Rumin8 wrote: ↑
18 Feb 2019, 20:09
Its fascinating to me the range of experiences we each have in this church. On one hand, it’s what makes it special. On the other, it’s maddening.
Recently I have had some in-depth conversations with my DW about my lack of TR. she is very much of Hebers view. She believes, even with knowledge of certain choices I have deliberately made of late, that if I wanted to there is enough wiggle room in the TR process that I could obtain one if I rest wanted to. This is a source of contention.
There are some who pay 10% for a while to get the TR and go to special ordinances (like weddings and endowments).
Some pay on surplus. I think there is some justification for that scripturally, although lots of GA talks have defined it as 10% of gross or maybe net, which is the prevailing belief.
While I’m struggling with it, I tend to fall more in line with SDs comments above. (And I may be mischaracterizing each of you, and if so, I apologize). I expect people who hold TR to be a cut above the rest. It literally is the highest level of obedience you can obtain in our church. Whether or not I could parse all the other questions in an affirmative way, I cannot, with any level of personal integrity, answer affirmatively in the final question. That is not a judgment of others who hold a TR. But I know my heart and feelings regarding the church and temples, and I do not find myself worthy of that level at this time.
I don't really look at it as "worthiness", it's a matter of personal integrity.
I’m trying to learn to accept mediocrity in the church. But it is hard. I live in an excellent ward. I think most try to serve diligently.
That is great. I was in Bpric in one such ward, and it's truly inspiring -- but also, very rare unless you locate in wards that have that orientation. They are the exception, not the norm, in my experience.
3) I very much admire you for taking Your calling and really trying to make a difference with it. Mad respect. I would have thrown in the towel long ago.
Accepting and even living mediocrity myself is hard. I have had to deal with it throughout my church experience. My first missionary companion contacted me recently. Now, 30 years later, he admitted he "held me back" and seemed to apologize. I remember him telling me we would only baptize people who fell into our laps, and that it wasn't worth the effort to be proactive. As senior companion, he put down my faithful ideas. I find it's that way in most of my volunteer endeavors. And in my family relationships with some of my family members. I tend to be way more motivated than, and it leads to rejection and frustration when people won't do what is necessary to achieve excellence. It's like you are working with bumps on logs. That was how I felt in these situations...recognizing there were exceptional people who did what was necessary, but as a rarity.
I've since learned just to focus on excellence in my own area. Also, find out how much commitment people have to a particular endeavor and just expect that. Or decide it's not for you.
A few years ago, I wanted to organize my neighborhood. We all met, and it was clear that everyone wanted the safety and community benefits, but no one wanted to do any work. I dropped the idea. It was going to be all me, dragging the rest of the neighborhood. I have learned to recognize these situations where you are surrounded by uncommitted people; run like Hades.
I have since learned to screen people when I want excellence. In my non-profit, they have to jump through MAJOR hoops if they want to serve alongside me, and they have to have skills in the area in which I need them. The church -- you have a limited pool of people on which to draw; in the non-profit world, the entire world is at your disposal.
I think this church would be much better off if we took more opportunities to thank people for the service they do, great or small, than asking them for more. That is one of my biggest key peeves: No matter what we do, it never seems like enough. This is the downside of the theory of eternal progression.
Yes! Even interpersonal appreciation, or the Bpric inviting someone to a special meeting where they all thank you as having stood out, or made significant contributions -- that they didn't want to simply release you without thanks. I don't think award ceremonies and public recognition is the way to go, but gestures that show we don't take member's commitment for granted would be a big step forward.
Here are the ways we communicate disrespect and taking for granted in our church.
1) Leaving people in callings for months and months and months after they have asked for a released, with no communication.
2) Putting people in callings and then not giving them support for the things they need -- things only leaders above them can give.
3) Repeatedly saying "no" to ideas that are perfectly reasonable.
4) Allowing members on the same leadership plan to trash other leaders on that plane, without any intervention or correction.
5) Chastising the members for asking to be released when a calling no longer works for them.
6) Expecting the same commitment as a paid employee
7) Throw you into a calling with no manual or training or orientation
8) Mocking people who indicate where they would like to serve in the church.
9) Being all nicey nicey when they think they are making progress in getting you active again, and then dropping you like a hot potato after you recommit.
Ways we can improve:
1) Be responsive to releases. If someone wants out, then release them and call a counselor as acting president, for example, until someone can be found. Why keep the person on the directory and in the calling when they are no longer functioning?
2) Give people the training, manuals, and information they can't get on their own or may not know where to look.
3) Allow innovation and ownership of new ideas.
4) Take interpersonal conflict seriously, and deal with it in a way that exemplifies gospel commitment to good relationships.
5) Be thankful for what members can give; avoid trying to make them good Mormons rather than simply good people.
6) Recognizing that like it or not, we are volunteers, and should be treated as such. No demanding expectations. Use words of respect such as "Are you willing to..?" "Would you have time to...", "I dont' want to take advantage of your goodwill, but do you have the time to do such and such over the next few weeks?".
7) Solicit from members where they would like to serve, and where possible, try to put them in positions that align with their current interests, personalities and passions.
8) Give sustained support for people in their callings, even after they have transitioned from less activity to full activity.