Starved for Connections

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Beachplease7
Posts: 5
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 12:15

Starved for Connections

Post by Beachplease7 » 28 Jan 2020, 20:54

I haven’t been on in a while. Sometimes I feel so desperately lonely in this journey. I moved into a new house and ward. I’ve only been to church once. It was the Christmas service and it was amazing. It was filled with beautiful music that brought me to tears. I miss that. I miss feeling a part of something. I miss knowing people and having connections. This past year I changed jobs and moved to a much less “social” job, so not much connecting going on there. My son who attends church with his Dad is increasingly distant from me. I think he is angry with me for not doing the church thing. It’s killing me; we’ve always been so close. Part of me wants to just go again. But it’s just not comfortable especially with it being B of M year. I guess, bottom line, is I’m sad. Thanks for letting me unload.

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SamBee
Posts: 5592
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Starved for Connections

Post by SamBee » 29 Jan 2020, 05:04

For all its faults, I feel more connected in church than out. I get to meet people of different ages and backgrounds.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
Posts: 7318
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Starved for Connections

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Jan 2020, 05:49

The church is my tribe, and yours. Sounds like you had a good experience at Christmas - count that as the positive it is. I struggled with going back 6 years ago (if you search far enough back my posts during that time are here). No doubt it's hard. I still struggle some days. I skip SS often, sometimes I even go home. We are all on this path together, but we're also all doing the journey on our own - and for those of us who wander but are not lost it can be very lonely. Other than sending virtual hugs, all I can do is encourage you to try even if it's only for the sake of your relationship with your son. In retrospect, the issues are mine, not the church's.
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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nibbler
Posts: 4520
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Starved for Connections

Post by nibbler » 29 Jan 2020, 07:56

Maybe you'd benefit from knowing people in your local area that may hold similar views.

MormonSpectrum has a map that shows local groups (mostly in the USA). Maybe you could find a group that matches where you're at spiritually.

https://www.mormonspectrum.org/msip-map-directory
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Starved for Connections

Post by Roy » 29 Jan 2020, 11:47

Hi Beach.
My advice has 4 parts:
1) Go to church. Yeah, it can be hard. Church people are also generally good people that you can turn to and depend on. When DW and I need something, it is our church friends that are most likely to be there for us. Caveat: It helps to know what kinds of things the LDS church is set up to help with. I have had a flat tire and needed an air pump. I have needed help moving. When DW had a family emergency and had to go help her sister in another state, our ministering sister picked up my daughter from school and took her home for a few hours until I got off work each day. This lasted for a week. When DW had a surgery the RS compassionate service team brought in a meal train for several days. Short term tangible help is something the LDS people excel at. We are a "fix it" people! In each of these instances I had to reach out and ask for the help that we needed.
2) You can skip the BofM parts. I would recommend going to RS just to rub shoulders and get face time with some of the sisters in the ward but I would totally skip out on the sunday school portion.
3) Diversify! Look for additional connections outside of the church. I generally find it easiest to make friends around a common activity. Do you like scrapbooking? maybe there is a scrapbooking group. Quilting? a quilting group. Hiking. Biking. Board games. etc. Your community may sponsor such groups or perhaps they may be attached to other local churches. There are lots of good people out there that are just as hungry for connections as you are.
4) I hope that we here at StayLDS can give you some amount of connection. We cannot give hugs but sometimes a kind word or two can go a long way.

I have done all of these with varying degrees of success over the years. Let me know if you want me to expand upon any of them.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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

Re: Starved for Connections

Post by LookingHard » 29 Jan 2020, 12:51

One thing the church does well (for most people) is the social aspect. Very few other groups have it where when you move in you can ask for people to just come over and move you in, and that is just the start. You get near instant friends. But for some, it does not work so well. One of my big takeaways from my path has been "when you are in the Mormon bubble and it is working, it feels and works really good - but when it doesn't it sometimes really doesn't work".

I am not "out" to my ward, but I know the day is coming where I will. I am already saddened by the fact that I will lose so many friends. And being so busy in the church, most of my "local" friends are LDS. I have a few work friends, but some are an hour drive away.

And I have also read a bunch about humans and the brain, and we are social creatures. A lone monkey is a dead monkey. We DEEPLY crave meaningful relationships. I think it was Robin Williams that said, "the most alone feeling is when you are surrounded by people you don't connect with".

I second the suggestion of taking an active role and investing time into relationships. You can't force it, but you can do things that put you in a place where you are move likely to have spontaneous friendships start. Do what you can to increase your odds.

Kipper
Posts: 292
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Starved for Connections

Post by Kipper » 10 Feb 2020, 10:15

Sometimes I enjoy church on Sunday's. I listen to people discuss or teach gospel principals and I'm impressed with the depth of knowledge and can feel what I percive to be spiritual witness. At those times I aknowledge it to myself. Sometimes I look around at people and compare with the secular world and think this is definately what I want to be part of. I see the alternate in decline, like people going over the falls and screaming with joy and want to be safe from that. Sometimes I listen to people talk, even from SLC and think these are well meaning good people really full of themselves and thier own interpretations and acknowledge to myself that I'm not buying that. My point is, for me, I go thru cycles and I accept that. Sometinmes I'll contribute and feel part of, but sometimes I am being emotionally manipulated and stand firm but silent where I am unless somebody asks what I am thinking but that doesn't happen much. I'ts not always easy and I'm not totally accepted but I go with it. Sometimes I will casually get up and walk out of a meeting trying not to be rude but it's better than giving myself away with unplanned body language and expressions that may be disrespectful. I don't know if putting yourself in my position helps at all, my point is I go thru cycles, ups and downs, and I don't fight it. It may help that while I don't believe God is active in every part of my life with promptings and revelations like I am compelled to believe, I do believe in the BoM and other scriptures. In fact I find them pretty amazing at times so I don't have to be under cover in every aspect. In the long run I am in the right place. Discover for yourself if that is for you or not. Either way it may take time to be who you are.

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