Monday, December 16, 2013

I haven’t seen you at Church today. Are you going to apostate?

Recently I had a chat with a friend and we talked about the meaning of being active in the Church. Our conclusion simply goes like this: if you miss going to Church for one or two Sunday, most people have the conclusion in their thought that you are probably going apostate or making some mistakes in life and being inactive.

Before I go on what I want to say, let me simply state that my friend and I both love the gospel and still consider ourselves active. The reason we reach to such a conclusion is that we are facing different situations and we are both hearing people implicitly/explicitly telling us that “sisters, you gotta be more active in the church!”

My friend’s job nature requires her to work on Sunday. Most of you will probably say “well, she should just find a job that doesn't need her to work on Sunday. She needs more faith.” Right, maybe you are right, but let us assume that she has done all her best in dealing with this situation and she still loves the gospel wholeheartedly. Because of her job nature, she goes to church occasionally. She told me that because of that, she has been contacted by her bishop, visiting teachers, and friends at church. Some contacted her because they truly care;, some contacted her because they are noisy and they just want know what’s happening in her life that causes her not showing up during the three hours Sunday services. She shared with me that sometimes church members’ concern are quite irritating, in a way that they just assume she is going astray. Also, she said that if these people are truly her friends, they would have not just only concern the reason she didn’t show up during the three hours of Sunday services, but instead, care about her life, her everyday life. It seems to her that, people only feel comfortable or right if they can see her during those three hours of Sunday services and neglect other aspects of someone’s life. By saying this, people think that if you show up on Sunday for three hours, you are totally worthy, despite the possible fact that that person is just a Sunday Mormon.

Now, let’s talk about my situation. I now serve in the Stake Young Women organization. With that calling, I occasionally have to go to visit other wards or attend their ward conferences. Believe it or not, I have people come up to me, with their worrying voice, asking me where I have been on those Sundays. I even have someone come up to me, jokingly saying “are you going inactive now?” Honestly, what’s the point of saying such thing? First, I am not obligated to report my schedule to anyone. Second, what you said to me will not help me if I am really going inactive.

What if someone who is having a hard time in their life, haven’t been to church for a while, and just want to come to church for be spiritual uplifted? , We go ask them that “why you haven’t been to church, is there any problem? Are you going inactive?”…etc. we need to be really careful and be kind when interacting with them. And PLEASE, don’t assume anyone who is not going to church during that 3-hour block is a sinner and that they are going to apostate. Those who are attending the 3-hour-block church services are not in a better position of those who do not. Let us be more kind to one another other and not to make assumptions on each other. Isn't it better to just ask “how are you?” instead?


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