Saturday, July 26, 2014

Frustrated in Zion

here come my thoughts.....everybody watch!
I don't know where to begin, as my thoughts race through my head like the cars at the Daytona Speedway, going round and round, chasing each other, jockeying for position at high speeds, only taking a break to refuel before they chase some more.

Faith, family, finishing school, finding a career and employment.  But where to start?  Perhaps I'll say "I'm extremely vexed and troubled" and pick a topic. I'll leave my personal life out of it right now.

I am generally careful not to criticize the church in my blog.  We all know the church is full of imperfect people striving to be perfect in an imperfect world as perfectly as they can.  Everyone's under pressure.  Everyone's struggling and striving.  The gospel is perfect, we strive to live up to it.

But does that mean we should never have a complaint? 

The counselor in me says that would be extremely dysfunctional.  To live in a relationship where you aren't allowed to criticize yet you recognize flaws and faults, constantly strive to overcome your own, and yet are expected to contribute, but be silent when you need help or see issues?

No, that's a disaster in the making for human misery in any situation.  We have jobs like that.  We don't need a church like that which professes to be the true church of God.  And yet...that's where I am.  But let me be careful how I vent in my blog so that I am not criticizing the church's inspiration and practices.  Neither do I wish to be seen as holding myself aloof.  No, I know I have sins.  But just because I have sins, doesn't mean I don't have complaints or that they aren't legitimate.

I am extremely frustrated with my ward leadership.  Several years ago I was inspired to ask for a calling in genealogy, I know because I was told to by the Lord. At the time I was baffled because I have never been prompted to ask for a calling. But I did, and I have taken it to teach genealogy in our ward.  I have put together a website second to none in teaching genealogy for our ward - it is that comprehensive and that focused and useful.  It exceeds the church's publications on so most fronts.  I put together a two month curriculum complete with homework and tests and note sheets.  I even put up an announcement on the ward bulletin board showing people where to find it.  All inspired!  And yes, they are that good.  I wouldn't say it if it wasn't so. It is a few thousand hours of work honestly.

Do you think that the high priests will follow up on any of this to make sure that this program is progressing to teach the teachers they've been called to teach to make sure this is being taught?

my life
No.  They forget there is class.  Forget their computers.  Forget to follow up. Forget to find their students. Forget their keys to the classrooms.  Stand around waiting for keys that they never arranged to show up.  I even asked our bishopric if I could put the webpage in the ward bulletin so people would know where it is at and could look it up if they got bored in sacrament.  I got told to modify it to make it compliant with church standards, and I went through a ton of work to change all the URL's to make it compliant, and redirect EVERYTHING, re-did graphics, you name it, and this is on a grad school schedule because....this is the work of the Lord.  We sacrifice for these things.  We covenanted to.

At one point I got frustrated and fired off a letter to the bishopric trying to express my frustrations.  I got told "I don't do email, schedule a meeting with me."  I fired right back "Reading my email takes less time than scheduling a meeting."  More wastes of my time.  Then I got a meeting with a bishopric member that was nice and all but had a few condescending tones to it that "yes, we have other things to do besides genealogy or we'd be doing it allllll the time."

No, that's not what I want.  I don't want us to do genealogy ALLLLLLL the time.  Come on.  My patients at the asylum know not to pull that one.  Yet here I am in the Lord's church...high priests....keys....authority....inspiration.....wasting my time and stressing me out.

Going back to the ward bulletin.  Do you think that the high priests will follow up on getting this in there so people can find it?  No.  So finally I do.  I get back some terse, condescending letter (even my wife thought so) telling me (after all the editing I did after a meeting with them per their instructions) that they can't do it and to post it on facebook instead.  Oh, I also got told my page isn't an official church webpage as well - like I didn't know that.

If this was a company, I would walk out.  If this was a business they wouldn't be in business very long because I don't know anybody who would put up with this.  Good thing we're only in the business of souls, cuz if it was something more valuable like money, we'd see people take it more seriously and yet we'd be in more trouble for our debts (sarcasm font).

my calling in my ward....
Of course, we are trying to do something different here - we aren't in the money business.  We are in the soul business - and genealogy is unique in that it deals with souls on the other side of the veil.  So at any rate, as I've expressed in my blog before, I'm not the most graceful when I'm frustrated.  I get very very very impatient with people who stand around with the "Duh face" and then wonder why people are getting ticked off at them when they aren't doing what they are supposed to do.  Or what they are reasonably expected to do. And in a church whose leadership largely consists of business men it makes me further go "What the heck? Why don't they get it?"  I don't want women ordained to the priesthood.  I just want a bit of help and some straight answers and not to waste my time.  So what do you do when you're me? 

Well I have learned that long, fiery emails aren't the way to go.   So I just sent a short email telling them I'm frustrated as I spent a lot of time on that and I get it, there are more important things they got to do than this.  I don't have patience for meetings as this is so simple it doesn't and shouldn't require a meeting.

 I decided to shut down the website and am taking down my bulletin on the bulletin board directing people how to learn to do genealogy - why waste my time?  Is this a good use of my talents?  You could say, "Yeah but you could touch SOMEone."  No.  Not on this.  That's what Sunday School is for.

This isn't about touching people, it is about teaching people because genealogy is a skill more than it is a mindset and spirituality.  You're either doing genealogy or you aren't.  And I just....feel at peace stepping away from an aggravating calling in an aggravating ward that keeps wasting my time and stringing me along.

I've seen I'm powerless to change it.  I need peace in my own life and for now that mostly consists of getting my kids to primary and getting them the sacrament.  Aggravation by the Lord's church and his leaders?  Not inspired.  And not what my life for now....maybe I'll wait till I'm in a more fertile part of the vineyard, but I do know I gave it my all and have no regrets.
sorting wheat from chaff with all of this.....

After further thought, I'm going to change the name of the website going forward to something LDS sounding ish (Elijah's Genealogy?) and am going to keep control of it rather than turn it over to the ward.  In prayer I was told they aren't going to do anything with it and aren't going to progress the program.  It is much like those people who say "YEAH! I WANNA BE BAPTIZED!" on your mission and who never show up to the discussions and forever make excuses as to how bad they want to but never do anything.  I'm just a lowly Elder.  I'm not a high priest.  I'm not a bishop.  I've tried pushing from the bottom now for years and across three Bishoprics isn't working.  There's a time to call it quits.  Let someone else try. I followed my promptings, have given it my all and I feel at peace letting go and stepping back. 

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