Another possible mishap in the Mormon corridor. Someone shared with me an experience with raising righteous children in the Mormon corridor. The children had been invited to a birthday party on Sunday. The people inviting were not Mormon. The children wanted to go, the parents did not want them to, and they were able to talk to a solution: the children took presents on Saturday and informed the birthday child that they would be unable to attend on Sunday.
In an area of Mormon dominance, whatever its ethical or religious basis, such an action would likely prove hurtful to outsiders and would likely contribute to ongoing anger and frustration. Still, it speaks to a known model of Sabbath observance, both in the Hebrew Bible, in Puritan New England, and in those few 19th century American settings where the radical Sabbatarians managed to win legislative legitimacy. It is less consistent with one modern view of Sabbath observance which emphasizes family, broader community, rest, and reflection on the divine. One could see it as sending an arrogant message, or one could see it as sending a humble but potent message of an individual’s priorities (kosher and sabbath observance in predominantly Orthodox Jewish areas could be seen in a similar light).
In an area where Mormons are not dominant, I think it would be less hurtful to outsiders. There the sense of exclusion would be much less for those whose invitation was declined. What do people think? Is it neighborly in an area of Mormon dominance to decline invitations to shared family events on Sunday? Is it religiously required? Which takes precedence in a case like this? Does it matter whether this occurs in an area of Mormon social dominance? Would this be the same as asking a Jewish child who observes kosher (qoshrut) to a pork-only BBQ birthday party? Or more like asking for needed service to be performed on a sabbath?