Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Sing Or Not To Sing?

So I'm at church last Sunday, and the ward chorister, who's also in charge of picking songs and arranging what musical numbers will be done during Sacrament Meeting, comes up to me and says, "[Cody], we sure haven't heard you sing in a while. I'd love it if you could sing something in Sacrament Meeting in the next couple of weeks." I stammer and say, "Uh, well let me get back to you." This is normally a no-brainer, as I've been asked to sing in church many times during the course of my life; however, this is the first time I've been asked to do so since I was excommunicated. I'm not sure what the protocol is here. Is this something I'm allowed to do still? I can't see the harm. After all, I'd just be singing and unless it's something like "I Am What I Am" from La Cage aux Folles or Duran Duran's "Wild Boys," I can't imagine there would be any issue. I know of several instances where people who were inactive or not members at all have sung in church, so why shouldn't I be able to?

Nonetheless, I decide to get my bishop (former bishop, I guess)'s approval or input. I ask him. He says he doesn't think it will be an issue and would actually love to hear me sing, but will ask the stake president. Knowing the stake president, I don't anticipate it will be an issue for him, either, but who knows? I've never been excommunicated before; not sure how all this works.

I call Jonah to tell him about it, mostly because I find the whole thing mildly amusing. Jonah is not as amused as I am; it makes him mad. He thinks it's stupid that I even need to ask or that there would be an issue at all. But then again, Jonah thinks the whole concept of excommunication is kind of stupid and weird.

The bishop calls my house, but I am not home. He doesn't leave a message with my mom, but tells me to please call back. I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

I finally get a hold of him. He says neither he nor the stake president have any problem with it and that he looks very forward to hearing me sing in church again. It's now up to me to call the chorister and let her know that I am available to sing. It will be nice to do so again. I'm looking very forward to it.

Still, it's all a bit weird jumping through hoops to do what used to be a no-brainer. I guess life is full of little adjustments.


Abelard Enigma said...

We have an excommunicated brother in my ward who, for reasons I'm not at liberty to say, will probably never be allowed to be rebaptized. He sings in the choir; he participates in lessons. A couple of months ago he got up in F&T meeting to bear his testimony. When I was serving in the bishopric, I even issued him a calling (as I understand it, an excommunicated person can hold non-leadership / non-teaching positions - just like any non-member).

Jonah thinks the whole concept of excommunication is kind of stupid and weird.

Honestly - so do I. It would be one thing if you were someone who was actively fighting against the church. It just seems like we withhold the blessings of membership from those who need it most.

Gay LDS Actor said...

I guess each case is different, but in my stake, at least, I'm under the impression that one can't bear testimony or give a public prayer or hold a calling. I'm allowed to sing in the choir if I so choose. I can read scriptures in classes, and I can comment if called on, but I'm not supposed to volunteer any comments.

I understand on one level the reasons for excommunication, but I do agree that it seems to cause more alienation than I think is needful. Like you say, it's not like I'm actively combatting the LDS Church, so I think I'm not much of a threat, but I guess you gotta have the same basic rules for everybody.

Derrick, Milissa & Brannon said...

I applaud you!!! And even though you are ex-communicated I think your great, although I do understand their reason behind it, but I just have to say I don't know you and I'm a new member, but I'm so proud of you for standing up for both of the things you believe in even if one may not approve of what you are doing!!! Amazing!!! And your common courtesy to your ward, bishop and stake - superb!!!! Our ward, well let's just say they could all take a ALOT of examples from you!!! Keep it up!!! You are a shining example!!!

Brad Carmack said...
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Brad Carmack said...
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