Texting in church

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During the Saturday morning session of last April’s conference, Sister Lifferth of the Genereal Primary Presidency said:

Texting or reading e-mails in a Church meeting is not only irreverent, it is distracting and signals a lack of respect for those around us.

Yesterday, Mary was called as a Relief Society instructor. Unfortunately, the bishopric counsellor conducting failed to put her name forward for sustaining. After failing to catch his attention for several minutes, I finally texted the bishop to let him know about the omission. They took care of it right before the closing hymn.

I hope Sister Lifferth forgives me.

18 thoughts on “Texting in church

  1. Honestly, this advice from the general primary presidency sounds as stupid as some recent counsel from a stake president in Edmonton who wants all married adult members of his stake to “de-friend” members of the opposite sex from their Facebook accounts.

  2. Was that the same stake president who said that guitar hero was an evil game and should not be in our homes?

  3. I gotta know which stake that is…

    Also, I’ve seen an iphone come in really useful during a SS lesson. A guy just did some quick fact-checking on the net and cleared up a bit of a brewing controversy. It was great because he just stuck up his hand and restored order to what had been an otherwise excellent lesson.

  4. Even Nephi had to chop some heads. You were just living a higher law.

    Now why was the Bishop answering and checking texts during the Sacrament?

  5. Maybe the Bishop figured out the omission all by hisself. It happens you know. I agree with TStevens on why the Bishop was checking his messages during the sacrament? I know my Bishop would not be checking his phone during any of sacrament meeting. Yet, he still has caught and taken care of omissions.

  6. It’s possible he realized the omission independent of my text. If so, it was entirely coincidental then that he looked down at his phone right after I texted him and then leaned over to his counsellor, who then checked his paperwork for the announcements/business.

  7. I know the Bishop he would have checked the text, he is a pretty good dude. I imagine that we should be careful when being literal about the things we hear from our leaders. Sometimes we should take things to the letter and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to.

  8. Then of course there is the guy in our ward who used to be in the Bishopric who has the scriptures on his phone! Or the teens who keep their schedule on their phones. Or our Bishop who is a doctor and so often on call even on Sundays.
    Then again, there are my teens who text their friends during Sacrament because they are bored… (sigh)

  9. I text my husband while I’m at church and he’s out of town.

    I was loving having my scrptures and manuals on my iPhone until a friend mentioned how uncool he feels when everyone else whips out fancy phones at church. While he’s on budget friendly paper scriptures.

  10. other then doctors or other emergency personnel who are on call and need their phones on, there is NO reason why on earth people would even need to have their phones on… Kim… Mary could have been sustained the following week… your Bishop should never have had his phone on. To answer it meant he was not paying attention to the speaker and had I been the speaker when he did this behind me I would have been upset. We have several members in our ward that have their laptops on and supposedly reading their scriptures online or on their IPhones.. but then rather then using their finger to move the pages along as they go through the Scriptures discussed in the class, their thumbs are twitching away over the buttons… If you can afford an IPhone you can afford a set of regular scriptures and leave your electronics at home. It is VERY distracting to be in a church meeting or any meeting actually and have to hear the little bells and noises going off when messages/emails appear. One of our teachers a couple of weeks ago made a “joking” comment that he could wait until everyone was done with their messaging before he continued as obviously the messages being received/sent were of great importance. I think the class got the message. But now people just stand in the hallways and text. One of our youth Sunday School teachers takes any cells away if he catches anyone texting in class.

  11. re: #14,

    What’s more distracting:

    1) Bishop sends a text to someone in sacrament meeting

    2) Bishop writes a note, passes it to the aaronic priesthood helper who is sitting behind him on the stand. Instructs said helper to deliver the message to a person in the congregation. Helper walks down and finds the person in the congregation, hands them the note. Waits for the response, takes the response back to the bishop.

    Presiding means more than just sitting there listening. I’ve seen #2 happen countless times. Texting is much less distracting. Heck, even the boys who walk around counting everyone are more of a distraction than the odd text message here and there.

    1. You know, JM, I was thinking about #2 myself, but our ward hasn’t done this for years, so I thought perhaps this practice was going the way of the dodo bird.

  12. I have a daughter that loves to text. She would do it throughout an entire meeting if I allowed it. She types thousands of texts a month. In fact she thought she had the record for the most texting. She was told by the phone company that she was close but another girl had more. Teachers are amazed at how fast she does it without even using abbreviations. The point is, it is distracting. If you were giving a speech and most of the ward was texting how would you feel? Better yet, how does Heavenly Father feel when he sees this going on in his House? While an emergency may require texting, friends texting friends in a meeting is not. That is disrespectful. We all have our free agency to do what we want. We all know all know that technology is a great thing. I am blessed to have my scriptures in my itouch and is wonderful, specially since I have arthritis. What we need to do is make appropriate choices and choose what is right.

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