No Ones Coming Because No Ones There
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Story Date: March, 2020
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
We squeezed our new life Into the several months prior to the pandemic starting. A new marriage, schools, move and jobs. We got to know a handful of people in our ward casually and then church completely shut down. As a mixed faith family we have now gone close to a year with no sacrament. No ministering home or visiting teachers. No young men leaders reaching out.
No relief society or elders quorum reaching out. The bishop contacted us once. After we contacted him to inquire if anything could be done to support our son who was struggling with disconnect and depression. Empty promises were made and he said he would have his young men’s leaders reach out and support him.
They never did.
We asked if it was possible to have the sacrament brought to our house. No one showed.
We did get lots of emails and texts about signing up for tithing settlement.
It has left us thinking. Is this church really for mixed faith families anymore? Single parent families? Blended culture or race families? I feel like it’s not. COVID to me accentuated a large and growing crack within the church. According to statistics close to 40% of our church households do not contain a priesthood holder within its walls.
To us that aspect alone has been surprising to not see better addressed during covid. I fear Christ himself is probably concerned with the state of his church. For Easter last year my former catholic priest asked for food drive donations. On Easter morning instead of online services, people dropped off food safely from their cars while he chatted individually with each member and blessed them for their service and sacrifice Easter Sunday morning. He’s freed up time in his week to sit outside and have people drive up and visit, do confessions or take sacrament. Those who can’t come he visits safely on their porch and delivers it to them. You talk of Christ? He is the exact image of what Christ would exemplify and exactly what Christ would be doing. Since I grew up catholic I often get newsletter emails and mailings and am thrilled to see that the parish has participated in many trunk lunch bible study activities and youth service activities during covid that served different populations and demographics of the community and the parish.
Maybe our last few wards have just been bad apples. I’ve faithfully visited those I minister to, sign up when possible for any service activities we see come across during covid but I don’t believe those who helped to restore this gospel ignored close to 40% of their church. That’s exactly why this church is so different from others. The very institution of wards helped to establish and maintain a way to care for others needs and administer more efficiently to those requiring it.
I struggle each week to hear long time member after long time member of our ward say how wonderful of a ward we have. It is nails on a chalkboard when you have children suffering. When you can’t get them to turn on zoom to attend a youth class because of depression and feeling like no one cares about them.
I’ve decided we may not be in Christ’s church anymore…or at least Christ’s ward. We will continue to serve and love others as we have been through the pandemic. We will keep our arms outstretched to our ward but cautiously. We know the spirit hasn’t left us. In fact it’s only served to show us this past year how much stronger we are.