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.
I don't know why she would hate church, it's probably the best 60
minute nap one could hope for.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The author likes to write dramatic articles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Time out. My hands are held up making the letter "T". That is what
church is for.
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.
I attend Church with a bunch of imperfect people. It has always been that way
for me. Funny, but I've never expected it to be any different. I
sometimes wish it were. I sometimes wish that I could go on Sunday and be
surrounded by perfect examples and people that had it all figured out. The fact
is that I probably wouldn't enjoy that experience very much, if my wish
were to be granted. I've never hesitated to share my
"christian" (i.e. liberal) views at Church. I've always figured if
others can often miss the mark completely with "AM talk radio" prattle,
I shouldn't worry too much about occasionally missing the mark in my own
way. More often, I don't miss the mark and I help my brothers and sisters
move, at least a little bit, towards the mark. You just need to be humble and
nice about it.I can't imagine "hating" going to Church unless
there was some sort of bully there. If that is the case, attend another ward
for a while after letting your bishop know what you are doing and why.
I would also say that we often see only what we want to see. If we bristle
every time something can be construed as "right-wing" then we will spend
a lot of time at church being offended. The ideas of "
Altruism, Liberalism, and Equality", as I have seen one poster define them
over the past several years, observing his posts, are probably not taught in the
manner that he would like. Clearly, that is what he chooses to see. These ideas
are taught tempered with the concepts of freedom, covenants, service, self
constraint, self reliance, achievement, and Godliness. I have seen
many who define the gospel in only the narrow terms they choose to see. It is
more expansive than that and our journey of drawing closer to God can lead us
down many paths. I think that we have to not denigrate those who are not all on
the same path we are.
For all of those who have had political battles at church. I would just suggest
that when we bring politics to church we run the terrible risk of confusing the
gospel with the philosophies of men. There are no temple recommend questions
that address politics. Also, Presidents Hinckley and Faust were of different
political stripes but seemed to be fast friends (and great leaders). I love
politics but I try to make sure I never bring it to church.
@SharkI think you perhaps missed LDS Liberal's point. It
doesn't matter whether the "parroting" is mindless or not, the
important point is that it should not be taking place in church. Your views
regarding what our US government should and should not be doing are not relevant
to almost anything taught in church. Many meetings take place in socialist
countries. Many members around the world are Socialists and Communists. I
cannot even bring myself to attend Sunday School in our ward because of all the
unnecessary right-wing political chatter that goes on.
1aggie:Gotta love a church with a lay leadership and all volunteers.
If the quality of the meetings is poor, time for you to step it up. "When
you are converted, strengthen your brethren."What manual do you
think is whitewashed? Gospel Principles?LDS Liberal:Why
do you always mix politics with church and criticize those you attend with? Do
you have challenges seeing someone as a child of God instead of what his/her
political affiliation is?
Re:Shark" I listen to Rush Limbaugh et al, and agree with most of what
they say. But not all. "I don't know how/why any LDS member
can listen to Limbaugh. I listened for awhile until one day a caller stated he
wanted to "take matters into his own hands" against Liberals. Limbaugh
insults every demographic--women, blacks, immigrants, all, except white
conservative men. He peddles in lies, misinformation and demonization. I regularly go to church, but there are many days I cringe wondering if
there are any investigators in the audience. "Sales meetings" ie talks
on missionary work are frequent. Talks on the temple are frequent. Erroneous
information from chain emails have been repeated over the pulpit and in classes.
Talks on loving one another, serving one another, not judging, basically the
Gospel, are infrequent.
Why don't we just get rid of single wards altogether?
@GeoManI agree with you that people are not perfect. But during the
Prop 8 campaign in California, the pattern of conduct of some members, and
leaders (including stake leaders) was not appropriate. Advertisements that were
run were not factual, appropriate or respectful. It is easy to dismiss the
concerns of others (and assume they are too sensitive or quick to find fault)
but when you have seen the train run as far off tracks as I have, then it
becomes a little more difficult to overlook peoples' prejudices.By the way, if the "bully" you mention is a Stake President, there is
absolutely no redress in our church for that.
When I started my career I was working long hours and started slacking on my
daily devotion of study, pondering and prayer. For the first time in my life I
found myself drifting a bit from my faith. I wasn't enjoying church (YSA
Ward) as much and found myself more and more annoyed with and connecting less
and less with the members of my ward. After a year or so I recognized my
situation and recommitted myself to my daily devotion. Now I'm much more
engaged at church, feel more connected to other members and more fulfilled with
my Sunday worship.
sharkBuena Vista, VALDS 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.9:41 a.m. Dec.
31, 2013========== Thanks for proving that point.BTW -- I don't think it was chance or happenstance that the Lord
called an Apostle into the Worldwide LDS 1st Presidency from socialist
Germany.Most Mormons are not in Utah, Most Mormons are not in
the United States, therefore -- Most Mormons can hardly be
Some of these comments show that not all members of the LDS Church understand
the difference between gospel (doctrine), Church, and Mormon culture. The thing
that people have the most issues with is the culture, which is a mere byproduct
of members living and working in close proximity, strongest with high LDS
concentrations (I've lived all sorts of places), and which is responsible
for most negative stereotypes of Mormons. Doctrine is eternal truth and never
changes. The Church teaches the gospel, at times changing policies and programs
to best meet that objective. Administered by humans, the Church is subject to
error but this is where we get to practice the gospel by loving and forgiving
and refraining from judgement, which is a beautiful way to put the gospel into
practice. I've lived in a number of wonderful and diverse wards, but the
key to having a good experience, as always, is in individual attitude. Follow
the Spirit for how you can improve your experiences (all of you).
LDS Liberal says he hates to go to church because it reminds him of a
conservative political rally. Really? I never hear politics in church, unless
you think being taught correct, eternal principles is political. I guess to
some, everything has to be political!
I am there to be strengthened spiritually,which I am by renewing my
baptismal covenantseach week, to be example to those around meand my
family.I am where the Lord wants me to be.That it's not all
about myself.I am giving by being there.Maybe one other person was
touched in a lovingway by my saying "Hi" or giving them a
smile.I hope so.
@hamletfan8 - I agree and disagree with you comment, "Sometimes, it is not
about you." In some ways this is true, but in most ways it is not. Going to
Sacrament Meeting is all about you - the covenants you make and renewing them
each week. Sometimes, I go to church not for others or to serve others but
because I realize I need it for my own salvation and my own healing, and it is
especially about me and my relationship with the Lord. Unfortunately, life doesn't change much from a singles to a regular ward,
socially. Kind of like how life seems to mimic high school. Self-selection
(natural man) based upon perceived social status and demographics cause for a
lot of people to feel left out, or that they do not fit in. My
strategy for dealing with my ward is to break away from the pack. Make friends
with those who also feel left out and marginalized. I keep my eye out for the
one. Frankly, I have come to feel that I couldn't care less about the ward.
I care more about individuals in the ward. Minister to the one.
In addition, sometimes I take Sundays hour-by-hour. Sacrament Meeting is usually
fine, but sometimes I have to force myself to stay for Gospel a Doctrine and
Relief Society. I've also sworn off ward activities, Relief Society
Meetings, and Single Adult activities that attract the senior crowd. As a
middle aged single female, I find that my place in the wards of the church seem
to be as Miriam in the Bible - always holding up other people's arms. My
arms are tired. But one thing that energizes me is missionary work
and making friends with people who don't come to church anymore. I have
loads more fun with these people than the people I worship with every Sunday.
Two of the people I've befriended this year started coming to church again
a month ago, and church has become much more enjoyable because they are there.
I am also honest with them about my own struggle with attending church, because
I feel that they need to know that it is okay to struggle with people and things
in the church and still be in good standing.
RE: Twin Lights. "Worthiness is a process, and perfection is an eternal
trek. "be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is
perfect' (Matthew 5:48) Christ sets up the high ideal of perfect love(see
vv 43-47)This is God’s high standard for us. Love is an communicable moral
attribute like, grace, mercy; holiness, righteousness, justice.
“Man, does not have the Potential to Become like Heavenly Father””When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD(YHWH) appeared to
him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me
faithfully and live a *blameless life. ["complete”] = without blame,
sincere, wholly devoted to the LORD, or "be ye perfect”(Gen
17:1).‘perfect holiness ‘(see Lev 11:44,& 1 Peter 1:15; 16.).
In regard to the original post intent; build a circle of friends gradually, and
expand it as you go. Spend time with ward members outside of church. Get
involved in a way that you're contributing and not just consuming the
efforts of others. Service to others opens us to feelings and teachings of the
Spirit. Good luck. Youth comes once, make the best of it in the ways that
will pay off the most for you in the coming years.
Sharrona,He said what he said. The verse seems plain to me. I
think you are wresting the scripture.
I have some experience with singles wards as well as family wards. In many ways
the experience for me was not dissimilar.I go to Church as a duty
but usually enjoy it also.What members of wards need is, in many
resects, the same for all wards:A callingA friend.Being
nourished by the good word of God.I can get by without the first two
to some extent, but the third is the most important for me so I think I like
best to be in a ward that is doctrinally LDS rather than socially or culturally
so. Every ward, though, that I have been in tends to have a mixture of the
three. Eventually we will all be as we should be; Church is for the perfecting
of the saints: that is the goal.
The goal is consecration. Finally a Zion where we are "of one mind and one
heart"; then there will be no political differences and no love of political
Parties. The two major parties disappoint most people in the country let alone
the Church. They offer partial truths and insincere or confused proponents of
I once attended a ward that I felt had a dolt for a bishop and the members were
cliquey and shallow. Then a kind visiting teacher challenged me to re-read the
Book of Mormon, which I did every morning for a year. What a change. The Bishop
became warm and wise; the members became friendly and kind. But really, it was I
who changed. I began to view others through the eyes of the Spirit. Regular
reading of the Book of Mormon invites the Spirit of Christ into your life.
Cynicism and critical attitudes fade under the influence of the Savior. I was
guided to ways I could serve and belong. I try to remember that with every ward
change - which I will do in the new year. So here's hoping - and doing
something to feed my hope.
To LDS liberal: I agree that too many people on both sidess bring their
politics to Church. I chalk it up to human frailties and try to forgive and
love the sinner while despising the sin. I choose to look for the good instead
of the bad in people. Church isn't a place reserved for perfect people.
It's a place to go to renew our covenants and learn how we can better
follow Christ towards perfection.I see both good and bad in both
political philosophies, but I don't follow a political philosophy. I try
to follow Christ and what he has revealed to his prophets.Regarding
the main thread of this article: there are times when I haven't wanted to
go to Church as well. I've chalked it up to Satan trying to dissuade me
from doing what I should. When I've pushed myself to go anyway and then
tried to gain some spiritual renewal from it, I've never been disappointed.
"DennisHarwich, MANobody should ever be involved in something
they "hate"."I hate going to the dentist. I hate
exercise. I hate filling out my taxes. I hate mowing my lawn. I hate
differential equations. Should I not be involved in those things too?In fact, there are aspects of many good, enjoyable worthwhile efforts that are
very distasteful. In fact, I would say that the very best, most important
things that we do in life involve some aspect that are very, very distasteful.
But that does not mean that they are not worthwhile. In fact, the
very purpose of religion is to do something very distasteful - repent. If there
is no repentance, there is no change. The purpose of our faith is not to have a
wishy-washy feel-good blissful existence, it is to change oneself to make
oneself better. Real growth, real love, real learning is a real challenge. No one who avoided doing things "they hated" ever did anything
that mattered very much. The Church of Jesus Christ recognizes this and
provides as much support to the hopeful and faithful but struggling in this
@Pray for positive experiences. (Worked) This worked primarily because I
believed it would. What does a positive church experience look and feel like for
you? Whatever that is, ask for those types of experiences and then look for
them, work for them, create them. Prayer is real, and situations like these are
no exceptions. .“(1 John 4:1).. test the spirits to see
whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the
world…..verse 12 No man hath seen God at any time.. “the
tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as
he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be
merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, “this sinner”,
not the Pharisee, returned home Justified before God. For those who exalt
themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be
exalted.” Luke 18:13-14.
YSA wards are supposed to not be too comfortable to be in. Otherwise people will
have a reason to procrastinate marriage.
Pick a random ward (no too hard to do in Utah!) and go there one Sunday. Tell
anybody that asks that you are visiting, which, of course, you are. You will
perhaps be surprised at how you are welcomed by perfect strangers. I found that
to be a very positive, faith-building experience.
As I read through these comments, I noticed something interesting. The story is
about YSA wards and not regular wards or church experiences from them. Most of
the comments were from people who didn't read the article or notice the YSA
in the title. Regardless, comments followed from a variety of churchgoers that
had nothing to do with a YSA ward. Like mine.Here's my
observation for what it's worth. The LDS church tries to teach and inform
from a variety of methods. However, many members probably aren't really
listening or fully paying attention to this written or spoken word. As a result,
many philosophies and personal conclusions follow from this lack of attention to
detail.Back to the comments in general. Opinions about a YSA ward
would be warranted here, not just general church experiences or opinions.
LyleSpringville, UTPick a random ward (no too hard to do in Utah!)
and go there one Sunday. Tell anybody that asks that you are visiting, which, of
course, you are. You will perhaps be surprised at how you are welcomed by
perfect strangers. I found that to be a very positive, faith-building
experience.9:36 a.m. Jan. 2, 2014========== The REAL test would be;Try doing that smelling like cigarettes, wearing
jeans and dirty clothing, and having anything to eat for several days...A Utah Bishop did that last month, and was SHOCKED by the response he
Worship, service, learning and fun... at any given time. Those have been my
focus over the years. And that can be hard work because most of us find
ourselves fighting judgmentalism, cynicism, envy, malice, and a dozen other
arrows the adversary employs when two or more are gathered in his name. But
it's all part of the adventure down on this fallen planet.
I believe singles wards, YSA or adult, are needed and from what a former Bishop
of a singles ward told us in our family ward, they produced a lot of marriages.
My marriage came about due to activity in a 30+ singles ward. Hopefully the
Church will continue to support such wards, as a good portion of the LDS Church
are in fact single. RanchI've read your posts for
years now, and am not surprised you are an inactive LDS. One could easily tell
from the things you say regarding the Church. LDS Liberal and
RanchMay I suggest a great talk by Boyd K. Packer called Balm of
Gilead. He gave it at General Conference in the 1970s, I think, but it sure hit
the mark on folks who are having a hard time with Church. Maybe it could help
with perspective. It did me.
For LDS Liberal, it sounds like a stake president needs to visit your ward more
often. No LDS church should sound like any political party. In church, the
manual states no electioneering. You might want to call your stake president
and invite him to visit with your ward.
My experience is that there are wards that are toxic environments for some
members. If we were truly living the gospel everyone would feel welcome and
loved. The Lord doesn't exclude anyone, but some members have prejudices:
racial, financial, social, marital and geographical among others. Remind
yourself it is not their church and frankly they are not custodians of the faith
if they are behaving that way. Some people ward hop and find more
happiness elsewhere. Look for educated and dedicated leaders and friends,
hopefully your home and visiting teachers can be your friends. Try to keep
behaving in a Christ-like manner and set a good example for those that
haven't converted yet. Having the Holy Ghost and being able to attend the
temple are worth the price of activity.
One day I went to church after a period of inactivity. No one (including the
missionaries) talked to me. The same happened the next week. The next week a
lady spoke to me and asked how I liked the ward. When I told her how no-one had
talked to me she told me to change my attitude. I was shocked but when I
examined my attitude I realized I was a negative person....I changed to more
positivity and my ward experience changed dramatically. Sometimes the fault is
our own view of things. This did not make me like the members more but it did
mean people were now talking to me and I was able to have a positive experience.
Over time I came to like the ward and was sad to move.
After nearly three years a member of the Church, it is still amazing to me how
life-long members frequently take it for granted. If you "hate" going to
church, work on your testimony. A lot. You don't know how blessed you are
to have that opportunity, which I did not for the first 28 years of my life.
While I am not in a YSA ward, the problems don't magically stop when you
enter a family ward. Some wards are better than others, but all have some
interesting dynamic that can be hard to find a place in. Our present ward, for
example, is very openly critical. It was a very harsh ward to move into but as
we have slowly begun to make a few friends it has been easier to endure some
often very tense sunday school lessons. Making friends has helped us remember
that those who argue the loudest aren't a representation of the ward as a
whole. And they are often the ones who need a friend the most :).
Another strategy for dealing with a ward you hate is fundamental to living the
gospel of Jesus Christ. KNOWING and BELIEVING the doctrine of the atonement
won't do anyone much good, including yourself, if LIVING the doctrine of
the atonement is not a daily practice. This includes realizing everyone we come
in contact with are imperfect sinners. Sometimes other's sins will
directly impact us at home, at school and even at church. We can choose to
forgive people their trespasses even before it impacts us. It is a mind-set with
a heart connection to true doctrine. Choose to love as the Savior did regardless
of how someone chooses to act or react to you. Their actions are between them
and their Heavenly Father. When it comes to the judgement, we are only
responsible for our own actions, thoughts, and desires. Christ died for all,
even those in you ward you say you hate.(capital letters have been
added for emphasis only)