I dunno, guys. I used to look forward to going to Church. I loved my calling. I enjoyed the people. I enjoyed the Spirit in the meetings. It really was the highlight of my week.
Until we moved to Twin Falls, ID.
There is none of that now. We attend Sacrament Meeting to take the sacrament. Period. There is nothing else there for us. The noise from over 125 primary toddlers is so overwhelming that we can't hear the speaker, and we sit on the 3rd row. Sunday School is horrendous. Poorly prepared lessons and reading off of the dreaded little slips of paper. Pure Pablum. Our home teacher actually told us that he and his wife considered moving out of the ward because it was so bad. He told us that he has to sit in the back of the chapel during Sunday School and do his own gospel study on his iPad in order to get anything out of the time. Priesthood Meeting even more so, as the lessons are simply read straight out of the manual. It's a joke. I go because I don't want my kids to get the wrong impression. But we all breathe a sigh of relief when we finally go home. My wife and I hate it. My kids hate it. None of us can stand it. I can honestly say that I've never once felt the Spirit since I've moved here. It's just "going through the motions."
The people here are closed, cold and cliquish. There is a "Core Group" that has been called to all of the leadership callings in the ward, which never seems to change.... it just gets shuffled around from one "Core Group Member" to another.
While new move-ins are given callings within 1-2 weeks of moving in, it took 3-4 months for us to receive callings... which weren't even really callings. While others in the Core Group have 2-3 callings each... we were given about 1/2 of a calling each, and the Bishop explained that he just didn't "have any more callings to assign." There is no fellowshipping. There is no socialization.
Teachers are chronically unprepared and clueless. All the young men have their Eagle by 12, so that leaves my 16 year old out in the cold. No activities for him, and no chance of him ever advancing here. He's lost interest, and he can't stand the other boys in the ward because of their hypocrisy... a common complaint in Utah/Idaho. It's really shaken his faith. My 14 year old daughter is just beginning to make friends... but it's been a rocky road for her, too.
What's worse? After talking to several people, we discovered that we're
not alone. There are a surprising number of members in the ward who
feel exactly like we do. Disaffected. Isolated. "Frozen out." But no one in the ward really wants to hear it.
It's becoming more and more difficult for me to be positive anymore. It seems like all of our "Rah! Rah!" has been sucked out of our souls. You know something's wrong when you love General Conference, you love the gospel, you love the scriptures, but can't STAND to go to church. It's very uncomfortable.
Should we take yet another "Mental Health Sunday"? Go on a spontaneous road trip? Explore somewhere we've never been before? Stay home and watch sessions of the last Conference again? I don't like feeling this way. I wish it were different. I feel like I'm losing what has been the most important thing in my life, after my family.
What do you do when you love the gospel, but hate your ward?