In the Village: Here are some of my 'cool' ideas

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  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    Brother Card, whenever I see an article by you, it's like Christmas! I love your viewpoints and your writing style. Thanks for another great article.

    @ Independent: Wow, I bet your ward's meetings are definitely NOT dull! You made me laugh, thank you.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 20, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    When are the brethren going to give us the Priesthood so they can check in with the women on these things? Comments here are equally as humorous as your article! Thanks for the fun read...

  • ghanks Tacoma, Washington
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    So enjoyed your thought processes, Brother Card, and your sense of humor! :)

    About your hymn observation: I actually enjoy it when the women's voices are required to drop out momentarily. It gives me another perspective as I soundlessly listen to the men sing, and try to think about the words from their perspective. It adds a certain character to the hymn that I would otherwise miss (living in my female mind as I do), and the words seem to enlarge or deepen at times.

    A sister in our ward who loves the hymns and loves to sing, has not been able to sing them for about 2 years. In fact, due to a medical treatment, she can barely talk above a whisper and that is a vast improvement from her voice a year ago. She expressed to me an interesting realization about listening to and pondering the hymn texts, instead of singing them. She said their gospel messages have become more meaningful than ever before.

    That said, I'm not proposing that we all become "hymn listeners" rather than singers, but on occasion there's value in listening with pure intent.

  • iscorefilm Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    To elaborate on my previous comment regarding testimony meetings. I really am not finding fault with others. I don't have problems with people when they do it... I simply think that the meeting warrants a different approach than what we currently have taken it for.

    I have heard people get up and 'come clean' with things that should have been strictly for their bishop. I have heard people get up and talk about something sad that happened to them and how their life is depressing, etc. From how I understand it, testimony meeting is supposed to be where people bear their testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. Although personal experiences may certainly contribute to this. I simply believe that many people don't get up and speak with this in mind.

    With that said, I believe that as long as Bishops follow the guidelines recently given in the new handbook, then things should be fine. If things continue the way they do, it's not like I have a real problem or anything. I find no fault in the church whatsoever- I only wonder if we couldn't approach this meeting form in a better way, that's all.

  • iscorefilm Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 4:51 p.m.

    ""For I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning" (1 Nephi 19:23). When people from our ward are invited to speak in sacrament meeting, I look forward to hearing what the Lord has taught them, through the experiences of their lives."

    I agree with this post, however there are many people who don't speak well or form words well and this poses problems for some of them. I think that some people need a more helpful nudge in their talks, and some you could simply give a subject to talk about and they'd come prepared with a great lesson.


    Side note:

    I and a few people I know grow very tired of testimony meetings. Ideally, I have no issue with them and love the practice. But, with how many get up and cry the whole time about a personal experience completely unrelated to bearing a testimony, I find them unproductive.

    I mean no offense to anyone with this. I find no fault in people having emotional experiences and wanting to share them or get stuff off of their chest. I simply feel there is a place for everything.

  • iscorefilm Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    Rather than dull the music down (No offense) to everyone doing the same thing, I'd actually suggest the opposite.

    Imagine a hymnbook with an organ/piano specific part, with people singing to a more musical organ accompaniment. Accompaniment can be written to still be accompaniment, still help those who have a hard time finding the melody on their own, and not have to be the same exact thing as the choral part.

    I know far more people my age who can sing 4-part and even more advanced than I do from my parents age. Perhaps it's time we make the hymn book less 1800's. I write myself and I appreciate the musical discipline our hymns are in. I'm not suggesting an abandonment of this... but simply that congregations can handle less stagnant, more dynamic music that still keeps to the same style, but with more variety than chord chord chord chord chord music, with little of anything else going on. I'm also not suggesting a lot going on, but I think I could easily arrange a hymn for congregation and organ to do separate things that would be appropriate for non-choir-exclusive use. Just a thought.

  • iscorefilm Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    "when, just because we sing the bass or tenor line, men are forbidden by the music to speak a quarter of the hymn's message, I think much of the purpose of a congregational hymn is defeated."

    I don't think the purpose or meaning in the hymn is diminished whatsoever. I think this only enhances the music. Musical effect is not missing either. Just because the Tabernacle choir sounds better than the average congregation does not mean that the average congregation should not be aspiring to such a musical goal. I have been in congregations where there was an amazing 4-part SATB sound and the women sounded just perfect when they sang their women-only part.

    I simply think it enhances the music, and in some cases, the text practically demands such a separation, when the words imply a female voice is speaking, etc.

    I have a different suggestion, but in a second post.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Aug. 19, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Perhaps they should get more specific about what not to share in testimony meeting, for example:

    1. It is not appropriate to tell the congregation they are not properly living the Word of Wisdom.

    2. It is not appropriate to tell us all the details of your suicide attempts. Please just go to the Bishop and ask for a referral to social services.

    3. If your patriarchal blessing says you were chosen for some kind of important mission, please keep that to yourself.

    4. You don't need to publicly thank anybody in testimony meeting. You can actually just walk right up to them in the hall and say thank you face to face.

    5. Please do not endorse or criticize policians or political candidates in testimony meeting.

    6. Please stop quoting Star Wars.

    7. If you haven't told your family how much you love and appreciate them recently, testimony meeting is not the time or place to do it.

    8. I'm very sorry you and your husband are having a hard time conceiving. Could you spare us the details, please?

    9. Could you not put down your spouse? It's making us feel uncomfortable.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 19, 2011 8:58 a.m.


    I have been in many meetings where the three speakers all spoke on the same general topic, and yet each taught me something different, from their unique perspective. This, I believe should be the goal.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 19, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    Mr. Card;

    While my family and I are all fans (one kid considered going to SVU just because you were teaching there...), I have to disagree on 2 counts, and agree on 1.

    BTW, you hace to cut down those 21 by 4 for Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July and Pioneer Day in most wards.

    RE: Hymns with disappearing men's parts: I know you have written many books and columns. We have read (and love) many. But have you ever written a hymn? I suggest the book, Our Latter-day Hymns, by Davidson, which investigates the authors, settings, composers and their stories, which give insight into the hymns. It bothers me enough that the 1985 hymn book "dumbed down" the original arrangements of many hymns. To further homogenize would, I think, detract further from the intent.

    RE: SacMtg topics: While I do not believe that each speaker should be spoon-fed the same conference talk to speak on, having a unified topic reinforces those aspects of the Gospel that the Bishopric feel their congregation needs. And if done right, the Ward Music Chair will coordinate the hymns and special music so that all leave edified on the subject.

  • jdcray Richmond, VA
    Aug. 19, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    Order in all things... the standing up and talking on any subject is kinda Quaker-like, isn't it?

  • Rock Calgary, Alberta
    Aug. 19, 2011 2:14 a.m.

    Good one, Independent....
    My first Sunday in the Mission Field was a Testimoney meeting where one sister spoke about her moving out of the ward and how much she hoped they would miss her, call her, still include her, yadda yadda. The rest were no better.
    Our fairly interested investigators were so completely turned off by the meeting of non Christian theme that they asked us not to return to teach them anything further.
    Chased away by a non-testimony testimony.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Aug. 18, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Right now my only suggestion is that after a member of the bishopric goes over what is and what is not appropriate to share in testimony meeting for the thousandth time, and everyone proceeds to ignore the guidelines yet again, someone should come out with a giant hook and drag the longwinded non-listeners away.

  • Jaqui B Snohomish, WA
    Aug. 18, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    I love the "topic" Sacrament meetings we have. Generally 2 youth speakers and 2 adult speakers given the same general topic. Last Sunday's was "testimony" -- we heard 4 great and very different talks each one supplimenting and complementing the others. Sometimes speakers do select the same scriptures but they generally have different things to say around them. I really enjoy the opportunity this gives me to look at these topics from different angles and often it opens new meaning to me and sends me home with a solid message I can review in my mind throughout the week.

    Scattered topics tend to leave me scattered and not remembering any specific point.... but then, that's MY point of view...

  • davewhittle Springville, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    I read your comments with a big smile on my face, Brother Card. Your ideas are excellent - in fact, I used to have the same "inspired ideas," and waited for my chance to do things differently. So after being called as Bp. many years ago, I learned that the Brethren actually WANT things to be the way they are and go to great lengths to teach Priesthood Leaders to do things that way. They call it "correlation."

    So since then, I've adjusted to the (I'll just call it) "intellectual boredom" by focusing more on the frequency of my "spiritual receiver" as I try to hear the spirit of the person "broadcasting." For me, that's like constantly fiddling with the dial trying to tune in to the big game through poor AM reception so the static doesn't overwhelm the play-by-play. Every so often (maybe a couple or few times a meeting), the static of repetition or soulless commentary fades and you get to hear the crystal clear excitement of a game-winning last second touchdown. And you go home feeling that the whole game and all the dial-fiddling was really worth it...

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    Aug. 18, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    How about asking members to talk without assigning a specific subject? That way, the member can speak on subjects pondered while reading scriptures, preparing a lesson for Family Home Evening, inspiration received during prayer, etc (linking the discussion to the scriptures, of course). Perhaps the Bishopric can assign topics only for those who would feel more comfortable with an assigned subject.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    I completely agree with all your points, Bro. Card. I have commented to bishopric members about both the common theme and the assigning of conference talks. I'm still convinced the one topic is jsut for convenience of busy bishopric members. As for the conference talk assignments...some feel it's just another opportunity to reinforce a message that members would not otherwise study. My worry is that members will lose, or never gain, the worthwhile skill of wrestling with and organizing gospel ideas, with the help of the spirit, then delivering with personal conviction.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    Way to go, Orson; as usual, you hit the nail on the head. FINALLY a bright, intellectual member of the LDS Church who agrees with me that God meant us to use our brains and think about what we are told and not to just follow blindly. Thanks for reminding people that good ideas like consolidating Sunday meetings may come from good observation and we can all share those ideas, we don't have to wait around for the prophet to gain revelation on the subject, we each are entitled to personal revelation and inspiration. That comment is meant with no disrespect whatsoever toward our awesome Prophet, President Monson.

    I completely agree with assigning several topics at Sacrament meetings and not getting up and reading an Ensign article, regardless of how good the article might be. I LOVE it when members speak from the heart and make eye contact and allow for the Spirit to inspire them as they go, in addition to the outline they have prepared. I have a hard time focusing when speakers put on the "general conference" voice , using no intonations or inflections; sounding like a robot.

  • Mark Evans Palmdale, CA
    Aug. 18, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Hey, I thought those were my ideas.

  • Uncle Gadianton Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 18, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    In our Sacrament Meeting this past Sunday, the speaker (from the High Council) qouted about 1/2 of a recent conference talk, right down to the "Amen." Since he was the last speaker, everyone assumed that when he read "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," that was the end of his talk. Everyone grabbed their hymnbooks, the chorister stood up, and the organist slid onto the organ. After a brief pause, the speaker said "I have a few thoughts I'd like to add . . .. " and went on with his talk for another 6 or 7 minutes.

    I suppose he should have selected a few paragraphs from the conference talk, and left out the Amen, until he was finished.

  • jdcray Richmond, VA
    Aug. 18, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    Interesting viewpoint, Brother Card. I don't disagree that variety is good, and there are a plethora of subjects that could be addressed in just 21 Sundays. BUT... Personally, I really like the common theme approach to sacrament meeting talks.

    Maybe I'm just simple-minded? Or perhaps avoiding a spattering of topics keeps my self-diagnosed adult ADHD in check. More likely, though, I just need to hear same subject more than once or from more than one person's perspective to gain a deeper understanding of the principle. For example, this past Sunday we had a youth, a Relief Society sister, and a High Priest all speak on the subject of Personal Revelation. It was AWESOME to hear their individual perspectives on that subject and to be able to easily weave them together into one powerful message.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 8:58 p.m.

    Very insightful!!!!! The Lord has given his opinion on vain repetitions in prayer, and that should apply to lessons and talks as well. I think we all can agree that we are doing better. Nobody stands for a talk and reads the thirteen articles of faith----we know those already, nor do we ever hear the same talk given in conference------------- Alma 26:22 says anyone (who has faith and repents) can reveal things that have never been revealed; D&C 1:20 says the goal is for everyone to speak in the name of the Lord (not just a few). You would think the above scriptures would lead to anarchy (not to mention an open mic on the first Sunday in which people can and usually do say whatever they so desire.) We are told to keep our testimonies on the basics and even with the basics ------we miraculously hear a variety of wonderful things.