This past week, I was in charge of teaching the lesson in church on Sunday to the Young Women of our ward (congregation). I am a Young W omen’s leader (teaching teenage girls) and once a month it’s my turn along with the other leaders to teach the lesson. I love working with the young women of our ward. They are a great group of girls, and I learn so much from them! In our lesson this past week we talked about why we go to church. I pondered this question myself. Why do I go to church? I can tell you, growing up I went because either my mom made me, or because it was something I was “supposed” to do. As I prepared for the lesson I came across a talk given by President Henry B Eyring a general authority (high ranking Mormon leader) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s called “A Living Testimony” It’s a great talk I recommend reading. I got so much out of it! What stood out to me most was when he was referring to the young women who were attending his talk. He said,
“You are a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. You believe enough to come here to hear His servants and have enough faith to hope that something you will hear or feel will move you toward a better life. You felt in your heart that following Jesus Christ was the way to greater happiness.”
I loved that quote because that answered to me why I go to church. I know without a doubt that when I go every Sunday, it’s a chance to start over. I know, when I’ve had a bad week, I can listen to the lessons given and someone will say something that I need to hear. I know this because I have seen the blessings of the things being taught in my daily life. I have seen prayer work, I have seen the results of reading my scriptures, and so many more.
Like I mentioned, I didn’t always feel this way. Just because I go to church doesn’t mean in any way I am a “perfect Mormon.” I have had my share of what I like to call Sundayitis. I wake up, it’s Sunday, and all of a sudden I have a headache, or a stomach ache or what I really mean is, I don’t feel like going to church. But as I have “grown up” I have really come to appreciate the importance of going and learning, and I have seen that especially since I have become a mother. That’s not to say I don’t still have feelings of “Oh I want to be lazy and stay home.”
But, then I see my daughter, and I know if anything I need to go for her. As a mother I am supposed to be an example to her, yet I have come to find that she is one to me. On those days I am feeling less than excited, whether it’s my daughter or my husband giving me that little nudge, I always find I am glad they gave me that push to go. I never regret going. The negative feelings I had before are gone, and I realize that Satan is causing the symptoms of Sundayitis. If and when I miss church because we are out of town, or due to illness, I definitely miss that spiritual “fill” I get.
However, mostly I think of how Baby Girl is also missing that seed being planted. When church is over she is so excited to tell me what she learned that day. Last Sunday we left early because we had a family dinner, and she cried the whole way home because she was going to miss her class. Our church service is a 3 hour block, and her class is the 2nd and 3rd hour. We left after the 1st hour. Not only was she crying and upset, but she was yelling out “I want to go to church!” It broke my heart, but also caused my heart to swell in a good way at her love for her class, and her love for learning about the gospel. Her excitement to share what she learned and her simplicity is such an example to me. Since I grew up mostly active in the church I feel like I’ve heard these stories a million times, but when I hear them come from such an innocent and enthusiastic mouth, those basic principles I grew up learning suddenly seem new again and I am being reminded that it doesn’t have to be hard. A lot of times as a Latter-day-Saint (sometimes referred to as Mormon) I get asked if it’s hard to be part of religion with a “strict life style.” I have to say I have never seen it so much as a lifestyle but just as a way of life. Being a member of The Church of Latter-day Saints is what brings me happiness and brings me so much joy and blessings. Why wouldn’t I want a life full of that? One of my favorite quotes I heard is “Living the gospel is not hard; life is hard. Living the gospel makes it easy” It’s so true. Not only is it something I love having in my life, but it’s something that I want my daughter to know and feel, and it’s something she’s teaching me. Life doesn’t have to be hard.
So why do I go to church? I go so that when I have those bad days I seem to talk so often about, they are easier to get through. I go because I believe with all my heart the things being taught are true, and I go because when I do, I receive so many blessings, and I want my daughter to know that same happiness I feel. I go to church because it makes me a better person, wife, and mother. I know it’s not always easy to make it to church every Sunday. Sometimes getting the kids ready isn’t worth the fight, or dealing with them during church makes you want to run and hide. I hear so many moms dealing with young ones say they just don’t feel like they are getting anything out of church between the kids fighting, or the baby crying in the hallway, but I have come to learn that even though it may feel that way, Heavenly Father notices you are there. He recognizes that even though you easily could have stayed home or maybe even would have rather stayed home you still made it there. You made that choice, and, like President Eyring said, you made it there because you are a believer. If you are struggling to make it on Sundays for whatever reason, I encourage you to pray to your Heavenly Father that He may replant that desire in your heart to go again. If you’ve never gone, start! It can bring you so much happiness! Become a believer and be an example to your children, plant that seed and in turn let them be an example to you as well.
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!