Comments about ‘Ask Angela: Are rumors about Utah singles wards true or false?’

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Published: Saturday, July 13 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

I took an employment move the other way several years back: from Utah to a small branch in another state. Two weeks after arriving, I was called as Branch President. Talk about adjustment! Most of the actives were either sisters or held positions in the district. We had to "borrow" help from the nearest stake several miles away for key positions like counselors.
But it doesn't matter where you go, adjustments must be made. If things are okay between you and the Lord, don't hesitate. Follow Angela's advice, and don't be critical of the members in your new area. They'll do a lot of procedural things different than what you're used to. But the desire to friendship/fellowship will be largely the same. Same goes for opportunities to serve. Even if you don't get a major calling, like branch president, you'll grow with whatever you're asked to do if you get into the spirit of the calling.

David M
Metairie, LA

On a different note, I see singles in the church here purposely going to Utah because they want to be surrounded by other members. I'm not against leaving for that reason.

But some leave their job, family, scholarships, housing, and other items just to move to Utah. Consequently, leaving everything just to move to Utah is not always the ideal solution. Some believe with a larger "pool" they have better chances of finding their eternal companion - which is not always the case. With that rational there is also more competition with a larger pool.

Also, less Mormon-dominated areas struggle when members leave just to go to Utah.

Wastintime
Los Angeles, CA

I assume you're moving to Utah to be a spy or work in customer service?

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Imagination, attitude and perseverance. You'll find what you look for and you will make what you want. Desire, believe and expectations, makes magic. You can get use-to any thing, even if it appalls you, you can accept it and then you can in-brace it. A person has to know his limitations.

grandmagreat
Lake Havasu City, AZ

True thee may be more eligible singles in a Utah Ward. Just a thought for you all to consider. I was the only LDS Girl and my husband was the only LDS Boy in our Small High School in Nevada. We have now been married for amost 69 years, and are looking forward to many more

kimnprovo
Orem, UT

I'm guessing this is a dumb question, but do you have to attend a singles' ward? Can you not choose to attend a "family" ward or is that more awkward? Just curious as I obviously don't know.

FrankSegesman
,

You should not be frightened by the single wards. You should be frightened that the church has caved and now allows gay wards. IMHO.

Casey See
FLOWER MOUND, TX

If you want to be involved and make a difference, it really doesn’t matter if you are living in a large ward or small branch, you can make a difference. 1st, on the next fast and testimony meeting, get up and bear your testimony and also take 30 seconds or less to tell everyone who you are and where you came from. If you can do it humorously, even better. For example, in my first SLC single ward, I did this by saying, “I am so and so and I have just moved into the ward and that I now knew who the Elder’s quorum president is because I can see him taking notes so he can assign me to a HT route that he needs filled.”

In one ward, I was just about ready to go see the bishop as I hadn’t been asked to do anything after 4 weeks, but the Sunday I was getting ready to so this, I was pulled aside by a member of the stake presidency and was called as the Ward Mission Leader. This was a family ward where I was single, grad student

Mom of ten
SANBORNTON, NH

Pray, be believing and have faith. If you are supposed to go to Utah, or anywhere else for that matter, Heavenly Father will lead you in the right direction. Then jump in and get completely wet and have fun such as seeking out how many ways can you serve without being asked. Look for opportunities to serve and it can become a personal game for you as you meet your goals. Do not be afraid of the unknown for there you may find your greatest treasures. I know, as I had to do the same thing myself. Thirty years later, I have to say it was the best decision of my life as everything else I have done has (and still is) come as a result of that decision. Good Luck and Mmy God be with you, as I know He will be.

Vladhagen
Salt Lake City, UT

@kimnprovo
In the Provo/BYU area, unless you are 25+ (maybe even 30+) attending a "regular ward" is highly stigmatized. There are the married wards (meaning married couples with babies and who obviously do not want singles) and there are singles wards. Those are your choices. I think you could go to a family ward, but it would not be looked upon favorably by many bishops who want to encourage the young youth and rising generation to get married. As a grad student I have considered attending some sort of family ward, as I find many of my supposed peers to be highly immature, but the pickings of a ward to attend have been sort of slim. They have singles wards with "older people" in them, but many of them are what we term the "allstars" of Provo: work for startup or Internet based company, maybe sell pest control or security systems in the summer.......no wife..........really fashionable and suave.

In answer to the author's original question, I feel that while you can get lost in some of these Utah wards if you want, there are plenty of opportunities to be involved if you so desire.

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

I wish Angela would not have evaded the question.

The simple answer is: Yes, the rumors are true.

Abbygirl
East Carbon, UT

Many years ago when I was a young woman I went to a singles gathering and they were all people from 30 to 70 or 80.. Needless to say I didn't stay long or return. Now days, its all young people. What happened with the older members who may be widowers, or divorced looking for love again. There doesn't seem to be anything.. As for the church not needing you in a singles ward, I believe that the church will always need us.. no matter where we are or what stage of life.. but I do wish they still had singles for seniors.. I have a sister who has been a widow for 12 years..I wish she could find someone to love and care for her.. the church needs to bring back singles for seniors and not just the young people!

antodav
TAMPA, FL

I'm sure the rumors are true and that this article is buttering this poor reader's bread a little bit, but in any case, I'm rather relieved to have escaped having to deal with this ever in my life.

byu rugby
Crystal Lake, IL

It only took me one Sunday in a Utah Singles Ward to figure out that while Utah once was "The Place" it isn't any longer. Utah is a great place to attend college, go on vacation, stop to get gas, and maybe see grandma for a few hours. But, it is no place for most folks to settle who are interested in living the gospel, serving the lord, and working out their individual salvation. (I understand this is generalizing but,in my personal experience it has been the case.) In Utah, lot's of folks determine your worth based on who you are related to and your righteousness based on your annual income and present calling.

So much of what is contained in the general handbook of instruction has been made necessary by less enlightened members in Utah who, were and are unable to function without the rules spelled out specifically for them. Please reconsider any employment opportunity that involves relocating to Utah. It just isn't a good choice for most members.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

" So are the rumors true? Will I just get lost in the crowd out there?"

I found it rather overwhelming, but it depends on what sort of person you are I suppose. I'm rather shy, reserved, and preferring smaller groups like the ward I had at Penn State. Even when I was active out here there seemed to be so many people in the student wards that I couldn't even get to learning anybody's name because I felt like I was seeing a different people every week (in a ward that has around 400, in the Institute building that has around 10 wards).

Three years later I only remember one person's name from the student ward I went to here at the U, while I am still friends with around half a dozen from the Penn State student ward despite it being a longer span of time since I was there (would've been more than half a dozen but that whole leaving the church thing did harm several friendships).

OC Surfer
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

I've always said.... "The Church is true in Utah... It's just a little truer in California :) "

Same applies to the singles scene. In California we have the critical mass of LDS Singles without the Utah culture... win/win...

Here we offer not only traditional singles wards, but also have "Magnet Wards" as well which allow 30-something Midsingles (and their kids if they single parents) in the same stake, to attend same family ward together (with the rest of the ward who lives in the actual ward boundaries). We also offer singles activities by "decades" -- YSA (18-30), 30s Midsingles, 40s Singles, 50s Singles, Elite Singles 60+ AND all-age 31+ SA activities too... So there's something for everyone.

Perhaps Utah as well can move in that direction sooner than later...

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

Positive or negative reactions to this question will depend on who you ask, but here is my take:

I think your experience in a singles ward, like any ward, is that you will get out of it what you put into it. If you do not introduce yourself to anyone, volunteer to help with little things, leave after sacrament meeting, etc., then it will be easy to feel like you are lost in the shuffle.

If you help with things like setting up and folding up chairs and the like, then it will be natural that you will meet people and get to know them.

That being said, you have to be careful. Singles wards can be quite clique-ish. Some can be overly exclusive and particular about who they talk to. I knew guys and girls who would not talk to me simply for any reason or no reason at all. Ignore those few and get to know the people who will--there are more of them that will than will not.

Just have fun and let things come naturally, including college, career choices, dating, and marriage. I had that philosophy and things went mostly fine.

pogo8702
SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT

Angela did not cave.
There are no gay wards.
The church is still true.
Everyday and every ward is an adventure.

Some wards will be more comfortable than others. That doesn't mean other wards have left the church...it's just personality.

Consider a full family ward. Incredible place to serve and also to rub shoulders with wonderful priesthood leaders with a lot of experience where you can learn.

Please come. Do not worry about cliques...move around if you have to, but mostly just keep serving. Don't be afraid of it. Some areas have 80-90 percent LDS population and some have 5 to 10 percent LDS population. These areas are incredible to serve in, with lots of missionary work, and great leadership to learn from and serve with.

Come and enjoy...this is a fantastic place to live. Just don't let the naysayers grind you down. There are proportionately higher quantities of them just as there are proportionately higher quantities of LDS in general. Be ready and determined to serve and participate, be ready with a prayer in your heart to find the place to live you need to be and be ready for a great time.

Come.

Andy in Sandy
Sandy, Utah

I totally agree with -byu rugby-, who describes it pretty accurately. Culturally, there are "Mormons", and then there are "Utah Mormons". I've lived both cultures and switched both directions. You CAN switch from one to the other and get used to it, but if you really want to "live the Gospel", don't become a "Utah Mormon". On the other side of the coin, if you just want to "flow in the Gospel", sure, come to Utah, you'll adjust. It's your choice.

desert
Potsdam, 00

Had that experience too, same Utah/Brigh. options.
I think we should remember that many things cannot be decided by free choice, since your education, career anything else happens to set priorities.

But one thing I have learned in this, stop looking to please people, search for your personal relationship with your Redeemer first, then set prayers where the Lord wants you to be most of the time, then choose any ward or church related responsibility, then the other eternal items will come in as you move along your own set road of interest.

I am not sure about this judgement, but are we having too many people in church that rely on the spiritual support of others ? Should we strive to learn to become spiritual more independent, so our choices will lead us onto the best road possible ?
You also need experience in order to help others or to make better choices.Many lack that.

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