Why Do You Go to Church?

We will get more out of church attendance by focusing on what we can contribute and on whom we can serve than if we just go for our own benefit.

Near the end of my high school experience, I stopped going to Mutual—but not for the reasons you might think. I stopped going because I wasn’t feeling spiritually enriched; the activities were all just “fun.” I felt that if I wasn’t growing spiritually, fitting Mutual into my busy schedule wasn’t worth it. So when I heard Bonnie L. Oscarson’s talk “The Needs Before Us,” I was humbled. Sister Oscarson’s children once voiced thoughts similar to mine, and her response to them was, “What makes you think you go to Mutual because of what you get out of it?”

Photo by LDS Media Library.

Sister Oscarson’s question applies to more than just Mutual; it applies to all Church meetings, service opportunities, and other gatherings. Instead of approaching these activities with the mindset of “What can I get out of this?” we should attend with the attitude of “Who needs me today? What do I have to contribute?” As Sister Oscarson says, “Another very important reason for attending [church] is that, as a ward family and as disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ, we watch out for one another, encourage one another, and find ways to serve and strengthen each other.”

Church is about ministering to people through love and service. By serving others and focusing on what we can offer them, we will get more out of Church meetings and activities than if we just go for ourselves. If we open our hearts and minds as the Savior did, we will find many people around us whom we can serve and strengthen.

Read or watch Sister Oscarson’s full talk “The Needs Before Us.”

Source: ChurchofJesusChrist.org

—Megan Anderson, Mormon Insights


Find more insights

Service starts with love; read more about pure love in Elder Massimo de Feo’s talk “Pure Love: The True Sign of Every Disciple.

The way to start serving is to try. Read Henry B. Eyring’s talk “Try, Try, Try” to learn more about service and simply trying to serve.

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