What is there left to change?

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
grobert93
Posts: 70
Joined: 30 Nov 2015, 16:05

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by grobert93 » 01 Apr 2019, 09:28

AmyJ wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 09:13
grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 08:16
Few thoughts in response to some others.

Back when priesthood and relief society were broadcast on lds.org I found myself watching the sister's as well. And my mom would watch priesthood with my dad and i. So I learned quickly that the gender separation was more cultural and focused on separate responsibilities than anything else. Of course for me as a young man back in the day, I viewed priesthood session as a rebuke and call to repentance while the relief society was more on loving each other.

I think that not only does the church have reason to be worried about the youth but also young adults, especially those who finish their mission and get married. As a youth there was always something to do, a program to be involved in and a leader to guide me. Serving a mission made my purpose clear for two years. Being a young single adult, while fun was also difficult because of the culture I personally experienced which was "get married as soon as possible", implying that the YSA ward's purpose was to lose it's members. Now that I'm married with a small family, suddenly all of the programs and support I have felt leave me. Yes, soon my children will experience the levels and programs that the church offers, but at the same time now my purpose has become vague. Raise my kids up in righteousness and have a happy eternal family. Maybe im in a poorly supported area of the church, but I found myself without much support or things to do unlike when I was a youth and even a YSA.
Yup. The larger world of adulthood means more diverse life circumstances and its a lot harder to figure out what the program is to provide something for everyone.

For women in the church, culturally it meant teach (and run) Primary/Y.W. for the first 10+ years of church service (unless called into R.S.). While I possess the ability to teach children, I do not get the same level of joy from it. While it has concerned me greatly ("Am I being more honest in my experience because teaching Primary is not rewarding to anyone - and I just admit it?", or "Am I just a non-traditional female (used to insert defunct but realized that it didn't help the situation) who can add 'teaching primary' to her list of cultural non-accomplishments (including baking, running kid play dates, or crafting)?")
It's very interesting because even the youth are diverse depending on where you live and the family structure, yet because of adulthood and agency the church seems to let us make our own choices the older we are?

I find it funny since my wife works and I stay home to care for the kids, which is very untraditional. While it is accepted by most people whom I talk with, it is still clear that the end goal seems to be taught that I should get a career so she can stay home. It's very sad that a traditional historic gender role (which was established for the purposes that were needed historically) is seen as a doctrine of sorts not just in the church but society as well. It's unfortunate that I am currently studying sociology in college, because I am learning of the loopholes, the weaknesses and the conflicts of trying to live an 1850-1950's lifestyle in 2019.

The church and us members still have a problem with calling = success. General conference still squeezes out talks about a less active or investigator who found their way back on the path and are now a bishop or stake president. Regardless of intentions, we shouldn't be taught and have the mentality of being righteous and working hard so that we can receive leadership or "important and rewarding" callings in the church. It's similar to how for the longest time missionary work success was based on staying your full mission and getting a large number of baptisms. We are a numbers society and a numbers church that wants to have the appearance of success and positivity.

AmyJ
Posts: 884
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by AmyJ » 01 Apr 2019, 10:16

My husband stays at home with our children and I go to work. It works for us for right now on a lot of levels. My husband is currently studying history - which has helped him realize where "big government" came from (among other things). He didn't share how big a deal it was for women to gain the right to vote until he finished studying a segment of world history where it spelled out some of the historical landmarks and challenges of that path.

I am pretty sure that the generation ahead of us (we are late 30's/early 40's) has had a few words (or at least a few unspoken conversations) with my husband about it (which did sting my husband some), but it's what is best for us for right now. People our generation or the next generations after us don't even bat an eye (I think - they know better than to bring it up to me. My respectfully honest approach throws some people off kilter). Plus, I am very much of the "this-is-what-we-do-not-asking camp" which tends to shut down some of those conversations.

I don't know if it is a matter of "letting" people make their own choices instead of micro-managing them to the same degree, or whether the church is going to provide the overall structure and bow out of the arena as it were.

The institution needs to assist in defining success to keep people in the community. It gives them a reason to be there. Life gets much more exciting when you realize that you can't define success the way the institution does - then you have to figure it out yourself.

nibbler
Posts: 4086
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by nibbler » 01 Apr 2019, 10:22

grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 08:16
I think that not only does the church have reason to be worried about the youth but also young adults, especially those who finish their mission and get married. As a youth there was always something to do, a program to be involved in and a leader to guide me. [snip]
This probably indicates a change in me more than a change in the programs or even the approach we take to the programs but I enjoyed the church experience more as a YSA than I have as an "A." So the question is, why, what's changed?

The YSA programs felt like they were more focused on building a social community. Programs as an adult feel like they all have ulterior motives to better some 'key indicator' stat or other. Maybe this was a function of the YSA ward I was in and the wards I have been in since, meaning it's highly ward-dependent.

As a YSA the programs and get togethers were something I wanted to do, whereas as an adult the programs feel more like an obligation, something I'm required or expected to do. There may be no difference in the programs or how they are presented, it could have everything to do with life circumstances. As a YSA I had more time and more desire to have a social life, plus I was in the market for a mate. I wanted to get out there. As an adult I've got a lot more responsibilities and when I have free time I prefer to go back to my hiding spot under my bridge.

When I have hidden under my bridge I've had experiences that make me feel as though the programs are not optional. Participation feels more like an obligation or duty, and when programs start feeling like obligations it starts to eat away at my desire to participate.

It goes back to the obedience lessons. You can obey out of fear (god won't be happy with me if I don't feed this program), obey out of duty (gotta do what you gotta do), and obey out of love (I want to participate in this program).

I may have loved the programs as a YSA, felt duty bound to the programs as an adult... and I'm not going to fear god will be upset with me if I don't participate anymore. It gets really tough when you allow yourself some space and start thinking along the lines of, "I don't have to love this program. I can love other things." because then you're often left with others reminding you of your duties to participate, and I've found that existing on pure duty, or pure expectations of others simply isn't sustainable over the long haul... and that's what's left after getting married in the temple, the long haul.

grobert93
Posts: 70
Joined: 30 Nov 2015, 16:05

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by grobert93 » 01 Apr 2019, 10:36

AmyJ wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 10:16
My husband stays at home with our children and I go to work. It works for us for right now on a lot of levels. My husband is currently studying history - which has helped him realize where "big government" came from (among other things). He didn't share how big a deal it was for women to gain the right to vote until he finished studying a segment of world history where it spelled out some of the historical landmarks and challenges of that path.

I am pretty sure that the generation ahead of us (we are late 30's/early 40's) has had a few words (or at least a few unspoken conversations) with my husband about it (which did sting my husband some), but it's what is best for us for right now. People our generation or the next generations after us don't even bat an eye (I think - they know better than to bring it up to me. My respectfully honest approach throws some people off kilter). Plus, I am very much of the "this-is-what-we-do-not-asking camp" which tends to shut down some of those conversations.

I don't know if it is a matter of "letting" people make their own choices instead of micro-managing them to the same degree, or whether the church is going to provide the overall structure and bow out of the arena as it were.

The institution needs to assist in defining success to keep people in the community. It gives them a reason to be there. Life gets much more exciting when you realize that you can't define success the way the institution does - then you have to figure it out yourself.
Each couple is different, each family circumstance is different and I think that the two points I want to make with what I have said so far is,

1. Couples should make financial, academic and other important decisions together, in unity, with the spirit and no outside influence. If the wife wants to work and the husband wants to attend school and it works for them, then God speed. If a more traditional family setup works better, likewise.

2. There is no easy solution or answer, and it is very complex, however I hope that the church can start to promote more of a unified couple or family approach to the gospel than a traditional mindset. This change is already happening, and many bishops, stake presidents and members are a lot more accepting of alternative parental roles in the family. But the pressure, expectation and social characteristic from prior generations of an ideal family that they feel God would approve the most is unhealthy and often toxic. Historically I understand why the attitude existed, but it's 2019 and the 90s youth and young adults are now raising families and even becoming grandparents and have a different life experience.

My parents grew up in the 60s. My dad is a lot more "liberal" in his view of family roles, while my mom is very traditional and "closed minded" for lack of better phrase. My dad wants my wife and I to be happy and is mostly concerned that we can pay our bills and put food on the table and be happy. My mom has struggled to accept the choices we have made, with the hope that we can become more traditional because that's how she grew up.

Different generations, different life circumstances.

All of this is just interesting to me, I am not intending on creating drama. :)
nibbler wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 10:22
grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 08:16
I think that not only does the church have reason to be worried about the youth but also young adults, especially those who finish their mission and get married. As a youth there was always something to do, a program to be involved in and a leader to guide me. [snip]
This probably indicates a change in me more than a change in the programs or even the approach we take to the programs but I enjoyed the church experience more as a YSA than I have as an "A." So the question is, why, what's changed?

The YSA programs felt like they were more focused on building a social community. Programs as an adult feel like they all have ulterior motives to better some 'key indicator' stat or other. Maybe this was a function of the YSA ward I was in and the wards I have been in since, meaning it's highly ward-dependent.

As a YSA the programs and get togethers were something I wanted to do, whereas as an adult the programs feel more like an obligation, something I'm required or expected to do. There may be no difference in the programs or how they are presented, it could have everything to do with life circumstances. As a YSA I had more time and more desire to have a social life, plus I was in the market for a mate. I wanted to get out there. As an adult I've got a lot more responsibilities and when I have free time I prefer to go back to my hiding spot under my bridge.

When I have hidden under my bridge I've had experiences that make me feel as though the programs are not optional. Participation feels more like an obligation or duty, and when programs start feeling like obligations it starts to eat away at my desire to participate.

It goes back to the obedience lessons. You can obey out of fear (god won't be happy with me if I don't feed this program), obey out of duty (gotta do what you gotta do), and obey out of love (I want to participate in this program).

I may have loved the programs as a YSA, felt duty bound to the programs as an adult... and I'm not going to fear god will be upset with me if I don't participate anymore. It gets really tough when you allow yourself some space and start thinking along the lines of, "I don't have to love this program. I can love other things." because then you're often left with others reminding you of your duties to participate, and I've found that existing on pure duty, or pure expectations of others simply isn't sustainable over the long haul... and that's what's left after getting married in the temple, the long haul.
I had the fortunate/unfortunate experience to serve in a special program on my mission where I saw more of the church's functions and how it affected members. I was not as involved in baptisms and tracting as a traditional elder might be. I saw struggles in the salt lake leadership that resulted in my program being unique, requiring extra resources and having different results. After coming home and living in a more "normal" ward environment, I relized how much happier I was on my mission, not just because of having a two year purpose, but because I saw so much more behind the scenes and was able to directly impact choices. Now as a YSA my new goal seemed to be to get an education and get married. The culture shock was hard to adjust to, and resulted in my decision to become less active overtime.

I think that you are right about the perspective of the programs. Once you check off the last few boxes and are left with "endure to the end", it becomes more difficult to stay motivated and find purpose in the "extras" of the church, even if it involves witnessing your kids go through what you did 10 years ago. I'm certainly not asking the church to create programs just to keep 25-35 year olds busy, but it sure feels different once you're a real adult and have a family to care for, and are making choices that you feel benefit your family that otherwise would be viewed as straying off the path.

This is a very interesting conversation. Thank you!

nibbler
Posts: 4086
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by nibbler » 01 Apr 2019, 11:02

grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 10:36
I'm certainly not asking the church to create programs just to keep 25-35 year olds busy, but it sure feels different once you're a real adult and have a family to care for, and are making choices that you feel benefit your family that otherwise would be viewed as straying off the path.
That's probably it. That at some point the programs started to feel like all they did was keep me busy instead of something I derived any benefit from. It's one thing to derive benefit indirectly (children receiving the benefit) but I feel like there's got to be at least a little direct benefit to recharge the battery. Some give and some take.

AmyJ
Posts: 884
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by AmyJ » 01 Apr 2019, 11:06

grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 10:36
I think that you are right about the perspective of the programs. Once you check off the last few boxes and are left with "endure to the end", it becomes more difficult to stay motivated and find purpose in the "extras" of the church, even if it involves witnessing your kids go through what you did 10 years ago. I'm certainly not asking the church to create programs just to keep 25-35 year olds busy, but it sure feels different once you're a real adult and have a family to care for, and are making choices that you feel benefit your family that otherwise would be viewed as straying off the path.
Our Relief Society is hosting monthly (some are bi-monthly) activities for the sisters. This is not a new thing. They used to hold low-key activities on Saturday afternoons. Some of them I bluffed bringing my 2 girls to (I had a cute baby, so I played the "baby card" to bring her to her adoring wannabe grandmas and my other daughter has always been quiet, quirky and well-behaved child I could unleash in the nursery). I did confirm with our Relief Society President before each activity. I got some raised eye brows - but I made no secret of the fact that my husband needed a break from the kids (the way that a stay at home mom could relate to) and I wanted to be at the activity and spend time with my daughters as a pre-emptive cultural strike. It helps we are in a small branch.

But now, deciding to go is a different ballgame. They hold the activities on Friday evenings. When I go to an activity (it means peopling - but it means being away from my girls among friends). I can choose to go knowing that my toddler is going to scream her head off as I head out the door, the oldest one may have a problem with it (or be entirely oblivious to it or both), and that my husband is stuck with the kids again. I don't really want to people that late sometimes. Sometimes it is a solid choice of handling the home executive labor (aka chores and laundry) that I would be giving up to go. On the other hand, it is my community and I should support my community. It is made complicated by the fact that there is a good chance that if people in the community knew where my testimony was, they wouldn't speak to me - let alone be my friend.

User avatar
Holy Cow
Posts: 297
Joined: 10 Nov 2014, 17:07
Location: Las Vegas

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by Holy Cow » 01 Apr 2019, 11:13

mom3 wrote:
31 Mar 2019, 09:22
GC is a week away. The web is rife with rumors. Most of them totally bogus. So...what is left to change?
Thus far,
  • church hours
  • home study
  • temple program
  • mission rules
  • seminary
  • quorums
  • classes
  • death rituals
Your thoughts?
Personally, I would like to see them change the requirement for young men needing to hold the priesthood to do baptisms for the dead. I can somewhat understand the requirement for men to hold the priesthood before doing other temple ordinances, but I don't see any reason that boys under 18 should be required to hold the priesthood to do baptisms for the dead.
I also like the idea that others have shared for doing away with, or at least loosening the reins, on seminary. My wife and I just had a discussion this weekend about my son going to seminary next school year. She wants to force him to go, and I think it's more important for him to get a full nights' sleep than to go to seminary at 5am. If he could do the online option, I'd be more on board with it, but I think it does more harm than good to force a kid to go to seminary (who doesn't want to be there in the first place) at 5am, and then expect them to be able to fully function through school the rest of the day. It's unreasonable. My wife likes to sleep in, so I told her that if she is going to require him to go to seminary, then she should lead by example and should get out of bed at 4am, shower, get dressed, get ready for her day, and bring him to seminary every day. When I said that, I think it put into perspective exactly what she's expecting of him, and she immediately backed down. She said that she'd be okay with us coming up with our own version of 'seminary' and giving him assignments that would be beneficial for him, but him homework and sleep will be a higher priority.
It would also be good to see more priesthood extended to sisters, although I have extremely low expectations that this would happen. It would be great to see them start to fill some key roles with sisters. Let's add some sisters in the 70 and in the general sunday school presidency! I would love to crack that egg wide open, but just don't see it happening. I get sick of hearing that women already have priesthood, but just not the authority to use it. It feels like lip service. What good is having something that you can't use. If I hired a new employee, and told them that they'd be paid the same as all of my other employees, with the exception that they can't cash their paycheck, then the paycheck would be worthless to them! I wish they would stop treating the topic with kid gloves and take a real stance. Either they support giving women the priesthood (and allowing them to USE it!), or they don't. I wish they'd stop beating around the bush and just vocalize exactly where they stand.
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

grobert93
Posts: 70
Joined: 30 Nov 2015, 16:05

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by grobert93 » 01 Apr 2019, 11:20

nibbler wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 11:02
grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 10:36
I'm certainly not asking the church to create programs just to keep 25-35 year olds busy, but it sure feels different once you're a real adult and have a family to care for, and are making choices that you feel benefit your family that otherwise would be viewed as straying off the path.
That's probably it. That at some point the programs started to feel like all they did was keep me busy instead of something I derived any benefit from. It's one thing to derive benefit indirectly (children receiving the benefit) but I feel like there's got to be at least a little direct benefit to recharge the battery. Some give and some take.
What frustrates me is the attitude / miscommunication that I received from leaders locally and in the leadership of the church that these programs were inspired by God / revelation and that means if you don't attend you are not active as a member. In a sense, if I did not attend mutual it was as though I skipped church one day, or I declined receiving the priesthood, etc. These programs are great socially and I am grateful for the scouting program I was involved with back in the day, I was grateful for the feeling of being in a group of people with similar standards. But now, I realize that the cultural expectation to be active included attending scouts, attending mutual and attending any other programed activity that was hosted by the church. I wish that it was relaxed more. That not attending mutual because of school or work or even family obligations wouldn't result in frowns and a hidden status in the ward as a "trouble" member.
AmyJ wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 11:06
grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 10:36
I think that you are right about the perspective of the programs. Once you check off the last few boxes and are left with "endure to the end", it becomes more difficult to stay motivated and find purpose in the "extras" of the church, even if it involves witnessing your kids go through what you did 10 years ago. I'm certainly not asking the church to create programs just to keep 25-35 year olds busy, but it sure feels different once you're a real adult and have a family to care for, and are making choices that you feel benefit your family that otherwise would be viewed as straying off the path.
Our Relief Society is hosting monthly (some are bi-monthly) activities for the sisters. This is not a new thing. They used to hold low-key activities on Saturday afternoons. Some of them I bluffed bringing my 2 girls to (I had a cute baby, so I played the "baby card" to bring her to her adoring wannabe grandmas and my other daughter has always been quiet, quirky and well-behaved child I could unleash in the nursery). I did confirm with our Relief Society President before each activity. I got some raised eye brows - but I made no secret of the fact that my husband needed a break from the kids (the way that a stay at home mom could relate to) and I wanted to be at the activity and spend time with my daughters as a pre-emptive cultural strike. It helps we are in a small branch.

But now, deciding to go is a different ballgame. They hold the activities on Friday evenings. When I go to an activity (it means peopling - but it means being away from my girls among friends). I can choose to go knowing that my toddler is going to scream her head off as I head out the door, the oldest one may have a problem with it (or be entirely oblivious to it or both), and that my husband is stuck with the kids again. I don't really want to people that late sometimes. Sometimes it is a solid choice of handling the home executive labor (aka chores and laundry) that I would be giving up to go. On the other hand, it is my community and I should support my community. It is made complicated by the fact that there is a good chance that if people in the community knew where my testimony was, they wouldn't speak to me - let alone be my friend.
That is wonderful! And I am so glad to hear that you are open minded with realizing the benefits but the disadvantages of these cultural socials. You leave your husband with "screaming kids" but at least you're present at a church social. It's a tough environment that I ponder how the church can better manage in the future.

It's fun for my wife and I when we go to church. I usually keep the kid in the foyer and have him run around and be distracted while she's in the chapel. People sometimes ask where I am and she says here but with the kid. Again, it might be regional but it's funny watching people seem disappointed that I'm managing the children while she's performing her callings and "appearing more active".

grobert93
Posts: 70
Joined: 30 Nov 2015, 16:05

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by grobert93 » 01 Apr 2019, 11:24

Holy Cow wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 11:13
mom3 wrote:
31 Mar 2019, 09:22
GC is a week away. The web is rife with rumors. Most of them totally bogus. So...what is left to change?
Thus far,
  • church hours
  • home study
  • temple program
  • mission rules
  • seminary
  • quorums
  • classes
  • death rituals
Your thoughts?
Personally, I would like to see them change the requirement for young men needing to hold the priesthood to do baptisms for the dead. I can somewhat understand the requirement for men to hold the priesthood before doing other temple ordinances, but I don't see any reason that boys under 18 should be required to hold the priesthood to do baptisms for the dead.
I also like the idea that others have shared for doing away with, or at least loosening the reins, on seminary. My wife and I just had a discussion this weekend about my son going to seminary next school year. She wants to force him to go, and I think it's more important for him to get a full nights' sleep than to go to seminary at 5am. If he could do the online option, I'd be more on board with it, but I think it does more harm than good to force a kid to go to seminary (who doesn't want to be there in the first place) at 5am, and then expect them to be able to fully function through school the rest of the day. It's unreasonable. My wife likes to sleep in, so I told her that if she is going to require him to go to seminary, then she should lead by example and should get out of bed at 4am, shower, get dressed, get ready for her day, and bring him to seminary every day. When I said that, I think it put into perspective exactly what she's expecting of him, and she immediately backed down. She said that she'd be okay with us coming up with our own version of 'seminary' and giving him assignments that would be beneficial for him, but him homework and sleep will be a higher priority.
It would also be good to see more priesthood extended to sisters, although I have extremely low expectations that this would happen. It would be great to see them start to fill some key roles with sisters. Let's add some sisters in the 70 and in the general sunday school presidency! I would love to crack that egg wide open, but just don't see it happening. I get sick of hearing that women already have priesthood, but just not the authority to use it. It feels like lip service. What good is having something that you can't use. If I hired a new employee, and told them that they'd be paid the same as all of my other employees, with the exception that they can't cash their paycheck, then the paycheck would be worthless to them! I wish they would stop treating the topic with kid gloves and take a real stance. Either they support giving women the priesthood (and allowing them to USE it!), or they don't. I wish they'd stop beating around the bush and just vocalize exactly where they stand.
My sister is seminary age and I shudder as I learn that my parents in their mid 50s are still waking up at 4 am every workday to get her ready and themselves ready, go drop her off and pick her up. come home just to have breakfast and go to work etc. It makes my own schedule of 6:30 workdays feel so much better. I understand the concept of sacrifice being important, but intentionally requiring everyone to sacrifice in unhealthy ways when it seems obvious the better ways to make the situation improved makes me upset. We are told to care for our bodies, but we are frowned upon if we decline seminary because it's too early.

AmyJ
Posts: 884
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: What is there left to change?

Post by AmyJ » 01 Apr 2019, 11:36

grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 11:20
That is wonderful! And I am so glad to hear that you are open minded with realizing the benefits but the disadvantages of these cultural socials. You leave your husband with "screaming kids" but at least you're present at a church social. It's a tough environment that I ponder how the church can better manage in the future.
Nah. The last activity was Pictionary out in a cool member's house in the boondocks in the snow. No thanks. Technically, I could have gone because a sister could easily have given me a ride, but when there is snow on the ground, it is hibernation time.

There is a painting class scheduled for May. No snow. I am psyching myself up to decide to go or not to go so that I can tell them and then they know how many paintings to plan for.
grobert93 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 11:20
It's fun for my wife and I when we go to church. I usually keep the kid in the foyer and have him run around and be distracted while she's in the chapel. People sometimes ask where I am and she says here but with the kid. Again, it might be regional but it's funny watching people seem disappointed that I'm managing the children while she's performing her callings and "appearing more active".
We got lucky in our branch. I put out an emergency request for someone to watch the 9 year old during this week so my husband could study for his finals [The 2 year old spends her day following and nagging the 9 year old so it winds up being lots of fun for all parties involved]. I only asked 3 sisters total, but none of them blinked an eye at my husband not being able to study with both girls underfoot, and 1 of them assisted us meaningfully.

Post Reply