Why do you go?

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PazamaManX
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Joined: 24 Nov 2018, 03:21

Why do you go?

Post by PazamaManX » 02 Nov 2020, 07:09

Recently, I was doing a little bit of a personal evaluation on how I spend my time. Or, more specifically, what benefit do I get from spending my time the way I do. I go to work because I need money. I'm taking classes because I eventually want to move onto a career I actually enjoy. I do Jiu-Jitsu because it's good exercise and I enjoy it. I watch sports and play wargames because they're fun. But church..... I honestly couldn't come up with a good reason.
I don't feel a sense of fellowship in my ward. I don't leave feeling uplifted. Rarely do I learn something new. There is seldom an opportunity to worthwhile service. I don't feel like I've grown as a person because of it. All of the standard things someone would go to church for just don't seem to click for me. Due to the pandemic causing our ward to worship from home until recently, it's kind of made me realize all these things. It's just caused me to think, "Why?"
So why do you (if you can) go to church? What benefits, if any, do you feel is there from being involved in your ward?
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness, even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Why do you go?

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Nov 2020, 07:17

Great question. I also don;t feel a lot of fellowship, I'm not usually uplifted (I am on occasion), anything new I learn I usually learn on my own, while the church once helped me grow as a person it hasn't in a long time, and service in my ward is more often free labor as opposed to actual meaningful service. Even the stuff our stake has on JustServe is mostly not real service.

That's actually a reason I give for loving home church so much - I could study and learn about what I wanted to study. I think this might be a common response you get - I mostly go to support my wife and keep the peace at home.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: Why do you go?

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Nov 2020, 10:11

I have often thought the same thing. Frankly, I only go to make my wife happy and keep my marriage together.

I rarely feel spiritually fed when I go, and of course, I'm not firing on all of the full-Mormon cylinders like TR-holding, garment wearing, and never saying "no" to a calling.

I think the thing to recognize is that you don't necessarily NEED church. It is there for people who have sufficient faith in the teachings, but these things are not all that necessary after you find your own path in the church. I would think the best reason for going to church is the opportunity to serve others. My problem is that there are limitless opportunities to serve people in the world as a whole, and you can often find better, and more fulfilling ways of helping other people in the world as a whole rather than through the various church programs. For some people, the whole service model of the church is amazing, but others, it doesn't compete with service in other ways that are more meaningful.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Why do you go?

Post by Roy » 02 Nov 2020, 11:52

I go to stay connected and to raise my children in a community. I appreciate the positive moral values and positive influence of the other children. It is also our heritage and the heritage of our extended family. I want my children to have many of the same cultural touchpoints (primary, cub scouts, girl's camp, father and sons, etc.) as their cousins in order to feel a sense of belonging.

The other day DW was saying that we might stop going after we become empty nesters. I replied that may be the case but we may just find new reasons for going. For example, I could imagine that without having children in the home to keep us busy that those connections to other adults in our same stage of life cycle may become more important.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Minyan Man
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Why do you go?

Post by Minyan Man » 03 Nov 2020, 08:15

Your question is interesting & basic to our belief system.
When I joined the church (in college) I would be classified as a TBM. Yes to every calling, went to every meeting, always dressed with white
shirt & tie, full tithe payer, etc.

After my faith crisis, I've tried to find out "what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ?"
The church can help, but not always.
I go because I want to be challenged in what I believe, not to be indoctrinated.
I go because the church has opportunities to be of service. Most organized religions don't. IMO.
I go because I have found close friends that I can confide in & they can do the same with me.
I go because I believe that on some level, all of us are related by blood or adoption. Family History & temple work help me visualize that.

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Why do you go?

Post by Roy » 03 Nov 2020, 09:22

Minyan Man wrote:
03 Nov 2020, 08:15
I go because I believe that on some level, all of us are related by blood or adoption. Family History & temple work help me visualize that.
That is a wonderful thought MM. Thanks for sharing it.

I feel that I should elaborate upon my answer above. The question is "why do you go" and I understand that to mean why do I take time out of my Sunday to attend church meetings. Part of the answer is that I don't, at least not every week. I am working on Sundays at least 75% of the time. This helps me to still stay involved and connected to the ward without feeling overwhelmed by it.

Another question is "why do I stay" meaning why do I remain a member of this church. The answer for me is different from just the community and the fellowship and also includes the heritage, expansive doctrine, and hope that I feel in this church. The version of Mormonism that I live in my mind is my home.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Why do you go?

Post by Ann » 03 Nov 2020, 12:56

I could try to sum up how all my beliefs have changed and how I fit in now. But the main reason I go is so my husband doesn’t go alone, and as a sort of tribute or acknowledgement of all the years we spent on the same page. That goes a long way for me.

I also fulfill non-teaching callings, but they aren’t what’s driving me.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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SamBee
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Re: Why do you go?

Post by SamBee » 04 Nov 2020, 14:07

I am the opposite. I do feel a sense of fellowship with some people - my main regret is we have a revolving door of members, especially from the States. I am surprised at how often I do feel uplifted. The Sunday before last was a bit dull, but we had some great testimonies recently.

I do have misgivings about some aspects - General Conference is a weekend off for me, for example and I hate the corporate aspects... And there are parts of thev That's a long story, but I have been very grateful for my membership over the past two or three years.
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."

NoahVail
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Joined: 02 Mar 2013, 22:03

Re: Why do you go?

Post by NoahVail » 05 Nov 2020, 09:39

Family history: 5 years ago I wouldn't have believed I'd be doing any family history. 9.2k-created-people later, I'm connected with a cousin and a sister (met on Ancestry). The free Ancestry subscription feels like the Church is paying me tithes to stick around.

A sense of community: Not so much. There's a few people I connect with but they're as reclusive and anti-social as I am. You can guess how that's working out. I didn't used to be like this tho. Twenty years ago, ward leadership became dominated by cloistering isolationists (no contact with the community) and that's been the vibe ever since. It turned out to be a good fit for my screw-everything phase.

For the family: When I entered my it-can-all-burn-to-the-ground-for-all-I-care phase, I only went so the kids would have some structure. It was fairly haphazard structure; the value of it is debatable

Remote Sundays: This feels like it could have been one of Pres Nelson's awesome changes. New Me doesn't like sharing a space w/ more than 20 or so people. I am looking forward to sacrament for the first time in 20 years. Also we get awesome commentary from one ward member (a high-councilmen) like "Masks for from Satan!" Actual quote, btw. Yes, he was sincere.

Support from members: I don't ask for support often. Historically, if I wanted it, I had to form a clique. Even asking for a food order when we were literally out of food would be met with reluctance. Meanwhile me and my 5 sons attended nearly every move (0-5/month). However, in the last 2 or 3 years, it's been better. A few guys in EQ mentioned stuff they could do which happened to be stuff we needed. Feeling supported is kind of weird and nice.

Leadership: I've posted about this before. Our last bishop was this awesome Tongan, who we lost in a redistricting. The guy who replaced him is a partisan ideologue (demonstrated from the pulpit). He isn't as extreme & overt as some here but it is clear he eats/lives/breaths it. However he keeps surprising me. The tone of sacrament meeting has become mostly free of political signalling. This last Sunday, he counseled us to read Dallin Oaks talk from last conference, in prep for a 5th Sunday lesson. Yes, that talk. A talk that, while imperfect, was much, much better than i had feared. I regularly see the mantle change bishops, but never this quickly.

This is more than enough for one post, I think.

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Heber13
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Re: Why do you go?

Post by Heber13 » 05 Nov 2020, 13:09

Roy wrote:
02 Nov 2020, 11:52
I go to stay connected and to raise my children in a community.
That is it 100% for me, as well. I believe I'm a social being, so there are social needs it can help meet..even if I feel more often let down by this than fulfilled by this. But if I manage expectations, I realize it is about connection with others in trying to do good, despite seeing evidence all the time at how far we have to go as a ward to get there.

My children benefit from it. So I appreciate what I can with it.

I try to balance my investment in it with what I feel I get out of it. And that is good enough for me to accept it for what it is and what it isn't.
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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