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z_o_n_e

I want to be active again

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It has been close to six years now, since I have last attended my ward. Since that time, I have drank alcohol, I have smoked cigarets, I have had illegal substances (marijuana, once), I have been prideful, and I have spoken against Christians. I've always been supportive of LDS, but I have said some bad things about Jesus, and ridiculed believers outside of tcojcolds.

In the past month, I have felt an urge to reconnect to the Church, to get closer to God. To bring my two wonderful children to the faith. I have finished reading the Book of Mormon, and am in the process of reading the Doctrine and Covenants. I find myself a different person, that I have purpose in this life and that I feel very hopeful that it is true.

I'm at a loss here though, should I go to the ward, what should I do? I don't think I am worthy of taking the sacrament, should I speak to the Bishop about these things? And most importantly, how should I approach the Bishop if I need to? Should it be before the sacrament, or after? How do you usually schedule a meeting with him?

How should I meet up with my Bishop, is this something I should go to the church early to, to discuss these things, or what? I have only spoken to him once, and that was a while ago.

---

Just to let you all know where I am coming from, I was a member with the church for only a short period. Prior to my baptism, I was a very skeptical of religion and God. I did not get far in the church, shortly after being baptised and given my Aaronic priesthood, I became inactive.

Edited by z_o_n_e

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First, this is general conference weekend. Just watch conference on the internet, on cable tv or at your local meetinghouse. No pressure! :)

Don't worry. Just show up and feel the spirit. That's step 1.

Step 2 is to talk to the bishop after you feel the spirit in sacrament meeting.

But for this weekend, watch General Conference and feel the spirit of those messages.

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All Members Invited to Participate in October General Conference - Church News and Events

General sessions will be held on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., followed by the priesthood session at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time. Two more general sessions will be held on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time; the morning session includes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.

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Thanks Skippy.

For the record, that's 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 6:00 pm Mountain Daylight Saving Time (i.e. Utah time). That corresponds to 9 am, 1 pm, and 5 pm Pacific; 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm Central; and 12 pm, 4 pm, and 8 pm Eastern. If you're on Atlantic or Alaska or Hawaii time, or somewhere else in the world, I guess you can figure out for yourself what time it comes on. :)

If you get BYUtv on your cable, you can watch the proceedings live. Otherwise, you can watch them on lds.org or whatever KSL television is (probably ksltv.com or something similar). If you have a slow internet connection and don't have the bandwidth to watch conference, you can listen to it on lds.org or ksl1160.com. Or, if you prefer, you can just go to your local stake center meetinghouse and watch it there.

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When I went back to church, I just found out what time sacrament was at and showed up. It ended up being the wrong ward but that's no big deal. As far as not taking the sacrament, that's not a big deal, either. I attended church and didn't take the sacrament for a few years. You just wave it off and shake your head when they offer it to you, or pass it on to the person next to you without taking it yourself.

I'm excited that you feel the urge to come back! I was in very similar circumstances as yourself when I decided to come back. It's been so wonderful having the Spirit back in my life, it means everything! It took me a while to be able to feel the Spirit consistently, but now that I'm there, it's blessed my life and my family so much. I'm excited that you'll have this in your life, too:)

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zone,

My advice to you is "just show up." (Next week, of course, after Conference is over! :lol:) Participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable doing. If you want to talk to the bishop, I'm sure he'll be happy to talk to you. If you're not ready for that, don't do it. Don't worry about your past or your worthiness--people will just be happy that you're there.

Peace. :)

HEP

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It's great that you have those stirring feelings. Bottom line... the Church is true, you have felt it and know it. The Spirit is prompting you back. Just follow those feelings and show up. Probably a good idea to talk to the Bishop or fellow ward member before to let them know you are coming, to find out the time and where you need to go. Having a good friend or Bishop know you are coming, you should be treated like the Parodical Son (See Luke 15:11-32), and treated like royalty. Enjoy the journey and never look back.

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I was in a similar situation as you, I felt the urge and I decided to look up my ward and call the number of the Bishop. It took about a week for them to get back to me (the number online was to the clerk's office or something, and they don't check the VM often). The Bishop called me back and we had a nice discussion about what I had done and what I was going to do to make things better. So yes, go talk to your bishop. There is nothing special you have to say to him other than "hey bishop, I'm ready to come back" and he'll help you get there. Thanks to 2 wonderful bishops, a good set of home teachers, and most importantly my wife's support, I am now a worthy Elder and waiting on my wife's 1 year to come up so we can get endowed and sealed in the temple.

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Zone,

Welcome. You have some good advice listed up above. One way of course is to just show up. If you don't feel worthy to take the sacrament, you can just pass on it, and talk with the Bishop later. Or, you could look up your ward information and give the number a call. Set up an appointment with the bishop and meet with him even before attending sacrament for the first time back. Whichever makes you more comfortable.

Glad to hear you have found some peace and joy in the gospel.

-RM

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Just an update:

My car is broken down, so I haven't gone yet, but out of the blue a few members came to my house. It was nice to see LDS, they are having a few missionaries come down some time in the near future. It has been a while, and I am really rusty with the church.

I'm not sure about becoming active right yet, I want to but I have social anxiety disorder and am a bit worried about going to the Church. My wife is not a member, and now has to work on Sundays so it would be just be my kids and I. For now, just talking about the gospel will be nice though, eventually I will get my car fixed and perhaps get something to assist me with my SAD.

Anyway, thank you all for the information you provided. I think after all of your kind words, you deserved a bit of an update.

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Just an update:

My car is broken down, so I haven't gone yet, but out of the blue a few members came to my house. It was nice to see LDS, they are having a few missionaries come down some time in the near future. It has been a while, and I am really rusty with the church.

I'm not sure about becoming active right yet, I want to but I have social anxiety disorder and am a bit worried about going to the Church. My wife is not a member, and now has to work on Sundays so it would be just be my kids and I. For now, just talking about the gospel will be nice though, eventually I will get my car fixed and perhaps get something to assist me with my SAD.

Anyway, thank you all for the information you provided. I think after all of your kind words, you deserved a bit of an update.

Actually, having the missionaries over is a very good idea. They will provide you with the missionary discussions (and being a ward missionary in my ward, I found out that those members who are coming back to church after being less active are advised to have the missionary discussions, especially if you have children).

I am not sure of your gender, if you are a single mother, I would make the effort to find out who the Relief Society President is, make a call and find out about having visiting teachers. I would also find out who the EQ president is and ask for home teachers. However, to start off with, having the missionaries over once a week will be a start. They can do splits and they are to receive help from the ward to visit the less active family members of the ward.

By the by, take it from someone who has made it back from being an antagonistic apostate, give it time, work slowly, get back into reading scriptures, get a copy of the Ensign (which you can access online) and just go at the pace you feel most comfortable with.

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