Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Christmas Every Week

A friend of mine was recently asked what church he went to by a new colleague at work. Upon learning that he was LDS, the woman replied, "Oh, you people don't do Christmas, do you?" Many of us have encountered people with exactly that misconception. Yes, we are Christian and do celebrate the birth of Christ - pagan social aspects included. In fact, when it comes to "Christ Mass," the celebration, worship, and remembrance of Christ, we have it every week during our Sacrament service, similar to communion. Each person who has covenanted to follow Christ by accepting baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost is asked to renew that covenant weekly by partaking of the Sacrament. The ceremony of administering the sacrament may look pretty quiet and dull, but it can be an intensely spiritual moment of renewal and personal reflection on our relationship with Christ was we partake of the bread and water of the Sacrament (yeah, we've been using water for a while instead of alcoholic wine, but for us the water still symbolizes the blood of Christ). So while we put up Christmas lights, pass out presents we can't afford, eat too many sweets, and promote the slaughter of young Christmas trees in December (helping to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so I guess it's green), we also stay focused on the real message behind Christmas and do so every week of the year. Many other Christians do the same, of course. May we all make every week a true Christmas celebration, and go easy on the sweets and credit card expenditures in December.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I do agree that we celebrate Christ mass every week, I'm afraid I have to disagree about cutting down Christmas trees being green. ;)
Plants, especially trees, REMOVE carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and return oxygen to the atmosphere. If you are worried about greenhouse gases--PLANT trees.
I very much enjoy your blog and am greatful that you are continuing it.--Norma P

Mormanity said...

Should have clarified that Christmas tree plantation is, implicitly, continually replanted. So yes, plant trees. The key to taking up carbon, if that's what you want to do, is to have lots of young trees, for they eat up carbon much faster than older trees. A Christmas tree plantation is great for that purpose: cut them down while young and then replant right away. But a managed forest for paper is perhaps even better: lots of growth, then bang - cut down and made into paper that becomes books or ends up in a landfill, out of the ecosystem. So there's the secret to environmental stewardship aimed at reducing CO2 in the atmosphere: clearcut those old-growth forests, create plantations for papermaking or Christmas trees, and keep cutting eveything down (with replanting) every few years with the goal of making commercial stuff that gets thrown away and landfilled. Now aren't you glad you came here to get the latest green tips? ;)

jonhappiness said...

Hi Jeff, seems like you're spending more time in this blog than in your other two, which is great because I'm loving this! I'm actually following you on Twitter as @jonharules as we speak (LOL as I write and the other hand is searching for you on FB).

Encountered the very same question myriad of times and glad for people's curiosity because it simply opens the door for me to share with them the gospel.

By the way thought I'd just answer the Google apologist theory here. I searched your blog for the keywords "Mexico" and "map" and it appeared for more than 30 times each in all the posts which makes it high in relevance for the search that's why it appeared higher. While it is possible that the Google people could manipulate the search result for control purposes (which they were able to find helpful when they noticed the error through your help), they simply don't have much time for it as there are myriad of blogs being updated every second. It's the work of their spiders (which in this case and many others, usually fail). Then they discovered that it wasn't really relevant at all so that's why it was settled. Sorry for the jamming thoughts they just keep rushing it that's why..haha

Alright, I gotta say I'm enjoying your blog Jeff! Please DO keep blogging!

Georgia said...

I think that while Christmas is important that if we were to 'celebrate' something every week it should be Easter.

Without Easter there is no Christmas.

Mormography said...

Of course, there is not a ‘Christ Mass’ service on the 25th of December unless the 25th of December falls on a Sunday. If the LDS Church was to pay me as a consultant on how to become more main stream and attract more members, this would be at the top of my recommendations. This lack of a December 25th service is one of the many examples I use to help non-Mormons understand the Mormon culture. Principally, that it is an all or nothing culture. A reality the Mormon leadership has tried to ignore by changing the phrase ‘inactive member’ to ‘less-active member’. Mormons either attend every week or not at all.

I am aware of a Mormon Stake in a third world country that began offering Church services Sunday nights for its numerous members that had little option but to work Sunday days. This innovation was very successful, until a visiting Mormon General Authority shut the idea down. This is yet another example I share with non-Mormons to help them understand that the Mormon leadership prefers absolute obedience to the religious hierarchy over any sort of intermediate compromise that may help its neophyte membership with their spiritual goals.

Hillary said...

@ Mormography
The point of true religion is not to “become more main stream and attract more members” by adopting new standards. It’s about bringing true doctrine to people and helping them become better.

An a lighter note I thought this was a good entry. For members of the church, we get to celebrate Christ every week (and if you go to institute, seminary or other activities, even more)! Another thing that sets us apart from others is the fact that we are probably the only church that has a tendency to cancel or shorten church should Christmas land on a Sunday. XD

Mormography said...

Hillary,

It is not clear what point you are trying to make with the whole "true religion" discussion. The whole, whose doctrine is the true doctrine debate, is rather antiquated.

Superficially it appears that your response is meant to be some sort of retort to mine. However, your response is essentially in agreement with your mine.

Three fold mission of the LDS Church - Perfect the Saints, Proclaim the Gospel, Redeem the Dead. A special Christmas service would be effective at inviting those who do not attend LDS services regularly to attend - Proclaiming the Gospel. In general anything that allows those LDS members of lesser faith to take intermediate steps would be effective at Perfecting the Saints.

I believe the part that you are taking exception with is "mainstream". LDS faithful and conservatives in general take exception of the concept of an immoral majority deciding what morality is out of convenience. However, LDS history contains examples of popular decision making and capitulation to mainstream concepts in some cases while becoming more Pharisee like in other concepts.

The imposition of the word of wisdom on the general church membership is an example of Pharisee/old-testament/law-of-Moses/commanded-in-all-things like direction of the LDS church. This imposition for the most part only prevents members of lesser faith from progressing. Furthermore, not only was Jesus critical of this sort of Pharisee attitude, he did away with the law of Moses, preferring the individual to be guide by the spirit of the law as opposed to be strictly guide by a law.