Sunday, March 1, 2009
Its odd that there is a growing number of book clubs among the Mormon faith. It is unusual however that there has been a glowing decline in extracurricular activities among the saints. Thus the development of book clubs.
Now it would not bother me that there has been an increase growth in social circles except that now the church has grown to a global scale and has (it would seem) a continual disconnection with the individual to keep up with the whole. This has lead to the saints creating new outlets that now even the church leaders are attempting to control what the members read and discuss in their little groups.
I appreciate a good book but let the spirit guide what material the saints read. Most of the saints have kept it to LDS authors but some have followed the prophets (and I would agree that this is important) but I also think that following the scriptures and spirit are a bit more important. After all the scriptures say that that if we rely on the "arm of the flesh" to make our decision we are good as dross.
I was encouraged in my Patriarchal Blessing to see good things out of every good book, but there is nothing there that says that the prophets will make a call on those books. Many Gentiles have written great books and have even been quoted in Conference but I wonder if those books are on their list? No book clubs are a social activity and it supposed to be fun and build friendships that will last a life time no matter the book. The saints in the early 19th century used social activities to build friendship (brotherhood), charity and give the saints a means of keeping in touch.
It is my opinion that we have become so separated from one another that in some cases we only have religion and nothing else. That's sad real sad. I have watched social networks in other faiths attempt to build on things as watching each others children, social car washes, to simple coffee after service. I know that we too have our own programs but it has been duly noted that we fail to do home teaching and visiting teaching. Disturbing. We don't want to get to know the inactive, less active or assume that the active are doing great that we do nothing to see truly how they are doing. I have been around this great country and in one such ward that I visited the Elders Quorum President got up and when announcing the visiting noted that no one had visited anyone. How sad.
Now the saints are attempting to rectify the situation by creating clubs that invite the inactive, less active, active and even non-members to group together and talk about books that uplift, edify and sometimes entertain us. I hope that the saints will not loose this great avenue that could temporarily if not permanently build brotherhood and friendships that will last a lifetime and build the church as it was intended to grow.