brook Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > They look like a bunch > of kids pouting when they pray.
Oh my gosh - you are so right! I never thought of it that way but you nailed it. LOL. I think part of it is because Mormons confuse reverence with quietness and folding arms is a good way to keep kids quiet. There is probably a better answer out there though...
They don't have to but many do. The practice actually began several hundred years ago. For example, as early as 610AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, monks used scraps of dough and twisted them to represent a child's arms folded in prayer. The pretzel was born. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity. The monks then baked the twisted dough strips and awarded them to children who learn their prayers well. Nowadays it's mostly a traditional thing that was started a long time ago to help keep small children from disturbing each other while a prayer is being said. If their arms are folded up like that there is less chance of them poking their neighbor. They are told it is a way for children to show respect to God during a prayer. Most adults in our church don't fold their arms while saying a prayer. Some might do it to set an example for their kids to follow. In some countries, a person folding their arms is a sign of disrespect. So a lot of it depends on the culture of the country you are in.
I have wondered why myself since I was about 10. A child pouting is a good way to put it. The psychotherapist in me kind of saw it as closed body language, but that is probably reading too much into it.
back in the day when I use to cruse through the Historian's Office (I was a known regular) I ran across this wonderful picture of some pretty old "priests" blessing the sacrament in 1904. Their hands as well as all of the congregation's hands were raised into the air -- at the time (as a TBM) I thought ... what the H-E-double-toothpicks?
I ordered an nice 8x10 glossy made of that image and added it to my collection.
Ladies aren't required to take their hats off when in a building. That's a rule that applies to men only. It still applies today.
I assume the reasoning has to do with hair. Sometimes women's hairdo's are attached or worked into the hat they're wearing. To take the hat off would cause a big problem. Also, women don't want to be seen with 'hat hair'. Men don't have these issues, and it's a required social norm for them to remove their hat when entering a building.
The question is what is the genesis of Mormon arm-folding when virtually everyone folds hand instead? It is no justification that some people over a millenium before folded arms. When did Mormons begin to fold arms? Was any reason given at that time? Other threads have discussed the fact of the arm-folding and pretzels, etc. The question is WHY DO MORMONS DO IT NOW AND WHEN DID THEY BEGIN?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2013 02:52PM by rhgc.
Good Grief!! Nobody has answered this question and several used it as an opportunity to make (moslty silly) anti-Mormon jabs. I've noticed the practice among Mormons too-----did someone just pick up the practice? Was it a command once? or even a suggestion? I.e. from a Mormon leader? I wish an informed Mormon would help us out! Thanks. (signed---arms folded in frustration!)
I think this might vary from culture to culture. On my mission in France, most people clasped their hands instead of folding their arms. I got in the clasping habit and so usually did that after I came home. And during the one sacrament meeting I went to in India, only the Americans folded their arms. And, miraculously, everyone was still reverent, even the kids. :)
When reading 'body language,' doesn't folding your arms across your chest mean you are separating yourself/closing yourself off from whomever your relating with?
Along these lines, I have always thought the hands across your chest meant you were closed minded and unwilling to accept change. Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense for the morg...
When the mishies come to my house to shoot the breeze, because they 'forgot' to prepare a lesson, they insist on praying before they leave. I guess they feel guilty or something. I will have to notice what they do with their arms...
Doesn't the guy with his hands up have facial hair? How can that be?
When I sit quietly in a business meeting with my arms folded, as trained to do, people will come up and ask me what I'm upset about. It's defiant and disrespectful, from a body language perspective. As a convert, I always thought it was weird. I just assumed it's another one of those things mormons do to differentiate the religion from the rest of Christianity. If it's the one true church on the earth, then praying like everyone else sort of looks suspicious, doesn't it?
Mormons only fold their arms when participating in the false order of prayer. In private they raise both arms high above the head, and while lowering repeating the words "Oh, God, hear the words of my mouth", repeated three times. Those that are super-spiritual speak these words in the Adamic language. Be careful though, the endowment reveals that Satan appears when you pray this way.