Why I Go to Church

In his talk “The Need for a Church“, Elder Oaks discusses why having an organization such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is necessary. As I listened to, and read, his words the question I had was simple, “Why do I go to church?”.

Why I Go to Church

In my ponderings around why each Sunday I attend church, I came up with a list of six reasons. They are:

  • To feel the Spirit
  • To renew my covenants
  • To interact with those who share my faith
  • To strengthen my faith
  • To learn from others and hear differing viewpoints
  • To find answers to questions

Feeling the Spirit

The first reason on my list is one of the most important. During the week there are a lot of distractions from feeling the Spirit. There is always some kind of noise around. Even when I get away from the noise, there are things that still take up space in my mind around work and family.

When I go to church, I’m there to be at church and worship God. I am able to focus on those priorities and that in turn allows me to feel the Spirit more strongly. I find that during church worship there is a peace that is harder to come by during the week. I am also not distracted by other thoughts as I am where I am supposed to be and focused on spiritual matters.

Renewing Covenants

This is the most important reason for attending church. Participation in the ordinance of the Sacrament renews my covenants to take upon me the name of the Savior, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. This renewal brings to mind the revelation I received about the truthfulness of the gospel and the church. It also inspires me to be better and to work on flaws I have that prevent me from doing those three things.

In renewing our covenants we are also told that we “may always have His Spirit to be with [us]”. That promise means a lot when faced with the trials and tribulations of this world. To know that His Spirit may be with me to help me and guide me helps bring peace to my mind and confidence to make correct decisions.

Interacting with others of my faith

Attending church allows us to interact with others of my faith. During the week, I have limited opportunities to have these interactions. Between my job and family duties, there isn’t a lot of time to spend with others. Going to church affords me an opportunity to have conversations with those in my ward who I don’t get to see during the week.

Strengthening my faith

The messages and lessons shared on Sundays while attending church allow me to strengthen my faith. This requires active participation on my part. I get teased by my family during Sacrament meetings as I tend to doze at times (didn’t Elder Uchtdorf say church sleep was the best sleep?). I will admit to being guilty of dozing. However, I do listen more than doze and the messages shared by the members of the ward help me to be stronger in the faith.

Learning from others and hearing different viewpoints

The second-hour instruction also strengthens my faith. This is where interaction and viewpoints are shared and discussed. In our ward, this has improved tremendously in the last few years. There is an “instructor”, however, he or she leads a discussion of topics rather than lecturing. This allows for differing viewpoints and helps new ideas in my life to blossom. The discussions are not heated, shouting matches, but rather a sharing of ideas and insights that allow for each member to think about what has been said and how it applies in day-to-day life.

I find that when a viewpoint is expressed that I don’t necessarily agree with, I have the ability to listen to that viewpoint and try to understand it. This is a great skill to have and helps me at work and home to have discussions and not heated debates. If I didn’t have these experiences, I believe I would be much more rigid in my stances and defensive when presented with an opposing viewpoint.

Finding answers to questions

The last reason on my list is finding answers to questions. There are always questions that come up in life that need answers. Whether, that be in our personal relationships with spouse, children, extended family, or neighbors or problems that need to be solved. When I attend church, feel the Spirit, and focus on a question, I find that inspiration comes to help me get an answer. Sometimes I get a direct answer, but more times than not, I get a feeling or direction that, with a little effort on my part, leads to the answer I need.

What are my responsibilities at church?

There is a second area of church worship that we sometimes forget about. We attend church to worship God, but we also have responsibilities while attending to make that worship better. I believe that our responsibilities at church include:

  • Worshipping God – Making sure we are there in the right frame of mind to worship and help to bring a stronger spirit to our meetings
  • Allowing others to worship God – To not be a distraction to others, thereby allowing them to worship God
  • Serving others – Everyone in the church has a responsibility (calling). By performing that calling we serve others. In fact, our whole purpose for magnifying our calling is to serve others
  • Making associations with others – No one likes to be alone in this life. Making associations with others allows us to celebrate and empathize with them. It allows us to be more Christlike


Attending church is an important part of our worship of God. There are many benefits we gain from attendance. We can renew our covenants, learn more about how to live a better life, and be inspired for the week ahead. Elder Oaks states “Attendance and activity in a church help us become better people and better influences on the lives of others.” Those two reasons plus the ones I have given above are why I go to church.

What about you? Why do you attend or not attend church?

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