New ward, new you?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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BeJoyful
Posts: 31
Joined: 03 Jan 2018, 08:37

Re: New ward, new you?

Post by BeJoyful » 19 Apr 2018, 18:25

dande48 wrote:
15 Apr 2018, 16:51
Getting tattoos is one of those few "mormon-standards" that does not keep you from getting a temple recommend. With that in mind, it's funny that people place such a huge emphasis on it. Maybe it's because the more apparent the sin, the easier it is to focus on it.
It is funny. I could write a whole post on that- tattoos on islanders are accepted because they're a part of the culture, but tattoos are not considered part of our modern culture despite 40% of 19-35 year olds having tattoos. The propaganda that everyone who gets one regrets it, that they're all ugly and defilement, that someone using their agency and good judgement to get one must be disrespecting themselves and God to get a tattoo, and will be reminded of their regret every day is all pretty frustrating. My tattoos represent my marriage and my place in the universe. I thoughtfully selected an artist and the art itself, and cared for my tattoos carefully so they healed well. I think they're beautiful, and symbolic, and all-around fantastic. I'm reminded every day of the things they represent. That being said, I do understand the knee-jerk reaction of members towards tattoos, because I used to react the same- but my opinions change long before anything resembling a FC. (My sister, who doesn't know about my FC but knows about my tattoos, is certain that a tattoo is the first step on the path to apostasy, where I was well-into my FC before I considered one.)
dande48 wrote:
15 Apr 2018, 16:51
On setting boundaries, I think it's important to be clear and explicit. If those boundaries aren't respected, it's one of the few times where it's okay to get a little mad. Make sure they understand that breaking the boundaries you have set is unacceptable, and you won't tolerate it. If they show up on Sunday unannounced, kick them out. If they keep pushing, after getting a clear answer, walk away. While I am an advocate of being kind whenever possible, and especially don't feel it's right to be rude to a well-intentioned member who didn't know better, those who have been given clear boundaries should respect those boundaries.

Explicitness is the key. If you give someone wiggle-room, they are going to wiggle. You're free to give them exactly as much detail as you want, and if they press for details you don't want to give, stick to your guns. You always have the option of walking away, and don't have to attend any meeting you don't want to be a part of.
Turning away unexpected visitors is so hard for me- I'm predisposed to trying not to offend, and I'm a friendly person by nature. I guess if I want boundaries, though, I'm going to have to enforce them even when it's uncomfortable.

Avoidance is an option- not answering phonecalls, not answering the door, but it's not something I've liked doing unless I've had something preventing me from doing so (i.e., taking a shower, being in a meeting, etc.) The past-9pm knock-on-the-door was so startling, we thought certainly there was a wreck just outside or something else was wrong (we live on a busy corner). I don't have a peep-hole in the door, maybe it's time to invest! :lol:

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BeJoyful
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Joined: 03 Jan 2018, 08:37

Re: New ward, new you?

Post by BeJoyful » 19 Apr 2018, 18:43


LDS_Scoutmaster wrote: and it's not like you can tell the bishop something and everyone in the ward will get it and abide by it. You'll have to set the boundaries with everyone individually.
True, very true.
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote: I'm not a fan of the pop in visit. Even as a former HT i didn't like to do it. So the Sunday morning thing, of you've told people already, just don't answer there door. They'll get it eventually, might need a reminder though.
Sunday morning is probably easy enough to screen calls and visits, but it is more difficult the rest of the week. There's construction adjacent to our home, we get UPS packages, etc- there are time sensitive issues that require me to answer the door. I work from home some days- I'm not a fan of getting interrupted for a friendly getting-to-know-you chat, while I would welcome it at church.
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote: I live in socal, so I don't get the aversion to tattoos. Maybe it's just me but I don't see them as a problem or taboo.
It's such a *thing* where we've lived- one friend asked me to tell her "why I would feel the need to do that" and kept me at arm's length for a bit, my dad said "it's not hard to just not get one, you just don't get one", another good friend asked why I felt the need to directly disobey a prophet. My mom would lose it- I have to tell her at some point, I'm sure, as it's visible in a bathing suit and we swim as a family every so often. Incidentally, she knows about my husband's and has deemed it ok because he was military, as long he didn't get more than one. Similar approval towards him from other friends and family who know his background.

But we knew this and chose to get them anyway; I need to remember that.

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BeJoyful
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Re: New ward, new you?

Post by BeJoyful » 19 Apr 2018, 18:46


Rumin8 wrote:It really is a travesty that we all focus so much on what I call the so-called “visible“ sins. Such as WoW, Sunday activities, and in this case, tatoos.
Right? Especially since the visible "sins" are often the least offensive to God, and the judging is far worse. From what I can understand.
Rumin8 wrote: The one specific item I mentioned to my bishop was that the first time I hear that I’m on a ward council list is the last time he’ll see me on the list. Oops. Probably tipped my hand on that one.
Ha! You might have!

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SilentDawning
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Re: New ward, new you?

Post by SilentDawning » 20 Apr 2018, 06:11

BeJoyful wrote:
15 Apr 2018, 11:36
TL;DR: in a new ward, how do you set boundaries and expectations?
Make it about what you are willing to DO in the church. Not about what you believe, not that you are "a bit different", not that you need to protect your testimony. All those things are like tip of the icebergs that signal problems beneath. That is why I think the Bp pursued you.

So, if they want you to take a calling, you always have a really good reason. Not a testimony-based or culture-based or doctrinally-based reason, a practical one.

Also, always affirm your testimony of the church to the extent you can when cornered or even occasionally in meetings. Even if it's the hum of spirituality you have felt at different times, even though now, intellectually you are not much of a believer (this is general advice, not tailored to your state of belief on the spectrum). I can still comment on how I felt the spirit when I asked if I should join the church. I can still comment on how great the church is in providing environments where youth can come together and strengthen their values. Also, I had some good experiences teaching the gospel as a missionary. I can refer to those with integrity even though my overall positivity to the church due to more recent experiences is not what it once was.

BYU is a great achievement both financially, academically, and for helping parents feel their kids will be in a morally safe environment during those sensitive years. I know the culture bugs some, but I was happy to let my daughter get exposed to it if it meant she was going to be free of guys hitting on her sexually all the time, or encouraging alcohol overconsumption etcetera.

What are your affirmations? Share those.

And then keep the concerns to yourself. I find this site is my primary outlet for sharing the balanced view of what I think, without fear of censure so long as it's not anti-Mormon (and I don't consider myself anti-Mormon).

If they do press to the point you HAVE to give a reason, your reasons for not serving are based on something other than lack of belief or testimony. And they are reasons the Bp and Ward can't resolve. Not reasons that require counsel, can be fixed with bread and cookies and visits to the home, but issues that are beyond the scope of our lay ministry or resources. And there are a LOT of problems like that. Always give vague hope of full TR holding or other transformations if you aren't full-on the textbook "good standing" wagon.

My version of the "unresolvable problem that sets boundaries" is that service in the church affected my health and happiness. Even though I have a testimony, I found myself miserable in it for various reasons. And that I found joy and variety in community service instead. Also, how I was rejected from a job application because I didn't have any management experience, when I had 20 years of leadership in stake and wards the interviewer didn't accept as valid. I indicated I needed to get more leadership experience in volunteer BUSINESS contexts for my career, as it was at an impasse. So, I'm still testimony-laden, just directing my service to a different organization FOR THE TIME BEING (vague hope at work).

The BP left me alone after that. He couldn't solve those problems.

So, he left the meeting thinking "SD has a testimony right now who I guess he isn't a good fit for service in our church at this time. Keep being nice to him and don't take him for granted".

Be active by attending church regularly or semi-regularly, supporting any children and spouses, and be one of those people "with potential" who never blooms. Let the leadership approach you about ordinances for your children. I hold back until they ask ME to do it, so at least I know they are going to let me (probably). This requires patience, but so far it's worked.

If you seem to want something from the church, it tends to want to extract something from you in return. You want to baptize your son? Pay tithing for a while please! If not tithing, they want information about your situation! You want to ordain your son to a priesthood office? Get a TR! Not always, but I have heard of these things happening due to leadership roulette. People post them on this site.

If the PP wants to come over to welcome to the kids, I would thank her and ask if you can set aside some time at church, or arrange an appointment during the week...When the BP gave me 20 families to HT, I told them no, give me 5, and they did. When they kept extending callings I didn't want, I kept saying "no" until they came out with something that excited me.

That's my plan. I think if you can accept that the local Ward is not a place to share your deepest feelings about the church, and that you are simply trying to not rock the boat, it becomes easier. When you feel you want acceptance in the midst of naked unorthodoxy, you're going to be frustrated -- you wont' get it! You can get it here, though, and I find this site satisfies my need for community, and the church experience satisfies my need to still be a Mormon without necessarily buying into everything.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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