A strange prayer

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TinSoldier
Posts: 27
Joined: 25 Jan 2020, 01:51

A strange prayer

Post by TinSoldier » 18 Apr 2020, 00:07

A couple of weeks ago a friend from the ward stopped by so we could give him and his wife some masks. Before he left he asked if he could pray with us and we agreed. Since the virus was a concern at the time, he stayed on the porch the whole time. The prayer seemed really odd at the time and since then it has really been eating at me. The only way I can describe it is that it seemed to me like the prayer went off the rails. He said stuff like asking for blessings of health, especially mine (when my dear companion has worse and more complex problems), he called my companion by her formal given name in spite of multiple reminders that she really prefers the shortened form (which she always uses other than formal paperwork and such, we're not completely sure where he even heard the full name), and then talked about our role in the church, like going to the temple (which he only did this year after being a member for 20 years) and such, but phrased it that he didn't really expect us to succeed. And no, I'm not overstating that last part, I just can't remember his exact words.
We came back in the house after he left and we were both practically in shock. I've have never heard anything like that prayer he offered for us, it was just bizarre. It seemed to range from passive aggressive to even worse. I've considered this guy a friend for at least a few years and my companion thinks of his wife as one of her best friends in the ward. I just don't know what to make of it or how to deal with it once we see them at church again.
If anyone's wondering why I refer to my companion in that way, you can find my thread awhile back in the introductions forum about why we can't get married.

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nibbler
Posts: 4375
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: A strange prayer

Post by nibbler » 18 Apr 2020, 05:34

I've had experiences like those. I chalk them up to the assumptions that we often make when we're orthodox believers, namely that we all share the exact same beliefs, hopes, desires, and goals. Our ministers and ecclesiastic leaders often plow down the path of assumed sameness without even realizing that our beliefs may be different.

And yeah, unfortunately that sameness can also lead to introducing lots of passive aggressive elements into our approach to religion. "We pray that nibbler will be able to successfully meet the stake president's goal of inviting all his neighbors to home church." I think the thought process is, "Of course he wants to do this, it's what we all want." and it ends up stepping on toes.
TinSoldier wrote:
18 Apr 2020, 00:07
and then talked about our role in the church, like going to the temple (which he only did this year after being a member for 20 years) and such, but phrased it that he didn't really expect us to succeed. And no, I'm not overstating that last part, I just can't remember his exact words.
Benefit of the doubt... perhaps he phrased his statements in an odd way because all temples are currently closed indefinitely?
TinSoldier wrote:
18 Apr 2020, 00:07
If anyone's wondering why I refer to my companion in that way, you can find my thread awhile back in the introductions forum about why we can't get married.
Oh, now I remember. Yeah, that does put the previous quote in context.

Hey, some members lack tact. I remember one home teaching companion I had... once we visited an inactive member and before we did any 'get to know you' chit-chat my home teaching companion immediately launched into grilling the person over why they weren't coming to church.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

TinSoldier
Posts: 27
Joined: 25 Jan 2020, 01:51

Re: A strange prayer

Post by TinSoldier » 18 Apr 2020, 13:42

nibbler wrote:
18 Apr 2020, 05:34
Benefit of the doubt... perhaps he phrased his statements in an odd way because all temples are currently closed indefinitely?
It was more like he never expected us to achieve that. I wish I could remember the words he selected.
Hey, some members lack tact. I remember one home teaching companion I had... once we visited an inactive member and before we did any 'get to know you' chit-chat my home teaching companion immediately launched into grilling the person over why they weren't coming to church.
Heaven knows I lack tact. I've never been diagnosed, but if I'm not a high-functioning aspie (asperger's) then I sure do a good imitation of one and my EQ is in the gutter. But this guy went way beyond anything I could have imagined. I'd say I wish I had recorded it, but in truth I'm glad I didn't because it would eat at me even worse if I listened to it again.

They're an odd couple. I'm sure that applies to us as well. This other couple has about a 20 year age difference, with the wife being older. She's from El Salvador and came here with a different husband, then later married the husband we know. Years ago, not sure if either of them were members yet, he was busted for trying to grow a small pot plant and got busted. Because she lived there, they tagged her for deportation for a criminal offense and they have been fighting it ever since. They're part of the small empty-nester group that gets together from our ward.

Roy
Posts: 5998
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: A strange prayer

Post by Roy » 19 Apr 2020, 12:44

I tend to ignore this sort of thing. I have pretty much accepted that many in the church might view me as a luke warm half miler. That is ok with me partly because it fits my cafeteria approach pretty well. I do my calling well but I choose not to do many of the extras expectations that come with church membership.

I do wish to give him the benefit of the doubt on the temple thing - as in that he was praying for an impossible situation but if there is a way then that the Lord might find it.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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