Saturday, September 22, 2012

A May 2012 Calendar



Unfortunately, I have found myself on the mailing list of the local ward in which I reside. The following image is the calendar schedule for the month of May (yes, I am a little slow getting it up here). Notice how nearly every day has something planned.

Meetings, religion classes, mutual, scouts, temple trips, etc.

No wonder I felt exhaused as an active member! On top of the famous 101 Mormon Commandments, there is a ton of extra to do!

I have not altered this list in any way other than to remove a few items that were not related to the ward. Is Mormonism a demanding religion?

Decide for yourself.

28 comments:

Tyson Devereux said...

I would also like to note that none of these calendar items are mandatory - as you so passively infer - all these items listed are opportunities to attend if so desired. As an active family in the church, there is probably one or two of these things my wife or I would attend. Two nights out of one month - wow. True, our kids are young so eventually we will have mutual one night out of the week. Again, mutual is a common attendance, but it is not mandatory. Monday night as the calendar shows is commonly assigned as family home evening. This is not a church meeting. This is a family activity to spend time together - how awful - It is on the calendar to prohibit scheduling any other activities to allow families to have time together.

Except for my mom making me go to my scouting events - which I'm now glad she did - I have never felt obligated to attend. Each ward is different. We have basketball night each week, which is on the calendar. I go when I can because I enjoy playing, but I probably go once every 3-4 months when I feel it won't be a burden on my wife. My wife has gone a couple times to play volleyball or to the monthly relief society function to have some social interaction with people she wants to get to know better. Do you see the difference between what you post and reality? We go to these events or meetings because we want to, when we are able to - not because we have to. There is no demanding - just opportunity. Opportunities to uplift, educate, reach out, serve, and have social interaction - often times as a family - thank you for enlightening us on all the great opportunities the church provides for teenagers, young adults and families through out the world -

erin said...

Tyson, your statement is TECHNICALLY true. That being said, my life long experience, as is with many other members I know (both current and ex), NOT attending the majority of these functions more often than not leads "the good members" to pass judgement on you and feel as if they need to intervene and make you a "good member" to "save you". So while it is stated that these activities are not an obligation, many members of the church truly feel obligated to attend in order to avoid being shamed and looked down upon.

Tyson Devereux said...

Why can't you just say its true when it's true - I'm tired of these "Yes , but . . . I'm a victim" statements. Your one bad experience soon turns into "i know several people" and gets so dramatized that it then turns into this is what happens to everyone. I'm sorry there was someone who "passed judgement" - it shouldn't be that way, and mostly it isn't that way. But you are so caught up in that fault of that person that you obviously completely miss the point of what is happening. You did it just now. I was simply pointing out how the calendar events work and you completely side stepped my comment to make sure to point out how wrongfully you were treated. I've had my own moments of being mis treated - you know what I say - who cares what they think. I'm doing what I'm suppose to be doing and I don't have time to worry about what someone else thinks. I'll say it again. These calendar events are opportunities through out the week to those interested to attend, to provide opportunities to reach out, educate, inspire, and socialize. Never have I felt obligated to attend, but I choose to on occasion if I am able to. True?

Brad said...

Tyson, your last entry comes off as defensive and uncalled for. No where in Erin's post did she claim that she was a victim. To me, she is merely making an observation from her own experience and others of the church, both in and those who have been a member. That being said, it isn't always easy when you are not accepted if you are part of an organization.

I do agree with you, people shouldn't worry what others think and should go and do what they think is best. Often times, though, when your decision affects loved ones it isn't always easy. I hope you will follow through with your words, when, if it happens, that if one of your children decide to no longer attend church that you will continue to love them and accept them as you do now.

Meg said...

It sure feels demanding when you are the leader that has to organize, schedule, prepare for and attend the event(s). When I left and no longer had to participate in all of the primary activities, a huge amount of stress left and a large chunk of time opened up. Now I'm free to spend real quality time with my family and friends, without the added stress!

primotivo said...

I'm a practicing Catholic who as atheist most his life and I don't know a lot about Mormonism. I know there was a community in Hawaii not far from where I lived and being in sales I had dealings with them regularly and was prodded regularly. I was atheist when I lived there but even then I found them curiously admirable. I still do. As a Catholic I hear a lot of absurd exaggerations and half truth accusations from people that claim to have been Catholic at one time so reading your blog I'm a little skeptical but very curious.

Heather said...

I have never EVER felt that any activity was voluntary. Ever. Its a temple question is in not? Do you attend all you church meetings? You could argue that some of that is not a meeting, but if you don't support it fully, you don't support it at all.

I have found that when I was a member there was no picking and choosing. It was ALL or nothing. 100% all the time. If you slacked you got belittled~ or worse. Tyson, seriously, you must not have ever lived in Mormondom... It may be different on other parts of the world I wouldn't know.

Tyson Devereux said...

I am in Dallas, Texas right now, but I grew up in Boise, Idaho - I have family in Utah - so I have had some experiences there. I also served my mission in Miami. So I have seen and experienced the church in many different settings. Yes, it is important to attend all our church meetings. But from this calendar posted, the only "church" related meetings I see are enrichment for relief society which is a monthly meeting, and ward temple night which is also a monthly meeting. Not on the calendar is the actual church meetings which are important. There are some youth events listed if that is applicable. And when I say it is "important", I don't mean it is commanded, I don't mean we go because we are expected. It is "important", because it is beneficial to our lives and our family - these meetings are times of sevice, learning, growing, and becoming a better person - If all you think about is how cumbersome these meetings are or how someone will think if you don't go - then you have completely missed the point. I am completely honest when I again say I have never felt obligated to attend. I do go - because they are important to me - but I am not obligated. I'm sorry you feel that way - but if you are going to let what someone thinks effect how you live and serve in the church - then your thoughts aren't in the right place. That's not an excuse for someone - if someone belittles another for any reason - they have their own faults they will have to own up to in the end. I've seen the church in all walks of life - I've seen enough to know we all have struggles in one way or another. Unfortunately, in the Utah bubble - that becomes a little more difficult to see

Seth R. said...

Looks about as full as the agenda for a NFL football fan, or a World of Warcraft monthly guild raiding schedule.

But no one bitches about how demanding those are.

In fact, they usually point to the packed schedule as an asset, not a liability.

Mormon411 said...

Yes, yes. In addition to that overwhelming list of things to do, there is even more as Tyson admits! If you have any spare time, LDS, Inc. will find a way to fill it for you. And while, agreed, the items on this calendar are not "required", not fulfilling them is another one of those social no-no's.

Tyson Devereux said...

I spend 40 hrs/wk at work, I spend 36 hrs/wk at home with family. I spend 3 hrs/wk at church. I spend 2 hrs/wk with church related events. Yes - it is so demanding.

I get home and have two hours a night to spend time with my kids - to get them ready for bed and read them a story. I get home early on Friday to spend time with my kids - to have a movie night and have home made pizza. I have most of Saturday (because I work Saturday mornings) to watch football, go the park, take my kids to the library, or anything else we have planned for a Saturday to spend time together which often includes help make dinner with my daughter because it is her day to make dinner. On Sunday I go to church, come home and spend time with kids, take a nap, call family, help make dinner and have family home evening since I don't have much time on Monday nights - Maybe one night there may be a church function, or I often volunteer some time at the YMCA - things may come up here or there. I spend one hour a month to prepare for a lesson I have to give on Sunday.

So tell me - please - Tell Me how I am wrong. Tell me how I am so swamped with meetings that I have no time for my kids. Tell me how the church is so demanding that I don't get to read my kids to sleep, or make treats with them, or eat dinner every night with them, or take my son to his soccer class or go to my daughter's school functions, or go to the library for story time. Tell me how I never get to go on date night with my wife because the church is always demanding my time, or how I never get to rock my little one to sleep - I'm waiting - you know so much - so tell me, please


Mormon411 said...

Well you are either a slacker Mormon or are lying. Because I remember spending hours and hours and hours doing church stuff. I would literally be at the church house from sunrise to sunset.

Tyson Devereux said...

Your best answer yet - begin with name calling because you have no real answer and back it up with exaggeration to prove your point. I mean like literally - sunset to sundown? Literally? Was this every day? In the snow? With 12 kids to feed? With a broken down car? How awful

Look, I'm not here to argue your experience. I'm just stating my experience and the majority of most others. Yes, the church is an active church. It is about callings and doing things. It takes time and effort - but really? Sunset to sundown? I'm very honest in my experience. I've been in young men's where it demanded more time. I had mutual once a week and I had leadership meetings some Sundays to go to. My wife has been primary president, one of the busiest callings in a ward, and it was demanding with meetings here and there and church preparation - but no where near the time you propose. I would say she spent on average 8-10 hrs a week with church and her calling.

Callings in the ward are given and the member either accepts that calling or not. They know exactly what is required of them - in general. The bishop is busy - I agree to that - but he knows what it takes and accepted to fulfill that calling. It's not forced. We accept it, and for the most part we are glad to do it. And for some - it's vital. You sit there and complain about how there's so many meetings. I remember talking with an older lady and she says she goes to the Methodist church meetings during the week, because the local ward didn't have anything for her for that interaction. I found that interesting. While you sit and complain, others wish there was more.

Take a look at that calendar that you posted - and tell me honestly if you were still a member - how many of those meetings you would have to go to - honestly -

Mormon411 said...

Tyson, I assure you that I had no intention of name calling and I apologize if it came across that way.

Of course it was not every day. Usually Sundays. I had to go to church early for PEC meetings, then attend the regular block, then stay after to count tithing, then chapparone the bishop while he did interviews. Often times it went well into the night. I promise you that I am not exaggerating. My calling also required me to go to at least one other meeting during the week. My Sundays were exhausting; anything but restful.

If it's not your experience that church requires a ton of time, then I believe you. There are many who feel and felt that the church was consuming their lives, myself being one of them.

I understand that all work done for the church is voluntary and there are many who offer it freely and gladly. I must interject, however, that while accepting a calling is technically voluntary, the members are taught that turning down a calling is like turning down Jesus. I accepted several callings that I REALLY did not want to because I didn't want the guilt of rejecting Jesus on my already full plate.

Myself personally, if I was active, there's probably not a whole lot of the items there that I would have to attend. My children are of mutual and scout age, so there would be that. Plus ward temple night. Maybe some of the sporting events. So some, but not all.

It is true that none of the items on this calendar, or callings, or commandments are absolute requirements. But I think we both know that there is a lot of pressure and guilt to do them.

Tyson Devereux said...

So . . . One night for mutual (2 hrs) one night for ward temple night/ward event if any (2 hrs) plus church (3 hrs) - so 7 hrs a week devoted to church related events - man, I don't know how you have the time for anything else -

Thanks for the clarification - I hope your readers think and realize that your exaggerated "overwhelming" schedule is just really a few extra hrs out of the week . . . But they probably won't - oh well

Heather said...

Its not a choice to turn down a calling when the bishop or counselor starts off the interview with "God has chosen you..." So if you do turn down a calling do you know better then God? I never felt that I had a choice, for I thought God knew better then me.

7 hours a week doesn't seem like much, but add in home teaching/ visiting teaching, time on the phone, presidency meetings and whatever else- the time put in at months end is HUGE. Its close to a part time/full time job.

Its amazing now what I can do with my time. I was able to pursue hobbies that were always on the back burner, my kids were able to take gymnastics, my husband and I were able to strengthen our relationship by going out more, I was able to volunteer for charities I found to be worth while. And now I have started my own business. I would NEVER have even considered this if the church was still part of my life, because it consumed all of my extra time.

My family spends so much more time together now- and who could say thats a bad thing?

Tyson Devereux said...

Ok - add in home/visiting teaching - 1-2 hrs a month and presidency meeting if any usually 1-2 hrs a month (talking on the phone? Really? Wow) so that's one more hour per week which brings us to a grand total of 8 hrs per week - wow - can we really stop - just because you use the words "overwhelming" "busy"or "full time job" - doesn't make it true. You spend more time griping over every little thing then it takes to actually just do your calling.

You gripe and I present the numbers (numbers from what you presented) and you gripe more - so the question is - are you griping over a few extra hrs or are you griping just to gripe?

I'm glad you have time with your family as it should be-

Heather said...

Tyson...

For one month keep track of every minute you spend for church activities. I'm interested. Genuinely. Plus your calling may not be that demanding, which makes a difference. But please... I'm interested in your (honest) time put towards the church every month.

Mormon411 said...

Did you not even read my last comment? Did you not see that I said I spent all day at church on Sundays? Sometimes well into the evening (midnight)?

Why don't I refer you to my post entitled The 101 Mormon Commandments. Read through it and tell me if even one item on that list is not something members are expected to do.

You will never realize how much time you are giving to LDS, Inc. until you stop giving it.

Heather said...

Reading through that 101 list made me tired. I spent time towards the church without being aware of it.

Tyson Devereux said...

Yes - I read your comment. What do you want - a round of applause?

I read your post - I counted 32 things not expected. I counted 10 things that are common sense - I'm surprised you didn't list eating and breathing - and there were several others that are common and I can agree is expected, but is more of guidelines - such as not dating until your 16 - but is not a commandment.

I would love to provide a monthly report of my time with church activities. I have already provided an honest average and break down - I will start this week with this last Sunday - but will that really prove anything? When I show the same results are you going to just dismiss it again calling me a slacker or a liar - or are you actually going to admit what I'm saying is true? I'm just curious what good this is, or are you just going to ignore it like everything else?

Mormon411 said...

Like I said, if you say you don't spend that much time with churchy stuff, then I believe you, or didn't you read that either? And I already apologized for the so-called name calling even though it was not intended as such, so there is no need to keep bringing it up. Or didn't you read that either?

And then you tell me I ignore you...

I would be much more inclined to contine to engage in discussion with you if you weren't, frankly, so defensive and sarcastic.

Tyson Devereux said...

So it's been 4 weeks - as I have agreed to I kept track of my time with church related activities. Week 1 - 3 hrs for church. Week 2 - 7 hrs : 3 hrs for church, we had the missionaries over for dinner for an hour, my wife went visiting teaching for one hour, and 2 hours for the ward trunk or treat get together. Week 3 - 4 hrs : 3 hrs for church and one hour for preparing my lesson. Week 4 - 3 hrs for church. That's a grand total of . . . 17 hrs for the month. But to be completely honest, I didn't add in home teaching because I did it before I started counting, so add another hour. And I didn't add in ward temple night because the temple was closed for maintenance, so add in about 2 hrs. That gives a total of 20 hrs/month. That's 5 hrs a week. That's consistent with every comment I've posted. So now what? Now how do you want to twist the truth to make it agree with your views? Let me know - i'll be happy to provide you with real information

Mormon411 said...

Dude, grow up.

How many times have I stated that if you claim you don't give all your spare time to the church, then I believe you? This makes the third time. It's getting old.

Tyson Devereux said...

Heather asked for me to do it - I just followed thru . . .

Mormon411 said...

Yes I understand that and I appreciate your input. I'm just trying to figure out where I "twisted" things. It was my experience, and many others, that the church demands a lot of time. If you don't agree, it doesn't mean I'm twisting "the truth". It just means we had different experiences.

Heather said...

You are thorough Tyson. Thank you for that. If you feel like your time spent in the church is worth it and positive, than keep on keepin on. But you have to agree that the church does ask a lot out of its members time wise. Especially higher up callings. I still believe that my family is the most important thing to me and I refuse to spend my extra time elsewhere if its not something I'm 100% committed to. It appears that your calling may not be as demanding as some...

Mormon411 said...

I just thought of something else that can be added to every day in the Saturday column:

Ward Meetinghouse Cleaning