Electronic device etiquette at church?

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scrapmom3
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Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby scrapmom3 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:10 am

Is there an official statement about proper etiquette for using electronic devices at church? We're a tech-friendly Ward for sure, so I know there's a place for it, but I'd like to know what the proper etiquette is.
Thanks in advance!

lajackson
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby lajackson » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:47 pm

scrapmom3 wrote:Is there an official statement about proper etiquette for using electronic devices at church? We're a tech-friendly Ward for sure, so I know there's a place for it, but I'd like to know what the proper etiquette is.


Official? None of which I know. Proper etiquette? Sure. I have some personal thoughts.

If it does not detract from the Spirit, I am fine with it. Noise is not the only distraction, just the primary one. It is easy for an electronic device to be distracting in other ways, and if it is, I do not believe it should be used.

For example, sacrament meeting should be a reverent and spiritual occasion for the members. Handbook 2:20.4.1 reminds those who bless and pass the sacrament that they should not wear or do anything that would call attention to itself or distract members during the sacrament. I believe electronic devices (and other members) can also be distracting and should not be.

I have no problem if a member uses an iPad or similar device to give a talk or lesson. If they place it on the pulpit and speak as they would from paper or other notes, I am fine with it. If there is lots of pausing, searching, waiting, oopsing, or other ings, it becomes a distraction.

I use my smart phone in almost every meeting I attend. I set it for stun before the meeting begins and make sure it emits no noises. I would never take a call (one exception, another thread) during a sacrament or other such meeting. I would never take a call during any other meeting unless the presiding officer had asked me to contact someone and hoped to have the answer during that meeting.

We have a large family. Early in our married life, we established a rule that solved almost every reverence problem we faced, especially in the chapel. Our children were allowed to do almost anything they wanted during meetings, as long as it met two requirements.

One, it had to be quiet. No noise. No exception. Two, it had to take place below the level of the top of the pews. That way no one would see it except for a person or two sitting to the immediate right or left, which was usually another family member. If it met these two requirements, they usually never heard from Mom or Dad.

So those are my initial thoughts. Reverence and the Spirit. Consideration for others. Not a distraction. A little bit of planning ahead. I'll save the war stories for later in the topic after it really gets rolling. [grin]

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aebrown
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby aebrown » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:48 pm

Electronic device etiquette is a local decision. I've heard of stake presidents and bishops who have made specific policies in this realm, and I know of others who choose not to make any specific policy and rely on members to exercise good judgment.

TinMan
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:56 pm

I know that pictures and video recordings are not allowed in the chapel, but audio recordings are.

Last month, I had a funeral where the family wanted to "skype" the funeral to someone in another country who couldn't be there.

I had no idea what to do. So, I am waiting to repent if I need to.

:)

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aebrown
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby aebrown » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:02 pm

TinMan wrote:Last month, I had a funeral where the family wanted to "skype" the funeral to someone in another country who couldn't be there.

I had no idea what to do. So, I am waiting to repent if I need to.

I'll definitely leave any decisions on repentance up to you.

But I would note that Handbook 2, Section 21.2.10, says: "Meetings and other events that are held in the chapel may not be broadcast over the Internet or by any other means." So it seems pretty clear to me that using Skype or any other similar tool to broadcast a funeral taking place in the chapel is contrary to policy.

TinMan
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:11 pm

You are probably right. I should remember to bring my handbook to funerals. :)

So that means when stake conferences are broadcast to other chapels, it is against policy?

What if they would have just left their cell phone on for the entire funeral? Do you see that as broadcasting by any other means?

Gary_Miller
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:23 pm

Bishop you can have the handbooks on your electronic device.:)

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aebrown
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby aebrown » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:34 pm

TinMan wrote:So that means when stake conferences are broadcast to other chapels, it is against policy?

Well, I didn't quote the entire section, since it didn't seem relevant for funerals. But Section 21.2.10 goes on to say, "see 18.3.1 for an exception." That section just happens to deal with stake conference, and it says: "If necessary, conference sessions may be broadcast to other locations in the stake."

TinMan wrote:What if they would have just left their cell phone on for the entire funeral? Do you see that as broadcasting by any other means?

Yes.

TinMan
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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:35 pm

Gary. Not every bishop is comfortable using an electronic device... It is why I have counselors.

And the handbooks... don't get me started. Until they either improve the "search" option or the index, I will stick with the printed ones.

:)

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Re: Electronic device etiquette at church?

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:35 pm

aebrown wrote:Yes.


Thanks.

Perhaps they will release me.

:)


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