Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

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SamBee
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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by SamBee » 16 Oct 2018, 17:58

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
16 Oct 2018, 17:03
dande48 wrote:
13 Oct 2018, 23:02
For myself, I've grown to love an an old Hindu/Buddhist saying that used to bug me SO MUCH on my mission. "There are many paths to God."
This reminds me of the saying I heard a lot in the South:

Person shows their arm and hand, and says that like the fingers point together to form the arm, all churches point to the same place.
I often wonder if they do. Sometimes I see the commonalities and wisdom in the various religions (like in my signature), and at others the vast differences between them.

At the most basic, we see examples of the churches who go out of their way to help the poor like the Salvation Army, and at the other the Prosperity Gospel and the love of money. Then we see open tolerant churches up against the Westboro Baptist Church and the Aryan Nations.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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dande48
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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by dande48 » 16 Oct 2018, 18:25

SamBee wrote:
16 Oct 2018, 17:58
At the most basic, we see examples of the churches who go out of their way to help the poor like the Salvation Army, and at the other the Prosperity Gospel and the love of money. Then we see open tolerant churches up against the Westboro Baptist Church and the Aryan Nations.
I'd say most churches exemplify a mix of all those qualities.They take pride in helping the poor who deserve their pitiful condition, but dain to extend the arm of grace as Christ would, all the while feeling superior for their God-given prosperity and overwhelming faith. They feel they must reach out and include everyone around them in their faith, because their faith is superior to all others.

Some Church are more effective at doing good than others, but I most all of them represent the struggle of humanity attempting to become divine, more often then not failing miserably, but slowly, hopefully becoming something better.
DarkJedi wrote:
16 Oct 2018, 15:51
So other than withholding a TR, how else is the church to enforce a policy of mandatory attendance? Don't call me as EQP?
FWIW, refering to the original questions "Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?" and "is church attendance necessary for our salvation?", I was using the holding of a temple recommend as the minimum requirements, in the view of the Church, for salvation (defined as exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom). A rule doesn't have to be super enforceable to be mandatory. It is, by definition, "mandatory" to obey the speed limit. There are exceptions left open to the interpretation of the "authorities", speeding a "little" is rarely enforced, BUT technically if you go over the speed limit, you're subject to a fine and possibly jail time.
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SamBee
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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by SamBee » 16 Oct 2018, 18:38

Many are a mixture, but some are very, very divergent on certain issues. You have some churches which marry off gays and have long before governments did, and then you have Westboro and others who think gays are the Devil's Spawn. Then you have the churches which cheerlead for the military or at least have chaplains working in it and those who refuse to serve in it. Then there's female clergy. In none of this instances is there any real mixture.

This is not even getting into more complex areas of theology. But we could cherrypick from there some major examples - the role of Mary, intercession of the saints, infant baptism, the Trinity and so on. Not to mention how many folk are going to Hell - almost everyone in some cases, almost no one in others, and in the universalist case, no one at all.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Oct 2018, 23:35

Technically, in our theology salvation is a gift to all who are born, except the few Children of Perdition, for their premortal choice. Exaltation is different.

Just sayin'. ;)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by SamBee » 17 Oct 2018, 03:52

Curt Sunshine wrote:
16 Oct 2018, 23:35
Technically, in our theology salvation is a gift to all who are born, except the few Children of Perdition, for their premortal choice. Exaltation is different.

Just sayin'. ;)
Our religion makes a close approach to universalism, but then goes and undoes that a bit with exaltation and Degrees of Glory.

There's whole thing with Hell in LDS theology. Is it Spirit Prison? Outer Darkness? Or even the Telestial Kingdom?

Is the Lake of Fire the same as Outer Darkness?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Oct 2018, 04:58

dande48 wrote:
16 Oct 2018, 18:25
DarkJedi wrote:
16 Oct 2018, 15:51
So other than withholding a TR, how else is the church to enforce a policy of mandatory attendance? Don't call me as EQP?
FWIW, refering to the original questions "Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?" and "is church attendance necessary for our salvation?", I was using the holding of a temple recommend as the minimum requirements, in the view of the Church, for salvation (defined as exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom). A rule doesn't have to be super enforceable to be mandatory. It is, by definition, "mandatory" to obey the speed limit. There are exceptions left open to the interpretation of the "authorities", speeding a "little" is rarely enforced, BUT technically if you go over the speed limit, you're subject to a fine and possibly jail time.
I don't think our doctrine is that the temple is necessary for salvation. I think our doctrine is that baptism, including the GotHG, is necessary for salvation. The doctrine is that the temple is necessary for exaltation, and I do recognize there are a fair number of members who conflate salvation and exaltation and that the lines are not always clear. There may be policies in place regarding sacrament attendance, although they appear to be secondary (as in it is a TR question). I am not aware of any doctrine that states church attendance, or temple attendance beyond your own endowment, are actually necessary. They certainly don't hurt anything, and again I find significance in the sacrament, but necessary or mandatory? Not in the "law."
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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dande48
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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by dande48 » 17 Oct 2018, 07:39

Curt Sunshine wrote:
16 Oct 2018, 23:35
Technically, in our theology salvation is a gift to all who are born, except the few Children of Perdition, for their premortal choice. Exaltation is different.
From the LDS website:
“Salvation” and “saved” are also used in the scriptures in other contexts with several different meanings.
Again, it's important to define what exactly is meant by "salvation" with discussions like these. If you broaden the term salvation, the question becomes meaningless. Even the children of perdition (#LadyMonsters #feminism) receive salvation, in the broadest sense, because they are resurrected through the atonement of Christ and "saved" from death. I narrowed it down to "exaltation", and also narrowed to what's taught by the Church combined with Church policy, which is even MORE restrictive. I think defining "salvation" broader goes against the original intent of the question.

But by your definition, and under the assumption that the theology of the Church is correct, I agree.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
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Heber13
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Re: Do you consider Church attendance mandatory for everyone?

Post by Heber13 » 17 Oct 2018, 09:49

Minyan Man, I've asked those questions about attendance and see that answers depend on who you talk to and their point of view.

As was stated, there are exceptions and people understand that.

And there is tradition, which many people allude to...they are saying basically "yes... everyone should go every Sunday."

When I ask "why?" The answers are usually:
- you need to take the sacrament, it is an ordinance and the most important reason
- you need to continually exercise faith like you do for nutrition in your body and exercise to be healthy
- you need to stay in the boat and close to the flock to be safe from outside predators in life that steal you away and slowly drag you down to hell.

Now...for each of these...they can be debated from person to person. It becomes opinion, not doctrine. There are general underlying gospel principles that support arguments.

But there is no black and white answer. Circumstances vary, and so I find it best to understand what people say and how they feel about it to check my thinking, but I find mostly the teaching that "it is mandatory" does not hold up as an absolute, and is often more about pleasing others (family, leaders, friends) than anything specific for myself or my God.

So it falls back to my faith, what I feel I should do.

I like your thoughts that if it causes stress or anxiety, that should be addressed. It is just sometimes stress and anxiety to not go and feel people are judging you as "less than.". So there is that part too...the peer pressure. That doesn't make it doctrine, or even right, but it is part of a social construct. Some families just need rules because youth can't be left to decide yet totally...and the family needs a rule to be committed to to make it easy.

When I work on letting go of caring what others think...I find very little at church matters one way or another. You just do what you feel is good for your soul. And I find little doctrine that very much if anything is mandatory because there are so many varying circumstances. So it just becomes...be a good person and become what God intends you to become." For some that is mandatory church, for some not.

But, for sure...reducing stress is a good guide on deciding for yourself if it is mandatory for you or not.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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