mom3 wrote: ↑
11 Feb 2019, 16:06
DJ - I imagined my ward to be like that. I think what happened is the "Old Guard" had been hanging out in Genealogy Classes and the High Priest Group. When we removed those classes - Ta Da - Suddenly they were accessible. None of them are shy. They make BRM proud. My husband said they slaughtered Uchtdorf's lesson in PH.
What's negative to me, the we're number one and judging others stuff, is often presented as something positive at church and standing against those things is seen as negative. It's wearing.
Right now that ^^ is an understatement.
Our RS lesson was Dallin Oaks GC "Truth and The Plan" talk. It was full of "We're Number One and Judging Others". We had the privilege of listening to the whole d*&# thing. Only stopping it long enough for comments like, "The Proclamation on the Family. So ahead of it's time" and "People searching the internet, then leaving".
I couldn't hold my tongue any longer, when the conversation turned to bashing all the other church's. I tried as tactfully as I could to state "that we need to value them, too. That we wouldn't be here with out them. And they are light years ahead of us in many areas, such as humanitarian service." The response I got was, "That is true. But we have the Priesthood." Like that makes it all better.
Oaks covered every offense imagineable. It was a treat. Gay people, inactives, faith fail-ers, information vs. knowledge. Balanced of course by our amazing humanitarian generosity and yellow t-shirt moments.
For the time being I am going to stick to first hour meeting and hall monitor for the rest.
Our ward is far from perfect, but we do have enough open minded folks who are also willing to speak up and we have a very accepting, loving, laid back bishop (whose time is about up). In the three hour block, there were more people in the hall or chapel second hour than there were in SS. A couple old ladies would hang out in the FH center, but most people avoided there because one of them is on the brash side. The Old Guard attended GD, which is what kept some people out of there - there were so few in there that the Old Guard dominated (and the teacher was Old Guard himself). (We did get a new younger, more open minded and more tech savvy teacher at the very end of last year.) A couple people attended gospel essentials (or whatever it was called) even though there sometimes wasn't anybody taking lessons or new there - that class was frequently cancelled and they ended up with the rest of us foyer rats. The foyer/chapel group included the bishop (often flagged down for someone looking for welfare or some crisis) and his wife, so he was not one to shoo everyone off to SS.
So the big difference I see in my own ward is that almost everybody goes to SS now, but because of the size of the group there is little opportunity for participation. Everyone, including the Old Guard, is stymied. This does reflect on the teacher a bit, but she is trying. Truth is, I'm more fine with it than I originally was. My educator background was getting in the way as I kept thinking about the need/value in participation, but then I recognized that participation in this case is not always good and that perhaps this is more like a college lecture hall class (I went to a small college and a lecture hall class for us was 50-75 students - probably similar to what we have in GD now). On those days when the whole thing is going differently than I would otherwise hope, I'll either continue doing what I'm doing on the back row or I'll just slip out. The likelihood of getting a word in edgewise with any meaningful input is slim as the class is currently constituted.
PH is a whole different animal. The group is much smaller, we're in a smaller (but ample/comfy) room and I know I have allies there. We are still a minority but we are by no means oppressed (it helps that the allies are all intelligent, have some street cred, and many of us have been in the ward for decades). In all honestly it has not changed except it is every other week and I mostly like it.
I have noticed that it does seem easier for some people to make it one hour church now. People who used to sort of hang out second hour and then come to third hour are now often gone after SM. Good for them, and more power to them. We need to not overlook or forget the "home centered" part which is actually emphasized. If DW wasn't a Primary teacher I'd probably do the same more often. And I've noticed one other thing, and this seems to be stakewide here - SM attendance is up.
(Edited for clarity)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.
Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."