The challenges of attending church

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stuck
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The challenges of attending church

Post by stuck » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:39 pm

If you're like me, you would rather stay home instead of attending church. When I attend I feel like I don't have many friends. The only ones that act friendly are the bishop and eqp because I believe they have a better understanding of where I'm at (and they would probably like to see me "come back into the fold"). But one guy who is supposed to be my ministering person ignores me now. I think he comes across to me as sort of a pharisee. Plus it doesn't help that I may have walked out of one or two of his priesthood lessons. So I go for my wife and my son who enjoy it but it's getting kind of old. For those who feel like they have to attend, how do you cope?

dogbite
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by dogbite » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:18 pm

When i was active, the Ward members weren't my friends. I do have friends that are lds but we are not friends because of church. I simply am not interested in what the mormons in my area are interested in. Mostly sports. Pro, college and local schools. Activities revolve around sports. Area basketball teams by stake and age. Golf outings, come watch the championship in the big fancy basement big screen room.

Now that's as much my fault as the church's but the friend tent my ward erects is a small tent centered on sports.

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:44 pm

In my case the key to survival is reading my kindle books during sacrament meeting and getting out of there as soon as the closing prayer ends. I find that 1hr only attendance keeps my wife from having to play the single church widow with our kids and it provides me with just enough time listening to crazy mormon rhetoric to remind me of why my convictions have changed without over exposure.

I also am totally ignored by all other mormons while at church. I call it the force field of cognitive dissonance.

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2bizE
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by 2bizE » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:01 pm

I feel the same way. I don’t have anyone at church I look forward to seeing it talking to. Few come up and talk to me, and I’m not even open about my faith. I just feel no desire to go to church. So, I go with DW every 2-3 weeks. Who ever decided church was needed weekly? I certainly don’t need it. Anyway, if I go every few weeks my wife doesn’t say anything. I also don’t like her being a church widow. So I go sometimes. I also have a serious chronic illness which nobody at church knows about. I could use the illness card in the future if I need to.
I’ve just recently realized that I haven’t seeen a few guys at church for a while. Maybe they are having a faith crisis too. So, now the only excitement I have about church is trying to find out if there are other similar believers in my ward...
~2bizE

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A New Name
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by A New Name » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:47 pm

I have just the opposite problem. I have lots of friends at church, and enjoy the association with them, but not church! We even have a standing invite from one family for Sunday dinner every week. So I go to talk with my friends.

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Raylan Givens
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Raylan Givens » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:06 pm

I found just two people I could relate to and invited them to do stuff outside of church, like a family bbq. Then we went to late night movies we knew our wives would not watch like John Wick.

I felt better about going after that. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have gone. I brought a book and enjoyed my time in my car sometimes.
"Ah, you know, I think you use the Bible to do whatever the hell you like" - Raylan Givens

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Linked
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Linked » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:24 am

A New Name wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:47 pm
I have just the opposite problem. I have lots of friends at church, and enjoy the association with them, but not church! We even have a standing invite from one family for Sunday dinner every week. So I go to talk with my friends.
I'm in this boat too. I was heading home after sacrament meeting one day and bumped into a friend and we ended up chatting the whole second hour. I fit in well at church, other than the whole not believing and having different views on most things. My DW on the other hand is more introverted and less into the church social scene; but she believes and I think she likes having a group even if it drains her to be with them.
"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

stuck
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by stuck » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:44 pm

dogbite wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:18 pm
When i was active, the Ward members weren't my friends. I do have friends that are lds but we are not friends because of church. I simply am not interested in what the mormons in my area are interested in. Mostly sports. Pro, college and local schools. Activities revolve around sports. Area basketball teams by stake and age. Golf outings, come watch the championship in the big fancy basement big screen room.

Now that's as much my fault as the church's but the friend tent my ward erects is a small tent centered on sports.
That's nice that you have such a passion for sports. I should get more into something like that.

stuck
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by stuck » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:52 pm

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:44 pm
In my case the key to survival is reading my kindle books during sacrament meeting and getting out of there as soon as the closing prayer ends. I find that 1hr only attendance keeps my wife from having to play the single church widow with our kids and it provides me with just enough time listening to crazy mormon rhetoric to remind me of why my convictions have changed without over exposure.

I also am totally ignored by all other mormons while at church. I call it the force field of cognitive dissonance.
That's a great idea! I'll have to get something like that and work towards one hour church as well.

The force field of cognitive dissonance, that's funny but true :lol: I think it could also be a form of shunning perhaps :evil:

stuck
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by stuck » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:54 pm

2bizE wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:01 pm
I feel the same way. I don’t have anyone at church I look forward to seeing it talking to. Few come up and talk to me, and I’m not even open about my faith. I just feel no desire to go to church. So, I go with DW every 2-3 weeks. Who ever decided church was needed weekly? I certainly don’t need it. Anyway, if I go every few weeks my wife doesn’t say anything. I also don’t like her being a church widow. So I go sometimes. I also have a serious chronic illness which nobody at church knows about. I could use the illness card in the future if I need to.
I’ve just recently realized that I haven’t seeen a few guys at church for a while. Maybe they are having a faith crisis too. So, now the only excitement I have about church is trying to find out if there are other similar believers in my ward...
That would be nice to only go once a month :) What type of illness do you have if you don't mind me asking?

stuck
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by stuck » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:56 pm

A New Name wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:47 pm
I have just the opposite problem. I have lots of friends at church, and enjoy the association with them, but not church! We even have a standing invite from one family for Sunday dinner every week. So I go to talk with my friends.
That's nice to have friends! Do you think that they would still be your friends if you quit the church?

stuck
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by stuck » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:34 pm

Raylan Givens wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:06 pm
I found just two people I could relate to and invited them to do stuff outside of church, like a family bbq. Then we went to late night movies we knew our wives would not watch like John Wick.

I felt better about going after that. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have gone. I brought a book and enjoyed my time in my car sometimes.
What did your wife think when she found out about the movie?

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Raylan Givens
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Raylan Givens » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:32 pm

stuck wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:34 pm
Raylan Givens wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:06 pm
I found just two people I could relate to and invited them to do stuff outside of church, like a family bbq. Then we went to late night movies we knew our wives would not watch like John Wick.

I felt better about going after that. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have gone. I brought a book and enjoyed my time in my car sometimes.
What did your wife think when she found out about the movie?
She’s happy I can watch terrible movies with someone else other than her. Alas, this happened in my last ward in the Old Pueblo. I might be still attending on occasion if I didn’t move back to a Utah ward with lots of old people.
"Ah, you know, I think you use the Bible to do whatever the hell you like" - Raylan Givens

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Mormorrisey
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Mormorrisey » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:44 am

I think coping mechanisms are different for different personalities, so take this with a grain of salt.

I rather enjoy the parting of the Red Sea effect as I walk down the halls, and watch some of my ward members gird up their loins and attempt to talk to the apostate. While I recognize this is probably pretty hard on some people, it's great for me.

The other thing I do, is to treat going to church like a sociological experiment - how crazy are these people going to go? The only ones left in my ward are the truly zealous, so I'm constantly prodding them to see what kind of views they are going to take in response to the more liberal Mormon stuff I spew. That's a lot of fun too.

At the end, I think you have to make it as enjoyable as possible - 2 hours is better than 3, and I can say, "nope, I've had enough for today" and just walk out the door. Sis M and I take separate cars for just this reason.

Church on YOUR terms is a lot more enjoyable!
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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Corsair
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Corsair » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:00 am

stuck wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:39 pm
So I go for my wife and my son who enjoy it but it's getting kind of old. For those who feel like they have to attend, how do you cope?
I wish I had a better answer for you. The imbalance is that the believers in your life generally have no interest in balancing out church attendance with "something else" that would edify you. There is rarely any negotiation in LDS church activity. I think this is what leads to such dramatic exits from the institutional LDS church after a faith transition.

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slk
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by slk » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:43 pm

I did read a few of the answers here on this post. I do have to hand it to you guys that manage sitting at church. Thank Heaven for you guys it's only 2 hours now. I just don't understand how you can deal with the guilt tripping on tithing and temple worthiness. Even if my wife started going back to church, the tithing and temple worthiness talks is enough to keep me out of there for good. Not sure how you can listen to that and just block that out of your mind and not let it get to you. And there's no sitting through two hours of church without hearing this at least a couple times.

Mackman
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Mackman » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:05 am

When it all gets to be too much. I start reading on this site in church !!!!! That helps a lot . Thank God its only two hours , three was killing me.

Anon70
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Anon70 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:39 pm

It's weird, I used to do 2 hours pretty easily but died at 3. Now that it's 2 hours, I can barely sit through 1. I have no idea how to handle it better than I am--I just countdown how many years I have left and try to figure out how to get out of attending as much as I can without upsetting the DH.

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Newme
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Newme » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:10 am

stuck wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:39 pm
For those who feel like they have to attend, how do you cope?
NOM and related distractions help me cope. Now I have a calling which keeps me busy because the time is shorter now. Before... I’d try to go less often and when I did and wasn’t reading or posting on here, and when some topic would come up, I felt compelled to bare my NOM testimony. Part of me thinks the main reason I got called to this calling is to shut me up. :)

Image

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Newme
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Re: The challenges of attending church

Post by Newme » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:21 am

slk wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:43 pm
I did read a few of the answers here on this post. I do have to hand it to you guys that manage sitting at church. Thank Heaven for you guys it's only 2 hours now. I just don't understand how you can deal with the guilt tripping on tithing and temple worthiness. Even if my wife started going back to church, the tithing and temple worthiness talks is enough to keep me out of there for good. Not sure how you can listen to that and just block that out of your mind and not let it get to you. And there's no sitting through two hours of church without hearing this at least a couple times.
Somewhere on this forum, I posted a list of gospel terms I’ve redefined. Maybe I’ll do a shorter one again here to help you see how it helps preserve sanity...

*Temple: my body, the temples on the side of my head. “The temple - I’m going there someday.” ;)
*Tithing: before DH & I compromised and began sending tithes to the poor instead of the church, this was a tough one. I did hear of how 1/10 was never meant monetarily but something about giving that tenth of our minds/brain capacity to God.

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