Sunday, December 6, 2009

Priesthood meeting

Got the following email from the high priests group secretary
This Sunday we will have a group discussion based on this past General Conference talks. Share your favorite talk(s) from the last General Conference Oct 2009. Who spoke , what was said and what stood out to you.

We will draw names to see who goes first.

We will have time for all.
I really hate these sort of "lessons" - I just don't like being put on the spot like this. The fact that I really didn't pay much attention to of this last conference is kinda a problem too. When it comes my turn I'll wing it - but it feels dishonest. But, what else can I do? When they call on me say "I didn't really watch conference because I'm kinda struggling with the church right now"? I can't imagine that ending well.


Alan said...

You have three alternatives:

1. Skip the class.

2. Find a talk you sort of liked, pick one point from it, attend the class, and mention that one in class when it's your turn.

3. Attend the class with no preparation and say you didn't have a favorite because you're struggling with the church right now so you didn't watch conference.

I understand that #2 may seem dishonest. But we all must do things like that all the time in a homophobic church if we want to preserve the peace more than we want the consequences of being bluntly honest.

Which result would be best for all in your circumstances? You know what the likely outcomes of all three will be. Which outcome do you prefer? Then pick the alternative that will get you there.

Scott said...

Sarah and I were talking last night about the reasons that attending church is uncomfortable for me right now. This is one of them.

I can guarantee you that there will be several others in the class who didn't pay much attention to conference and can't honestly say that they have a favorite, but who will still thumb through the Ensign and pick something at random to say a few words on when they are picked, just so they can give the appearance of being the good, faithful Mormon that everyone thinks they are.

On the one hand, that means you wouldn't be alone in choosing Alan's option #2.

On the other hand, that means that there is far more dishonesty at church than I am comfortable with, and it sucks that those who choose not to hide behind the "perfect Mormon" facade are looked down on and seen as less faithful, when in reality all they're doing is being more honest than most.

If I happened to attend quorum on a day when a lesson like this happened, I'd go for #2, but I'm in an entirely different situation than you are. Like Alan says, you need to decide what outcome you're willing to live with.

marriedtoamoho said...

I'd go for #3 and open up a whole new opportunity for discussion. If you feel so dishonest, break the cycle. (easy to say, right?)

shaantvis said...

Don't worry about it ending badly. More easier said than done right? Remember who you are going for church for (I'm sure its not for other members) so don't worry about how it might look if you don't have a talk to expound upon. But I would just say that I missed last conference due to several reasons and so did not come with a talk in mind.

shaantvis said...

also, the other members of the quorum don't need to know that you're having a hard time with the church, unless you want them to. This is a matter solely between you and God, and your bishop should you find that necessary.

Abelard Enigma said...

Option 1 was tempting and option 3 was intriguing; but, I settled on option 2 - choosing the talk "Our Perfect Example" by President Henry B. Eyring. But, I'm not proud of myself. Although, as Scott pointed out, I doubt I was the only one doing last minute cramming.

Towards the end of the meeting, one brother, when called upon, prefaced his conference talk remarks by discussing the schism in the Episcopal church over the ordination of gay bishops and how those who have chosen to reject such were doing the right thing. I don't even remember which conference talk he ended up discussing as I was too struck trying to figure out what the heck Episcopal's ordaining of gay bishops has anything to do with this last general conference.

He was followed by a brother who remarked that he felt the overall theme of this last conference was love and how we need to truly love one another - oh, the irony (by that time, after watching all of the nodding during the previous brothers comments, I wasn't feeling much love)

Anonymous said...

wow dude. Im not mormon but i dont think anyone should take a sunday school lesson that seriously... geez