Ask Angela: Is this a social hour? Or is this church?
I'm really having a difficult time feeling the Spirit in my ward. The teachers are very unprepared, the conversation isn't thought-provoking and many of the other young single adults are playing in the halls with their friends like high-schoolers. It's becoming increasingly difficult to convince myself to go for more than the sacrament portion of sacrament meeting.
My parents' ward, however, is the exact opposite. I feel the Spirit there every time that I have the opportunity to go. It really feels like what church should feel like. I want to follow the rules and go to my assigned ward, but not at the sake of my activity. How can I improve my experience at my assigned ward?
Church Goer for Now
Dear Church Goer for Now,
My first question is this: Do you have a calling? If so, great. If not, talk to your bishop ASAP about getting one. Every ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is different, but I’ve found that I’ve struggled the most in wards where I don’t feel actively a part of anything. You can start to feel like a spectator and when teachers are unprepared and people are 27 years old and still running up and down the halls — it’s not a great show.
So that is my first suggestion — make sure you have a calling.
If you already have a calling, become more invested in it. Consider it your own small part of the Lord’s vineyard. Work at it, nurture it, pray for it and find ways to help, love and teach the people with whom you serve. Doing this will invite the Spirit into your Sunday experience regardless of what is happening around you.
I had a teacher a few months ago who was trying to teach a surprisingly rowdy class and even after the opening prayer, the group was still pretty loud and unsettled. She stood at the font and in a mild voice invited us all to calm our minds, stop the thoughts that were clamoring for our attention, take a break from the outside world and from gossip and work and pressure and everything else and just enjoy the sweet Spirit at church. Her invitation silenced everyone and the whole mood of the class changed.
I was really impressed by the impact that one person was able to have over the group of people that she was called to serve.
You can have this same impact. It won’t be perfect right away, but these are some things that you can try to help you improve your Sunday experience.
Let us know how it goes!
Readers: When church gets a little rowdy, how do you find ways to still feel spiritually uplifted? YSA, what’s your definition of “behaving badly” at church?
Read more about "Church Goer for Now's" Sunday experiences at The Ask Angela Blog.
Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the Latter-day Saint experience. Twitter: askange_column
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