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The Sabbath and LDS Units

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A scout is reverent.


LDS units don't travel on Sundays. LDS leaders try not to train on Sundays. On the other side of the coin, non-LDS for the most part seem to believe Sunday is just another day of the week. I don't feel it necessary to impose my support of keeping the Sabbath day holy on others. However, I have noticed that whenever we have LDS-organized training that does not involve Sundays, that many non-LDS are interested in participating. They like to reserve Sundays for families, too.


This country used to actually have laws that businesses must close at least one day a week. This was in support of the Sabbath. I'm not advocating that we should have a law to have everything closed on Sunday, but just to make a point that in this country the Sabbath used to be revered up until recently - about 40 years ago.


Why do people seem so opposed to holding training in ways that do not include Sunday?

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I am not opposed to holding trainings that don't include Sunday, only the lack of trainings that do include Sunday. Taking a four day weekend off from work is a different thing than taking a three day weekend. AS the majority of the troops in my area are LDS units, I expect this to continue and do not let it bother me too much, but it is a little irritating sometimes.


While I respect the idea that Sunday should be a Sabbath, sometimes I wonder if the LDS Church has made it a burden in a manner similar to that of the Pharisees. Jesus did grant us the freedom to celebrate the Sabbath as we saw fit (though he never said we should abandon it). I find that some of my most restful Sabbaths have occurred in the wilderness surrounded by the wonder of creation. "Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath."


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"...On the other side of the coin, non-LDS for the most part seem to believe Sunday is just another day of the week."


Awful prescient of you, isn't this?


You presume to know the attitudes of Non-LDS towards Sunday? How large a sample size have you taken? What was your instrument of measurement?

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One complaint I've heard is that by having LDS units leave early, it does not promote eucuneicism (sp) with the other scouts when they do the 'Scout's Own" services.


Also some denominations do have evening services, so that youth who can go on out, come back at 1PM, take a nap, and then go to church with the family in the evening.


I know working summer camp the complaint is that staff have to wake up earlier then usual, miss breakfast, sometimes get additional staff for aquatics, in order to conduct swim tests before classes start b/c of the late arrival of LDS units.


Now in reference to training, I have a hard time taking one day off to do things for scouting, but i don't think it would be possible to get 2 days off consistently to do training.


yep scouting can take you away from your regular church services. but sometimes it is an expereince to wake up and see God's handiwork up close and personal.

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""...On the other side of the coin, non-LDS for the most part seem to believe Sunday is just another day of the week."

Awful prescient of you, isn't this?

You presume to know the attitudes of Non-LDS towards Sunday? How large a sample size have you taken? What was your instrument of measurement?"


Thank you for pointing out my errors and in addition I will admit my sample size was pretty small. Also, it was not meant as a complaint as those leaders are very qualified and exceptional volunteers. Let me restate, and please accept my apologies: My personal experience with the seeming majority of those non-LDS who plan training for our area seems to treat Sunday as a 2nd Saturday. Even for those who do not attend religious services on Sunday, many would like to take a break - a "day of rest" if you will.

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Hmmm... it seems to me that the idea (not the word) of "rest" when it concerns the Sabbath is part of the issue. The Jews have codified what cannot be done on the Sabbath, for instance (and they observe it staring Friday night and go to Saturday night). Since different faiths have varying interpretations of what "rest" means, and even different times of observing the Sabbath, it shouldn't be a surprise that you encounter people who do not think of Sunday as any different than Saturday. The New Testament states that we shouldn't judge others because one man "esteems one day above another, and another man esteems every day alike."


In my limited experience with "traditional" troops, the idea that a Scout is reverent sometimes simply means that they have a tradition of faith in their home. Thus, they often view Sunday as simply another day. When I'm on an outing that extends to Sunday, I take the view that I'm doing the work that God has called me to and that doing so on a Sunday is much like when Jesus healed the withered man's hand on the Sabbath.


But, again, to original question, I would reply that having training on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is difficult to attend for many working people.

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There isn't just one Sabbath. Saturday is the day of rest in the Jewish tradition. So people who don't mind training on Sundays may simply not be Christians.


Many other people work shiftwork, or have non-standard workweeks. Sundays may be their only day they have available to train.

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Very good points, and I definitely agree with them.


As a good friend of mine says, "I feel strongly both ways."


I have rarely heard anybody in my area discuss recognition of the Sabbath other than LDS folks desperately trying to get trained but have to do it on Sunday. The non-LDS who want Sundays off, just want a break. However, LNT, OLS, Wilderness 1st Aid, Woodbadge, and others are on Saturday, Saturday night, and Sunday, or Friday through Sunday in the case of WB.


Rather than just complaining, how about I suggest a solution. Those trainings that would be all day and night Saturday and then you get up and leave on Sunday morning could be occasionally run Friday night and then all day Saturday. I understand it gets a bit more difficult to move WB back a day and start with Thursday so people have to take 2 days off from work instead of just 1, but you would probably be surprised at how many would jump at that opportunity.


For the youth at Summer Camp, they could take their swim test the previous Saturday rather than show up Monday morning expecting all the staff to get to the water early just for them.


Like a couple of you have said, there are other beliefs that recognize a weekly holy day other than Sunday. I think we should do everything we can to support them on whatever day they want to rest. I also think we should do everything we can to support those who would like to have Sunday off.


RedFlyer, I definitely appreciate what you are saying with your analogy to the Pharisees of old.

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Tough being a non-denominational, multi-cultural organization isn't it?


Especially when we all can't even agree which day the Sabbath is to be observed and to what degree observing it means to our schedules.


Of course, one 800lbs gorilla could lobby national to make the decision for us all.

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I believe I relayed once a loooong time ago that at one time in my Council, as I was growing up and starting out as a young adult leader, the LDS units, no matter where they were located geographically in the Council all belonged to my District - mostly because the folks in my District were more willing to accomodate the LDS units so I knew a lot of LDS youth and adult leaders.


Yes - most of the time, the LDS units would pack up on Saturday nights for the journey home - and it was always thought that they had to leave because they couldn't drive in Sundays. We quickly learned from the LDS members that this was utter nonsense - after all, most have to drive to get to temple on Sunday mornings.


We adjusted - the awards ceremony was changed to Saturday evening - and that proved pretty popular among everyone once the initial resistance of a few traditionalists was broken.


After a couple of years of the LDS units bailing out on Saturday nights, many of us were surprised to find one year that 2 LDS units, of mostly older Scouts, had stayed over until Sunday! That was the year the District had decided that we would have a campwide 3-hour service project for the host campground (a forest preserve) on Sunday morning before everyone left camp. It turns out that the whole proscriptions of what the LDS can and can't do on Sundays are more like guidelines of goals to strive for rather than absolutes. Can't go shopping on Sundays? - yeah - avoid it if you can but if an emergency crops up, then it's not a sin to head to the Walgreens. Can't work on Sundays? Yeah - avoid it if you can but if it's in service to others and contributes to your spirituality (ie - volunteering - especially as a family), then don't feel as if you must not do so.


Because the camporee had a service component to it, it was agreed that the older LDS Scouts would benefit from the service project. Arrangements were made for the families to attend a special, later service when their sons and husbands returned home.


As more and more adult LDS members became members of the District Committee, it seemed that there were more and more "special dispensations" to attend training on Sundays, attend OA ordeals and work weekends, and stay in camp until Sunday mornings. I suspect they had a number of Stake Presidents and Bishops that got Scouting and understood how it could be used to strengthen families.



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Well it's a god thing the country woke up about 40 years ago!

It sure would suck that you had to close your buisness down that one day..especially if that day wasn't even a part of your faith..if you had one.


Then in the bigger picture: What if there was a law that said you had to stay open regardless of your faith?


Not any better huh?


Yeah, I know what you meant, but the cool thing is that you don't HAVE to be open on the day that you observe YOUR sabbath. Or if you don't observe...you can stay open as long as you want!



But requiring stores/ buisnesses to close is definantly respecting one religion over others.



Back to your original question:


"Why do people seem so opposed to holding training in ways that do not include Sunday?"


Well, In my case..It's because I work Monday through Friday and sometimes Saturday too. Most people work the same days...not all, but most. Granted, I can take the occasional day off from work for Dr appointments, errands or trips, and scouting trips, functions or trainings, but then I am down one day of pay.


And you can only squeeze in so many constructive hours per week night.


As lomg as there are trainings benifiting both LDS and non LDS schedules...I see no issue.




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The General Young Men's Presidency of the LDS church has declared that if the member deems it appropriate to miss church for an adult training, then by all means go! This especially pertains to Wood Badge.


The problem lies in the individual members wanting to be apart from family for this purpose. It varies by stake and ward if this happens, but I guarantee having a Wood Badge trained Stake President changes the outlook on all the leaders in regards to Sunday trainings.


That being said, we offer our Wood Badge spring course Thursday through Saturday so everyone can be home for Sundays. Our IOLS is structured to take most of Friday and all of Saturday. It's possible to do.


For the units though, you have to understand that the boys are not just Scouts, they are also the priesthood of the church, and have leadership roles within the services that occur on Sundays. Having your entire priesthood missing for services can cripple a service!


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