Comfort in the name of this Site

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51Mag
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Joined: 30 Apr 2017, 15:43

Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by 51Mag » 28 May 2017, 08:54

Hello,
I am really excited and nervous about posting here. I have been following this forum for a while and I want to have a place to get things off my chest.

Background: I was not raised in the LDS faith, I was raised Catholic and had a very loving and positive childhood. I had my first introductions to the Church in High School and then again in college when I dated a less active member. After that, I found my best friend and the love of my life while attending college and she has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't want to give a lot of details but she is the best and she is the reason I joined the Church.

Since joining I have held a lot of Church callings that would indicate I am a "rock". Mulitple ward and stake callings the last was being Bishop for 5 years. And now I am on a site that is designed to help support me in staying in the Church. I have counseled so may people with this same problem and yet here I am. And of course, I can't go anywhere because "he was Bishop". I really hate that stigma, as if I can't have my doubts or feelings. But I can tell you it is real. People look at you differently and you are always under a microscope. We act like that is wrong and is not the way, but it is.

I don't want to give away my identity but my faith crisis came at the end of being Bishop. I don't think it was because of any specific doctrine or history. It was because I was burnt out and my family was burnt out. I tried very hard to balance Church versus family but the Church ALWAYS won. There was always someone needing assistance, counseling, help etc. I would try my best to balance things but it took its toll on myself and my wife. I can honestly say that my blood boils when I hear about having a "meeting". I have been a part of so many meetings that were absolutely pointless and could have been taken care of with a text or email.

We are very analytical thinkers, which is probably our downfall, we overthink everything. So where are we at? We struggle we some of the doctrine and history like anyone else but we are really struggling with the living allowance and about being asked to do more. I'll post about that in the correct spot.

Well, that is me. I am a person who should have "more faith" and "know better", I want to stay LDS but I just need support in doing so. I hope I can find it with all of you.

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SilentDawning
Posts: 6316
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by SilentDawning » 28 May 2017, 11:27

Welcome -- you aren't the first Bishop to come here. We had one that was currently serving as a Bishop, not yet retired. He didn't post much but he did indicate he was having issues.

I appreciate your post as I've been on the radar for Bishop responsibilities several times in my lifetime, and I've missed the bullet several times as a result. My wife is also not supportive of me doing it, perhaps because she knows my true feelings and gives negative reports to the leaders who are considering calling me. She's done it twice now...

Your post makes me thankful that I never had to do it given the aftermath pressure you are facing.

But also take comfort in this -- none of us -- not one of us, can go to local leaders or anyone in our real life set of church friends and be totally authentic about our concerns. Not and keep our options open for various life events (temple marriages, ordinations), or even our circle of friends intact.

But I empathize with your extra layer of concern. I know firsthand how existing priesthood leaders can be very judgmental of people who used to be SP's and BP's. I've seen a few have issues and rather than being supportive and inclusive, the back office talk hasn't been pretty about them. IN other words "they should know better".

Glad you are here and I hope to hear more about your concerns and issues so you can find a way to be at peace with any concerns while still remaining active. I suspect you have familial expectations too that need to be considered, which is what seems to make things things even more complicated.
"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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Willhewonder
Posts: 57
Joined: 28 Jul 2016, 08:54

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by Willhewonder » 28 May 2017, 12:40

Thanks for posting. I struggle with burnout as well, although I haven't been in the crucible like you have. I think you will get much help here, and I will be paying close attention your and other's comments, though I don't know how much I'll be able to help.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by DarkJedi » 28 May 2017, 13:21

Welcome to the forum. You are in good company and you are safe here. As SD pointed out, you are not the first bishop to be here.

I can relate to burn out, and I think it's becoming more of an issue for the church. In a more perfect world (church?) much of what the bishop does would be split up among other leaders (EQP, HPGL, RSP, YM/YWP, HT, VT, etc.). I do think bishops are overburdened and it obviously takes a toll. I have never met a bishop who wasn't glad it was over.

My advice is standard, although I feel like I haven't said it in awhile: take it slow, don't dump all at once, and focus on what you do believe.

I hope to hear more from you, with more specific questions. We do try to do what we say we try to do - help people StayLDS. May you find the peace you seek.
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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Heber13
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Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by Heber13 » 28 May 2017, 16:03

I'm glad you posted. Thanks for sharing your experience.


I think burnout sometimes helps us to stop and catch our breath. Then we look around and see a lot of stuff we didn't have time for or didn't let ourselves see about the world and those in it because we were so confident and focused on lengthening our stride and keeping pace with others.

Once you do take a break...you realize maybe there is more to religion and God than just more church.

It isn't necessarily a sign of weakness spiritually. It is sometimes broadening our testimonies to allow greater love into our hearts.

Glad you are here. 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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SilentDawning
Posts: 6316
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by SilentDawning » 28 May 2017, 19:38

I also want to add that burnout was also a major factor in my last suite of problems that led me here -- and I see it as a real problem with many of the leaders in my current ward....
"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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LookingHard
Posts: 2581
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by LookingHard » 28 May 2017, 19:51

Glad you are here. Burnout was a major part of my dissafection. I really wasn't happy in almost any part of my life and I was following the "script" that was supposed to make me happy. Then I went down the rabbit hole looking for some answers and found some "answers" but not ones the church likes.

Start creating some boundaries and saying NO at times. Skip some meetings. It helps me from just walking away from the church and upsetting my wife.

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 May 2017, 21:40

Welcome. I am glad you found us and are participating now.

The one thing that has helped me avoid burnout the most is a commitment to the following maxim:
If they call me, they get me.
Expectations be damned. I am me, and that is who serves in any calling I accept. I do my best, but, even according to the Church leadership, my family comes first. It always will.

If they call me, they get me. If that isn't enough, they can release me. No hard feelings. I am cool with that.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SilentDawning
Posts: 6316
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by SilentDawning » 29 May 2017, 07:29

Ray DeGraw wrote:
28 May 2017, 21:40
Welcome. I am glad you found us and are participating now.

The one thing that has helped me avoid burnout the most is a commitment to the following maxim:
If they call me, they get me.
Expectations be damned. I am me, and that is who serves in any calling I accept. I do my best, but, even according to the Church leadership, my family comes first. It always will.

If they call me, they get me. If that isn't enough, they can release me. No hard feelings. I am cool with that.
I want to extend what Ray said. Due to burnout and what I felt was an extreme lack of respect for the hours volunteers put into our church, my phrase is:
If you ask me to do something, you get a response that is best for me -- and me includes a reasoned assessment of the impact on everyone around me, including you. If I accept, you get me and all my warts and limitations
About five years ago I was coming off a HPGL calling. I was looking for something to do in the church that would help me apply and extend my leadership ability. Something I felt passionate about. I gave our BP suggestions and he took none of them -- instead he gave the worst calling for someone like me who was feeling burned out an used -- Seminary teacher. I refused. Recently, I refused five callings before they hit on one that overlapped my passions and commitment sufficiently for me to say "yes".

Boundaries and Freedom are the unlikely twins when it comes to church service in my view.
"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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Minyan Man
Posts: 1388
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Comfort in the name of this Site

Post by Minyan Man » 29 May 2017, 07:51

51Mag, welcome to our little family. I don't have alot to add at this time.
Keep coming back.

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