Wish families were more relaxed in the spirit at church sometimes. They will,
cling together and sit in the same place week after week after week, circulate,
sit with other members, some of 'em dont have anyone else in the family in
church. I usually sit with a friend now being the only member of my family
attending church, but if I were ever alone I would generally sit at the back,
but, if seats are taken just park your bum anywhere for heavens sake!
Since when did our happiness depend on all of our family/friends sitting in the
same close proximity? This has become a poor cultural tradition where false
rights and manufactured needs have come to be expected. Our happiness should be
that famliy and friends are in attendance at all, our collective focus should be
on the content of the meeting, and our energy spent on our own reverence.
Touching legs shouldn't matter; mature families should be able to be apart
for that short time and not have it bother them. And of course visiting can and
should wait until after the meeting. If being in whisper-in-your-ear closeness
matters this much, there are bigger problems with which to be concerned.
I've heard of "pew-gilism", but this is ridiculous!
This man needs Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them
which despitefully use you, and persecute you;In AA this is called
contrary action. When we take contrary action we change roles.
Instead of being acted upon, we act. That is what Jesus Christ did. Every
person he encountered, he viewed as a person he could help and he did so in the
moment. When missionaries begin serving in the mission field they are
self-centered, but before too long, as they serve, they find they love the
people they are serving. The reason: Christ-like service brings mercy into our
hearts. Can you imagine an irritated, upset, angry or vengeful missionary? It
rarely happens because their hearts are changed and they think about people in a
different way. They also act accordingly.
I can just see a certain someone up there doing a facepalm...
This is kind of one sided here. Yes, for sure, you should not have been saving
seats in the first place. That is where the problem began. But we have to be
willing to forgive others, even though they make stupid mistakes. We can not
react in anger and that is why Brother Dodge must pay for what he did.
After six decades, the "saving seats" phenomenon is still a mystery to
me. When my family visited another ward to hear a speaker or be with family, we
always made it a point to sit in areas that were unlikely to be someone
else's regular spot - generally near the back or in the overflow. They
know we are there, so it doesn't matter where we sit. In my home ward we
have on occasion, arrived to find the first 10 rows covered with sweaters,
coats, and even our own hymnbooks to save places. What is the point? Is it to
emphasize the importance of the departing or returning missionary by a showing
of block solidarity? Making your presence clear by displacing the
"regulars?" Do you really need to see or hear better? In one case we
thought we had a clear spot, but were advised that the hymnbook (or own
ward's) in the middle of the row was reserving the entire row so could we
please move. We did. My wife, the chorister, walked from the overflow to the
front to lead the music. I still don't get it . . .
What would Jesus have done? Good question. My understanding of the Word is
that Jesus went to church once as an adult and turned over a lot of tables
because he wasn't very happy. His behavior might have risen to a
misdemeanor under current Utah law.
I'm pretty sure the Zoramites had their own precious pres also. That is
In our ward we support the deaf community with ASL interpreters. We reserve the
first few rows on the left hand side for the deaf and their families. We also
have a high population of wheel-chair bound and we reserve the middle first two
rows for them and their families. We use signs every week on those pews but
still have a number of people who sit there anyway, they just push the signs out
of the way. It's maddening!!! Those rows are made for wheel-chairs. Funny
the same kind of rows exist in the middle back two rows, nobody seems to fight
over them. Since when did we not take into account the handicapped?
Alas, 2 bits, its the duty of the driver to yield to pedestrians. This
wasn't a New York City street.
It depends how the seat saving is done. Some people get ignorant about it.
Saving seats right next to you for immediate family members? O.K. But I've
seen people save several entire rows so they can come in late & have
"good" seats while those were early are in the back. Our leadership
finally had to ask members to stop seat-saving.Quick story: As a
young single adult, I began attending a family ward after moving. My 1st week
there, I came early & was feeling very alone & self-conscious. I sat in
a short bench towards the front, on the side. I'd been sitting there ~5-10
minutes when a family came in. They stood next to the bench for a few seconds,
then the mother leaned in & said, "You're sitting in our bench.
Would you move?" NO welcome, NO introduction...just "would you
move?" I moved, but was deeply hurt & offended. I continued to attend
that ward, but someone with a weak testimony might never have come back. As
disciples of Jesus Christ, we must show Christlike love for everyone, put
ourselves in their shoes, & treat them the way WE want to be treated.
@CylonesRussunamn, IN"Eliyahu wrote: It is interesting to
note that the more missionaries sent out the small the ratio to missionary to
convert Maybe instead of focusing so much on sending out people to Proselyte but
instead be a christ like people and should reconsider what Jesus taught:"I'm sorry, but I wrote nothing of the kind. Please pay better
attention to the authors to whom you attribute citations.
That altitude of having a permanent seat and contending for it is not a pattern
in the Lord's church. we all have to respect one another and humble
ourselves anywhere we found ours. How do you consider this- sitting on the floor
as others sit on seat?
This is example #1 why the Church asks that wards not have special mission
homecoming or farewall meetings.
sounds like somebody doesn't understand the purpose of going to church?
Luke 11:43 came to my mind..."Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye
love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the
markets."Sad to see this happen in ANY church. Not exactly an
example of "love your neighbor as you love yourself." Let us learn from
Sheeeesh. Really? Really????????????????
Eliyahu wrote: It is interesting to note that the more missionaries sent out the
small the ratio to missionary to convert Maybe instead of focusing so much on
sending out people to Proselyte but instead be a christ like people and should
reconsider what Jesus taught:Matthew 5:45-45 That ye may be the
children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the
evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye
love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the
same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not
even the publicans so?Luke 6:31-33 And as ye would that men should
do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you,
what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do
good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even
the same.Matthew 24.12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many
shall wax cold
He who wants a certain seat in church should be there early enough to sit in it.
If others want to be seated by him, they also should be there early
enough to sit with him. Saving seats for stragglers is always bad
form. Get there early enough, with all your posse, and find your
seat and sit in it. If someone is already in your seat, you
didn't get there early enough to claim it.Then it ain't
You know it bad when the the preacher/minister has to write an epistle concern
seating manners in church
Christ would not care where he was seated. It is clear in scriptures that it
makes no difference where a person is seated. If anything we should fight to be
in an overflow section. Someone unfamiliar should be sitting in the back. Or
perhaps a single pew could be marked for the use of the blessing folks and one
pew for the use of the missionary family? The family can decide who needs to be
in the pew up close and who needs to fend for themself. If there is
not enough space in the pews there won't be enough space in the parking
Well, this story is obviously troubling. It evokes a 'money changers in the
temple' response. And I was going to cast a printed stone at Mr. Dodge.But then, I wondered how many times I have walked out of Church and done
something contrary to what I was just taught. If I had to serve thirty days in
jail for each offense, it might be a while before I got back to Church. Worse
yet, if it was published in the newspaper? I cannot even begin to
imagine the humiliation. I would rather be his Tango partner and escape with a
bloody nose and avoid all of the notoriety.
Seriously? Fighting over seats? In church?! At a baby blessing and missionary
farewell, of all things?Sounds like at least two people in this
story need to work harder at cultivating the Spirit!
In one stake in California, in which my family was located, before conference
started, the Stake Presidency announced that there was to be "no saving of
seats." This lasted for one more stake conference...after that, it was
ignored again. Seats should not be saved, but there are
circumstances in which that should be tolerated; that is : (1) when a baby
is blessed, (2) at a missionary farewell, or return from his/her mission.In these instances, visitors should always be allowed to come and sit
wherever they wish; many will be coming late because they are coming from far
distances.As members of the Church, as one poster has said, we
should always remember Christ and emulate him; and we all know that he would not
advocate violence in the house of the lord. The ward member "should have
known," even if it were announced "no saving of seats," that there
will always be visitors on such days. Invite them to sit where they
wish and welcome them there...it is easy enough to give up "your pew"
for another, for one day. Christ would have done more than that.
@Eliyahu @The Scientist It is not about not wanting to sit with others, it is
about wanting to sit with family. What's wrong with that? The very essence
of going to church is about family and being with family. Please do not
interpret wanting to sit with family as being exclusionary because it
Matthew 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from
thee:Never sit in someone else's pew unless you intend to be
offensive and if you do, be not surprised when you are plucked out and cast
At least it took until page three of the comments for someone (Scientist) to
twist this into an attack on the LDS Church in general.This is
simply about two self-absorbed people worrying about themselves and not being
charitable. The world is full of them, including the LDS Church. Indicting a
church because of the actions of two members is disengenuous...I
believe Elder Hales said: "Christ had a perfect Church until He let all of
I think this whole thing is ridiculous and blown wayyyy out of context. So what
if you were saving seats, One man sitting with them shouldn't have made
that big of a difference. He should have just let him sit there... I agree with
the statement, "want a seat? come early." and on the other hand, Dodge
should have seen that there were going to be a lot of family there, Hello???? a
blessing and a farewell!!! Dodge could have moved just this one time. I think
Dodge instigated it, but instead of apologizing and making the day better he got
violent there is NEVER a reason to get that angry especially over a seat and
especially in the Lord's house...then again instead of just letting it be
and going home what he now had to try and run him over? I think he got off
light. He definitely has an anger issue that needs to be treated. In My opinion
they BOTH need to repent.
This story isn't about saving seats in Church. It's about assault. The
crime would have been the same if the dispute had arisen from any other cause.
Was this the dispute I read about months ago in which the two men were the
current and former husbands of the same woman? If so, that's a relevant
Eliyahu, as an "indider," I can tell you that seat-saving is usually a
very benign, virtually unnoticed fact of every Sunday. With my family of six, we
usually take two cars, as I go to an early meeting and my son comes along to
prep the sacrament. My father-in-law is already there, so he puts down a couple
of books and a briefcase to block off half a pew for us because, you know, we
like each other and would kinda like to sit together. If we have family in town,
we may need a little more space, because I don't feel like telling the
cousins from Costa Rica and/or Colorado they have to sit somewhere else.Frankly, I doubt this is uniquely an LDS phenomenon, and neither are
occasional fights over petty stuff like this. When I say "occasional," I
really mean "ultra-rare."
Eliyahu wrote:"Saving rows of seats in church seems particularly
inappropriate to this outsider. Are LDS congregations so insular and unfriendly
that no one wants to mix with anyone not a part of their immediate or extended
I wonder if those whom the seats were being saved for would have wanted the seat
savers to literally fight for them. I was asked by my (former) girlfriend to
save seats on the street for a fourth of July parade, where we planned to spend
the night. My girlfriend went to get something to eat. Another (very nice)
couple asked if they could have part of the space I was asked to save. There was
plenty of room for all of us and so of course I said "sure". When my
former girl friend returned, she was so angry that I had chosen to share the
seats, that she mad a huge scene and she ended up leaving. To this day, I
don't see what was so important about that space that would cause her to
destroy a relationship, embarrass me and herself and all in front of her 2
children and my son. Needless to say, I am so glad I didn't marry her. If
seats to ANYTHING except the Celestial Kingdom are that important to someone,
there is a chance their priorities may be just a little askew. Just sayin'.
Remember Mr. Spooner: "Mardon me, Padam, but you seem to be occupewing my
Ahh, I know why I LOVE the youth programs. I get to see little kids act like
kids. Adults act like kids too but they can't pull it off the same way!
Saving rows of seats in church seems particularly inappropriate to this
outsider. Are LDS congregations so insular and unfriendly that no one wants to
mix with anyone not a part of their immediate or extended family? I would have
viewed this as an opportunity to meet someone new and, perhaps, to make a new
friend. In any case, getting territorial about seats that you don't even
own looks a lot more like something my half-witted little terrier would do
rather than the act of a mature adult.
I am surprised at the opposition to saving rows of seats. When families come for
special occasions, it is reasonable to want to sit together. I have 6 siblings
and some of them have 7 or 8 children. Bring in grandparents and so forth and
the space required is large. When my children were little it was a great
blessing to have seats saved. It wasnt an everyday thing, only for special
occasions. The reality is no wrong was done until someone let anger enter in. I
have been annoyed by seat saving before when the people marked off their rows
after the adult stake conference meeting for the next day. Oh well! It
isn't worth fighting over!
The Devine Right. As a former police officer from Utah, the most dangerous day
of the week is the Sunday morning rush hour to church. My all time best speeding
ticket at 100 mph was a husband and wife going to work at the temple early in
There was a family that, on our first day in our new ward, "politely"
told us we were sitting in their seats, which was okay for this first week as we
didn't know it was theirs. They were confident that by next week we would
have it figured out. I wondered what an investigator would have thought of that;
or a visiting general authority, which it turns out we frequently had in that
This sounds like an exciting ward to visit on Sunday. Something like WWF or MMA
on Sunday. Sounds like the type of ward that welcomes all to attend, just
don't sit on my row.
I've never used this phrase in a post before and have kept it close to me,
but I know that it applies here. Here goes. Ahem. Oh my heck, no way!
@ 2 bits & Navel Vet: If only there were some place where a non-biased
party could listen to both sides tell their side of the story and then make a
determination of fault...Oh, wait - there is. It is called a Court
of Law - and this guy decided, based on the facts of the situation he was
involved in that there was so much evidence against him it was better to make a
plea deal admitting his fault.Maybe, just maybe, this turned out the
way it did for a reason?
Sounds like out of control behavior on both sides. It takes two.That said, we drive over 2 1/2 hours to our stake meetings and, even if you
get there early, people will have filled the entire chapel with place markers.
So those who travel have to sit back in the gym while the "locals"
arrive at the last minute, with front row seats.Reminds me of a
phrase I heard once: "meaner than a church lady."That's not to demean religious women, but I think that it points out that
people who should know better, when they are rude, are more rude than those who
are "innocently" unkind.Sure ruined those special days for
the families. What a send off on your mission. On the other hand, might make
No way these could have been front row seats. These had to be back row seat to
be worth fighting for.
It's a high stress world that we live in... Hard to turn it off on
Some churches have you buy your pew, thereby possibly giving you some sense of
ownership. I did not know that habit/ homesteading of the chapel was part of the
LDS culture. Does that apply to the parking lot, also?
It may not had been one sided but when one of the people ends up on the hood of
the car, that is going beyond a two sided argument. Its a worship service
besides how can someone be this upset over a seat?
How is a farewell and a baby blessing happening on the same day? Blessings
should take place on Fast Sunday's per the handbook. Either way, what a
I love how many people here are downplaying what happened as somehow being the
fault of the person saving seats. Yes, it is annoying, but that is where it ends
for most people. Most normal people don't get in a fight, verbal or
physical, at church over a seat. That is not just childish, it is ridiculous.
This is an easy problem to solve. You can save seats next to you for family, but
you can't save seats in front of you or behind you in a separate pew. This
seems so obvious but in my ward it is typical to see many complete rows of pews
unoccupied but saved with personal items. I get to church 10 minutes early and
there are no seats left. Then those whose seats are saved show up late. It is so
"As I have love you love one another" I keep hearing that hymn when I
read this article...face palm*
Would have been better if someone had:Turned the other check, given the seats, their coat and the cloak, blessed and prayed for those
who mis-use you. On the other hand -- This one will go down
as a Sunday School, Seminary and FHE example for the ages...
Sounds like the visitors sat is his regular spot. That can be a little
(unreasonably) annoying, but this reaction was over the top to say the least.
It'a a church, men, it's not a sporting event or a concert.
Imperfect latter day saints, uh oh the antis will have a field day with this one
This is another instance where people just make up the rules as they go along.
Pres Kimball's Teachings of the Presidents of the Church manual states that
you come early, move to the front, listen to the prelude music and prepare to
take the Sacrament.I doubt there is a Church policy for saving
seats. If you want to sit together, get to Church early together. Is it possible that Sacrament Mtg is sometimes like an episode of
"Who's Got Talent" instead of an effort to remember the baptism
promises made at baptism?More than likely if the bishopric of this
ward was on top of their game, they would have been seated in their places on
the stand, would have seen the issue, and would have performed an intervention,
issues resolved.But no one cares, people just do what they want.
A fight?Over seats?Ok, maybe at an expensive concert?At
Church?Questionable behavior? Best method to meet and greet
investigators or new converts who may have been attending that day?
What would Jesus have done?Would he have been saving seats in the
first place?Would he have gotten angry or confrontational in the
second place?Would he have resorted to fisticuffs in the third
place?Would he have tried to keep him from leaving in the fourth
place by blocking his car till the police arrived?Would he have
pressed charges in the fifth place?(Are they both taking fifth place
in a two man race?)Or would he have hugged the man, invited him to
sit with his family, and enjoyed the spirit of the occasion and taught a
wonderful lesson in kindness and compassion?Go, therefore, and do
Problem: Can't find enough adequate seating.Solution: Come
very clever bbj! Love the humor.
The whole seat saving thing is beyond silly. It should be first come first
serve. No seat saving. I too think the plaintiff probably stirred things up.
2 bits:That was my assessment of the situation as well. It sounded
to me like the guy that got assaulted both initiated the altercation, and tried
to keep it going afterward. Frank Fourth:One good way
to not end up on the hood of someone's car is to not stand in front of it
when it's in motion.
2 bits, one way to end up on the hood of someone's car is to have the car
driven into you.
This has got to be the best story ever!
Well, we do believe in the laying on of hands.
"Thou shalt not make a stink in thy pew." — I know I read that
Bad scheduling. A blessing and it was a send off or homecoming at the same time.
Does everyone need to be there? Do they need to be on the same day?
Hmmm...my pet peeve is that the back row is packed, and everyone else just sits
on the edges of the pews. That leaves the center completely empty and wasted
space. The front row is mostly empty, but when you have little kids, you
don't want them to have extra room to play. Mine would hang onto the front
of the pulpit and do chin ups if given the chance. And I really don't like
to climb over people to get to the empty space. If only people would leave one
side of the middle benches open and fill up one bench before commencing to fill
up another bench. It's more considerate and welcoming. Thank you.
In my father's house there are many mansions...no seat saving necessary.
I somehow feel we, the faithful Des News readers, are missing the rest of the
story This was a national news afterall. Did the Deseret News Staff interview
the plaintiff and the defendant? I hope the SL Trib doesn't scoop the DN on
this Human Interest story.
From a Tribune article on this I pictured this as one man trying to save 3 rows
of seats in a crowded chapel which would be bad form if that is true. From this
article I don't get a that picture. The only time I see saving seats as
okay is if a family or friends are sitting fairly close together and one or more
of them haven't arrived yet. It would be not good for someone else to go
sit in between them uninvited.
#1. I don't think it mattered that he was a Mormon. He was just out of
control. People get out of control (even non-mormons).#2. It sounds
like it wasn't one-sided. Why did the other guy get off free? Sounds
like he kept it going. Even ending up on the hood of the old guys car after
going in and cleaning up. You don't end up on the hood of somebody's
car by accident. He MUST have confronted the guy a second time. I
seriously doubt he drove into the building, or up on the sidewalk and caught the
guy off guard and scooped him up on the hood of his car. Sounds like the guy
confronted him again in the parking lot... kinda got what he was asking for (a
fight).IMO when you push somebody... you kinda get what you asked
for (a fight). If the guy hadn't gone into the parking lot to start it up
again and stood in front of the guy's car... nothing would have happened.