Saturday, April 10, 2010

Outgrowing the church

I was told by someone that they "had outgrown the church, didn't get anything out of meetings, and therefore did not attend anymore."
I responded:  "As to your 'growth,' that may or may not be true.  However, even if it is true, then the church needs you all the more for what you have to offer.  Continuing service inside the church will always take a person to still greater peace and light."
What I did not say is that whenever one assumes their own spiritual or intellectual superiority to others, they have lost light and become a fool.  Spiritual development here distinguishes the best from the worst by so little that God regards us all as equal.  What this world views as intellectual achievement is more often than not a hindrance to finding and following God.


  1. Why would the service have to be "inside the church"? If greater peace and light are the goals, then isn't it entirely possible that one person may find greater peace and light through service rendered and given "outside of the church," and may indeed be inspired and directed to minister outside of the confines of an institution?

    I'm not questioning your premise, as I think that's a general rule of thumb that I'd agree with. But, it would appear that service to our fellowmen/fellowwomen is the goal, and I'd think that that service could be as useful outside as inside in certain cases.

    Then again, if we're serving merely to aggrandize ourselves into believing we're worthy of "greater peace and light" (whether inside or outside of the church), then I think we're missing the boat entirely.

  2. First, service inside the Church is part of a covenant made at baptism to bear one another's burdens, mourn with those who mourn, etc. (Mosiah 18: 8-10.) Second, because service rendered inside the Church directly affects those who are trying to become a part of Zion; a challenge much greater than faced by those unaware of the need to construct Zion. Third, because your own testimony is affected by those within the Church whom you serve and help.

    Despite this, service anywhere is noble, good and worthwhile. And personal reward cannot be the end. It, like so many other things given by God, must only be a byproduct. Once it becomes the end it is vanity and will not work. Our hearts must actually change. We need to really love others. Not in a feigned or pretended way, but really to hold love for others. We tend to love those whom we serve and to care most for those we sacrifice the most to help.

  3. I like this quote:

    A truely humble man does not know he is humble for to think yourself humble is to take pride in humility.

    I think the hardest thing we have to do is truely and completely give up all allegence to "I" and to take the best interest of "OTHER" as your own. Seems to me that is what Christ did.


  4. Denver, can you clarify where Mosiah 18 speaks specifically and directly to an "inside the church" perspective? The service I see being described in verses 8-10 (and elsewhere in Mosiah) doesn't seem to lend themselves to such a restricted view. Bearing one another's burdens, mourning with those that mourn, comforting those in need of comfort, etc., is a lifelong process and can be found in whatever situation we find ourselves - both in and outside of church.

    Then again, maybe it's mere semantics involved here. After all, what is the definition of "inside the church"? Is it the institutional body/hierarchy, the programs/meetings/ward parties, the brick and mortar building where weekly attendance takes place, or the view expressed in D&C 10:67-69, or something entirely different?

    Perhaps that definition might resolve the other questions I was going to ask, but will save for a later time.


What Say You?