Medical Emergency During Sacrament Meeting

Sacrament meeting was very eventful yesterday.

With about 25 minutes left to go and half way through the third speakers talk, we had a medical emergency in the congregation.?Ǭ† This particular emergency happened smack dab in the middle of the chapel.?Ǭ† Very quickly, members close to the situation tried to assist and get control.?Ǭ† One quickly left and called 9-1-1 to summon the paramedics.

Now, if that wasn’t interesting enough, the response of the rest of the congregation was.

We had a member of the stake presidency sitting on the stand for our meeting (you know, the guy who is suppose to be presiding at the meeting).?Ǭ† He did absolutely nothing and sat there as if it was any other Sunday meeting.

Our bishop sent one of his counselors down to investigate.?Ǭ† The counselor, after assessing the situation, went out into the hallway and waited for the paramedics to arrive instead of reporting back to the bishop.

The speaker received no direction from the leadership on the stand.?Ǭ† He just stayed at the pulpit and continued to give his talk until he was done.?Ǭ† No effort was made to shorten it or look to the leadership for guidance.?Ǭ† He clearly didn’t have anybodies attention.?Ǭ† Everyone in the congregation was watching the unfolding drama happening in the pews.

After his talk, the other counselor instructed organ player to play interlude music while we all sat there.

When the paramedics arrived, the entire congregation sat and watched them work on this individual to a nice rendition of “I know that my redeemer lives”.

Nobody at any time attempted to give a blessing to the person in distress.

The themes of all the talks were… wait for it… ?Ǭ†”How to be better disciples of Christ”.

I cannot recall a time where I felt more akward in sacrament meeting.

Have you ever been in a sacrament meeting where a medical emergency has occured??Ǭ† How was the situation handled?

To be called of God

There have been a few discussions going on in the bloggernacle about being called of God (or the lack of it). Most of the discussion focuses around past and present bishopric members of various wards talking about how hard it is to staff a ward and that it is impossible to have the stamp of approval from the Lord on every calling extended. I’m not sure what the purpose of their discussion is. They aren’t looking for any answers. They don’t seem to have any intention of correcting the situation. Perhaps it’s just a big pity-fest to help them rationalize why they aren’t doing their callings correctly. who knows?

If we turn to the scriptures, we find in the fifth article of faith that “a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.”

Well, I guess one out of two ain’t bad…

President Packer gave a good talk on callings. He points out that:

“When there is a need for someone to serve, the leaders talk about it and pray about it?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùoften more than once. They seek a confirmation from the Spirit, for calls should be made prayerfully and accepted in the same spirit.”

As a lowly member of the ward, am I asking too much that my leaders follow the prescribed pattern in making callings?

President Packer goes on to say:

“One who has authority to issue a call must rely on inspiration to avoid overburdening those who are always willing.”

I wonder if the reason why these bishoprics have such a problem staffing the ward is because they consistently fail in this one area? This talk is a goldmine in information for anyone issuing callings out of “desperation”.

Let’s see what the handbook says regarding issuing callings:

Doctrines of Callings and Releases

A person must be called of God to serve in the Church (see Articles of Faith 1:5). These callings come as the Holy Ghost inspires presiding officers to issue them. Releases from Church callings should also come by inspiration, except when a person’s change of residence necessitates a release or when a calling is for a specific time period, such as full-time missionary service.

Again, we see the need for inspiration in issuing callings in the church.

So, I guess my question is “why do bishoprics take shortcuts and offer calls of desperation, and then wonder why they have such a hard time staffing the ward?”

Getting it right

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who?Ǭ†drink of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

We were treated to this twice yesterday before our bishopric’s first counselor got up and pointed out the error to the frustrated, young priest.

?Ǭ†Then, we heard the following:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat it in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

At which point the first counselor nodded his approval, not wanting to drag out the scene any more. (The bishop and?Ǭ†second counselor were away, so “Number One” was flying solo.)

After the sacrament was done and the Aaronic priesthood were dismissed, “Number One” felt inspired to give us a short, five minute talk about how valiant, and worthy, and diligent the young men were in performing their sacramental duty.?Ǭ† I think this was meant to somehow help the young priest save face, although it was just out of place and awkward to listen to.

But why go through all the effort of correcting him the first time, and why give the little speech at the end if you are?Ǭ†ultimately going to let the prayer be said incorrectly??Ǭ† What harm would there be to having him do it a fourth time, to hopefully get it right??Ǭ† Why was he more concerned about hurting the young fella’s feelings than getting the ordinance done correctly?

Which makes me wonder… does it really matter if the prayer was said correctly??Ǭ† If three wrong attempts are good enough, then surly two would have done the trick.?Ǭ† Did all 200 of us yesterday actually renew our covenants or did we just have a snack?

“Opposed… if any?”

I hear those words, almost on a weekly basis.

On a weekly basis, I get a few more drops of courage to actually raise my hand.

?Ǭ†Why is it that we don’t oppose when it’s how we feel sometimes??Ǭ† I must admit, I have never done it in a public meeting.?Ǭ† The closest I ever got was a few weeks ago when I had a PPI / HT interview with the EQP.?Ǭ† I told them point blank that I opposed a number of things they were doing in the quorum.?Ǭ† I didn’t try to be a jerk about it, but I let them know how I felt and why.?Ǭ† And, then to make it clear, I told them if they continued, I could not sustain them.?Ǭ† I / They left it there.?Ǭ† Nothing has changed.?Ǭ† They now know where I stand.

So, I’m thinking about our ward and stake conference that are comming up, where I’ll have another chance to oppose in public.?Ǭ† Honestly, I don’t know that I have the guts to do it.?Ǭ† I think I’d be more inclined to not raise my hand to sustain and afterwards, go to whoever and voice my opposition.?Ǭ† I admit that is the easier way out.

Remove the prophet

In the October 1890 general conference, Wilford Woodruff stated the following:

The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place

My question to the readers is how will the Lord remove the prophet from his place? How do we know this will happen?