Bloggernacle Makes Church Boring?

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Does the Bloggernaccle make Church boring?

I get very little out of church nowadays. Certainly I feel spiritually refreshed when I take the sacrament, but that takes all of 10-15 minutes. Certainly, I hear a new insight shared in class every few months or so, but it doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t happen every week.

Sometimes I feel like, what?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s the point? Why attend gospel doctrine class when all that?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s going to be said is the same thing that was said four years ago? Why attend elders quorum when all that?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s going to be done is the ?¢‚Ǩ?ìinstructor?¢‚Ǩ¬ù will read from the book and ask the obligatory questions at the end of the chapter? I can go home early and get more from personal study.

At least when I was teaching the deacons each Sunday until last august, I felt like coming to Church had more purpose than taking the Sacrament. The responsibilities I have now as ward clerk certainly are not Sunday specific (except for meeting attendance).

Some might say that there?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s more to Church than learning. True. Supposedly, we are supposed to find fellowship with the saints. I must be missing something, because that fellowship jut doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t seem to be there. Well, it is sort of.

All the young married couples are friends because they attended the YSA wards together. All the older people?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùthe doctors, lawyers, accountants, business owners?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùare friends, but only because they are neighbours in upscale Tudor Estates and Park Royal. Most everyone else is a multi-generation Mormon with roots back to Utah and New England. We certainly do not fit into any of the groups here in this ward, let alone in the city.

That?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s not to say we haven?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t tried. We have had numerous couples and families over to our house to visit, have supper and/or to play games. Only one couple has reciprocated that gesture. Our home teachers hardly even come visit us; November was the last month.

There is no one like us here; no one with whom we feel a kinship; no one whom we can call our friends.

So, fellowship is out of the question. Which brings me back to my original question: does the Bloggernaccle make Church boring?

Has my exposure to thought-provoking dialogue spoiled me? Has my desire to answer deeper gospel questions warped my expectations of Church? Do I need something more than fluffy experiences and cookie cutter testimonies? Can I find fulfillment in repetitive Correlation materials presented without uniqueness?

25 thoughts on “Bloggernacle Makes Church Boring?

  1. “Does the Bloggernacle Make Church Boring?”

    No church tended to be boring before the Bloggernacle appeared. The Bloggernacle just brings that fact into more sharp contrast. ; )

    So you’re not mainstream… Don’t fret about that because you are in great company — most of the ancient prophets weren’t mainstreamer anyway. I wrote about that recently over at the Thang.

    PS — I’m glad you’re back at it with your blog. I’ll be your friend if you want.

  2. Kim, Shelly and I have felt the same way for years now. Members of our ward are mostly older, retired people or young, There are very few couples that are our age and without young children.

    We feel left out, we haven’t seen home teachers in ages, my last remaining kid at home has health issues which many times keeps him from attending church, but rarely does anyone call or visit to see how he is.

    I find our meetings to be enjoyable and usually I’m uplifted after attending.

    I can’t answer your question because I don’t generally read Mormon blogs and in my opinion the blogernacle is dangerous to the spirituality of those that participate. But that’s a subject for another day and another time. :)

    Of course I feed the blogernacle with Planet LDS so I’m getting muddy too.

  3. We have had this exact problem since day 1. Because we had our children so young, no one in our age group was anything like us except for when we met the Hunters. After we moved out here we had the same problem again of not fitting in any group till recently when we moved back into Surrey 3rd. Here we can find couples our age groups that have no kids at home. It is very difficult to decide to go to the movies at say 8 pm to go to the late one at 9 and call around to have friends go with you and be told they don’t think they can get a sitter at such late notice. As our “baby” is 28 years old and has his own family it makes for a lonely time and we end up finding friends OUTSIDE the church but that isn’t always the best thing but that’s another story.

    Dad is “being made” to go to High Priests now because he is 51 and last week he said why do I need to go there it is soooo boring I had to dig my fingernails in my palms of my hands just to stay awake. The teacher just read from the manual and never veered off course at all. This was week before last. Last week the lesson was on following political leaders and that was enough to get Dad going. He made valid points about following leaders blindly just “becasue we are told to” and that of course got the “older ” men in a tiff. But as I told him on the way home, at least you can’t say today was boring.

    Sacrament used to be better when we could pick what we wanted to talk on. Now topis are picked, the Internet is a breeding place for information for talks that get printed and read at the pulpit so people aren’t speaking from their hearts anymore. It isn’t anymore then standing there reading their scriptures.

    On the other hand you get what you put in. If I go convinced that it is going to be a boring day there then of course it is. If I don’t like what the teacher is saying in SS or RS then I asked questions. I am sure when my hand goes up there comes a unanimous inner groan in the room as they think oh no what is she going to say now. But you know what? I don’t care. I learn by asking and I refuse to take what others say just cause they said it so that must be correct.

    After all if I just listened without asking I would still beleive that SS teacher who said I would never reach the Celestial Kingdom because I did not have 3 children naturally, that most of my children came from a blended family. I feel for those that do NOT participate and ask questions.

    So my suggestion to you Kim, is speak out with what is in your heart. Either have a one on one with your Bishop or with the teacher. Ask what you can do to help things. As for the friendships, well I don’t know what to say for that. We too, have invited so called friends over many many times and yet rarely get reciprocated. I just take that as others just enjoy going out they just don’t want to do the inviting and I try not to take it personally.

  4. The main contrast for me is between the mechanism of church and the dynamism of the ‘nacle. Despite our mediocre efforts, church has evolved into a mechanistic set of activities. Home Teaching: mechanistic. Sunday School: mechanistic.

    Zion is not mechanistic; it is dynamic. However, dynamism is almost always evanescent and difficult to control. Hopefully, there are wards somewhere that are able to strike the balance and have people that love each other and invest in community. I fear that among other things, modernity has forced Zion to flee.

    Perhaps the ‘nacle is reinventing Zion. There are major hurdles to overcome, though. It is fairly well impossible to minister to the physical needs of individuals over the internet.

  5. Church is still great, the Bloggernacle hasn’t changed it. The spirit is still there. It’s up to you to rediscover it.

    Try reading Romans 4. The main point is that Abraham believed what the Lord promised and never staggered and because of that (that he not only kept the commandments, but also kept believing instead of just going through the motions), he was blessed. Some of these blogs are full of staggerers who can’t receive the full blessings of the gospel because they don’t fully believe, but still go through the motions.

  6. I never said the Spirit isn’t at church. In fact, I specifically stated that I feel spiritually recharged. If the point to going to church is to feel the Spirit, however, why go for three hours (or six as some of us do)?

  7. I enjoy Church. I enjoy attending meetings and there are some lovely people there, but it is true we haven’t made any close friendships here in Lethbridge. The only friends we feel comfortable enough to phone up and say “Hey let’s do something!” live in Spring Coulee. But there are many good people here. Maybe it is just the nature of Southern Alberta. I don’t know.

    I just feel like I don’t really belong here. It feels like unless you are Southern Alberta born and bred you are still sort of an “outsider”. I never felt like that in Vancouver. But then again, I WAS born and bred there. Maybe non-vancouverites felt this way?

    But I do enjoy attending my meetings and I feel the Spirit. Then again, I am in Primary :)

  8. Remember Eugene England’s Why the Church is as True as the Gospel? He points out that the church is about a lot more than learning new things and making friends. Those are both pretty far down the list.

    Church is mainly about learning to love people as you discover that they are God’s children, covenanted people struggling to do his will. It’s about fellowship in the sense of spiritual communion.

  9. The solution: sneak some wireless hubs into the church somewhere, and blog on your pda during the meetings, looking like you are intently reading the scriptures.

  10. I think you have something there, Jordan. Instead of joting down a note about somethign I heard to blog about it later, I could do it in real-time.

    “A Sabbath Day in the Life of Kim Siever”.

  11. Kim,

    I believe you experience re: ward members and home teachers etc. is not uncommon. If I were to count the number of visits from home teachers I have had in the last 20 years you could easily count them on the fingers and toes and have some left over.
    As far as socializing goes, my wife and I have been married for 10 years and have socialized with 1 couple twice, and they moved out of the ward.
    As for Church callings, they called me as a primary
    teacher for 18 months about 4 years ago. Prior to that it had been six years. I figure they have retired me and that’s okay, since I enjoy Gospel study. The bloggernaccle gives me some opportunity to blog, but most of what I would like to discuss probably isn’t of interest to others.
    Such as it is, you are not alone. The Gospel is true, and in the end, that is all that matters

  12. To the Anonymous poster, why would you say, “in my opinion the blogernacle is dangerous to the spirituality of those that participate.“? What is so dangerous about communication through the Internet? Why would communications in other mediums be less dangerous to one’s spirituality? To me, what is truly dangerous is comments like yours which make people feel afraid to communicate honestly and openly about their own spirituality, concerns they are having, or about the church as a whole.

  13. When I joined the Church in 1989 at the University of Texas, the meetings and institute classes were populated with folks just like those who post in the Bloggernacle. Discussions were thought-provoking and insightful and went beyond the bland “four corners” of the teaching manual. Only in the ensuing years did I discover how unique the University Ward was and how ennui-inducing Sunday School in a “normal” ward could be. But this was true in the 90s before the Bloggernacle came to be. I used to think it was FARMS’ publications that made church boring. I think that church is just boring and those who are interested in delving a little deeper into the gospel than what is in the correlated manuals are doomed to suffer through.

    Not that boring is all bad–there are lots of churches out there striving to make the worship exeprience exciting and compete with secular entertainment choices. I prefer truth blandly dispensed to error enthusiastically sold.

  14. Hi Kim!
    Long time no comment, and I’m coming way late to this thread so you may never see this. Great post. A friend of mine told me the other day that the Talmud says the main point of a lecture is not to learn, but to show up. People rarely learn from lectures, we gain from the experience of attending, obeying, mingling with others, supporting the teacher, etc… something to remember maybe. But I feel the same way as you do.

  15. Good points, JL.

    I’m not sure I agree with the premise that the main purpose of lectures (talks, lessons, sermons, etc) is the experience. If the main purpose is to mingle, why not just have a bunch of weekly socials? If the main reason wasn’t to learn, why have teachers?

  16. We divided the stake over a month age and I am not in Nursery anymore like I was for 12 years, ever since we went back to Church… and now I thing Church is a little boring for me. I think that “you” have to be doing something you like to do, or you won’t enjoy Church as much. I love Nursery because I lobe kids and I love babysitting! I also like moving around and not just sitting in Sunday School and R.S. that’s boring!

  17. kim,

    i’m wondering if you used to be my roommate at the BYU. did you live in chatsworth in the early 90’s on 700 north? let me know if this is you.

    sara

  18. Dang, you guys have some good topics. I’ll be your friend, too.
    I’m a topic whore.

    Re: #2, I worry about this very thing. There may come a time that I will have to quit. Probaby when my friend reads what I wrote about her on the Humilation at Church thread. Probably because I will be dead. Probably Geoff will get to sing O Happy Day sooner that he thought.

    But I wonder sometimes about myself.

    On the other hand, I was starving for this. Honestly. And I found it by accident.

    And Kim, church is boring to me. Way.

    Smiles, I thought I was the oldest here. How refreshing! “Dad” at my house and I are disagreeing as we speak because I don’t want to go to church tomorrow. Nicely, but still.

    J. I wondered the same thing. I suppose if we are supposed to be doing this, the church will embrace it. The church is pretty advanced in technology, so maybe the Lord will work it out. I hope so.

    I had my eye on the stake executive secretary at stake conference and he was constantly typing on his lap top. And I thought, “hmmm…”

    Oh, my new puppy has terrible gas. I have to keep saying, “that’s not me.”

    On topic again, I agree with the spiritual charged thing. I am going to pray about this.

  19. I made a comment Sunday in response to a teacher, who is an old and dear friend and my husband shushed me. There are things I can say here that I can’t say there, although that wasn’t one of them and he’s lucky I didn’t get up and hit him with my purse.

    Next week I’m going to sit across the room from him. He’ll have to get up if he wants to shush me.

  20. It’s monday, March 17, 2008 and guess what, church is still the same as all of you are quoting from 2005…i’m sorry that they are all dead in the gospel..they are certainly not living to change and learn new things…change hurts…I know, I’m a 50 non-trad student earning my ba at a catholic college…lol…yep, I’m alive in christ every moment of every day!!!then i go to sacrament and sit amongst the dead in christ…my husband laugh all the way home, we threaten to move far away after i graduate…but, we know that we’d probably move right back into a semi-dead ward…so, we are staying here at home in iowa and pray that the utah brats will go back home…they can be dead in their own home town…keep the spirit alive within …that’s all that counts…ps…I found you in research..I’m presenting a thesis type of report on blogging…who’d of thunk!!! praise god! Peace…

  21. After reading this, I wonder if you could answer this question – what does it take for church to NOT be boring?

    Creative speakers?
    Creative lessons?
    People who pay attention to and include you?
    Better or more musical numbers?

    Are you looking for higher quality or are you looking to be surprised by something different?

    Another question. Do you think Heavenly Father knows about your boredom? (I bet you He does.) Do you think He cares? (I bet you He does.) Do you think He can help you get more out of your meetings? (I bet you He can.) How will you take the first step?

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