It was deeply inspiring and activated me and my family -- and it lasted for a few years, even after we moved into a Ward that was exactly the opposite of this particular Ward.
Wow. What a ward. Sounds like it was amazing.
Once you moved, what changed for your church attendance...or did it change?
I've had a tumultuous time in the church since I joined 30 years ago. Largely due to the behavior of leaders who convinced me they cared more about the church than about individual needs or our core principles (I have some startling stories). There have been several times when our core values have been juxtaposed with organizational interests, and the leaders chose the church interests every single time, leaving me out to dry.
In the new Ward, I saw similar behavior. I won't go into specifics, but there was a revolt by some Ward leaders against me as HPGL, distribution of a very mean-spirited email to the entire leadership that represented a personal attack on me personally. Our Bishopric did nothing.
I continued in the calling for two more years and had some good results, but eventually grew burned out and was diagnosed (for the first time in my life) with clinical depression. I had been workign part-time, full-time, going to school for 2 Master's degrees, and my son got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 6 years of age during this time. I could not bring myself to work anymore.... I asked to be released, without disclosing the reasons why as I felt it would limit the callings I would be extended in the future if I told them.
The Stake President took his time, gave me a handshake two months later, and then FINALLY released me officially two months after that. High Councilor could not care less when I called asking for an update.
That four month period was torment for me because I take my commitments seriously. I felt I could no longer function in the calling with the depression, but didn't want to have to disclose that depression....and people kept at me to do the calling, which I felt I couldn't do anymore. It was extremely frustrating for me.
This was the last straw for me, in retrospect. I felt like a used tool in the church again -- for the leaders to do whatever they wanted with me while I sat there with pressing needs, languishing.
Taken with a group of mean youth who repeatedly bullied my daughter (culminating with their ambushing her, putting duct tape over her mouth and then carrying her into a room to forcibly confine her and bind her hands and feet), I'd about had it.
My family left that Ward and attends another one now -- even though we don't live in it.