Being a Mormon misfit: And why that’s totally OK

When I went to school in Idaho I loved a certain spot in the Rexburg temple in the waiting area of the baptistry. Each time I went there I sat right there–in that same spot– just because of a certain picture.

It was a painting of the Savior holding a little black sheep, right beside the pew in the back. I would stare at it and think about everything that it meant to me. Essentially, it seemed that I was actually the one in the Savior’s arms in that picture.

The misfit. 

black

And if you’re reading this and you’re a misfit too–perfect. I’m glad there’s two of us. Or three. Or maybe even more than that. Either way, it’s good to know I’m not alone in the category of “Mormon misfits”. So welcome, friend.

How am I a misfit, you might ask? I simply don’t fit the conventional mold of what an LDS woman should be like, or I should say, what an LDS woman is often like.

I have a tattoo, to start. A huge one, actually, on my ribcage. I wasn’t always a member, and I have physical signs to show it–that also includes a scar on my bellybutton from a past piercing.

I work long hours while my husband goes to school and I have an “I want to be the CEO of every department” mentality *Well, I’m just a writer and not a CEO, but you get the point*

I can’t have kids right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the desire–it’s just the way my body works because of an ailment that can only be fixed with expensive treatments that we just can’t do right now. And it constantly hurts–like a bruise that just won’t go away because it keeps getting poked at.

I can’t sew. Like, at all. I can’t even hem a pair of pants. And during Relief Society craft nights I’m pretty darn useless. And I haven’t canned even one jar of peaches in my entire life.

I question pretty much everything. I’m not saying I’m a doubter–ok, sometimes I am, and that’s a downfall. But mainly what I’m saying is I’m the type of person who analyzes everything and tries to figure out why things are the way they are. I think that’s why I over-studied the history of the church and even went on a week-long church history tour where I spent over an hour staring out of the window that Joseph tumbled from. I just wanted to know and feel it for myself, not just hang on to the coattails of others.

I’ve never really fit in with Relief Society. I try–but it’s hard for me sometimes. I love the women, I do, and this isn’t me saying that I don’t. Actually, on the contrary–I find myself being overly critical of myself because I wish I could be more like them. They’re all so–perfect. At least in my mind, they are. They come in with their line of cute children on sundays like a mother duck and her ducklings, and they seem to know everyone and have time to make soup for all the sick members and cook for the missionaries every Tuesday night and do their visiting teaching every single month. Perfect Mormon women, in my eyes.

Anyway, I could go on and on with my list of how I’m so different–but I’m not going to turn this into a trilogy of me. But if you’re a misfit I’m sure you have your own lengthy list and together we could make a seven-book series.

But lately it’s been heavy on my mind–this whole black sheep thing. Because sometimes you just don’t want to be.

And just this last weekend when I forced myself to go to the Relief Society broadcast (and even the food and mingle get-together beforehand which is very un-Kayla of me) the nagging feelings were very prominent.

rsbroadcast

I sat down at a table that on one half had sister missionaries and on the other half had mothers. The sisters chatted about investigators, school before their missions, and how tight the waist bands on their skirts have gotten while out on their missions and being fed all these good dinners. They’re cute girls–but I couldn’t relate much. So I decided to tune into the women on the right side of me. One woman chatted about how she could barely take a shower today because of her colicky baby and one said she couldn’t either because of the puddle of Elmer’s glue her son left on the carpet and another lady busily talked about her last C-section and how she thinks she’ll be induced in this next delivery. With my freshly washed hair and newly painted nails and absolute absence of any glue-smearing child, I decided I didn’t really fit in at the table.

But then the broadcast started. I chose a pew where I didn’t really know anyone and to be honest…yeah, I started watching it with a stink of an attitude. But that changed when Sister Reeves (The 2nd counselor in the General Relief Society) started talking.

couselor

Tears filled her eyes as she suddenly pinpointed the sister she wanted to talk to, out there somewhere in the world, who just doesn’t fit in to the cookie-cutter mold of an LDS woman or family. I felt like everyone had stepped out of the chapel as she spoke. She spoke about wounds you might carry that make you wonder where God is, and the things in your life that separates you from the norm. And then she told a beautiful story of the Provo tabernacle that was gutted with flames earlier this year. After the horrific event, members started questioning why the Lord allowed it to happen. But then, at the General Conference following the fire, President Monson announced that that gutted tabernacle would soon be revamped and dedicated as a new temple of the Lord. People couldn’t believe it. Mouths dropped. But it was true. And just like with us, she reminded, sometimes the Lord allows the fire so as to make us into a beautiful temple.

Provo-Tabernacle-fire

And then President Monson spoke–and he too, spoke to the misfit. Maybe not everyone caught that–but I sure did. He spoke about how everyone is in a different situation. Everyone has different journeys. Everyone is entirely different and sometimes takes a walk through the thorns. But no one is alone, for the Savior has walked the EXACT path you have, and continues to walk it, even now, WITH you.

prophet

With my face in my hands, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love wash over me. In that moment, I felt the arms of Heavenly Father literally wrap around my little misfit self and remind me that I’m EXACTLY who I should be and that being a member of the church doesn’t mean I’m supposed to carve myself into an ideal “LDS woman” image. It means that I can be just as I am–scars, questions, lack of sewing skills and all–and add to the rainbow of color that this gospel stands for.

You don’t have to fit in. We aren’t called to be the same. Yes, we all follow the same straight and narrow path and there are commandments we all need to abide by in the same way–but we can still be different.

I’ve always known it, I guess, deep inside. But often the culture makes you believe something that isn’t really even there. There seems to be a phantom ideal image that lurks in the minds of everyone and makes them believe they just don’t fit. But it isn’t true. Don’t buy into that thinking.

smiles

After all, as a member of the Mormon church, aren’t we really supposed to be misfits anyway? We’re supposed to think a little differently and all see the world a little differently, all the while on the same path toward salvation. I think sometimes we forget that–and that’s why we expect so much from others and ourselves.

As President Monson so sweetly said, the Lord has a specific love for you. Unique, different, beautiful, misfit you.

So, fellow Mormon misfit, come along this journey with me, because we all belong here on this path.

Bring your dinners that you often burn to a crisp, bring your lack of love for skirts, bring along your battle scars and wear them as a badge of how far the Lord has brought you, and bring questions and different perspectives that no one has acknowledged before.

Come along this journey, black sheep, and find comfort in the arms of the Savior of the world–the original misfit himself.

blacksheep

390 thoughts on “Being a Mormon misfit: And why that’s totally OK

  1. I’m a misfit because I don’t have the energy so many other women have.
    I’m a misfit because I do not only wear skirts on Sundays but EVERY day, because I love them.
    I’m a misfit because I don’t miss my children every second they are somewhere else.
    I’m a misfit because I don’t like cooking.
    I’m a misfit because I refuse to be like everyone else…
    Or am I not..?

    1. While I’m a misfit in other ways, including some real ‘sins’, I am so grateful that I fit perfectly in my brother’s arms, love and plans!

    2. I love your comment. I wear skirts all the time too, and feel the same way about my kids. I love them so much and feel blessed I am their mother, but I like it when they are at school. I sometimes feel horrible that I feel that way. Especially when I see others who post, “So sad my kids are back in school, I love spending as much time as I can with them”. Yeah me too, but I like my alone time.

      1. Nicole, I am 47 and totally relate to your comment of time alone. I use to feel like a lousy mom because I loved my kids more when I had some time away from them. :). My oldest is now 22 and my kids seem pretty well adjusted and happy.

  2. I just subscribed to your blog. From this one article I know I will be well-fed. I’ve had times when I felt out of place in the Church, but as long as the Church is true, I belong. By the way, pay attention to the look on the Savior’s face as he holds that lamb.

  3. I was a black sheep too. From age 5 to young adulthood. I was reminded of that often by my “sisters.” Feeling embarassed and ashamed, I finally left the church. I attempted to return once. I was quickly reminded that I was not good enough to be there. I left at that very second and havent been back for many years. Friendship and acceptance was never mine in the Mormon church.

    1. Bless you darling! There are many, many out there in the very same boat. I have been there and done that. Also, my daughter has felt like an outsider in Utah and her children have all fallen away because of mistreatment by other girls in their Young women’s classes. One of my grand-daughters was president of her Laurel class but was snubbed by some of the other girls. Talk to your assigned Visiting Teacher or Relief Society President – tell them how you feel. Ask to meet someone who has some of the same interests you have. Such as reading, genealogy, taking pictures, blogging, shopping, anything you like to do. Ask them to find you a buddy – someone you can sit with in Church, someone you can laugh with, go to the movies with. Do you like gardening? How about going to plays or concerts? Invite someone to go with you or share ideas with. You can do it sister!! I am a total loner, but have just recently, at age 74, found fun things to do on my computer. Obviously you have found a blog. Find other blogs you can join. How about LDS Living and Meridian Magazines? They have some wonderful blogs. They also have wonderful articles you can share with someone. How about being MY FRIEND. Let’s blog together! I LOVE YOU ALREADY!!

    2. Sharon, I have no idea how you felt you were a “black sheep” but if you really think about the lovely picture of the Savior holding the “black sheep” and of the idea that the Savior loves us all–that is all that matters. People are people and we live in a fallen world. I have no idea why any one would treat you badly. I do know that a lot of people don’t KNOW they are doing it. ( I once said to a sister “I’m so glad you are here in Relief Society” and she told me years later she almost left and never came back. On the surface, I would see nothing wrong with what I said. She had some issues that I had no idea about.) Anyway, Sharon, I hope you can feel the love of the Savior for you and be able to look past the imperfect actions of imperfect women who probably feel lost inside and show it by acting like they aren’t. I have a calling in my Stake Relief Society and I so want all sisters everywhere to enjoy the blessings of the gospel and to come and be part of Relief Society and make it better by their addition! It’s really all about the Savior, and not the sewing or the canning or the perfect looking line of kids! Trust me! Best wishes.

      1. You should consider coming back again. We need more black sheep. I am one, and conformity to an imagined norm is not good or healthy for the church. In addition, your presence will help other “black sheep” in ways that you cannot even imagine.

    3. Sharon,
      I am so sorry that was your experience. I also tried to return to the church once and it did not go well and I disappeared for 14 years.
      I hope that you would give it another shot… Tell me where you are at and I will attend w you.
      People just don’t understand when we are that scared what one comment will do.
      I would suggest attending w sister missionaries and meeting with the Bishop or stake president first… Since they want you there.
      Don’t give up on us especially on the greatest gift of all times the miracle of the atonement! The healing of the atonement! The strength of the atonement!

    4. I just had this conversation with my boss today! Sharon, I am so sorry! I have never fit in the Church, not in 57 years. And it irritates me to be labeled “less active” because I feel invisible and it hurts so I stay away til that hurts more so it starts all over again. Please don’t give up. Even when it hurts we NEED the sacrament….the blessings of the Atonement are critical. Even though this life is hard, eternity is worth trying for….

    5. Not going to church because of hypocrites is like not going to the gym because of out-of-shape people. Never mind the people, the church is still TRUE..

    6. I feel so sad, Sharon. I wish you were in my ward. I WOULD LOVE YOU AND ACCEPT YOU HOWEVER YOU ARE! Remember, you are a child of God and God does NOT make junk!

      e-mail me at

  4. I think the perfect Mormon mold women are actually the minority. You just don’t know someone’s story until you ask or they share it. I myself have felt that same misfit feeling, but I have also learned that so many women and men in the church carry inside them this same burden or have a completely unexpected past. I tend to focus on me just as I expect others do and in that sometimes I miss learning more about others. Every person has stumbled, every person has scars, every person has something they don’t show the world. I really enjoyed your post. It made me think, made me hope to reach out instead of stay within. Most people are good, sometimes we just have to trust them a little with our hearts, and then we can know theirs as well.

  5. This is so wonderful! I wish to put in words how I feel about this but I find it hard. I am not your typical misfit. In fact I don’t think there is one person in our small community that would label me as a Mormon misfit. I would be in the category of the typical LDS women, I guess. With that being said, no one knows the issues and struggles one goes through in the walls of our own homes, and the happy faces we put on as we head out. I love my life as a LDS women, and I wouldn’t want to live my life without the gospel. This is the part that I feel is hard to explain without making it sound like I am in the same boat. I can’t say I understand how you feel because I have never really had those kinds of struggles. Yet there are many things in my life that I feel like a misfit. I am thankful for your perspective, not only will this help me accept myself, but it will help me be more aware of others. So thank you. By the way I don’t sew, and visiting teaching is not my favorite thing to do! 🙂

  6. Almost made me cry at work, you jerk 😉
    I’ve been the misfit, too – differently than you, of course. I was the misfit because I liked fantasy and dragons and then I liked villains. A lot. Villains are awesome and the fact that I think so has made other LDS folk shift anxiously around me. I want to learn to sew – but so I can make cosplays, not…cute dresses or whatever. And I can’t cook either.
    My personal relationship with the Savior has meant so much to me, because I can feel He loves me, even if I like villains better than heroes, even if I want to dress up like my favorite video game characters and run around a convention hall.
    But…to know that our RS leaders love us too, and know this…and the prophet…I don’t know, there’s something just incredibly extra-comforting about that. I missed the broadcast, so I was really glad I got to hear about those precious parts from someone else who would be hit by the same pieces. Thank you.

  7. You’re only different because you live in Utah. People here are following the other sheep, not the shepherd.

    1. This is true and thanks for saying it. I would like to point out though, if I may, that can be true of anyone, misfit or not. It’s okay to follow the other sheep sometimes as long as it helps you to become familiar with the shepherds voice. “To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.” (D&C 46:14) My wife and I have butted heads with people who were totally cookie-cutter “Molly Mormons” frequently. If there’s anything that I learn from those experiences it is that EVERY TIME that person has a real testimony and it is being mis-communicated.

      My wife and I have always felt like misfits. I am a total introvert and not a sports fan of any kind, she likes to go bird-watching and studies geology for fun (yay!). Neither of us have any regret whatsoever for leaving our kids with a babysitter and having a night out together (strengthening marriage!). We don’t sob uncontrollably when our children grow out of their onesie pajamas and we realize they will never be babies again (we ultimately want them to be our peers, not eternal dependents after all.)

      Everybody has comfort zones and can feel threatened by things outside their comfort zone. Some peoples’ comfort zone just happens to be rigid tradition and/or clique-ish religious observance. In a heavily entrenched religious area that turns into a lethal concoction. There is an epidemic in Utah for sure. It’s terrifying, I know, but those afflicted with it need help feeling comfortable around people with different interests. They need to be shown that there isn’t only one flavor of goodness. As misfits I feel like we are uniquely qualified to help people step out of their comfort zones, because we pretty much live outside our comfort zones. Missionary work inside of the Church, in my opinion, is just as important as it is outside of it. Definitely don’t waste your time if you don’t see an opportunity, but maybe realize that on occasion you have the ability to really benefit some of these people who are having a dismal time reconciling change with their habits of strictness.

      President Monson was asked in a press release some years back if he would like to say anything to inactive members or people who had left the church. He said, “Yes. Come back. We need you.” We NEED you.

    2. I realize you are simply trying to be comforting and kind, but stereotyping is a very dangerous and hurtful practice. Please be thought and careful of your words.

  8. Wow thanks for your brutal honesty and tying it with gospel principles.
    I have been struggling with what I call the “Mormon Mesa Bubble” my whole life.
    The people that scared me the most were women that attended their church meetings regularly, ran marathons, smiled all the time and had the “perfect family”.
    I returned to the gospel after years and years of being more than a misfit I was a menace to society. Scared and tattered from the world and my experiences I had looked the devil straight in the eye, spent time in jail, got a few tattoo’s, and had hung out with some of the worst people and situations most of you would not be able to imagine.
    When I finally had my moment of clarity and through the patience and love of my family and the Lords I decided to give the Gospel another shot.
    Oh wow what a gift, what a blessing, everyday I am so grateful for the Saviors atonement and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    When I came back I had to be carried, then crawl and then learn to walk again. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stop swearing… and that was a minor issue.
    A couple of those white sheep, the women I feared the most, took me in and plopped me in the center of them and held me up and NEVER let go.
    I am still working on overcoming many not so healthy habits and changing the way I view the world and my automatic thought processes.
    I have tried to run a few times thinking I was not good enough and I would often get the response. Please don’t go you don’t know how badly we need you. You have taught us so much that we would have never known without you. You have shown us how the atonement truly works.
    To this day I sometimes feel less than but I know that’s Old Scratch trying to get me to serve Him again. For me and my house will serve The Lord.
    I will always be a misfit and different. That’s is one of my greatest blessings and gifts but I also must remain cognizant that comparing myself to others is one of the things that could make me go crazy and run away quickly.
    I love you all my beautiful misfits.

    1. Is it just me or do others judge themselves by what they perceive to be their “worst” as compared to what they perceive to be others “best”? I’m beginning to realize that it’s NOT a competition!

    2. Oh, the smiling all the time. I call it the “froofy-smile” or the “death grin.” I can’t stand it. I really think they are just trying to make others feel comfortable, because smiling people are what makes them feel comfortable… it just seems so … fake, insincere.

      I say if you’re not feelin’ it, don’t do it. It’s more honest. I suppose I appreciate the gesture, but sometimes I can only appreciate it for a few seconds maximum in any given day.

      I don’t mind a polite smile in greeting from anyone that is genuinely glad to see me. If, however, you feel like dirt, there’s no reason to waste the energy trying to keep the expression plastered to your face for longer than it takes to recognize somebody you know. If there’s something deeper and more important going on in your life, I’m so not offended by the idea that some one else might have problems or other things to think about, just like me. Hey, if you feel comfortable sharing then I might even be able to help… If you don’t feel like sharing, I’m totally not offended by that either, just don’t do that weird thing with your face.

  9. We are all misfits. I’m single and a bit snarky and, well, the list is endless. I think too often we define ourselves by how we are different than by how we are all the same. We are all daughters of God. He loves us. I am grateful for all the reasons I’m different AND the same. We are all in this journey together and by ourselves.

    As I sit in church and look out at the people with their Sunday faces on, I know that behind each of those faces is the story we don’t see. The sister that is dying from cancer or who’s husband is being a jerk, the loneliness of another, or the ache for a loss of a child or unable to have one child or the single sister that would like to not be, but…

    I loved your article and the insightfulness you shared. It would be good for all of us to remember that we are all misfits and it is only through and because of our Savior that we are truly brought into the fold.

  10. In some ways I feel like a misfit in my church culture. I attend what meetings I can, and am active and love working with the young women. I have been sealed to a wonderful man in the temple, and we have a little boy on the way 🙂 However, I’m also a warrior of honor who loves knives and guns and archery, and who is more adept at creating and shooting wood arrows than sewing or cooking. I like to carry a Cold Steel knife in my pocket, and have enjoyed learning self defense. However, I try to keep my passions within the Lord’s bounds, and can still enjoy those things while remaining temple worthy 🙂 if people see me as a misfit, at least I can be a Christian, politically incorrect, happy misfit.

    1. Right on! I think you’d be surprised by the number of LDS women that enjoy shooting, archery, hunting, etc. One of my most prized possessions is the S&W 44 that my sister gave to me. Every time I go visit, we go to the range and we have both been hunting and love it.

  11. Oh my goodness.
    May I say t his with all the kindness and sincerity that I can muster….Utah culture is NOT LDS culture. I am an active member born in South Africa, lived in Virginia, USA, and now I live in China. The church is true. The GOspel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. But please. Take note: Nowhere does it sayin scripture, “Thou shalt sew your children’s clothing.” Or “Thou shalt not have a wicked sense of humor” (actually, maybe that one is a grey area issue, but it’s so fu )

    Be who you are! Dress how you want! Express your opinions with confidence! But most importantly, Love The Lord with fierce conviction! Because he loves you so much more. You! Just as you are right now. With your quirks and foibles and “imperfections”. Trust in that.

    And seriously…..MOVE OUT OF UTAH AND IDAHO!!!

    1. I have heard alot of bad about Utah, but then I lived there for a couple of years recently and experienced some great people who don’t seem to live in the “bubble”. I was in 3 different wards during that time. All 3 were great, in my opinion. Maybe Im a lucky one?? Just sayin here’s one person who did not have a bad experience there (THANKFULLY).

  12. I loved your post and I loved every single comment. I believe we are all struggling on different levels to figure this world out. I know what it feels like to be on both sides of this coin. I am trying to just concentrate on my relationship with God and Jesus Christ and stop getting caught up in the “culture.” What I loved about the blog and the comments are that as women we were able to be honest and vulnerable. We allowed ourselves to be exposed for who we are; women trying to be MANY things to MANY demands and trying to make sense of it along the way. What comforts me and at times horrifies me, is that only Christ truly knows our hearts. Love to each of you!

  13. Beautiful Kayla,
    There is no such thing as a misfit in this world, and especially in The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are blessed to have been given knowledge of Gods ETERNAL plan for his children. That principle alone sets us apart from anybody else in the world. An Eternal Perspective provides infinite room for any and every kind of person.

    Think of the countless stars in the Heaven. They are all different, yet they are each beautiful and each one of them shines its light.

    So it is with each of us. For you, for me, for every single person born during the history of this world. In one of Max Lucados books, the people of the earth would place spots on their “Misfits”. And the only way to remove those stickers was by visiting with the maker.

    Believe in and learn to love the uniqueness of YOU. Pray for the strength to avoid comparing yourself to others, THAT is one of Lucifers most effective ways to destroy us.

    Last but not least, try to remember that what you see on the outside is courage. Every woman is struggling with something and they too are just doing their best with what they’ve been given. God never said, “Okay….those of you with names beginning A-K? Get in line one. You’ll receive your body but you will have a crappy, miserable life. The rest of you stand in line 2. You’ll receive your body, live in a beautiful home, have a perfect marriage, angel children, and every home-making gift available.”

    No, that’s not how Jehovah explained the plan. He said we would ALL be TRIED and TESTED. EVERYONE. Even the woman who seems like a perfect “Molly Mormon” will have great trials; she may be a widow for the last 20 years of her life, or, she may have had an abusive childhood, but has learned to smile through the pain so that she can comfort others who are suffering…..and then cry herself to sleep at night.
    Please, please don’t believe Satan when he tells you that you are a lone, miserable misfit. Kick him in the face he WISHES he had!! Chin up darling!! Show them your beautiful light. Somebody needs it.

    Your Sister,
    Nicole Leifson

    1. Yes, there are those that kind of fit a “mold”, but that mold isn’t necessarily the “right” mold, just one that is very common (or so it seems in Utah and Idaho, etc). I never thought I was the type that fit that mold, but as I read this, I realize that I am in that mold. But like Nicole said, everyone is tested. I am tested in my way, you in yours. You may be tested to be happy in your mold–and stay true to the gospel. I may not have desires to leave the gospel, but maybe my trial is to love others, be nice to those who are different, to not let trying to keep up with all the other ladies in the mold make me depressed and go bonkers. Different trials, different people, same goal, same Master.

  14. I don’t fit the mold either but I never really thought of it as being a misfit, only of having a different background. Through it all I have always felt the support of a loving Father in Heaven! When I joined the church at the age of 18, just out of high school almost 40 years ago, I came with a lot of baggage in my life. It partially shaped me into the kind of person that I am today. When I first joined the church I thought that I would learn to be just like the other so called “typical” LDS women and have a so called “typical” LDS family, but that was never to be, I was just too different in how I handled life experiences. Because of a lot of health issues my husband and I were never able to have children and I have always worked outside of the home. At the age of 50 when all of my friends were starting to have grandkids, I started a dog walking and pet sitting business and treated the animals like they were my own children. The few times that I have been called to work in the primary I always felt awkward and not very good at it, even though I was told differently. If we are faithful in the church and are trying to follow the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ, then it does not matter how misfit we seem to others. We will not be judged by our comparison to others in the church. Each of our spirits were different from each other before we came here, and that is as it should be.

  15. I may or may not have just told my RS that I think they’re all Barbies. I meant it as a compliment, but it’s unlikely to have been taken that way.
    But I’m with you: I’m poor in a rich ward. I’m divorced in a ward that’s 98% married. I’m (a little) overweight in a ward where all the women are minuscule. I feel like a lonely misfit at every meeting, every week. I’m glad you’ve been blessed to feel the Savior’s love for and acceptance of you. That’s something I’m still waiting to experience!

    1. Hey there sweet girl, you sound a lot like me, but I am older.My husband died when I was 29, two little children left behind for me to raise alone. I had to work. I understand how you feel. But I gave my children all the love I possibly had to give. At one point in our lives, we each became inactive, but do you know what? We all came back to the fold again. And my sweet grandchildren are here as well. We are each so unique and special in God’s eyes, and he loves us more than we can understand. Trust in Him, love Him, believe in Him……follow Him. And you see if he won’t bless your life with the most BEAUTIFUL, HOLY, AND PURE MIRACLES he could ever give you. You are His child, and He sees things in each of us WE don’t see. Hang tough and have faith in Him. He’s already promised you he will never leave you nor forsake you. NEVER. He has plans for your life, plans to prosper you and to give you a future. Just walk in His word. He never breaks promises. Hold so tight in your faith. Read your scriptures. Pray to Him any chance you get. Tell Him of your love and your gratitude. And wait patiently to see where he takes you down the road of life. By the way, I just turned 62. And I love Him more than anything on the face of this earth. Just trust the Lord♥ It’s a large puzzle. And we each have a place where only our piece fits. We matter. In order to complete the puzzle, we each have to step into that one special place where our piece goes. If not, the puzzle can never be completed…….

  16. Ok, I don’t fit the mold either. Never have, never probably will in this life. So now I’m going to do what a misfit does best. Tell the truth. And it’s not going to be pretty. Ive always been one to tell it like it is. I prefer cornflakes not frosted flakes if you know what I mean. So here it is…..if you are not in the church because of your issues with perceived unacceptance. GET. OVER. IT! It’s an excuse and a lame one at that. Get some self esteem for a Gods sake. No one can keep you from the gospel but yourself. Your salvation should never be determined by how many friends you have at church. If it is, then you need to take a long hard look at yourself,and figure out why you would let other peoples behavior prevent you from the blessings of the church. In a perfect world everyone would do everything they preach, but it is not a perfect world, and your salvation is not determined by the amount of friends you have in the ward. If you are counting on imperfect humans to make you happy, then you are setting yourself up for failure. If you are one of those people who is blaming others for your inactivity, I invite you to have a more eternal perspective about things. Meaning, are you rally prepared to spend eternity in a lower kingdom because people let you down, didn’t accept you, ridiculed you…..fill in the blank with whatever your excuse is? I rally hope not.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Tracy! I get so sick of walking on eggshells. You say hi to someone, you offend them because they didn’t want anyone to draw attention to them. You don’t say hi, you’re a terrible person for excluding them. We’re not mind readers and we all say and do things that will be viewed by somebody as offensive. If you have hurt feelings, the Scriptures say talk to the person one on one about it. They never say, “If someone does something hurtful, you don’t have to live your covenants anymore.” Everyone needs to get the chip off their shoulder!

  17. Just want to thank everyone for your kind remarks. In a way I am thankful things happen as they did because I have developed a wonderful relationship with my Savior. I have had so many miracles and prayers answered that I am sometimes in awe. I just may give it one more try, but if it doesn’t work out I still have my Father beside me. I wish you were all near me so I could give you all a huge hug.

  18. Thanks for this awesome article, it’s great to know I’m not alone in being a misfit, in fact, I pretty much embrace it. I have been a member in and out of activity for much of my life (34 yrs) I have found that being a misfit is more embraced now than it was even ten years ago. 10, 15 or more years ago, you kinda got drilled into your mind that if you were not a certain way, you were shunned, so to speak. There’s still that certain stigma now, depending on the ward you’re in, but I’m finding people are generally more accepting as time goes on and people are letting go of that old school staunch mentality. That being said, I’m still a misfit in a way that yes, I sit in the back row at church and relief society, yes my three and only three kids can be noisy, I haven’t made it to a relief society function in years, due to I. Can’t relate to most of the women in my ward, I’m a geek/punk rock/librarian. Yes I’m a librarian, no I haven’t read 50 shades of gray, but I don’t mind a sex scene or two in some novels, no I don’t get into much lds literature, mostly because I find much of it a little dry, lacking realism, other than work and the glory, and I do like Dean Hughes work. I do have a past, but it’s a past of no regrets, and to this day, we still talk and have fun. Yes, I’m married, but we did the temple thing a year later. My temple attendance is sporadic at best. Sorry for the tangent, but bottom line is that your article is real, raw, but in the end is our love for Christ and his returning love for us.

    Cheers, peace. 🙂

  19. Get to know some of the “perfect” Mormon women, who do their visiting teaching, run marathons, and make soup for everyone. They are pretty awesome, but they are imperfect humans with pasts and problems, and they need to be loved and not judged as much as anyone.

    1. So true. When we sit around feeling judged by others, we are often doing a whole lot of judging of our own. I remember sitting in RS a few years back and was thinking about some of the challenges I knew my sisters were facing. As I started looking at and thinking about the women in the room with me, there wasn’t one who hadn’t either faced something really hard or else was currently facing something hard. Not one! I was filled with awe for these women who still got up every day and tried to be righteous, tried to love others, took care of their families, served others, etc. I remember talking to one sister whose life was a nightmare, but she was so happy and fun to be around. I asked her how she did it. She said, I give myself half an hour a day to cry, and then I say, enough of that, go do something else with your day. We all need love and acceptance. We’ll get more of it by giving more of it!

  20. None of us (no matter how we may appear) are perfect! 🙂 I LOVED your article!!! 🙂 I felt at home, at home (I’m from the UK) but I don’t really feel like I fit in here. The women are lovely, but I’m trying to overcome 31 years of believing that I knew how things worked lol it’s very different here and I miss the direct approach 🙂 My Dad didn’t join the church until about 2 years after he got his spectacular tattoos. I wish people would accept that since it’s not their body and they haven’t harmed anyone else, that it really has nothing to do with them. We all have scars, most of them just can’t be seen on the outside 🙂

  21. I have needed this reaffirmation that I am not alone in being a misfit. Im 25 and have been married for 2 1/2 years and its my husband with a tattoos second marriage. Worse than that, we arent even trying to have a kid yet. I have a really hard time with our place in our ward and how we dont fit in with the couples our age because we want school to be done before we have a baby and im finishing school…not just my husband. Its hard and it makesme bitter watching 22 year olds have babies when I feel like im in no place to have one. But we all have to do what is best for us as individuals and stop caring so much about what we believe is best for everyone else.

  22. “I’ve always known it, I guess, deep inside. But often the culture makes you believe something that isn’t really even there. ”

    ^So true sista!

  23. Being a doubter isn’t a bad thing, hon. It’s healthy. Celebrate who you are, because not fitting into the uniformity of Mormon culture is a good thing.

  24. It does seem so ironic that we belong to a church that professes to be Christian, yet there are so many people who are quick to not only pass judgement on others, but to be unkind to those that seem ‘different’ . I don’t care if a person is a member of our church or not, we have no idea what anyone else has gone through, or is going through, and none of us is perfect enough to pass judgement on someone else. I joined the church when I was 20, and always felt a misfit before that time, and a bit after. But I am happy with who I am, and love that I am not a cookie cutter Mormon. Being different rocks!

  25. Wonderful observations. I was brought here by a Mormon friend who recently got pregnant out of wedlock who posted this link. The message of this article is (or at least should be) that as long as you are 100% dedicated to the gospel NOW, your past or non-gospel related cultural nuances absolutely don’t matter. Unfortunately I’m seeing a lot of comments from people that are seeking to think that being a misfit because of current sin or inactivity is justified. We all struggle to have a burning desire to go to church, so our visiting and home teaching, watch every session of conference, etc etc but not doing it and justifying it by saying you are a misfit because you just don’t like the women is a completely wrong and dangerous message. So I hope readers are taking away the proper message, not fuel to justify sin, animosity toward the church, or other feelings or actions that are not congruent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  26. I have read lots of comments reassuring you there are no misfits in the Mormon church, so let me reassure you that there are. I am the mother of five children, and 3 already consider themselves Mormon misfits. I see it every week as a Sunday school teacher. The kids with two-parent families, lots of brothers and sisters, good grades, abundant talents, and good looks spend a lot of recreational time together during the week, while the kids with divorced parents, quirky hobbies, and sullen expressions are not included, even though we talk about love and acceptance every week during class. If we are to “hasten the work” and welcome more “misfits” into Jesus Christ’s church, we need to be more vigilant about appreciating and celebrating the differences God gave us. We need to recognize that EVERYONE needs a friend, and that naturally, people will quit coming if they are constantly reminded they don’t quite fit the mold.
    Let’s throw out the mold! Be brave and bold in making a friend that isn’t just like you–that’s older, younger, childless, single, uneducated, new to the church, or whatever. We all have something important to offer, and the Lord accepts all kinds of offerings, as long as they are generous and sincere. Let our actions say, “you may see yourself as a black sheep, but your wool is just as warm and valuable as mine.”

    1. I appreciate your comments and I believe that we are all misfits. I have yet to meet anyone at church that feels completely comfortable or that they fit. Some may stand out more than others. I especially like your comment on “Let’s throw out the mold!”

      I have found (and believe me, when I was growing up, I was different than that mold – early ’70s, growing up in a divorced family was different not only at church, but everywhere else) that each of us is a misfit and most of us believe that we are. Just look at the sheer volume of responses to this wonderful blog post.

      We all have our challenges, insecurities, past lives, etc. It’s what we do to bridge those differences with others that matter. So what if you’re not like mothers with children or lovely older sisters or someone who cans, or whatever – what do you share and what can you learn?

      We all need to be a little kinder, a little more tolerant, a little more compassionate, and little more human and remember that each of us has a need to belong and to be loved. How can we provide that for someone else?

      One of the things that I have most enjoyed about the Mormon Ads of late is that it has so fully demonstrated how different we all are except in our love of the Savior and a desire to follow His example. We just sometimes get trapped in our own heads and our own issues to see that: whether you are part of the “in” crowd or a self-described misfit.

    2. Very true. My son never felt he fit in with the youth here and I will not go to church on those days I just can’t paste that expected smile on my face. One of my daughters sat in a young women’s class where they were all saying “oh yes we’d listen to and understand somebody who’d experienced abuse” and she was thinking “oh no you would not” because she is a survivor and knew she could not trust them. What people say and what they do can be worlds apart. Still, I have my testimony and others foibles are not keeping me away from the Church. I do not fit the mould at all and I’m fine with it. 🙂

  27. You know if you were to take time to ask one of the supposed “perfect women” what they thought of being a “perfect woman”, they would laugh out loud!!! If you were to stop thinking only of yourself and give others a chance, you would find that EVERYONE else feels like they don’t fit in. And the individuals you unjustly condemn are just trying to magnify their callings the best way they know how and are trying to make it all work for their good and for yours. We are so quick to condemn someone else we have “judged” to be better than ourselves…..aren’t we told not to judge others??

    1. Exactly! I really wish there was a like button here. I’m in a non-US city ward and you’re right, everyone feels like they don’t quite belong, even the bishop’s wife! We all of us need to reach out more and hold onto each other. We spend so much time thinking of ourselves! Really, it’s not healthy to focus inward so much. I liked this blog post because I feel like that’s kind of her point. Look outward and see the Savior and his wonderful Atonement!

  28. No matter how good we may think we are or even if we are the one’s that seem to fit in – we tend to forget that we are all misfit black sheep when standing next to the Lord. Thereby, only through his atoning sacrifice and loving Grace will we ever make that change, if we choose to accept and do his will, in order for us to allow that transformation to take effect.

  29. I can relate to this article and feel your pain Sharon! I did grow up in the church but struggled with some issues throughout my young adult years. I got my life together, and then once again, fell into my black sheep role and was excommunicated at one point. Through it all, I knew the gospel was true. It was my own struggles and insecurities that led me away each time. I don’t fit it very well at church still. I hated craft night, baking and marathons. I didn’t have children at that point and was in my early 30s and getting a divorce from my black sheep marriage, but all the while knew that my testimony was my own and my relationship with the Savior had nothing to do with sewing (which I don’t do), or being a Stepford Mormon woman. I sat in church unable to partake of the sacrament, having to publically turn down prayers, etc. because of my being excommunicated, knowing that people were watching and aware. I never offered details and no one ever asked about it, but I always wondered if people judged or talked. Truthfully, I really came to a place where I didn’t care. I only wanted to make things right with my Heavenly Father. I wasn’t perfect!! I made great mistakes. Some that contributed to the end of a marriage and lots of tears and heart ache, but that is really what the gospel is about. It is a healing, forgiving gospel because we are all imperfect and have our own struggles or black sheep potential. Some may hide theirs better behind the perfect white picket fence life, but we all struggle and have our insecurities. Some people may be insensitive to the tough circumstances in our lives or the mistakes we have made, but those circumstances help to humble, refine and give us compassion and wisdom to others we may come across. It is those who have been through rough waters and come out stronger , that can offer a greater sense of love for those struggling with similar situations! Be strong and know that the Savior is aware of our pain and situations when it seems like no one else may be. He is why we go to church and why we continue to live the gospel. Hopefully along the way, we make friends and learn to not ever judge a sheep by the color of their wool! 😊

    1. You know I have found that when I have feelings such as some of you expressed, that when I smile at everyone I meet, and I go give service to some one or as many as I can that not only do you feel good about yourself , you meet a lot of choice people and find that life is so good.
      ,

  30. You are not a misfit but a norm like the rest of us. We all have some kinds of disability that mostly visible only to us. That is one of the reasons why we are here to overcome the odds by exercising faith, hope, and charity. Thank you for your testimony.

  31. Kayla, Thank you so much for this! Tears welled up and spilled over as I read your words and they touched my heart!! Thank you so much for so beautifully articulating the words that we all need to hear! I can’t say how much I needed this and Thank you for your wonderful words!! LOVE!!!! We’ve all been here at some point in our lives even if it isn’t visible on the outside!

  32. Thanks Kayla…we all need to be reminded of the Lord’s love for ALL of His “unique” individual children…and I guess I need to be reminded more than most. You can’t be more of a misfit in the Church than being 62 with no husband, no children, no parents…who doesn’t question the Gospel but questions her place in the Kingdom. I went to a RS evening meeting recently where everyone was showing ways they preserved their family memories, plus lists of “how to be a better mother…grandmother, how to plan the best family reunions, etc.” I don’t go a lot, but am having serious health challenges and I thought how could I ask the Lord’s help if I wasn’t willing to do what He wanted me to do?…and I knew He wanted me to go to Relief Society. But I came away from that meeting feeling painfully weighted down by (very familiar) feelings of failure, and I cried myself to sleep (again). But fortunately, in the morning, I was able to get up and realize how grateful I am for the blessings I DO have. And for me, that’s key (although I struggle with that constantly)…that we remember that we ARE loved by a kind, wise, Heavenly Father who has not only blessed us with gifts, but with trials and challenges too, so that we can become better…become more like Him.

  33. I love your post, and thank you for writing it. I’ve often felt that “misfit” feeling, even though I grew up in the Church (second generation!). But what I especially loved was your testimony of the Conference addresses, and how the Lord spoke to you, though the speakers and the Holy Ghost. I love this Gospel. I love that there is no place in the scriptures or the teachings of modern prophets for excluding any one of us from the fold. I love that we are welcomed, with all our unique and individual traits, as the inimitable people that we are, if we only allow ourselves to believe that. 🙂 ❤

    And now for my own (brief) misfit list (because they're fun to share, eh?):

    I've felt like a misfit because:
    – as a Young Woman, I never cried while bearing my testimony. People could always understand what I was saying. I worried that meant I had no emotional sensibility or depth; it just meant I expressed myself differently. 🙂

    – I never wanted to attend BYU. It just seemed too big, too "expected." I attended Bryn Mawr College and loved it! I was one of four LDS undergraduates out of 1200 my freshman year.

    – my best friends have almost never been LDS. Part of that was because I couldn't seem to connect mentally or emotionally with the LDS girls I met at church, but a lot of it also was because I grew up overseas on U.S. military bases, and there just weren't a lot of LDS people my age.

    – I have never canned anything, though I did finally start cooking from scratch when I was 25, after I got married. Because now I had help in eating whatever I prepared and food was less likely to go to waste. 🙂

    – I don't get all gooshy over cute widdle things or the color pink or Tinker Bell. My favorite color was always royal blue (with silver). I didn't even have an ordinary favorite animal: the mute swan.

    – I don't like wearing makeup and I rarely ever do more with my hair but wash it and pin it back out of my face (with barrettes or a headband or a pony tail holder). I don't have pierced ears. All of that feminine stuff just seems to take too much time, too much money, too much hassle…. when I could be reading a book instead.

    – I don't sew, or make door wreaths, or nurture a garden, or play any musical instruments. I am atrocious as an interior decorator; the best we ever manage is a picture of the Savior, our wedding picture, some pictures of temples, and random bits of art work the kids want to hang up. Oh, and a U.S. map and a world map.

    – The biggest thing: I don't like children. Oh, I LOVE my own children, but I don't like other people's children. The only reason I had a child in the first place was because I knew I was supposed to do it; but I was terrified because what if I didn't like this little person and I scarred him for life after 18 years of just doing my duty by him? Especially since I had (have) family members and other relatives who are incapable of having children, and desperately want them, and are wonderful with them. Why was I getting pregnant, and they not, when they were already good with children and knew they wanted some, and I might just quit and give mine to gypsies? I did not fall in love at first sight with my eldest; it took a month of caring for him and spending time with him to realize, "Hey, I love this guy! I really do!"

    So once I knew I would love and like the kids I bore, I wanted to have more, and we have three now (all boys). And about once a month I offer them for sale or adoption on Facebook, and some days they spend all day playing in their room or outside while I make sure I don't say or do anything I'll regret; but most days I feel so blessed to have them and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

    But don't ask me to babysit. Please, just don't! I don't like other people's kids. I'll cook a meal or a dessert and deliver it to someone, but as much as I appreciate other people babysitting my kids, I just can't do it for them. Or I'd kill somebody.

    *******

    – After all this, I hear people comparing themselves to me and feeling like they'll never measure up as a Mormon woman or as a mother, and it breaks my heart. I see how many ways I fall short, I know my weaknesses and bad habits, and I don't want anyone feeling like they are not acceptable to the Lord because they don't do well those things that I personally DO do well. I'm certain there are some people who take pride in crushing the pretensions of others who dare to presume they're doing "good enough" (i.e. "as good as *I* am"), but after some 16 years wrestling with this (as an adult), I really can see that Pres. Monson is so right when he urges us to show charity towards others – generosity of spirit, where we do not judge, or condemn, or push out people we don't understand. The culture often gets off track and gets super judgmental, but the Gospel is NOT that way, and I love that the Lord has taught me that.

    *******

    Right, that was a long short list. :-p But at least I can go straight to bed now, without any jewelry or makeup to take off! ;-D

  34. I just spent an hour reading all the comments. Although I enjoyed and appreciated them all I still found a few a little harsh. The whole “get over yourself” and “stop using being a misfit as an excuse for sinning” (by the way, is the writer considering not doing your VTing a sin???) is not helpful. Again no one knows what experiences people have had and although I think the theme in the comments is that we all know and love and follow Christ, telling someone to just get past it is not the answer. Even if you have a testimony, if you go to church week after week and you feel ignored, judged or even mistreated at some point you start to question the purpose of going. In response to comments that the “perfect LDS woman” is also going through trials, that is probably true. My question is, then why not share that with others? Women don’t need to share every detail of their struggles but just acknowledging they have them would be a start. And we all have those sisters with the perfect marriage, perfect home, perfect children, etc who present it as such. Sure deep down we know life CAN’T be all perfect but it would help a lot of sisters who ARE having struggles to hear that. I think we need to share more with each other but people want to continue with that facade. I joined the church at 18, 8 months pregnant and not married. So I was a misfit as a single unwed mother for 8 years. Then I married in the temple and my husband adopted my daughter. We had another daughter but I always had to work and was for many of the time the primary bread winner. So again, the misfit of being the working mother which was less common 30 years ago. Time for another baby but we faced infertility problems so had to wait 6 years to have another baby. Another misfit experience. Now we have three grown daughters. My oldest is not active, the middle is 30 and not married and my youngest was married a year ago. We are almost in our 60’s and not grandparents. I have a very demanding career so rarely have time or energy for things like enrichment. If I did not have my best friend and my cousin in my ward I’m certain I would feel even more disconnected. I am also considered very “liberal” by some members although I prefer to consider myself as open and tolerant. I have struggled through the years with being a misfit but am finally embracing that title. Please don’t take as long as I did to do that. I may not fit in with other members but I fit in with my savior and I know he loves me and knows me with all my strengths and imperfections. One suggestion I have if you have not yet done so, read books by Sister Chieko Okasaki. They are amazing. This was an Asian woman married to a non member for years who only had two children and worked her whole life AND was was on the General RS board. Her words will encourage and empower you to be who you are. Thanks for this post. Very much needed and appreciated

  35. WOW. This was so perfect. I am currently enrolled at BYU-Idaho. I used to go to the temple every single week and stare at that picture in the baptistry and think those exact same things about the Savior carrying me!

  36. I suppose I am very blessed to live in a ward where there is great diversity of life and situations – and also great love and acceptance. I have also lived long enough to be shocked at the trials some of those “perfect” mothers went through without every letting anyone know. The church is a hospital for us mortals who have serious difficulties. We are healed through the gospel. Nowhere in the Gospel does being united, being One, say that we must be, look, act, and think alike. I hope some day you embrace the power of your uniqueness and share it openly.

    1. First really intelligent response I’ve seen. Are we asking for the help of our Savior and Redeemer when we feel bad about ourselves? Only He can lift us up out of the dark pit we throw ourselves into when we focus on our faults and what is wrong in our lives instead of what is good. When was the last time any of us focused on “Have I Done Any Good In the World Today?” and “What Am I Going to do Today, to Help Someone in Need?”

  37. Thank you for sharing! At a time when I am struggling with whether to go back to church because I feel like an outsider, I really appreciate the honesty in this post and the comments. I am comforted by the thought that there are others who can relate to the feeling of being a misfit. Thank you again.

    1. For many years I felt like an outsider. Then I heard a General Authority remind me that no one is perfect. The church is a hospital for sinners not a haven for saints! So everyone who has a problem, big or small belongs there. Some problems are more easily hidden, but we ALL have them. TO feel MORe welcome I started looking for someone who looked lonely or sad & became their friend. This works especially well with old ladies. Hope this helps. I now feel very welcome when I see my old friends’ faces light up when they see me.

      Hazel

  38. Thank you very much. I am a tattooed biker who was just Baptized last October. I understand your feelings. I must add that everyone in my Ward/Stake has made me feel very welcome. I know that I have come in out of the wilderness and have found my home.

    1. Hello Timothy. It was wonderful to hear about your experience. Personally I have found that I what I get out of my church experience is in proportion to how much I put in it!

  39. I wish I could invite EVERYBODY over and talk all afternoon! I LOVE being a MISFIT. A misfit with a testimony and a love for my Savior. I am so thankful for such wonderful comments and personalities, some you you cracked me UP! Thank you 🙂

  40. Many people watching me in church, etc., might think that I’m one of those ideal LDS women… but most of them don’t know the struggles I have gone and am still going through. The fact of the matter is that many of us hide a part of who we are–maybe even a large part–from most of the world, LDS or otherwise, when, in truth, we feel very inadequate in many ways and probably even ashamed that we don’t and haven’t done better in our lives. I look at people like you, who have come so much farther than I ever dreamed of coming, with complete awe… If those women at the table with you had shared their secret fears, weaknesses, and inadequacies with you, you probably would have realized that you have far more in common than their surface chatter led you to believe… I honestly would be surprised to find a single sister in the church who has not felt like a misfit at some time or other in her life. Bless you, dear sister, for who you are–all of you!–and for being honest enough to admit the feelings so many strive so hard to hide…

  41. I’ve felt like a misfit a lot.

    I felt like a misfit because I was crafty. I felt like one because I wasn’t crafty enough.

    I’ve felt a misfit when I didn’t have children. I felt it again after I had children.

    I’ve felt like a misfit because of callings I had. I’ve felt it when I didn’t have callings.

    I’ve felt like a misfit because I had no food storage and felt like it again when I had my year supply.

    I’ve felt a misfit when I was “too good”. And again when I wasn’t good enough.

    In this comment section I feel like a misfit because I’m not an lds cultural misfit and because I love Utah.

    Would that we, especially me, could always remember what Paul said to the Ephesians: ” Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    I think sometimes when we are hurting we see ourselves as a black sheep and everyone else as white and that tends to make us see ourselves even more different. When we worry more about our relationship with the Savior and less about our place among the sheep we find ourselves, though unique, a part of the fold and wanting to welcome others, misfit and not, to the fold.

  42. Thank you so much for writing this piece. I bore my testimony today (which is highly uncharacteristic) about being a Mormon misfit and how I’m trying to put my spiritual life back together. Apparently, it struck a big chord with everyone including our former temple president. Hopefully the influence of your post will spread.

    -Jared in Denver

    1. I echo that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings–thanks to all of you for your words. I’ve never felt so close to so many good sheep.

  43. I just returned from a RS meeting. I sat next to someone I thought was my friend. I’m interested in buying a pad and she had one so I started asking her questions about hers and how it worked. It was clear she didn’t want to talk to me and soon got engaged in a conversation with someone else about babies. Then she moved. Maybe I don’t smell good–I took a shower. I noticed most of the sisters were talking about their children and grandchildren. I don’t have any. I was married in the Seattle Temple but I am divorced. I was the petitioner in the divorce. I don’t drive and right now I’m living in Utah with the lousy UTA bus service. I hope I don’t have to live here forever. I have home teachers who come. I don’t have any visiting teachers. A lot of people in the ward are only to happy to do good deeds like giving me rides places, although I can walk to church in 10 minutes. They drive me home and can’t wait for me to get out of their car. I have no family as my relatives are all dead and I have made it quite clear that I some moral support. At Christmas I didn’t even get one lousy Christmas card or a phone call. I’ve spent Thanksgiving alone too. So I’m divorced, overweight and darker skinned than most people in the ward. To have a friend is to be a friend. What am I supposed to do? I went to a wedding reception and talked to the bride and groom and the parents. Then I got a piece of cake and sat down at a table to eat it and I said “hi” to the people at the table. They said “hi” to me and then went on with their conversation. I moved to another table and the same thing happened. I finished my cake and went home.

    1. Dear Shasta: Your problem sounds a lot like one I have dealt with all my life. I am not divorced but I guess i didn’t have whatever it took to get into the groups. I would invite people over for dinner (sometimes they came) but NEVER got an invite to their home. I would say something to someone and usually they would ignlore me. Then… I decided to be a better friend.d I have asked people questions about themselves or their children. They love to talk about that. iF THE WARD PRINTS;OUT BIRTHDATES (OR i FOUND OUT WHEN THEIR BIRTHDAY IS) i WILL GIVE THEM A CARD OR A CHEAP GIFT. I will find out where they live (Ward directory) and bake goodies for them. If there is a ward function I volunteer to help clean up. THE KEY IS SERVICE. The Lord says to serve otherse, so volunteer. And keep on smiling.

      1. Thank you for your comment. I did some research on the Internet last night about socializing and why I strike out. Now I’ve been on cruises and go alone and I reserve a big table and get to talk to a lot of people from all over the world and it is so exciting and I learn so much. I am probably not with the right group. I made a big mistake last night. I got pretty disgusted and left right after the meeting instead of at least greeting other people there. Maybe I wouldn’t be engaged in a big conversation. I know people try there best. I got some little trinkets for my birthday and as I say people are happy to give me rides and they believe they are being a good neighbor when I really want friendship. In the future if I got to a RS meeting and a lot of times I don’t because I take non credit classes at night I will at least greet everyone even if I can’t get into a group. Of course last night people were so busy with there conversations that I thought I’d be interrupting them. I’m not really interesting in discussing children and grandchildren. I don’t have any descendants and while I might want to hear a little about their children I don’t want to build a whole conversation around them. I have baked bread for people who give me rides. I also have cleaned the church and the temple–enough trumping. Tonight I just got home from the Salt Lake Temple because the Bountiful Temple is not on a busline. I went to the temple alone and came home alone. We have ward temple night at the Bountiful Temple but there is no carpooling. That seems strange. When I was in Washington State we carpooled to the temple and after the session we’d gather in the cafeteria and have an ice cream party. Also in this ward the choir doesn’t have parties and the primary doesn’t have parties for the primary leaders. This is strange to me–because in my old ward we had a couple choir parties a year and in December we had a dinner meeting in primary where we would meet and get our new manuals for the upcoming year and the primary president would give us a pep talk and we’d mingle.

      2. Hello Shasta
        I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to live alone. I grew up the next oldest of 7 children, married a man who already had 7 children and we had 6 of our own. For many years other people would come & live with us also. It definitely was not boring! Finally we moved to a very small apt, so our grown kids HAD to move into their own place. Now we are living in our RV. That has its ups & downs. It is more lonely, especially since my hubby is nearly 85 years old, is nearly blind & deaf & grumpy! BUT I try each day to look at the bright side. It is important to count your blessings.
        I have a friend who used to be my visiting teaching companion. She was mostly home bound except for going to the Dr & occasionally the store. She can’t drive & neither can her hubby so she had to ask for rides as well. She had a lot of health problems, feeling sad, depressed, etc.. She was very pessimistic & complained a lot. Well, someone gave her some excellent advice WHICH HAS TRULY BRIGHTENED HER LIFE. She got a very large 3 ring binder & every day she writes down what is is thankful for. She finds poems, lovely pictures etc & puts these in her “positive” book as well. She now writes on the computer, uses the e-mail to send the glad messages to others & has become SO optimistic! She is now loving life.
        Did you ever see the movie “Pollyanna”? It is an old Disney movie about a girl who has lost her parents & comes to live with her grumpy, very rich aunt, who is the head of a town. This lonely girl would wander through the town, meeting people, each of whom had their own problems & trials. In each case, Pollyanna taught them the “glad game”. You think really hard about your problem and find something about it to be thankful for. One lady hated Mondays & couldn’t think of ANYTHING that was good about Mondays. Pollyanna couldn’t either, so she told the gal – you can be glad when it is Monday, because it will be SIX whole days before Monday comes again! Now that is a positive attitude.
        I used to complain about my health problems – I have many as well. But no one likes to hear negative stuff. Then I decided I would put my problems into perspective. None of my ailments are life threatening, so I have that to be thankful for. I know that Heavenly Father gives us trials to help us grow & improve AND he never gives us anything we cannot handle. More gratitude. My friend and I have discovered that an attitude of gratitude not only give us a better outlook on life, but makes us much happier as well. So EVERYDAY I find something to thank Heavenly Father for … even if it is just saying “and this too, shall pass”.
        Playing the glad game is tough at first, but soon it becomes easier and even natural and you find yourself doing it without thinking of it.
        Sometimes it is hard to try to be interested in what other people find interesting. But as you pray, Heavenly Father will help you love that person and you will naturally be interested in whatever happens in their lives. Personal service and love is the key.
        So when you talk to someone, ask yourself – will this be interesting and uplifting for them? The Holy Ghost can help you think of things to say that will be joyful. Perhaps you could talk about the c lasses you are taking.
        Good luck my dear.

        Heavenly Father loves you and I do too.

        Hazel

      3. Way to go Hazel! You are indeed an instrument in the hands of God in bringing peace, joy, happiness, and salvation into the lives of those around you. That is the way the Savior would do it. Analyze the problem and then, figure out a solution. There is a solution to everything – the “GLAD” game is a good example of it as is your “POSITIVE” book. If we ALL would take 5 minutes out of our day every morning to find the “Good” things that are present in our lives, the days would be much brighter. You keep spreading sunshine and goodwill girl!!

  44. In many cases that is a great idea–every day list 10 things you’re grateful for or play a game where you list 10 things that start with the letter A that you are thankful for. In some cases though a person might need some professional help.

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