Sunday, November 3, 2013

What does it mean to be a Mormon?

What does it mean to be a Mormon?

I don’t think I can give you a pithy response. In fact, you could view this whole blog as a weekly attempt to answer that question—or at least provide a glimpse into what it means for me. This post, then, is just the beginning of a response.

To be a Mormon is to be a part of a global community. No matter where I go in the world, I would be able to find a Mormon congregation, and I would be welcomed in as a sibling (they would probably call me Brother Sabey, Brother David, or simply Brother). I have experienced this across the USA, in Europe, and in China. Being Mormon gives me access to an amazing worldwide network of people. Usually, though, it is my home ward that impacts my quotidian reality.

A ward is a congregation, comparable to a Catholic parish. I attend a “Singles Ward” for unmarried Mormons ages 18-30. We meet every Sunday for church services. We all have “callings” or responsibilities within the ward (for example, I oversee the Sunday school). And throughout the week, we have various meetings and activities. To conclude this post, I will simply outline what I did with my ward during the week.

Sunday: Church meetings from 12:30-3:30pm.

Monday: Family Home Evening (FHE) from 7:00-9:00pm. FHE is, as the name suggests, meant to be a family night (for more information, click here). Since we’re all unmarried and most of us live apart from our families, we have a ward FHE. This week, we had a costume party. I dressed as one of my 7th grade students (image below).

Tuesday: Nothing.

Wednesday: Hometeaching from 7:00-8:00pm. Everyone in the ward is assigned hometeachers (two other members of the ward), who are supposed to check in with you at least once a month to make sure you are doing well. As stereotypical, I waited until the end of month to complete my hometeaching assignment. For more information about this Mormon practice, click here.

Thursday: I usually go to “Institute” (a kind of Bible study class) on Thursday nights. It was cancelled tonight because of Halloween.

Friday: Nothing.

Saturday: Got Jamba Juice with a friend from the ward 1:00-2:30pm. Stake Conference from 7:00-9:00pm. (If a ward is like a parish, a stake is like a diocese. Stakes have conferences twice a year in which all the wards within that stake meet together.)

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