Okay, this just really pissed me off. Back in my TBM Molly days, I read a few books by Joni Hilton. Amusing enough, although so over the top ridiculous that I only read one or two. And that’s been a dang long time ago. Not that it has anything to do with what I’m about to write, or the article Joni Hilton wrote for Meridian Magazine.
According to Hilton, when members or missionaries visit a do-not-contact person or family, and the person/family indicates that it must have been a member of their family who provided location information, it shows a great, great love on the part of the family member and can bring tears to the eyes of the person doing the visiting.
Screw what the person being visited wants. And in a comment, Hilton stated that if people don’t want to be contacted they need simply resign, but she suspects more people don’t resign because deep in their hearts they know Joseph Smith was right and true. Enough people called bullshit on that one that I didn’t need to refer to that in the comment I left.
But here’s the deal. Before I left the church, I’d been inactive for quite some time, as was my husband. No one, except my visiting teacher(s) ever, ever contacted us. Oh, once in a while the missionaries would be tracting in our neighbourhood and we’d invite them in, but they never came back. Once my husband called the bishop to request visits from home teachers; the bishop told him that so many people were inactive in the ward that the home teachers were only visiting active families. “Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?” Visit only the families who didn’t really need the visits. Hey, makes sense to me.
And when I contacted the bishop via email to tell him I personally did not want any contact (and made it clear that I was not speaking for my husband), he sadly told me that he’d had us on his mind a few weeks previous, and guessed he’d waited too long. Ding! Ding! Ding! My bullshit meter went off, because I knew good and well that if I hadn’t contacted him to say no contact, he never would have made contact with us.
He called my husband once, and was acting all chummy and jolly. He was actually trying to get me to talk to him, and since I refused to meet with him in person and refused to engage in any emails, he figured that if he called my husband and asked my husband to hand the phone to me, I would relent. Ha! I was adamant. I’m as stubborn as a mule, once my mind is made up.
Then when our house burned down, my husband called our bishop to let him know and only got cold comfort. No one has contacted my husband, who is desperately longing for friendships and relationships. He has not left the church. He hasn’t been going, and I think he’s on his way out, but if taking care of the inactives and needy were so important, I think the Lord might have inspired someone at some point to call my husband. Nope.
So as far as the relentlessly rolling Mormons who are so busy contacting people who do NOT want contact go, why do they not instead go visit the people who actually DO want their visits and friendship, and have actually reached out to request it?
Oh, and Ms. Hilton? I did resign because I could no longer stand the thought of my name being counted as one of the members of the church. It devastated my husband when I did so, because it obviously dissolved our temple marriage. When I finally told my mother last week, it devastated her and my stepfather. I think they’d have felt better had I simply remained inactive, because then there would be a chance. I don’t know if my mother will ever understand why I made the decision I made. Thankfully, my husband has progressed a little, although it does still hurt him. Other people would like to resign, but don’t do it for these very reasons. They don’t want to hurt their loved ones, don’t want to damage those precious relationships. So if they ask to be left alone, do them the courtesy of leaving them the hell alone.