The other night I received a visit from my Bishop, from the local Singles ward that I attend, and one of his counselors. They were concerned about my injury and wanted to see how I was holding up. After a nice visit we started discussing the ward, and I asked my Bishop what concerns they as a Bishopric had for the singles in our ward. He said that he had many, for we are often on his mind and heart.
However, one of his main concerns was church attendance. More specifically speaking he has become very concerned that many of the singles are not staying for the full three-hour Sunday block of church. Many are choosing to leave right after Sacrament.
My Bishop was concerned that by skipping out on these other two important meetings many of the young adults in our ward have been cheating themselves out of many of the blessings which our Father in Heaven has prepared for us. For as President Ezra Taft Benson the 13th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said,
“Faithful attendance at Church meetings brings blessings you can receive in no other way.” To the “Youth of the Noble Birthright,” May 1986 Ensign, President Ezra Taft Benson
Sacrament meeting is the most important part of church; for it is there that we are able to renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament. This renewal of our covenants is vital for us to receive a remission of our sins, and be worthy and able to have the gift of the companionship of the Holy Spirit with us in our lives. Yet, even so, the Lord instituted Sunday school, and then Relief Society and Priesthood meetings on Sunday, also for a wise purpose.
In Sunday school, we come together as brothers and sisters in the church to teach, learn and discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a time to increase our knowledge and understanding of the gospel, and to strengthen our testimonies.
For the last block of our Sunday church meetings we separate. The men attend their Priesthood, and the women attend Relief Society. Here we all study the teachings of the prophets, and delve into the teachings of Christ. By separating, we are able to focus more directly upon how these teachings apply to us more specifically as men or women in the church. Here we also grow close as a brotherhood or sisterhood, and gain strength from one another which we can then draw upon throughout our lives.
These important church meetings were designed and instituted by a loving Heavenly Father to help us to come unto Christ, and be able to face the world we live in. They are created to teach, edify, and bless. I know that when I have to miss any or all of these meetings (which usually only happens when I am sick or injured) that I feel the loss of them in my life. My week is not the same.