Comments about ‘Ask Angela: New Year's resolution: Stop hating my YSA ward’

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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31 2013 8:00 a.m. MST

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Harwich, MA

Nobody should ever be involved in something they "hate".
It subdues the emotional and physical well being of the individual.
Take a break from "Church" for a while. Figure out what you want from life and religion and move forward. You don't "have" to do anything, but taking care of yourself is paramount in your life. Good luck.

Here, UT

I don't know why she would hate church, it's probably the best 60 minute nap one could hope for.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

After a particularly difficult family trauma, attending church was hard for us. We often felt more drained than filled. In part, we felt the Lord had abandoned us. We saw other families around us and felt envy for their successes.

We kept going only because of our faith and even then only with a lot of resolve (and a bit of prodding each other). Slowly we began participating more via callings and reaching out to others. That eventually helped to change our experience to again being positive.

It wasn't easy. I think the core has to be in our testimonies. To know that others experience difficulties. To reach out even when we ourselves are hurting.

I like the words of Marvin J. Ashton: "Worthiness is a process, and perfection is an eternal trek. We can be worthy to enjoy certain privileges without being perfect."

To all who struggle - hang in there. You are not alone. I wish you well.

Red Headed Stranger
Billy Bobs, TX

When I was single sometimes I had a hard time in a particular singles ward, other wards were terrific. It does become a kind of family with all of the issues of families, sometimes including competition and hurt feelings. If you don't feel like you fit in to the social scene in a singles ward, if you are in Utah, try a different ward. Or go back to the regular old family ward for a while. There is turnover in a singles ward. In a year it will be 50%-60% new people. Good Luck!

I think that the title and perhaps even the article is misleading with respect to the letter. The question wasn't how to stop hating "go to the LDS " church, but rather how to "stop hating my singles ward". The implied concerns are very, very different.

To Angela or the headline writer, when you leave out the word "single" you vastly change the meaning and the concerns of the person. This opens the door for many who inhabit the Deseret News forums to debate and assault the LDS church and religion in general, not specifically deal with someone fitting in to their singles ward.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

What are the words that you are saying to your self.
When I hear all the negative words, I have my own words to replace them. I say this in my mind. 3 or 4 times a day. Every day in every way I'm getting better and better. Negative energy can not effect my mind body or spirit. I have a friend in Jesus and I accept life, the way to wisdom and the truth. I will protect my liberty an family and I will pursue happiness. But by the Grace of God go I. I'm more than enough.
I don't know much, I know It works for me. Hope is hard to give up, Probably because it's renewable.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

I go to church to serve (the ultimate form of worship), to recommit myself and to learn, not to be entertained. If you "hate" going to church, change your attitude about why you go in the first place and you will find yourself actually looking forward to serving, learning and self improvement.


I don't know about others, but when I open a manual and read whitewashed facts, it makes me angry.

Also, I have lived in enough wards to experience extreme quality differences in meetings. The quality of meetings in my current ward is poor because there are very few bright people in the ward. I attended my son's ward one Sunday, and the quality was much higher. Do others feel the same?

Provo, UT

The author likes to write dramatic articles.

Riverdale, MD

I think that having a few good friends makes all the difference. If you don't already, I encourage you to work on making some friends. Look for someone else who looks like they need a friend, sit by them and start a conversation.

If the problem is not friends and the ward has a culture of things happening in class and from the pulpit that aren't quite right, I would consider going to another ward. We have a few young singles in my family ward who don't really like the social situation in the singles ward and are happier in a family ward.

Riverdale, MD

Another note: I agree with Red Headed Stranger. The headline is misleading. Being devoted to the doctrine while not liking the dynamics of a particular ward is VERY different than hating church. Hating church could mean a disparity with doctrine or with overall church practices.

Here, UT

LDS Liberal says:

"I hate going each and every week
and listening to the mindless parroting of AM talk radio,
or feeling like I'm at a Republican Pep-rally."

Has it gotten that bad? Yikes. I'm more than thankful that I don't go anymore then.

Logan, UT

I concur with Red Headed Stranger. There's no gospel requirement that you have to go to a ward where people are often more focused on the social ladder than they are on Christ, just because you're 18-30 and single. Not that all YSA wards are that way--most of mine were excellent during my single years. But, there are undeniably a lot of "drain trap" wards where you get stuck with all the folks still living at home who didn't go off and go to school/missions/careers and who are mainly concerned with maintaining the high school social hierarchy, and/or finding a mate among the residue. And there are a lot of "meat market" wards where, for whatever reason, the leaderships feels it their bound duty to marry off every person in the flock within a year. If you're in one of these wards, or if you're not and you just don't feel like you fit in, there's nothing wrong with trying a family ward. A lot of times, you'll have more opportunities for meaningful service and to learn from people in all stages of life.

Salt Lake City, UT

To the person who posed the original question and several of the commentators whose anger, disgust, and negativity fairly drips from their posts, I have a suggestion.

If you think about church as many do about Christmas, with its entrenched traditions and near rituals, many of them seemingly practiced habitually rather than joyously and often motivated by external and commercial reasons, then you may also remember the reason so many people continue to celebrate Christmas despite a possible sense of obligatory drudgery. It's because of the many good things that come, personally and socially, from the spirit of giving and the recollection of the incomparable gift from our Heavenly Father, life itself.

I too am single and know what it's like to try and mingle in a family-oriented social scene in which I've sometimes I've felt excluded. I've also felt warmed by the attempt, even when awkward, to include me and the knowledge that it was done with a hope I'll be helped in some way, even if I was not.

In short, I try to emphasize the positive and remember always that such exists, even when I don't feel it.

Montesano, WA

my advice is go to a real ward and attend there were their is a mix of people not just 18-30 year olds desperate for a date and a sparkly diamond ring.

Buena Vista, VA

LDS liberal talks about "mindless parroting of AM talk radio." I listen to Rush Limbaugh et al, and agree with most of what they say. But not all. And I must emphasize that they say what I already believe, not the other way around. Furthermore, many of those who believe as I do would say the same; this is NOT mindless parroting.

I deeply believe in altruism and equality (and liberalism in the classic sense of the word), but these must come from the heart and not the government. The Lord has given us the Law of Consecration, which we voluntarily accept, and only through this law can these goals be achieved. (And this is what Rush et al lack; this knowledge of God's higher laws. I believe that communism is telestial, capitalism is terrestrial, and consecration is celestial.) But your goals cannot be achieved by government fiat. Most government attempts to achieve these goals (look at the "war on poverty") have failed miserably, and have had adverse side effects, such as encouraging unwed motherhood, or taking away choice (as with Obamacare). Govt efforts to "spread the wealth" are inefficient, coercive, and promote fraud and abuse.

1.96 Standard Deviations

To "The New Me":

We don't know your whole situation, but I am leaning toward Red Headed Stranger's suggestion to go back to a family ward. I attended two different singles wards and can understand why it can be frustrating for some.

However, before you go back to a family ward, talk with your single's ward bishop and voice your concerns. He has the mantle and can give you counsel. Don't feel ashamed or shy to discuss this with your bishop. Perhaps the bishop can give you some insights you haven't considered,and you end up staying in the singles ward and start enjoying it.

Also, don't let the negativity build up inside of you where you begin to be tempted to stop attending church altogether. At that point, it is more serious because you stop renewing your baptismal covenants with the weekly sacrament and you are no longer receiving needed spiritual nourishment that comes with attending church.

Surfers Paradise, AU

many of the challenges that individuals and married couples feel are a result of a lack of social activities. That's the case for us anyway. There are no activities for couples in the ward where we live. Ironically, in the past three years, there have been 5 divorces in our ward alone. Yikes!

Having a social experience outside of the 3-hour block is important. Parents with young families, need time away from the kids, and those that are older, also need to get to know other members better. Also, those quarterly activities would be a great way to invite neighbors to a non-threatening social activity to engage in hastening the work. Just saying...

Bentonville, AR

Having endured singles wards for 14 years myself, I understand what it's like. I have two suggestions.

First, someone once reminded me "Sometimes it's not about you" meaning sometimes you need to look around and find the people who need you. There are probably people who are struggling and need a friend, so maybe the next few weeks look for the person sitting by themselves and focus on them instead. I really hate when the first thing people suggest is to "start serving" as if that will solve every problem. It won't solve every problem...but it's a good place to start.

Next, if that doesn't help, I would do as others suggested and find a different situation. Try a family ward. Try another singles ward. Find another ward where you feel more comfortable. As a single, you have many more options and I say take full advantage.

Singles wards (especially in Utah) are tough. Many people use it as a dating service, instead of the place to worship and opportunity to serve it should be. While you can't change others, you can reach out and set an example or find something that works better.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Time out. My hands are held up making the letter "T". That is what church is for.

S. Jordan, UT

I learned long ago to separate the gospel from the church. I focused on the gospel. I stay in the church because that is where the priesthood authority is.

That said...

I find I enjoy church a lot more when I make a tangible effort to find those I can serve and try to give them what is needed. For some it may be physical, such as shoveling their snow or raking their leaves (I live in an elderly ward). For others it is a genuine expression of my love for them. For the kids it is often sharing my class treats with them (I work with the youth). When I do this I feel like I have contributed something other than just my presence.

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