Today (which is really my first week back) is ward conference. And for Sunday School they brought in stake leaders to come talk with us. And by stake leaders I mean the stake young men's president and stake young women's president. I kid you not.
Honestly, it's no wonder so many older singles leave the Church. It's not always a lack of testimony, it's a lack of belonging. I appreciate the experiences and knowledge these stake leaders have and can share with us, but it honestly just seems and comes off as though they are continuing to treats single ADULTS like YM/YW.
I am 29 years old. I have a masters degree and over 6 years if experience in my career. I have lived away from home since I was 18 years old. I have moved multiple times on my own. I have traveled to across the world with just friends. I don't need or want to be treated like a teenager.
I love the Church. And, as a whole, I love and truly do believe in the organization of the Church. But, I do not understand when people act like an 18 year old who got married and pregnant two seconds after graduating high school is more of an adult than me. If you don't believe this happens I can pretty much guess you got married early. You don't know what it's like to be seen as an outsider in a ward because you don't have stories of poopy diapers and lack of sleep.
We, as members, HAVE to change. We have to understand that not everyone gets married and starts popping out babies. We have to find a way to make room for everyone and utilize everyone's talent and ability without putting people in boxes - sahm, the singles, divorcés, etc.
As time goes on this will be more and more evident. There will be more of us staying single older who will feel like they don't belong. The truth is of course they belong. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of inclusion and a place for us all to bring our talents and help move the gospel forward. We need to figure out how to make our wards more like the true gospel.
The sad truth is that if changes don't happen to the church culture we will start losing older singles.
There's not one type of "good Mormon". We are a collective of individuals working towards a similar goal. I hope we find ways to make our wards feel more like that.
(I guess I'll step down off my soapbox now and get back to listening to this YM/YW leaders. Wish me luck.)