How many times do children ask this question: Do we have to go to church? For spiritually-minded parents who feel the need to go to church every week for spiritual enlightenment and peace, this question can be a difficult one to answer. From a Letter to the Editor this perception could be the answer.
“A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday… “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 203,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.” This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this..They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!” When you are down to nothing… God is up to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!” (DailyStrength.org)
Just like physical nourishment, our bodies need spiritual nourishment and this weekly spiritual nourishment called “church attendance” keeps us strong through trials and worldly cares. Church attendance especially keeps families close together. With weekly church attendance, we can strengthen our faith in God.
“Our family has committed to attend all of our Sunday meetings. We have found that this strengthens our faith and deepens our understanding of the gospel. We have learned that we feel good about our decision to attend our Church meetings, especially as we return to our home and continue to observe the Sabbath. We even attend all of our Sunday meetings when we are on vacation or traveling,” Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, Continually Holding Fast, October 2013 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
Family church attendance not only helps us to be spiritually uplifted and more committed to our faith every week, but there are other benefits. With the wiles of the world swirling around us, church attendance keeps us grounded. It is our moral compass for making good choices. Children are bombarded with so much evil in movies, books, TV, and music there
has to be an ongoing firm foundation of learning to be charitable, faithful to a good cause and other virtues which help a person learn good behaviors. As parents attend church every week with their children, they can be assured their children are learning how to be good instead of learning to follow the influences of other forces.
Another good reason to attend weekly church as a family is the benefit of creating an extended support network. There are great friends at church who can help us in times of tribulation. Who better to go to for prayers in behalf of sick family member? There are many hands to help when babies are born, loved ones pass on or when you just want to join in a monthly game of volleyball. Congregations become family members when family members are far away.
Attending church every week is a great blessing for families. Commit yourself to attend church every week with your family and you will see the benefits which will come in your faith, friendship and strong foundation for your family.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.