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Monday, September 30, 2013

Bizarre Experiences in Mormondom: Not That Unusual . . .

My last posting resulted in some strong feelings. I have somewhat avoided posting direct criticisms of my current ward, but I'll tell you some undisputed, accurate statistics:

  • 1. More than 3/4's of my ward is inactive.
  • 2. Our home teaching and visiting teaching  is either non-existent or less than 10 percent.

These facts are well known.

There are many theories about why, but there is one cause that is well known and undisputed: personal differences among family members and former family members.

I knew some of this before moving into the ward because we have lived in two other units in this stake. People darkly suggested other problems in the ward, but would give us no details. They would only infer that we might be "frustrated." Hmm.

For the record, in all my meanderings I have encountered the following viewpoints and practices in the many branches, wards and stakes I've been assigned, that I find troublesome:

- If you are active, you don't need a home teacher or visiting teacher and none will be assigned to you.

- Once every year, all church meetings are canceled after Sacrament meeting so that people can attend high school graduation.

- Church leaders can prohibit someone from attending church. Just meet them at the door and tell them they aren't welcome.


- The Relief Society room is under the sole jurisdiction of the Relief Society President. She doesn't have to let the Bishop and his counselors decide whether to hold the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class in there if she doesn't want to. It's HER room.

- The Elder's Quorum, the High Priests and any other priesthood quorum and auxiliary have their own rooms and the rooms are for their sole use and benefit. No one else can use their space.


- People who have lived in the ward their whole lives are the important people. If you are new, you have no worth.

- All church guidance is in Handbook 1 and 2 in hard copy. There isn't any other guidance church members need to follow.


- Sometimes church policy can be ignored because the needs of actual people trump it. This includes using candles during a going away party for senior missionaries held in the cultural hall.

- Forget about teaching lessons, all church activity, especially in Young Men and Young Women, should be FUN!


- Young people NEED a church-sponsored and funded trip to Nauvoo, even if you have to spend much of the Stake budget to do it or raid every other unit auxiliary budget to do it.

I could go on, and on, and on . . .

2 comments:

  1. I truly feel sorry for your situation. I'm quite frankly stunned that this goes on. All I can say is that if that was happening in my Ward and Stake, that I would be raising quite a stink over it. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I guess I'm lucky to live in an area where the leaders and the members are on the same page, after the same goals.

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  2. Lots of policy errors here, but the practice of church leaders telling people they aren't welcome in church is specifically spoken against by Nephi and Jesus in the Book of Mormon.

    "Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price. Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. Hath he commanded any that they shall not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance. Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden." (2 Nephi 26:25-28)

    "But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. Therefore, keep these sayings which I have commanded you that ye come not under condemnation; for wo unto him whom the Father condemneth." (3 Nephi 18:31-33)

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