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Friends Who Are Going Inactive


Duncan

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I have some friends are mine who I care about, one a lot but they neither are married and they are around 31 and they are essentially kicked out of the YSA ward. I don't live where they live so my influence is severly limited. One hasn't told me her activity level but someone else has and I feel sick almost thinking about it. The one was emailed by the RS Pres. saying that her records were moved over to the family ward... These are two great people who were very,very active, one served a mission and is now hanging on by a thread to the Church and the other is basically out of it. I don't what to do. I don't want to to impose upon them and make them feel uncomfortable and manipulate them back into activity or anything. Any clues? we email on and talk about a variety of things. Any clues?

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Just be open and ask them about it. Ask them why they aren't going (be kind and non judgemental, but straight forward).

If changing wards is enough to make someone go inactive, then there's got to be more going on. I know a few people who were 'kicked' out of single wards around 30 and they transitioned without any problems in the activity department, so it doesn't have to be deal breaker.

Finding out why it would be a deal breaker to your friends is probably the first step in understanding why they aren't going anymore.

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Might be handy to know how long it's been since they've been sent to the family wards. I truly hope it's not the case, but I've seen family wards treat SA's as "failures", so if the ward happens to have that kind of attitude towards them that could have a huge impact on any desire to attend.

One thing Acris Venator and I do agree on, being 30+ and single in the Church can be a huge pain thanks to the massive emphasis on family and unfortunate attitudes that extend from that.

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it is difficult to be single, old and a member of Church that is so entirely focused on man and woman legal married relationships. Being "kick out" of YSA because of age, means the person could "get out" because of marriage. So now that person gets to go to a family ward wherein inevitably more than one person will ask "why aren't you married".

Just keep being a friend.

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Have you considered tell them you are going to visit and ask if you can go with them to their ward? That might help them get acclimated. You might also have a party and invite sisters from their new wards or families to come to the party so they can get to know someone who might be a lifeline.

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I have some friends are mine who I care about, one a lot but they neither are married and they are around 31 and they are essentially kicked out of the YSA ward. I don't live where they live so my influence is severly limited. One hasn't told me her activity level but someone else has and I feel sick almost thinking about it. The one was emailed by the RS Pres. saying that her records were moved over to the family ward... These are two great people who were very,very active, one served a mission and is now hanging on by a thread to the Church and the other is basically out of it. I don't what to do. I don't want to to impose upon them and make them feel uncomfortable and manipulate them back into activity or anything. Any clues? we email on and talk about a variety of things. Any clues?

Duncan,

Speaking from my own experience, I, being a convert, a returned missionary, did also fall away from the church. Why this happens vary and our spirituality plays a huge roll. I will say this. No matter what the circumstances that make us inactive, there usually is some event that removes the spirit influence in our lives; something that makes us unworthy to receive it. So, when we make further mistakes the spirit of self-repentance is not there. If it’s not some event that makes us unworthy, it could be other things like anxiety or its big brother... depression. If it’s the latter, one starts to think that inactivity is the only way out of the depression. Social activity can make a depressed person feel really good about themselves. There is nothing wrong with that specifically, but when the social activity involves activities that are centered around things that are worldly (bars, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc) Then, the self-preservation move to inactivity really starts to kick in. The church looks a lot less appealing because everyone is in church is condemning them - even if they are just hanging out with the people that are involved with bars, drugs, alcohol and sex. Then because they are simply looking for that social connection that they couldn’t get at church, it just goes down hill from there.

What do you do? YOU be social with them! Be their friend, go to a movie, out to dinner, invite to a bar-b-que and more. And don’t say a thing about their inactivity. just ZIP YOUR LIPS about that. Once they have gained your trust that you wont blab everything around the ward (because they will test you ... I promise), then they will volunteer information in an attempt to get out of the inactivity. The only person that you could ever tell confidential information revealed by this person would be the bishop, but I would say that you wouldn’t until you are directed by the Holy Ghost. Don’t play spy. The goal is to have him come back on his own terms, and he will repent when he is ready. Many in the church do not understand this. And no doubt will cause a few flaming threads on this board.

When I went inactive, I had one member that I stayed in communication with. But I tested him, and he did blab, and that delayed me coming back by about 5 years because I couldn’t trust him. I still stayed in communication with him, but I could never truly connect with him to work through my issues because I never trusted him. It wasn’t until I heard an audible voice calling my name that invited me back that I figured out that the part that was missing in my life, the Holy Ghost, and my relationship with Heavenly Father, was the real cure. I took a chance on God that he would welcome me back into his work, and be a part of his social network, a network of honesty and trust and yes, family. Repentance was easy after that - because it was natural.

Three years after coming back, I was rewarded by actually feeling the love he has for me. It was all encompassing, intense, physically and emotionally demanding and absolutely life changing. There is no doubt that could ever be present in my mind that he does not exist. Its no longer a question of faith, its pure knowledge to me.

I hope that you see that pattern that I have laid out for you and your friend. When he sees your happiness and the qualities of the true gospel in your life, he will compare it with his, the walls of worldly things will fall, and he will voluntarily repent on his own.

Here is a great article on reactivation: Only a Matter Of Time

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There's really only one reason people go inactive, per an apostle who has more authority than us and speaks the Lord's will- whose understanding is greater than ours.

They get offended.

Brother Duncan it is good for you to be concerned. They are simply offended about something, so I would ask them what are you offended about? If they have nothing, a serious transgression that they are ashamed to admit may also be a factor. But ultimately every inactive is offended, and it's their fault for this. Do your best to help them see this, and may your logic bring them back.

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