Ask Angela: New Year's resolution: Stop hating my YSA ward

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • texas convert Stephenville, TX
    Jan. 8, 2015 9:26 a.m.

    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)

  • Misfit-Mormon-Mommy Canada, 00
    Jan. 12, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    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 :).

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Jan. 9, 2014 8:16 p.m.

    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.

  • David Mohr Victoria/BC/Canada, 00
    Jan. 3, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    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.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    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.

  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    Jan. 2, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    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.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    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.


    I'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 Ranch

    May 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.

  • Not Asleep Lewiston, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    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.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    Springville, UT
    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.

    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 got.

  • Ted Saint George, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Lyle Springville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    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.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    YSA wards are supposed to not be too comfortable to be in. Otherwise people will have a reason to procrastinate marriage.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:44 p.m.

    @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.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Jan. 1, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    Harwich, MA
    Nobody 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 lifelong challenge.

  • Beaver Native St. George, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    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.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    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.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    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 alleged values.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:55 a.m.

    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 calling
    A 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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:42 p.m.


    He said what he said. The verse seems plain to me. I think you are wresting the scripture.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:29 p.m.

    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 layton, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:28 p.m.

    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.).

  • Georgie Baby Denver, CO
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    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.

  • Georgie Baby Denver, CO
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    @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.

  • theresa muir ,
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    I am there to be strengthened spiritually,
    which I am by renewing my baptismal covenants
    each week, to be example to those around me
    and 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 loving
    way by my saying "Hi" or giving them a smile.
    I hope so.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    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!

    Dec. 31, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    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).

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    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.

    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 Republicans.

  • Connector Santa Clara, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    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.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:37 a.m.


    I 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.

  • EngineerinSaltLake Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    Why don't we just get rid of single wards altogether?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    " 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.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:32 a.m.


    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?

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:29 a.m.


    I 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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    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.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    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.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:55 a.m.

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

  • hamletfan8 Bentonville, AR
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    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...

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    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.

  • shark Buena Vista, VA
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    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.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    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.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    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.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    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.

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    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.

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    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.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    The author likes to write dramatic articles.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    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?

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 31, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 6:30 a.m.

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

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 31, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    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.