This is my open letter to all my friends and loved ones who I care so much about, but I don’t want to rub you the wrong way by writing you this individually. So instead, if you choose to read this on your own, you can’t get mad at me right??
I like you. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be wasting my day off writing this. I think of you often and what you are up to. I probably see your posts on facebook and I’m happy to see the fun you are having in this life. I may talk to you from time to time and we talk about the things that are good and the things that are bad. I probably hold back a lot of what I really want to say because let’s face it..this is not the most comfortable thing to talk about.
We all have our reasons for not going to church anymore. Maybe someone was rude to you and you don’t want to go back. Maybe you feel uncomfortable or don’t click with the people there. Maybe you think for some reason you aren’t worthy to go, like the rest of us are all perfect and you are the only one who makes mistakes. (That’s obviously not true.) Maybe you don’t believe it anymore. Maybe there were a couple things you disagree with. Maybe you found another place that suits your lifestyle better. Maybe you just don’t feel like you need to be at church every Sunday but you still know it’s true.
There’s a million different reasons. But let’s be honest and straightforward..The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know it is. I’m sure you can look back on a moment where you felt it. Where you felt so good inside praying, reading the scriptures, singing or being in of course, the Temple. Maybe you brushed it off as coincidence, maybe your doubts and fears have overcome that moment and you have let that keep you away. But you’re Mormon. You know the deal. We are all going to stand before God one day whether you believe that or not. This isn’t a threat! It’s just..well..the truth. You can make that day awesome, or fearful..it’s kinda up to you.
You chose to come here before this life. No one forced you down here. You chose to follow Christ’s plan and lucky you, you even found the true church on the earth today. But something happened. That’s ok! We all make mistakes..we all lose our way. But I am not afraid of you and your fears. I am not afraid in this moment to hurt your feelings and tell you: You will regret not living the life that Christ wants for you. You are missing out on true happiness. This isn’t about church attendance or tithing or whatever thing you want to make up in your mind. This is about happiness. Do you want to be truly happy? Then come back. Be happy.
I have been offended by people at church. I have had my doubts about doctrine or what have you. But the power of prayer is real. When I kneel down to our Father in Heaven He helps me realize that my doubts are ok. My fears are ok. He loves me, unconditionally. But I want to be obedient. I know that obedience brings true happiness. So do you.
As for any doubts you have..it’s ok to go to church with doubts! You may receive answers that you are looking for when you are at church. You can pray about it any question you have! Learn how you receive answers from the Lord. Sometimes He does answer our prayers but we just look at them as coincidences or look for other ways to get your answer when we already have it!
I have struggled with obedience. I have struggled with commandments..and when I gave in to sins..I wasn’t happy. When I am happiest is when I am striving for obedience..and the first step is just sitting in a pew in church. I really don’t care if you have doubts. Go to church. I don’t care if some Bishop said something stupid, he’s a human, so are you. Do you mean to tell me YOU have NEVER said anything that offended anyone EVER? Please, we all have siblings and parents who we love but have at least said one mean word and regretted it, and probably didn’t even say we were sorry.
Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you. And don’t let someone’s judgements keep you from your true happiness.
In case you are missing my point: NO MORE EXCUSES: GO TO CHURCH, YOU WILL BE HAPPIER.
So ya maybe not going to church is pretty easy. You can always go back one day right? Well yes, but why not now? Why are you choosing to continue to keep yourself from being truly happy and instead accepting a less then fulfilling life? It’s like if you had a million dollars from a kind relative waiting for you at the bank and all you had to do was go pick it up to have it, but you decided to wait. You thought, I’ll do it another day I’m fine right now..while you try to figure out how to pay your rent that month. That’s weird. Go get the check. It’s the same thing with putting off church. It’s weird that you would rather be unhappy and not go church and be cleansed of your sins and allow God to help you be happier in this life. That doesn’t make sense. If you truly understood what the Gospel can do for you, you wouldn’t do this to yourself.
We are all HUMAN. So forget whatever is keeping you, and go. I promise you. Promise. If you go this Sunday, you will not regret it. You won’t. Go with an open heart to the Lord. Go for yourself, and for the Lord..not for me or anyone else. Yes it’s hard. Yes it can even be boring. Some speakers are not so great at speaking. I don’t go for them. I go for the Spirit. I NEED to be spiritually fed. I NEED to go to the Temple because I am a Spiritual being and my spirit gets hungry just like my stupid low blood sugar stomach.
So go to church this Sunday. Even if you are alone. Don’t go expecting anything from anyone there. We are all HUMAN and get shy or act strange. Just go, expecting to feel the Spirit. Pray before you go. Ask God if this is what He wants, if this is true. Because I didn’t make up the feeling I got when I asked God if this church was true. That’s how I know it’s true, I’ve felt it. I will never ever deny that.
Your life will be better. You will be happier. I don’t care if you continue sinning because we all do! But just, go to church ok? Don’t waste your life away putting other things before God..it doesn’t turn out well. Ya life is good but life can be even better. This is the secret to happiness. Spoiler alert: It’s living the Gospel! South Park doesn’t make fun of Mormons being so happy for no reason.
Happiness is not achieved with money and drugs and sex. Look at celebrities. They have ‘it all’ and yet they are some of the most miserable people alive. Sad to say, but they are looking for happiness in the wrong place. It’s here. At church. Taking the Sacrament worthily. I remember the day my Bishop told me I could take the Sacrament again..that is pure joy.
Sitting in the Bishop’s office may be one of the most terrifying things..but once it happens you feel so much love it is incredible. Leaving that office is like leaving on a cloud. God will be so proud of you for doing the right thing. For striving for obedience. I know, because I have felt that love and there is nothing better.
Don’t let yourself talk yourself out of this. This isn’t just going to the gym. This is your life. Care about your life. He does.
Christ didn’t come to this Earth, to bleed from every pore in the garden, to see your face, feel your fears, your heartaches and mistakes, for you to just push him aside. Well, He did it regardless of what you will do but remember the Atonement will always be there for you. The Atonement will bring healing. Nothing on this Earth can give you the healing, the love, the peace that the Atonement can bring. If you don’t know that: then try it. I dare you.
I dare you to let yourself be happy. You know what to do.
Go pray to God, right now. Alone. Out loud. Tell Him how you feel. Your frustrations and fears and desires. Ask Him if He loves you. He does. Even if you don’t listen to me and don’t go to church, it’s ok. He still loves you. So do I! But His love is really all that matters.
If you love Him back..Keep His Commandments.
If you do go to church..let me know. I would love to hear about it 🙂