My ward has a huge Elder’s Quorum and I mean big. I guess we have about 45 elders in the quorum meeting each Sunday. Being in Southern California that is good considering the cost of living out here—real estate prices aren’t exactly friendly. The main reason we have so many elders is because there are two affordable housing (low-income apartments) complexes in the ward. My complex has about 15 families and the other has over 20. Most of the people living in these apartments are young families. This adds handsomely to our ward’s Elder’s Quorum, Relief Society, and nursery.
Despite the large group of men together each Sunday, hardly any of us know each other. I don’t claim to know why my Elder’s Quorum is unsocial; I just know what I see. What I see is a whole lotta nothing!! No talking, no visiting, no smiles, just a group of guys either staring straight forward or with their heads down. I see this during priesthood when the young men and the high priests are around and through the lesson. It is almost comical at this point because as I walk into priesthood and see this sad sight, I start to imagine what could have caused such sadness. Maybe someone’s dog was run over by a tractor and then the tractor backed over it again to see what it ran over. Someone else must have found evidence that their wife is a terrorist; others must be coming to grips that the WWF is not real. Whatever the reason, my Elder’s Quorum is not a place I am excited about going to. Even with a good lesson, there is a depressing aura in the air.
One of the other funny things to me is the groups that some how migrate to each other while still not interacting. It is the birds of a feather flock together concept, even if they have nothing to talk about. There are the fathers that have baby duty. The group of guys that kind of know each other who sit in the back row with their heads down hoping to avoid eye contact with anyone. The guys who know no one and sit in the middle hoping someone will be friendly to them. And then you have those who sit in the front rows who bring their manual and eagerly answer questions. I want to point out that our meetings are in the gym making it easier for the elders to put space between each other. Oh yes, the last group is the hallway roamers. These special creatures are the ones who stay for priesthood and then leave in the first few minutes of the lesson. They make it look like they are going to the bathroom and somehow they never return. Often I wonder if they fell in the toilet and were only freed when the class was over. This rare species was made known to me by my needing to chase my daughter as she ran out the door and down the hall. In the hallway, these creatures herd together and chat while leaning against the wall and they stay there for the duration of the lesson. I think we should make a new Elder’s Quorum calling, a hallway monitor. If I had that job I would make myself a large tag that reads “Elder’s Quorum Hallway Monitor, You know what’s up. Go to class.” And when I find my prey I would say nothing, I would just walk up to the herd and stare them down while tapping my sweet tag. Like a wolf in the mists of sheep, they would run like little sissies. I could do some real clean up that way.
I am not saying that social means that these men should be chatty during the announcements and the lesson. I am saying I hope that priesthood should be a place where people acknowledge your presence in one way or another. You know like someone, anyone, saying hi to you at some point in that hour. Moreover, for goodness sake someone besides the Elder’s Quorum president should say hi to new people. I for one know a little less then half the elders and I say hi to them. I doubt other know that many. The thing that gets me most of all is that there is at least one to two empty spaces between each elder. That is the most obvious sign that people don’t know each other and don’t want to make the effort. I at least have an excuse as to why the brethren keep there space from me, I freakin stink. B.O. City here!! Population: Spencer J