First, keep in mind that most of the active members seem to stand far above,
they need to come down from their high horsesSecond, I must admit it
is very difficult to come to church, since selfconfidence is required, not per
say, but per social pressure, you can build that confidence if you know the day
when you had it, you don't want to keep running around in a circle anymore,
you will go no matter what anybody is thinking, you want to stop fooling
yourselfThird, your inactivity is a learning experience, it will
make you great in helping others later onFourth, H.Father knows you
better than anybody else would, He knows your time of birth and your time of
departure, and your happy times still to come, He is looking forward to see you
not in church first but anywhere knowing you love him.Don't you ?
The Lord says to Come Follow Me...Let the Dead bury the Dead.We read in
Alma 13:27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea,
with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast
off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance. Come Back
to the Lord; F. Burton Howard Of the First Quorum of the Seventy on LDS.org
general conference 1986 is his talk & video. (We All Hope You Find Your Way
I suggest you find out your membership number, and check your online stake/ward
directories through lds.org. Often there's a church calendar there, and you
can discover major activities that are ongoing in the privacy of your own home
over the internet without having to interract with too many people. Many Relief Socieites publish a monthly newsletter. If you can get on their
mailing list, you can discover activities that might appeal to you. Often
there's a week day activity in which you might learn a useful skill and the
social atmosphere is less formal than church.
Hi AngelaOne of the very best things would be for you to read the
Book of Mormon. I know when I read it I feel so much nearer to the Saviour and
wonder why I ever let myself slip from doing it as it is such a fantastic book.
I would suggest reading Richard Dawkins.
Harrison Lapahie is the only person who even came close to offering a cogent
suggestion. There are some simple questions here, and answering these questions
ought to give person in this article a good starting place:1) Why
aren't you active?2) Why are you considering reactivating, or in
other words, why does this matter to you?3a) What kind of information, if
you had it, would make all the difference in helping you to either reactivate,
or no longer worry about whether you should reactivate3b) If information
is not the issue, the what conditions would you require to either change or
happen for you to reactivate or never worry about reactivating.In
other words, before you can prescribe the solution, you need to understand the
problem. All of these answers in a bag, pray, read scriptures, sing hymns, etc,
show no interest or awareness of the possible circumstances that could be
troubling this person. They are so focused on their agenda to just get this
person back to Church, that they ironically undermine their ability to actually
You are inactive and looking for a way back. I've been there, done that.
I found it was much easier to ignore the church and its teachings if I
didn't have to deal with the active members (they obviously didn't
understand, because they were active) As an active member, I would find it very
hard to not want visiting. I depend on my home teachers, my visiting teachers.
Start slowly, if your visiting and home teachers call, tell them how you feel
they will respect your wishes. Ask yourself why are you really not ready. One
time that I was inactive it was because of something someone said. Another time
was because of the word of wisdom. Both times there was a profound experience
with the Holy Spirit that brought me back. All the time I was inactive I
didn't attend any other church, there are so many pieces missing that I
told anyone who asked, that if I couldn't attend my church I would not
attend any. Good luck on your quest. Sincere prayers do help. That's
when the Holy Spirit steps in! Remember who you are.
Considering Girl, First, I agree about saying "Thank you" to God. It
doesn't have to be a formal prayer or time, just tell him thank you for
whatever it is that you are thankful for. It could be something good that just
happened. It's starting communication that is important. Second, whatever your "thing" is, what you already like to do,
incorporate what the church, it's members or the gospel offers into it.
For example, if you like to read, scriptures are an option, but if that's
too much then choose a book by an LDS author. There are plenty of options from
gospel subjects to good stories to light hearted. If you like music, hymns are
an option, but if that's too much, there is lots of music by LDS performers
in a variety of genres (do an internet search). If it's social..then
inquire about your ward/stake fun activities or Relief Society enrichment
groups/activities...you might "connect" with someone you meet. For me
it was dancing. I was single and love to dance so i attended the local
"singles" dances. Making friends, "connecting" is what helped
start my way back.
Holy cow!...some of you need to just take it easy. Seems to be a few kind hearts
and a bit of really bad advice too (go to another church? Sheesh. She already
said she wants the LDS church!) Considering Girl, you obviously feel after
being away from it, that you need the Church in your life. Great! I
wholeheartedly agree with Angela. She has given you some good suggestions:
Listening to hymns--Pandora's Mormon Tab or Quiet Piano Hymns stations are
excellent. Prayer--a quick "thank you" in the morning to Heavenly Father
does WONDERS for you to start your day. Gradually work up to asking for Him to
help you. Talk to Him. Not just formal Sacrament Talk prayers. Really
communicate with Him about what's bugging you. Commandments--I'm going
to guess that you already keep these but if Word of Wisdom is an issue or
something else (pornography) beyond the Ten, you may need extra help like
counseling. Finally, I'd just show up to a meetinghouse, anywhere. Sit in
the foyer to hear the speakers if you are not ready to go into the chapel. We
want you back. Be strong!
When I was going through a divorce, I felt judged by some members and
didn't enjoy going to church. But there are also many members - including
most Bishops - who are caring & loving, & were a huge support to me
emotionally and spiritually during those most difficult times of my life.So as the spirit whispers to you a desire to go back to church, just be
aware that you will have mixed experience with members. Learn to smile at the
insensitive members (after all, the Lord taught us to love even our enemies -
for our sake, not theirs) but open your heart and home to the loving members and
let them help you find joy.Above all, remember that the church is
the earthly institution through which the Lord blesses us with His Spirit,
through our brothers and sisters - and just like a family, there are positives
and negatives. It's often said that the church was perfect until the Lord
let real people join. That's worth remembering as you return to church and
begin again to enjoy the tremendous blessings available to us through the church
- particularly the blessing of loving and being loved.
Considering Girl,I just returned after about a year and a half
absence. There were many times I would pray to my father in heaven and tell him
exactly why I wasn't going, hoping that he would provide a way for me to
find my way back. As President Spencer W. Kimball said, "Just Do It".
Drag yourself out of bed on Sunday morning and go, even if you show up a few
minutes late so no one can talk to you and rush out the door immediately
following Sacrament meeting. As you go, the spirit will fill you with a desire
to keep going. It may take a few weeks before you feel like getting up and
going, but it will come. I wonder if you keep a journal. We are
all told to, but I know I can't find the time to do it faithfully. If you
have one, even if it is as sporadic as mine, read it. It will help you to
remember the joy you found in being there in the past. Reflect upon spiritual
experiences you've had to help you remember how much you are truly loved in
Considering, I have a daughter in much the same situation you are in. She
attends church with a non-LDS boyfriend because, as she tells me, she prefers to
attend church where people are friendly to her, even though they teach things
she doesn't believe. Our ward is kind of small, the current ward members
are truthfully not as open and warm as we used to have, and there is no one her
age there anymore.She also says she feels judged by the members.
She's not doing anything wrong (other than not attending church regularly,
etc.), but feels like ward members look down on her.As I have told
her, I can't say that no one is doing that, but the few that are have
bigger problems than she does. We are all going to church to better ourselves,
because we all have our own faults and problems we are trying to work out.
Don't let the foolishness or thoughtlessness of others keep you from
attending church. The cost is too high, as you've begun to realize.
As a bishop of an LDS ward, I'd like to offer you this additional advice:
write your bishop a letter. Tell him where you are spiritually, that you would
like to begin the path back and be clear about what you want from the ward.
Ward leaders sometimes struggle to know how to engage those who may be in your
situation. The last thing we want to do is be overbearing - it's
uncomfortable for all of us. If you provide guidelines and know what level of
interaction you want you will avoid the unwelcome and awkward visits that you
may receive simply because your name appears on a list somewhere. The response given in the paper is great. Get back to basics on your own and
progress. I would add this advice: find a faithful friend with whom you feel
comfortable who can help you on your path back.
AngelaI liked this article. I also enjoy listening to your father
and witnessing the strong Spirit he invites with an amazing testimony.With anything temporal or spiritual whose fruits are not yet seen by them who
remain unconvinced of their truthfulness and promise of unrealized benefits,
agency remains the most important contributor to future action. The
activities listed in the article and discussion are powerful mechanisms to help
someone personally foster a desire to submit their will to the Lord and seek for
truth by way of faith. But, such a spark to fully immerse in these activities
must first be as a seed planted in goodly ground.For those who
teeter on inactivity, the best anyone can do is sow seeds for them in love and
charity. It is then the Lord, by the trial of life experiences, who waters the
ground and nourishes the seed. No one can convince a person that
the principles and practices of the Gospel put to action will change outcome,
save they are prepared beforehand by the Lord and affected by changes in their
lives that call them to action.Many seeds are however planted in the
love for another.
Dear Considering, I suspect there are legitimate reasons you became less
active. Are those reasons still true? Was it a time committment? Was it that
you weren't getting the spiritual guidance you needed? Was there something
missing that the church wasn't providing?In the end, we cannot
look to the outside world to find peace, because peace and happiness are things
that exist fundamentally within us, not forced upon us, and not demanded of us
by any external force.My advice to you is to do the soul searching
you need to take the action that is correct in your life. Find those things
that make you happy and seek them out. Find the people in your life whose
comfort you need, and find the purpose in your life that gives it meaning. And
if in the end you believe the church will help you, then commit, and work to fix
the things you had a problem with in the first place.
Charles, your response was sanctimonious and judgmental. There are about a
million reasons this girl could have gone "inactive" that wouldn't
lead a person to conclude that she doesn't want to be with "Father"
again. Perhaps she views "Father" as somebody who loves people outside
the Mormon faith. Maybe she views him as somebody who's a little more
understanding than you are. And your assumption that she is not ready to keep a
commandment(s) because she doesn't want a visit right now is incredibly
pompous. Just how many commandments do you believe have been issued by your
God, and do you honestly believe that this woman is no longer willing or able to
follow any of them? Simply because she doesn't show up for a weekly three
hour block? I don't know why she took a breather and neither do you. I
would be willing to bet, though, has a lot to do with the assumptions
you've made and that other people are likely to make about her.
Quite honestly, I am active, and I don't really want visits from Home and
Visiting Teachers.It is not a requirement or a "saving
Stay away from anything you're afraid of. Fear and anxiety are the doom of
our mental health.
Once upon a time, I was very "less active". I sure didn't want
anyone talking to me about church because it would simply make me mad. But what
I did do was listen to general conference. In fact, I watched the BYU channel
because I knew I could turn it off. I let my visiting teacher come talk to me
because she didn't discuss church and we were friends, but if we
weren't, I don't think I would have wanted a visiting teacher. But,
occasionally I actually went to Sacrament meeting. I walked in a few minutes
late and left at the closing prayer so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone.
But, at any rate, in the years I have been back in full activity, I look back at
my "rebellious" years and wonder why I was that way. I feel very bad
about the time I've wasted away from the Church and away from the Lord.
Forgiveness is a great blessing and it's free and waiting for anyone who
wants to embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
...might not say or do the right things...
There are certainly people who love and miss you. Many, like me, not might say
or do the right things to make you feel comfortable, but will be happy for you
when you do choose to come back. Talking to your bishop is a good place to
start. Your RS president is most likely willing to help you the best she can
with whatever she is able and you are willing to let her her do. The church has
a lot of resources for various things online.When you do come back,
don't worry about folks that may judge you. In a way that is just judging
folks in return. Like any situation, be the friend you would hope others would
be for you and forgive the rest of us who are a little more clumsy. We're
all in this journey together. Each of us at one time or another needs a boost
or hand up.
RE: Listen to the Hymns, Choose a Christian Hymn. i.e.. Amazing Grace,
how sweet the sound, That Saved a Wretch like me....I once was lost but now am
found, Was blind, but now, I see. T'was Grace that taught...my heart to
fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear...the
hour I first believed.
I'm not sure what she needs to do to want to be more active, but I know
what she better not do, and that is study Church history.
I'm not sure what she should do if she wants to be more active, but what
she better not do is study Church history.
hmmmm...I find it puzzling that no one is telling "considering girl"
that if she wants to be more active she needs to study Church history.
Dear Considering Girl,Please know that there are already many people
praying for you to return. You are missed and loved! It is difficult every
Sunday when we don't see your beautiful face. Your past teachers miss you,
your bishop, and most likely your family misses you. I know. I am a mother who
misses my son. As I sit in church with my other children my mind wanders to the
one who isn't with me. I can hardly keep my mind on what is going on in
church. I want ALL my family with me. I ache inside to feel whole again. I
pray for the day he will be sitting on the bench beside me. As the years pass it
doesn't get easier, and he moves farther away from the gospel principles he
knew so well. My love for him is strong, but his love for him self is not as
strong..Please come back. You are loved, missed, and wanted. I want
to put my arms around you and tell you how much you have been missed!
Prayerfully stdy the scriptures daily. Study guides are available through the
Another thought is, It's like taking vitamins, I can't tell that they
do anything wail I'm taking them, it's when I stop taking them is when
I know that they do anything. Prayer and hanging out with good people is the
same as vitamins.
I have found that if I can find a quiet place and then pray and ask Heavenly
Father what to do I seem to hear/feel an answer. Getting into the outdoors in a
beautiful place makes me feel closer to him.
There is a reason that you are inactive or some what active. Speak to yourself,
say why, and resolve that conflict you have with the LDS religion directly. You
are not a sinner if there is an understandable reason why you are inactive or
less active! Do what you think is right! If you are able to, speak to your LDS
Bishop or an LDS friend that you know of. Are you able to call them instead of
going to church? Depending on the LDS person, they will either help pull you
in, or pull you away from the LDS religion. If and when you are able to resolve
your LDS conflict issues, it may mean that you will either come back to the LDS
church, leave the LDS church (ask to be excommunicated or say nothing and just
leave) and find another christian religion that fits you better, or maybe
becoming an atheist or agnostic.You are not the only one with this
issue. A large percentage of LDS are inactive, or somewhat active. Just do
your best, and try to make the correct decision in your life that will make you
a happier or better person!
I've been sending a newsletter several years to those sisters who do not
want to be visited and several of my friends and family each month. For
birthdays i send some little thing i've made that will fit in the
envelope...bookmarks, laminated sayings with magnets on back, etc. ask your
relief society president to put you on a list like that. Maybe visit other wards
to receive spiritual uplift...that way you wouldn't have to worry about
your particular ward members if that's something you're concerned
about. But people in your ward will be happy to see you. I like the suggestions
given--try them and feel good about yourself and your progress. I know i'm
my worst critic, so have faith in yourself and your desire to progress. (I have
had several people over the years either respond to my newsletters or tell the
r.s. president they appreciate them and that's been nice for me, but i try
to just hope they know i care)
Good Morning, Considering Girl. I also was in-active off and on for years. One
thing that helped me to decide to become active again was the love shown to me
by one of the sisters in my Ward. Every month for 7 years she sent me a card or
note with a recipe or just letting me know that she was thinking about me. She
never forgot a holiday or my birthday. I finally, like you, wanted to get more
active without the visits. I turned to lds.org and downloaded the "current
curriculum" for RS and the Gospel Principles class. I also downloaded the
quad on my computer and "Gospel Library" for my Android - all free
downloads. I then studied and prayed. When I was ready to return to Church, I
called the sister who had kept in contact and asked her for a ride. My welcome
back was more than I could have asked for. I am now active again and attend the
Temple at least once a month.
My Church Calling is to write a letter each month to 5 sisters who also
don't want visitors. I tell them about my family and day-to-day life, and
give them my contact information. I remember their birthdays and other special
occasions. I tell them of uplifting thoughts and deeds from others. I am
non-judgmental of them and hope that I am making friends. They have not
responded so far. These things take time, and love and prayers with every letter
The best solution may be to change churches. Try it, it may work for you. The
Mormon way is not the only way or the best way for everyone. Also, there are
many substitutes for church to live a spiritual existence and to find happiness
and meaning to life. Good luck.
You should come to K2 The Church. It is full of people that feel like you do.
You'll feel very welcome and get spiritually fed. AND you can wear shorts!
It's on 2100 South next to the Trax station.
I find the videos and other programming on the Mormon Channel to be especically
inspirising, especially the music channel. The talks by general authorities also
help me to keep the spirit in my home. BYU-TV is another source of inspiration.
I think the steps to activity begin in the mind. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
is the first step. To know that He lives and loves every one of us can give us
the confidence to pray and ask for help. He is The One Who knows what is best
for our good and if we put our trust in Him and ask, He will let the special
person come to visit that will be most helpful to you, or He will provide the
opportunity for you be touched by the right hymn, the right verse of scripture,
etc. When that happens, have the faith to take the next step in the right
direction, even when you can't see beyond your worries.
I was like this young woman.. for years I was on and then off again. 18 years
ago, I was inactive again.. many times I began to read the Book of Mormon and
never got further than Jacob.. it was during this time that I made a promise to
my Father in Heaven to read the BOM every day.. by the time I was done I was
active in the church.. finally I had a testimony of the church. It has not been
easy.. I feel very alone in the church.. but I know without a doubt that the
church is the only true church on the earth. I am now in my 11th reading of the
BOM.. and everytime I read it I understand the gospel even more. So my
suggestion is to study the ecriptures daily!
Please know that your Heavenly Father Loves you. The earlier reply was
excellent. I have had family members who have lost their way and returned for
which I am very grateful. Your Heavenly Father wants you to come home, back to
church activity. Read your scriptures, open up your heart and your home to the
others in your area. Actually, you said you didn't want Visiting Teachers,
but as a Visiting Teacher of many sisters in your situation, I just want you to
know that you are loved by all of your sisters, in your ward or in the church,
and our prayers are with you. Let your Visiting Teachers help you, that they
might have the blessings of service. Do something for someone else that needs
help. And as I was taught in my youth Search, Ponder, and Pray, from that
advise I have gained a great testimoney and find that service at 86 is the best
way to pay the Lord back for many blessings. We your Sisters in Zion Love you.
So far, she has an understanding that God exists, so far so good. I think that
she want's God to know that she exists. To Know that you need to to create
a spiritual place in her mind. Doing your suggestions is good. Me, I have to
watch what I say to myself, the mantras that I repeat over and over in my head.
So when I realize I'm thinking weird, which is only when some one tells me,
I say something like, I accept Jesus or I accept life. I say this over and over
18 times in a row, 3 times a day or more when I think of saying the mantra. I
try to keep the spiritual place to go always in my mind.
Angela,One of the most important things that this individual should
or needs to learn about would be agency. And the consequences of her actions
during this time of learning who she is and why she has made a decision not to
attend church. Because she doesn't want to attend church or visit with
missionaries chances are she's not ready to keep a commandment(s). Just a
thought on what you suggested. We all need to look deep within
ourselves and fine what it is that we hope to achieve in this life. If it
isn't returning to be with Father then what is it? This individual needs to
discover if she has a testimony of the gospel or rather the restored gospel of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If a testimony is not there, then why? This individual needs to regain her testimony of The Book of Mormon and
rekindle the fire that was there. Again this comes back to our/her agency and
how we choose to use it while on this earth. Is this individual ready to
repent, if not, why? Remember repentance is a commandment. There is
always a way back.
Good morning Considering Girl.One of my valuable 'tools' is the form
of prayer that consists of just 'talking' to Him.Have simple but
sincere conversations with the Lord and Heavenly Father.Keep your mind open.They
will answer.Be receptive to those answers as they will come in varying
forms.Some of my greatest'moments'with Diety come while working the
crops or sitting out alone on a starlit night and just talking to Them.Caution
though; make sure others aren't in range. The sight of what appears to be
one talikng to one's self can stimulate some interesting reactions from
others!!!I speak from experience on that one! God Bless your efforts.That's
a big first step.
I love the "I am a Mormon" videos at mormon.org, it helps me put things
I almost forgot my first online source for news, entertainment and excellent
articles on a huge variety of subjects, both doctrinal and non-doctrinal:
Meridian Magazine (ldsmag.com)
While there is no doctrine, per-say, in the novels written by LDS authors, there
is great comfort in watching them work through their problems,as they discover,
recognize and use LDS teachings all in non-threatening ways. Maybe authors such
as Hale, Card, Evans, Hughes, Stansfield, Stewart, Heimerdinger, (Anne)Perry,
Wright, Lund, Bytheway. If you desire to have more (to a lot of!)
'meat' to your reading, may I suggest any of the 12 Apostles or First
Presidency, Covey, Nibley, Skousen, Ferrell, Robinson, Proctor. There are many
more great LDS authors to choose from, from light to heavy reading and
everything in-between. Just Google, LDS author (last name) and it should pop up.
Or go to the Deseret Book website. Have fun!
If you're a single adult, I'd suggest you watch the last couple of CES
devotionals at broadcast.lds.org, and maybe some General Conference talks by a
The usual cause for this feeling is the fear of being judged by others. There is
no easy answer to that because it stems from a certain amount of dislike for
one's self. To make changes in one's life against such obstacles, you
have to believe in yourself: something that happens when you experience
God's love for you. And for that to happen, there needs to be a
conversation. The author is right, start with prayer.
Dear you!Sometimes getting a visit from some unknown member - or a
known home teacher you don't like, doesn't make things better. So,
think of someone you'd like to visit you, and then call him/her. Being a
member is alot about humility. Sometimes you need to humble yourself in order to
get the help you need. Remember, it's about love, nothing else...
Yes, hymns are a way back because when you know them, read them, and sing them
the Holy Ghost will testify the truth.I was less-active for many years.
My sister-in-law insisted that I come to church on Sunday and she begged me to
sing in her choir (there were few members)...when I heard the hymns of my youth
I felt the spirit testify.