I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I sing. I sing hymns with other members of the Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during our Sacrament Meeting, if it’s part of the lesson during the second hour of Sunday worship services, in the Primary during their singing time, or as part of the ward choir or a special choir that may form for other meetings.

Sacred music increases faith in Jesus Christ. It invites the Spirit and teaches doctrine. It also creates a feeling of reverence, unifies members, and provides a way to worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

LDS General Handbook, “Music

We use music in many places:

Sacrament Meeting begins with an opening hymn, has a sacramental hymn before the sacrament service, and ends with a closing hymn. There is often an intermediary, or rest, hymn midway through the hour. These hymns are taken from the official LDS Hymnbook.

The children who attend Primary sing songs pertaining to the theme of the year, ones they will be performing as part of the Primary Program held annually (more on that, later), a special birthday tune if the leaders wish to celebrate those, or welcome songs for visitors or new members. This singing time ran for at least half an hour when members spent three hours at church; now, this time is truncated to fifteen minutes.

Likewise, the other meetings (Sunday Schools, Young Men’s, Young Women’s, Relief Society, and Elder’s Quorum) had opening and closing hymns when the meeting block was longer. Now, these groups do not sing during their second-hour meeting.

Every ward or branch is encouraged to have a choir. Ward choirs tend to sing during the rest hymn time of Sacrament Meeting or for the Sundays near to a holiday.

When wards or branches plan Stake, Regional, or General Conference (more on that, later); a choir is organized to sing at those.

Besides these official, scheduled, uniform moments of song; the music coordinator of a ward or branch might also organize special musical numbers by those playing an instrument or those who wish to sing a special (bishop-approved) musical number.

The LDS Church also owns and operates the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (formerly the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) -and the Orchestra at Temple Square -and the Bells at Temple Square. These are made up of volunteers who must audition for positions and commit to a certain level of attendance and performance in order to participate. They sing for General Conference, special concerts, on tour, and each Sunday for Music and the Spoken Word.

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, singing “Amazing Grace”

©2023 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I take the Sacrament each week at church -if I’m worthy to do so*.

LDS Media Library
(And it’s my favorite Sacrament picture, since this is clearly how a family of boys behaves at church.
)

A Latter-day Saint sacrament meeting follows exactly the same format no matter which building you’re attending anywhere in the world, as I noted when I talked about Sunday worship.

First, the service opens with a congregational hymn, followed by the invocation (opening prayer). A member of the bishopric welcomes everyone and outlines the program. He’ll invite the attendees to prepare for the Sacrament by singing a sacramental hymn.

During the singing, at least one man who holds the Aaronic Priesthood at the level of priest (or higher) will prepare little trays with little cups of water and little trays with bits of broken bread. At the conclusion of the hymn, one priest will say the prayer for bread; the deacons and/or teachers will then distribute a bread piece to the highest order of priesthood in attendance (usually the bishop) and then to everyone else. They repeat this process of prayer and distribution with the water.

The bread is a symbol of Jesus Christ’s body. The water is a symbol of His blood. He suffered for the sins of all mankind and sacrificed himself for us.

Taking the Sacrament is a reaffirming of a member’s covenants s/he made at baptism:

When you were baptized, you entered into a covenant with God. You promised to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10D&C 20:37). You renew this covenant each time you partake of the sacrament (see 20:77, 79).

LDS Study Manual, True to the Faith, “Baptism

We LDS are encouraged to prepare for sacrament meeting leading up to Sunday, repent of any sins needing repentance, and pray for forgiveness as we take the bread and water. The end result will be the same as when we were baptized: fresh, clean, and ready for a new week!

After the Sacrament service follows a varied program that usually involves members talking from the pulpit about an assigned gospel topic. The meeting ends with another hymn and the benediction (closing prayer).

See Wikipedia for a fairly decent, somewhat-more-expounded version.

©2022 Chel Owens

*Worthiness to take the Sacrament comes into question when a member has been asked not to as part of his/her repentance process or if s/he does not feel worthy. If a person does not feel worthy, s/he is recommended to speak to a member of the bishopric.

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I attend church on Sunday every single week*. The format will be the same no matter what LDS meetinghouse I go to anywhere in the world, as will the general lesson plans and materials used.

Every Sunday*, we LDS attend two hours of church service, split into Sacrament Meeting and either Sunday School or auxiliary classes.

To elaborate and clarify:
(1) There is always* one hour of Sacrament Meeting. Everyone attends, all together, and sits in family groups -unless they are helping with running the meeting.

(2) There is always* one hour of instruction.
(2A)The first and third Sunday are everyone together in classes by age. Children ages 18 months through eleven-ish years attend Nursery and Primary classes, a combination of a sharing time with a lesson and singing and class instruction by age group. Youth in their twelfth through seventeenth year attend youth Sunday school by age group. Women and men attend Sunday School together.

(2B) The second and fourth Sunday are everyone meeting together by age and sex. Young women recite their theme and discuss announcements; they then split to classes by age, where one of them teaches a lesson. Young men follow the same format.
Women, in a group called the Relief Society, discuss announcements and then learn a lesson together; they are taught by a teacher who is almost always a woman from Relief Society. Men, in a group called the Elders Quorum, follow the same format.

(2C) Yes, there is sometimes a fifth Sunday. Everyone meets together in the Sunday School format of first and third, although there is sometimes a special program planned.

Clear as mud? Anyone is welcome to attend and see what I’m talking about. 😉 We meet every Sunday*; if multiple wards (more on wards, later) need to use one building, the time that each ward’s church starts will be staggered across the day, at intervals like 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.

There is also an expected dress code of at least dress shirts and ties with slacks for males, dresses or skirts and nice tops for females. Everyone needs to be clean and modest. It’s not like you’ll get kicked out for showing up in ratty jeans, of course, but regular members are expected to dress nicely as outlined.

©2022 Chel Owens

*This block schedule is not followed: twice a year to instead allow members to watch General Conference (more on that, later), when it’s a ward’s Stake Conference or Regional Conference (wherein members attend two hours of speakers talking about gospel subjects); during initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic (we did at-home church); and whenever Christmas falls on or near to Sunday (when we only have Sacrament Meeting).

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.