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Posted by: westernwillows ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 05:30PM

I was a YW in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Most of our activities were the same old drivel, but one stuck with me, almost 20 years later.

I grew up in a heavily Mormon area outside of Utah, and my ward had a lot of widows who sat alone during Sacrament Meeting, and the very kind-hearted YW president decided this wasn't right. She assigned a "Grandma" to each YW and we were to sit with them during sacrament meeting, invite them to some YW activities and generally build a relationship with them.

My "Grandma" was a very sweet woman who lived across the street from my school bus stop so I would pop in to visit her a couple times a week. My mom was her visiting teacher, and she really became part of our family. She taught me to quilt and bake and I really enjoyed her company. She died right before I graduated from high school. Some of the other girls in my ward had similar experiences with other widows, and this stands out as one of the best parts of growing up Mormon (maybe the only good part other than I am a confident public speaker from all of the Sacrament Meeting talks I had to give).

Is my ward the only one that did this? I left the church shortly after my high school graduation, but I visit wards occasionally and I hate how widows and singles are socially forced to sit by themselves.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 05:43PM

What a lovely idea! I had an "auntie" on my street that I would often visit after school. She would give me a snack and we would converse. I found out many years later that she was a registered nurse who was responsible for my existence. She gave my mom daily injections so my mom, who was prone to miscarriages, could hold her pregnancy.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 05:57PM

We did this in the late 1970's, only we adopted ladies from a nursing home. They weren't LDS. Obviously it wasn't very long lasting as no one could drive so we didn't really get to visit very often.

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Posted by: kativicky ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 06:40PM

I have been adopted by a bunch of the ladies at my church. Best thing that has happened to me since my mom has died. It has helped out a lot with learning to grow up because I have people there supporting me and teaching me how to do things that my mom never taught me and guiding me through the growing up process.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: September 13, 2018 11:40AM

Notice how, when something is "good" in a mormon community, it doesn't come from the GAs...but simply from a kind person wanting to do something kind?

How about that.

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Posted by: westernwillows ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 06:21PM

It's so rare that someone in the church thinks up something that is truly kind and slightly outside the box. I remember so many "service projects" that weren't real service at all. I don't think I had any idea what service really was until late in high school. Or how to be meaningfully kind to someone. Mormonism mostly taught me to be fake and catty. As an adult I try to do better.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 13, 2018 03:29PM

I love my "adopted grandchildren." Well, the ones who have "adopted" me. I am much closer to them than I am to all but one of my own grandchildren. I just spent a week and a half with one of them who's mother was out of the country on business. When I'd pick her up from after-school care they'd yell, "Ella, your grandma's here." She runs to get her stuff, never says "she's not really my grandma" and they have no clue I'm not either. I love that I'm getting to teach her things and I hope the I'll always be a special part of her life. I love hearing that you remember that as such a good part about growing up. And you had a good YW leader to facilitate those relationships.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 12:09AM

I hope n pray nobody ever adopts me.

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Posted by: westernwillows ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 06:22PM

May I ask why? Just curious =)

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 10:43PM

westernwillows Wrote:
> May I ask why? Just curious =)

Because I enjoy being alone.
I'm hard of hearing, so conversation is difficult (shopping for a hearing aid),
and I would hate to think that someone is noting time spent with me on their community-service log.

But mostly, I like privacy and solitude.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 12:40AM

It is a
lovely idea if it isnt forced. I am not sure I would like a kid assigned to me without having some say in it and I imagine some kids feel the same.

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Posted by: westernwillows ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 06:22PM

Fair enough. Not everyone is meant to be like peas and carrots.

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Posted by: Elyse ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 04:50PM

As long as they don't "adopt" you in order for you to write your will in their favor.

Saw a few couples adopt older people in some wards.
I know of one instance where the single lady invested in the couple's dairy farm and lost most of her money.

Sorry, but I would take instant love from Mormons with a grain of salt.

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Posted by: westernwillows ( )
Date: September 14, 2018 06:26PM

I HATE when people do that. I used to work for an attorney who handled a lot of wills/trusts/estates. More than once I gently talked someone out of leaving their estate to someone conning them. I'm so sad for older people who find themselves alone and so desperate for companionship that they fall for cons.

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Posted by: moremany-NLI ( )
Date: September 16, 2018 11:28AM

They aren't socially forced to do anything (but be nobody, silent and lonely, and have guilt and shame and be perfectly ostracized) but they are socially, spiritually, and mentally forced to have assigned "friends"/ companions/ HT/ VT/ "ministers"/ adoptees...

It's too bad we have to be reconditioned to be social (with other poor saints), after all Mormonism does to break us up (and down) and shake us up (and down), mix us around, and toss us out (after wringing us out).

It's likely you and her would have made fast friends in the real world (outside Mormonism).

Thanks for sharing. Lovely


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