We all attend church for various reasons, and in reality, no church can be all things to all people. Plus, what you get out of church is what you put into it. So, the purpose of this post is to ask: What’s most important to you?
I will dispense with the more general notions that are not unique to our religion; for example, one can believe in being saved through the grace of the atonement without being Mormon. One can enjoy prayer and weekly worship services (plus donuts & coffee in other churches!). Instead I will stick to unique claims of the church.
So, which of these aspects of the church is most important to you?
- Truth, being right, being “the one” true church (in fairness, this is not a unique claim of Mormonism; most churches claim to be the one true way)
- Having access to saving ordinances through the priesthood; being able to attend the temple
- The practical benefits of living an LDS life: service, callings, the Word of Wisdom, temple worthiness, family focus, tithing, commandments; having a framework to make you a better person
- Personal spiritual experiences; the gift of the Holy Ghost; access to personal revelation
- Layers of meaning and depth; a theology with evolutionary value over a lifetime (the richness of our unique doctrines)
- Social support and edification; communion with other Saints
- Guidance and inspiration from church leaders; prophets and apostles who provide counsel to members
Would the loss of any one of these be enough to cause you to leave the church or to discontinue practicing our highly committed lifestyle?
What if you could only have one of them (and not any of the others)? Would that be enough for you? Why or why not? Which one would you need to stay active and live the highly committed lifestyle we live as LDS? Is there more than one that would independently create enough value for you?