I’m still waiting to see what happens now that we’re (allegedly) raising the Sabbath bar. –Rebecca J in her latest post
When I first started covering the blogs I would get questions every now and again about whether or not the church would ever come down against electronic-device usage at church. Would there be special scramblers so phones/tablets could not access the internet in church buildings. I’d pooh-pooh these questions, the church is smart enough to realize that forcing the members to not access electronics would be unneeded censorship and we believe the importance of teaching good principles but ultimately let the members govern themselves.
And the church has been on the forefront of providing amazing options/media for learning and growth to be accessed at church. Just last week, I loved showing the 5-year-olds who huddled around my phone two different versions of Jesus Christ talking about the importance of the sacrament.
Well I think that might change. Maybe. I just heard of a stake in Oregon who read a letter to their congregations that now forbids food and electronic device usage in sacrament meeting as an outgrowth of the sabbath day worship instruction coming down from the general leaders. And then I heard of another in Utah County. Ok, well this a local interpretation, you might say. Well to that I say, watch the next few minutes of the sabbath day worship instruction video here:
Did you get that? Elder Ballard says
Surely we can expect that cell phones and ipads and games and food can be set aside for one precious hour out of 168 hours in a week for the sacrament meeting that is devoted to Heavenly Father and his beloved son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is this going to become the next “second earring” as a mark of a branch/ward/stake righteous? I’m worried that it might as outwards markers of inner righteousness are so easy to cling onto as Mormons. But I do wonder how would it even be enforced? What about those people who need food? What about those people who gave their children a kindle instead of a scripture set since I knew the scriptures online are more likely to be updated?
It’s always a good thing to take a leader’s counsel to try to check your personal spiritual temperature. But I’ve been impressed with the lack of lists (for the most part) and enforcements that do not accompany this new sabbath day worship instruction. In fact, if you go back in that same video instruction, you find this from President Nelson:
So let’s throw away these rules and remind ourselves often: “What sign do we want to give to God?”