6 things you may be wondering about the new Sunday worship schedule for Latter-day Saints

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  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Oct. 14, 2018 3:49 a.m.

    Since this was announced, I've been thinking of D&C 112:25 "And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord..." I wondered what that meant and how it would happen. We've gone from church meetings almost every day before 1980 to temple recommend interviews now just every two years, less church, no reporting of visiting teaching - now ministering. (By the way, I haven't seen ministering sisters or bros since that change) We can really be slack; it's easier to "fake it" if we choose. There's the temptation to commit a little sin; expecting that we'll "forget" about it by the time our Bishop interview. I know this because these thoughts have actually crossed my mind. :) Now, our choices will really sort us. This may be one of the biggest tests of Earth life. Know what I mean?

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 12, 2018 1:03 p.m.

    does this mean its gonna be harder to get a sunday tee time.. that is a big concern for me

  • Oh Really? Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2018 11:32 p.m.

    My Primary aged kids are sad. They love every minute of the current 1:40 minute block for Primary.

    On the other hand, 40 minutes is a LONG time for a lesson for little kids.

  • MAWHK Australia, 00
    Oct. 10, 2018 11:15 p.m.

    I haven't seen anyone mention the men who volunteer to take the children out because they get ants in their pants trying to sit through 3 hours. I know my husband for one will find the reduced hours a great incentive to more regular attendance.

  • carrin Price, UT
    Oct. 10, 2018 10:00 p.m.

    Mother's with babies know how difficult Sundays can be . These mothers know their babies get hungry and need to be home in their own beds. This schedule change came about so that young families can spend more time at home together. For those folks who have no young children or any children, or even a spouse, it was suggested that these members might plan to get together on Sundays. They could plan pot luck lunches and a scripture study time, or a time to minister to one another. We didn't vote on this. It was presented to us by our Dear Prophet, President Nelson. It is up to us to make these Sunday hours very special, something we WANT. Something that will build into beautiful traditions. With planning, we will see that the Lord expects us to make our Sabbath a beautiful day of peace and rest -- and so much better for young families with babies.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Oct. 10, 2018 8:31 p.m.

    I have honestly missed the old days with the three separate meetings on Sunday and Primary, Relief Society, and Mutual during the week. Thus, this is not a happy change or direction for me. But all these schedules are simply programs trying interact with the realities of a society at large. The eternal truths and principles are the same. Long before I was born, there were various other norms in terms of church meetings. I wonder which one my grandmother, or great-grandmother, preferred, having lived many decades in the 19th century and the early 20th century?

  • dtlenox Beaverton, OR
    Oct. 10, 2018 8:09 a.m.

    I'm very much looking forward to the change. I've thought in recent years that having both Priesthood meetings and Sunday School meetings were a bit too much instruction after Sacrament meeting. And also, with my recent nursery calling, trying to keep the little ones occupied and happy for almost 2 hours has seemed quite wearying. The 2 hour block will be a very welcome change for me. I also like the idea of pushing the later schedules, such as the 1pm-4pm one, further back in the day. This is particularly true in the winter in the northern latitudes, when it gets dark so early in the evening. This is what I hope we get for the buildings, like ours, which have 3 wards: 9-11am, 10:30am-12:30pm, and 12noon-2pm. I think a 1/2 hour overlap is fine, because the previous ward will be in the middle of their 2nd hour when the next ward starts sacrament meeting, limiting crowded hallways.

  • SpÄter73 Hughson, CA
    Oct. 10, 2018 7:11 a.m.

    "The Sunday church meetings will consist of a 60-minute sacrament meeting, each Sunday, focused on the Savior, the ordinance of the sacrament and spiritual messages,"

    Does this mean no more testimony meetings?

  • holy moly Herrmian, UT
    Oct. 9, 2018 1:18 p.m.

    Love it.... Church is only an hour too long now.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Oct. 9, 2018 11:48 a.m.

    Man, I had been hoping for an increase to 4 hours...

    Mostly because I'm too lazy to prepare lessons at my own home and an additional hour of planned programming would allow me to feel better about not doing FHE. Not sure what I'll do with the extra hour, but I imagine my Netflix subscription will be more appreciated (unfortunately)...

    What I need is motivation, not just a reason or capacity.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Oct. 8, 2018 10:47 p.m.

    I'll wholeheartedly follow the prophet and church leaders in doing this. But initially misunderstood, and was excited about what I thought Primary might be. That there'd be just a large sharing time with everyone, and the lesson as part of that. Like a one-room school house. This would remove the pressure (and loss) of having two teachers in each separated classroom. By loss I mean that a lot of adults are pulled from RS and Priesthood, from Gospel Doctrine class, disconnected from the rest of the ward, to serve in so many positions in Primary. Had hoped that many would be released, with just enough adults to maintain order in one large Primary meeting.

  • IQ92 hi, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 10:36 p.m.

    Maybe I — like many others — have been forward thinking, as I have been practicing the 2 hour block for years. It just had an hour break in the middle. :-)

  • SpÄter73 Hughson, CA
    Oct. 8, 2018 2:04 p.m.

    PacificCreek - trend in our area of the vineyard (Central California) has been to consolidate units and create large wards (300-ish active members or more), not the other way around. Maybe things are different in WA?

    I see mostly positives with the revised Sunday schedule. The questions is, will members utilize the changes the way they are intended? From what I heard, flexibility is one of the major components and possibly even more socializing which should result in stronger testimony and faith if done correctly.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Oct. 8, 2018 1:11 p.m.

    As ours is one of those multi-ward buildings, I am looking forward (hoping) to having NO unit overlaps.

    We would have time to socially mingle a bit.

    We could even actually find an empty room for that hectic personal schedule Sunday-only-availability interview.

    Imagine coming to that little parking lot that the previous ward has mostly cleared -- after they have had some time to socialize after their own "block"! Woohoo!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 11:07 a.m.

    "Millennials and younger generations are extremely reluctant to spending 3 hours in church on Sun.. They really value their computer and social media time.. With secular college indoctrination it's easier to find excuses to leave the faith..."

    They're not excuses. They're reasons. Valid arguments. And, should they leave, they're perfectly free to do so. They can go back if they wish. If people don't buy into it, maybe take a look at the product.

  • axle Riverton, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 10:19 a.m.

    I don't see this as a detriment to those children that are picked up by others and receive instruction at church. Those children get ants in their pants just like any other child. I think the shorter schedule will help with youth and primary age children immensely. If you are concerned about helping children that don't have a gospel centered home you are welcome to invite them into your home evenings occasionally as well as taking them to church. This will let them get to know the gospel in a different way than the formal church meetings and I really think that it is that spirit of acceptance and friendship with the members and feeling the spirit that is in a gospel centered home that gets children interested in the gospel more than the doctrinal ideas presented in a lesson in a church classroom.

  • Chuckee Kamas, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 10:07 a.m.

    The announcement of stressing increased teaching and learning at home was wonderful and reducing the time spent in meeting at church to enhance that concept makes sense. I wonder, however, if, in many wards and stakes, that extra hour won't just be filled up with other meetings or activities. The list of "meetings" in our ward, for example is pretty extensive: Ward Council meeting, Executive council meeting, BYC, Choir Practice, Missionary preparation meeting, both local and church-wide sponsored firesides, quorum and young women planning meetings, ministering to assigned members, etc.. The excuse for holding such meetings or ministering on Sunday, is that members are so busy during the week that it is impossible to meet otherwise. If current practices stay the same, I'm not sure an extra hour in the day will make much of a difference in allowing home gospel study.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 9:58 a.m.

    @Man from Dear River,

    Your question about the staggering of the meetings; reminded me of another thing I worry about.

    I got the feeling from the explanation over the pulpit that it would be up to Stake Presidents to determine how to stagger the meetings for their wards (probably depends a lot on the size of the wards, how many wards/branches meet in each building, how many buildings each stake has, etc.); but that they suggested a focus for earlier morning meetings.

    Another reason I may find it hard to attend. I am not a morning person; and the only way I can even get to work at a somewhat decent time during the week, is if I catch up on sleep on Saturdays and Sundays. I was much more likely to attend church the years it started at 1:00 p.m. than the other two times for my ward building (9:00 and 11:00 a.m.).

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 9:51 a.m.

    "4. The Gospel Principles class, usually reserved for new members, investigators or members who are learning basic gospel principles, will be discontinued."

    This makes me sad. I can't explain why I feel as I do; but I have felt very uncomfortable in the regular Sunday School class. As I was attempting to be "active" in church meetings again; I began attending the Gospel Principles class and found I was much more comfortable there even though I have been a life-long member. I was more comfortable for two main reasons:

    1) it was much smaller; only a few individuals -- felt more intimate and individually focused, and
    2) it focused on basic gospel principles rather than trying to dig into non-scriptural dissertations, political rants, doctrinal arguments, etc.

    I don't know if the new schedule is more likely to change enough of the culture found in church meetings that drains me emotionally or not; but to read that the one class I felt comfortable in will be discontinued makes me quite sad and feeling like I might not return.

  • Kevin CA, 00
    Oct. 8, 2018 8:57 a.m.

    The 3 hour block served its purpose for the time it was instituted but social habits and patterns are evolving constantly and at a rapid pace. My HP group attendance gradually got smaller and smaller. Many left for various reasons after the 1st block. I could see burnout at different levels as the stresses of life go well beyond church.

    Every change needs adjustments along the way and this one will be no exception. I am sure we will talk about the 3 hour block years later with, "do you remember the old days of the 3 hour block? Thank goodness we just have 2!" I have similar thoughts about the old staggered schedule with attending primary on Tuesday evenings. It is all about the now vs our perception of the past. This is a great opportunity to further strengthen our own testimonies at home and help minister to those who are struggling.

  • Grandma Kitties Vernal, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 8:32 a.m.

    I remember the split on Sundays -- Sunday School in the mornings and Sacrament meeting starting at 6:00 p.m. after the cows were milked. Primary and Relief Society were held during the week. Priesthood meetings took place on Sunday mornings, before Sunday School. If the members of the church accomplished attending these meetings, during the week, it seems as if the new balanced teaching schedule, between home and two hours of instruction on Sunday should be so much easier. We have time to minister to those who the Lord needs for us to love and know of his love.

  • Joemamma W Jordan, UT
    Oct. 8, 2018 7:06 a.m.

    Personally think there are two main drivers for this:
    1 with population and membership growth, need to be able to fit more than 3 wards into one building.. Real estate is getting pretty expensive..

    2 Millennials and younger generations are extremely reluctant to spending 3 hours in church on Sun.. They really value their computer and social media time.. With secular college indoctrination it's easier to find excuses to leave the faith

  • PacificCreek Puyallup, WA
    Oct. 8, 2018 7:06 a.m.

    The church seems to be tending towards smaller wards. Gone are the days of having 300 attending sacrament meetings in much of the church outside of Utah and Idaho. Even my parents ward in UT only seems to have about 180 people there. If you are going to have small congregations, you have to simplify. I currently live in a ward where we only have 105-115 on a weekly basis and it is a heavy load to try to schedule 3 or 4 speakers for sacrament meeting and staff teachers for the following two hours.

    I see a general trend of simplifying the church as well as making each person more responsible for their own learning which is a good thing.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2018 6:49 a.m.

    Isn’t there an “app” for Sacrament meeting?

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Oct. 8, 2018 6:15 a.m.

    >>What about the children that do not have a strong gospel centered home but attend church because their parents make sure that they get there or a neighbor or other member takes them?

    I think that's where ministering should come in.

  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 8, 2018 6:05 a.m.

    I think this change is wonderful!

  • Man from Dear River West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 11:07 p.m.

    gwenR. Very valid point. We can challenge those parents to try. Each situation will be unique and the solutions likewise.

    My question is do we know how the blocks will be staggered? 2 hours apart, 1.5 hours apart?

    9, 11 and 1PM or 9, 10:30 and 12?

  • Vern62050 Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 8:44 p.m.

    Heavenly Father will show us the way to minister to these little ones. I have no doubt about that. I just pray that we are listening when the spirit speaks to us concerning the children that could possibly be left behind. My wife and I face this situation with a family that we love with all our heart and are very close to. The problem is that they live 4 hours away from us and we do not have the resources to do much traveling. We will be directed to do what we can, there is no doubt about that. And we will do our best to listen to that still small voice as He whispers to us. We just pray that there are others listening that are willing to act and help our precious little ones to benefit from this latest revelation.

    I know that Father will provide the way to obey all of His commandments.

  • Bsmithy Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 8:21 p.m.

    My understanding is that number 4 is not correct. Gospel principles may be taught during second hour at the bishop's discretion.

  • markbishop Caldwell, ID
    Oct. 7, 2018 7:46 p.m.

    It seems to me that every decision has tradeoffs. The question is whether the tradeoffs in this situation will lead more of God's children to Christ. I believe they will. Perhaps the reason for this tradeoff would be that more children will want to attend than with three hours so there will be less instruction time but more attendees. Perhaps it's because some instruction time might be traded for greater learning retention because children (and adults) are often burned out by the end of three hours. Who knows? I'm not sure exactly what the tradeoffs are to the Lord but I'll bet we come out ahead of where we would be.

  • gwenR. Anderson, IN
    Oct. 7, 2018 7:31 p.m.

    This is one of my concerns also because I was one of those children who had no gospel teaching or example in my home growing up. Instead, some sweet sisters in our ward made sure I had a ride each week to the old weekday Primary meetings. I had loving Primary teachers and leaders and because of them I felt the Spirit telling me that the Church was true. Unfortunately, when I was 11 my parents moved our family to a rural area where there were no other members of the church close enough to give me a ride to church. It wasn’t until I moved away from home after high school that I was able to connect with the church again. I have to say that it was the good examples of members in that early childhood ward that influenced that desire. I went on to become fully active in the church and marry in the temple. So, I think it will be vital as leaders, teachers, adults and relatives that we make a greater effort to reach out to those children who don’t have the advantage of a gospel-centered home. My take away is that we will need to minister more to these precious children.

  • greencat Kearns, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 7:02 p.m.

    Maybe the family's ministering brothers and sisters will step up and help them teach their children.

  • Vern62050 Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 5:35 p.m.

    I completely and whole heatedly sustain and accept these changes. My question is this. What about the children that do not have a strong gospel centered home but attend church because their parents make sure that they get there or a neighbor or other member takes them? Where will they get the home learning that is intended? How will they receive the gospel education that they need? (I guess that's three questions...)
    I know that there is a solution because this is Heavenly Father's plan. But if anyone already understands the solution or solutions it would be helpful. Because I am drawing a blank right now.