Day of rest

I find it quite ironic that my Sundays are far more restful now than they ever were when I was Mormon.  Mormons, like all Christians, believe the Ten Commandments, including the one that says "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work:But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates".

Of course, when I was a kid I always wondered why the scriptures said that we were supposed to work the other 6 days, but our business week is only 5 days.  But that's beside the point.

Most Christians I would say have a more or less restful Sunday.  They may (or may not) go to church for an hour or so and then spend the day with family--perhaps going to a park or just resting at home or something.  And, as Conrad and I have discovered, Sunday is a very popular day to go to the mall.

Mormons, however, have many more commitments on Sunday.  Even the ones who just go for church and don't have any "extra-curricular activities" still have a 3-hour time commitment.  But some people have much, much more.  As ward mission leader, I was a member of the priesthood executive council--that's a fancy phrase to mean "all the guys who are leaders of the ward in some capacity".  What this means is that I would go before church started for an extra meeting (which, until the church announced some changes, was weekly) to discuss the affairs of the ward and its members.

Another thing that made my day busy (which wasn't mandatory by any means) was that I would attend two different services.  There were three different units which met in the same building that I attended church.  Two were what we cal "family wards", which just consist of whomever lives in the boundaries designated, including (but not limited to) married couples and their children.  One of them is what we call a "single's ward" (technically it was a branch, but that just means it was small).  This means that only single people between the ages of 18 and 30 are welcome to attend.  Pretty much everyone except me who attended only went to the one meeting, but since I enjoyed my position as ward mission leader and still wanted to socialize with the young people, I attended both.

So, as a summary, here's my schedule for a typical Sunday when I was Mormon.
7:30-8:30 AM: PEC or ward council meeting
9:00-12:00 service with the family ward
1:30-4:30 service with the single's branch

Sometimes I would go home between the two services to eat lunch, other times I would stay and practice with the choir, which would meet between 12:00 and 1:30.  More often than not, I stayed at church and did not go home until after 4:30.  So, I spent 9 hours at church.  And often, after church I would do home teaching--this is a program we have where two men will go visit a few different families in the ward to make sure they're doing alright and to share some spiritual messages with them.  So, it was not uncommon for me to spend more than 10 hours (total) involved with church-related activities on Sunday.

I contrast that with my current Sunday schedule which consists of the following:

That's right.  My schedule is empty.  I have all day to do anything I want to do.  I can stay home all day.  I can go to the mall.  I can watch a movie (like I did last week).  I can go to a park or hiking or to the lake.  I can blog--like I'm doing right now.  I can read, play games, watch TV, etc.  My Sundays really truly are restful now.  I don't feel obligated to spend all day in the church building and all evening doing home teaching or going out with the missionaries.

The ironic thing is that when I was Mormon, I believed (as doctrine) that Sunday was to be set aside as a day of rest.  And I got very little rest until the day was over and I finally went to bed.  Now, I have no such religious conviction, but I'm getting a full day of true rest.

At any rate, I wish all of you a truly restful Sunday.  And a happy Mother's Day too.