Sports on Sunday

In my experience, there are different levels of acceptance regarding sports on Sunday in the LDS church. 

Growing up in my family, we weren’t allowed in the back yard to play on the swings or jump on the trampoline if it was Sunday.  No play dates with friends either.  BYU teams do not play or practice on Sunday.  Using examples like those, it would seem to be pretty clear that honoring the sabbath day means no sports or anything like unto it.

That is, unless you get paid millions of dollars for playing a sport, or coaching a professional sport, or perhaps you are competing at the olympic level.  In that case, you may get talked about in General Conference.  The Ensign and New Era will do articles on you.  You will be asked by Stake Presidents and bishops around the world to give firesides on your experiences. 

Thing is, you don’t get to compete at that level unless you spend some serious time practicing and playing your sport.  And most of the time that means practicing or playing on Sunday.  On the official church web site, the newsroom routinely showcases LDS olympians and other professional athletes who have spent much of their life tuning their craft at many a Sunday tournament or practice. 

Sure, playing sports is one thing, but how about watching?  My experience teaches me that it’s frowned upon to actually attend a sporting event on Sunday, but watching on T.V. seems to be acceptable.  That is, unless the olympics are being held in Salt Lake City.  Then you need to go volunteer and help run the event so things go smoothly.  Regardless, would sporting events even be held on Sunday if there was no audience to watch?  I’m sure some would, but I also bet that many wouldn’t.  Even still, our sacrament meeting attendance seems to be a little thinner on Superbowl Sunday.

So, dear readers, what is it we should tell our young members of the church when they ask if it’s OK to play sports on Sunday?  Does the answer change if they have potential as a future olympian or NFL quarterback?

President Monson Announces New Temple in Payson, Utah

A new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to be built in Payson, Utah, it was announced today by Church President Thomas S. Monson.

The new temple will help meet the needs of a growing Church membership in the area and will ease the heavy use of the Provo temple, which is one of the busiest in the Church. The Payson temple will bring to 15 the number of operating and announced temples in Utah.

American English in a global church

Recently, Church News staff writer, R. Scott Lloyd, wrote an article about correcting some inaccuracies in the gospel vernacular. Here are a couple of examples that stuck out to me:

Incorrect: high councilman, high counselor
Correct: high councilor

Incorrect: bishop’s councilor
Correct: bishop’s counselor

I’m not going to say he was incorrect in his corrections, but they are both American English. For example, in Canada (and presumable many other Commonwealth nations), they would be high councillor and bishop’s counsellor.

Like I said, I’m not going to go so far as to say he was wrong, but would it hurt to at least have a disclaimer stating what follows is based on American English usage?

After all, Americans are in the minority in the Church now.

Less emotional

I was wondering what the general consensus is with everyone on which sex is more likely to move on after the death of a spouse? Do you think that men are less “emotional” and therefore are able to move on more quickly with life… starting to date quicker, get remarried faster etc  regardless of age or do you think that women do? Do women think with their hearts more making them cling to the memories of their husband and not wanting to let go enough to move on and being with another husband?

Tess Durbeyfield and infant baptism

In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the main character, Tess, gave birth to a baby boy, who then grew sick only days later. Tess is young, still in her mid teens. She was also brought up Christian.

When she realized her son was going to die, she grew worried because he had never been baptized. She ended up baptizing him herself, using passages from the Bible as her text.

After I read it, I wondered if this had been an actual event, I wonder what God’s reaction would have been.

Would he view it as a gross error (Moro. 8:6)? Would he have seen her action as a mockery toward him (Moro 8:9)? Would he have viewed her as being “in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity” (Moro. 8:14)? Would he remove her faith and charity and cut her off (Moro. 8:14)? Would he consider her to be awfully wicked (Moro. 8:15)?

Children choosing not to consume profanity

Forgive me while I wax a bit prideful for a moment.

My father-in-law bought Sinéad and Regan MP3 players for Christmas this year, and they came preloaded with songs. Last week, Regan, our eight-year-old, came to us to tell us that one of his songs had a swear word in it, so he deleted it.

A few months ago, our children were talking about something around the supper table, when Regan said, ”Aisling said the F-word”. We asked him what the F-word was, and he said “fart”. Then Sinéad, our 11-year-old, that there was another F-word, a swear word. We asked how she knew this. She said she read it in a book she had borrowed from the library. She also said once she read the word, she stopped reading the book, and returned it to the library.

So why am I telling you this? Because despite our not explaining what bad words are in advance and not discouraging them from consuming media with them, they decided on their own to put away such material.

I am glad they made those decisions. Not because swearing is morally wrong, but because they believe it is. As a result, they are making decisions that help them build integrity, which will help them when much greyer issues encroach them later in life.

I just wish they would do the same when it comes to yelling at one another.

That all being said, it leaves me with one question. Would any of this be different had we screened the material they consumed? We didn’t listen to Regan’s music first and didn’t read Sinéad’s book first. Did our inadvertently entrusting them with this responsibility have an effect on their eventual decision? Had we prescreened these media, making them forbidden, would they have wanted to read them more?