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Membership Records and boundaries

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On 26/11/2016 at 3:55 PM, MormonGator said:

Let the family go to the ward they are most comfortable in. There. That simple. If you say "No, you have to stick in this ward" you'll lose them.in particular if they don't fit in with the ward. They'll just stop going, I assure you.  I'm under this wild idea that happy people are more beneficial to the Church than unhappy people. Keep people happy, they'll keep coming back to church. 

It's very hard to go to a ward you don't feel comfortable in   I speak from personal, first hand experience.  

I agree with you.

The reason why we are advised to go to the ward/branch within the boundaries of our homes is to strengthen that ward/ branch. For example, our ward was recently split up to create a new ward. Our ward has now fewer members than the new ward due to the territory division proposed by the stake presidency. So, we have less priesthood holders and experienced women to occupy important calling in our ward. Recently two new families moved to our ward from other stakes and things became much easier for us here, as bishopric.

But we have, for instance, this woman (whose husband is not a member) that, although she belongs to our ward, she goes to the new ward (where her parents go). She is an experienced leader and an excellent pianist. We miss her a lot, but we didn’t want to, just like you emphasized, make her unhappy. We just let her go.

So, as I said in another post, things need to be taken care of with love, patience and understanding.

 

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On 11/26/2016 at 10:55 AM, MormonGator said:

Let the family go to the ward they are most comfortable in. There. That simple. If you say "No, you have to stick in this ward" you'll lose them.in particular if they don't fit in with the ward. They'll just stop going, I assure you.  I'm under this wild idea that happy people are more beneficial to the Church than unhappy people. Keep people happy, they'll keep coming back to church. 

It's very hard to go to a ward you don't feel comfortable in   I speak from personal, first hand experience.  

And then the church falls apart...  No seriously.. it does... think about it... the churches foundation is about service (giving and receiving).

Everyone loves an awesome ward... but what makes a ward awesome... the people serving.  If that ward were to suddenly grow to ten times its size the people serving would be unable to meet the demand.  Because the people who show up would be about "what is in it for me" not the Christ-like "what can I do to lift others."  Thus the Ward would stop being awesome and then those people would move on... destroying wards like a plague of locust.

 

When such events (people moving to a less desirable ward) happen (and after any appeals for boundary exceptions are made) It become a test of faith (Faith that Christ is watching and putting you in the best place for you and your family)  As with any test of faith the individuals will either rise up to the challenge or sink bellow.  Clearly we don't want them to sink, but the option is not to remove the trial (That was Satan's plan) but help strengthen them to face the trial and overcome it.

Edited by estradling75

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We have an elderly couple who attends our ward but used to live just outside our ward boundaries.  They attend our ward because when they arrived in the US, they lived with their inactive son who lives in our ward.  Their son got them an apartment which is one street over from the ward boundaries which is also the stake boundaries.  They had no choice in the matter as the son was paying for the rent.   But they asked permission from the bishop and stake president to stay in our ward because the ward has become part of their support system as an elderly couple.  The bishop took them into his list of families he home teaches and the ward missionaries got approval from the mission president to go to their home for dinners and teaching appointments.  We since have 2 new bishops after that bishop was released, but he continued to be their home teacher. 

The elderly couple moved into our home a few months ago and so they are not a "special case" anymore (they've been a "special case" for over 10 years!).  They have told me that they now feel like they truly "belong".  Interesting, huh?

Edited by anatess2

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On November 27, 2016 at 10:23 AM, Eowyn said:

Maybe sometimes we are put into a less ideal Ward family because we have the potential to help improve things. Of course this would require time and endurance, regular attendance, and an attitude of charity (over "what's in it for me" or "let's watch how much they can get wrong").

Great point, but I have a question in regards to this thought though. What if when you bring up concerns to people be it Bishopric or others they tell you that others have voiced the same concerns over the course of several years and no changes have been made? I feel like this makes thinking you are going to be able to help improve things awfully hard to believe. 

 

Just to put it out there, @MormonGator and I do disagree on somethings, I just haven't found any of those topics yet :)

Edited by LadyGator

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9 minutes ago, LadyGator said:

Great point, but I have a question in regards to this thought though. What if when you bring up concerns to people be it Bishopric or others they tell you that others have voiced the same concerns over the course of several years and no changes have been made? I feel like this makes thinking you are going to be able to help improve things awfully hard to believe. 

Then to be terribly blunt they need to suck it up and deal with the hand they have.  Not the hand they wished they had.  Life is not fair.. Sometimes the people that should help and support us are more obstacles and challenges. 

This is not a new thing, and we are not an exception to such challenges.  After all... where would we be if Christ say, "That whole atonement thing sounds to hard so I am just going to sit it out instead?"

 

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32 minutes ago, LadyGator said:

Great point, but I have a question in regards to this thought though. What if when you bring up concerns to people be it Bishopric or others they tell you that others have voiced the same concerns over the course of several years and no changes have been made? I feel like this makes thinking you are going to be able to help improve things awfully hard to believe. 

 

Just to put it out there, @MormonGator and I do disagree on somethings, I just haven't found any of those topics yet :)

Depending on the concerns and level of dysfunction, it might not be inappropriate to take it up the line of authority... stake president, area authority, etc. 

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6 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

Depending on the concerns and level of dysfunction, it might not be inappropriate to take it up the line of authority... stake president, area authority, etc. 

This is true, but I'm going to guess that most just stop going. It seems weird to talk about reactivation one minute but seem to be blind to the issues that are hindering retention in the first place. We need to find a happy medium (imho). 

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Please note that in cases like this, I think the ward needs to step it up, get its act together, or whatever, and not just sit by and say, "Meh."  But the ward isn't here.  I cannot talk to the ward or its bishop.  If I could, I hope I would listen to his thoughts first, and then, if I still felt it necessary, rip him a new one, as they say.  (Though I fear that would be wrong of me, I still might do it.)  But I can't.  I can only talk to the people who are having a hard time because the ward isn't welcoming to them.  To said people, I would say:

1) Consider moving, if that's what you need to do to continue your spiritual progress. (Even if that's a sacrifice, how can it be anything but worth it for the reward?)  (Personally, I would do this before attending a ward where my records were not.)

2) Request your records be transferred to a new ward.  Take this to both bishops and the SP.  As has been hinted in this thread, this will be more successful if you are actively participating (as much as they let you) in the ward where you live.

3) Tough it out.  Go anyway.  Prepare harder for church meetings so that the Spirit is in your heart, and the Spirit welcomes and teaches you, even if the ward doesn't.  Partake of the Sacrament with real intent to keep those covenants (again, the ward doesn't matter - you and the Spirit do - but you need them to administer this ordinance for you).  In my experience, going without the Sacrament for even one week is detrimental to one's spirit.

Things no ward I've ever seen can stop you from doing: bearing testimony on fast Sunday, raising your hand to comment in class (even if they don't call on you), showing up at the church to help clean it (even if you're not assigned), showing up at activities, coming to Sunday meetings.  You may not have a calling*; you may never be asked to speak, pray, or comment in class; but you can do the rest.  (*This may be the single most damaging thing to a person's soul that I have experienced - 2 to 3 years! - worse even than sin - if I ever went more than a month without a calling, I'd be talking to the bishop every week - even if he turned me away every time.)

49 minutes ago, LadyGator said:

I feel like this makes thinking you are going to be able to help improve things awfully hard to believe. 

That others before you failed can certainly be discouraging, but eventually, there's one person who gets the ball rolling, one person who prods or sparks or inspires.  For all you know, you're that person.

I know that's hard - to "go it alone" in the face of indifference or rejection, but it's not their church you're going to, it's Jesus Christ's.  Prayerfully find a way to show them that by your example, and inspire them to repent.

Yes, if the only way you feel like you can get spiritual nourishment is by attending another ward, do so, make friends, talk to the bishop and heed his counsel (there are blessings which come from obeying priesthood leaders, even when we don't want to or don't think it will do any good).

Sorry, that and my prayers are the best I have to offer.

PS: I sometimes wonder if in those scriptural accounts where apostasy was looming, there weren't "members" in this very same situation. :(

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12 hours ago, LadyGator said:

This is true, but I'm going to guess that most just stop going. It seems weird to talk about reactivation one minute but seem to be blind to the issues that are hindering retention in the first place. We need to find a happy medium (imho). 

Clearly the ward needs to repent... however the ward is not here to call to repentance (and even if it were it might not work because of that whole agency thing)

But in the end each of us must stand alone to face the Lord and be accountable for our own actions.  And it doesn't seem like the Lord is going to accept any attempts to pass the buck on things we could have done but didn't.  If your Ward sucks.. you have choices... you might not like the choices but you have them.  Inactivity is a choice.

Interesting to note that reactivating a member is not about church "fixing" whatever excuse was used... its about re-kindling of the Testimony so that the excuse is put into its proper context of unimportance in the eternal scheme of things

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Looking ahead, what is going to happen eventually is that the Church will grow and the two wards will split into three or more wards.  That happens all the time.  The boundaries will be redrawn once again and the whole problem starts over.  You get to pick where you live.  You don't get to pick your bishop, the ward leaders, or the saints who attend with you.

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