This past Sunday in Gospel Doctrine class, the teacher asked “Why are you here? Why do you come to church?”
He singled me out first. I didn’t have much time to think. I was definitely put on the spot, and I regret my answer. I literally said this: “Because it’s church! I feel good when I come here.”
Even though it drew some laughs, that seemed like too basic of an answer to me. And it is. I feel like I could have dug a little deeper. And maybe I could have had I not been put on the spot.
The lesson was uplifting and the Spirit was present. During the lesson the teacher took us to the Bible, a small tangent from our Book of Mormon study. Matthew 13:18-23, Jesus’ parable of the sower. At the time I didn’t think really anything of it. The important thing though is that I remembered it. It meant something to me. It meant something that the same seeds behaved and reacted differently to different soil/ground types. When we read that the seed that fell on good ground produced fruit I was reminded of the scripture that says, “Stand ye in holy places.” -Doctrine and Covenants 87:8
Holy places are good ground.
Fast forward to Monday evening. It had been just over twenty four hours since reading that parable of the sower in Matthew. I received a message on Twitter from a follower. He felt a need to ask a stranger for advice – my feelings about attending a music festival. He felt that it wasn’t an environment conducive for the Spirit because of the activities some participate in in those settings, but he was willing to go with confidence that he would keep the commandments and just enjoy the music. Making an official decision I guess proved difficult and he sought out my advice.
Ironically we have similar interests in music and I have heard about these kinds of festivals. I told him that ultimately the choice is his. Then I remembered the parable and told him that we need to find ourselves in holy places. Sure, he could go to the festival and not do anything wrong. But the risk factor goes way down when we choose to be in holier places.
He was very grateful for my advice. He said it really helped and that it made his day. I’m humbled.
That is why I go to church. I go to church to learn about Jesus, and to learn about his teachings – His Gospel. I go to church so that when people I interact with – whether I know them or not – ask me for advice, I can know what to say.
“Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.” -Doctrine and Covenants 84:85