Monday, November 10, 2008

The Maverick of the (Sanity) Ward

A very interesting conversation over at BCC hits close to home for me. They are asking members to be a little kinder to those who do not agree with them, a little more thoughtful of the "outliers". While I completely agree that a little more kindness, a little larger place would be nice, I feel I have something to say from the bottom of the pile, so to speak.

I am currently absolutely furious about a situation in my ward as it concerns my family. I won't say I'm rationally furious, as it does not come from rational thought but from a wellspring of pent up frustration and loneliness. Most of my fury is focused around a man who happens to be the current leader of the ward. In complete honesty, I can say that I admire him. He is a good, plainspoken man. He has a very homey way about him completely free of guile and manipulation. As a person, I like him very much. Unfortunately, I don't think he understands much about me or my life. This isn't for lack of trying to communicate on either side of the issue, but it is there, all the same. Hence, the frustration.

In other words, I am the recipient of some very biased attitudes. Much of it is my fault for being who I am, much is just the fallout from the situation.

But I want to say that, while I would appreciate (and HAVE appreciated) little acts of kindness from members in my ward, I can recognize how much I have grown from the struggle. Because the people around me are imperfect, I can get a little more perfect. If everyone around me was perfectly kind and accepting of whatever I did, I would have no reason to change, no reason to examine myself and my actions. I have been able to weigh my lifestyle, my pride and comfort against my faith, and decide what is truly important to me.

Therefore, I recognize my fury as pointless and temporary, and can appreciate the chance to learn and grow, even if I don't like it, and even if it breaks my heart.

After all, it is a broken heart which God asks of me.


  1. I can't imagine being in a position like the one you are describing, SilverRain. I'm so sorry that you are in this kind of a situation, and hope you can be sufficiently sustained by divine help until things change.

    It isn't the quite the same, but I'm sure there are many readers of your blog who, like me, love and appreciate the soul we have come to know as SilverRain. We look forward to the things you write, feel inspired by them, and have come to consider you a valued long-distance friend!

  2. SilverRain,

    Good luck with hanging tough. I must admit I am intrigued by your dilemma. You seem to be a very solid committed member of the church and not at all a source of friction like I consider myself to be. Can you share more about how you see yourself as an outlier? If it is too personal I understand. It just seems that your sense of alienation is different than those like me who have what I will call political issues that they need to reconcile with the Church. That type of discomfort I understand but I would like to understand yours as well.

  3. Very, very profound post, SilverRain. I have never thought of the glory of communal imperfection in quite this way.


  4. Thank you, RoAnn and Ray. I appreciate the support and the kinship of you both.

    Sanford—I really don't want to get into the details of it here. I try to use online media as a resource for strength and positivity in regards to my religion, not as a place to complain about things that cannot be changed. Suffice it to say that I think far more people feel alienated from their ward than people think, and those who like to help people see the others' point of view are generally successful at uniting both sides against them.

  5. Fair enough SilverRain. But I have to say that I like your blog because you are a mix of authentic commitment and fierce independence – two qualities that I think are necessary to make much progress in this life. Your posts are always well thought and delivered and help me gain perspective. Good luck and keep your eyes on the prize.

  6. ". . . those who like to help people see the others' point of view are generally successful at uniting both sides against them."


    I'm glad you made this comment, SilverRain, because it really got me to thinking. I have often seen evidence of this kind of reaction against some commenters in the Bloggernacle. I realize that I have to be very careful to keep an open heart when I interact with people regarding sensitive issues; and not automatically peg people as "enemies" when they may be trying their best to be peacemakers.

  7. Friend, I am sending cyber hugs your way. I, too, am sorry for your struggles.

    I have been thinking much about how much the Savior really does demand of our hearts, regardless of the pain we are in. When he says 'love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you..." He really means it!

    And it's one thing to SAY that we believe it. It's a whole other thing to actually LIVE that way.

    Some of what I have been thinking is that this is so HARD to do in part because the Lord knows we can't really have that kind of love without Him. Charity is a gift. Maybe painful experiences are what can ultimately drive us to our knees to pray with all the energy of heart for His love to fill us?

    That is what I am thinking for my life, anyway.

  8. Hi SilverRain. I found you through the post on Papa D's blog. What wonderful perspective you have. I would love to add something inspiring to help you, but you have said it all. How about, I hope you learn your lesson and learn it well? I have the feeling you will.


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