding myself that I am not perfect, either, and everyone is in a different place with different realms of understanding and application. So I'm focusing on how happy I am that we can help, and have been allowed to.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Palmon on November 16, 2020, 11:45:18 pm
Iím happy for you, Dyany. Not for your new calling (but congratulations) but for the decision youíve made to let go of your resentments. May you find joy.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: dyany on November 16, 2020, 11:56:01 pm
I'm ALWAYS trying to let go of resentments.
It's why I had to buy myself a Strange Planet t-shirt that says, "I AM A BEACON OF JOY." Because apparently it doesn't show so much IRL. ;P
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Palmon on November 17, 2020, 08:44:15 am
You are a better person than I.  I think the biggest and most dangerous pandemic weíre in is one of resentment , anger and hatred. It is so easy to catch and so hard to beat.  Itís a daily struggle for me, which is why I admire so much people, like you, can  who consciously decide to put it aside.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Taalcon on November 17, 2020, 11:08:08 am
I'm a Gospel Doctrine teacher. Gave my first class via Zoom this past Sunday. They're in the process of announcing 2nd hour in-person meetings will begin again first week of December. I've made it very well known to my leaders that I would likely not be able to participate in in-person classes due to the the high-risk factor of my wife, mixed with the fact that a high percentage of our ward openly mocks mask guidelines, and that while ward members have the freedom to choose not to believe that masking up would protect anyone, I need to exercise the freedom to not place my family in harm's way because of potential results of their beliefs in (in)action.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Redd on November 17, 2020, 08:01:53 pm
My governor did it again: New Mexico is under strict 2 week hunker in place rules. Big box stores can be open and only have 75 shoppers in at any time. Dillard's, Walmart, target Walgreens and most big supermarkets are open, restaurants are only to do take out, drive through or delivery, and churches are to cut down on the amount of people allowed in.
  We have two wards and a YSA branch meeting in our building. My ward will meet at 9am for half of the congregation and 10am for the second half. we have had sacrament meeting only so timing of the new sacrament times will be strict. (Read: long winded prayers and speakers will not be requested to participate ;D)  The next ward will meet at 11am and 12 noon with the YSA meeting at 1pm. Masks will be required (though if you show up with out one or take it off during services, you will not be ushered out or excommunicated, and half of the pews are designated "do not sit" with lots of individual chairs placed in the over flow area back to the stage.
 This is a really bad time for the entire state to be shut down, there are lots of mom and pop places that may not make it.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Sparky on November 20, 2020, 04:22:44 am
Yesterday was my husband's birthday. Yesterday he got fired. He told me he was ready to go against his firmly held beliefs about masks and agree to wear one when the boss became condescending and dismissive. At that he chose to not give in. We will be fine, financially. I'm fine. I'm not so sure about him. He has a history of clinical depression. Circumstances may cause it to overwhelm the meds and rear its ugly head. Time will tell.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jana at Jade House on November 20, 2020, 05:46:49 am
You are on my prayerlist.  both of you.  golly.  just golly.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on November 20, 2020, 06:52:38 am
  This is a really bad time for the entire state to be shut down, there are lots of mom and pop places that may not make it.

No time is a good time. California has just instituted a 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew for non-essential operations in "purple" counties that aren't doing well. It which covers 94% of the state's population.

If the entire country had had decisive federal leadership & the cooperation of all governors in the spring, & a unified, uniform action plan (with some adaptations for local circumstances), then maybe draconian measures would not be necessary today. Maybe the economic impact would have been less severe, with more small businesses able to resume normal operations sooner & less people unemployed long-term.

We'll never know now, because there was no national leadership to direct an organized nationwid response. As a result, we saw uneven action among the states, stop-and-go or slow-and-go restrictions, & extreme uncertainty & anxiety among ordinary people.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on November 20, 2020, 07:02:05 am
Yesterday was my husband's birthday. Yesterday he got fired. He told me he was ready to go against his firmly held beliefs about masks and agree to wear one when the boss became condescending and dismissive. At that he chose to not give in...

What if they both had agreed to disagree, swallow a tiny bit of pride, recognize that both of them might be partly right & partly wrong & no one gets their way all the time, & peacefully coexist? Now Mr. Sparky is out of a job & Mr. Boss is minus an employee.

I'm with Jana. Prayers for both of you... but golly, just golly.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: LMAshton on November 20, 2020, 11:35:59 am
Iím so sorry, Sparky. Additional stress - oy! Prayers from here, too.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Palmon on November 20, 2020, 10:28:09 pm
Sparky, you are in my prayers.  You were so wise to prepare financially. Depression - itís so overwhelming for the person and the family. And so many people are suffering from it. I wish there was a magic pill but perhaps President Nelsonís gift to us today was a spiritual one. 
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: cook on November 22, 2020, 09:22:57 am
On Thursday our government gave new instructions, effective on Monday. Public gatherings should be limited to 20 people. Though many things are excluded, like schools, day care, worship and pubs, or in general things for children and youth... (the last due to effects on economy). So while the sacrament meeting could be going on,  the Stake decided to move back to video broadcasts. Today was the first and if things improve the first back in person will be Dec 20th, if not, then we'll continue it. Seminary and weekly youth activities continue face to face. It was a good decision.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: AndrewR on November 22, 2020, 09:29:01 am
Our Stake Conference next weekend is entirely broadcast. The only people in the chapel will be those participating. And the presiding officer, our area president Elder Sabin, is doing so from Germany.

The stake president is changing so the interviews for the stake reorganisation will also be with Elder Sabin over Zoom and our Area Authority in person. Those being interviewed were given the choice of coming to the stake center or using Zoom.

Interesting times. I have no idea how someone wishing to oppose the vote would be able to make themselves known. With three men having to be set apart, I presume their families, or at least wives, will be allowed to be at the chapel.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: dyany on November 22, 2020, 11:16:21 am
In our ward, those opposing are asked to contact their local leaders. Which is basically a more private way of dealing with the issues anyway. Some people oppose just to be contrary or because they don't like the person, in which case, if asked, they may not be able to give a valid reason. But if they DO have a valid reason, this method will let them explain, which they would have been asked to do in private after a public opposition anyway.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: nitasmile on November 22, 2020, 12:58:03 pm
Andrew, we had a new stake relief society presidency and they just started serving, the old presidency did not get formally released for several months. Most new callings people have started serving with a sustaining or setting apart..they have just dove in.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Redd on December 20, 2020, 02:38:11 pm
Here is a wonder: I just got out of Church, lots of music (thank goodness for talented members) lots of narration, but NO SINGING.
This leads to the question: if we can talk with masks on, why on earth can we not sing?
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on December 20, 2020, 03:38:48 pm
This leads to the question: if we can talk with masks on, why on earth can we not sing?

I'm supposing it is because when we sing, we inhale & exhale much more vigorously than when we talk with normal volume or pace. And even with a mask on, that's more likely to expel particles that may be infected, either through the mask or out the gaps between the mask & our faces.

I am not a scientist with expertise in either the respiratory system or the physics of air flow, but that's what I would figure.

You're fortunate to be able to go in person. I'm in Northern California, & we are still in cyber church, probably for weeks to come. The state is being overwhelmed by new cases.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: dyany on December 20, 2020, 04:07:53 pm
Curelom is right, and I HAVE read the science. There's a LOT more airflow--force and amount--with singing. It is well documented, especially with this pandemic, that singing greatly increases the risk of infection over speaking.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jen on December 20, 2020, 09:26:42 pm
My ward insisting on singing is the reason we won't be attending live church for awhile. We watched the Christmas program on zoom today. Lots of maskless singing.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: JLM on December 20, 2020, 11:02:03 pm
Our SP, who is a medical doctor, announced a halt to all in person church meetings for the next 3 weeks due to the sharp rise in cases among the local members. He will reassess in three weeks to see if the regional numbers start to reverse or not. 
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on December 21, 2020, 04:36:15 am
In the Bay Area where I live, we have never resumed in-person meetings since March. We have Zoom, but it's tough for people who not only enjoy but for various reasons need in-person interaction. But TMK, most people in our area are managing.

Leaders have been emphasizing ministering, trying to be sure everyone gets some kind of attention. Some wards have been providing special times for sacrament (only) at chapels for single sisters, youth with inactive parents, the newly baptized, some who have small homes & are uneasy opening up their social bubble, or others with no other options.

Some people like going to virtual church. I would rather go in person. But recognizing the health risks, not wanting to take a chance on mine or anyone else's, & having no political or philosophical gripes over what is clearly a public health matter, I'm grateful for technology that lets us have what we have. In 1918, or even 1980, we wouldn't have had these opportunities.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Scruffydog on January 12, 2021, 05:12:58 pm
We are back to virtual church after a few months of being able to attend church in person. The government is trying to halt the spread of the virus which is getting out of control. Fortunately, the tech means that we can do everything that we normally do at church apart from sacrament
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Patty Rain on January 15, 2021, 07:54:40 pm
I am surprised/not surprised that we still have in person church.  We have also had zoom except for the brief time the church said no to it.  I'm in AZ which has been in the news recently as the hottest of the covid hotspots.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Taalcon on January 15, 2021, 08:33:41 pm
After our ward (which is full of anti-Maskers) was so proud in being the first in the Stake to open up in-person second hour at the end of December, the reality of the surges in our part of Georgia had the Stake shut them down ASAP. Since January, we've been doing regularly scheduled online Second Hour, and as one of two Gospel Doctrine teachers, I have never once had to miss an assigned teaching Sunday (they knew when they called me I would not be attending in-person for the foreseeable future - and the single in-person lesson they had [which I watched online, and saw several mask-less individuals, including one handing out papers to the entire class] was not my assigned week).
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Palmon on January 16, 2021, 06:09:46 pm
Patty Rain, me too - I'm surprised.  At the same time, I know of people really suffering from the isolation caused by the lockdowns. I live in a senior community. I just learned 1/3 of the members in our branch don't have internet or smartphones.

I haven't been in the same room with any of our kids since March. We don't socialize at all. I occasionally talk to the kids on Facetime or some other app. We've even had virtual family game night a couple of times. I watch sacrament meeting and sunday school on zoom. My husband can bless the sacrment for me. And I am actually friends with him and we enjoy each other's company. We laugh together.

That third of the branch that doesn't have internet or smartphones and therefore can't participate in zoom meetings or facetime, most aren't getting visited by ministers because we've been told not to go into people's homes. They have no church contact and most do not have spouses and roommates are not a thing here. They are suffering.

Our branch may not be like the normal ward but 'dollars to donuts' there are people just as isolated and lonely in those wards and branches. Yes, many people who get this virus get really sick. A small percentage die but if that statistic is your spouse or a friend, the percentages mean nothing.

There is a huge increase in alcoholism, drug addiction, child abuse, suicide by children is increasing - suicide, in general, is increasing, as is mental illness.

I don't know, have in-person church, don't have in-person church - either way, people will suffer. I'm glad that those who walk with God and listen are making these decisions
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Jana at Jade House on January 17, 2021, 03:58:44 am
Our hard lockdown has been extended to mid March. Our new bishop has folk come into the building to give talks but no more music people thank goodness. and I see the podium being wiped down between speakers finally.  I think the nickel finally dropped when two people in the stake died.

I am used to tending to my own spiritual needs. Bishop Scruffy has included me on online ward things for a while now and it is a blessing.   Now that the stake has perked up and has more online I at least get to see my own bishopric. 

Ministering has come to a stop.  I stopped begging for sacrament.  It seems to me my ministering couple are frankly sunday only folks.  or maybe they just are oblivious.   sigh. I have never had anything like consistant support from church my whole membership. 

Thus I go without and attend to my solitary needs in other ways.  That is one reason why Nauvoo has been so important.

I continue my personal service projects and pray like mad I will survive this time in good shape.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: LMAshton on January 17, 2021, 08:59:42 am

I am used to tending to my own spiritual needs.

I have never had anything like consistant support from church my whole membership. 

Thus I go without and attend to my solitary needs in other ways.  That is one reason why Nauvoo has been so important.
This is why Nauvoo is so important to me as well.
Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Curelom on January 17, 2021, 03:40:53 pm
Hi Jana - sending hugs to you & Andries. 💖

Title: Re: masks in church
Post by: Roper on January 17, 2021, 09:34:15 pm
Jana said, "Thus I go without and attend to my solitary needs in other ways.  That is one reason why Nauvoo has been so important."

Laurie said, "This is why Nauvoo is so important to me as well."

Thank you for that.

After what happened at the U.S. capitol last week, I've been thinking that there are far better things for me to do here in Nauvoo than adding more fuel to the fire.
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