Since today is Sunday and I (finally) attended church this morning after a month-long absence, I thought I’d start off my month of lists by posting the top 10 reasons I love my religion.
1. The History is Fascinating
I taught Relief Society this morning, and it was a lesson about a brief period during the early history of the church, from 1830-1838. I took several classes in college about LDS Church History, so the content wasn’t new to me, but it is always so humbling to remember the persecution, the sacrifices and the faith my ancestors experienced to bring forth the gospel. I’d like to think that I’d be faithful enough to leave my home (or be driven from it!) with nothing to build a new settlement in a new city, and when driven from that city, to pick up and start all over again, then again, then again… but I don’t know that I would be. I don’t know how long I would have lasted on the trek across the plains from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City, either. How did women do it? It makes me proud to claim this legacy of faithfulness and determination.
2. The Importance of Family
One of the most basic principles of the gospel is that families can be sealed together for eternity, and it’s one that gives me great comfort. (Most days.) I love knowing that with our temple marriage, my husband and I created a new, eternal family unit, and that our posterity will be links in that chain of forever-ness. As a mother, I’m thrilled to know that all my ducklings will be gathered around me not only in this life, but in the next.
We are encouraged to spend time together, to work and to play. We are encouraged to set aside one night each week for Family Home Evening, and then spend that time learning, laughing and loving. My kids love Monday nights because it’s a time we reserve just for the six of us– no phone, no TV, no distractions. We have created several fun family traditions through our FHE activities. Oh, and there are always treats.
3. The Osmonds
Who doesn’t love the Osmonds? 🙂 When I was in fourth grade we took a field trip to their compound in Utah County. I don’t remember much about it except we got to go into some of the kids’ bedrooms, and Donny’s was decorated like a piano keyboard. It was just about the coolest room this 9-year-old had ever seen.
4. I Know Who I Am
Not only do I know that I am a daughter of God, I know where I came from, why I am here on Earth, and where I will go when I die. I don’t struggle with the “what does life mean?” or “what is my purpose?” questions.
5. There Is Always An Opportunity For Service
I have been able to teach my kids how to care for the needs of others. We have given rides to those without transportation, we’ve taken meals to the infirm, we’ve provided care for families in emergency situations. My kids have learned to be comfortable with the elderly, and they are more aware of their special needs. They love to think of ways to brighten someone’s day. They are learning to be selfless and giving, and they are realizing that not all rewards have to be tangible.
6. Relief Society
There is a sisterhood of women in every congregation, and no matter where you go in the world, the Relief Society Organization is the same. I could attend church in a little branch in Zimbabwe and expect to find the same unity and bond of sisterhood, the same teachings of charity and love, as I would in my home ward in Utah.
My current calling is a counselor in the RS Presidency. My more specific duties are to help the women with their home, family and personal enrichment. I love the way we strengthen each other through shared experiences, and how we sustain each other in all aspects of life. Our ward RS is comprised of young, college-age girls, newlyweds, mothers, elderly women, married, divorced, widowed, single, rich and poor. We are such a diverse group of women!
7. The Priesthood
I am awed by the ability of men, by the laying on of hands, to administer to the sick and make them well. I am grateful for blessings of comfort, for peace, of a Patriarchal nature, and for ordinations. I love it that my husband can give most of these blessings in our home, just like my dad did when I was a little girl.
8. Sundays “Off”
I especially love that Sunday is a day of reverence; a day to be spent in quiet reflection. Our Sundays are not usually very quiet with four kids, but it’s nice to know that after church, we come home and hang out. No friends, no errands, no movies or dinners out. It’s a great way to unwind and prepare for the coming week. We spend our Sundays visiting family, playing games together, napping, coloring, doing crafts, writing in journals and singing songs.
9. Our Music ROCKS!
I’m talking about the MoTab choir, or Mormon Tabernacle, for those not in the “know”. (LOL) In fact, all of our music is great, from the Children’s Primary songs to the hymns to the talented LDS musicians and performers. There is nothing more inspiring than hearing “The Spirit of God” being sung by the choir with the tabernacle organ in the background. Just the first two lines are powerful enough to make the hairs on my arms stand up. “The Spirit of God like a fire is burning/the latter-day glory begins to come forth.”
10. A Living Prophet, The Book of Mormon, the Word of Wisdom, Majestic Temples, Semi-Annual General Conferences, Personal Prayer, Testimony Meetings, Primary, YM/YW, BYU
Okay, so I fudged the end and added a whole bunch together. There is so much more I could list, but I’m on my way to my parents’ for Sunday dinner. It’s one of those family traditions I mentioned, and it’s a great (and tasty!) way for my kids to bond with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousin. Families are forever, and I couldn’t be happier about it!