Friday, December 16, 2011

The "why"

Recently I've been asked why physically going to church is important. My friend who was asking about this said that church shouldn't be about impressing other people and showing that you are there. It should be a personal thing, in your heart, and that if you know that you believe and God knows you believe then everything should be okay.

I agree with some of this. I really like the Rush Hour movies, but one part that really baffles me is in the first one. Carter and Lee are still getting to know each other and they bust into this bar and Carter is pretending to interrogate this guy. Once Lee is out of the room Carter becomes all casual and is like, "See you at church on Sunday?" And the guy, who is obviously a criminal, is all "oh yeah see you there."

This is a good example of what my friend was saying. Just because you go to church doesn't mean that you are a good person. I mean, this guy was a career criminal. Conversely, just because you don't go to church doesn't mean that you are a bad person. Heavenly Father understands when we get busy. He also knows that going to church is not a top priority for some people. I'm sure it hurts His feelings, but it's not all hellfire and damnation if you don't go.

So I began to ask myself why church is important to me, and here are some reasons I have come up with....
  • Every time I go to church and I have prepared my heart, I feel happy and I feel the Spirit
  • I know some of my best friends from church. I don't know if I would've been friends with or even met them if it weren't for church.
  • I love singing with the congregation
  • I know that if I go to church with a sincere desire to learn I always come away with more knowledge
  • I know that Heavenly Father is always there for me. I know that He watched the ballet recital I was in when I was five. I know that He listened to all of my band concerts, and I've had a lot. So going to His meeting once a week is my way of saying thanks.
  • I know that taking the Sacrament is important

There is a phrase that I sometimes have to repeat to myself, and it is that "the church is true, but sometimes the people aren't." It just means that the principles and doctrines we learn about at church are sound and true, but the people surrounding us are not perfect.

Sometimes people say rude things, or poke into other people's business, or judge you. It's not because the scriptures aren't true, or because the church isn't true, because they are. It's because girls will be girls and boys will be boys and people will talk and make mistakes. Such is being human. And even though that is sometimes tough to get around, church should not be about that eye-roll or what Sally said to Susie in the bathroom. As my friend said, religion is personal, and it should be about you and God. I feel sorry for those people who treat church like a gossip-fest, because they are missing out on so much.

So to conclude, I think that church is really important to Heavenly Father, bc it's not about showing other people that you are willing to sacrifice a few hours on a Sunday, it's about showing Him that you are. It's like paying tithing. It's simply showing that God matters to you more than that ten dollars, or those three hours. And sometimes, it doesn't really make sense, but that's what faith is about, isn't it?

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