What’s Most Important to You?

HawkgrrrlAsides, church, Culture, curiosity, diversity, doubt, faith, families, General Authorities, General Conference, God, inter-faith, LDS, Leaders, mormon, Mormon, obedience, plan of salvation, religion, theology, thought 4 Comments

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?


Comments 4

  1. The most important reason that I feel to physically attend church is for witnessing to Jesus Christ (and to myself) that I have taken His name upon me. The service and personal spiritual experiences are blessings that flow out of that commitment. Being Mormon brings the meaning of that witness to me in a clear and personal way relating it to all the other unique aspects of the religion.

  2. With the exception of the saving ordinances, I don’t see anything on the list that is unique to the LDS church. Although others do not claim to have prophets, they do have leaders that give inspired counsel, and that counsel is not any different from the counsel that we get from our leaders.

    In response to your question, I think social support and edification would be at the top of the list of reasons to remain active and committed. I can get the others in other ways. Theoretically, I could get the same social support and edification elsewhere, but it would take many years to build up that level of social connection, and I could never duplicate the family connection because my family members are also fully committed to the Church.

  3. The cosmology – the “big picture” – is what captivates my mind; the personal revelation that accompanies the cosmology is what captivates my spirit; the fact that we individuals at the local level (warts and weaknesses, notwithstanding) are who really run the “practical church” is what captivates me. Above all else, the “rightness” of my experiences grounds everything else.

  4. I think the most important thing to me isn’t listed: it is where God wants me to be. The other things (personal revelation, ordinances, living prophet, etc.) are vital, much like the various ingredients of a cake, but the essential thing is God’s will and my understanding of it.

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