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Posted by: brook ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 01:11PM

Where did that come from? Anybody have the background story on this? They look like a bunch of kids pouting when they pray.

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 01:13PM

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...

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Posted by: fossilman ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 01:13PM

It's easier to pick your pocket when your arms are folded -- probably a Joseph Smith construct.

So, yeah, I have no idea.

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Posted by: scooter ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 01:14PM

how does he sleep?

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Posted by: shakinthedust ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 02:06PM

I thought little kids were taught that in Primary so they would sit relatively still during prayer. Then it became a habit.

It way looks like kids pouting.

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Posted by: anonow ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 02:32PM

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.

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Posted by: justsayin ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 02:42PM

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.

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Posted by: weeder ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 02:47PM

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.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 03:00PM

Please tell me you still have that picture, and are currently scanning and uploading it to share.

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Posted by: weeder ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 03:10PM

... and your pic has this one big difference: only the old priest was raising his hands and only half way up.

Did ladies NOT take their hats off during prayer???

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 02:51PM

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.

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Posted by: PapaKen ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 03:25PM

The don't "have to" fold their arms OR close their eyes.

My MP (in France) used to tell us to say a blessing on the food in a restaurant, but there was no need to call attention to the ritual by closing our eyes or folding our arms.

So we just said the prayer as if we were talking to God.

I'm guessing that the GAs simply "let" members do it - thinking it "can't hurt."

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Posted by: Exmogal ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 04:29PM

Yeah, cause that way, you'd look like a crazy person talking to him/herself!

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Posted by: John_Lyle ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 09:30PM

If you do it, you are more 'righteous' than if you don't.

Personally, I always closed my eyes because, well – it was one way to not have to see where I was...

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Posted by: LCMc ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 03:39PM

My boys were only in the church for a few years when they were very young but they still fold their arms. Neither believe in God but that folded arms still permeates their brains,

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Posted by: quatermass ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 03:40PM

It's simply another control mechanism.

It starts early; in many cases about 3/4 years of age, in church meetings:

"We fold our arms and bow our heads and close our eyes while prayer is said"

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 07:02PM

It's just tradition, mainly to keep kids from bothering people around them. It's not a requirement, just something that is often done.

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 07:09PM

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Posted by: brook ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 08:06PM

Funny! Best answer so far.

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 08:11PM

My guess is it has everything to do with primary. It's the best way to keep kids from hitting each other, etc. during prayer when the teachers have their eyes closed.

Then since everyone gets it the habit of doing it that way as a kid they just stick with it.

That's just a SWAG though.

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Posted by: stbleaving ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 09:24PM

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. :)

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Posted by: John_Lyle ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 09:25PM

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?

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Posted by: notmonotloggedin ( )
Date: January 07, 2013 09:37PM least I believe it was her...not sure

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