Ask Angela Interview: “She asked me to stop making so many overbearing comments in Sunday School”

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How would you feel if someone made a comment like this to you?

Angela: So, why don’t you tell us in your own words what happened?

Girl: It’s a very long story. The nutshell version is that another woman in my church congregation pulled me aside and asked me not to make so many comments in Sunday School because her “less active friend” feels like my comments are overbearing and that they ruin the spirit of the lesson.

Angela: ::Jaw drop::

Girl: Yeah.

Angela: Okay. So, a million questions – first, how did she approach you? Did she just walk up to you in the hall? Tap you on the shoulder before class started? You need to say everything that happened.

Girl: It was in pretty casual conversation, in the one breath she was telling me, “Thank you so much for bringing up women in the Priesthood in Sunday School because someone needed to be brave enough to say what I said in class.” Then she said oh by the way my less active friend feels like – what I said above.

Angela: Wow. Okay, can I play devil’s advocate?

Girl: Sure.

Angela: How many comments would you say on average you give during a class?

Girl: As many as I feel to give. I’m not of the opinion that you need to limit what you need to say. If you raise your hand and the teacher calls on you then that’s the teacher’s issue?

Angela: Well, I don’t know. Do you feel like your comments are overbearing?

Girl: I like to be intellectual in class. I feel like a lot of people will raise their hands and give really primary answers like, “Read your scriptures.” Or, “I think we’re children of God so we can do anything.” Yes, those things are true but why aren’t we thinking more deeply about the gospel. If I’m the only one who is willing to say the things that matter, then yes, you’ll hear from me quite a bit during class.

Angela: Well, that’s definitely a perspective worth discussing. What are you hoping to hear from those who read this interview?

Girl: I want to know how they would have handled the situation of someone (a quasi-friend) requesting that you stop commenting in class so much because it’s driving her friend towards inactivity. I think they’ll side with me completely. It will be interesting to see.

Angela: Yeah, it will be. Thanks so much for sharing your story! I’m anxious to see what other think

****

I’ve definitely been in lessons where I felt like someone was just being “too much,” (however you want to define too much.) But I don’t think I’d ever, ever, ever say something.

What’s your reaction to this story? Does “Girl” have a reason to be upset? Why? Why not?

If you have a story you’d like to tell, we’d love to interview you! Send us an email to askangela.dn@gmail.com and don’t forget to like our Facebook page! 

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3 thoughts on “Ask Angela Interview: “She asked me to stop making so many overbearing comments in Sunday School”

  1. Girl, have you ever been in a class and witnessed what an overbearing commenter feels like? It is unpleasant for the teacher as well as for the fellow students. The comments sound holier-than-thou and a little too forced.

    With that said, please consider where you are coming from. It is fine that you want to be intellectual in class, but I don’t think it is fine to disregard the primary answers others may be giving as non-intellectual. It is an art of tact to be able to bridge the typical, expected, mundane answers to those thoughts which elevate us to a level of new understanding, a level where the spirit can teach. All-in-all, keeping in mind that it is the basics which give us sure footing.

    To touch on the comment of your friend, about how your comments were overbearing her less-active friend, it is probably unfortunately true. I don’t think she would have said anything otherwise. Hopefully this isn’t an experience where you take it personally and discredit the RS sisters for being too shallow or cookie-cutters, rather you take this opportunity to befriend the less-active girl, and consider how she feels in your presence.

    I’m sure you have wonderful insights to share! But as you would wish for a bit more tact from your friend (or did you just not want her to say anything at all?), take the time to consider how maybe you could express yourself in a way the elevates all in the room. It will invite the spirit, and encourage the sisters to reflect.

    I’m sounding all harsh and judge-y. Sorry!! It isn’t my intention. I just teach a lot in church and am always trying to think of ways to make a more uplifting and inviting atmosphere for all! Good luck! Please don’t hold it against your friend!

  2. I hope this does not sound harsh, but i think it needs to be said. yes, you do know the answers, and so do a lot of other people. have you ever considered — what would the Lord have you say? would He have you say anything at all? maybe He would have you just remain silent once in a a while. it is not your class, it is His class- with all due respect, try listening to the Spirit BEFORE you raise your hand. if you feel directed to say something, by all means, then say it. otherwise, maybe you should take a break once in a while.

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