We’ve all heard people joking about someone “taking their seat” in church. Usually, it’s nothing more than just an expression. But there was nothing “usual” about what happened when one man took another’s seat in Plain City, Utah.
Somebody got run over…and somebody else got arrested.
The worship service on Sunday, June 30, 2013 was a rather important one at the Mormon Church of Meadows Ward in Plain City, UT. Droves of people filed into the sanctuary to send off a beloved missionary and witness the blessing of a newborn baby. With more than 400 in attendance, the medium-sized sanctuary began to fill up fast. That’s when one family tried to save a seat for loved ones.
Well…the “seat saving” didn’t sit well with another parishioner.
What started as an exchange of harsh words inside the church escalated to a fistfight outside the church after the service ended. Thinking the confrontation was over, one of the men involved went inside to clean himself up. When he returned to the parking lot a bit later, he was struck by a car driven by 51-year-old Wayne Dodge.
After receiving multiple calls at their station, authorities from the Weber County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene and arrested Dodge for aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.
Bishop Brett Ferrin, the leader of the church, said he was grieved by the anger and violence displayed during and after worship. He claimed he was already counseling both families involved, reminding them that they “have to come back to church next Sunday” and try all over again.
Sounds like a pay-per-view event in the making.
The people involved in this sad episode probably call themselves followers of Jesus. Yet, their bad example is far from how Jesus described the lifestyle of true disciples:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)