So over at one of my other blogs, we try to have a discussion Wednesday every Wednesday. And this LAST Wednesday, it was basically about whether or not you make your kids go to mid-week church activities. Now, I was going to post a response there, but THEN I realized that I should just write it down HERE because I have a LOT to say on the matter.
AT MY HOME: Mid-week Activity Attendance totally depends on the child AND who the leaders are at any given time AND what the activity is.
And here is why.
When I was a teenager, I was in a terrible ward. And it wasn’t the kids my age that were awful, it was the parents.
Want to know what’s hard? Going to an activity at the Young Women president’s house when you’re not allowed to actually GO in her house… because she doesn’t like you. And because she doesn’t like you, and won’t let you in (true story) they schedule quite a few activities at said house.
And here’s the other thing: teenagers aren’t dumb, and leaders aren’t perfect, but kids should NEVER have to know that an adult doesn’t like them, especially when it’s an adult that you go to church with, and spend a lot of time near. And everyone that has kids KNOWS that there are no secrets in the house. The vicious things you say will be repeated, and the lies that you tell so convincingly affect the person you’re talking about.
So I didn’t go to mutual, unless it was a combined activity and there were other adults present that I, and my parents, trusted.
Now, I know that a lot of you will chalk this up to a one time incident, or maybe think that I’m being overly dramatic.
Sadly, I wasn’t the only girl in my ward that was ostracized. There were two other girls in my same grade, and they ARE lovely people, but for whatever reason, we were marked, and we were talked about and singled out, and for 6 years, we heard about what terrible people we were. So my mom didn’t make me go to mutual. I still got my Young Women’s award, not that they wanted to give it to me. My ward was HORRIBLE. I would never in a million years even move back into that area because I have such terrible memories.
THAT is what it was like growing up in my ward.
Do you know that I didn’t meet a NICE Mormon girl until I was seventeen years old? I was RAISED a member of the LDS church. I grew up in Mesa, Arizona where you can’t even spit without hitting a Mormon, and I didn’t meet any nice Mormon girls for seventeen years.
I am an active member of the church today, not because of the Young Women’s program in that horrible ward, but in SPITE of it.