Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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Post by Chickwit » 10 Jan 2016, 16:27

I'm new here.

I converted to the church two years ago. My husband and our adopted adult daughter also are members. We were baptized the same day.

I've been absent for a few months now and I really miss the whole ward family. We stopped attending after becoming stressed out with all the "requirements" of being a "good" Mormon. I'd like to go back but at the same time I'd like to find a way to not feel so guilty for being unable to keep "all" the commitments.

There are some things I've never believed but the Gospel I adore. The good far outweighs the not so great. I can't say bad because I've not felt that way. Only frustration. We joined and suddenly had 1st counselor callings. Me to YW's and my husband to YM's both of us felt so stupid. Here we are brand new and all the kids know far more then we do and yet we are supposed to teach and lead them.

Anyway, that's my brief intro.

Nice to meet you.

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Re: Greetings

Post by LookingHard » 10 Jan 2016, 20:51


I think it might be good for you to meet with your bishop - or even just send him an email and let him know you want to be active and progressing in the gospel, but you feel like you turned on a fire hose when you joined. It is overwhelming your family and you would like to have a little less pressure while you get adjusted.

I would say that it is a bit easy for someone that has grown up and always been a member to just assume once someone is "in" (a member) that they are ready to be just like anyone else.

Church can be a place to grow and be stretched, but just like exercise it can hurt if you start too much too quick.

I hope that might help.

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Re: Greetings

Post by Minyan Man » 10 Jan 2016, 21:02

Chickwit, Welcome.

There are times when we get sooo excited about having new convert members, that we want to give you everything at once.
There is the idea that this is the way to keep member committed by keeping them active. Too active.
I personally have seen it happen many times. I believe it should be more gradual. It is easy to scare members away.

I agree with LookHard. Talk to your Bishop. I would do it together.

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Always Thinking
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Re: Greetings

Post by Always Thinking » 10 Jan 2016, 21:47

Hello, Chickwit.
Just wanted to welcome you and also advise to talk to your bishop as Minyan and Looking Hard suggested. I was given a calling once that I really had a hard time accepting and the bishop knew it was a difficult calling for me because i was having a hard time making friends in there, so eventually they found a new place to put me and I am much happier

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Re: Greetings

Post by Ann » 10 Jan 2016, 23:44

Hi, Chickwit - Glad you're here and look forward to hearing more. Sorry for your stress right now and hope you'll be able to work something out with your bishop. It's hard to set boundaries, and I, for one, got to my fifties before I even tried.

I love the energy in my ward, the busy-ness, the can-do attitude, but none of it should come at the expense of losing people like you and your husband. Please let us know how it goes....
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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Re: Greetings

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Jan 2016, 06:12

I think sometimes member lose sight of the idea that the church can be very overwhelming for new members. Aside from the culture and vernacular, there's 3 hours of church and all kinds of seeming expectations. Take Pres. Uchtdorf's advice and simplify. ... y?lang=eng
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."

My Introduction

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Re: Greetings

Post by Chickwit » 11 Jan 2016, 12:33

Thank you all for the warm welcome.

Most likely a second introduction will pop up unless the moderators realize I was clueless about what happened to this first one. I was tired and made a shorter one. Feel free to not approve that post.

It's been a challenging few months and I wasn't sure how to reach out to my Bishop. He's a wonderful, caring man and yet I still have anxiety around this. I'm very much an introvert and have found it to be a hindrance as a LDS. I do well with the people in my ward but mention VT and I want to run away. I'm not comfortable visiting in strangers homes and I felt a bit like a fraud when we'd visit less active members.

My stint in YW’s was challenging on many levels. There was a huge rift between us and two us felt one way the other two the opposite. We lost almost all our girls except the one who would bring coffee to our meetings and dressed like a hooker with the mouth of a sailor. All the while were being told to just “love” this girl. She hated being there and made the entire experience for the remaining two girls so bad they stopped coming. Our ward is small so we only had 8 girls to start with and one family of 5 stopped coming and we were told none of the YW’s leaders were even allowed to speak to these five. I was deeply sadden because those were the girls I knew really well and genuinely enjoyed them. I’d only been a member 4 months at this point and every Wednesday I’d be sick to my stomach but went because the other counselor would be there alone. Then she requested to be removed from the calling. She had very good reason. She attempted to speak with the challenging girl and made the mistake of touching her (not in any inappropriate way, just a hand on the shoulder asking her to come talk). That opened up a whole can of worms and I completely understand why she stepped down. Yet it left me with the other two ladies who outside of YW’s were nice and I liked but at YW’s meetings I wanted to shake them. The contention that was involved was something I’ve never, ever experienced. As for my husband he’s been breathing life into a dying business for years. His hours are ridiculous leaves home at 6:00 gets home at 9:00 on a good night. Then he gets called to be Scout leader and 1st counselor in YM’s. He actually did a pretty good job of it for several months until they had to lay off most of his workers and that left him. The only time he was involved in my drama was during err mutual? When our girl coffee would be her usual self. I’m working on becoming a social worker so I have some skills in dealing with people but she behaved a lot like my adopted daughter in a many ways. Without the I’m sorry later mindset. She’s a good kid, I just wish I knew what was eating at her so badly. Her brother and mother are active and both happily from what I can tell. IDK, sorry to drone on and on with this. Seemed important when I started writing this.

I believe in the Gospel and believe in the kindheartedness of those in my ward. I struggle with it being the one and only true church. What seems to be works over grace and some of the doctrinal issues that make no sense (to me). I feel a bit better after reading some other people’s journeys on this forum. I try to do things to the very best of my ability. When I perceive I’m lacking somehow or not able to keep up with whoever; I beat myself up. I know it’s not a good thing but it’s what I do. I don't intend to sound insulting or inflammatory at all. I've been in several churches over the years and LDS has been where I felt most at home and welcome. I grew up Jehovah’s Witness mixed with Native American Spirituality (A very weird mix). With many contradictions. The number one thing that moved me about LDS was the focus on family. You know those Christmas commercials that come out every year, yeah those started my interest. We’d look forward to those every year.

Then my husband met a man through his business and had to go to his home one day. Well, several hours later they somehow ended up on the topic of religion and this man gave him a Book of Mormon. They really hit it off well and I adore this couple. I’ve met the most amazing people in the last two years. I’ve been deeply saddened at the loss of my favorite missionaries (they went home or left the ward.) We were lucky as we had the same two girls for a very long time; I’d say almost 5 months. As an introvert I don’t let a lot of people into my life and I feel like I lost good friends when they left. We’re friends on Facebook but I still really miss them. It’s part of the Mormon experience I suppose.

Anyway I figured since you were kind enough to read my first post I’d share a bit more of where I’m coming from. I also read the suggested talk from Dark Jedi; “It Works Wonderfully.” Then found another one equally inspiring “Come Join with Us” from Oct 2013.

I’m going to send my Bishop an email now. Something along the lines of wanting to talk about returning to church and progressing. He’s also an introvert so our conversations have always been awkward but still pleasant.

I barely slept last night. I had all this stuff rolling around in my head. I think it came from attending church somewhere else lately and each time I think about joining one of their community groups to get to know people. I end up just missing my old ward. In addition to it not be warm and welcoming. Plus there are people I’ve been too embarrassed to reach out to. Again that’s all on me.

So thank you for reading and I very much appreciated the advice.


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Re: Greetings

Post by Heber13 » 11 Jan 2016, 16:51

Love your post. Thanks for sharing. So nice to meet you and glad you're here.

Follow your heart and try to keep from getting overwhelmed. The church is supposed to be there for the family, to support you and yours. Others are just fumbling through figuring it out too...even those of us like me that have been members our whole lives...we're trying to figure out how to balance what others say and teach with how we will let God in our lives and find peace and balance.

Others in your ward don't know as much as you may think they do.

I find good people trying to be better at church. I have been touched by so many examples of families trying to live the gospel. I am inspired by new converts who show such faith to make changes, like you have, and find it helps rejuvenate my testimony by associating with new members.

Perhaps God is wanting you to learn how to go through your conversion and take into account this scripture (which is one of my favorites):
D&C 50:40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
I think we all have to be patient with ourselves as we learn to live the gospel and be patient with others who are going at different speeds and different depths.

Please keep posting and join our discussions. I look forward to learning from your posts.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Greetings

Post by nibbler » 12 Jan 2016, 06:19

Chickwit wrote:We joined and suddenly had 1st counselor callings. Me to YW's and my husband to YM's both of us felt so stupid. Here we are brand new and all the kids know far more then we do and yet we are supposed to teach and lead them.
I've been a member for 22 years now and I still feel stupid in my callings. :smile: A part of that feeling comes from me making a calling out to be something much more than it actually is. In my mind I'm never "good enough" to staff callings. Now a part of that is probably true ;) but a big part of it is that I've been taking callings far too seriously. It only took about 20 years for me to realize that we're all stupid in our callings so it's okay for me to be stupid in mine.

The youth may actually appreciate your lessons more than they would if they were coming from someone else. I bet most of the youth in your ward are bored to absolute tears hearing the same lessons from people with the exact same perspective year after year after year. Sometimes placing youth in a position that they can teach the instructor is exactly what the youth need in order to grow. It certainly would engage them more. I'm not trying to talk you into accepting or keeping a calling or anything, I'm just sayin', I'm sure you are a breath of fresh air to many people. ;)

Church with boundaries is so much more enjoyable than what I'll call regular church culture. People always say "just set some boundaries" but setting boundaries (and sticking to them) is tough, at least it is for me. It's especially tough at church.

Welcome to StayLDS. I look forward to hearing more from you.

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Re: Greetings

Post by nibbler » 12 Jan 2016, 06:50

Okay so I just read your second post. I had originally replied reading nothing more than the intro post. So... ignore everything I just said. :P
Chickwit wrote:I'm very much an introvert and have found it to be a hindrance as a LDS. I do well with the people in my ward but mention VT and I want to run away.
This has been my experience as well. There doesn't appear to be much room for the introvert at church. I always feel this unrelenting pressure to be "on" while at church. We are asked to get in front of people and give talks and lessons. You already mentioned HT/VT, how is that comfortable for introverts? By LDS culture standards "magnify your calling" might as well translate to "be more outgoing." It's enough to drive an introvert bonkers. I'd love to hear a general conference talk titled "What are we doing to our poor, poor introverts?" :smile:

I don't know if this is an introvert thing or a me thing but I didn't have anything in common with people my age when I was a youth and I certainly don't now. I'd do my youth calling and the whole time I'd feel like an idiot that the youth were tuning out.
Chickwit wrote:I believe in the Gospel and believe in the kindheartedness of those in my ward. I struggle with it being the one and only true church.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be the one and only true church. Why should it? Because somebody said so? Trust me, there are plenty more people that will tell you it isn't. ;) (wow, lots of emojis today, even for me).
Chickwit wrote:I try to do things to the very best of my ability. When I perceive I’m lacking somehow or not able to keep up with whoever; I beat myself up. I know it’s not a good thing but it’s what I do.
It required a faith crisis for me to pull out of that tailspin and even after that it's still a thing I'm working on. This goes back to what I was saying in the other post. I'd see other outgoing members that seemed perfect to me and it was something that I, as an introvert, just couldn't model when it was my turn at bat. I always felt like an idiot in my calling and I felt like I wasn't good enough to fill most callings. I think on some level we all hide those feelings so everyone comes out looking perfect to everyone else but deep down we all have those same feelings of inadequacy tugging at us. Maybe that's me projecting, some people really do seem to exude confidence in church. Not me.

You do hear it all the time during fast and testimony meetings, people that relay their feelings of inadequacy when receiving a new calling. Maybe that's a better alternative to most of us feeling like we deserved a calling (humility vs. ego), it's hard for me to say.

So yeah, now I tell myself that we're all stupid in our respective callings and it helps me make it through the day, I can more easily trick myself into thinking that now it's perfectly okay for me to be stupid in my calling as well.

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