Saturdays and Sundays are safeguarded days for most people. Between school, work and other activities, our weeks get hectic and weekends are reserved for relaxing with family and friends and accomplishing tasks that could not be finished during the week. But faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with members of other religions, carve out time during their weekends to attend church meetings.
Church attendance is important for many reasons, not the least of which are to worship God, to feel the Spirit, and to keep God’s commandment to honor the Sabbath day. There are many other reasons to attend church meetings, such as renewing our covenants with God, learning the gospel, and joining a community of believers. Our lives can be exceedingly blessed by going to church, even (and maybe especially) when it feels like a sacrifice.
Renewing our Covenants
The most important reason that we attend church is to renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament. When we come to sacrament meeting and receive the bread and water, we renew our covenants with Christ, acknowledge His sacrifice for us, repent, and use His enabling power to overcome our weaknesses. This essential ordinance, which we can receive only at church, strengthens us and enables us to be more like our Savior.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Brothers and sisters, this hour ordained of the Lord is the most sacred hour of our week. By commandment, we gather for the most universally received ordinance in the Church. It is in memory of Him who asked if the cup He was about to drink could pass, only to press on because He knew that for our sake it could not pass.”2
This is a beautiful reminder to think of Jesus Christ through the sacrament and to make sacrament meeting the most sacred hour of the week. There is so much going on each day, and it is easy to become distracted by all our to-dos and responsibilities. However, if we can make this sacred hour a focal point of our week, we will be blessed and strengthened throughout the next week.
One of the biggest blessings we receive from partaking of the sacrament is the power to “always have [His] spirit to be with [us].” After baptism, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, but to keep Him with us at all times, we need the sacrament.
Wilford Woodruff taught, “Now, if you have the Holy Ghost with you . . . there is no greater gift, there is no greater blessing, there is no greater testimony given to any man on earth. . . . I claim that the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man. It is this that sustains us through all the persecutions, trials and tribulations that come upon us.”3
We should never underestimate the importance of partaking of the sacrament. The constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is one of the many great promised blessings of the Lord to those who make and keep sacred covenants and participate in the ordinance of the sacrament.
Learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Another one of the biggest reasons to attend church is to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord said “that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know . . . how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:8).
Sometimes we might think children are the only ones who really learn new things in church, but we all can gain new insights every time we go. There is so much we don’t know, but church is a safe place to learn.
The Church of Jesus Christ is full of teachings inspired by revelation to help us understand Christ’s gospel and His will for us. We can learn so much from talks and lessons shared by volunteers who rely on the Spirit and share their unique insights. We can learn from the faith and vulnerability of ward members who bear testimony of the truths they have learned through their studies and experiences.
As we learn and feel the influence of the Spirit in the truths of the gospel, we come closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and become more like them. Going to church is the best way to learn through the influence of the Spirit while hearing and sharing testimony.
Joining a Community of Believers
We all need friends to encourage us on our way. Going to church automatically allows us to integrate into a group of believers who are each on an individual journey of conversion. We are all at different parts on the path of discipleship, which is a beautiful thing.
In an Ensign article, David Brown said, “The chapel is not just a place of worship; it is a safe harbor from worldly cares, a place of belonging, of friendship and compassion. It’s a place where people who are different can come together to be as one.”1
Church is meant to be a safe space where ward members and visitors can be themselves and receive support from others. The Church of Jesus Christ has established programs to help us love and be loved by one another. Classes like elders quorum, Relief Society, Sunday School, Primary, Young Women, and Young Men can help connect us with others. Programs like ministering and adult, youth, and child activities enable us to build real friendships.
We have to remember that while the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are perfect, the people are not. The members we serve, serve with, and are served by often make mistakes, but that should never discourage us from being part of an inspiring group of believers and finding friends at church.
With everything going on in the world around us, let’s make time to attend church meetings. These meetings enable us to renew our covenants, learn, and be part of a community. Going to church brings us closer to God and to one another, and it always brings the promised blessings of the Lord.
Lyndie is working toward a degree in Public Relations at Brigham Young University. Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, she enjoys running, spending time with her husband and family, and reading. Lyndie served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hermosillo, Mexico, where she developed a love for the Spanish language and the people there. She was drawn to the Wilford Woodruff Papers out of a desire to learn more about Church history and enjoys being part of the organization’s efforts to touch lives with Wilford Woodruff’s words.
The Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation’s mission is to digitally preserve and publish Wilford Woodruff’s eyewitness account of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and make his records universally accessible in order to inspire all people, especially the rising generation, to study and to increase their faith in Jesus Christ. For more information, please explore wilfordwoodruffpapers.org.