Like a lot of other people, I’m in the midst of creating a profile for the new mormon.org campaign. The idea is that most people out there don’t know any Mormons well, and that factor is the single biggest determinant in whether or not someone’s receptive to hearing our message. Therefore, the Church is sponsoring a mostly one-way social networking site where Latter-day Saints can post profiles and our future friends out there in cyberspace can start getting to know some of us.
This is a great idea, and it gives me what I hope is also a great idea.
We should have a similar site to reach out to inactive Church members.
My experience ministering at church has shown me that there is one large demographic whose quiet sense of loss in their community is rarely understood by those around them: women with inactive husbands.
There are certainly men who go to church but whose wives are unsupportive, but that’s relatively rare. Far more common are women who strive to get to church as much as possible, often taking kids with them, but whose husbands refuse to get up and come along. I’m not talking about women with non-Mormon husbands–those women knew what they were getting into when they got married–or even women whose husbands have never been very involved in church.
What still shocks and discourages me is just how many men become inactive after marriage and then put their wives in an impossible position: these men may think that they’re not making their wives choose between them and church, but these poor women are still living in a gray twilight zone, trying to trudge along the thorny path of discipleship but doing so without a partner with whom to share her burden, unlike most of her friends at church. Her husband may think that his non-involvement is purely neutral, doing no harm, but that doesn’t help when the kids ask why they have to go to church and Dad doesn’t.