Today I prayed, cleared my mind, and did some thoughtful and honest introspection. My question was should we be going to church? I realized that what's kept me going to church is fear. Fear that:
- It's what we should be doing (duty, obligation)
- Our children might not grow up in the faith, that they might be spiritually deficient
- I might let someone down, the bishop, others in my calling
- I won't have a temple recommend
- We will become too comfortable at home won't spiritually nourish ourselves
- We need to influence others at church, the people in our calling
- We will become like other inactives
- The boys need to go to seminary because it is prerequisite for a mission
- Since we're less social, we will have less social protection from state (arm of flesh)
- Since we homeschool, we/others think we should at least bring them to church
- Our extended family will be horrified
If we do things out of the confusion and veil of fear and obligation, then how can we ever expect to pierce the veil that keeps us from our Father in Heaven? When there is a good reason, other than fear, then it is a good reason.
Others may go because they:
- Believe the impotent doctrine being taught
- Enjoy the sociality
- Enjoy their status as a leader, the organizational challenge, the feeling it gives of being approved by God, the praise of others, their authority over others and their being "in the know"
- Hope to become a leader and thus have the previous point
- Believe the gospel and feel they fulfill their obligation by doing so
- Believe they have the blessings of the Gospel, and this is what it means to "endure to the end".
When the Holy Ghost attends the administration of the sacrament, or when the speakers speak by the power of the Holy Ghost and not by their own learning, or when the Gifts of the Spirit are enjoyed or even tolerated, that would be an excellent, most wonderful and joyful reason to return.