Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

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græy
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Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by græy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:01 am

It has been a crazy busy month. I have an out-of-state job interview coming up this week, and while part of me is very excited about possibly moving, the rest of me thinks I'm crazy for considering leaving a comfy (but mediocre paying) job where I am at now as well as the *friends and connections we have built up here. All of that aside though, a big advantage to moving is that I'll be free of being in the bishopric.

*Almost entirely mormon friends, which means not really friends once we leave the ward.

Our ward has had three families leave the church in the past year. Going back six years that increases to seven families gone. Yesterday in ward council someone brought up one of the more recent families to leave which happened to include a RS Counselor and Assistant Clerk, and one of the families who left the church together a few years ago but are now divorced. The following points were made by the more vocal members of the ward council:
  • "They still come to RS activities and meet-ups at the park. It like they want the benefits of the ward without contributing."
  • "I heard she's not even Christian anymore." Response: "I think that's mostly her husband's fault. She just says things to make him happy."
  • "They're really just looking for reasons to be angry at the church."
  • "Nothing has ever been hidden. Its' right there in the essays!"
  • "Joseph made mistakes, but that's ok. We're all human."
  • "This is just the purge the church has to go through in the last days. The rest of us need to remain strong."
  • "That is how this always go. They leave the church, have no rules to obey, and their marriage falls apart."
  • "Temple and prayer are the only way to know truth."
  • "Read Todd Calister's BoM book!"
  • "We need to address the elephant in the room about why people are leaving. It will keep happening until people know the truth."
    I actually agree with this one. But the person who said it has never read the essays or any degree of actual church history. They said this from the perspective that there ARE faith promoting answers and no valid reason to leave. Just a few seconds later they admitted to having no idea what people would be so concerned about in church history.
  • "People get mad about the seer stone, but it's just like receiving revelation while reading scriptures on an iphone."
  • "Three witnesses also left, so no one is safe. We have to be vigilant and strengthen our testimonies."
I had so much I wanted to say. But spontaneous eloquent speaking is not one of my strengths, I am very much "in the closet" and I was outnumbered nine to one. So I just sat there, my hands visibly shaking, feeling sick. I eventually started scribbling the quotes above into my phone to keep myself from throwing up my hands and walking out.

After the meeting, while I was fumbling with keys to open the clerk's office, one person from the WC who knows I have done a fair amount of study/research and that my testimony has "evolved" asked me how my testimony was doing. All I could answer was "I'm still here." He pushed more, but my only response was "I'm not going anywhere yet." He laughed and asked why I didn't say my testimony was strong. I laughed back something about not knowing the magic phrase he was looking for. And that was it.

After church I vented to my wife who was as understanding and helpful as she could be. She told me I should talk to our bishop about where I'm at and the study I've done. But I'm not really sure what good that would do, other than possibly get me released. She only suggested that because she doesn't really know where I am at and she seems afraid to ask herself.

There are days in WC were we really try to make plans to help people in need and do good things for the ward. But this was nothing more than a gossip-fest by people who will never really do anything to understand the "elephant in the room" which is really just the fact that it isn't true.
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: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by jfro18 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:21 am

People are seeing more and more members leaving the church and they have to turn the blame around on those leaving or else they're going to be forced to actually look at *why* they're leaving.

It's a hell of a lot easier to gossip as to the personal reasons people leave than it is to actually study the foundations of the church they're giving their time, money, and obedience to.

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blazerb
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by blazerb » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:42 am

I faced that situation as a clerk. I was miserable. Hang in there and do what you need to in order to stay mentally healthy. If talking to the bishop gets you released, that may be a tender mercy. It was for me.

Good luck in the job interview.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:06 am

Take the job!

More money.
No bishopric calling.
Fresh start in new ward:
-wear a blue shirt and no tie your first week
-tell new ward your an unbeliever.
Find new friends

It's an opportunity to move forward.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by MerrieMiss » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:53 am

Sometimes I think Ward Council is what’s going to break my husband’s shelf. Every week he comes home from it just a little more disappointed/disgusted with how things are done/work. I have to remind myself to keep my mouth shut because the church really is its own worst enemy.

I hear of all these whole families who leave the church but I don’t know of any. A person here and there, but I don’t know about this “whole family” phenomenon. It is interesting though, apparently yesterday there was some discussion about an inactive member (and neighbor of ours) who doesn’t come and everyone “knew” why and at home my husband said to me, “But no one has actually talked to her. How do they know?” That’s right. How do they know? They just give answers that reaffirm their belief and keep them from experiencing cognitive dissonance.
græy wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:01 am
I had so much I wanted to say. But spontaneous eloquent speaking is not one of my strengths, I am very much "in the closet" and I was outnumbered nine to one. So I just sat there, my hands visibly shaking, feeling sick. I eventually started scribbling the quotes above into my phone to keep myself from throwing up my hands and walking out.
I’ve been there. There was one time I was scribbling furiously just trying to keep my sanity - my husband said I looked like a crazy person. Another time I pressed my nails into my forearms and left red welts that lasted a week. People really don’t understand the pain that cog dis causes.

I fantasize about making a long distance move where I can go totally inactive and my in-laws will not be around, let alone visit. I hope this job/move works in your favor. Maybe someday I’ll get there…
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

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glass shelf
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by glass shelf » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:58 am

Ward council was the source of many a heavy weight on my shelf.

Good luck with your interview!

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Linked
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by Linked » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:13 pm

"My testimony is like a rock, Chuck! Thanks for asking!" - Maybe that's what that one person wanted to hear you say. "How is your testimony?" is such a bad question. It is beyond personal, if the answer is anything other than "great!" then you can't really answer because it is really a yes or no question. Lame.

Sorry you have to go thru WC. I was going through my shelf break and early transition as the SS pres and attended WC, it was awful. Like græy said, a gossip-fest. And it is so condescending to people who believe differently. To the WC anyone who isn't super active is broken and needs fixing, what an awful way to view people.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by MalcolmVillager » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:31 pm

Wow, lots of judgment there but if that was said all in one meeting I am impressed. You could take 10 years of WC meetings I have been in and you still would have half the awareness about these items.

What RR said, but just dont go (if the family can support it) or do the blue shirt thing. I did last week and nobody even said anything. I have not been very direct about my FC but I think the leaders know.

Good luck brother!

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Just This Guy
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:53 am

MerrieMiss wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:53 am
Sometimes I think Ward Council is what’s going to break my husband’s shelf. Every week he comes home from it just a little more disappointed/disgusted with how things are done/work.

That is the case for the start of DW's shelf collapsing. She was primary president at the time and dealt with several instances of just how un-Christlike the ward leadership really was. From the leadership intentionally ignoring suspected child neglect (didn't want to loose a semi-active family and DW could not legally make a report), blatant sexism and to flat out abuse of power.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Raylan Givens
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by Raylan Givens » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:17 am

Linked wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:13 pm
"My testimony is like a rock, Chuck! Thanks for asking!" - Maybe that's what that one person wanted to hear you say. "How is your testimony?" is such a bad question. It is beyond personal, if the answer is anything other than "great!" then you can't really answer because it is really a yes or no question. Lame.

Sorry you have to go thru WC. I was going through my shelf break and early transition as the SS pres and attended WC, it was awful. Like græy said, a gossip-fest. And it is so condescending to people who believe differently. To the WC anyone who isn't super active is broken and needs fixing, what an awful way to view people.
I found the whole conversation about the testimony weirder than the WC meeting.
I guess next time you see them outside of a ward house, ask about their testimony in the Republican party, or their testimony of the stock market etc....

I imagine we are talked about occasionally in WC. I think the leadership is mostly scared of us. We have lots of connections in the ward and have regular parties/get togethers. Our Ward friends know we are doing great, and happy to talk about the Church if asked.
"Ah, you know, I think you use the Bible to do whatever the hell you like" - Raylan Givens

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crossmyheart
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by crossmyheart » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:34 am

græy wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:01 am

[*]"They still come to RS activities and meet-ups at the park. It like they want the benefits of the ward without contributing."
This is the quote that haunts me right now. We are partially active. Very little attendance on Sunday- but we do bring the kids to youth activities. I know this has been said about us. Which is why we never attend the Christmas party, ward breakfasts, chili cook offs... and no meals brought in whenever my son has surgery...because I don't want them to have even more fodder to use against us. I have a strong belief in social collateral: I only want us to receive back what we are willing to put in.






Good luck with the interview.

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græy
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by græy » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:23 pm

crossmyheart wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:34 am
græy wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:01 am

[*]"They still come to RS activities and meet-ups at the park. It like they want the benefits of the ward without contributing."
This is the quote that haunts me right now. We are partially active. Very little attendance on Sunday- but we do bring the kids to youth activities. I know this has been said about us. Which is why we never attend the Christmas party, ward breakfasts, chili cook offs... and no meals brought in whenever my son has surgery...because I don't want them to have even more fodder to use against us. I have a strong belief in social collateral: I only want us to receive back what we are willing to put in.

Good luck with the interview.
Thanks crossmyheart! Interview is tomorrow so we'll see how it goes.

This was one of the first things said during the meeting and it probably annoyed me as much or more than anything else they brought up. I just couldn't understand their logic. I have many friends who aren't members of the church, and I do in reality consider them friends. I would love to hang out with them outside of work, let our kids play together, etc. That doesn't really happen because after work/church/family I don't really have time for "hanging out" with friends.

I would think though, this would be the same sort of situation. They are no longer active in church, but aren't we still friends? Can't it just be fun to get together? Can't our kids still play together? I understand (and personally reject) the idea that the apostate family might introduce conversations or topics that do not fit in the correlated worldview, but we are not in UT and interactions with non-members are far more common than those with members, so it is a risk we have to take with every day life. The person who originally said this did not grow up in UT, so this is nothing new for them.
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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græy
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by græy » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:25 pm

I finally had time to read through all the other replies, and wanted to add a blanket Thank You to everyone.

Without the community and the sweet sweet understanding and empathy that is found here, I may have literally lost my mind by now.
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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2bizE
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by 2bizE » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:41 pm

A move is always a nice opportunity to distance yourself from conflict.
Several years ago, my wife and kids moved far away from family. It caused us to rely more on ourselves. This was the single best thing we ever did for our marriage and family.
~2bizE

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Just This Guy
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by Just This Guy » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:06 am

græy wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:23 pm
crossmyheart wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:34 am
græy wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:01 am

[*]"They still come to RS activities and meet-ups at the park. It like they want the benefits of the ward without contributing."
This is the quote that haunts me right now. We are partially active. Very little attendance on Sunday- but we do bring the kids to youth activities. I know this has been said about us. Which is why we never attend the Christmas party, ward breakfasts, chili cook offs... and no meals brought in whenever my son has surgery...because I don't want them to have even more fodder to use against us. I have a strong belief in social collateral: I only want us to receive back what we are willing to put in.

Good luck with the interview.
Thanks crossmyheart! Interview is tomorrow so we'll see how it goes.

This was one of the first things said during the meeting and it probably annoyed me as much or more than anything else they brought up. I just couldn't understand their logic. I have many friends who aren't members of the church, and I do in reality consider them friends. I would love to hang out with them outside of work, let our kids play together, etc. That doesn't really happen because after work/church/family I don't really have time for "hanging out" with friends.

I would think though, this would be the same sort of situation. They are no longer active in church, but aren't we still friends? Can't it just be fun to get together? Can't our kids still play together? I understand (and personally reject) the idea that the apostate family might introduce conversations or topics that do not fit in the correlated worldview, but we are not in UT and interactions with non-members are far more common than those with members, so it is a risk we have to take with every day life. The person who originally said this did not grow up in UT, so this is nothing new for them.
It is interesting how the pendulum swings here. On my mission, getting people to actives as seen as a way to bring people in to the church. Get them hooked on the social aspect and them reel them in for church. I remember at one time the APs claimed that Primary was their secret weapon. Get the kids to primary, they would get hooked, and the parents would follow soon afterwards.

Now, instead of activities being used as a way to fellowship and bring people in, they see them as privileges for the active. Fascinating to see how it changes. I wonder if part of it is there is some unadmitted bitterness about the ever increasing work load on active members. TBMs get jealous of those who come to activities but don't pay the price of ministering, cleaning bathrooms, long boring meetings, and other associated misery like they do.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:39 am

When someone asks you how your testimony is doing the proper response is to ask them how their sex life is doing.

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Corsair
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by Corsair » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:20 am

græy wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:01 am
There are days in WC were we really try to make plans to help people in need and do good things for the ward. But this was nothing more than a gossip-fest by people who will never really do anything to understand the "elephant in the room" which is really just the fact that it isn't true.
That's a tough situation, græy. I have been in similar situations where I knew I could completely disrupt the proceedings when the LDS standard doctrine of apostasy and belief comes up. I attended by ward Gospel Doctrine class a few months ago where this question arose. My bishop's wife was the teacher that week and she is a delightful person with a solid testimony. I do not want to disparage her at all, but I truly doubt she knows of the new Gospel Topic Essays, for example.

Some sacrament meeting speaker mentioned a family member who had left the church and the bishop's wife had opened Gospel Doctrine class asking about how unbelief might be a problem in the church today. It was asked with a feeling of "please reassure me that this can be overcome" rather than "I want to understand this phenomena." So I didn't say anything. It was a conversation about sticking to the basics and following the prophet. No one wanted to entertain any idea that this was an understandable reaction. Apostasy surely had to be this strange and disappointing result of not sticking close to the LDS gospel.

I admit that I was not expecting the question and I did not want to disrupt the lives of anyone in the room at that time. You did the best you could, græy. In a way, we all need to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). Weirdly, we really cannot expect "it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say." (D&C 100:6). Instead, we have to figure out what we should answer to the question of belief and apostasy when asked in a thoroughly LDS setting.

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glass shelf
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by glass shelf » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:30 am

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:39 am
When someone asks you how your testimony is doing the proper response is to ask them how their sex life is doing. Image

Hey now, we all know that's inappropriate....unless you're the bishop of course.

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wtfluff
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by wtfluff » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:33 pm

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:39 am
When someone asks you how your testimony is doing the proper response is to ask them how their sex life is doing. Image
I'm thinking something simple like: "Oh, I have a testimony!" (I can testify that it's all based on lies and BS all day long. )

Of course, asking them about their sex life would definitely shut down the conversation. :twisted:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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Newme
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Re: Ward Council is Closed (Minded)

Post by Newme » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:44 pm

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:39 am
When someone asks you how your testimony is doing the proper response is to ask them how their sex life is doing. Image
:lol: Act like you misheard them, “My sex life is GRRRRRREAT! How’s yours?”
What would they say?

Then again the new gossip may be you’re a nympho and can’t think of anything but sex. Then again, nobody would fall asleep in WC. ;)

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