Sunday dining- how do you respond?

Some non-LDS friends invite you over for dinner on Sunday. Gospel conversation is unlikely. Do you go? Why or why not?  If not, how do you respond?

How, if at all, is it different than inviting or being invited on Sunday to dine with LDS friends?

27 Replies to “Sunday dining- how do you respond?”

  1. Absolutely not! It’s the sabbath day! You don’t cook, you don’t walk more than necessary! The sabbath is not meant to be a joy–it’s a time to remember, and to mourn!

    Now that I got that ridiculous diatribe out of the way–of course you go, if you want to go. If you must see the event with the goal of working in a missionary context, remember–build a relationship of trust.

  2. I’ve never quite understood the extremes that people will take Sabbath day observance.
    Extreme 1) We eat only cereal so we don’t have to turn the oven on.
    Extreme 2) We go to Cracker Barrel and leave a 10% tip.
    There’s so much wrong with both extremes, not least of which the choice of restaurant.

    As long as it’s not a superbowl party, I consider building friendships (especially dating!) fully within the bounds of Sabbath day observance. Of course, family and kids often make it more difficult to date one’s spouse and making new friends.

    Of course, visitng someone else’s home may lead to other entertainment seeking (maybe a movie, probably a non-church movie, maybe even a violent movie). My personal rule is to avoid both extremes and to live by the principles taught by the Brethren about Sabbath observance.

  3. Is it different than when dining with LDS people?
    Probably.
    Ever hear the joke about why you have to take two Mormons fishing with you? I think the same thing applies to Sabbath day observance. When we have a reminder of who we are (and what’s “expected” from us) we often have an easier time of choosing the safer course.
    Maybe I’m just weak, but I find it easier to not watch a movie when I’m with LDS people than if I go to a work party. I also find it much easier to dine with LDS people, because there’s seldom any alcohol, and while I wouldn’t want to judge those who are not under covenant not to drink, I sometimes feel judged by them.

  4. Silly question, of course you go.

    What if it’s during your scheduled meeting block?

    What if it’s to have dinner and watch the Super Bowl?

    What if it’s at the park?

    What if it’s at the beach?

    What if there’s lots of alcohol being served?

    What if you just can’t stand them?

    Is cooking large meals (let’s face it people don’t invite others over for plain and simple meals) laboring on the sabbath?

    What if they are ordering pizza or chinese food?

    What if there is pornography on the walls of the house? (This is a big problem where I served my mission in Nicaragua)

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of us dropping Sabbatarianism, but it’s not so silly or simple.

  5. #10-
    I think most of your hypotheticals are irrelevant. Why would you go on a non-Sunday if they had porn on the wall? Why in the world would you go if you can’t stand them?

    Anyhow, of course I’d go.

  6. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of us dropping Sabbatarianism, but it’s not so silly or simple.

    Anecdotes, which confuse the principles involved, can be a poor way to prove any point. To give contrived answers to contrived situations, read the following. Of course you go assuming you want to go. Now, most peoples’ meeting blocks aren’t during dinner. Football is a religion to most people, so they are inviting you to their observances. Parks are excellent. Beaches are better. Don’t drink so much as to get tipsy, follow the word of wisdom. Tell them if you can’t stand them–they probably need to know more than you need free food. Cooking != labor if you enjoy it and/or the kids are hungry. Ignorance is bliss. Porn on the walls–look into their eyes (anyone else heard that apocryphal story of Pres. Kimball?).

  7. Of course you go. Exactly once in my life, I tried the whole “Oh, *I* keep the sabbath day holy line” when some non-LDS friends invited me over for pizza. (Situation: we were all working in an Evangelical service mission overseas.) They were so disappointed and offended that it took us weeks to return to normal conversation. I wasn’t standing up for what was “right”, I wasn’t setting an example–I just came off as a Pharisee, and rejected the spirit of fellowship and friendship for letter of the law observance.

    It’s not like you’re being invited to a strip club or a bar–if you are, you shouldn’t go on any day. Otherwise, I say err on the side of fellowship. If Jesus were here, do you really think He’d blow off potential converts because they wanted to hang out on Sunday?

  8. mmiles,

    I think most of your hypotheticals are irrelevant. Why would you go on a non-Sunday if they had porn on the wall?

    I can see you have not taught many discussions with porn hanging on the walls. My favorite is when the porn was just above the virgin Mary. How’s that for mixed signals? Oh, and one of the nicest families I taught had a ton of porn on the wall. I told them that I wasn’t coming back until they took it all down. Guess what? They took it down, got married, and were baptized. They had four kids in a one room house, I still can’t figure out how they managed that.

    Why in the world would you go if you can’t stand them?

    Oh I don’t know, all that stuff they teach you in primary about “Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too.” But I’m really naive that way.

  9. David Clark,
    Actually, I have taught too many discussions with porn on the wall–but I see a dinner invitation as come and bring the kids–we aint going if there’s porn on the wall. Also, as a missionary it is one thing to invite someone to take it down. It is not neighborly to do so as a non-missionary.

    I have common sense, seriously, I am not going to someone’s if I feel terribly uncomfortable there.

  10. mmiles,

    By the way, the samples are not irrelevant. Nitsav also asked, “How, if at all, is it different than inviting or being invited on Sunday to dine with LDS friends?” The hypotheticals address that.

  11. I go if no one has to do paid work to make the gathering happen.

    So, no tupperware party. No meeting at a restaurant. No MLM.

    I’d probably pass on football tv party, but that doesn’t happen much around here anyway. The only football my husband watches is U of Michigan, so I’m a little unclear on the dangers of tv football anyway.

    the same rule-of-thumb goes for parties my kids (primary through youth program) get invited to. can’t go to lasertag, can’t go to paint-a-ceramic, can go over to your house, pin the tail on the donkey, and eat cake.

    can swim at your house. can’t swim at the city pool.

    I wouldn’t hold my own kid’s party on Sunday.

    I am irritated by the sickly sweet anti-sunday-birthday-party articles in The Friend. Seems a little out of touch with my real friendships with people who aren’t mormon.

  12. I with Johnna, I’ve never understood the policy of not letting your kid go to a birthday party on Sunday, especially when shared as a story proving one’s righteousness. At BYU we always had Sunday night dinners followed by rousing board games, charades, and the like. What’s the difference exactly? Being surrounded by other Mormons? The word “party?” The chance that the pin the tail on the donkey poster will have porn hanging above it?

  13. Nitsav, 24: you’re lying. I went to dinner last night with a non-Mormon and I didn’t see you there. Do you really expect us to believe that Mormons getting dinner invites from non-Mormons is that common?

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