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Everything posted by char713

  1. Except when you believe, as many people (including myself) do, that the actions of a single day, even if it is a big family event such as a wedding, do not constitute exclusionary or disrespectful behavior. If I cut off all contact with a gay friend or relative, or harassed them, or spread ugly lies about them, or did not invite them to attend a non-religious family event of my own - and made a big stink about it, or tried to divide them from their other family members.. these things would be wrong. Why is it so hard for so many people, LDS or not, to see that there are many levels of "grey area" between the actions of outright complete acceptance, tolerance, and activism in their favor.. and outright hatred, neglect, and the desire to be hurtful?
  2. If only they could apply the same know-how to solving "unexplained infertility" issues, I'd be all set!
  3. Wow, what a discussion has gone on here! After reading most of it, I am just thinking that I am so grateful that the Catholic viewpoint exists. My husband might not be here otherwise! His birth mother was raped at the age of 13 by her 17 year old foster brother. I cannot comprehend how difficult it must have been for her to go through that pregnancy, but I am glad she did, and that the woman who guided her through those decisions was Catholic and not LDS.
  4. 50 Shades IS a glorified fan fiction that was based on Twilight. This has been proven, she was a popular fan fic author online and was approached by a publisher, she changed a few things to avoid copyright or plagarism issues, and 50 shades is the result. I have not and will not ever read any of E.L. James' books. To my mind, that woman is evil, pure and simple. Going to back to the discussion that ridiculously compared 50 Shades to the Book of Mormon, there is one important point that I don't think I saw anyone else make. Porn is designed to ensnare and addict, it works on our basest instincts and if we don't actively fight against seeing or reading it, it will cause more and more problems in our lives. It doesn't take any effort, other than basic literacy, to get deeply entrenched within a porn habit, especially the way 50 Shades is purportedly designed to shock, titillate, and arouse. Scripture, as with all things that are righteous and truthful, does take some effort on the part of the reader for it to sink-in and for a testimony to start to grow. Truth is given to us "line upon line" and more is given based on obedience and effort. In short, wickedness is incredibly easy, righteousness is not. Or in a more light-hearted vein, to quote Tommy Smothers, "I'm an American, I don't have to see somethin' to know its stupid!!"
  5. I would not attend. I'm not sure if I would send a gift either. There are other ways to show your love for an individual outside of sacrificing your own dignity and self-respect, even for a few hours. If it were me, I wouldn't want anyone who might not approve of my wedding or other event to attend. Regardless of whether the individual is part of my family or not. It would be selfish of me to ask them to put aside those feelings for the sake of some smiling photographs, and selfish of them to come to the event and do anything other than just smile. Why invite any source of negativity into something you are trying your best to enjoy? If I had known that my brother was going to purposefully frown and scowl in all of my wedding photos as he did, I would have uninvited him. If gay "marriages" are for the sake of the couple and no other reason.. not the attention that comes from a big party and lots of gifts.. then it shouldn't matter to them who else attends. This goes for straight weddings too. My wedding certainly did not turn out the way I might have hoped, very few people who I cared about came, even to the reception. But going on 8 years now, the only thing that matters about that day is that we - he and I - were married.
  6. Thanks again for the responses. I agree about honesty being the best policy, and that I ought to be able to expect my family to respect my privacy. Don't know how well it will go over, but if they insist on being told, I will just have to take whatever the consequences might be.
  7. Thank you everyone. I should just be able to give a non-answer or vague excuse and leave it at that. But I'm worried that it won't work, it usually doesn't. Especially with something as important to my parents as their children's church involvement. They will pester me, they will make it a big deal, and they will assume the worst if I say nothing to make them think otherwise. I live in the SLC area and my husband will be needing our car for work during most of their visit. So they'll either be picking me up for things, or I would take the train down to Provo for whatever non-temple gatherings there might be. A couple of the temple trips will be to St. George and Logan, and those are the ones that my little brother really wants me to attend with him. My other siblings who will be visiting both have young children, so will not be going on those longer day trips... putting more pressure on me to be the one sibling who can make it. Also, they gave me advance notice about this whole thing. Three weeks would normally be enough time to complete the recommend interviews if I simply didn't have a current one. So any excuse involving it simply having expired is no good.
  8. My husband and I have been inactive for the past 2.5 years, but have decided to start attending regularly again and get back into full temple recommend standing. We have no other issues of worthiness or testimony, just haven't been attending.. for a couple of reasons but mostly just that we have not felt welcome at all in either of the wards we have lived in recently. Both of our families are fully active. I am the second of five children, and next week most of my family and one set of grandparents are coming to town to see my little brother off to the MTC. They have been talking about doing a lot of temple sessions while they are here. They may have assumptions, but they do not know (because I have never told anyone) that we have been inactive for this long period of time. I am wondering whether I should tell them outright that I cannot go to the temple with them this time because I have not been active at church, or if I should just stay away from the family gathering, using work as an excuse? Normally I would tell them, easy peasy. But my family is pretty dysfunctional in the way that we communicate. My parents don't really talk to me, they talk behind my back. Three of my four siblings are also really chronic gossipers, rarely talk about anything unless it is something negative about someone else. Also, my parents are the some of the strictest members of the church that you could imagine. Our sin of not attending church is a sin of omission - not comission - and otherwise we are doing pretty freakin' well. Our struggle with infertility (the main reason why we haven't been regular attendees at church) has changed and strengthened our testimonies more than possibly any other struggle could. But my parents and grandparents will NOT see it that way. I wouldn't be surprised if my mother went into a period of heavy grieving if I told her. She also probably would assume that I was lying about the rest of our life being as good as it is, because she likes to make mountains out of molehills and takes obedience for obedience's sake VERY seriously. My grandparents are the same way. I don't know if I have the strength to deal with the repurcussions of having to be this open about my past struggles. But I don't know if there will be a good enough way around it. If I do end up using work or other commitments as an excuse, they would find a way to work around them, they would re-schedule their time at the temple to fit my availability. I can't come up with another better excuse that would not hurt them or cast unnecessary other suspicions on myself or my husband. I don't know what to do! Please tell me what you think I should do. And how to do it. I've been lying awake at night for way too long, stressing about this, since I found out that they were all coming here.
  9. Again this is why I say, look at the sizing charts on the site. They run off of inches or centimeters, not any pre-designated sizes.
  10. Look at the sizing charts available on the shop, there are individual ones for each different type of fabric and shape and everything. I was just looking this morning, it seems they have really updated the sizing formats.
  11. So I did finally have a meeting with my Bishop - he is still fairly new, only in the position for about two months. And it turns out he knows my dad, they served in the same mission. He was wonderfully warm and kind, asked me how I believe I came to be inactive, we talked about that for a bit. And he said that he wants to meet with me regularly for a while, and that for a recommend it is required that he sees "a pattern of faithfulness" and that we will talk more as we go. I was so nervous before the meeting, of course I had no reason to be. Phew.
  12. Wow, thank you guys. I am so glad that I clicked on this link! My husband and I are working at getting back into regular attendance and tithing, something we have been terrible about doing for almost three years. We have needed new garments for quite some time but I always assumed that a recommend was necessary - the last time we went to a distribution center to buy some we needed to show our recommends. I am going to order some replacements immediately.
  13. Part of that "keeping tabs" element of the HT/VT programs is the necessity that you meet with the family or individual in their home. I have attended several RS meetings in the past where this has been directly addressed. As fun or convenient as it would be to meet up at a restaurant or the library or wherever, it is important that the members are regularly visited in their homes. The idea is that the visitor can then get a feel of the spirit that is in the home, and able to receive inspiration and guidance about what their difficulties or needs might be, as they often are reflected in the home environment. As great as technology is for getting us to be in-touch with each other, it cannot fully replace in-person, and in-home interactions. The program would only fall apart more, yes maybe the numbers would be better, but people wouldn't really know each other. Technology makes it too easy to portray ourselves as better and happier people than we are.
  14. Hi, it's me, the OP. This thread has gone way further than I expected it would. I would like to try to bring it back to the original, actual, subject which is the problem of members (such as myself) feeling ignored and disliked because no contact is ever initiated by any members of the ward in any capacity. I grew up with home teachers, we lived overseas for most of my childhood, and we always had very regular home teaching visits. My mother's VTers were all over their assigments as well. My parents were diligent in their assignments too. It wasn't until we moved to the states, to Colorado Springs, that we ever had a problem with the program. My Dad, as I have said, has been employed in the Middle East for 11 months out of every year since 2003. Five children and an all-but-single mother, and if it weren't for our involvement in the YM/YW programs we would have felt very alienated and excluded from any of the social aspects of our ward. My mother, meanwhile, was assigned as VTer to one of the most well known "difficult" inactive sisters, and struggled in that assignment for almost seven years. She asked to be reassigned, as a mother of five children with a husband far away she really could have used a break, but she must have been one of the few sisters who really honored their assignments, because her route didn't change until after the sister's meth-addict son pulled a gun on my mom as she got out of her car. My husband and I have only been visited once in over seven years. We have only ever been contacted once for a visit in seven years. If anyone made attempts to visit with us more often, we would be as accomodating as possible because we are fully aware of the sacrifices involved. As previously stated, we have asked multiple times in every ward we have lived in to be assigned home teachers and visiting teachers, and to be given assignments ourselves. Nothing has ever changed, so I am left with nothing to do but assume things. Numerous replies have been posted telling me to let it go and not assume anything about our ward(s) or the leadership. But what is any member of the church in any part of the world supposed to think when they are consistently ignored and excluded from being able to participate in even the most basic of programs? This isn't just a one-off problem, we have all-but pleaded to be included. We have had meetings with our Bishop for exactly this purpose. And nothing has ever changed, not in a way which produces results anyway, which is the only thing that matters. As far as I understand it, the purpose of the home teaching program is, at best, to facilitate service opportunities and help us keep our baptismal covenants, and at worst, to help the ward leaders "keep tabs" on the needs of the members of the ward. I know that there are limited resources, i.e. faithful and responsible Priesthood holders, in each ward to go around. This is just my opinion of course, but I think that those families who are active, involved, and have "extra-curricular" activities to do with other families in the ward are those who need the special attention of hometeachers the least. Those in leadership positions also would be low on the priority list because they are both seen and spoken to at least once a week, and have regular scheduled meetings with the bishop, which is better than hometeaching anyway. Single-member homes, less or inactive members, and the elderly are really the people who should be getting assigned the "cream of the crop" brethren. Only the best will try their best to visit those who are difficult to get in contact with, and those whose needs are much more real than what can be met by just your average social visit. Our bishopric has no idea what is going on in our lives unless WE tell them. As one of the youngest couples in the ward, a family without children, who have been almost entirely absent from regular church attendance until very recently, you'd think we would be of at least a tiny bit of interest or concern. But we aren't. The past four sundays that we have attended church, no one has spoken to us. I mean it - literally no one. With one remarkable exception that I will tell you about in a minute. Now, we arrived at church at least five minutes before sacrament started each week, and dawdled in the foyers a little before leaving just to give someone, anyone a chance. In any of the previous wards I have lived in, a new or unknown face would be comparatively swarmed by people offering handshakes and introductions. Two weeks ago the young men were away on assignment at a nursing home so the sacrament was passed by members of the Elders Quorum. The EQP passed it to us, made "knowing" eye contact with both of us, but still said nothing to me or my husband during the whole three hour block. A lot of this is based on assumption, yes, but they have left us with nothing else to do BUT assume. And my conclusion is, we are being ignored. Not completely, of course. The crowning moment in all of this was yesterday in Relief Society. For the first few minutes before the lesson they have a "good news moment" where everyone is invited to share good things from their week. I told the sisters there about my husband being up for a promotion at work, and that we felt that was in direct connection to us being back at church after a long absence. Once the meeting was over, a middle-aged sister seated behind me tapped on my shoulder and introduced herself, congratulated me on my husband's work success, asked if we are planning on having children, and then told me to remember what President McKay said, that 'no other success can compensate for failure in the home.' Then she got up and left, not leaving a chance for me to respond. We have been struggling with unexplained infertility for several years, but she'd have no way of knowing that. Amazingly, this is the only interaction I have had with anyone since we have been back at church except for the ushers before sacrament meeting and those who have passed the sacrament to us.
  15. Sorry, but it is evident from these questions that you have not read my original post or later responses. I have not been assigned a VT route, therefore I cannot do Visiting Teaching. I want to, and have told this to every RS presidency I have ever been under. They have repeatedly ignored my requests. No offer or assignment has ever been made to me. Also, as I have now said at least a couple of times, I have asked our Bishop, EQP, and the actual home teachers themselves (on the rare occassion that I knew their identities) to do something, whether it is to re-assign the ones we have or just to hear from someone, anyone, outside of Shepherding Night. Again, these requests have fallen on mostly deaf ears, no matter whom it was that we spoke with.
  16. A. I am a woman, so no I do not have a home teaching assignment. B. I have said, now a few times, that I have asked my leaders repeatedly for any information about whomever is assigned to visit us. There is not much else that I can sensibly do.
  17. I was spoiled I guess by living overseas for most of my childhood and teen years. Because we didn't have our own families there with us, our wards and branches became like family. We looked out for each other because, well, what other alternative did we have, really? Living in UT has been a culture shock mainly because of how lackadaisical the members are, in forming relationships within their wards. We have lived in two wards ourselves, and my four siblings have each spent some time here and generally reported the same thing. I think the subconsious assumption is that we are here in the "bubble," with church HQ within short driving distance... so it's like "we don't need to take care of eachother, the church is taking care of everyone." I have never lived anywhere where most RS activities are actually Primary activities in disguise (only making things or teaching things for mothers and children.) Or where every year the biggest activity of the year - the christmas party - is a pancake breakfast which hardly anyone attends. These things have been consistently true of both of the wards we have lived in, here over the past five years.
  18. Sorry to hear that, Palerider. That is way too long of a time to go without a single visit. My Dad has been working overseas for 11 years, and can only come home once a year, which is usually Christmas time. December is the only month of the year that anyone from the ward ever comes to check on my mom - and mostly because they want to visit with my dad. They have been in that ward for almost 15 years, my mom has served in the RS and YW presidencies, and she is usually quite the "squeaky wheel." But she still isn't being attended to, even though she has been essentially a single mother to five children for most of that time. I suppose there must be other families in the ward who are in dire-er need, that's the only thing that can excuse the Bishop and others from not checking in more often and making sure that people like my mom have access to the support they need. PolarVortex, short of actually comandeering the list of HT/VT assignments and rearranging them to suit the needs of the ward as I see them, (which would be completely wrong, ridiculous, and inappropriate) I do think I have done everything that I can. Our Bishop knows that I am frustrated with never having been visited. My husband has brought it up with the EQP (he and my husband work together) but that guy is not good at all at following up. And the RS pres. and secretary know I would like to receive a VT route as soon as it may be possible.. in fact that's the only thing they have ever spoken to me about. I don't need these visits to care about the church. It is simply difficult to feel included when you know that virtually "everyone" else goes to visit one another, and others are checked up on and communicated with, and you are not. I know it's probably just my perception of things.
  19. How are Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers organized and their assignments "enforced" if at all? My husband and I have been married for 7.5 years, and have been mostly inactive for the past 2-3 years. Even when we were attending every week, we were never visited or called by a home teacher. We had one for the first two months of our marriage until that great guy moved away. Since then, we have been visited on only two separate times by the Bishopric for what we assumed was Shepherding Night, and once by a pair of home teachers who we got along well with, but they never called again. So all in all, in seven years, we have had three actual home teaching visits. We have asked leadership who our home teachers are, sometimes they were even less-active than we were, and other times they were men we knew well but who never even slightly attempted to get in touch with us for an appointment. As for Visiting Teaching, I have asked my Relief Society leaders to be included in the rotations whenever possible and I would happily visit my assigned sisters if I had them. I have only ever been included during the first year or so of our marriage, but then the leadership changed and I never heard from anyone about it again. ..Unless I pursued it myself, and even then, nothing. We have since lived in two different wards here in Utah and I have never been visited, much less called. I remember hearing as a youth that the Bishop(ric)s first priority is the youth of their ward. You would think that new converts and people otherwise in need would be the next on that ladder. Aren't newlyweds kind of important to be "taken-care of?" And less-actives you would think would also be kind of high on that list. Even during those times that my husband and I have been actively seeking attention, as it were, from ward leadership of various levels, we have always felt pretty much completely ignored. So I guess my question is, should I try being my own enforcer, and track down our home and visiting teachers myself.. or am I right in assuming that less/inactive members do not have anyone assigned to them at all?
  20. Fair enough, I will try to get an appointment with my Bishop today and see what he says. I know that the tithing thing alone is enough to make it take a while. This has gotten me thinking. It's gotta be tricky for people who are genuinely bullied, genuinely treated as if they are unwelcome to maintain worthiness enough for a recommend. I have only endured a few weeks of this, here and there, myself. In this regard I really feel sorry for people like my homosexual (but celibate) cousin, who does the best she can but some people just won't let her be. People like her are obviously much stronger that I am. Sorry, not trying to start a separate discussion here... just a tiny venting session. I hope we might be able to move soon, and that our next ward is more considerate and inclusive. And all I'm doing "wrong" is not having babies.
  21. Thanks for your responses, everyone. I guess I should've realized that there might not really be a hard and fast rule for this. Tomorrow will be my first day back, and I will take your advice, PolarVortex, thank you. Hopefully I will be able to fade into the background and avoid the awkwardness, but I'm feeling pretty determined to stick around and keep attending regardless. Wish we had never stopped going.
  22. Thank you for the responses. So there isn't a cut and dry kind of rule for this type of situation? I guess I ought not assume that there would be. I will talk to him for sure, hopefully this week at church. It'll be my first week back since last summer.. not great but it is what it is. NightSG, funnily enough we actually would love to move to Texas. My husband works for Apple, and soon a good position opens up in the San Antonio area we're going to go for it. Last summer I actually had a brief email exchange with my bishop about the women in RS who had said very pointedly hurtful things. He said he and his wife had actually gone through many years of infertility, 20+ years ago... so he was pretty understanding. He also said he's aware of these two or three sisters, they themselves have struggled with inactivity so I guess he is hesitant to address the problem too directly and asks that I try to exercise patience with them.
  23. Hi, brand new here. I was raised in the church, strong family all still active. Married in the temple seven years ago, but we have both been inactive for the past 2 almost 3 years. No big crisis or loss of faith, honestly just some bad complacency and laziness, just not wanting to attend. It didn't help that we moved to Utah, have never been assigned a home teacher or visiting teacher even though we did attend for the first few weeks after moving to our new ward, and have otherwise just been ignored by everyone in our ward here. I suppose the only other factor in keeping us away from church attendance is our struggle with unexplained infertility. That is the first thing that we have been asked by new people that we meet in our ward, every time we've been there on sunday, which is only once or twice every few months. Sisters have actually even been vicious toward me in Relief Society, because we have been married for several years but don't have children. It makes it harder to want to be there, for sure. Other than our inactivity though, we still completely feel like members. No word of wisdom issues, no sexual stuff, no big questions about church policies, we still keep up fairly regular scripture study and family home evenings. So... lately more and more I have been feeling like I really need to just slog through the unpleasantries of visiting church, that I just need to be properly involved again. More than anything I want to go back to attending the temple. Having not been at church regularly, we have not kept up with our tithing, but apart from that we can both answer all the recommend questions in the affirmative. My question is, what are the rules or guidelines for being able to receive a temple recommend again after inactivity? Is there a waiting period? How long should I wait before even bringing it up with our bishop, and also if anyone feels like offering advice.. how to handle those first few weeks back at church? We've gone back a few times and it is always incredibly awkward, everyone asks us if we are new and ask us to stand and introduce ourselves in Sunday School, RS, etc. Thanks.