Note: For anyone reading this blog who is not familiar with the LDS church organization. We call our individual congregations wards. A group a wards in a geographic area are then organized as a stake. This is similar, in catholic parlance, to a parish and diocese.
Yesterday was our annual ward conference.
I have to admit, I kinda have a bad attitude about ward conference. I don't get the point of it. It just seems like something that, perhaps, made sense in days of yore - when the church was much more spread out and it was an opportunity for members in remote regions to interact with stake leaders. But today, with the church more prevalent in society and modern communications technology - I just don't get it. It seems like we cling to the old ways simply because that's how we've always done it - and nobody is willing to stand up and ask "hey, is this really necessary?"
Plus, to put it bluntly - it's boring. It starts out, in the chapel, with Sacrament meeting - which is stretched out to 90 minutes. Then all of the youth and primary children leave and the adults stay sitting in the chapel for a lesson by a member of the stake Sunday School presidency. After that, the women move to the relief society room and the men stay in the chapel for a combined melchizedek priesthood lesson. So, basically, on ward conference - I come in, plop myself down in the chapel - and sit there for 3 hours. By the end of the 3rd hour - my butt was really tired.
Anyway, the theme this year was ostensibly "God Loves Us" - however, it seemed like 3 hours of yelling at us because we're not doing enough missionary work and telling all of our friends that God loves them; and, we're not doing enough temple work because God loves our ancestors too.
As I was sitting there listening to how we should be talking to our friends - it occurred to me that the people I know and interact with on a regular basis - the ones who aren't already members of the LDS church - most of them are gay. I don't think the church really wants my friends. They say they want us to talk to everyone - but not really. They only want my friends if they're willing to leave their life of debauchery behind. In fact, my friends would need to sit down with the mission president to be interviewed before permission would be given to be baptized - the same as convicted felons and women who've had an abortion. No, I don't think they really mean it when they tell me I should talk to my friends - at least not to my gay friends. I don't think they really want people like that in the church - hell, we got enough of them already, we certainly don't want to add more.
Like I said - I kinda have a bad attitude when it comes to ward conference. If they have some important message they want to get out to all members - can't they just send us an email or something?