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Comments about ‘What is the etiquette of phone usage at church?’

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Published: Saturday, Oct. 22 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Rita52
ANN ARBOR, MI

The only thing I object to about phones/other high-tech is the noise they make when they go off. Silence is golden! I use a small notebook computer at church, as I have arthritis that makes my notes illegible, and I can touch type much faster than writing. My scriptures are immediately available, and I can look up verses faster than thumbing through the paper copy (although I read them at home.) I love that we have technology that makes these helps possible. I just hope we never go to PowerPoint for sacrament meeting talks!

RicoS
Orem, UT

Remember that it is NOT proper to take photographs--or videos--in the chapel, whether by phone or by regular camera. And in the opinion of my bishop (and I tend to agree), this also applies to the Primary room, which could be considered an extension of the chapel.

junkgeek
Agua Dulce, TX

1. I was kind of with you until you suggested that all-stars use pen and paper. No, they whip a notepad on their phone and take notes.

2. RicoS - The primary room is not an extension of the chapel, sorry.

AuntieEm
MESA, AZ

Great Article Angela. Balanced and objective. Good information and suggestions.

kgillmore
Lewiston, UT

I walk using 2 canes. It is very difficult to carry scriptures and manuals around church. I bought an i-touch just so that I could load the church information on it. I also downloaded the gospel art kit into an album. It helps my daughter focus on Christ during the sacrament. I'm sorry if others find my using it during church and sacrament distracting but it certainly helps me with my sabbath day.

Palmer
Columbus, OH

Our family's policy is pretty straightforward: Cellphones stay home during church. Even the parents' phones. It's actually nice to be off the "electric leash" for a few hours, and really BE THERE when the Spirit is present.

I know it's not the solution for everyone, but it works nicely for us.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

Though I'm not that old, I am a bit old fashioned. I have a cell phone, but it's not fancy enough to upload scriptures and manuals. It just rings -- which I make sure it doesn't do during church. I wouldn't take it - except my father has physical problems and I need to be available 24/7 to respond if needed - if he should fall at home or something.

I don't approve of those who are obviously busy with some electronic game during church, especially during Sacrament Meeting (and I've seen that happen with both youth and adults - the bleeping and rapid thumb movements were a dead give away, it wasn't a scripture they were accessing).

In my opinion, electronic gadgetry has its place, but like all things, there are time when its appropriate and when its not. Even thumbing through leather bound scriptures when you are on the clock at work isn't appropriate.

Steve T.
Fruit Heights, UT

When at Church, just shut the blasted thing off! Church is more important than texting or talking to some one... What ever it is, IT CAN WAIT!

soldier boy
Bountiful, Ut

@Steve T. 2:55

Should the physician who is on call stay home from church? There are legitimate uses for a cell phone at church.

theOtter
Lafayette, IN

My personal favorite was when the woman directly in front of me was playing Monopoly on her iPhone during Sacrament Meetng, and she couldn't even put it down long enough to take the sacrament. Come ON, people!

Personally, we've had to make the iPad off limits during Sacrament Meeting because our two oldest (ages 5 and 4) fight over whose turn it is. It's nice to have gospel-themed activities there to keep them busy, but in general, it's just too in of a distraction.

On the other hand, since our new meetinghouse doesn't have a Family History Center(R), we actually encourage people to bring their laptops to the Family History Sunday School class and log onto the LAN. Otherwise, the whole thing would be rather pointless.

theOtter
Lafayette, IN

Oops too *much of a distraction. That was a weird autocorrect.

Vienna25
Anchorage, AK

Since gospel truths don't change with the styles and trends of the time, I just try to follow the principle which has allowed me to develop the testimony I have: be reverent.

If i need my scriptures, sure I'll opt for a smart-device. Like you mentioned Angela, it's better to have, than not have, the manuals in class.

If there is a new investigator, why not exchange phone numbers after Sunday School? Great way to fellowship and make new friends!

If I'm trying to schedule VT, I'd rather not lose the appointments on a scrap paper in the bottom of my purse- put it right into the calendar that is on my phone.

If I notice my friend sitting alone, I'll also send them a message to cheer them up during class. Or maybe a friend isn't there during Sunday School? I'll text right then and there to invite them to the next meeting.

Not playing angry birds. Not replacing the teacher. Just using that which we have today for good.

welcomethemall
Nampa, ID

Agree with most of you... common sense can reign. (Also agree that the primary room is not an extension of the chapel... though Ward leadership may want to be sensitive to parents who don't want pictures/videos of their kids on other people's devices to be posted on facebook, etc.)

I have to have my phone because my assignments always take me to other buildings and even the best-laid plans change with a daughter going to BYC, another child in a presidency meeting... etc. I just have to respect those around me.

And my iPad seems to have reduced my Sunday bag by about 40 pounds. This is much less intrusive in meetings where there may not be a lot of room.

I also like that it literally puts the handbook of instruction at everyone's fingertips. That can only be for the good.

terra nova
Park City, UT

Use common sense when using electronic devices. Try to follow the spirit. Have the grace to forgive others when they make mistakes or somehow transgress the line you consider right, pure and perfect. Try to avoid judging others (including those who consider themselves right, pure and perfect). If you must judge, please do so with perfect wisdom, absolute love, astonishing mercy and bountiful grace.

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