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Dissent- It Came Time For Me To Put Up Or Shut Up.


Lamanite

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Well it came time for me to put up or shut up.

My daughter is the last one in her age group in Primary. All of her friends and peers have moved on to YW. She has recently shared with me that she "kinda" feels out of place and "doesn't have much fun anymore." (I like that she thought church was ever fun at all!) I've wondered what to do. I planned to talk to the Primary President this Sunday.

Anyway, the Primary President wound up coming over last night to drop off parts for my girls for the Primary program. She said she had been thinking about my daughter and realized she may be struggling. I confirmed that yes in fact she was having a tough time being all alone. She asked me what I thought we could do. I told her I think our ward and maybe other wards and stakes in the Church would benefit from having our classes mirror our school system. She thought about it and said she'd talk to the Bishop to see whether or not my daughter could just be moved up with the other girls. I thanked her and said that would be appreciated. She asked if I had any other ideas. I said sure. How about you give her special roles or responsibilities. Perhaps she could teach, help younger kids, lead activities...whatever, just get her involved and engaged. The Primary President loved the idea. She said she would work out the specifics with her counselors and would have something special for my daughter this Sunday!!! I was near tears.

1. Me, my Wife, and my daughter were dissatisfied with a part of our experience at Church. We didn't like the way the Church was presently organized as it related to my daughter and we wanted to change it. We were dissidents!

2. We shared our dissatisfaction with the appropriate leader and then gave her possible solutions. We were dissidents in action!!!

3. Some ideas needed to be discussed with other leaders while some were immediately accepted and will be implemented. The Church recognized and responded to our dissent.

There is such a thing as righteous dissent. Mine was even successful to a degree.

For women or men out there who want to make changes within the Church I think this is a great model to begin with. Whether you want to increase the parity between men and women in the church or you want to change our meeting formats, or change curriculum, or whatever- I can't see why following this model wouldn't be a great place to start. Some changes take time and consistency before they begin to take hold. And some of the changes we desire will never come to pass. And accepting the latter may be the most difficult part of dissent.

Big UP!

Lamanite

Edited by Lamanite
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Some true principles applied here:

You corrected in private.

You addressed the person who had authority over the issue.

You were willing to accept the counsel and action regardless of your own opinion.

That is truly the way to dissent in the church. Good for you! (and good for this sister).

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That's great! I think the Primary Pres. should just move her up without involving the Bishop

She could have if she wanted to. It's within her authority. ****Warning...Controversial statement to follow!!!****** I don't think women in our society and especially in a patriarchal church like ours are comfortable taking lead and taking action without first consulting the Priesthood leadership. At least not when it comes to making changes outside of the norm.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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(and good for this sister).

Indeed!!!

I didn't want to overplay the not so coincidental timing of things in my OP but It is obvious to me and may be apparent to others that this was definitely an example of our Lord's tender mercy being extended to one of his daughters in need through a Leader who was sensitive to the whisperings of the Spirit. (And I won't ruin the experience by now thinking as a theodicist.)

Big UP!

Lamanite

Edited by Lamanite
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Well it came time for me to put up or shut up.

And accepting the latter may be the most difficult part of dissent.

Big UP!

Lamanite

I don't see any dissent in your OP. You were just a father being concerned for your child and you expressed an opinion. Since when does opinion signify dissent? I don't see dissent at all in your OP.

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I don't see any dissent in your OP. You were just a father being concerned for your child and you expressed an opinion. Since when does opinion signify dissent? I don't see dissent at all in your OP.

For the highly sensitive and timid, concern and opinion may feel or appear like dissent.

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I don't see any dissent in your OP. You were just a father being concerned for your child and you expressed an opinion. Since when does opinion signify dissent? I don't see dissent at all in your OP.

dis·sent (dibreve.gif-sebreve.gifntprime.gif)

intr.v. dis·sent·ed, dis·sent·ing, dis·sents

1. To differ in opinion or feeling; disagree.

2. To withhold assent or approval.

1. Me, my Wife, and my daughter were dissatisfied with a part of our experience at Church. We didn't like the way the Church was presently organized as it related to my daughter and we wanted to change it. We were dissidents!

2. We shared our dissatisfaction [differing opinion about Sunday School structure] with the appropriate leader and then gave her possible solutions. We were dissidents in action!!!

Just because we didn't take over the Nauvoo Temple with a bowie knife or give a talk at Sunstone on Mother in Heaven doesn't mean we didn't dissent from aspects of the Church.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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dis·sent (dibreve.gif-sebreve.gifntprime.gif)

intr.v. dis·sent·ed, dis·sent·ing, dis·sents

1. To differ in opinion or feeling; disagree.

2. To withhold assent or approval.

Lamanite

1.to differ in sentiment or opinion, especially from the majority; withhold assent; disagree (often followed by from ): Two of the justices dissented from the majority decision.

2.to disagree with the methods, goals, etc., of a political party or government; take an opposing view.

3.to disagree with or reject the doctrines or authority of an established church.

http://dictionary.re.../browse/dissent

Both numbers two and three would be dissent in current context. You did not do this. You expressed an opinion.

Edited by why me
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I think it is awesome that the primary president was open to your concerns. I think that is the big difference in your case. If either the primary president didn't want to hear your opinion or if you weren't willing to accept her opinion, it might have been a different story. The is the biggest problem with decent in the church, either leaders are unreceptive to members concerns or members don't accept leaders opinion.

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You did good, Lamanite, and just as you saw the appropriateness in talking to the authorized leader of that group the Primary President also saw the appropriateness of talking to the authorized leader of the ward before changing the rules in the ward.

The Church has a default system in place to guide us on when and how to do things, but there is often some justification for some exceptions.

I hope your daughter and you and the Primary President and the Bishop all end up with something you all mutually agree with.

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The same thing happened to me. I had a bunch of guys one year older than me, and a bunch of kids one year younger. I was closer friends with the older group, so when they moved up from primary, they let me go as well. I don't remember it being a big deal.

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Well it came time for me to put up or shut up.

My daughter is the last one in her age group in Primary.

All my kids went through this...there comes an age when you feel silly in Primary. Also young people don't have the life experience to understand how things are today are not how they will remain...my advice; stay the course, keep going to Church. When my children were growing up there never a question about "if" we were going. If we oversleep they would wake us up so we could get there...this has worked for me 3 of the 4 are the same way. The other will come anytime I ask her, I just call her and say honey can you come this week and she just says, yes sir. Even though she is gay, she helps support her little brother on his mission...se is a very obiedent child and can make me laugh like no other.
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She could have if she wanted to. It's within her authority. ****Warning...Controversial statement to follow!!!****** I don't think women in our society and especially in a patriarchal church like ours are comfortable taking lead and taking action without first consulting the Priesthood leadership. At least not when it comes to making changes outside of the norm.

Big UP!

Lamanite

I don't find that too controversial. In fact every time I served in a Bishopric as a counselor I wished more sisters would come up to me and tell me what there needs were. That is a cultural issue that we can fix.

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...and about the use of the word dissent. I think it has a negative connotation that makes it awkward to use in this situation. I agree that what you did was counsel not dissent.

I would have been less tetchy about the idea of dissent in the first discussion had I known what you were trying to describe.

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...and about the use of the word dissent. I think it has a negative connotation that makes it awkward to use in this situation. I agree that what you did was counsel not dissent.

I would have been less tetchy about the idea of dissent in the first discussion had I known what you were trying to describe.

Language is one of the biggest obstacles to this discussion. "Dissent" does have a negative connotation to it but it is traditionally the word we have used for both people who dissent against the church and those who dissent (work towards change) within the church. No one can agree on the right language, mechanism(s), or methods. Frustrating.

Greg Prince was the first to kind of put together a "manifesto" for dissent/change or whatever. I'm glad I had been contemplating this issue otherwise I may have handled things differently, and probably for the worst.

Big UP!

Lamanite

Edited by Lamanite
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Hello Lamanite...

I think it was Saints Alive that mentioned that you were/are fortunate to have a Prim Pres that is sensitive to the needs of children/parents. That did make a huge difference in this situation. Unfortunately, not all leaders are as willing to think creatively in addressing a situation such as yours. But your PP and hopefully the bishop have worked with you and you feel good in the outcome of your discussion with her. So, hopefully things will work out.

GG

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That's great! I think the Primary Pres. should just move her up without involving the Bishop

She could have if she wanted to. It's within her authority.

Not possible in a Ward that's working correctly. The MLS will list her as Primary age until she turns 12 and such are interviewed by the Bishop when they turn 12 and every six months thereafter until they turn 18. The Primary President and YW President are part of the Ward Council and the progress of each young man and young woman is known by the Bishop.

I'm not saying it would be wrong for her to attend YW early and that such a decision cannot be made, but the Bishop will be involved no matter what. There is no reason whatsoever to try and bypass him. To attempt do so would indeed be unrighteous dissent.

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Not possible in a Ward that's working correctly. The MLS will list her as Primary age until she turns 12 and such are interviewed by the Bishop when they turn 12 and every six months thereafter until they turn 18. The Primary President and YW President are part of the Ward Council and the progress of each young man and young woman is known by the Bishop.

I'm not saying it would be wrong for her to attend YW early and that such a decision cannot be made, but the Bishop will be involved no matter what. There is no reason whatsoever to try and bypass him. To attempt do so would indeed be unrighteous dissent.

I agree with you, there's no way they'll allow her to advance before 12 or everyone will start doing that. I believe the primary pres. will get together with the teacher and come up with a plan to do more adult like activities, helping in class more etc. Plus she is with the "day activities" group (forget what it's called) still too and those leaders could help also until she transitions out.
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The same thing happened to me. I had a bunch of guys one year older than me, and a bunch of kids one year younger. I was closer friends with the older group, so when they moved up from primary, they let me go as well. I don't remember it being a big deal.

Then the same thing didn't happen to you did it?

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Language is one of the biggest obstacles to this discussion. "Dissent" does have a negative connotation to it but it is traditionally the word we have used for both people who dissent against the church and those who dissent (work towards change) within the church. No one can agree on the right language, mechanism(s), or methods. Frustrating.

Greg Prince was the first to kind of put together a "manifesto" for dissent/change or whatever. I'm glad I had been contemplating this issue otherwise I may have handled things differently, and probably for the worst.

Big UP!

Lamanite

Agreed! I would have done the same thing. I will call you a "dissenter" if you prefer, but to me it was just asking for an accommodation appropriate to your child, to help her learn.

I call that "good teaching". ;)

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Not possible in a Ward that's working correctly. The MLS will list her as Primary age until she turns 12 and such are interviewed by the Bishop when they turn 12 and every six months thereafter until they turn 18. The Primary President and YW President are part of the Ward Council and the progress of each young man and young woman is known by the Bishop.

I'm not saying it would be wrong for her to attend YW early and that such a decision cannot be made, but the Bishop will be involved no matter what. There is no reason whatsoever to try and bypass him. To attempt do so would indeed be unrighteous dissent.

Agreed.

Hopefully no one will notice that she is a bit young to be advanced.

Edited by mfbukowski
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Not possible in a Ward that's working correctly. The MLS will list her as Primary age until she turns 12 and such are interviewed by the Bishop when they turn 12 and every six months thereafter until they turn 18. The Primary President and YW President are part of the Ward Council and the progress of each young man and young woman is known by the Bishop.

I'm not saying it would be wrong for her to attend YW early and that such a decision cannot be made, but the Bishop will be involved no matter what. There is no reason whatsoever to try and bypass him. To attempt do so would indeed be unrighteous dissent.

I guess what I was trying to say was that the PP could have probably let her go to the older girls class for a couple weeks until she had her birthday, if that is what she really felt this situation warranted and If she felt so inspired.

But it seems that things worked out just fine. I don't really need to dabble in hypothetical's with this issue.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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