The deck's stacked against them


I had a very typical alea moment yesterday in church. Our Elders' Quorum lesson focused on home teaching. Of course, there were the standard comments that we need to do it so that the sisters have the priesthood in their homes (a problematic position, given the fact that brethren also need that same priesthood and because I feel like giving blessings is a fairly minor function of the ward teaching effort). So, basically, it was the same lesson you get about once a year in EQ.

Some background first: I'm at a point right now where I'm not too keen on the Church. In fact, I'm sort of Jack Twist-y about it all, what with wishing I knew how to quit it and all that jazz. In my current mood, I was convinced that I would turn out a home teaching route. I think it'd be better for all parties involved, plus I'm not sure I'm even allowed to have a route right now. The lesson, therefore, wasn't really high on my list of things to care about.

Then, at the end of the hour, the president of the quorum read off the companionships. My name was not included. I felt a bit angry about that. Then, just as I was heating up to it, I realized that, really, my ward had no way to win with me on this one and I was being silly. I ought to just back off, I figure. Though, maybe I should allow those irritations to grow, because the awesome Sunday School teacher that had pretty much kept me active with her lessons left the ward yesterday. It's a sad day to be sure.


Anonymous said...

You know how to leave the Church.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...


It doesn't seem that attending church makes you happy. What about being a member do you like?

I found that when I was debating whether to stop actively participating in the church, it became an easier decision when I mentally listed the pros and cons of leaving. In my case the pros won by a landslide. Is it worth it to stay in the church for 1 or 2 reasons when there are dozens of reasons not to?

I decided it wasn't.

alea said...

The problem, at least for me, with a pro-con list is that my pros of leaving are pretty flimsy (not that all pros are, mine just seem that way to me). But even still, it's hard to rate the relative merits of each reason.

Also, there's the problem that I support the theology, which sadly, also entails sucking it up on the practice. For example, I buy into the priesthood blessings, but doing so requires Church approbation of priesthood uses.

As for what I like, I enjoy the sense of identity, the connection to God, and the ideal (which is fallen short of so spectacularly) of a ward community. And I have hope that my irritations will either get better of my coping skills will improve with time. I'm also a bit of a coward.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Also, there's the problem that I support the theology,

Yeah, that is kind of a problem.

And I have hope that my irritations will either get better of my coping skills will improve with time.

I know what it is like to be stuck in the middle like that. It's not very fun at all. Hopefully either one or the other will happen, it does with many people, but I think there are also a lot of people your same situation. Not much help, I know.

Anonymous said...

Ooch, sorry, but really: why do you have such a problem with people failing to do what you yourself fail in, spectacularly? Want them to accept you, love you, not judge you, do you? Doing that for your fellow Saints, those poor ignorant cits, are you? Is the ward community letting you down? So what are you doing to make it that perfect ideal you yearn for?

Look, you aren't the only person to come up against difficult, catastrophic, faith- and membership-threatening walls in the Church. Sitting there and blaming God for them and fretting and fuming that it isn't easier/nicer/more tailored to what *I* wanted, damn it, is as good as walking away for all the progress you'll get out of it.

All the solutions a person really needs are in the scriptures. And no, the scriptures still don't tell me why I, as a woman, don't get to see an example of a woman's heavenly role in the Gospel, why I as a woman don't get to stand up with the Priesthood at my fingertips like my brethren do. But they do tell me how I can get close enough to God for Him to open my eyes a little, and give me peace. And really, though you don't believe it, that's enough. How can you blame God and the church for not coming through for you when you're not keeping up your end of the deal? Nobody who has stronger faith than you do has been able to escape the necessary "leap into the absurd"; what makes you think you shouldn't have to?

Nobody who comes to believe God does so without courage. Some, like you, come through more struggles and need the more courage for it. But all the same, we're all asked to make the same leap.

alea said...

I'm post was pointing out how I realize that my position was ridiculous.

Also, how do you know I'm doing my all to make the ward the ideal that I want it to be? You seem to have made some pretty massive assumptions, is all I'm saying.

Jér said...

I wonder if Anonymous knows you personally, alea, or thinks she does. Those are some pretty personal attacks, in any case, and completely presumptuous ones, too. But then, it's always presumptuous to call someone to repentance under the soothing cloak of anonymity. Also: cowardly.

It is also a very, very Mormon thing to assume that "everything that works for me will work for you." Which is not true, and which she could see wasn't true if she interrupted her chant of "the Scriptures! the Scriptures! the Scripturs!" and actually read about your experience with an open mind.

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