Dear 100 Hour Board,
With the change in how Elders quorums and high priests quorums work, does it feel to you like Elders became part of the high priests or that high priests became part of the elders? Has the change made you enjoy priesthood more?
-My Name Here
Well we completely changed rooms, which I think helped because the High Priests didn't have to come to our room and we didn't have to go to theirs. However, most of our presidency is Elders which makes it feel like the High Priests joined the Elders.
I'm still expecting the change to make a bigger impact. Right now, it just feels like everyone is trying to figure it out. I can't really fault anyone because the change was pretty monumental (with a lot of promised blessings).
-Sunday Night Banter
I enjoy elders quorum meeting more but that's mainly because I get to sit in a comfy chair in the high council room. It didn't feel like a huge change to me, but it might have been a bigger deal for the high priests because there were fewer of them.
Heh. Before last Sunday, I would have said that nothing much was different from a Sunday-to-Sunday, go-about-your-day perspective. There are lots of subtle changes in Church organization that I think are both timely and momentous, but my Sunday experience wasn't that much different.
Until last Sunday.
I was assigned to teach a lesson on Elder Chirstofferson's talk, The Elders Quorum, from the Priesthood session of conference. The point was to discuss the Church's trend of de-programming itself and emphasizing the role of seeking inspiration to serve people rather than having meetings to serve bureaucracy. I asked the question, "What do you think of the new changes? Why do you think they happened?" to get things started.
It was a bloodbath. A (now former) high priest raised his hand and described how the process of becoming a high priest signaled a change in his spiritual growth and how he felt that the elders (whom he referred to specifically as "babies") were going to now benefit from the wisdom and maturity of the high priests in their meeting, enabling them to develop more and further than they would have before. This led, inexplicably, to an near-yelling match (between high priests) about whether it is appropriate to call a mission or other church service a "sacrifice" (since really it's a privilege and we are all always happy to serve, apparently). At some point, the yelling devolved into a disgruntled days-of-yore whining session about how whomever was speaking was the best kind of person and no one else was quite like them ("[Story about home teaching exploits]... and if you ask her, wherever she is, I'm sure she'll still tell you that I was the best home teacher she ever had" (yes, that is an actual quote to the best of my recollection).
These rants and arguments were punctuated by my fruitless attempts to redirect the conversation to the topic at hand (again, how we attempt to seek personal revelation for the purpose of serving others). Any attempt to make a statement to that effect was met with the following exchange:
"Yes, but that's how it's always been!"
"I don't disagree with you, but I think that the recent changes reflect the Church's emphasis on that ideal."
"Well when I go home teaching [I do it perfectly every time and need no improvement or organizational changes]." (roughly)
"So, we agree that the Church cares about individuals serving individuals through inspiration."
"[Story about how something he does is perfect]"
"Thank you. ::internal eye roll::"
I think that these results are not necessarily typical throughout the Church. I think that the Church's intention was to unify ministry efforts and make them more meaningful by combining the two quorums into one ministering quorum to work in tandem with the Relief Society. In my dad's ward, for example, these were largely the feelings he got out of a lesson on the same topic. But in my ward, I can't see how I can interpret that "discussion" as anything other than my specific ward's high priest group expressing their extreme contempt for having to sit with the babies. <sigh>
-The Man with a Mustache
Before the change I was in the elder’s quorum presidency. I was released as part of the change. My enjoyment of priesthood has increased considerably.
I sure hope this helps. Please don’t hate me.
In my ward, the High Priests' group was quite a bit larger than the Elder's Quorum and I think all of the members of the new Elder's Quorum Presidency are High Priests, so it sort of feels like they absorbed the EQ. But based on limited experience so far (I'm the clerk, so not always present in third hour) I think it has probably raised the quality of some of the discussions, partly just by having a larger group with more to say vs. having a relatively small group in EQ.
I'm very enthusiastic about the administrative consolidation such that there's a single counterpart to the Relief Society President and a clear single point of responsibility for adult priesthood issues in the ward (No more of the weird thing where High Priests technically have responsibility for prospective Elders, yet the people likely to fellowship them are typically Elders). The elimination of PEC is also nice: I never felt like there were a lot of issues where you needed more than the Bishopric but less than the Ward Council, and I think the average ward holds too many meetings.