Snippet from RS 4th Sunday Lesson

Topic: Eyring’s Opportunities to do Good

Teacher:  How do you feel when you see all these natural disasters on TV?


<Since I know she is looking for desire to serve, I’m trying to show self-control by sensoring ‘how the !^&# have we screwed up our climate system or energy generation system this much?’ >

Answer from the class: I know I need to do more to do the right things <pause> like genealogy.

….AND everybody nods and agrees; nobody really says anything to help keep the lesson on track.  Because I teach another Sunday and know this can be a tough crowd, I eventually lend the teacher  – new to our ward – a hand by commenting on human suffering and the lesson continues on its merry way.


Ok, I know this example might say more about a singular older lady’s response and Mormons’ extreme aversion to conflict as demonstrated by nobody suggesting that it is an outrageous response, but seriously?!?

Needless to say, this exchange has bothered me for the last few days.  Last night, while I was watching the evening news coverage of the Joplin tornado, it became clear why I found this particular answer so maddening.  I’m convinced doctrine does not ask us to care about genealogy if it prevents us from relieving current suffering or caring about the earth.  But what is it about Mormon culture that privileges past generations over generations to come?  And, at times, even over people living on this earth RIGHT NOW?


4 responses to “Snippet from RS 4th Sunday Lesson

  1. Jessica May 24, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Not sure if this would make you feel any better, but when that sort of question recently came up in our RS, we ended up having an interesting discussion about the appropriateness of donating to relief charities outside the LDS sphere, if one is moved to do so. Not quite radical, but a step toward greater engagement (with the world outside the chapel door) at least. Next time I promise I’ll try to work in a line of thinking on stewardship.

  2. Nicole I May 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Well, your RS did better than ours. We also had the usual ‘I feel good knowing the church knows how to use my donations appropriately’ discussion.

  3. nat kelly May 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Nicole, it’s great that you were there to add another perspective. That’s a big part of why I still feel inclined to go to church these days.

  4. Pingback: Reverence for Nature – Part II – A Mormon and Humane Child « Our Mother's Keeper

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