Friday, September 5, 2008


This was sent to me from a friend through email. I thought whoever wrote this was inside my brain when he or she did it. So I say ditto to the following: I Go To Church

I go because I made covenants with my Heavenly Father to keep the commandments, and to consecrate myself to the church. I have the opportunity to repent and renew my covenants every week by taking the sacrament. Of all people, I certainly need that each week!

I go because I want to be worthy to attend the temple. I can't imagine going through my trials without having access to the temple. Also, if I have an eternal marriage I have access to an eternal posterity and potential, which gives dimension and depth to our earthly marriage. An eternal perspective makes earthly problems less heavy.

I go because I have received the gift of the Holy Ghost as my constant companion, and I don't want to lose that gift. I can't afford to lose that source of guidance and comfort when dealing with such a significant trial as this. I go because the church is for everyone. Jesus said that. The prophets have said that. I believe them. I'm not going to let an imperfect person in the ward make me believe differently.

I go because President Monson said the church needs each of its members. That means the church needs me. The Lord needs me. The members of our ward need me. Just think if Sheri Dew decided it wasn't worth dealing with the pain of being a single person at church every week! What if Ardeth Kapp decided it just wasn't worth going because it was too hard to deal with our differences?

I go because I have come to realize that everyone comes with something lacking. The person sitting next to me might have children, but maybe her marriage is in trouble. Or her husband just lost his job. Or her mother is terminally ill. Or she was abused as a child. Or her oldest child is rebellious. Or her youngest child has a serious health problem. Or she is struggling to make a blended family work. Or she is trying to overcome a personal weakness that only she knows about. Or she is suffering from post-partum depression and is too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. Or she is overwhelmed and thinks everyone else can do it all. Who knows? We shouldn't assume that everyone else has a perfect life and we are the only ones who got shortchanged. Instead, what if we approached each other with a desire to understand and serve one another?

I go because it is my responsibility to make friends in the ward, and not to wait for others to approach me. I will never forget the woman who spoke in church years ago about coming to a new ward for the first time and thinking it was SO unfriendly. She sat between two women, neither of whom even said 'hello' to her. As it turned out, one was a first-time visitor to the church, and the other was also a new member. Suddenly she realized that she should have been the one to reach out.

I go, even if someone is offensive toward me. With offensive behavior, it is always better to receive than to give. The problem lies with the offender, not the offendee. Why should I let someone else's lack of charity cause me to deprive myself of needed blessings?

I go because it is an opportunity to help us all learn about one another in a positive way. The more I have done that, the more support and understanding I have had from those around me. I go because I am a unique individual who may be uniquely able to touch the life of someone else who is there. We never know who will be affected by our testimonies, shared in a way that only we can.

I go because I am thankful for what I have. The gospel is something that not everyone has in their lives. No, I don't have everything I want, but I do have much to be thankful for, including the gospel in my life. If I don't receive that gift with gratitude and enthusiasm, how can I ask for other precious gifts from the Lord?

I go because I believe in the parable of the talents. Maybe I didn't get the same talents as the person next to me, but that doesn't mean I should bury mine in the ground. I want to use the life I have been given in the most meaningful way possible, so that I fill the measure of my creation. I go because I want my children to go. I want to build habits that will make me the best parent possible.

I go because my eternal salvation is between me and the Lord. I love Heavenly Father and I trust him to take care of my needs. He has asked me to participate in his church, and I told him I would. It's not about going and socializing with people. It's not about being the most popular person in the ward. It's about my personal relationship with Heavenly Father, and my personal statement of love and trust in him by trying to do what has been asked of me.

I go because I know that my trials will not last forever, but my spirit will. Therefore, which should I focus on and nurture? For those who struggle with this, again, please do not take this as criticism or condemnation or 'holier than thou' speech. I realize that I do not walk in your shoes. This is simply my personal testimony of why choosing activity in the church is so important to me. Many of us have heavy burdens, and I hope that everyone will find their own way to lighten their burdens through the blessings offered by the gospel.

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