Saturday, January 11, 2014
# 24: Nobody's Asking You to Cross the Plains
Reason # 17 to Stay LDS was, "Other Churches are Too Easy," and now reason # 24 is basically, the LDS Church really isn't that hard these days.
There was a time when being a good member of the Church was extremely difficult. There was a time when if you joined the Church, you had to move to Zion. And there were no planes back then. You had to walk all the way to Utah, pushing a handcart across rugged terrain.
There was a time when you were expected to live the law of consecration. You were supposed to give everything you owned to the Church, and the Church would redistribute it. You don't have to do that anymore.
There was a time when the Prophet might ask you to go on a mission and marry your wife while you were gone. That's what Joseph Smith did.
But the Church isn't like that anymore. Nobody's asking you to cross the plains.
Now, you do get asked to do a lot. Young men get asked to serve missions. It's not an easy religion to live, but it's easier than it used to be.
You really can take the religion on your own terms, to a certain extent. To a certain extent, you can be a cafeteria Mormon. You can pick which teachings you want to believe in and follow. You can choose which activities you want to participate in.
These days you can still stay LDS and not really do much at all. If you want, you can go to sacrament meeting once a week for an hour and that's it. Look around at your fellow church members. I'm sure you know some people who don't do their home teaching or visiting teaching, who decline callings, who don't pay tithing, and who don't fast on Fast Sundays. And nobody kicks them out of the Church. Everybody is welcome in the Church. There's a sign on the outside of the buildings that say, "Visitors Welcome." If visitors are welcome, then surely lukewarm members and jack Mormons are welcome. If visitors are welcome, then surely members who don't believe in all the teachings of the Church are welcome.
If you're going through a faith crisis right now, it might be a good idea to get released from your callings, sit back and just observe things. That's what I did for about a year and a half. It was kind of nice to take things easy and let other people run the church.
Whatever level of participation you're comfortable with right now, that's okay. Even if you don't do very much with your Church affiliation, you're still a Mormon. .