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Mixed Feelings About 2-hour Block/Pageants

I am probably in the minority.

I think I’m going to miss weekly Sunday School. Having said that, I’m sitting here in the hall skipping Sunday School. So why would I miss it?

I’ve taught gospel doctrine twice. It is one of my favorite callings. It helped kick start my gospel study and forced me to try to make interesting lessons. The manual they give is so poor. Greg Prince is on the board of directors at a Methodist seminary. He handed the LDS Old Testament manual to some people there and they said they had seen some bad manuals, but the LDS manual was the worst.

It doesn’t have to be that way. LDS leaders could work to improve the manuals. They could have engaging lessons. But I’ve heard that with the elimination of an hour of church, the manuals have gotten worse.

If the manuals are worse, then I support the decision to take an hour away from church. I will send the extra hour studying the gospel in topics that are more interesting to me. So I am grateful we are moving to 2-hour church. But I’m sad leaders don’t recognize how bad the manuals are and aren’t making an effort to improve. And that makes me sad.

While we’re at it, I’m sad to hear the LDS church is discontinuing the Hill Cumorah and Manti pageants. A friend said LDS leaders are destroying the community fabric that binds Mormons together. I agree. It’s like they want to have the most boring services ever. We already have the worst Christmas and Easter services ever. We’ve eliminated road shows, interesting missionary farewells, and continue to gut the best parts of Mormonism.

I’m sure there is a burden on locals to put together the pageants. Did pageants organizers request this? It seems not. It’s another to dumb decision from the bean counters. Don’t we covenant to sacrifice and consecrated our time, talents, and energies to the church? This decision seems to conflict with that sacrifice we covenant to.

I know leaders want simplicity. But it seems like a race to the bottom. Joseph taught Mormons the mysteries of God. Orson Pratt taught amazing things. And now we dumb things down, have the worst manuals, and kill cultural events that make Mormonism unique, a peculiar people. It doesn’t make sense to me.

But who am I to complain?

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One comment on “Mixed Feelings About 2-hour Block/Pageants

  1. Agree! I grew up in Sanpete and was there for the very first Manti pageant. It was a local labor of love written by a sweet little woman who loved animals, Grace Johnson. It was a bootstrap operation and the people gave time talent and material possessions to make it happen. It’s kind of ironic in the locals invented it and did it, and then at some point the corporation co-opted it and drive it. It was them that told the committee to add the Christ in America scene and professionals took out the speech by Brigham Young about treating your animals with respect. It was/is a galvanizing event that takes a couple of months of locals but many more for the committee and technical people.

    I am in my 60s now but remember when the church was fun and part of our extended family and social scene. I remember scout fundraisers where we watched movies in the darkened cultural hall, roadshows, speech contests, regional basketball tournaments, dance competitions, the dance festival at the U, locally done non-efy youth conferences, ward talent shows, gold and green ball, dances that were actually attended, and countless dinners.

    Today, not so much, and trek is awful!

    As far as manuals, i could not agree more. The old manuals were fascinating. There was 2 weeks devoted to the book of Job, and the problem of suffering. There is nothing thought provoking in the manuals. Just some cherry picked point typically out of context and glossed over. I haven’t heard anything interesting in Sunday school in the 20 years that we’ve had. The. Same. Manuals. Over. And. Over.

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