United Brethren has retired.

Don't supersize it!

There is a strange penchant in the Church for length. Start with our name: the Church...of...Jesus...Christ...of...(pant)...Latter-day...Saints. My recent favourite is the Brigham Young University Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (a wonderful organisation by the way, says this grateful Nibley fellow!) Then there are our meetings (the longest in the religious world) and our conferences (10 hours of talks). It was always like this it seems: talks at the dedication of the Kirtland temple lasted, well, hours and hours.

Now this is all good - why be short and puny? But there is one thing that irritates me no end: long public prayers. You know what I mean: it's 1.05, and the closing speaker went over. We just sang all 7 verses of A Poor Warfaring Man of Grief. It's now 1.10. You're hungry and the kids are wriggling. Up pops Brother Verbose to offer the benediction. He thanks the Lord for everything and everyone in the most flowery language possible and asks the Lord to bless the Bishop, his counsellors, the RS president, the missionaries (those in the Ward and those from the Ward), the Prophet, the Twelve, the Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric.....

SHUT UP! Thankfully, I'm not the only one who finds this annoying. To quote Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "In the opening of meetings, such as conferences, the brother should at one thought and glance take in the situation and ask the Lord to bless us according to what the meeting is. In dismissing, we should ask the blessings of the Lord upon the congregation, and what has been said, and commit ourselves to the care of the Lord. It is not necessary to offer very long and tedious prayers, either at opening or closing. It is not only not pleasing to the Lord for us to use excess of words, but also it is not pleasing to the Latter-day Saints(!). Two minutes will open any kind of meeting, and a half minute will close it."

You long-prayer givers: repent or be damned!

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 17, 2004 8:47 AM) 

Couldn't agree more. 

Posted by Rebecca


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 17, 2004 1:13 PM) 

Very good point Ronan. I just suffered through a tedious closing prayer this Sunday with the kids freaking out because they needed to do kid things (and eat lunch). 

Posted by john fowles


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 17, 2004 5:43 PM) 

When my wife goes to the montly evening relief society meetings, I refer to them as: "The evening formerly known as Homemaking Night"! :-)


Posted by Mark Hansen


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 17, 2004 5:44 PM) 

When my wife goes to the montly evening relief society meetings, I refer to them as: "The evening formerly known as Homemaking Night"! :-)


Posted by Mark Hansen


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 17, 2004 9:21 PM) 

Mark - which is juat as long a title as 'home, family and personal enrichment'!!! What is it with long names??

The church doesn't like us referring to ourselves as 'mormons' (even though they name the website aimed at non-members mormon.org), but it's such a mouthful to answer 'what church do you go to?' with the full title, which most people don't know anyway!!

and John - we had the same thing in church this week - it was the primary presentation, so with a stand full of wriggly kids, plus a few crying in the congregation - including mine - he gave the longest prayer!! 

Posted by Rebecca


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 19, 2004 4:47 PM) 

I tend to side with Joseph Smith Jr. when he said, "No need to bray like a jackass to be heard of the Lord."

The offending brother then left the church... 

Posted by Jake


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 19, 2004 5:18 PM) 

In our last stake conference, the man giving the invocation went on for at least five minutes. I had the impression that he thought a stake conference called for a longer, more flowerly worded prayer than those offered during the average sacrament meeting. The more important the meeting, the longer the prayer. But the longest prayer I've heard occurred at the Manti Miracle Pageant. It went on for at least ten minutes.  

Posted by Justin B.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 19, 2004 5:25 PM) 

Amen! (Which is sometimes all that should be said in a prayer!. 

Posted by Lizzy


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