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Comments about ‘Ask Angela: Is this a social hour? Or is this church?’

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Published: Saturday, Sept. 14 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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AnonSMF
Sacramento, CA

I think the key to getting along under such circumstances is to talk to your bishop for starters about a calling if you don't yet have one. Also continue to conduct yourself in a quiet and reverent manner. Reverence is of vital importance and sometimes people can forget where they are. Many years we were in an area where we drove many hours to get to one of the larger temples that had a chapel waiting area. After the area we live in got one of the smaller temples with no chapel, some of the patrons seemed to forget where they were and chatted away in places where small talk isn't the accepted norm. When I talked to the temple president about my concerns he suggested it was perfectly acceptable and appropriate to let them people know that they were being too loud. All I had to do was turn around and even without saying anything or giving a dirty look, the message was conveyed. Convey the spirit you would like to feel in what you do. It will catch on. Others maybe also wishing for more reverence and might really appreciate it. Go for it!

Dennis
Harwich, MA

@ImABeliever....Just because he said it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

rlsintx
Plano, TX

Be the change you want to see. :)

Sandee Spencer
Longwood, FL

If there are few people actually in class (most running around the halls) how much more important it is that you are in class. If there are few people giving insightful, thoughtful, spirit filled comments how much more important that you are there doing that. There will always be those that for whatever reason are on a different path or going at a different pace than we are. All the more reason for us to focus on doing a beautiful job of worshipping, participating, serving, including, inspiring.

Deliriousdd
Benicia, CA

I think we have to take people for where they are in their spiritual development. For some of them, it really is more about the social experience. But if they keep coming, hopefully they will mature spiritually and eventually become those adults in your parents ward. But by all means don't stop attending church over this. If you really have tried, and still feel uncomfortable, I believe you have the option to attend a family ward.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Agreed.

Try attending Church as a non-Republican, someone who is divorced or Hispanic.
In Utah, that's enough to try ANYONE's testimony!

It's like walking around the puritans with a big old Scarlett Letter.

JonathanPDX
Portland, Oregon

Attending Church meetings should be both spiritual AND social, in that order. They are a chance to escape the cares of the world for a short time and commune with the Spirit and learn more about aspects of the Gospel. They are also times to hep stay in touch with each other in a more spiritual atmosphere.

Many members have a strong testimony of the Gospel and that is what keeps them returning to Church, not because it's the socially acceptable thing to do. For those who do go just to keep up appearances, eventually their feelings will become known to others and hopefully the Priesthood steps in to help them regain their testimony.

The Lord has given us the Sabbath to rest from our labors and to keep our minds single to His glory. The best way to do that is to start with ourselves, ensuring we are in tune with the Spirit and thus be a light unto others.

EternalPerspective
Eldersburg, MD

Dennis & Red Corvette

There are people who outwardly appear to be what is termed "cultural Mormons" whose testimonies seem undeveloped and involvement is lukewarm at best. But, inwardly, we don't know the state of these individuals and cannot judge. Regardless, anyone who believes the Church does not stand without the culture has never developed, or lost the strength of their own testimony by breaking covenants and/or commandments.

This is not a statement of condemnation, rather an invitation to seek the counsel of the Bishop to express concerns and help with the repentance process. Everyone who has made sacred covenants upon Baptism and other ordinances has the right to receive true testimony after all they can do to seek it. But, where sin "lieth at the door", the Spirit may not be present very often, which quickly allows Satan to use worldly distractions and deceptions to lure someone away until apostasy.

The Lord invites all to repent and come unto Christ to receive sacred covenants and be transformed by the authority in His Church from the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. Such is only realized upon principles of action to live the Gospel more fully each day.

1.96 Standard Deviations
OREM, UT

LDS Liberal-

Why does attending church as a non-republican in Utah make you uncomfortable? Why is politics on your mind when you go to church anyway? This isn't even an issue. Church is much more fulfilling by focusing on baptismal covenants that need to be renewed and also learning to serve those around you with Christ-like love.

You might also want to consider to stop generalizing that divorced or hispanic members are somehow shunned or judged in the church in Utah (or anywhere). This is nonsense and you know it. Perhaps church will be more fulfilling if you re-focused your thoughts and attention to things that truly matter.

Cowboy Dude
SAINT GEORGE, UT

Stop worrying about what you can take from church and start attending with what you can give. Get a calling is great advice.

Church is like scriptures. Some read and study hoping for a spiritual experience and some apply the teachings by helping others.

You can't help others by just being reverent.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

Attendance is a commandment. If this commandment is easy for you (great!) because you enjoy being there and socializing, be thankful for that blessing. For others of us, if it were not a commandment, I wouldn't be there. The hardest part is people saying hi, shaking my hand and "making the rounds" -- the excuse being to be friendly. Just leave me alone! Close second is the din, the cacophony of noise of people who can't take it outside or at least into the foyer -- the "party" before the meeting as a member of the bishopric stands there clearing his throat, the organ prelude drown out, and the eruption following the closing prayer's amen. Between you get the tittering chatter (even during the passing of the sacrament) and noisy/disruptive (meaning uncontrolled irreverence, not normal BABY noise) children who haven't been taught to sit, shut-up and listen. Of the latter, the issue is parental expectation; kids rise to those expectations.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "Church Goer for Now" assuming that you still live at your parent's house or are there most weekends, go to your parent's ward. You are never "assigned" to go to a YSA ward. You get to choose to attend that ward or not. You also have the ability to shop for a ward that meets your expectations.

Go, ward shop, or just attend with your parents. Who knows, maybe you would love to teach Primary or YW?

Dennis
Harwich, MA

I'm not judging anybody. I don't care what anybody does, says or believes.
I raised my family in a small community where "not" going to church took extreme effort. The congregation was full of friends, neighbors and associates that simply went to keep the peace with themselves and others. For those of you that attend every single week, try not showing up for about a month. See what happens. Cultural mormonism is alive and well. AND, it happens in other religious congregations as well. Mormonism doesn't have a monopoly on it.

joe5
South Jordan, UT

Dennis: Has it ever occurred to you that I go to church every week because I enjoy it, because I love to discuss the doctrines of the gospel, that I need it to rejuvenate my run-down batteries from a week among the harsher environment of our society? Has it occurred to you that it affords me a moment of peace in a very unsettled world.

Take testimony meeting, for example. I you offered an open microphone in any other circumstance, what would you get? Angry voices? Prideful voices? Vulgar voices?

But what do you get it testimony meeting? Expressions of humility, gratitude, worship.

Do you not even grasp how that would be preferable to the cacophony of the world?

I get the chance to travel on business now and again. Guess what? When I'm on travel, I usually try to find time to visit the nearest temple. If I'm on travel over a weekend, I always try to find an LDS church to attend. Does that sound like someone who is there due to peer pressure or sociality?

Don't paint others with your own self-view.

Dennis
Harwich, MA

@Joe....excellent on your part. Seriously. But I also believe you're in the minority.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Dennis,

Joe5 is not as much of a minority as you might guess. I and many of my friends and acquaintances at church would say the same.

Seriously. Out here (and in Mass and NH when I lived there) few if any folks went to church due to social or familial pressures.

joe5
South Jordan, UT

Last comment.

Twin Lights: You're right. Most people I know attend church because they really want to. They enjoy the social aspects but that is not their focus.

Alma 48 pays a great tribute to Captain Moroni ("If all men were like unto Moroni ..."). But immediately after, Moroni is compared to the sons of Mosiah, Alma and his sons, and Helaman. then it mentions that there are others who were "no less serviceable."

I have met many men and women who "are like unto Moroni." Most are the rank and file of the church. They may never be bishops or RS presidents but they sacrifice and serve without applause.

I think of the apostle Andrew, almost completely overlooked, but I admire him. He introduced Peter to Jesus. When Jesus fed the 5,000, it was Andrew who pointed out that there was a boy with five loaves and two fishes. How did he know that? Because he was willing to serve on the sidelines. I picture him as a friendly man, a minister among the followers of Christ. I've found many people like that wherever I've lived. In my opinion, they are the backbone of the church.

Craigo
Ivins, UT

I share some of the same thoughts as this person. If at anytime, someone makes a comment about the quality of a sac meeting etc.. they are told that its their fault, their attitude etc. I think this true to some degree.. but not always.

The standard of teaching in our church can be horrible. How many talks are given where there was no preparation .. The excuse? "We are a lay ministry" is code for "I dont need to understand the scriptures"

Even the lamest public speaker and be very motivating if they would simply prepare and think about what they are saying.

1. Never start a talk by telling the audience how they received the assignment.
2. Never start a talk with Joke.
3. Never start a talk telling us how you and your wife met.
4. Every talk should revolve around the atonement, Jesus etc.
5. Never read the whole talk. Look up sometimes.
6. Use the scriptures.
7. Dont read a conference talk, we can read it ourselves when we get home..

Craigo
Ivins, UT

Also... (Ran out of space)

So, in conclusion, I have had some similar feelings after attending church.. The problem is, if we just stop going, we will miss 3 things..
1. A chance to take the sacrament.
2. Have fellowship with others.
3. We will miss those gems or times when the speakers WERE inspiring.

Just my 2 cents.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

I find it curious that she has such a hard time finding anybody in the ward who is as spiritual as she perceives herself to be. It is possible that people are attending church for social reasons and still enjoying whatever spirit they feel is there. I had a friend back in my single days with a similar "problem". The friendship did not last because she had a very hard time finding people up to her standards of righteousness and I was apparently one of them.
My only advice to her is that she keep up the uptight, judgmental, condescending attitude and before she knows it, she will wake up one day and have aged out of the singles ward. From then on, it will be family wards where dating prospects are not all that great.

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