I’ve found that some of you find it interesting that as a part of the LDS (Mormon) church (OOH! Religion! HOT TOPIC!) we attend church every week.

For three hours.

Yep. Every single week.

Three hours. 180 minutes.

Our first meeting is Sacrament, were we partake of bread and water in remembrance of the Savior. In this meeting we are all together. We sing a little, listen to talks and get any other important news about our congregation. For the second and third meeting, kids 18 months- 3 years go to a nursery class and children 3-12 attend a primary class. The second meeting for adults 18+ is Sunday school where we learn about and read scriptures. The third meeting is either Relief Society (for women) Priesthood (for men). Boys and girls 12+ each have their own Sunday school classes divided by age and their own meeting of either Young Women or Young Men. Each class is led by members “called” to the position for a small amount of time. (For example, I teach the 12 and 13 year old Sunday School Class, Cody teaches once a month in his Priesthood class.)

That’s roughly 156 hours of church a year (give or take some due to various and assorted church wide conferences.)

Considering there’s 8,760 hours in a year, that’s a very tiny portion of it spent at church.

We also dress up. Sunday best. Every week. This is also a hot topic of discussion.

The way I look at it, if I were Deity and I had done a whole lot to bless the lives of the people who have faith in me, died for them even, I’d appreciate it if for the three hours a week they came together to learn about me and sing songs about me, it would be nice if they’d get out of their jammies and comb their hair.

Right?

We also don’t (well avoid, sometimes it’s inevitable) shop or eat out on Sundays, we stay close with our families resting and relaxing, because dude? That’s totally what the God I believe in did on the seventh day. This makes Utah either the most awesome state in the Union or the lamest state in the Union come Sunday, depending on what you want to do.

As usual, I’m not asking you to agree with what I choose to do with my Sundays. If religion to you is weeding your tomato plants on a Sunday then get on down with your bad ol’ weeding self. I’m just putting a little more reliable information out into the internets about us (not so crazy) Mormons. So keep the meanness to yourself and take it out on those dandelions overtaking your lawn over there.

Comments

  1. Somehow my Sunday best has turned into capri’s and a moderately cute top — but I get and love the sentiment! Perhaps I’ll wear a skirt today and expect to be complimented by God Himself! :)

    kristis last blog post..Oceanside

  2. We always dressed up for church, too. Even though I’m a godless heathen these days, it strikes me as utterly disrespectful to go to church in anything other than you Sunday-go-to-Meeting clothes. I feel so old when I drive by a church and see people in jeans and shorts (SHORTS!! My mother would have KILLED ME DEAD before letting me wear shorts to church). I mutter and mumble about how people have no sense of propriety these days. And then I go home and feed my 87 cats….

    Major Bedheads last blog post..Because I Like Bandwagons

  3. I waver between the “Well, I’m glad they made it to church no matter what they are wearing” and “Oh, what were they THINKING” myself. For instance, a young man (20-ish showed up wearing a t-shirt that was disintegrating. It was more holes than shirt in some places. It made me kind of sad.

    I love love love the idea of Sabbath. I think this is an idea that more churches should get behind. It would be such a change if people had a real day of rest.

  4. Primarily, I do not go to church because it is boring, I do not like the music, it is a hassle with kids and I do NOT care for the priest in our parish (he’s a fire and brimstone, hardcore German guy). If we were ever move, I would definitely reconsider if I like that parish better.

    That said, it royally pisses me off when I see folks dressed down for Sunday. I am SO with you on that. It does not hurt folks to dress up for God.

    In general, I like to keep Sundays quiet. I am not strict about what we do, but I like to lay low.

    Nice post, BTW.

  5. You should see what Jews wear on the sabbath. (starting Friday night for us) In Israel, I swear it looks like everyone’s going to a wedding, or better yet, in a wedding. A very modestly dressed wedding, to be sure, but F-A-N-C-Y! Plus many of the guys have a special hat they wear called a Streimel. Google it. it’s awesome.
    Thanks for the LDS info, BTW. I had several LDS friends in HS and people would never believe me that they were PERFECTLY NORMAL, albeit more good-looking than average folks.

    Rabbi’s Wifes last blog post..Better than Bubbe’s Matza Balls

  6. While at the moment I am not participating in any organized religion, simply because I haven’t found one that “fit” (I like bits and pieces of a lot, am trying to figure out where and how to make this all work for me…), I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday. And it was a lot like what you describe – though not Mormon. My recollection is a 2+ hour sermon (children at their own Sunday school for much of it) and then a 2ish hour after-sermon congregational meeting/lunch/social time. We always dressed up, and we always spent that day as a “family” or “family and friends” day, with all morning til at least 12 being at church, and the afternoon at home (or on a hot day, perhaps at the waterfront) … So, yeah, your Sundays? Sound perfectly normal to me – and are making me somewhat nostalgic!!!

    Zs last blog post..Little Helper

  7. You’re really good at writing these posts in a very diplomatic way. I hope the haters enjoy their dandelions! ;)

    Debbies last blog post..Prone to wander, prone to question, prone to annoy my readers…

  8. My husband and I were dumbfounded when a guy who looked like he left his garden to join us at church served us sacrament in beat-up shorts, white socks, and sandals. I prefer to dress nicely for church…it’s definitely a respect thing. But then I realized that I was obviously judging this guy and how he dressed. Your connection to God is amazing. If only more people could find the peace and comfort you have. And three hours in church?! When it’s spiritually fulfilling, then IT IS the best time investment. Ever. No I’m feeling guilty for not going today. Peapod and I are enjoying our girls’ weekend. She does have a dress on…will be the best dressed @ the gym!

  9. Thanks for being a good example and representation of our religion. It’s admirable.

    Camilles last blog post..{Introducing the Best New Feature Since I Learned How to Post Photos}

  10. I kinda get your whole “Sunday Best” business… BUT… it kinda makes me think about the people that act like the Devil all week long… but because they go to Church on Sunday… they’re okay. Putting on your “Sunday Best” is just the outside! Better maybe to take a look at the inside? Just sayin’…

  11. This is one of the things I admire so much about you… I grew up SDA and am not that excited about it – although my fundamental beliefs certainly came from it. I enjoy your LDS posts. :)

  12. I’m glad that you wrote about the basics. =) I think that people have a twisted view of what “we” are. Thanks for putting it out on the internet.

    Evonne Sells last blog post..Wall-E

  13. growing up it was always Sunday best. I know things are relaxing a bit. We have one Church in my hometown that is near the beach and if you go to the 7:30PM Mass everyone is in their beach wear. I suppose it’s good that they’re going but it’s still a little weird. My current church in Manchester is soooooooo laid back- even the vicars wife is casual- with muddy sneakers even.

    Lindys last blog post..20 days

  14. We attend a non-denominational evangelical Christian church and I’ve been really interested in your posts. I admit, I didn’t know much about Mormons besides the crazy press your religion has gotten and the occasional person who has offered to gift me the Book of Mormon in an attempt to convert me.

    I did some research after reading your blog. Love the idea that family is important and LOVE what emphasis the church places on it. BUT… I am adoptive mom to 4 African-American children. I had a little trouble with the belief that African-American people bear the mark of Cain and are cursed.
    I’m not ripping on your religion, just genuinely curious. I hope to encourage my children to learn about all religions. Even though we have accepted Jesus Christ as our savior, I think to understand other beliefs is the only way to encourage tolerance. I want them to know about Mormonism, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. It hurts a little though to think they might go to learn and then be told they are thought to be some form evil. What do you think? Is this still the belief? Are there African-American leaders in your church?

  15. “Saturday is a special day, it’s the day we get ready for Sun-Day.”

    “Jesus wants me for a sun-BEAM!!”

    Can you tell I dated a Mormon in high school and married into a Mormon family? Yeah. I think I still have the copy of the Book fo Mormon that the missionaries gave me when I was 17 and my girlfriend’s father sicced them on me :}

  16. Afraid I’m on the other side of the dressing-up issue… though I totally get where you’re coming from with it and would not opt out of attending a church just because of the Sunday-best expectation.

    I’m part of a small, non-demoninational house church (so I am totally down with the strange looks and assumptions that we’re “crazy.”) The thing I love about our community is that we are all in it together, taking care of and loving each other, good times and bad, no matter what. My church family carried me through the deaths of both of my parents, a miscarriage, and financial hardship (the church paid our rent for crying out loud!).

    But I digress… I guess my thinking is that God doesn’t really care what I show up in, as long as I show up. And those times when I knew He was there, when I needed him most — well, I’m pretty sure I was not dressed to the nines. Except my wedding day. I did put in a little extra effort for that. :)

    Love your posts, Casey! I’m glad you took on the August NaBloPoMo challenge so we all get to enjoy a daily dose.

    Kets last blog post..No poker face here

  17. One of my best friends is LDS, she is pretty normal, probably more normal than I that’s for sure. It definitely isn’t for me but I do have a lot of respect for Mormons. I think it is very respectable to know what you believe and really live by it. I really don’t believe in “Sunday Best” for any religion though. I think that churches alienate a lot of people that really need hope because they don’t “fit in” or they wouldn’t have anything to wear that wouldn’t make them stick out like a sore thumb. I grew up very very poor and even though I always wanted to go to church I never did because I was embarrassed to be wearing what I was and look the way I did.

    Now that I am all “grown up” and live a comfortable life I refuse to go to any church that I would have to dress up for. I don’t think that God will judge me for that. Sure he might judge me for all the other dumb crap I do but not the way I dress.

  18. I know so little about the Mormom religion that this was a fascinating look into your church practices. I go to to church every week too, but only for 1 1/2 hours and we DRESS too.

    So, right now I’ll be thinking of you at home, relaxing on this fine Sunday, just soaking up the time between you and God.

    Anissa@Hope4Peytons last blog post..Because I dig my kids!

  19. Nikki-Yeah, you have a good point. I personally dress up out of respect but wouldn’t ever treat anyone differently if they were not in a skirt at church. I wish I could say the same for everyone else. Alas, I cannot.

  20. Ket-You are completely right, God doesn’t care what we wear, it’s out of respect for Him that I dress up.
    I’m stoked to hear you have such a supportive community around you, I wish everyone could have that.

  21. I guess it’s not so much that you or anyone else would treat someone differently based on the way they are dressed at church BUT feeling different is the problem. It is definitely embarrassing being the different one especially when you know it’s because you can’t afford to fit in. I’m not trying to be annoying or anything I just think it’s good for people to see things from the other side. Granted I realize the you and your family are not going to stop dressing up or that my comment on your blog is going to change the way the LDS looks at things and make their missionaries where jeans and t-shirt rather than a tie but just wanted to share my perspective.
    Thanks for sharing yours!

    Nikkis last blog post..What I Thought I Knew

  22. Nice work and topic for today! I really appreciate you passing a good word about us around. There is soo much bad stuff out there! I hope you had a great Fast Sunday!
    I’ll be back to check out your blog BTW. I found you on Mommy Mormon bloggers.

    Kristas last blog post..

  23. Being a life long Catholic, I know how people can hate on certain religions…mostly (I think) because they don’t understand the traditions and have misconceptions. I think it’s similar to how some people feel about Mormons, so thanks for enlightening us. I promise I don’t hate on ya. ;-)

    Hollys last blog post..My Name is Zoom, and I Live on the Moon…

  24. I always dress up for church, and some people at my church are always dressed to the nines (hats and all!). But when people come in wearing everyday clothes (we are in a touristy area and have a BEAUTIFUL sanctuary, so lots of times people just wander in off the street during a service), I like it that they can feel comfortable to come and worship as they are. Jesus sure wasn’t picky about the appearance of his followers back in the day!

  25. So, what do you do when you’re on vacation? Or do you try not to go on weekends?
    I think I’m with the majority of people here on the dress side. Our church is pretty casual, although the pastor always wears a shirt and tie at least. I just fail to see how dressing up on the outside changes the heart. I think that’s what God cares about and for me, taking an extra 15 minutes to get “dressed up” means we’ll be 15 minutes later. I’d rather be wearing pants than be “pissy” because I’m late! ;)

    Kristas last blog post..16 Months!

  26. I actually have an aunt who’s been trying to “steal” me away from the Church by saying things like, “You know, in my Church, you don’t have to wear dresses to Church, and our meeting only lasts one hour.”

    I’m like, “I enjoy dressing up, and personally, I don’t think 3 hours is enough to last me through the week. I miss days when I went to Seminary every morning and youth mutual every Thursday. As an adult, I could spend a lot more time with Heavenly Father than I do.

    Jia@ColorMeUntypicals last blog post..What I Believe (Part 1)

  27. Lisa in TX says:

    I’ve come to think of Sunday Best for church as something akin to date night with my husband. Sure, he loves me even when I’m still in jammies at 2pm and I haven’t had the chance to wash my hair in three days because the kids are running full-tilt from dawn to dusk, but sometimes I really want to look nice for him because it’s a special time together. Church is like that, to me. Sure, there’s prayers and scripture reading and teaching the kids about God every day, but church is a special time, and I want to look good for Him, just to show Him He’s special to me.

  28. Love, Love, Love the Sabbath. You have to really work during the week to make sure to keep the Sabbath holy though, with two kids I have to make sure I plan for it. We had a sermon series on it within the last year and was very enlightened.

  29. I go to an ultra casual church, but I just can’t do it. Go casual that is. I lead worship so I am on stage and I just feel like I need to look pretty. Well that and frankly it is the only chance I get all week to look really pretty :)

    The Diaper Diariess last blog post..We Have A Winner!!

  30. I think those Sundays are wonderful rituals. I’m glad you’re unapologetic about going to church. That should never change.

    I’m looking for a church right now that I can feel comfortable in, I hope I find one that speaks to me the way you did.

    Debs last blog post..Twits? Tweeters? Twats?

  31. Great post, Casey! You are good at what you do. ;) And I really did enjoy your testimony in church today. Yay church!

  32. Becky – I’m another LDS aka “Mormon” and the stance that african-americans are decendents of cain is only that. African-Americans are equal in our church. They can be Bishops, or Stake Presidents or anything else as long as they live right. They are not considered any more or less “evil” than the rest of us. There was a period of time when they were not allowed to be in leadership positions but that time has passed.

  33. My Sunday religion has turned into housework and catching up with life (don’t tell my Southern Baptist family I haven’t been to church since I moved to the “sinful” West Coast. Also, speaking of Southern Baptist? Way crazier than you “not so crazy Mormons.”) Though today my religion ending up being a light run of 26.2 miles (SF Marathon, baby!).

    Also? I love Utah. Worked there a few summers, and it was HOT. As in awesome, not like unbearable climate.

    Camels & Chocolates last blog post..But a Mere Toddler

  34. Thanks for the info. I attend a Methodist church but I love learning about other religions. My church is really casual but my hubby and I always try to look nice. We usually wear khaki’s and a nice shirt. But there are some people that show up looking like they just rolled out of bed. So I get where you’re coming from.
    On another note: Come over to my blog and check out the wonderful giveaway I am having this week!!!!

  35. I find all of this (both post and comments) very interesting. I’ve never known anyone that is Mormon and previously based my perceptions of them on the infrequent Mission visits I’d get and those sensational news items on cult-like communes.

    Not that I thought all Mormon families had sister wives or anything – I’m not that ridiculous. But I never really gave much thought to the religion OR the community.

    I like hearing about the actual practices and traditions – since that’s what really makes a community. Religion is based on the scripture – but community is based on people. Thanks for more insight into your community. I love it that you dress up for God. I’ve always loved dressing up and I just don’t have that many opprotunities anymore.

    Oh – and I am actually learning a lot about Mormons lately since a few weeks ago I decided to write about a blog that I love (one written by a Mormon), and titled my post “Mormons are Funny”. I was assuming that as a new blog, I was only being read by my other friends who, like me, don’t know any Mormons. Then I got comments from a number of Mormons and was even asked to guest post on a Mormon blog. I found this very exciting, but my husband who grew up in Phoenix surrounded by a large Mormon community was mortified (especially when I titled my next post “I’m Huge in Utah”) – but you know, I can only hope that people take my writing for what it is and not try to read any negative intent into it.

    I’m just enjoying all of the opportunities to get to know new people and learn new things. Great thing, this blogging!

  36. You are a blogging missionary! Yay!

    I know that when I dress up for church, I am on my best behavior. My skirt and heels help me to remember to be a lady and remind me that I am a child of God. They seem appropriate because I am in His house so I should act accordingly.

    Charlis last blog post..My Odd Celebrity Crushes

  37. Amy in StL says:

    Ooo, I love your Mormons 101 posts! (I’m not being facetious.) I thought ya’ll had to wear white to church. No? I don’t go to church as often as I’d like, mainly because boyfriend and I are diffeent religions and Sat PM to Sun PM is the only time I get to see him.

    But the LDS church fascinates me. I think because it’s as ritualistic as my Catholicism. But I don’t think I could do 3 hours. Wow, that’s some hardcore praying!

  38. The rituals and rules are so interesting and I love that you are so grounded in your faith.
    I have a fascination about Catholicism as well. My mom was born and raised Catholic and I’m always peppering her with questions about why Catholics do certain things. I find it wonderful that people can be so connected with a church that the rules of the church are so much a part of their life.

    Most likely that comes from me never finding a similar connection – I spent my youth fighting my (Lutheran) church. I wanted to be involved but was told I was “too young” and wasn’t told but there was an underlying understanding that a female couldn’t do what I was requesting. I was a confirmed member of the church and therefore an adult by the church standards. But I was a 14 year old girl so to the “elders” I was too young. I had to argue and fight to do simple things like gospel readings during the service. I went on to do a lot more over the next several years but found the whole process exhausting. To me that’s not what spirituality should be. I tend to envy a bit those who are as comfortable in their faith as you are.

  39. I love when you post about church!

    As a member of another oft misundastood religion, I should follow suit.

    (Should I ever do that, I’ll totally credit you as my inspiration so no one Twitters me a cheating copier.)

    Amys last blog post..Time Management & Soul Searching

  40. I think it is admirable that you are so devoted to your religion. A lot of people have a hard time finding it, let alone shouting it from the mountain tops. I hope one day to be as faithful as you!

    Tootss last blog post..First was love, then was marriage, and now?

  41. I think it’s cool that you write about this stuff regularly.

    Now excuse me, I’ve got to get on with my weeding. :)

    Assertagirls last blog post..Scenes from a Canadian Long Weekend

  42. I’m mormon too and my best friend, who isn’t, calls our church the marathon church. She’s never heard of going for 3 hours before.

  43. 1) For some reason, seeing someone who doesn’t get dressed – at least moderately nicely – for church, drives me nuts. Irks the living crap out of me.

    2) I come from a family of Pentecostal and Baptist ministers. I’ve seen marathon church before but at least it always ends with food. So there’s that.

    Heather B.s last blog post..Signing up for AARP

  44. I’m not Mormon but I do attend church every week as well. We spend 1.5-2 hours in actual church, we’re starting on a marital group meeting each week which will take a couple of hours, I’m going on a retreat, etc. Point is, we spend a small but valuable amount of time, too, and it bugs the CRAP out of me when people show up to church in tube tops and booty shorts. I mean it REALLY chaps me. I think all churches should have a dress code. Skanky dressing is a distraction from the reason you should be there, I feel!

    Caseys last blog post..Is it a sign of the week to come?

  45. In response to Becky’s question about race- the LDS church has 13 “Articles of Faith” (which is a statement of our basic beliefs). The second one is:

    “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.”

    (Or Cain’s, or anyone else’s transgressions) We are all accountable for our own actions, regardless of race, background, etc. The LDS church has leaders of every race. The race card is something the ‘haters’ like to twist against Mormons.

    Great post Casey.

    Rachels last blog post..Small town 4th of July

  46. My dad is a preacher. Growing up he was an evangelist and started a couple of different churchs. We ALWAYS dressed up for church. And slowly but surely the trend of church’s has changed. I never really thought anything about it until I read your post. Think I’ll leave the jeans at home next time. Oh and bravo to you for blogging about your faith (NOT RELIGION. There is a difference.).

    Brees last blog post..Will blog for food

  47. amen to all of that sister, particularly the last paragraph.

    mamacrows last blog post..Now I know my ABC…

  48. Great post, as always Casey.

    I would have never said this as a teenager, but now as an adult I’d happily attend church all day on Sunday if it was asked. I wish I had the feelings I have a church with me all week. Being at church makes me feel good.