Annotated Book of Mormon
Evaluated According To My Current Knowledge

Mormon Time Commitments

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Essay first posted on this site 1 June 2022

Prior to coming out as a former Mormon, I had posted a series of essays about Mormonism. What follows is for the most part what I posted back in 2009 or 2010 about Mormon time commitments. Comments in a light-blue shaded boxes like this one are new.

Isn’t It About Time?

Not too long ago, I started a few threads at dealing with what I see as similarities between the LDS Church and destructive cults. no longer exists.

I did this based primarily on my reading of two books on destructive cults by Steven Hassan. Hassan is a cult counselor and mind control expert who has developed what he calls the BITE (Behavior, Information, Thoughts, and Emotions) model to describe how destructive cults use mind control to manipulate their members. (Read about Hassan’s BITE model here.) The second item listed under the “Behavior” category of his model is,

“Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals”

I recently thought about trying to quantify the time demands of the LDS Church on its members. Here’s my analysis:

Weekly Hrs. Description
3.00 Sunday church meetings all members are expected to attend

In January, 2019, the Church began meeting only two hours on regular Sundays.

1.17 Daily scripture study - personal (assumes 10 min/day)
1.17 Daily scripture study - with family (assumes 10 min/day)
1.00 Family home evening once per week
1.00 Callings (volunteer jobs for the Church; assumes one hour per week, but much more time can be spent on some callings)
0.25 Home teaching or visiting teaching (members are expected to visit other members on a monthly basis)
0.25 Service projects (this could be much higher depending on local leadership and the desires of the individual member)
0.70 Personal prayer, family prayer, prayer for meals (assumes 6 minutes/day)
0.75 Monthly temple attendance including travel (3-hrs. including travel divided by 4)
9.28 Total minimal weekly hours an active member may expect to spend in church activity.

Nine hours per week is pretty significant, but here are some more things to consider:

I’m saddened by the amount of guilt I hear members express regarding things they believe they should be doing or doing better. I hear this from wonderful, salt-of-the-earth types who are doing wonderful things. I think the pressure to perform for the LDS Church tends to lead to burnout, depression, drug abuse, and strained family relations. The time demands may not be as high as for Moonies or some other destructive cults, but that doesn’t mean that the LDS Church’s expectations are generally healthy. I think the time expectations of the LDS Church are one more thing that put it much too close to the “destructive cult” end of the religious spectrum.

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