Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Memorable Sacrament Meeting

Not too long ago I attended (reluctantly) a sacrament meeting where a returned missionary was to be praised. I didn't really want to go but my wife knows this missionaries mother from work and so...

The reason I even remember this meeting was not because of the fact that it was a homecoming. I remember it because it reminded why I am so damn glad that I don't have to deal with all the demands anymore.

To be more specific, a gentleman (could have been high council, or bishopric; I don't know or don't remember) gave a talk about how poorly the ward was doing in their converting of neighbors to the church.

It was that typical speech that is designed to make the common member feel like shit because they haven't been out converting people left and right (it's funny how real life seems to always be in the way). After chastizing the congregation, he proceeded to describe a new program which was designed to increase new member conversions. He made a public committment that the ward would improve.

I could literally feel the despair in the room. It's like whatever positive energy might have been lingering was sucked out by the prospect of MORE TO DO! More feeling guilty for not having done enough, again, for the lord's kingdom. This guy talked about how everyone was going to make a commitment to do better.

I just sat there thinking to myself that not only am I glad to NOT be in this ward, but not to have to commit to such unreasonable requests from my own ward. I'm not joking when I say that I could feel the dispair in the room. I was probably the only person with a smile on my face. I don't have to do it! It's not my holy calling to convert everyone I know to the (or any) church.

Now we all know that everyone will commit to this guys "plan" because they are supposed to, but no one will really do anything about it. And then, when the closing prayer is said, and the person saying it says, "Please help us implement the things we have heard today into our daily lives..." and everyone says, "Amen," we all know that it's just a motion. No one really means it.

I've noticed in general that Mormons really aren't very happy. When I do have to endure a sacrament meeting, I see people sleeping, reading their scriptures, or trying to keep their kids quiet. Hardly anyone is even listening to the speaker. In fact, they are all so bored that they can't wait for sacrament meeting to be over. Have you ever noticed how fast the isles fill up with people one second after the closing prayer? Everyone is scrambling to get out of there!

And you know another thing that always used to annoy the hell out of me? Mormon cholesterols, as I call them. People who would stand in doorways and hallway carrying on conversations, while blocking the flow of people to their various classes. If you're going to converse, do it in an area that is not in the way of everyone! I always considered it very rude and disrespectful.

Every time I go to any sacrament meeting, I see the same thing: people who can't stand to be there. They will all deny it, but the truth is that they hate being there but they don't have a choice. What choice is there? It's the true church and only by conforming to ALL of it's demands can you be saved. In fact, if you don't comply to ALL their demands, you won't go to the celestial kingdom. You'll end up in a place where those who couldn't "hack it" go. Can't have that, can we? So they conform and they do everything they're supposed to, but it's not because they love the lord... it's because they don't want to be damned.

Seriously, being Mormon is depressing. You're constantly wondering if you've done everything that you're supposed to. And once it's done, you get to start all over next month. It never ends until you die. You never get a break. Stress! And on top of that, there is guilt for anything that you didn't get done. So, in Mormonism, you're stressed if you do and guilty if you don't. Either way, your life is miserable.

No wonder they're all in such a hurry to get out of there!

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