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I've been visiting this board for quite some time and enjoy reading the various posts. Now, I feel it's time to ask for some advice.

My wife and I are both converts. I joined when I was 19, went on to serve a mission, etc. My wife joined a few years later when she was 19 (we didn't know each other) through her best friend and his family. We met a few years after my mission. She was inactive at the time, but working on coming back to church. I myself had gone through a rough patch and was technically active by church standards, but knew I wasn't where I wanted to be spiritually. We met through a mutual friend at church, and after a month of dating, we felt we should get married. The plan was to get sealed in the temple, but we caught flack from our families (no members), and she didn't feel fully prepared to get her endowments even though our branch pres said he was all for it. We discussed it and decided it was better to get married civilly, to appease our families, and then get sealed in a year when she was fully prepared.

A month after our wedding, she was pregnant, and I soon found myself unemployed as the company I worked for went out of business. We moved near my parents in North Carolina where the job market was better and we could have some support from them while I looked for work. At that time we started attending our ward. As we tried to make friends with other young couples, my wife had a hard time fitting in. She's well educated and very liberal in many aspects, and she kept clashing with the other women in the ward who are ultra conservative and not quite as educated. At one RS function she spoke up when a number of the sisters were using words like "f--" and "n-----" to talk about a homosexual and an African American. One of the sisters told her to get used to it, as both are "acceptable terms" here (oddly enough the RS Pres is black, but I don't think she was there that night). Needless to say she was furious and wanted nothing to do with any of them.

My wife continued to go to church on Sundays, mostly just to support me and my calling as ward mission leader, but she complained about everything and was extremely negative. She gave me a hard time whenever I had meetings or went out with the missionaries. It got so bad and caused so much contention between us, that I eventually asked to be released. I told the Bishop why, and he spoke with my wife who told him exactly how she felt. He said he didn't blame her, and admitted that our ward was "very different" (he's only been here a year longer than us and is from out west). So I was released, and now we haven't been back to church in over 6 months, and we never made it to the temple. She has gone back to her "old ways" of drinking coffee every morning, and occasionally going out to bars or dance clubs with co-workers. In addition to her bad feelings toward the ward members, her best friend came out a year ago and announced he's gay (although he still occasionally attends church), and two of her closest friends from singles ward when she was baptized have recently "come out" and are no longer attending church (both RM's and one a BYU grad).

I miss church, but to be honest, all the negativity from my wife has zapped any desire I have to go. If I want to go, I have to take my overly active 2-year old with me (because my wife wants to sleep in), and sleeping an extra hour is more appealing to me than sitting by myself in the hallway during sacrament and then listening to a bunch of crazy people spout off false doctrine in sunday school. My wife refuses to answer phone calls she receives from the RS Pres or her visiting teachers, and is convinced they're not calling because they care, but because they're "supposed to." Supposedly we have home teachers, but have never received a visit or phone call. Just last week we received the Ensign in the mail (we haven't subscribed for a year or more), and I thought it was a good idea that we could read it. Turns out it includes a few articles about helping less active members, so she's convinced it was sent to us by the ward for that reason, and wanted nothing to do with it.

So I find myself at a crossroads, wondering what I should do. I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church, but with my wife being a thundercloud of negativity, I just don't see how that can be possible. I wish I had the spiritual zeal I once did, but it's been gone for quite some time. I can't remember the last time I prayed or read my scriptures, and to be honest I have no desire to do either.

Sorry this is so long, and many thanks to those who've read. I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for, or if I just need to vent/get this off my chest. The only friend I have from church was recently excommunicated, doesn't believe in the church, and just goes to keep his wife happy. Needless to say I don't have too many "church friends" I can talk to about this.

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I've been visiting this board for quite some time and enjoy reading the various posts. Now, I feel it's time to ask for some advice.

My wife and I are both converts. I joined when I was 19, went on to serve a mission, etc. My wife joined a few years later when she was 19 (we didn't know each other) through her best friend and his family. We met a few years after my mission. She was inactive at the time, but working on coming back to church. I myself had gone through a rough patch and was technically active by church standards, but knew I wasn't where I wanted to be spiritually. We met through a mutual friend at church, and after a month of dating, we felt we should get married. The plan was to get sealed in the temple, but we caught flack from our families (no members), and she didn't feel fully prepared to get her endowments even though our branch pres said he was all for it. We discussed it and decided it was better to get married civilly, to appease our families, and then get sealed in a year when she was fully prepared.

A month after our wedding, she was pregnant, and I soon found myself unemployed as the company I worked for went out of business. We moved near my parents in North Carolina where the job market was better and we could have some support from them while I looked for work. At that time we started attending our ward. As we tried to make friends with other young couples, my wife had a hard time fitting in. She's well educated and very liberal in many aspects, and she kept clashing with the other women in the ward who are ultra conservative and not quite as educated. At one RS function she spoke up when a number of the sisters were using words like "f--" and "n-----" to talk about a homosexual and an African American. One of the sisters told her to get used to it, as both are "acceptable terms" here (oddly enough the RS Pres is black, but I don't think she was there that night). Needless to say she was furious and wanted nothing to do with any of them.

My wife continued to go to church on Sundays, mostly just to support me and my calling as ward mission leader, but she complained about everything and was extremely negative. She gave me a hard time whenever I had meetings or went out with the missionaries. It got so bad and caused so much contention between us, that I eventually asked to be released. I told the Bishop why, and he spoke with my wife who told him exactly how she felt. He said he didn't blame her, and admitted that our ward was "very different" (he's only been here a year longer than us and is from out west). So I was released, and now we haven't been back to church in over 6 months, and we never made it to the temple. She has gone back to her "old ways" of drinking coffee every morning, and occasionally going out to bars or dance clubs with co-workers. In addition to her bad feelings toward the ward members, her best friend came out a year ago and announced he's gay (although he still occasionally attends church), and two of her closest friends from singles ward when she was baptized have recently "come out" and are no longer attending church (both RM's and one a BYU grad).

I miss church, but to be honest, all the negativity from my wife has zapped any desire I have to go. If I want to go, I have to take my overly active 2-year old with me (because my wife wants to sleep in), and sleeping an extra hour is more appealing to me than sitting by myself in the hallway during sacrament and then listening to a bunch of crazy people spout off false doctrine in sunday school. My wife refuses to answer phone calls she receives from the RS Pres or her visiting teachers, and is convinced they're not calling because they care, but because they're "supposed to." Supposedly we have home teachers, but have never received a visit or phone call. Just last week we received the Ensign in the mail (we haven't subscribed for a year or more), and I thought it was a good idea that we could read it. Turns out it includes a few articles about helping less active members, so she's convinced it was sent to us by the ward for that reason, and wanted nothing to do with it.

So I find myself at a crossroads, wondering what I should do. I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church, but with my wife being a thundercloud of negativity, I just don't see how that can be possible. I wish I had the spiritual zeal I once did, but it's been gone for quite some time. I can't remember the last time I prayed or read my scriptures, and to be honest I have no desire to do either.

Sorry this is so long, and many thanks to those who've read. I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for, or if I just need to vent/get this off my chest. The only friend I have from church was recently excommunicated, doesn't believe in the church, and just goes to keep his wife happy. Needless to say I don't have too many "church friends" I can talk to about this.

Well brother; you can attend another ward.. if you honestly want the wonderfull gospel to help you and your family;; then go start attending another ward.. :P

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I've been visiting this board for quite some time and enjoy reading the various posts. Now, I feel it's time to ask for some advice.

My wife and I are both converts. I joined when I was 19, went on to serve a mission, etc. My wife joined a few years later when she was 19 (we didn't know each other) through her best friend and his family. We met a few years after my mission. She was inactive at the time, but working on coming back to church. I myself had gone through a rough patch and was technically active by church standards, but knew I wasn't where I wanted to be spiritually. We met through a mutual friend at church, and after a month of dating, we felt we should get married. The plan was to get sealed in the temple, but we caught flack from our families (no members), and she didn't feel fully prepared to get her endowments even though our branch pres said he was all for it. We discussed it and decided it was better to get married civilly, to appease our families, and then get sealed in a year when she was fully prepared.

A month after our wedding, she was pregnant, and I soon found myself unemployed as the company I worked for went out of business. We moved near my parents in North Carolina where the job market was better and we could have some support from them while I looked for work. At that time we started attending our ward. As we tried to make friends with other young couples, my wife had a hard time fitting in. She's well educated and very liberal in many aspects, and she kept clashing with the other women in the ward who are ultra conservative and not quite as educated. At one RS function she spoke up when a number of the sisters were using words like "f--" and "n-----" to talk about a homosexual and an African American. One of the sisters told her to get used to it, as both are "acceptable terms" here (oddly enough the RS Pres is black, but I don't think she was there that night). Needless to say she was furious and wanted nothing to do with any of them.

My wife continued to go to church on Sundays, mostly just to support me and my calling as ward mission leader, but she complained about everything and was extremely negative. She gave me a hard time whenever I had meetings or went out with the missionaries. It got so bad and caused so much contention between us, that I eventually asked to be released. I told the Bishop why, and he spoke with my wife who told him exactly how she felt. He said he didn't blame her, and admitted that our ward was "very different" (he's only been here a year longer than us and is from out west). So I was released, and now we haven't been back to church in over 6 months, and we never made it to the temple. She has gone back to her "old ways" of drinking coffee every morning, and occasionally going out to bars or dance clubs with co-workers. In addition to her bad feelings toward the ward members, her best friend came out a year ago and announced he's gay (although he still occasionally attends church), and two of her closest friends from singles ward when she was baptized have recently "come out" and are no longer attending church (both RM's and one a BYU grad).

I miss church, but to be honest, all the negativity from my wife has zapped any desire I have to go. If I want to go, I have to take my overly active 2-year old with me (because my wife wants to sleep in), and sleeping an extra hour is more appealing to me than sitting by myself in the hallway during sacrament and then listening to a bunch of crazy people spout off false doctrine in sunday school. My wife refuses to answer phone calls she receives from the RS Pres or her visiting teachers, and is convinced they're not calling because they care, but because they're "supposed to." Supposedly we have home teachers, but have never received a visit or phone call. Just last week we received the Ensign in the mail (we haven't subscribed for a year or more), and I thought it was a good idea that we could read it. Turns out it includes a few articles about helping less active members, so she's convinced it was sent to us by the ward for that reason, and wanted nothing to do with it.

So I find myself at a crossroads, wondering what I should do. I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church, but with my wife being a thundercloud of negativity, I just don't see how that can be possible. I wish I had the spiritual zeal I once did, but it's been gone for quite some time. I can't remember the last time I prayed or read my scriptures, and to be honest I have no desire to do either.

Sorry this is so long, and many thanks to those who've read. I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for, or if I just need to vent/get this off my chest. The only friend I have from church was recently excommunicated, doesn't believe in the church, and just goes to keep his wife happy. Needless to say I don't have too many "church friends" I can talk to about this.

I tried to PM you but it says you cannot receive any messages. Please PM me to start a private conversation (click on my username).

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I've been visiting this board for quite some time and enjoy reading the various posts. Now, I feel it's time to ask for some advice.

My wife and I are both converts. I joined when I was 19, went on to serve a mission, etc. My wife joined a few years later when she was 19 (we didn't know each other) through her best friend and his family. We met a few years after my mission. She was inactive at the time, but working on coming back to church. I myself had gone through a rough patch and was technically active by church standards, but knew I wasn't where I wanted to be spiritually. We met through a mutual friend at church, and after a month of dating, we felt we should get married. The plan was to get sealed in the temple, but we caught flack from our families (no members), and she didn't feel fully prepared to get her endowments even though our branch pres said he was all for it. We discussed it and decided it was better to get married civilly, to appease our families, and then get sealed in a year when she was fully prepared.

A month after our wedding, she was pregnant, and I soon found myself unemployed as the company I worked for went out of business. We moved near my parents in North Carolina where the job market was better and we could have some support from them while I looked for work. At that time we started attending our ward. As we tried to make friends with other young couples, my wife had a hard time fitting in. She's well educated and very liberal in many aspects, and she kept clashing with the other women in the ward who are ultra conservative and not quite as educated. At one RS function she spoke up when a number of the sisters were using words like "f--" and "n-----" to talk about a homosexual and an African American. One of the sisters told her to get used to it, as both are "acceptable terms" here (oddly enough the RS Pres is black, but I don't think she was there that night). Needless to say she was furious and wanted nothing to do with any of them.

My wife continued to go to church on Sundays, mostly just to support me and my calling as ward mission leader, but she complained about everything and was extremely negative. She gave me a hard time whenever I had meetings or went out with the missionaries. It got so bad and caused so much contention between us, that I eventually asked to be released. I told the Bishop why, and he spoke with my wife who told him exactly how she felt. He said he didn't blame her, and admitted that our ward was "very different" (he's only been here a year longer than us and is from out west). So I was released, and now we haven't been back to church in over 6 months, and we never made it to the temple. She has gone back to her "old ways" of drinking coffee every morning, and occasionally going out to bars or dance clubs with co-workers. In addition to her bad feelings toward the ward members, her best friend came out a year ago and announced he's gay (although he still occasionally attends church), and two of her closest friends from singles ward when she was baptized have recently "come out" and are no longer attending church (both RM's and one a BYU grad).

I miss church, but to be honest, all the negativity from my wife has zapped any desire I have to go. If I want to go, I have to take my overly active 2-year old with me (because my wife wants to sleep in), and sleeping an extra hour is more appealing to me than sitting by myself in the hallway during sacrament and then listening to a bunch of crazy people spout off false doctrine in sunday school. My wife refuses to answer phone calls she receives from the RS Pres or her visiting teachers, and is convinced they're not calling because they care, but because they're "supposed to." Supposedly we have home teachers, but have never received a visit or phone call. Just last week we received the Ensign in the mail (we haven't subscribed for a year or more), and I thought it was a good idea that we could read it. Turns out it includes a few articles about helping less active members, so she's convinced it was sent to us by the ward for that reason, and wanted nothing to do with it.

So I find myself at a crossroads, wondering what I should do. I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church, but with my wife being a thundercloud of negativity, I just don't see how that can be possible. I wish I had the spiritual zeal I once did, but it's been gone for quite some time. I can't remember the last time I prayed or read my scriptures, and to be honest I have no desire to do either.

Sorry this is so long, and many thanks to those who've read. I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for, or if I just need to vent/get this off my chest. The only friend I have from church was recently excommunicated, doesn't believe in the church, and just goes to keep his wife happy. Needless to say I don't have too many "church friends" I can talk to about this.

Well first of all, welcome chileanseabass, I'm sure you've been watching us for quite a bit, but I never got to welcome you here, so I guess I'll do so now =).

What you have here, yes... it is a very difficult problem. In any case, I would like to tell you that those two words are not appropriate for church members (and I have no idea why they thought they were appropriate), but I don't think that will be the subject of this conversation XD.

Anyways... to the real subject... I would think you are right, the problem is negativity. Negativity is a very infectious thing these days... and it really drives away the spirit. It's hard to get away from too - since nearly everyone has it. It is a pain all the time, since it sort of seeks to dominate your mind in a way, if you know what I mean... it distracts and disorts you a bit. But it's so subtle... anyways enough with my ranting... but yes, negativity... there would be several things I would suggest.

1) Read the Book of Mormon and your favorite Scripture twice a day. Spend 10 to 12 minutes in the morning and 10 to 12 minutes right before you go to bed reading the scriptures (especially the BoM). This'll help with a few things, I think. I notice whenever I read my scriptures in the morning, it gives me a good start for the day. It allows me to prepare my mind for what is ahead, and to keep the goal in mind. It allows me to face the sunrise with a smile on my face, and peace in my heart. The sunrise, for me, signifies the big battle of ideas and temptation at school and what not, and so, for me, I try to read it before the sun rises. Though that may not be necessary for you. So read in the morning. Than, read again in the evening (once or twice). This may situate you best the moment you come home from work, the moment before you go to bed, or my personal favorite, both =). Basically, this serves as a sort of 'clean-wipe' for your brain, as it reminds you of what you read in the morning, and allows you to wash off all the temptation/negativity/bleh muck that gets splattered everywhere each day. It allows a cleansing of heart, in a way, I guess... and sets things right again. It's great if you can do it twice, but if you cannot, I'd suggest waiting for the later moments in the night then, because it is important that you go to bed feelings spiritually at peace with God, which will help you fell much better. But yah... so scriptures 2-3X daily... sounds like a medicine... and I guess it is, but it works great! =D

2) Prayers. Yes, you already know this one, but it is keenly important. Praying is truly a great way to communicate with God, and to know his feelings about what you are doing. He already knows what you are going to ask, but he wishes to let you know what he thinks about many things, and so praying truly helps you feel more connected. It's really of two parts, I think... first, there are the verbal/silent spoken prayers... they are keen wishes to God, with all of your heart, seeking out to him with all your might. They are very important when asking specific questions with a desire for an answer, of for obtaining peace in your mind and heart from him. Do those whenever you fell like you need them, you can never do it too much. The second part is prayers in your heart. This is a bit different... it's basically keeping your heart open to the spirit at all times, and in all places. It is feeling the good and the bad about your actions, and keeping your thoughts focused on him, and off the things of the world (whatever temptations they be for you, they are different between person and person). It is what Pres. Hinckley called prayerfullness... and yes, it is praying always in your heart... in humility and sorrow and yearning. Kinda hard to explain, I guess, but I think you know of the feeling.

3) When you get tempted by whatever (negativity, scanty clothing, distractions), isolate yourself for a bit if possible. If you can isolate yourself, you will make yourself more open to God. This isn't necessarily physical isolation, though it can help. But it means you focus solely on God for a second, and forget whatever you are doing for a second.

4) Loving other people. Compliment them on things they do great. Look at the things they do right, and don't criticize them for what they do wrong. Fix your own errs, and whenever you are asked about others, give them the benefit of the doubt and portray them as a bit better than they are. Let your positivism and good outlook on life - even when bleak - overwhelm the negative feelings that surround you constantly, and try to weigh you down.

-----

Now looking back on all my comments... I realize some of them sound rather cheesy... and somewhat unserious... but I want to give one more piece of advice. If you take this advice, I can guarantee that it will connect you to those 4 things, and that those 4 things will help connect you to this. It is really, in the end, what really matters.

5) Have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ our Lord, and Heavenly Father from above.

Have a relationship with each of these men, who unifedly work together to help you, and who love you so very greatly. They are really great men... and I recommend them to you... they will change your life. I remember the time... when I was not connected with them... and how lost I was. I can't explain it all... but they were the ones who had the great and drastic effect on my life that changed me forever. I truly ask you, seek after them... they will make you happy, and help your life be fufilled.

I am sorry, if my comments did not sound as serious at first... sometimes I get a bit too excited in talking about information and things... so I apologize for that. I truly do hope that you will be able to find what you are looking for, chileanseabass. I truly do. We will be here to help you with whatever trials you have, for it is not going to be easy I think. Trials never are.

In any case... I think you will be the turning point for both you and your wife. It's alot of responsibility. You need to seek out the Spirit... and need to trust in the great and merciful plan the Lord has. Life is so discouraging at times, and I know there has been times when I have felt unworthy. The Lord will always be willing to forgive you... if you humble yourself enough to ask for it. I know he will help you, that I do, if you ask for it.

You are in my heart and prayers.

Best Wishes,

TAO

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Oh wow, Chileanseabass. I am sorry you're going through this.

I believe my friends here have given you some really good advice. My husband is happy with the Baptist church, but is getting interested in the LDS Church. Lately he's started reading and studying with me and has attended for four weeks now.

The negativity must be difficult. I cannot imagine that. I am so sorry you're in this predicament.

One thing, though, just an idea: Sometimes we leave God, but He never leaves us. It must weigh heavily on your heart to move you to post this, and I truly believe God hasn't given up on you.

You're in my thoughts and prayers. Please let us know how you are doing, ok?

Many blessings to you and yours,

Blossom

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You are in a hard place. (And it also sounds like you may not be up to speed on the church's stance on same gender attraction ----http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction.) You have to decide what you want for your family. And if that is to be sealed in the temple and return to God with honor, you have to act like your covenants are important to you. You have to read your scriptures, pray morning and night and when you eat and other times. Fast for wisdom. It sounds like your wife might be willing to join you in service. Find ways to serve others (those you HT for instance) and your community, ask her along. Put your kiddo in a backpack or pack n play while you do it. (You might ask your dear wife to consider whether Heavenly Father wants her there to help those who are mired in unrighteous traditions of their fathers to see another way.) Be Christlike. Keep the commandments. And as you do those things, the spirit will be in your home in ways that it is not now. Work with dw to identify the things you still share, not the ones that divide you (drinking coffee is NOT the end of the world, and especially not at this point). (And please tell her from us that most of the Ensigns have something about less actives, and your family is not the only family who is in the category --- not to mention that the topics are decided many months in advance, and this subscription is most likely someone's Christmas present to your family.) As you get active and involved, you may make friends whom you are comfortable inviting home (with their spouses). You might also get your dw a copy of the trilogy "Standing on the Promises, by Margaret Young and Darius Gray, a fictionalized version of the history of people of color in the church. And go to the genesis group's website. And to blacksinthescriptures.com. It sounds like you are in an area of the church where really knowing the church history of our members who are of color would make you more able to serve God.

If you do not believe it is important enough to sacrifice for, why should your dw ever believe it is? You can't change her, you can honor your own covenants and find ways to emphasize what you continue to share.

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I've been visiting this board for quite some time and enjoy reading the various posts. Now, I feel it's time to ask for some advice.

My wife and I are both converts. I joined when I was 19, went on to serve a mission, etc. My wife joined a few years later when she was 19 (we didn't know each other) through her best friend and his family. We met a few years after my mission. She was inactive at the time, but working on coming back to church. I myself had gone through a rough patch and was technically active by church standards, but knew I wasn't where I wanted to be spiritually. We met through a mutual friend at church, and after a month of dating, we felt we should get married. The plan was to get sealed in the temple, but we caught flack from our families (no members), and she didn't feel fully prepared to get her endowments even though our branch pres said he was all for it. We discussed it and decided it was better to get married civilly, to appease our families, and then get sealed in a year when she was fully prepared.

A month after our wedding, she was pregnant, and I soon found myself unemployed as the company I worked for went out of business. We moved near my parents in North Carolina where the job market was better and we could have some support from them while I looked for work. At that time we started attending our ward. As we tried to make friends with other young couples, my wife had a hard time fitting in. She's well educated and very liberal in many aspects, and she kept clashing with the other women in the ward who are ultra conservative and not quite as educated. At one RS function she spoke up when a number of the sisters were using words like "f--" and "n-----" to talk about a homosexual and an African American. One of the sisters told her to get used to it, as both are "acceptable terms" here (oddly enough the RS Pres is black, but I don't think she was there that night). Needless to say she was furious and wanted nothing to do with any of them.

My wife continued to go to church on Sundays, mostly just to support me and my calling as ward mission leader, but she complained about everything and was extremely negative. She gave me a hard time whenever I had meetings or went out with the missionaries. It got so bad and caused so much contention between us, that I eventually asked to be released. I told the Bishop why, and he spoke with my wife who told him exactly how she felt. He said he didn't blame her, and admitted that our ward was "very different" (he's only been here a year longer than us and is from out west). So I was released, and now we haven't been back to church in over 6 months, and we never made it to the temple. She has gone back to her "old ways" of drinking coffee every morning, and occasionally going out to bars or dance clubs with co-workers. In addition to her bad feelings toward the ward members, her best friend came out a year ago and announced he's gay (although he still occasionally attends church), and two of her closest friends from singles ward when she was baptized have recently "come out" and are no longer attending church (both RM's and one a BYU grad).

I miss church, but to be honest, all the negativity from my wife has zapped any desire I have to go. If I want to go, I have to take my overly active 2-year old with me (because my wife wants to sleep in), and sleeping an extra hour is more appealing to me than sitting by myself in the hallway during sacrament and then listening to a bunch of crazy people spout off false doctrine in sunday school. My wife refuses to answer phone calls she receives from the RS Pres or her visiting teachers, and is convinced they're not calling because they care, but because they're "supposed to." Supposedly we have home teachers, but have never received a visit or phone call. Just last week we received the Ensign in the mail (we haven't subscribed for a year or more), and I thought it was a good idea that we could read it. Turns out it includes a few articles about helping less active members, so she's convinced it was sent to us by the ward for that reason, and wanted nothing to do with it.

So I find myself at a crossroads, wondering what I should do. I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church, but with my wife being a thundercloud of negativity, I just don't see how that can be possible. I wish I had the spiritual zeal I once did, but it's been gone for quite some time. I can't remember the last time I prayed or read my scriptures, and to be honest I have no desire to do either.

Sorry this is so long, and many thanks to those who've read. I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for, or if I just need to vent/get this off my chest. The only friend I have from church was recently excommunicated, doesn't believe in the church, and just goes to keep his wife happy. Needless to say I don't have too many "church friends" I can talk to about this.

Here is what my wife said to me.

When she discovered that I posted on the other board and bad mouthing the LDS Faith, she was furious (at the time, we were living together). She wanted to go back to church. Upon her discovery (because I had my laptop open) she read what I was posting. Essentially, she flat out told me that I could not love her if I could not respect her or her beliefs. I had to make a choice, either get out or start respecting her beliefs.

I supported her going back to church. I did not want to go back to Church. It was not until we had some good solid home teachers that came over and we started actually going to church together. We ended up getting married. A month later, we found out she was pregnant and I was out of work. Both of us did our best to make everything work.

Where are we at today? We both serve as Sunday School teachers, we both are in a good ward with good people, and we both are working on going to the temple to be sealed.

There are similarities between our situations, the only difference is that I did not choose to abandon my wife.

The only advice I can give you is to work with your Bishop. Wear out your knees in prayer. Delve deeper into the scriptures, pray for your wife daily. Start going back to Church and serve in whatever capacity you can serve in.

The end result is this: If she chooses to come back to Church, it will be based upon her own desire and will. If she does not choose to come back to Church, it is based upon her own desire and will. We are not able to predict the future. We do know what we would like to have happen, but we are not living in a perfect world. From what it sounds like here is that she is not choosing you, but choosing a life that does not include you. That is my gut instinct. She may even be regretting the fact that you guys had moved closer to your parents. I can only speculate.

The focus here is on you going back to Church and loving her the way our Heavenly Father loves her. Forgive her the way our loving Heavenly Father forgives her. Be there for her just as our Loving Heavenly Father is there for her. Invite her out to the activities. Find out who your hometeachers are. Maybe pray and see where Heavenly Father would like you at. Maybe it is time to think about moving into a different ward, or stake.

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People screw things up. God makes them right.

Start asking God to change your heart and your attitude toward Him, toward His Word, toward church, etc. Pray with your wife. Ask God to work in both your lives and in your entire family. Be specific. Ask God to do things- specific things. Not just "be with us" or "your will be done"- nothing that general. Figure out what you and your family need for God to do, than ask God to do those things.

When God does what He does, you'll start doing what He wants you to do. Right now, I suppose the best you can do is ask God to start doing something small. But when you reconnect with the reality of who God is and the fact that He actually does stuff, it has a way of opening the door for greater obedience, faith, trust, etc.

When the first steps are out of the way, keep relying on God for the things you need. Don't ask for crazy stuff or for silly "signs and wonders." More like this- maybe today you're asking for God to give you a desire for His Word and a renewed zeal to be a follower of Him. Something similar for your wife, perhaps. Just ask God for the things you need. The things that are missing that really should be there. Then when it happens, figure out what else you should ask God to do. Don't ever move on to crazy things- just ask God for the things you need done in your life that are in accordance with His will.

God actually does this kind of stuff. You kind of have to ask Him, though, and if you completely bypass that while doing a self-improvement plan all on your own, you're probably missing the point.

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Hello Chilean...

I also would have PM'd you and spoke more frankly, but will just give a few comments here. First and foremost... the two words you mentioned your ward members used are never... repeat, never... appropriate particularly in a church meeting. I can only assume that living in the south (sorry southeners) has some impact, but that is no excuse. One would never hear those terms in any of the wards I've lived in (California and Oregon).

Second, we each have our agency... your wife is choosing her own actions. And you need to choose yours. Right now the negativity she shows is affecting you. I believe you should take her by the hands, sit down with her, and express to her the fact that you miss the Church and would like to start attending again, and that you would like her to try again and go with you, putting aside people and they faults and concentrating instead on the beauty of the gospel. If she does not want to, then I pray you will go on your own. Perhaps she could keep your daughter every other Sunday while you attend... or, perhaps you can enlist the help of the RS pres and sisters (surely there are some grandmotherly types who would be willing to sit next to you in sacrament meeting and help with your daughter... they would probably love it).

The important thing is to start back, even though at this point you don't feel like it because the negativity has driven away the Spirit. I encourage you to start to pray on your own... pray for the Spirit to return... to comfort you... to strengthen you. Take that first step... look in the Topical Guide of your scriptures for Holy Ghost, Comforter and take heart in the comfort available to you, which will help you overcome the negativity...

Then, I encourage you read up on faith in Hebrews 11:1-13... and to look up "Faith" in the Top.Guide, particularly the scriptures from the BoM beginning with Mosiah and on through Alma, Hel., 3 Nephi, Ether, and Moroni... and ponder your own faith...

Well, this is longer than I had intended... I know what it is to be inactive, to miss the Church, and to reactivate (in my case after many years)... and how my life is now. People don't bother me... we're imperfect... if I had heard the terms used, I too would have spoken up and let the chips fall where they may. If a sister(s) didn't like it, tough... I would speak up every time if necessary... that language has no place in our meetings.

All good wishes... from the beautiful central Oregon coast... GG

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Hi Chilean

Thanks for sharing here. I urge you to take action on this cancer before it eats away your faith.

Speak with your bishop and if needed go higher,

the use of racist language is a very appropriate topic to discuss in church

And remember, the church members are sinners. Don't hold it against God.

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  • 1 month later...

Take it is for what it is worth but identify three people you trust and are active members of the church. Contact them and sincerely ask them for advice. I am currently in a similar situation and I contacted three of the people I trust the most. Come to find out two of them were thinking about me. I still have unresolved issues at the moment but the advice they gave me has been a great source of strength. Be reasonable with your wife but don't give up.

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I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church

Hold onto that thought and act on it every chance you get; allow no thundercloud to get in the way. Add "husband" to the father role. You can control your responses to adversity but not her responses; she really cannot control your response to adversity, either.

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Wow, that is a tough one. I think what others are saying is good advice. Be a good husband as well as father. Try to find ways to live your religion without pressuring your wife. Sounds like your ward is definitely different. Funny enough, my husband taught an EQ lesson on not using some terms like what you said. We didn't really have too many issues or anything, but negative terms like those and others are not good. He had an awesome lesson about not using those types of terms or others that might be not so flattering.

Good luck and look to the others who have better advice.

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Unfortunately, you can't blame your wife, best friend, wife's best friend, Ward members, etc... for any lack of relationship you have with Heavenly Father. Take a deep breath, dust yourself off, and get to doing the things you know that you need to be doing. If she follows your example- great! If not- well, her loss.

Edited by BookofMormonLuvr
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I've been visiting this board for quite some time and enjoy reading the various posts. Now, I feel it's time to ask for some advice.

My wife and I are both converts. I joined when I was 19, went on to serve a mission, etc. My wife joined a few years later when she was 19 (we didn't know each other) through her best friend and his family. We met a few years after my mission. She was inactive at the time, but working on coming back to church. I myself had gone through a rough patch and was technically active by church standards, but knew I wasn't where I wanted to be spiritually. We met through a mutual friend at church, and after a month of dating, we felt we should get married. The plan was to get sealed in the temple, but we caught flack from our families (no members), and she didn't feel fully prepared to get her endowments even though our branch pres said he was all for it. We discussed it and decided it was better to get married civilly, to appease our families, and then get sealed in a year when she was fully prepared.

A month after our wedding, she was pregnant, and I soon found myself unemployed as the company I worked for went out of business. We moved near my parents in North Carolina where the job market was better and we could have some support from them while I looked for work. At that time we started attending our ward. As we tried to make friends with other young couples, my wife had a hard time fitting in. She's well educated and very liberal in many aspects, and she kept clashing with the other women in the ward who are ultra conservative and not quite as educated. At one RS function she spoke up when a number of the sisters were using words like "f--" and "n-----" to talk about a homosexual and an African American. One of the sisters told her to get used to it, as both are "acceptable terms" here (oddly enough the RS Pres is black, but I don't think she was there that night). Needless to say she was furious and wanted nothing to do with any of them.

My wife continued to go to church on Sundays, mostly just to support me and my calling as ward mission leader, but she complained about everything and was extremely negative. She gave me a hard time whenever I had meetings or went out with the missionaries. It got so bad and caused so much contention between us, that I eventually asked to be released. I told the Bishop why, and he spoke with my wife who told him exactly how she felt. He said he didn't blame her, and admitted that our ward was "very different" (he's only been here a year longer than us and is from out west). So I was released, and now we haven't been back to church in over 6 months, and we never made it to the temple. She has gone back to her "old ways" of drinking coffee every morning, and occasionally going out to bars or dance clubs with co-workers. In addition to her bad feelings toward the ward members, her best friend came out a year ago and announced he's gay (although he still occasionally attends church), and two of her closest friends from singles ward when she was baptized have recently "come out" and are no longer attending church (both RM's and one a BYU grad).

I miss church, but to be honest, all the negativity from my wife has zapped any desire I have to go. If I want to go, I have to take my overly active 2-year old with me (because my wife wants to sleep in), and sleeping an extra hour is more appealing to me than sitting by myself in the hallway during sacrament and then listening to a bunch of crazy people spout off false doctrine in sunday school. My wife refuses to answer phone calls she receives from the RS Pres or her visiting teachers, and is convinced they're not calling because they care, but because they're "supposed to." Supposedly we have home teachers, but have never received a visit or phone call. Just last week we received the Ensign in the mail (we haven't subscribed for a year or more), and I thought it was a good idea that we could read it. Turns out it includes a few articles about helping less active members, so she's convinced it was sent to us by the ward for that reason, and wanted nothing to do with it.

So I find myself at a crossroads, wondering what I should do. I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church, but with my wife being a thundercloud of negativity, I just don't see how that can be possible. I wish I had the spiritual zeal I once did, but it's been gone for quite some time. I can't remember the last time I prayed or read my scriptures, and to be honest I have no desire to do either.

Sorry this is so long, and many thanks to those who've read. I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for, or if I just need to vent/get this off my chest. The only friend I have from church was recently excommunicated, doesn't believe in the church, and just goes to keep his wife happy. Needless to say I don't have too many "church friends" I can talk to about this.

I am going to give you some advice that may be unpopular around these parts, but you need a good talking to, my young friend.

First of all, you married another human being. Not a sweet sister, not a help-meet, not someone to whom you are equally yoked, and not a step-stool to the celestial kingdom. You married a human being, with her own mind, her own opinions, her own attitudes, her own desires, and her own expectations. You need to realize this really fast.

You say that, after a month of dating, you felt you should be married. But, after reading the whole of your post, I see nothing about love. Do you love her? Did you love her? You say you want to be a good father, and if I read between the lines, you also have a desire to be a good Mormon; I don't see where you state that you want to be a good husband.

Perhaps this is your problem. So, if you don't love this woman, and don't want to be a good husband, and have no desire to love this woman and have no desire to be a good husband, then you need to rip the bandage off and get a divorce. Let her find happiness with someone who cares about her. If you do have a desire to love this woman, and be a good husband, then read on.

Being a good husband is your number one priority. Not church, not your son. That human being you married deserves your love, your devotion, and your respect. Your wife has come to realize that she does not want to associate with the church because of the type of person it produces. She also doesn't want to be made into a Ward Council project. Let me tell you, she has every right to be suspicious of Ensigns showing up and Relief Society sisters calling. I've been in leadership meetings for over 18 years, and these are the types of things that church leaders do. But, I'm not here to talk about the ethics of re-activation. The simple matter is this: your wife wants nothing to do with the church and you need to show her that you love her regardless of her belief. You need to show her that you did not marry her because of her status in the church. You need to show her that the church is not as important as she is.

Let me tell you what that means. No testifying to your wife. No trying to introduce scriptures. No family home evening. No Ensigns. You need to go to the bishop and tell him that there is to be no contact from the church. I am not telling you to resign your membership. I am telling you that your wife needs her distance from the church, and you need to help that wish be fulfilled. You need to do stuff with her, learn to see her for the human being she is, as opposed to the human being that she isn't. You need to lay in bed and snuggle on Sunday mornings, and relish that, instead of secretly yearning to go to church.

Now, am I telling you to deny your faith. Absolutely not. But remember what you have faith in - God and Jesus Christ. You can still pray. You can still read scriptures. But you are not to treat your wife the way everyone else is treating her, like a proselyting opportunity.

Stop looking at her as a 'thundercloud of negativity'. She's not negative - she's told you what she wants. She wants you to spend time with her, not with the church. She wants to disassociate from racist and homophobic church members. She wants to hang out with friends once in a while.

And last, stop blaming your wife for zapping any desire that you have for church. You've pointed out that you find church useless and futile. Your wife didn't make it useless and futile.

Now, go, be a good husband. Someone who really loves her for the person that she is. Forget church for a while. Maybe even a long while. When your marriage is great, then you can maybe have a chat about *you* going back to church, occasionally, and asking her what she feels about that, and asking her how much time you can commit to a calling. But if you do that one minute before she is ready, then you are simply showing her how she ranks in terms of priority.

Good luck.

H.

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Hello Chilean...

I also would have PM'd you and spoke more frankly, but will just give a few comments here. First and foremost... the two words you mentioned your ward members used are never... repeat, never... appropriate particularly in a church meeting. I can only assume that living in the south (sorry southeners) has some impact, but that is no excuse. One would never hear those terms in any of the wards I've lived in (California and Oregon).

Ouch...I have never heard such terms in any LDS Church here in the South either. Where is the OP writer from?

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With all due respect, TAO, you are 17 and unmarried.

H.

*Shrugs* That doesn't matter to me in the least. Marriage has been the thing I've desired most in life, really, so I've spent lots of time thinking about how it should be.

I think what she is doing constitutes a breaking of the covenant does it not? You are suggesting he abandons church though, and church is something that helps most in times of need, that it is. It may be more stressful to hang onto both lives, but it will make him happier in the end, I hope.

Yes, perhaps he should ask them not to teach his wife... at least for now... but in no way should he stop going to church. That is very important indeed, that it is, partaking of the sacrament is a blessing =).

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*Shrugs* That doesn't matter to me in the least. Marriage has been the thing I've desired most in life, really, so I've spent lots of time thinking about how it should be.

Marriage is a wonderful thing, TAO, and you must be exceptional to be thinking about it at your age. One bit of advice I'll give you is this: The marriage that you are dreaming of now may not resemble the marriage that you get. Don't ever let that be a disappointment for you. Any marriage can be made great, just as any marriage can be made miserable.

I think what she is doing constitutes a breaking of the covenant does it not? You are suggesting he abandons church though, and church is something that helps most in times of need, that it is. It may be more stressful to hang onto both lives, but it will make him happier in the end, I hope.

Yes, perhaps he should ask them not to teach his wife... at least for now... but in no way should he stop going to church. That is very important indeed, that it is, partaking of the sacrament is a blessing =).

The OP's wife may be breaking temple covenants, true. What I'm suggesting is that the OP needs to build his relationship with his wife and base it on something other than the church. I've seen so many married people sitting alone and miserable in pews for so many years. When I've spoken to them, they profess love for church and sadness that their husband or wife is not with them. This sadness is deep and depressing and more often than not, the active spouse expresses disappointment and embarrassment in the inactive spouse. No matter how much the active spouse professes joy in the gospel, they never display joy in the gospel.

In my mind, the active spouse has put church first, rather than putting their spouse first. I'm telling the OP to take a radical view on his life and put his wife ahead of everything, including church. Don't judge her for her inactivity, rather, celebrate her for what she is.

I disagree that church helps in every case. Church can help in some cases. But in other cases, the church environment can add to the guilt and sadness that an active spouse feels.

So I stick by my advice - sometimes putting church on the backburner is the right answer.

H.

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Marriage is a wonderful thing, TAO, and you must be exceptional to be thinking about it at your age. One bit of advice I'll give you is this: The marriage that you are dreaming of now may not resemble the marriage that you get. Don't ever let that be a disappointment for you. Any marriage can be made great, just as any marriage can be made miserable.

H.

We may not agree on much, but I agree with this completely.

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Marriage is a wonderful thing, TAO, and you must be exceptional to be thinking about it at your age. One bit of advice I'll give you is this: The marriage that you are dreaming of now may not resemble the marriage that you get. Don't ever let that be a disappointment for you. Any marriage can be made great, just as any marriage can be made miserable.

Yes, true, it probably won't be how I expect it... but I intend to try and get it to be as close as possible =). I have to target the right person, and use the right words at the right time to create the specific sequence needed to give me a chance at the type of mairrage I would like, so yah, I guess I've been trying to do that. (Lol, I make it sound so much like a scientific expiriment... which I guess in a way it is... you can make things go the right direction simply by doing the right things =).

The OP's wife may be breaking temple covenants, true. What I'm suggesting is that the OP needs to build his relationship with his wife and base it on something other than the church. I've seen so many married people sitting alone and miserable in pews for so many years. When I've spoken to them, they profess love for church and sadness that their husband or wife is not with them. This sadness is deep and depressing and more often than not, the active spouse expresses disappointment and embarrassment in the inactive spouse. No matter how much the active spouse professes joy in the gospel, they never display joy in the gospel.

In my mind, the active spouse has put church first, rather than putting their spouse first. I'm telling the OP to take a radical view on his life and put his wife ahead of everything, including church. Don't judge her for her inactivity, rather, celebrate her for what she is.

I disagree that church helps in every case. Church can help in some cases. But in other cases, the church environment can add to the guilt and sadness that an active spouse feels.

So I stick by my advice - sometimes putting church on the backburner is the right answer.

H.

I agree, he probably should build his relationship with his wife on something other than the church. However, I don't think he should abandon church completely... he should go at least once a month. Church is something special... and things tend to go wrong when you avoid it for long periods.

In other words, yes, put it somewhat backburner, but he has to keep going occasionally. It will make a difference, and it might eventually help nudge her back to the church if she wants to go. He can't do that unless he keeps going himself.

I hope things are going well on your end =),

TAO

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So I find myself at a crossroads, wondering what I should do. I want to be a good father and raise my son in the church, but with my wife being a thundercloud of negativity, I just don't see how that can be possible. I wish I had the spiritual zeal I once did, but it's been gone for quite some time. I can't remember the last time I prayed or read my scriptures, and to be honest I have no desire to do either.

Hi Chileanseabass,

I am quite shocked at the experiences you guys have had. It's quite a contrast to the behavior of the LDS that I know. It originally struck me as a bit unbelievable when I read your post, I commented accordingly.

It only took a few minutes for me to realize how judgmental I was being and I opted to edit my comment. Apologies.

In my own Evangelical faith, I have seen people act improperly, have acted improperly myself. Living up to the example set by Christ is a tall order and I think none of us do it perfectly. It certainly gives other believers reason to stumble when someones actions draw their eyes away from Christ.

Seems like you think you should start going to church and taking your son with you. I imagine dealing with a 2 year old at church single-handed will be difficult, but it may not be near as challenging as you think. He's only two and not much will sink in at this age.

If it's that challenging, just go monthly and pickup frequency as he gets older and more manageable.

As to your wife's present attitude and your lack of zeal towards study and prayer. The only good advice I would have would be that seems she has been given cause through poor example, to stumble a bit sounds like you have to. I would try doing your best to give her the best example of Christ, by your own actions towards her and your son. Just focus on living like him and I think prayer, study, zeal and so forth might very well return to you and possibly her as well.

If things are to difficult at that particular ward and there is none other that is close. I would offer that taking a survey of other Christian faiths might not be a bad idea. Visit different churches a look at the perspectives of others beliefs might actually help in refocusing yours.

Regards,

Mudcat

Edited by Mudcat
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