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I hadn't been to church in quite a while until this past weekend. Since we moved back to Utah, my wife has been asking me if I would attend church with her. I don't think it's a huge sacrifice, but it was definitely awkward. I am taking the same approach I did before: focus on the good things and try to tune out the not so good. It started out OK, as the sacrament meeting talks were on the subject of service. The first talk, by a recently married young woman, started out talking about how we learn to love by serving others, which is something I strongly believe in, but then she defined service as attending the temple. Her husband's talk, although he said he was going to talk about service, was about preparing to go to the temple and how to get the most from it. The Gospel Doctrine lesson was about King Solomon and his wisdom, but it too turned out to be about temples, the last 15 minutes being a "name that temple" game.

I'm not complaining, but I'm really trying to devise some strategies for getting through 3 hours of church every week. I had to keep reminding myself, "I'm doing this for her, not for me." I don't want to end up grinding my teeth every week.

Any suggestions?

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17 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I hadn't been to church in quite a while until this past weekend. Since we moved back to Utah, my wife has been asking me if I would attend church with her. I don't think it's a huge sacrifice, but it was definitely awkward. I am taking the same approach I did before: focus on the good things and try to tune out the not so good. It started out OK, as the sacrament meeting talks were on the subject of service. The first talk, by a recently married young woman, started out talking about how we learn to love by serving others, which is something I strongly believe in, but then she defined service as attending the temple. Her husband's talk, although he said he was going to talk about service, was about preparing to go to the temple and how to get the most from it. The Gospel Doctrine lesson was about King Solomon and his wisdom, but it too turned out to be about temples, the last 15 minutes being a "name that temple" game.

I'm not complaining, but I'm really trying to devise some strategies for getting through 3 hours of church every week. I had to keep reminding myself, "I'm doing this for her, not for me." I don't want to end up grinding my teeth every week.

Any suggestions?

Hang out it the hallway and socialize.  It will probably be more fun. 

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2 minutes ago, Danzo said:

Hang out it the hallway and socialize.  It will probably be more fun. 

I want to be with my wife, so that's only possible the third hour. I like church members, but meetings are pretty terrible, generally speaking. I guess I just need to treat this as a favor I do for my wife, nothing more.

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21 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I hadn't been to church in quite a while until this past weekend. Since we moved back to Utah, my wife has been asking me if I would attend church with her. I don't think it's a huge sacrifice, but it was definitely awkward. I am taking the same approach I did before: focus on the good things and try to tune out the not so good. It started out OK, as the sacrament meeting talks were on the subject of service. The first talk, by a recently married young woman, started out talking about how we learn to love by serving others, which is something I strongly believe in, but then she defined service as attending the temple. Her husband's talk, although he said he was going to talk about service, was about preparing to go to the temple and how to get the most from it. The Gospel Doctrine lesson was about King Solomon and his wisdom, but it too turned out to be about temples, the last 15 minutes being a "name that temple" game.

I'm not complaining, but I'm really trying to devise some strategies for getting through 3 hours of church every week. I had to keep reminding myself, "I'm doing this for her, not for me." I don't want to end up grinding my teeth every week.

Any suggestions?

Maybe a compromise where you just attend Sacrament Meeting with your wife every week and not the entire 3 hour block?  I know that works for some in our ward who are in a mixed belief marriage.  I don't know if that would work for you? 

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5 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Maybe a compromise where you just attend Sacrament Meeting with your wife every week and not the entire 3 hour block?  I know that works for some in our ward who are in a mixed belief marriage.  I don't know if that would work for you? 

I've done that in the past. If it gets too painful, I may have to do that. A long time ago, I was really uncomfortable in church, desperately biting my tongue, and thankfully I'm past that. It's just frustrating that even on basic and fundamental morals and ethics, it always veers into things that have nothing to do with being a good person. Maybe I'm just too far gone.

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

I want to be with my wife, so that's only possible the third hour. I like church members, but meetings are pretty terrible, generally speaking. I guess I just need to treat this as a favor I do for my wife, nothing more.

The other way to entertain yourself is to ask mildly subversive questions.   Nothing blatant or offensive, but things to expand the conversation a bit and make people think.  

For example, last week, talking about David and Bathsheba in Sunday school a question was asked about what David's other wives (plural) thought of the incident.  It created some interesting and entertaining discussion.

 

Edited by Danzo
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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

I've done that in the past. If it gets too painful, I may have to do that. A long time ago, I was really uncomfortable in church, desperately biting my tongue, and thankfully I'm past that. It's just frustrating that even on basic and fundamental morals and ethics, it always veers into things that have nothing to do with being a good person. Maybe I'm just too far gone.

I think you have answered your own question; this is not about you, it is about your wife. How can you make the experience more enjoyable for her?  What you are doing is giving 3 hours of the week to make her feel good. Why not actually commit to doing that and stop complaining about it?  It is not about the Church; it is not about the members; it is not about the speakers; it is not about the teachers. It is about you and your wife.  

Focus on her and forget the rest.

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

I hadn't been to church in quite a while until this past weekend. Since we moved back to Utah, my wife has been asking me if I would attend church with her. I don't think it's a huge sacrifice, but it was definitely awkward. I am taking the same approach I did before: focus on the good things and try to tune out the not so good. It started out OK, as the sacrament meeting talks were on the subject of service. The first talk, by a recently married young woman, started out talking about how we learn to love by serving others, which is something I strongly believe in, but then she defined service as attending the temple. Her husband's talk, although he said he was going to talk about service, was about preparing to go to the temple and how to get the most from it. The Gospel Doctrine lesson was about King Solomon and his wisdom, but it too turned out to be about temples, the last 15 minutes being a "name that temple" game.

I'm not complaining, but I'm really trying to devise some strategies for getting through 3 hours of church every week. I had to keep reminding myself, "I'm doing this for her, not for me." I don't want to end up grinding my teeth every week.

Any suggestions?

No advice but I am impressed you are trying to attend church for her. I'm sure her happiness is worth the frustration. I will admit that some meetings are harder to sit  through than others and I get tired of hearing the same topics over and over again when there is so much more to discuss and study. :)

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26 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

I think you have answered your own question; this is not about you, it is about your wife. How can you make the experience more enjoyable for her?  What you are doing is giving 3 hours of the week to make her feel good. Why not actually commit to doing that and stop complaining about it?  It is not about the Church; it is not about the members; it is not about the speakers; it is not about the teachers. It is about you and your wife.  

Focus on her and forget the rest.

I’m not complaining, just asking for advice on to make this work for us. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

It's probably because church, from the LDS perspective, is never supposed to be just about being a good person as the world defines that term.  It's supposed to be about being a good person as God defines that term (according to the LDS teaches on God), which incorporates loving God (thus obeying His commandments including temple attendance) first and loving our neighbor second.

Maybe if you can go in reminding yourself that your definition of 'good' is different than the LDS definition, it won't be so frustrating when church focuses on things you don't agree with.

I will try to remember that. Thank you. 

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44 minutes ago, Danzo said:

The other way to entertain yourself is to ask mildly subversive questions.   Nothing blatant or offensive, but things to expand the conversation a bit and make people think.  

For example, last week, talking about David and Bathsheba in Sunday school a question was asked about what David's other wives (plural) thought of the incident.  It created some interesting and entertaining discussion.

I’m not generally a provocateur, but even if I were, I can already feel my wife’s hand crushing mine if I did what you suggest. 

Edited by jkwilliams
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7 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I’m not generally a provocateur, but even if I were, I can already feel my wife’s hand crushing mine if I did what you suggest. 

But if you do it gently enough, the provocation may not be egregious enough to cause the crush!

Back when I was the instructor of our HP group there were two brothers who could be counted upon to raise sticky issues and ask perplexing questions.  I loved them!  They made the hour so much more enjoyable!  They both happened to have very strong testimonies, but were unconventional thinkers.  I guess because they felt the grumpiness of some of the other guys (or thought they did), they didn't seem to feel entirely welcome, and gradually stayed away more.  Mainly hanging around their cars, or socializing elsewhere.  I missed their input.

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Just now, Stargazer said:

But if you do it gently enough, the provocation may not be egregious enough to cause the crush!

Back when I was the instructor of our HP group there were two brothers who could be counted upon to raise sticky issues and ask perplexing questions.  I loved them!  They made the hour so much more enjoyable!  They both happened to have very strong testimonies, but were unconventional thinkers.  I guess because they felt the grumpiness of some of the other guys (or thought they did), they didn't seem to feel entirely welcome, and gradually stayed away more.  Mainly hanging around their cars, or socializing elsewhere.  I missed their input.

I have learned that my wife tends to anticipate the worst if I speak up in church, so I have erred on the side of keeping the bones in my hand intact. 

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Just now, jkwilliams said:

I have learned that my wife tends to anticipate the worst if I speak up in church, so I have erred on the side of keeping the bones in my hand intact. 

Made me laugh out loud! :D

 

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36 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

No advice but I am impressed you are trying to attend church for her. I'm sure her happiness is worth the frustration. I will admit that some meetings are harder to sit  through than others and I get tired of hearing the same topics over and over again when there is so much more to discuss and study. :)

On the plus side, the repetitive nature of the meetings means there have been few surprises. 

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1 hour ago, Danzo said:

The other way to entertain yourself is to ask mildly subversive questions.   Nothing blatant or offensive, but things to expand the conversation a bit and make people think.  

For example, last week, talking about David and Bathsheba in Sunday school a question was asked about what David's other wives (plural) thought of the incident.  It created some interesting and entertaining discussion.

 

In our lesson, when people started talking about where David made the first mistake, some suggested it was when he looked at Bathsheba on the roof and didn't put her out of his mind.  I pointed out that since David could take additional wives, there was no sin in seeing a beautiful woman and wanting to be with her, even if he was married.  The "sin" only started after he inquired and found out she was married (bringing up Joseph Smith's marriages to other married women would have been too much for me).

That's when he should have discontinued the interest.=@

Edited by cinepro
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Find other ways to occupy your mind.  Write the talk that you think should have been given.   Read the hymnbook and tune out the talk.  Sing in your head.   Recall memories of good things.   Find a hymn that fits the subject, then go to the bottom and find the scripture, then go to the scripture and read the context.  Draw a picture of what the lesson/talk should be about.   Draw an alternative presentation.    Make a list of all the other things you can think of that apply but the speaker left out.   Draw pictures of people worshiping (you'd need to sit towards the back and over the the side to have the most choices).  Write bedtime stories for child/grandchild based on childhood experiences.

(   Your body's participation does not prevent your mind from strolling through the garden, smelling the lavender.)

Edited by rpn
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43 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Maybe see if the two of you can volunteer to help out in the nursery. You would get to hang out with your wife, avoid having to sit through EQ lessons you don't like, and you get to have snacks. ;) 

That was actually my last calling. My wife had sort of asked to be put in the nursery, so the bishop released me from the high priests group leadership and put me in the nursery with her. It was fun, most of the time. :)

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1 hour ago, cinepro said:

In our lesson, when people started talking about where David made the first mistake, some suggested it was when he looked at Bathsheba on the roof and didn't put her out of his mind.  I pointed out that since David could take additional wives, there was no sin in seeing a beautiful woman and wanting to be with her, even if he was married.  The "sin" only started after he inquired and found out she was married (bringing up Joseph Smith's marriages to other married women would have been too much for me).

That's when he should have discontinued the interest.=@

Quite true.  

In our class, we started referencing D&C 132 where it talks about David's wives given to him.  

It made some people uncomfortable, but it made the class much more interesting 😀

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