Small and smaller

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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græy
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Small and smaller

Post by græy » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:21 pm

We have a small ward. As in, we really struggle to staff a lot of callings. Most members who will even half-heartedly do one calling will get a second. We have ~10 active youth total.

And within the last 3 months, we lost an additional 7 people from two different families. One weekend they seemed great, the next they asked to meet with our bishop to be released, and then resigned.

Of those who have left, one was an assistant clerk, one was in RS presidency, and one was an older member in the ward whose son is serving as SP in another state.

These events have caused some interesting (and tough) conversations between my wife and I. But all it really does is cause her to retrench. That backfire affect really sucks.

That is all.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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jfro18
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:08 pm

græy wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:21 pm
These events have caused some interesting (and tough) conversations between my wife and I. But all it really does is cause her to retrench. That backfire affect really sucks.
Backfire is such a strong thing too... if I could do it all over again, I would absolutely handle things so much differently to try and account for that ahead of time.

It is very difficult to get someone who has retrenched to come out of their shell... so now I have to play what will likely be a very, very long game of waiting and hoping. The problem, of course, is that while I'm not really allowed to say much about the church without getting my head ripped off, DW's family can continue to constantly build up the church around her (and our kid) to make sure her apostate husband never makes any inroads. :cry:

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Culper Jr.
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by Culper Jr. » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:07 am

jfro18 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:08 pm
Backfire is such a strong thing too... if I could do it all over again, I would absolutely handle things so much differently to try and account for that ahead of time.
Yes, same thing with me. I thought early on if I hit my wife with these issues I was discovering all at once she'd see the church for what it was too. I mean, how can you hear the details of Joseph Smith's polygamy and polyandry and not see him as a complete fraud.. or at least concede that he is not the nearly perfect "second only to Christ" person the church portrays? Was I ever wrong.. WOW. I would definitely have done that differently.

To the original point, one thing I have noticed more than people leaving is where previously "strong" families just no longer give a crap. While I do see where many kids of active families not staying active after they turn 18, the GenXers, who are now in that perfect age range to serve in callings (middle age, still healthy, working but settled in careers so they have vacation and more pay, kids older or are leaving home) are refusing callings and assignments or barely functioning in callings. These are people that used to be all in. They don't leave outright, but they are now just sort of non-functioning. A lot of callings in our ward are falling to younger couples with little kids, and they are getting burned out quick and starting to refuse callings as well. This is a huge threat to the church that is not really being quantified. They are counted as active members on the rolls and in many cases hold a recommend, but what statistic counts commitment level? In talking with them, they are not really aware of the deeper issues with the church (yet.. :twisted: ), but are reacting to the bland, boring and uninspiring experience the church has become.

Of course, then you have the small core of people (including my wife) holding on tight through all of this apostasy for the second coming. :roll:

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græy
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by græy » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:34 am

jfro18 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:08 pm
Backfire is such a strong thing too... if I could do it all over again, I would absolutely handle things so much differently to try and account for that ahead of time.
I read about backfire and retrenching long before I disclosed anything big to my wife. So I feel like I've been pretty measured in our conversations. But, it hasn't helped. Even small things bring tears. And other events throughout the church (other families leaving, etc.) causes her to really stress about my "concerns."

This morning she woke up two hours early to workout, read scriptures and continue listening to the new "Standard of Truth" history. :roll:
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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slavereeno
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Location: QC, AZ

Re: Small and smaller

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:37 am

græy wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:34 am
jfro18 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:08 pm
Backfire is such a strong thing too... if I could do it all over again, I would absolutely handle things so much differently to try and account for that ahead of time.
I read about backfire and retrenching long before I disclosed anything big to my wife. So I feel like I've been pretty measured in our conversations. But, it hasn't helped. Even small things bring tears. And other events throughout the church (other families leaving, etc.) causes her to really stress about my "concerns."

This morning she woke up two hours early to workout, read scriptures and continue listening to the new "Standard of Truth" history. :roll:
Yeah, there is no great way to go through this. Sorry to hear you are dealing with it graey. A lot of us are on this merry-go-round.

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jfro18
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:42 am

græy wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:34 am

This morning she woke up two hours early to workout, read scriptures and continue listening to the new "Standard of Truth" history. :roll:
Yeah... the daily scripture thing is amazing mostly because early on I was dumb enough to suggest that if you can spend 20 minutes a day reading the Book of Mormon again, you can spent 20 minutes going over some details with me... that of course didn't go anywhere because details would be "upsetting" and she didn't want to feel that. It's the most depressing feeling, and one that I was able to avoid until we had a kid who was old enough to start getting indoctrinated.

As for Saints... I have three more chapters of the chapter-by-chapter 'fact-check' and then you can feel free to pass it along. I'm sure she'll read it after my wife will. :lol: :cry:

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alas
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by alas » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:09 pm

I took it supper slow because I knew retrenchment was possible. That and I never really have been TBM. All the influence I can muster during 48 years of marriage and he has only changed to be more liberal over all those years. I waited some 30 years to even tell him I didn’t believe, until I just couldn’t be a very liberal member (believe in Christ but not Joseph Smith) trying to make the church work for them. Then I finally snapped and just couldn’t take the constant shaming/emotional abuse any more, and told him I didn’t believe in Joseph Smith or the church.

He is still in, he is a bit liberal but then he has always been on the liberal side. His politics were really Democrat, but he registered Republican because Utah. He had trouble with the black priesthood/temple ban as soon as he was old enough to understand and I would never have married him unless he felt that was dead wrong.

See, you really cannot change another person. They have to want to change, and then they are going to do it a way you don’t like anyway. There have been several of the guys who have been on NOM over the years, after years of wanting her to change, she finally gets to the point she doesn’t believe the church and the first thing she does with this new knowledge is divorce her husband.

The very best way to stay happily married is to find what makes you happy in life and go for it, while being the sweetest most loving husband you can be, and the best father you can be, and let your wife be who she is. Don’t be like the Mormon church taught you to be and try to control your wife into thinking just like you do.

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achilles
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by achilles » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:12 pm

To the original point, one thing I have noticed more than people leaving is where previously "strong" families just no longer give a crap. While I do see where many kids of active families not staying active after they turn 18, the GenXers, who are now in that perfect age range to serve in callings (middle age, still healthy, working but settled in careers so they have vacation and more pay, kids older or are leaving home) are refusing callings and assignments or barely functioning in callings. These are people that used to be all in. They don't leave outright, but they are now just sort of non-functioning. A lot of callings in our ward are falling to younger couples with little kids, and they are getting burned out quick and starting to refuse callings as well. This is a huge threat to the church that is not really being quantified. They are counted as active members on the rolls and in many cases hold a recommend, but what statistic counts commitment level? In talking with them, they are not really aware of the deeper issues with the church (yet.. :twisted: ), but are reacting to the bland, boring and uninspiring experience the church has become.
The Church just doesn't nourish souls anymore. If it did, people would be coming back for extra helpings. Well, let me put it another way: when the Church nourishes souls nowadays, it's usually by accident.

And don't give me that BS that it's our own jobs to nourish ourselves. If that's the case, what's the point of even having a Church? The programs are boring, rote, stodgy, and try to force all people into one of two molds: the male version, and the female version. The Brethren are terrified that if they give people more leeway to innovate locally, they'll lose control of the carefully crafted "product". Every ward must have every program and every calling and do everything exactly the same way. People feel how stale and unappetizing it is, even as they continue to force it down while feeling guilty that they think it's stale and unappetizing.

I'm convinced Christ never meant for His church to be like this. Dead and rotting at the core. Who doesn't want to leave that and never come back?
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

― Carl Sagan

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."

-Joseph Campbell

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slk
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by slk » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:39 pm

For some reason I love hearing about shrinking #s. I would love to be a fly on the wall on Sunday but not worth going back just to see who's still in since I left. I do know when I run to Maverick each Sunday, I pass by my old church and the parking lot is always full.

All we can have is patience for DW/DHs. History may not matter to many but there's a good chance they actually might get offended or even want to "sin." This starts the journey for many and then they become more open about learning the history. That then seals it for them. It's crazy the path we all take to get here.

Mackman
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by Mackman » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:12 pm

I know the branch I attend here in Michigan is about half of what it used to be. I too am still with hope that someday others like DW, Dd and SI will see the light but that may not be until the second coming!!! I feel smug when I see fewer and fewer members in the seats I don't think it will be that long until the church is forced to admit that congregations are shrinking substantially.

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græy
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Re: Small and smaller

Post by græy » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:42 pm

alas wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:09 pm
The very best way to stay happily married is to find what makes you happy in life and go for it, while being the sweetest most loving husband you can be, and the best father you can be, and let your wife be who she is. Don’t be like the Mormon church taught you to be and try to control your wife into thinking just like you do.
Wise advice alas. Thank you.

I use NOM to vent a lot. In reality, we are happy. I love my wife and she loves me. Honesty, TBM-ness, and all.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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