We’ve been having a bit of bother in our ward lately and I decided to try as hard as I can to support others who are suffering from feelings of rejection and loneliness.  I called another friend to invite her to lunch with a bunch of us and made a comment about her being in the “in crowd.”

       “Arlene,” she said strongly, “There is no in crowd.”

       “Yes, there is, and you and I (even though some people are mad at me of late) are in it.   So we have to be careful to include as many friends as we can.”

       She laughed at me and then agreed to go to lunch with us and it will be really fun. 

        But I got to thinking, is there an in crowd?  I’ve always felt that church callings equate social status and power in Utah, especially southern Utah, where I live.   It can’t be that much different in, say, Massachussetts, where perhaps a Cardinal or a bishop or a priest has some social status.

      What I’ve concluded is that,  for the most part,  the in crowd are the ones who serve.   Wherever they can.  Because in serving diligently (although that’s sort of a sucky word) bonds of friendship and respect are formed.   Sometimes wards develop social circles who play games together, etc. or go to lunch, but mostly, at least here, we’re so busy that we spend our spare time with our families.

      I’ve made my closest associations from the callings I’ve had, as well as the close bonds I’ve formed from visiting teaching.   I’ve learned to love and feel close to, those who serve me.   I can’t recall ever having a serious disagreement with people I’ve served with or not loving those in the organization I’ve been in even if they bother me in some way.

     Even though I’m fairly liberal in comparison to the rest of my ward and I tick people off, I’m still a part of things.  I have argued with leaders before and felt rejected, but I always come back to service and recover.

       Almost all my fights with other people in my ward have come from me defending other people.  That’s beside the point, but I’d like some input from the rest of you about the “incrowdedness” tendencies of the church.  Anybody experience this?