Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Merry Smithmas everyone. Jesus' birthday may be celebrated on December 25th but Joseph's is two days earlier on the 23nd. See, even his birthday comes before Jesus'. I never really noticed, as a believer, how much emphasis is placed on Joseph Smith's birthday, until sacrament meeting on December 21st, 2014.
I will say I wasn't impressed with the "special Christmas" service. Just look at the picture above, stark, sterile, no windows, now imagine it full of people. That was my experience this year. It was depressing and, to be honest, very boring. Where are the flowers, the decorations, the excitement? I felt empty. I looked around and felt a sadness for the believing members. This church is an organization that demands so much, but offers very little. The time away from family, the responsibilities, the money, the invasion of every aspect of your psyche. And what does it offer? All this organization can offer is guilt, fear, control, and a feeling of inadequacy. These people are in a prison. The sad part is that it is a prison they think they need and will even defend it. They can't see the real truth. The members won't allow themselves to look behind the curtain. They can't and won't realize how much control this church has in their lives and that they will never really be happy. They will say how happy they are and that they would be lost without the church, but that is what they were programmed to say. Sitting there, I realized how much of an impact the church has in their lives.
Just a short summary of the service--small choir, 1 piano, 1 violin, slow paced music. It was an especially boring service with the crowning comment during the closing prayer. A nice member, closed with thanking God for Jesus--good, then continued by thanking God for Joseph and his life and example--bad. It was a Merry Smithmas indeed.