An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
HazyShadeofFall
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Aug 2019, 10:39

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by HazyShadeofFall » 26 Apr 2020, 21:42

My experience with meetings suspended has not been a positive one. The last month and a half have only reinforced the fact that, despite how frustrating or boring or even infuriating church meetings sometimes are, they are a crucial part of my social life. I love my ward. It's my community and my home. Now I have timed Relief Society Zoom meetings, which I am thankful for, but it's really not the same experience. With the recent sacrament guideline announcement I am faced with the possibility of not having taking an "official" sacrament for months on end, depending on how government regulations change over the summer. I'm a single woman living with two non-LDS roommates. Yes, I can study on my own and build a relationship with God on my own, but if that's all I needed then I wouldn't feel such a need to stay in this church. I need community and now I feel like I've lost it.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7225
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by DarkJedi » 27 Apr 2020, 06:07

HazyShadeofFall wrote:
26 Apr 2020, 21:42
My experience with meetings suspended has not been a positive one. The last month and a half have only reinforced the fact that, despite how frustrating or boring or even infuriating church meetings sometimes are, they are a crucial part of my social life. I love my ward. It's my community and my home. Now I have timed Relief Society Zoom meetings, which I am thankful for, but it's really not the same experience. With the recent sacrament guideline announcement I am faced with the possibility of not having taking an "official" sacrament for months on end, depending on how government regulations change over the summer. I'm a single woman living with two non-LDS roommates. Yes, I can study on my own and build a relationship with God on my own, but if that's all I needed then I wouldn't feel such a need to stay in this church. I need community and now I feel like I've lost it.
I do get that for many the social part of church is very important. For some of us church/church activities are most of our social life. I think that's why in places where Zoom type meetings have taken off (my own ward now included) it's because it offers some of that socialization. My ward had priesthood and RS meetings yesterday (separate times). I skipped PH, but DW did RS and I heard much of it. Truth is I was mostly disgusted by it but I won't get in to that here and now. In the end it seemed to me to be much more of a social meeting and not a spiritual meeting, and my own disgust aside I'm sure it filled a need/desire for many who participated (DW included). In another time, pre faith crisis, I would have been all in and admit that in that time church was important socially to me as well. My period of inactivity, not the crisis itself, changed that for me. I haven't said this in a while here, but if you want to find out who your friends in the church are (and aren't) stop coming for a while - but be prepared for it being a lot different than you thought.

And I get the sacrament part as well. I have stated often here that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper does hold some meaning for me and it is in fact why I attend church. However, I have over the years found that I can actually get that same meaning from other sources, including readily available online Catholic mass. In some ways I actually like how Catholics do it a little better because they formally remind us of the first sacrament and its purpose as part of the rite. I know not everyone is in the same spot I am in this regard and that's OK, I'm just sharing my own thoughts on the subject. Since the sacrament is emphasized in the church (more so of late), I have found the counsel to ponder the words instead of the actually saying the prayer to be a bit lacking for those who are much more orthodox than I.
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

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4453
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by nibbler » 27 Apr 2020, 10:15

HazyShadeofFall,

That's tough. I think social outlets are spiritual needs for many people. I adjusted to "cave dweller" living some time ago, so it's important to be reminded that while all of our needs are different, they are just that, needs, and are all still very important. I hope you can find a way to reengage with the church socially.

DJ,

I've attended a few EQ meetings online. Each time I did the online thing I was reminded why I stopped attending in-person EQ years ago. Most of the meetings boil down to talking about how great something was that someone said during general conference. It's kind of like The Chris Farley Show from SNL but with a church theme and the celebrity isn't present.

You remember when Nelson said the new proclamation. That was awesome.
You know the new church logo? It's so awesome.

What I need to remember is that while it may not work for me (at all), it's still how the people in attendance bond with each other. The only option I really have is to opt out of attendance and then get in trouble for not going. :P
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
— Rumi

User avatar
Sheldon
Posts: 454
Joined: 14 Aug 2013, 13:44

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by Sheldon » 27 Apr 2020, 15:48

Check out This Reddit post over at the very TBM sub called r/latterdaysaints. He said while home church is hard, it is so much better that going to church, and he is not looking forward to returning. I was wondering how this didn't get removed, as they normally remove anything even slightly against the church. But then I read the comments, and almost all said the exact same thing! They love stay at home church, and don't want to go back. Sounds like the church has a problem!

Best comment: I haven't had a bad come follow me lesson all month, no one's said anything racist or preached false doctrine over the pulpit, and it's been a real boost to my testimony seeing all these people do wonderful things in a time of absolute mayhem.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7225
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by DarkJedi » 27 Apr 2020, 17:04

Sheldon wrote:
27 Apr 2020, 15:48
Check out This Reddit post over at the very TBM sub called r/latterdaysaints. He said while home church is hard, it is so much better that going to church, and he is not looking forward to returning. I was wondering how this didn't get removed, as they normally remove anything even slightly against the church. But then I read the comments, and almost all said the exact same thing! They love stay at home church, and don't want to go back. Sounds like the church has a problem!

Best comment: I haven't had a bad come follow me lesson all month, no one's said anything racist or preached false doctrine over the pulpit, and it's been a real boost to my testimony seeing all these people do wonderful things in a time of absolute mayhem.
This was pretty similar to my stake council experience, Sheldon. People weren't really saying they'd rather not go back, but they did rave about how much better it is having church at home.

I'm familiar with that Reddit - I agree, I'm surprised such comments have been allowed to stay.
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

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4453
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by nibbler » 27 Apr 2020, 17:53

I've said as much at the other forum...

I think a lot of it comes down to whether you're an introvert or extrovert. Church can be an extrovert's paradise but it can be very rough on the introvert.

I know the expectations have shifted in recent years (for many but not all wards) but take home teaching as an example. I bet extroverts loved the chance to get out and socialize, but it can be a nightmare for introverts. Artificial relationships, expectations for visits. You either did the home teaching and were uncomfortable with the whole thing or you didn't do home teaching and felt guilty during all those lessons about how bad you were for not doing it good enough.

That's a tangent, but the point is that for introverts going to church can feel more like meeting obligations and begrudgingly doing a duty. You may not like church but the church is true, so you gotta.

When church is closed, the mountain of obligations go with it. No callings, no programs, no expectations, no guilt. It's liberating to let that stuff go 100% guilt free.
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
— Rumi

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2950
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by LookingHard » 28 Apr 2020, 07:00

When I let my wife know that I no longer believed, one thing I told her is that I planned on always continuing to attend sac meeting with her as I know it can be hard to be there by ones self. Even though that was 2+ years ago, I still have not told my leaders where I am at belief wise.

But dang it has been nice and I am worrying that it is going to be hard to go back when they start back up. I can probably skip a few weeks saying, "I just don't feel comfortable that it is safe yet", but that is going to wear thin quickly if the infection rates are low locally (or if a vaccine is found soon - if we can be so lucky). But even when I attend I don't think I am going to want to take the sacrament for quite a long time.

We still have not paid tithing yet this year, but I think it is just because my wife is an essential worker and been to busy to figure it out. But I just can't do that anymore - at least on my half of my earnings. So I will be telling her I fully support her continuing to pay, but I want to divert to giving to other charitable orgs. I know she isn't going to be happy with that, but I just can't. Especially after all the Ensign Peak stuff and also knowing how much goes to payoff sex abuse victims.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1974
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by Minyan Man » 28 Apr 2020, 07:10

LookingHard, I hope this isn't off topic, but, I'm curious, do you have friends at church who understand what you're going through
and accept you regardless? Are there members who you can be completely open with?

grobert93
Posts: 134
Joined: 30 Nov 2015, 16:05

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by grobert93 » 28 Apr 2020, 08:56

I am reminded of a talk from Ucthdorf a few years back. His message was about a simple flower, being covered by decorative leaves and multiple layers. His message? We take the beauty of a flower and cover it with our own distractions.

To me, that is the mormon church. The church HAS a message. It HAS a product to sell. But a lot of the time we only hear about the new logo, chant and another reason why it's great to have Nelson as CEO, that we forget the church sells a product in the first place.

My dad put it best when I went on my mission. Remember the church's message is this, "Jesus is the Christ. He lives! He loves us and wants us to become as he is, and the LDS church provides a way for everyone to follow him." There was no Joseph Smith story, there was no how many temples can we announce this conference. It was truly just about Jesus.

My problem is, im an introvert and find extroverted social gatherings without a use to be pointless. I'm talking meetings at church, social functions led by the church. Sure, it was fun attending church dances as a youth, but they'd always sneak in a spiritual thought that was quickly dismissed for the loud and crazy music. I noticed that when I was in the YSA wards. Fun activity planned? Awesome! Here's 5 minutes reading a scripture or listening to a talk from the prophet. Ok, let's have fun! On my mission we had three hour church and two hour pre-church meetings. We didn't attend the bishop meeting. So imagine how many hours the bishop spends NOT with family, NOT doing actual service and NOT resting, just being a figurehead for the ward. From 6am to 8pm. Every Sunday. Imagine the stake president. Imagine a church that claims that Jesus runs it, demanding long free hours from working husband and fathers.

I think this whole virus shutdown situation has been very, very eye opening to nearly every single member who has never questioned their lifestyle. When you're told that "we do this because it's how we do it", you learn to not ask why. It's how I was growing up. Now that everyone doesn't have to stress about looking good for the bishop and the rich family in the ward (because I just do not feel convinced that Jesus cares what color shirt you wear passing the sacrament... or if you grab the bread with your left hands... Oaks...), doesn't have to stay alert all two (used to be three) hours AND worry about tithing, fast offerings or HT/VT, they see the freedom of being an inactive member. That it's possible to believe in Jesus and not feel burdened and stressed from a cultured world of religious idealistic. it's such a new perspective when you decide your destiny.

Anyway, I think this consequence is good, I hope people open their eyes and see that there's other ways to be happy and have a relationship with God than just following a strict lifestyle set by a church that makes "adjustments" as public pressure persists.

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7336
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: An unintended "consequence" of home church?

Post by SilentDawning » 28 Apr 2020, 18:10

Basically not going to church removes its influence from your life -- to some extent. You are left to your own devices spiritually. And for those of us who find ourselves at odds with the church at times, it is a relief and a break. I am in full compliance with church attendance this last month!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Post Reply