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

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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 am a missionary.

I’ve promised to share my testimony and the teachings of the LDS Church to the peoples of this world*.

If I were to couch in definite terms two of the most potent convictions in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints, I would name: First, an abiding assurance that the gospel, as taught by the Redeemer when he lived among men and which was later modified, changed and corrupted by men, has been restored by the Redeemer in its purity and fulness; and second, following naturally the first, a conviction in the heart of every member of this Church that the responsibility rests upon the membership of the Church to preach the restored gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

David O. McKay, In Conference Report, Apr. 1927, 102

This is different than what most think of with the phrase ‘Mormon missionary.’ In terms of an official calling to serve, there are four specific opportunities:

First is the classic missionary who knocks on doors and hands out copies of The Book of Mormon. Single, unmarried young men or single, unmarried young women may devote a specific period of their young lives to serving and teaching. For young men, they may apply for a mission at age 18 and serve for two years; for young women, they may apply for a mission at age 19 and serve for 18 months. This is different than the standard was for years, when men were 19 and women 21.

Serving a mission in that fashion is a commitment to the work -where the young people are called to a specific area; live and work with a companion of the same sex at all times; and follow rules and regimens regarding dress, behavior, daily schedule, service, contact with family back home (though this has also improved), and what sort of media they view or listen to.

Second, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be called as a mission president while he is married with a family at home. His entire family travels to the mission site with him and supports him and lives their regular lives for the duration of the three-year calling.

Mission presidents share a variety of responsibilities in their service. They are directed to first maintain their own well-being and that of their families. They instruct missionaries to effectively teach gospel principles as well as to maintain their individual health. In addition, the president assumes responsibility for the baptism of new converts and their initial development as new members of the Church.

LDS Newsroom, “Mission President

Third is older adults who wish to apply for and be called to a senior mission:

You may be recommended to serve as a missionary beginning at the age of 40 if you have no dependent children under the age of 18 living in your home. There is not an upper age limit for senior missionary service as long as you are physically able to meet the needs of the assignment.

Senior Missionary Service

Senior missionaries are usually a retired couple, and they can do the same sort of tasks as the young ones everyone is familiar with. Usually, however, they keep to less strenuous tasks like office work, visits, and training.

Fourth is serving in the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), or in places like the LDS Church museums. Also, within this and the other three categories, an interested person may be called to a service mission.

Missionaries in all these shapes and sizes and ages do not get paid for their service. Certain expenses are covered by mission funds; like subsidization so all missions for young adults cost a uniform amount, housing for the mission president, clothing for the choir members, etc.

©2022 Chel Owens

*Although I’ve promised to be a missionary, this doesn’t mean I’m attempting to convert any readers. My sole purpose in writing about the LDS Church is to inform, clarify confusion, and answer questions.

……

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.