Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bishop Allen: First BYU Married Ward, Awkwardness

I can recall very little about Bishop Allen except that he was small in stature, very quiet, and owned a family camera store. We lived in that ward for a very short time and found it challenging to make the transition from a singles ward to a married ward. I don’t think either of us was aware of these challenges.

Marriage is a vital part of the BYU experience and one of the main purposes of the singles ward is to help along the way. So, singles wards, by their very nature, are dynamic. Their goal is to make you feel wanted and important even those, like me, who bravely resisted.

Then you get married and no one really is prepared for the dramatic change in the ward and social dynamic. The married wards have almost no sustained social life. The wards close to campus usually host couples newly married. So they are simply trying to figure things out.

Newlyweds are reluctant to reach out and make friendships outside the couple because they don’t know how to do that. They are in that awkward stage of still having mostly single friends and trying to understand how to make friends the other couples. The single friends feel distant and the fellow newlyweds equally lost.

So, this first ward we attended of mostly newlyweds did not have much of an impact on us. I do remember Joel who led the music and did so with such passion that is was worth going to church just to watch him conduct. That is about my only memory of Bishop Allen’s ward. 

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