Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are commanded to partake of the sacrament every Sunday in remembrance of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice and to renew their baptismal covenants.
Unfortunately, some of us may decide to stop attending church. This happens when our faith is weakened by overwhelming challenges. Whenever we feel discouraged about attending church, remember that the Sacrament has the power to lift our hearts through the Holy Ghost and our Savior’s atonement.
Below are some of the most common reasons why we may stop attending church and also the reasons why we should attend anyway.
When you feel you’re not worthy enough.
“There’s no path so deep that the light of the gospel can’t reach”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an apostle of the Lord, stated “It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”
Whenever we feel we have strayed from the path for far too long, the atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to come back. “There is room for you here,” President Uchtdorf said. The Lord is calling us back. If you think you’ve committed sins beyond repentance, the Lord has provided Bishops and Branch Presidents that will give you proper counsel and help you know what actions to take to fully come back to the light.
When you have been mistreated in some way.
“What an opportune time to set my anger aside and forgive!”
Remembering the Savior’s Atonement during sacrament enables us to ponder his example of forgiveness. The Savior pleaded with Heavenly Father on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” The sabbath is a wonderful day for forgiveness because it is one of the times when we are forgiven of our sins as well.
When your spouse is not attending Sacrament meeting.
“I love my spouse enough not to let him/her see my example of not attending church.”
The reason why loving God is the first greatest commandment is because if we love God with all our heart, soul and mind, He will enable us to radiate His love towards our fellowmen. If you truly love your spouse, you would not deprive him or her of the infinite love of God that they can feel from your example.
When you don’t have friends at church.
“I found friends at work and at school, I think I can find one at the church.”
At church, we share the same faith, we live near each other, within area boundaries, and members believe that we are all brothers and sisters. This is why it’s easy to make friends. All it takes is a smile and a handshake, and they’ll soon ask you where you’re from.
Here we are taught to “Show genuine interest in others; smile and let them know you care about them.” (“For The Strength of Youth, Friends”). We all strive to love each other. After all, it is God’s second great commandment. By obeying this commandment, we take courage in making friends with both members and non-members of the church.
When you feel there are too many distractions at church.
“There are distractions. But why am I the only one distracted?”
In Alma 32:38 of the Book of Mormon, it reads: “But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.”
Like the tree, our faith and focus on the sacrament will “wither away” if we “take no thought” in preparing for this holy ordinance. So how do we prepare? We can read the scriptures, pray for guidance and focus, and we can fast. There are so many things we can do to make our Sabbath day uplifting and spiritual.
When you’re caught up in worldly things.
“I will never find my life if not for the sake of Christ.”
In Matthew 16:25 it says, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
The reason why most people spend their life searching for other means of happiness is because they have never found the eternal happiness that comes through Jesus Christ. If we partake of the sacrament consistently, we will be more contented with the spiritual blessings God will pour out upon us. Worldly things can never replace the happiness that comes from eternal families, personal blessings promised by God, salvation for our deceased love ones, and many other supernal gifts.
When you think you can still worship and pray in your house.
“It’s the sacrament. I go to church because of the sacrament.”
A son asked his 96-year-old father: “Dad, why do you go to church? You can’t see, you can’t hear, it’s hard for you to get around. Why do you go to church?” The father replied, “It’s the sacrament. I go to partake of the sacrament.” We can only partake of the sacrament through the power of the priesthood that is used to administer in the church. Because of this power, we can renew our covenants with God.
The Sacrament is a wonderful experience. Its meaning is eternal and the blessings therein are not found in worldly things. Through our obedience and diligent effort to partake of the sacrament weekly, we will have the Holy Ghost’s infinite guidance in our lives, and be refined through the cleansing power of Jesus Christ’s atonement.