A while back Shane and I were having an exchange and he was complaining about something church-ish and I said to him, ‘Being Mormon isn’t for sissies.” My mom laughed at that remark.
I found myself having this same conversation when I was talking to someone at work recently who asked me, ‘Don’t you ever get tired of being Mormon?”
If we’re being honest, belonging to the church comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s far more than attending church each Sunday. I’ve come up with a few things that make it not so easy to be Mormon at times, I hope those of you that are Mormon will find a laugh and those of you that aren’t will enjoy a little insight into this girl’s psyche.
*Note: Most of these things have to do with Mormon culture and less to do with the actual gospel.
1. Sometimes you feel like you’re living in a fishbowl.
Wards are set up by location. We go to church with the people we live by. Makes sense, right? We are a family. We are there to help, support, and watch over each other. Which means that depending on where you live…you might end up next door to someone you go to church with. Some people love this. It is not my most favorite thing. Nobody lives next door to us, but we’ve got PLENTY in our neighborhood. This causes some embarrassment when I want to run out to my car in my pj’s to grab something, or when I’m scraping my windows with curlers in my hair and waving to Brother Smith as he’s headed off to work. It makes me paranoid in the summertime when I practically live outside in my backyard/swimsuit and then step out into the front yard for a minute. I don’t want the people I go to church with seeing me in my bathing suit. Or, more honestly, passing judgement on my immodest attire. (Yes, they are amazing, but they are human and judgements get passed like candy..this I know. I’m guilty of my own type of judgements as well). So…living next door to family is sometimes hard. Even your ward family.
Oh my goodness. Target is out of the question if you need to buy anything of a personal nature (if you catch my drift) There have been several occasions when I’ve been at Target making a *ahem* personal purchase and saw someone from my ward. I’m a tad juvenile and I am easily embarrassed about stuff like this (except that I’ve become oddly okay with talking about it on my blog…I know…It’s weird/surprises me, too). I’ve literally dropped whatever it was I was purchasing and walked down a different aisle and hid. Much like I wouldn’t want my brother to see me making any of those purchases, I don’t want Brother So and So seeing that either. And you have to be careful…you can’t just put it in your cart…someone will see you at the store. It never fails. One night I ran to Target at around 9 and I ended up counting ward members…9. I saw 9 families, not people, families from my ward.
3. Work. There’s always something to do. Whether it’s an activity, visiting teaching, a meeting, a calling, or someone to serve…there is ALWAYS something you should be doing to contribute to the family. I believe in this or else I wouldn’t do it, but sometimes it feels like I’m always failing.
4. The Visits. Oh my goodness the visits. It’s not as bad as I make it sound. It’s just that sometimes people just come to check in on you every so often. And you have a visiting teacher who visits you once a month. Those visits are supposed to be scheduled ahead of time, but who are we kidding? People are busy. I’m a visiting teacher. I visit. I stop by unexpectedly. I’ve had many a calling where I’ve been on the other side of the door and I hated and loved every minute of it. It’s just that I swear there’s just some cosmic thing that says: you will always be wearing sweats (or Zach’s pajama bottoms), your hair will be on the top of your head in a not-trendy-type messy bun, you will have no makeup on, your face will be broken out, and Netflix will be paused on a questionable part of whatever it is you’re watching. Oh and your house will look less than stellar. And that’s when they’ll come visiting. Never fails.
5. You’re family, but you’re not. You work side by side with a lot of your “family members.” In my ward specifically, we have callings together, attend separate meetings, clean the church, pariticpate in service activities together, pick peaches at the church orchard, etc. That’s a lot of time cooperating with other people. We are all human. Therefore, sometimes people say things that rub you the wrong way and you want to set them straight. If they were your real brother or sister you would! Or at least I would. But I’m at church. I’m trying to be Christlike and sometimes in a family (ward or not) that is a difficult thing to do.