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Author Topic: Major overhaul of Church Discipline  (Read 1433 times)

CrowGirl

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2020, 12:22:50 pm »
Yes, TurkeyLurker, that is what I was referring to.

I am left-handed and in this day and age still have to deal with some of that prejudicial stuff about not being as great as a rightie.  So right there, I bristle.

Sometimes it is just flat-awkward to take with your right hand.

The Sacrament is incredibly important to me.  There was a time when I could not take it.  I appreciate it more than I can express.  I have tried to deal with the substance of what is happening—my continual renewal to be better, to be a witness for Christ—and not get caught up in what I thought was a piddly detail.

I made a covenant to obey.  I am already obeying in ways that are annoying and uncomfortable, but I do it anyway and don’t continually gripe about it.  So forgive me for my knee-jerk reaction.  It’s my way.  I have a ten-minute temper tantrum, then gird up my loins and don’t look back.  I just thought/hoped I was not the only one here that might find this a bit on the micro-managing side.

I should look and see if there’s anything in the handbook that says when we sustain people, we are to bring our arm completely to the square, and not just flip up our right hand as it suits us.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 12:45:33 pm by CrowGirl »
Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
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mosquito

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2020, 01:27:36 pm »
Symbolism can be a difficult thing to teach young children. I personally find the sacrament a beautiful first introduction to the concept. Lovingly taught of course.

I remember my father, a not particularly devout member of the church, and a leftie, who was very careful to take the sacrament with his right hand and taught his children to do the same. It was how I first realized the importance of the sacrament portion of the meeting.

Our own personal experience can shape a life-long feeling of such things.

It has taken me decades to figure out some of the most basic symbolism in the temple. But I shall always remember the symbolism associated with the 'right hand' which carries over into other areas.
 
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Roper

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2020, 01:46:10 pm »
I made a covenant to obey.  I am already obeying in ways that are annoying and uncomfortable, but I do it anyway and don’t continually gripe about it.  So forgive me for my knee-jerk reaction.  It’s my way.  I have a ten-minute temper tantrum, then gird up my loins and don’t look back.  I just thought/hoped I was not the only one here that might find this a bit on the micro-managing side.
I felt the same way about how we refer to ourselves as church members. It seems unnecessarily cumbersome to say, "I am a member of the ..." I never felt bad about being called a "Mormon," although I have been ridiculed for it at times in my life. But, things change and we press on. I still say "Mormon" a lot. Old habits die hard.

Crowgirl, we should start a group called, "Curmudgeonly Mormon Lefties," not to be confused with Leftist Mormon Curmudgeons.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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kazbert

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2020, 02:11:31 pm »
Partake the Sacrament with your right hand. Hokay. I'm on board with it. But I've been in the church since 1983 and this is the first time I've heard about it. I get that it has been mentioned before, but I guess I missed it. I'm an adult convert. I wasn't taught that there was a preferred/proper/right way to do it. The missionaries would taught/baptized/confirmed me never mentioned it. Up until now, if the Sacrament tray was coming to me from my left, I partook with my right hand. If the Sacrament tray was coming to me from the right, I partook with my left hand.
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan
 
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dyany

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2020, 02:17:01 pm »
I personally have seen very little to no advantage to adding dogmatic physical minutiae to certain ritual, and actually a lot of damage, in judgment and in misplaced focus on what is important.  I feel that the more physical law we have to focus on, the less spiritual law we rise to. So the left hand thing is irksome and disappointing to me, no less because I had seen SO much progress with changes towards less nit-picking dogma in the last few years of changes.
I don't know how strict I'll try to be with that one. I spend too much time concentrating on the words of the sacrament prayers and reviewing my week and talking to Heavenly Father and Christ and repenting to pay attention to something of so much lesser importance as what hand I use to take the sacrament. I'm probably going to have to brace myself for judgment from those who never understood the decades where that was merely rumor and tradition, and will now feel justified and holier-than-thou.

kaz: it WASN'T a rule. It was a pretty powerful tradition in many areas for a while, enforced with the power of "we can see it, so we can control it" level dogma, but was debunked 40-50 years ago. One of the reasons I'm so very disappointed now.
 
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Roper

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2020, 02:22:41 pm »
There is a lot of symbolism in connection with the "right hand" of God. I wonder if that was part of the reasoning for the recommendation.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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dyany

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2020, 02:34:18 pm »
I'm sure, but as it isn't a specific part of any ritual or ceremony (unlike temple covenants), there isn't a specific motion or detail taught on how to do it, etc., and it was never a rule before, I find the reasoning speculated after the fact to be weak.

The reason right and left had so much symbolism in ancient times was part of the health code God had given to protect his people. Pork was banned, and swine became symbolic of filth and sin and sometimes hedonism, but if you know much about parasitic infections, you will find that most parasites that include humans in their life cycle pass through swine at another point in their life cycle. Blood made one 'unclean' not because it was inherently evil, but because it carried pathogens. Left hand is lesser because, in an age of no running water, antibiotics, or decent cleansers, God was protecting his people from fecal-transmitted infections by designating the left hand for cleaning oneself after relieving oneself, and designated ONLY the right hand for other, more pleasant activities like preparing and eating food, etc. He didn't get into the WHY, so people made up their own--left is evil, right is good.  It's not inherently so, it's just something we assigned as we tried to interpret why the original law existed, and now even though the law (in western society, for the most part, at least) is gone, we hold onto the symbolism WE made up to explain it.

I don't think God minds until we start making that more important than the covenant itself. Which I think many people will do with this.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2020, 02:40:10 pm »
There's a ward in my Stake that taught a great lesson. There was a period of time where the deacons sat on the stand choir seats for a couple months rather than on the pews in front of the sacrament table. They did this for a month, and after Sacrament meeting once, the Bishop came to their Deacon's quorum meeting and asked them why they thought they did this now. There were many doctrinal reasons they came up with, trying to find a deep significance. At the end the Bishop nodded, smiled, and then said, "About 2 months ago, someone in the ward that meets before us threw up on those seats. I quickly invited you up here while the cleaning dried. You just kept coming up week after week. It's time to go back."

You can find deep significance in anything. And that doesn't mean it can't become truly meaningful and significant. It just doesn't necessarily mean it has anything to with the original impetus behind an action. I truly believe most of the things that are done were ALREADY done by other cultures, and God gave them NEW meaning and significance, divorcing them from their original reasons.

This is how lived religion works, and the Church leaders have the full right to do it. Some people like every single thing they do to be imbued with deep meaning. I just think it's worth acknowledging the process, like dyany does.

I'm reminded of this, from OSC:

Quote
“Call them stories. When things happen, we invent stories about them. About why they happened. That’s all science is, and history—stories about why things happen or happened. They are never, never true—never complete and always at least a little bit wrong, and we know it. But they’re true enough to be useful. I doubt our minds could even grasp the whole truth about anything—the nets of causality spread too wide to be held within a single mind. But the stories, the useful lies—we share those and pass them on and when we learn more we improve on them, or when we need different stories for new circumstances, we change them and pretend we always told them that way.”
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 03:13:29 pm by Taalcon »
 
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cook

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2020, 02:43:10 pm »
I understand the need or desire  to rephrase things when they have gotten too much baggage. Personally I don't really like the tendency (ot talking about church setting only), because it feels in a way that others can define the words differently than originally intended.

But my main problem is that since it is always English oriented, sometimes we in other languages need to make changes that just sound silly.

Like ministering. We don't have such a word. So what we use is literally translated "service work".  Yeah, it works, but it's clumsy and leaves out many ideas attached to ministering...

 

Roper

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2020, 04:53:41 pm »
We've added a lot of symbolic meaning to the sacrament over time--white cloth, for example. I don't understand why this can't be one of those things. We've also deleted several symbolic things over time--penalties, shields, veils, etc. The sacrament is a priesthood ordinance. It is also a symbolic renewal of sacred covenant. In what way does the recommendation of using the right hand detract? I mean, who, really, is going to partake with their left hand and then suddenly think, "Oh no! Everything is invalid because I didn't do it right!" This takes a millisecond of thought. What are we really complaining about, here?
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2020, 05:16:58 pm »
It doesn't go any further than what I've already said.

Quote
I DO take the symbols of the sacrament very seriously.

What makes me uncomfortable is ammunition for people to tell others they're 'taking the sacrament wrong.' You take in the Body of Christ. The taking it in is the symbolic part. How you get it off the tray is a delivery mechanism.

Prior to this, someone took the bread, and they ate it. They took a cup, and they drank it. It was a sacred symbolic act. There was no way to 'do it wrong'. Now, someone needs to be corrected in how they partake of the sacrament. This is what is disappointing to me. (A few months ago, before this was official policy, I heard a mother behind me angrily chastise a child for taking the Sacrament with the left hand. It made me very, very sad, and I'm disappointed this will be reinforced.)

I understand why it resonates with those who it resonates with. I can see the continuity between this and receiving the Tokens in the Endowment. But I just tend to dislike more ways for members to feel like they messed up, and didn't do it right. Especially when it comes to the Sacrament. Someone taking it, eating it, passing the tray, and then, Oh no, I took it with the wrong hand, I did it wrong. Or having someone well-intentioned tell them later that they 'did it wrong'. I just ... yeah. It's a little sad for me.

I know people who DO worry about trivialties. I hear people in Elder's Quorum and other venues who DO worry about things you would wish they wouldn't. I know people who do not go to the Temple because of the anxiety of the Veil Ceremony. I'm sensitive to it, and shared my first impression.

Before this was even written in ANY official policy, President Oaks was recorded last year telling the deacons of a ward that they did it wrong, he'd never seen so many deacons do it wrong,  and don't do it that way, even it's convenient to do so. It rubbed me the wrong way. So I had that in mind also when I saw the new policy. But yeah.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 05:22:53 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Roper

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2020, 07:54:01 pm »
Restructure Priesthood quorums to be similar to Relief Society and Young Women. Yeah, we like that.
Replace HT and VT with ministering. Cool. We like that.
End church relationship with BSA and implement new youth program with parity in funding. Finally!
Updates to church music. It's about time!
New guidelines for bishop youth interviews. Yep. This needed to happen.
Use the full name of the church. Okay, This is going to require a lot of changes.
New guidelines for missionary dress and communication. Woo Hoo!
New policy for youth and temples. Cool.
New guidelines for ordinance witnesses. Awesome. That makes a lot of sense.
Changes to temple clothing. Yep. that's been needed for a while.
Changes to temple ceremony to accommodate physical concerns. Another welcome change.
Sunday worship services now two hours instead of three. Best! Change! Ever!
Members use their right hand to partake of the sacrament. Oh...heck no. We gonna complain about this!
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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dyany

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2020, 08:15:33 pm »
Every time a change comes up, I think about it and pray about it. Not in the vein of, "do I like this?" but rather in the vein of, "how can this bring us closer to Christ?" I also examine the more temporal positives (generally to help me explain to those who may be angry about it) and negatives (to help me empathize with those who may be struggling with the change and help me keep myself humble if I personally am glad of the change). The vast majority of the time, whether I have any personal feelings, positive or negative, about the change, I roll with it, because I can see how it can bring us to Christ.
This, however, worries me, for primarily one reason: I have already seen a plethora of negative effects just from the decades of rumor and baseless tradition. And that was with the Church debunking the rumors as mere tradition! Now that they say that "We do this," the people who were already supercilious and judgmental about it are going to need stepladders to get in their saddles. And with zero official explanation as to why or how this is supposed to bring us closer to Christ and no personal testimony (in part because of former Church teaching that it wasn't necessary or doctrine), I'm struggling to find a testimony for myself of it. 
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 12:20:55 am by dyany »
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2020, 08:42:44 pm »
Members use their right hand to partake of the sacrament. Oh...heck no. We gonna complain about this!

For the record, my first post about it just noted it, with an emoticon to express I thought it was a little silly. That was it.
Andrew expressed why it made sense to him, and referred to those specifically who take the symbols seriously.
I responded to make clear I also DID take the ordinance seriously, and expressed why the new policy initially made me uncomfortable. I didn't really consider that complaining.

I'm curious if you would consider there being a difference between 'complaining' and 'expressing one's discomfort, with the reasons'.
 

Roper

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Re: Major overhaul of Church Discipline
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2020, 10:32:39 pm »
And with zero official explanation as to why or how this is supposed to bring us closer to Christ...


President Nelson taught this almost 40 years ago (Taalcon provided the citation in a previous post):
Quote
Partaking of the sacrament might therefore be thought of as a renewal by oath of the covenant previously made in the waters of baptism. It is a sacred mental moment, including (1) a silent oath manifested by the use of one’s hand, symbolic of the individual’s covenant, and (2) the use of bread and water, symbolic of the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior of the world. The hand used in partaking of the sacrament would logically be the same hand used in making any other sacred oath. For most of us, that would be the right hand. ... Because I have a right hand, I offer it in partaking of the sacrament as an oath, that I will always remember his atoning sacrifice, take his name upon me and remember him, and keep the commandments of God.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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