Sunday, February 23, 2014

Frustrations in Church. And What To Do About Them.

I had a major - MAJOR - frustration with church today.

Not the first time. 

Certainly not the last.

But what to do about it?  Shall I tell you what happened?  Would it make a difference to my narrative?  It might.

When I got fired about two years ago, I got told I needed to put into a lesson form what I have learned in genealogy.  And so I did.  I've put over a thousand hours over the past two years into a two month course I now teach and in putting together a ward genealogy website, complete with in-class tests and homework that is second-to-none for a starter class in the church. 

So now I'm teaching the youth to prepare for their callings to teach.  My wife is disabled and I have to set up a projector and laptop, today's lesson was also on working with headstones and how a "cemetery kit" works on how to make headstones more visible to read, how to locate them when they are submerged - lots of stuff.  So my wife wasn't feeling well and required more help and sacrificed going to church so I could be on time and I get there to teach the youth you think I can get a key or someone to open the door for me to have access to the classroom so I can set up a bit before? 

Well, finally we get set up and my youth aren't there.  I finally find them and then the Stake Presidency has them in a class and I told the two of them I needed them for genealogy.  Stake Presidency pulls rank and says he needs all youth today.

Great, so I go tell the other one class is cancelled.  And by this point I'm pretty frustrated to say the least.  There's a lot of other things going on as well and well....I've been about ready to throw in the towel.  Basically, the ward and stake isn't supporting the calling and I'm like.....why am I here?  The very people who are supposed to be supporting this who should be inspired aren't supporting this or helping me progress in it. 

So what to do?

Well, I have a rule.  It's called "The 24 hour rule."  Whenever I'm angry, I won't deal with the people responsible for at least 24 hours.  I have to think about it. 

So I did that and I was ready to throw in the towel and as I worked on a letter for the bishopric for tomorrow, something just didn't feel right.

So I consulted my patriarchal blessing.  That's step #1.  I realized from my patriarchal blessing that my desire to drop this wasn't correct.

This work in the temples NEEDS to be done.  It is a commandment!  And we're not doing it.  And my job is to inspire people to do it.  Dropping it won't help that. 

I realized from my psychology training that I'm going through that I need to use this opportunity to ask those above me to teach me what to do better.  Even Nephi, when his father murmured asked his father "Where shall I go to get food?"  Lehi was faltering, but he was still the boss and the patriarch.  Nephi turned to him to ask him what to do and received his blessing from him and helped save his family. 

I also realized there's a lot I haven't learned in our ward.  Do we have calendars to prevent scheduling conflicts such as this? Can I be level and straight with the bishopric why they haven't followed up on putting the ward genealogy page into the ward bulletin or what it needs to make the ward website church compliant?  What are the social and spiritual dynamics of a ward and a stake?  And how do I set an example for those I'm to lead when I'm frustrated?

At any rate, this work is important.  And our ward and stake aren't doing it to a level that it can be done.  And we need to be doing it.  When we aren't attending the temple and doing our genealogy, we aren't living our religion and we will stand accountable before the Lord.  My job is to inspire that.  How do I do it?  A rough estimate, for us to complete the work the Lord has given us to do in the millenium of all the people who haven't received their ordinances would require 294 million ordinances every day of the thousand years of the millenium to finish the work.  In a sixteen hour work day for the temple, we would have to do a little over 18 million an hour.  Which means with our current 141 temples we would have to do a little over 139,000 complete people per hour per temple.  That's not ordinances, that's people.  With all five ordinances done for them.

Currently....that is impossible with just 141 temples. 

So, what to do? 

Well, for me, maybe more important than getting justifiably upset over feeling like my time is wasted, this is incentive to learn things I don't know and grow where I need to.

Crying others need to repent without repenting myself certainly won't work.  I've learned that before I point fingers I need to look at whether I'm working effectively enough or if I am hindering the work.

At any rate, as frustrated as I've been today, today was a great day to reflect and learn and grow and quite frankly.....I'm glad I had this experience.  Hopefully I haven't done too much damage by telling the brethren I was "at an 8 out of 10 on the ticked off scale and about to resign as a failed leader for failing to inspire those around me to do this work."   

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