55 Comments

Why do I go to Church?

I have left messages on this and other blogs about how boring church can be. This has prompted the question, “Well, if it’s so boring, why do you even bother to go?”

First of all, let me state that I am a believing mormon. I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, I believe in the Book of Mormon, I believe in the Bible, I believe going to church is a good, worthy endeavor, and I am very supportive of the good service that is performed in every ward in the church. (I guess you could call these my personal Articles of Faith.)

For many, Church is a social club. If they don’t feel welcome in a congregation, then keep shopping around until you find one they like. I think there is some merit to this. For people who are not strong believers in Christ, it is important to be edified in order to become more Christian. Christian fellowship is an important and powerful tool for good. Church should be very welcoming, or people will not want to come to church. I do go to church for social reasons, but it is not the only reason I go.

The Sabbath Day has a very interesting history. According to the Bible, God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Jesus observed Sabbath on the 7th day. On my mission, I had an interesting experience. I was talking to someone on the phone who told me they believed that the Book of Mormon was the Word of God, as well as the Doctrine & Covenants, and felt that Joseph Smith was a prophet. However, this man refused to be baptized, because he couldn’t figure out why Mormons didn’t observe the Sabbath on the 7th day (Saturday.) I asked him if he would change his mind if I could find a revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants stating that the Sabbath should be on Sunday. He said if I could find it, he would be baptized.

At first I thought this was an easy challenge. I decided to research, but couldn’t find anything specifically commanding Joseph to observe the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday. Then I remembered that Joseph was commanded to organize the church on April 6, 1830. I figured that of course that day must be a Sunday. To my surprise, I discovered that Joseph Smith organized the church on Tuesday, April 6, 1830. (To verify, here is a link–of course I didn’t have the internet on my mission, but found it another way.)

Thus began an interesting search into Sabbath Day observance for me. I learned that early Christians continued to observe the Sabbath on the 7th day, as Jesus did, but as it says in Acts 20:7, they also met on the first day of the week, “to break bread” and Paul preached until midnight.

The most important reason to attend church is the sacrament. This is one of the first church services that is specifically mentioned on the first day of the week. Why did they choose to meet on the first day? That is the day Jesus was resurrected. It is in remembrance of Jesus. So in a sense, every Sunday is Easter. (Now you know why I think Easter should have more importance in our church.)

The change of the Sabbath from the 7th day, to the 1st day fulfills Old Testament prophecy in Hosea 2:11, which says concerning Israel, “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” So the 7th day Sabbath worship was too cease, and we don’t celebrate jewish feasts any more either.

I got transferred before I found this information out, and never talked to the man again. Since he was a staunch 7th-Day Adventist, I’m not sure how convinced he would be anyway. Are you convinced? (I can provide more scriptures, but I think this will do for now.)

So, I go to church to remember Jesus. I go to remember the resurrection. I go to partake of the sacrament. The resurrection is especially important to me–I have lost a brother and sister within the last 10 years, and I am extremely grateful for the gift of the resurrection so that I can see them again.

As for the social reasons of going to church, I have been in many different wards. Some are very spiritual, some social, some with really odd people, and some quite boring. In my teenage years, I lived in a ward that I referred to as the “Nursing Home ward.” There were maybe a dozen teenagers in the ward, and it was full of really old, retired, wealthy people. The funeral to baby blessing ratio was about 20 funerals for every baby.

My current ward is just the opposite. We have about 3-5 baby blessings every month, and except for a few infants who have died at or near birth, we haven’t had any funerals. There is an excellent primary program in my ward, and my kids love to go because they have great teachers. On the other hand, sacrament meeting is quite noisy, and the teachers for Sunday School and Priesthood generally say things like, “I’m not a very good teacher”, I hope you can make a lot of comments today or we will get out really early,” and are generally quite unprepared.

I suppose I’m a little jaded, because I was the Gospel Doctrine teacher until a few months ago. I taught every other week, and often spent about 10 hours preparing my lessons. (Ok, I’m one of those weird people who actually likes to teach, and study the scriptures.) I often had videos like “Mysteries of the Bible” which illustrated a specific point of the lesson. Often I had powerpoint slides. When studying Isaiah, I even referenced non-King James Versions of the Bible to help us understand the archaic language. (The Blue Letter Bible website has KJV and about 14 other versions of the Bible.) I stayed on the topic of the lesson, and tried to ask pointed questions to elicit thought.

I frequently got compliments, but apparently my use of materials outside the LDS church made people uncomfortable. I was called into the bishop’s office, and told not to use non-KJV bibles, because “a stake visitor” (who I think was my bishop) thought it might harm some of the weaker testimonies in the ward. Are you kidding me? I thought Joseph Smith said we were supposed to “study the words of Isaiah”. How can we study it if we can’t even understand what he’s saying? Anyway, I was released soon after this.

So, I was replaced with people who didn’t want the calling (unlike me, who loved the calling), and they practically read the lesson manual, asking all the same questions we’ve all answered 100 times since seminary. So that’s part of the reason I complain, because I care. But I still go to church, because remembering the Savior and the Sacrament are much more important to me than teaching Sunday School. And helping my kids gain a testimony of Jesus Christ, learning Christian ideals, and being a good person is very important to me.

I still watch “Mysteries of the Bible”, read non-KJV bibles, and use the bloggernacle to edify me for my Sunday School lessons….. That’s why I’m a heretic. So let me pose some questions to you: Why do/don’t you go to church? For the non-religious types, does the Bible/BOM/Koran trouble you? Does religion in general trouble you? Are my reasons good/bad/misinformed?

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55 comments on “Why do I go to Church?

  1. Wow, Heretic, I could have written every word of this post!!

    For me, I feel the Spirit and am fed when I grapple with hard questions. I know this troubles many people in the wards and even on the Bloggernacle. But it doesn’t mean I am apostate or heretical.

    I guess I go to Church because I just can’t get enough of the gospel. Even when it’s disappointing I lick up all the crumbs. I usually get something to think about, even it is only my mind straying way off the subject. In addition, the Church gives me and my family a beautiful worldwide community to belong to, to serve and be served by.

  2. This is a timely topic for me. A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a ward member about how my son resists going to church. She suggested that I explain to him why I go. I paused for a moment and then told her that that was a tough question for me and that I would really have to think about it to understand why I attend.

    Your post has prompted me to focus on the question. Here are some of my reasons.

    1. Momentum. I am like a ball that has been set in motion. Although obstructions arise occasionally, I am still rolling forward.

    2. I like church — or perhaps I should I like it more than I dislike it. One week I’ll leave church and I think what the point of that was. I’ll be kind of angry and sad. Then the next week I’ll think that wasn’t so bad. And then the next week I’ll leave thinking that was really interesting and helpful. Most of what happens in church is mundane and formulaic and not structured to enhance discovery. But every so often something really insightful is shared or learned and that makes it worth it. I just wish more Mormons would be more willing to explore their religion openly and candidly.

    3. Kids. I want my children to understand where I (and by extension them) come from.

    4. Kids. I like the reinforcement of Christian principles that my children receive. I have issues with the indoctrination (mostly cultural) but that’s an issue for another post.

    5. Testimony. I used to have a fairly finite and conventional testimony. Now I have rather amorphous one — but there is still something there.

    6- Community. I enjoy meeting with and associating with my ward members.

    7- Mormon History. I am fascinated with Mormon history and church is history in the making.

    There is more I am sure but this will do for now.

  3. I can relate to your experiences. When I share “my testimony”, the way I received it, some folks get upset. They don’t want to hear about the gifts of the spirit I’ve experienced. There are others who really appreciate it.

    The bottom line to all of this is, in my opinion, that some people have a comfort zone based on their experience, and when they encounter something outside of their zone they are challenged. Our church leaders protect the comfort zone, and I agree they should, but its hard and make church less attractive to those like yourself.

    I am trying to get everything out of church I can and carefully avoid being critical because I know that it is detrimental to receiving the Holy Ghost.

    I figure if Hugh Nibley, and other of the same ilk can learn how to deal with these issues than I can to.

  4. BiV, yes grappling with the tough questions of life and death has caused me to re-evaluate many aspects of my testimony. I don’t consider myself “apostate”, but obviously others, perhaps my bishop, think differently. I’m sure I haven’t done too much damage–I’m the membership clerk, technically part of the bishopric, so I haven’t been banished or anything, though I did ask if it was possible to reject a release…. 🙂 (He said no.)

    Sanford, I don’t really think it is possible to reason with a toddler, so I’d be careful about sharing why you go to church. They aren’t nearly complex as we are, so if you do go that route, keep it extremely simple, like “Jesus loves me”, “I like church”, or something along those lines. Don’t give them too much information.

    Jared, I too wish we could be more open and honest in church. It seems the church wants to save the weakest of the saints, sometimes at the expense of making strong members. I’m not sure I agree with this philosophy. I think both milk and meat are needed for truly strong members. Unfortunately, gospel lessons are all milk. They’re afraid people might gag on the meat of the gospel. But I ask this, if one only gets milk, will one ever be truly strong in the gospel?

    We need to eventually wean our children off of milk. Yes it can be scary at first, and our children often gag on other foods, but as long as we are there with the Heimlich maneuver, meat, vegetables, fruits, and other foods can be safely consumed by children, and they grow stronger and bigger because of this. The same principle applies with the gospel, but it seems that leaders are afraid of meat, and only want milk preached on Sunday.

  5. Heretic, I can relate to a lot of what you say. I like to think outside the box and it can be difficult when everyone else in stuck inside that box.

  6. About the Sabbath switching days, I’m afraid the true reason is explained accurately in the words of the “Davinci Code”‘s protagonist, Robert Langdon:

    “Originally, Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun. To this day, most churchgoers attend services on Sunday morning with no idea that they are there on account of the pagan sun god’s weekly tribute–Sunday.”

    By the way, I just finished preparing tomorrow’s Sunday School lesson–I teach with power point slides too!

  7. About the Sabath switching days, I’m afraid the true reason is explained accurately in the words of the “Davinci Code”‘s protagonist, Robert Langdon:

    “Originally, Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun. To this day, most churchgoers attend services on Sunday morning with no idea that they are there on account of the pagan sun god’s weekly tribute— Sunday.”

    By the way, I just finished preparing tommorow’s Sunday School lesson–I teach with power point slides too!

  8. KC, I loved the DaVinci Code, so much so, that I also read Angels & Demons, and I’m looking forward to his upcoming book on Mormons and Masons. The author, Dan Brown, does have a habit of taking facts and twisting them for his own purposes. One example is when he talks about the Council of Nicea. He says it was a close vote, when in reality, it was something like 350-3. So while I enjoy his mixing of facts with fiction, I certainly don’t dare call Robert Langdon (or Tom Hanks) 🙂 authoritative.

    There is no denying that Constantine made an enormous impact on Christianity. He also was only partially converted, and wanted to maintain some of his pagan beliefs.

    Could it be possible that Constantine was inadvertently fulfilling prophecy of Hosea? After all, many of the early Christian miracles occurred on the first day (the Resurrection, the Day of Pentecost, many of Christ’s appearances, Acts 20:7, etc). Perhaps God wanted to change the Sabbath, but everyone was so Jewish that they weren’t listening, so God needed a pagan to do it? I know this sounds heretical to most, but could both explanations be true?

    I dare you to put this discussion into your Sunday School powerpoint slides. You’ll be released within a month if you do.

    Also, why do you go to church? I suspect it is more than just Sunday School….

  9. well, I went to church today cuz my wife made me. and that is probably true for most weeks. I am LDS bla bla bla. but I am soooo board at church I can’t sit still. It tell most people the church is true but that does’t mean its not retarted. I want online sunday school and drive through sacrement is that bad???

  10. 1. Commitment to discipleship. I am inherently lazy, and if it were not for the sacrament each week, I would rarely, if ever, get a round to thinking seriously about what I need to do to better myself and follow the Savior.

    2. Sense of Community. And that most definitely means communing with and learning from people I would not otherwise choose to hang with.

    3. Singing hymns. When else do I sing? And I really like the poetry of the hymns. The hymns are often the most uplifting part of my Sabbath. Hell, my week.

    4. Learning. Every once in a while, if I really engage my mind and look for it, I can learn something. Sometimes the lesson is entirely interior, though it might be prompted by something I see or hear. Sometimes, I actually hear something insightful. If not, I still have that community thing to fall back on.

  11. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear…For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
    -Matthew 13:9-12

    And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is dgiven the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.
    -Alma 12:10-11

    And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be bwithheld from them, unto their condemnation.
    -3 Nephi 26:8-10

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    -1 Corinthians 2:14

    Individuals who find LDS Church services terribly boring and mundane are missing or misunderstanding important Gospel principles, in my opinion. We are always free to choose enlightenment. If we are unwilling to ask that we might understand, for instance, we are unjustified in grumbling about the consequences of our actions.

  12. All I am asking for is a morsel of evolution. The only reason I even own a checkbook is to pay my tithing because my church won’t allow any form of electronic transfer of funds.
    If we had on-line sundayschool I would become the more active and (you) would become the less active.
    secondly If gaining somthing from my worship services requires me to perform a miracle ie. keep all four of my kids still and quiet whilst I lapse into some kind of transe to find the hidden meaing of it all. I ask you if its worth it? Somthing new; I need somthing new. now.
    These ideals grate against the core of mormonism; I know it. Ideals like do what you’ve always done and don’t ask questions. here’s some scriptures so the guilt will drive you to do whats right.
    The church is True. I know it. but somthing’s not right. When I say “the church” I have course mean the Book Of Mormon and its divinity.

  13. Bull–very pragmatic. I guess as long as your going to church keeps peace at home, it can’t be a completely bad reason. I do have online Sunday School, it’s called the Bloggernacle, and is more interesting to me. I’ve come across plenty of websites that I find inspirational–check my links on the side for a few. I think it would be quite difficult to get the bread and water through the internet though, so I’m afraid that one will still have to be done in person.

    Martin, I agree with #1 and 2. On #3, There are a few hymns I like, but many are just so-so. And for #4, I have started bringing a book when I find sacrament or sunday school less appealing. Although lately, I will say that there have been some more interesting talks in my ward….

    MP, you’re definitely on a higher spiritual plane than I. However, I do want to say that by bringing interesting books for me to read, I am making a conscious effort to be more spiritually enlightened.

    Bitterbarn, I do donate my tithing electronically, but it has to go to the main church headquarters. I learned about a tax advantage where one can donate stock that has appreciated, they can avoid capital gains taxes. So, the church benefits, I benefit, and no checkbook is needed. If you want to donate cash, perhaps there might be a way to do it, but I’m not sure.

    Your other comments about guilt seem a little cynical to me. I agree that it does seem that there is an over-emphasis on works in the church, and to some degree it seems as if Mormons are more Pharisaical in worship services by overemphasizing works. However, because of this emphasis, there does seem to be a proportionally higher amount of good things which get done. So, like all things, there are pros and cons to this message.

    I think this is where grace comes in, and I try to ignore some of the pharisees at church. If we think we can work our way into heaven, we’re sorely mistaken. When I realize how gracious God has been to me, it helps me want to be good, and takes away some of the cynicism for me. Perhaps studying grace could help for you. I think this helps lead to charity, and I am trying to be more charitable and forgiving. If we didn’t go to church, where else would we learn about these topics, and where else would we practice them?

    I’m reminded of an old baptist saying where a parishioner justified not going to church by complaining about all the hypocrites who go to church. The pastor replied, “Come on down–we got room for one more!”

    I have one other question–we’ve heard from many about why they do go to church. Is there anyone who can tell us why they don’t go to church?

  14. Mormon Paleo says

    Individuals who find LDS Church services terribly boring and mundane are missing or misunderstanding important Gospel principles, in my opinion. We are always free to choose enlightenment. If we are unwilling to ask that we might understand, for instance, we are unjustified in grumbling about the consequences of our actions.

    It’s not that I disagree with your post. But I am of the opinion that you and me and everybody we sit with in Church is “missing important Gospel principles.” Even the best (whatever that means) Mormons are nothing without Christ and have a tiny little imperfect view of the gospel. And if you are suggesting that you are not the “natural man” along with me and the others we worship with, then you and I have a fundamental difference of opinion as to who is included in the fall of man.

    Now I do believe that a person’s attitude and receptiveness in church can make a big difference in what they get out of it. But that doesn’t mean that methodology and curriculum don’t impact a person’s development and satisfaction. I work at a school. When our kids graduate from the second grade we move them to the third. We don’t expect them to spend their whole school career in the second grade and then tell them it’s their fault if they get bored.

    Perhaps little can be done about it, but church meetings tend to stay on the same level of instruction year after year after year. And of course outside of church meetings you can explore topics in a much more sophisticated manner (as you do on your blog) but that doesn’t mean church meetings themselves don’t get repetitive and old. Can you really tell me there is no room for improvement?

  15. Mormon Heretic,

    I don’t think it has anything to do with a higher spiritual plane. I’m on no higher of a spiritual plane than anyone else, as you’d expect.

    One of the first things missionaries teach investigators is the process of studying about a question, pondering the answer, and then praying. To me, it’s the same process that helps us progress. Granted, the perspective is different: church services and culture seem more routine than shocking. And so the nature of the struggles are a little different.

    Sanford,

    I agree that there are issues (me included) with understanding the fundamental Gospel principles which lead to exaltation. Remembering and applying is a constant struggle. But it should be a struggle, not a shoulder-shrugging, apathetic malaise.

    I’m not saying there is no room for improvement. What I am saying is that each of us have plenty of room for individual improvement, and we are more justified in struggling to remove our own beams (whatever obstacles keep us from exaltation) rather than grumbling about the motes that appear to us (means or modes of administration). For me, it is far better and more constructive to focus on what I can change rather than what I cannot change.

    And for me, to compare secular or worldly education with spiritual learning that should take place in a Gospel setting is too much of a stretch. Learning takes place differently, and the knowledge gained (and its application) is also different. Even the assumptions made and the approach taken are fundamentally different.

  16. Mormon Paleo says:

    For me, it is far better and more constructive to focus on what I can change rather than what I cannot change.

    I think that can be a valid approach. But a big part of my frustration is getting to a place where I can accept that things are what they are and that the church is much too big an entity for someone like me to have an institutional impact. It’s not like I am going to be asked to be on the General Sunday School Board or a member of the Correlation Program anytime soon. So, if all I can change is myself, then question is — am I capable of doing what it takes to make church more meaningful based solely upon what I do in church. I don’t know how capable I am of making Church more interesting by adjusting my attitude and opening my heart.

    Mormon Paleo says:

    And for me, to compare secular or worldly education with spiritual learning that should take place in a Gospel setting is too much of a stretch.

    For a very long time I have had an academic interest in the Church. It started in seminary, continued on my mission, and stayed with me at the Institute of Religion. I have been in some church classes where my interest and style of learning was rewarded but many where it was not. After all these years, I may be coming to a grudging acceptance of the notion that Church services are not a place where an academic thirst for knowledge is advised. It is a paradox for me to think that Church is not the place to learn in that manner. But what are going to do?

  17. Sanford, I share your frustration. This is why I have turned to the internet to discuss these types of issues, because it simply isn’t allowed inside the church. I too have a big academic interest in the church. At least I can discuss these issues on the internet with people who share these concerns.

    I understand Paleo’s point of view, but I disagree with it, because it seems somewhat defeatist to me. Yes, none of us will be called to be General Sunday School president, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help make institutional change. I think the internet will bring out in the open, many topics which have been suppressed. When the chorus swells, I think the church is going to have to recognize some of the things that could be done better. It’s kind of a grass roots movement to me. Yes, it will certainly be slower than if the church leadership makes the changes, but it’s at least movement in (hopefully) the right direction. They key is to be patient, and not make hostile comments (like Bro Danzig did, though I can certainly understand his frustration.)

  18. Sanford,

    Agreed that there is (or at least should be) an academic element to learning the Gospel. There are the nuts and bolts of who went where, geographical details, genealogical facts, historical information, etc., that is important. But for me, the most important learning occurs spiritually, and is very different. It is more subjective and more related to the untouchable and indescribable (perhaps even ethereal) than I feel that other, more objective and academic modes pertain to.

    I sympathize with your frank statement that you don’t know if it’s possible for your to adjust your attitude and open your heart. All of us, if we are being honest with ourselves, feel this way at certain times. I would simply say that for me, the core of the Gospel involves dynamic, unseen but nonetheless real forces which can change attitudes, hearts, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc. The hope and promise of individual, personal change (rather than an external, institutional change) is what makes the Gospel and the Atonement come alive for me. It is too limiting for me to say that it is impossible for such a thing to be accomplished. Is anything too hard for the Lord?

    This reflects the teaching to cleanse the inner vessel first, as Captain Moroni taught. For me, I need to focus on myself and my person first and foremost.

  19. I have a question. its off topic. but I must know the answer.

    Does the prophet convene with Christ in the holy of holies (sp)?? regularly if at all within the last century.

    I was taught and have always believed he does. Or does he simply recieve revelation for the church like I do for my family. If its the latter I am less impressed (I understand this is very superficial). This is an oversimplified question I know. But its important to me. secondarily, what EXACTLY does it mean to be a “special whitness”??

  20. (sorry)

    “Who better to stand as a testimony to this truth than Joseph’s most intimate family members?”

    J. Evans

  21. Bull, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the old (1963) mormon movie, “Windows of Heaven”, where Lorenzo Snow suddenly receives a revelation that if the saints pay tithing, then the drought in St George would cease.

    It is my understanding that this is how all prophets after Joseph Smith have received revelation. I think far too many people think that the prophet has a crystal ball, and that just isn’t the case. I think there is a lot of mormon folklore out there that just is really naive. As to your question, what EXACTLY does it mean to be a “special whitness”?, my answer is that the apostles have always been very vague about the answer, but I believe that it is a special calling.

    I guess what is interesting to me is that in D&C 13, where John the Baptist appears to Joseph and Oliver, and gives them the Aaronic Priesthood, he gives them “the keys to the ministering of angels….” Every deacon has these keys, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they see angels. I think the same applies to apostles and prophets. Now I’m not here to say that Apostle X has seen Jesus, and Apostle Y hasn’t, but I am just saying that God speaks through the still small voice more often than he does in the First Vision. When you think about it, Jesus visiting a prophet is actually quite rare: Adam, Moses, Elijah, the Brother of Jared, Jacob (Israel), Joseph Smith, and that’s about it. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) In the 4-6000 years of the Bible, these appearances are quite rare, so it makes sense to me that modern day prophets don’t have PPI with Jesus every week. They are supposed to live by faith just as we are.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

  22. I cannot comment on any recent prophetic events, of course, which would be, as noted by others, too sacred to discuss publicly. However, while I believe that there are many instances of the still small voice speaking in scripture, I think there are more visionary experiences than Mormon Heretic acknowleges. Nephi and Lehi both saw Christ (Lehi saw, or thought he saw, as did Alma the Younger God the Father). Paul saw Christ in vision, as did John the Revelator. Many Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel had powerful visionary experiences that to me indicate personal interaction with the Lord, as did Enoch.

    Latter-day revelation is full of promises that the Lord will unveil his face to the faithful, in His own time and way. D&C 93:1, for instance. There are instances in Kirtland, Ohio, where individuals such as John Murdock saw Jesus, and said as much, in the school of the Elders above Newel K. Whitney’s store. If you get a chance to get to Kirtland, the guides quote from first-hand accounts about these sacred experiences. Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon saw Christ in visions in this area (sections 110 and 76). Truman Madsen talks about the idea of a “special witness” related to many individuals having sacred experiences around this time in his “Sacred Ground” DVD series (highly recommended).

    Lorenzo Snow saw Jesus in the Salt Lake Temple, and told his grand-daughter as much. There is no reason to suppose that any temple, for anyone, cannot be a literal house of the Lord where the Lord may reveal Himself, if one is worthy and if the timing is right.

  23. MP, thanks for the update. I think there is a difference between “visions” and actual “visitations.” The Apostle Paul saw Jesus in vision, unlike Joseph Smith and Moses, who actually spoke to God “as a man.” Perhaps this is just semantics, but it seems most scholars perceive a difference.

  24. Hey Bitterbarn and Bull,

    You mentioned something about drive-thru sacrament. Well, at least twice per year, you get to watch church on tv (ie Gen Conference.)

  25. Why do I go to church? I guess the question is why not? I really don’t want to work 7 days a week (and I did that one time when I still lived in California). I really don’t want watching or playing sports or gig on Sunday because I could really do those the other 6 days. I thought the Sabbath was special for some spiritual recuperation I should say and meet with people who are doing the same.

  26. Lemon, glad you enjoy church. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Heretics, Mormons, Brothers,

    My name is Corey Davis. I’m a second year student at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, still trying to decide what I want to major in. Right now, I think it’s a toss up between English and Cinematic Arts.

    I was raised in the Church of Christ, a very conservative evangelical church. I stopped attending as a young teenager because I didn’t feel that the deacons, elders, and minister had any legitimate spiritual authority over me, nor did I feel that I had any good reason to listen to them. Honestly, the Book of Revelation was the only one I ever read in entirety while I was attending, because I thought it was the most interesting and fantastical.

    Up until a few months ago, I regarded the notions of Christianity and a conscious being called God as foolish enterprises for the weak minded. One morning, I was walking on campus and an elderly gentleman wearing a cowboy hat, a Gideon, handed me a pocket-sized copy of the New Testament clad in green plastic. The man didn’t say a word to me, just smiled. I took it and said, “Thank you” as I continued on to class.

    It made an impression on me that this gentleman gave me a free religious book without attempting to manipulate my thinking along certain lines. He wasn’t urging me to join any certain congregation, give money to any organization, nor trying to channel my interpretation of the scriptures at all. He just gave me the free book and as far as I could tell, all he wanted me to do was read it to see what I could make of it. So I did. I have recently completed the four gospels.

    Since I began reading, I have become increasingly interested in the subject of heresy. To me, it seems apparent that Jesus himself was a heretic to the “spiritual” power structure of his time, the Pharisees and chief priests. I have bought and also begun reading Leo Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You, a Russian book written over a hundred years ago that continues to shock and awe me on every page.

    I am an adamant believer that intellectualism and Christianity are compatible. I don’t feel there is any legitimate reason to assume the inerrancy of ancient documents such as those found in the Bible. I also feel that Christ rejected Mosaic Law, some fundamental Jewish dogmas (such as strict observation of Sabbatical traditions), absolute Church authority, and the inerrancy of religious scripture. I am beginning to feel that Christ, unfortunately, had to spend too much time trying to convince the people of Judea that his message might benefit them. His apostles, after his death, were charged with spreading his gospel world-wide. Having seen the communication barriers Jesus encountered throughout his ministry, they probably knew they would have to refine their persuasive techniques. In the book of Hebrews, we see that the early disciples customized their message so that it could coexist with mainstream Jewish beliefs in order to maximize conversions. Biblical authors do not describe Jesus’ relationship to the Melchizedek priesthood anywhere else in the New Testament because such a relationship would be culturally irrelevant outside of the Jewish community. I’m sure it was also much easier to convert Roman pagans if the story included Christ as a magician and not just a teacher.

    I haven’t seen the kind of magic described in the Bible. At this point in my life, I can neither confirm nor deny its possibility or impossibility. However, I do see the magic of existence showering all around us and I know that we have been given a multitude of limitless gifts. All we have to do is reach out and grab them to know that they are there.

    A few months ago, I started dating a Mormon woman who lived in my apartment complex. I came to love her dearly, and still do. After imagining spending my life with her and raising a happy family together, she told me that there was no longevity in our relationship because of religious differences. She didn’t want there to be any “friction” in her family. I now understand why it is important for her to maintain religious cohesion in any family she might have, but at that time, I felt like she might as well have said that we couldn’t be together because I’m Scotch-Irish and she’s a German Swede. I was devastated. I have come to believe that the biggest concern was her desire for a celestial marriage in the Temple. Obviously I couldn’t be in the picture unless I converted. If we couldn’t be together forever, we couldn’t be together temporarily on Earth either. It was a two-way street though; I think it always is in this life. Having been brought up in a Church that often espoused anti-Mormonist rhetoric, I have been conditioned to manufacture poorly constructed arguments against their beliefs and, having had a potential spouse at stake, my fervor to defeat the forces keeping us apart was increased tenfold. My strategy, attempting to apostate her so we could be together, was fundamentally and morally flawed. If I had been more tactical, I would’ve known that the people in my life are more important than their beliefs. I would’ve happily done whatever necessary to gain the Priesthood and enter the Temple with her. I would’ve known that the idea of being together forever is a beautiful thing, not a wrong thing. Now she very well may be lost from my life forever because of the offenses I have committed.

    This kind of inter-religious contention shouldn’t be happening. It is counter-productive to the peaceful harmonization that I know Christ wanted. As long as we love all things, the mechanics of religious doctrines are completely unimportant. This is evident in the early disciples’ readiness to conform to certain aspects of a target population’s dogmas so that they might be more willing to accept the message of Jesus Christ. It is our duty to Christ to love those who we think are “lost” even more than we love those who are “found.” Slanderous conflict is in opposition to His will.

    I am writing you because I don’t feel that there is a large enough forum for coordinated inter-religious heretical research and ministry. We should be finding the similarities among us necessary to bring the flock together, as the early disciples did, not exemplifying the
    differences that separate us into strict categories. I would like to know what your thoughts are on the matter, and possibly if you would be interested in combining forces to get something started. I have daydreamed about a group of people who can come together and confirm their love of Christ and all people, help others with any need, and research religious history outside of the influence of dogmatists. I know there are many others like us out there. Original ideas would be strongly encouraged, not disapproved of. Science and research would be embraced as the fundamental works of God. No authoritative, hierarchic power structure would exist in any form. Everyone’s spiritual knowledge would be assumed to be equally viable in the eyes of God. Ideas would be created and pondered openly.

    I would like to know what your thoughts are. Thank you for any knowledge you can give me.

    Your most humble servant,

    Corey S. Davis

  28. Corey, thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed hearing your philosophy, and can identify with several points.

    it seems apparent that Jesus himself was a heretic to the “spiritual” power structure of his time, the Pharisees and chief priests.

    I agree completely! What I have learned is that people like Jesus are real threats to society. While I am deeply religious, I found that teaching some of Jesus’ heretical teachings at my church were too uncomfortable for my mormon congregation, and probably other Christian congregations as well. However, I find real spiritual power, and inspiration in studying Jesus’ heretical teachings. Some are just as heretical today as they were 2000 years ago.

    “We should be finding the similarities among us necessary to bring the flock together, as the early disciples did, not exemplifying the differences that separate us into strict categories.”

    Once again, I agree. However, this opinion you expressed is definitely a heresy in the LDS church, and I think most anyone who wants to get married in a mormon temple, would be extremely hesitant to embrace your sentiment. Temple marriage is such an important part of the LDS church. Literally one’s salvation is on the line. If an active LDS person wants to get into the highest degree of Celestial Kingdom, temple marriage is non-negotiable. In some ways, it could be considered more important than baptism. It is that important to mormons.

    I am an adamant believer that intellectualism and Christianity are compatible.

    I am as well. However, this is also a heresy in many Christian churches, and can be a real trial to some people. The mormon church is no different than any other denomination in this point.

    I would’ve happily done whatever necessary to gain the Priesthood and enter the Temple with her.

    I’m going to disagree with you on this one. Love is a powerful thing. But to convert based on love of a woman, rather than true belief in a church, is a recipe for trouble down the road. “When thou art converted, then strengthen thy brethren.”

    You should not join any church unless (at minimum) you truly believe it is the best church out there. Whether you convert to Judaism, Mormonism, Catholicism, Buddhism, whatever, you need to do it for the right reasons. If you simply convert for love of another, you will find yourself disappointed later, when she “nags” you to go to another church meeting, or whatever. Knowing your intellectual background, things will gnaw at you. You may never feel comfortable saying “I know that this is the only true church on the face of the earth.” (or the pope, or Buddha, or whatever.) You will bounce from religion to religion, and if your spouse is active in her faith, it will create a rift.

    “I am writing you because I don’t feel that there is a large enough forum for coordinated inter-religious heretical research and ministry.”

    Count me in. I agree. I think there is too much intolerance among different religions and denominations. While that is not the primary focus of my blog, I am certainly a willing participant, and would love to help facilitate some respectful dialogue among different points of view. I do want to point out a blog I read frequently, that might fit your goals better than my blog, and I encourage you to go to Grace for Grace. It is a wonderful blog by a mormon man, who is trying to build the bridges you suggest.

    You will find that I comment there frequently as well. Sometimes the comments are not as respectful as they could be, but most of the time, I think they are excellent. Once again, thanks for stopping by, and you are welcome here any time. 🙂

  29. To Corey S. Davis,
    Thank you for sharing yourself and your thoughts. I truly appreciate your dilemma. I agree with Heretic’s assertions and advice, particularly about converting to our faith in order to have a future with the woman you have been dating. Truly a recipe for a rocky path toward the future. Imagine falling in love with an Orthodox Jewish woman and expecting her family to accept you exactly as you are. Naturally, the woman (and her family) would want you to convert because their religion and culture are so intertwined in their daily life. This is the closest analogy I can equate to your situation with the LDS woman.

    I wish you the best. (BTW, you’re an excellent writer).

    Raechel

  30. Blessings to you all.
    I stumbled into you discussion searching for information about Mormonism and the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints for a research paper for college.

    I am a Christian, I attend a baptist church but do not call myself baptist since I don’t fully agree with the doctrine of the baptist church. All any Christian has to be is a Child of God, saved by the saving Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ and the work He finished at the Cross of Calvary.

    We, the small church I attend, are eagerly learning about and longing for Jesus Christ and the way of life we should be living in His Name. Our pastor preaches of His love as well as His wrath that is yet to come. If the Bible doesn’t say it, then our pastor doesn’t preach it.

    I felt compelled to post here about why I go to church and why I feel anyone should go to church, know Jesus and accept the Salvation only He can give.
    I attend church because I feel closer to Jesus when I am with a group of True Believers. I want to worship Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the Redeemer of my soul and deserves more praise than I could ever give to Him in a single lifetime. There is much joy and healing praying and praising the Lord with my church family.

    I also attend church because it is the right thing for a Christian to do. Our example, thru our actions, of Jesus Christ are a witness, good or bad, to a lost and dieing world. If the Christians are not doing what is right in the eyes of God, then who is? Who possibly could be?

    Christianity is not boring, the Bible is enlightening and at times difficult to understand as well. I enjoy searching out what God is telling us in His Word. I seek the knowledge He wants to give me and we openly talk of His Will being much greater than our own.

    I thank you for allowing me to post here. May you find Peace, Love and Knowledge in knowing Jesus Christ and the Will of God.

    God Bless each of you!
    Dee

  31. Im from California but I served my mission in SLC came home in 2008. On my mission my companions and I would study the scriptures like crazy, sometimes not even working just so we could read more. We’d also go to DI every day to buy old crazy docterine books. I mailed them all home box by box, I have dozens. And sometimes when nice folks would give us money we’d go buy books at crazy religion stores. I Loved studying the gospel. On Preparation day all everyone wold be playing basket ball and I’d sit in the foyer reading, and occasionally someone would come by and poke questions at me. My quest for knowledge was fun.

    But since coming home church is SOOO boring. I havn’t learned hardly anything of interest. I think the most interesting thing I’ve heard was a story of a baby getting run over; and that wasn’t appropriet of pleasant.

    And since I no longer have any friends that are steeped in gospel knowledge and open to confilcting ideas and docterines, I’ve become so bored that the fun in reading books and studying the scriptures is gone. I wish their were more people in the church that would study the scriptures and actually thinking about the meaning and the historical settings that determines that meaning rather than the often incorrect Old English interpreted as modern English approach.

    I have a really hard time at church, usually during the classes I’ll sit in the foyer and read something that most people would think is anti-mormon even though its a FARMS book from BYU. And I cannot stand reading the sugar coated LDS manuals in priesthood – how boring! Life is about conflict and resolution, the only perfect man on earth is Jesus Christ, not every prophet in the world!

    Ugh, I’m on tangents and this post is SO long no one will ever read it. Good luck every1. As for me, I keep going to church hoping that something will change . . .

  32. @Corey Davis

    To Corey:

    What a sad, but touching story you have. I like your point of view. Honestly, my outlook on the Mormon church is that I am only 50% confident that its true. But if the DOCTERINES (not the organization or people) are true, it is so beautiful that it is worth the sacrifices it demands.

  33. I’m so glad my website is back up–it was experiencing some big problems over the last 2 days.

    LDSGJA, While I was a guy who studied more than the average elder, I would have been playing basketball on p-day. I did have occasion to read the Godmakers on my mission, but I found it twisted temple ceremonies too much to be worthy of study. Corey stopped by over a year ago, so I doubt he’s still reading this.

    I often bring a book to church and have found church much more enjoyable! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you stick around and contribute to the discussions here.

  34. Glad to see your site back up, too, MH. I was beginning to wonder if you had to set up a new secret identity!

    Several people in the bloggernacle have mentioned reading during services. I’m surprised. Maybe it’s because our services are shorter than yours, but that sounds unusual to me.

  35. FireTag, that brings up an interesting question. Mormons meet for a 3 hour block on Sundays. Usually Sacrament Meeting for 70 min, Sunday School for 40, and Priesthood for 50, with 10 minutes between meetings. How long are services at the CoC? I think your leaders/teachers generally have more theological training, so I hope they are a little more interesting than Joe Mechanic who gets up in Priesthood and says, “I hope everybody gives lots of comments or this is going to be a short lesson….”

  36. The standard meeting in North America is a 1-hour (approximate) worship service. Depending on the week or local needs, the service may be Sacrament (Lord’s Supper), a special ordinance (such as baby blessing or ordination) or, more commonly, general worship. The World church provides worship helps for each week — things like readings, suggested scriptures, and offering emphasis — but local presiding officers for the service in question are not bound to follow them. Sermons are usually included, but are much shorter than they were a generation ago.

    Additional programs during the morning are very locally dependent. In the hinterlands, the worship may be all there is, especially in summer. The more normal goal would be to offer an educational block in the hour preceeding or following worship, with classes for adults and as many children’s and youth as membership and space will permit.

    Smaller congregations are supported with guest speakers from surrounding congregations in the Mission Centers (stake equivs) where practical.

  37. MH, do you still believe everything you mention in this post regarding the Sabbath? I ask, because it was written nearly 2 years ago. Your perspective could have changed with new research.

  38. Yes, Bishop Rick, I still believe what I wrote. Did I write something that made you believe I had changed my opinion?

    My ward split a few weeks ago, and I’m trying to give the new ward a fresh start. Sunday School is better, but Priesthood meeting is terrible. It gave me time to finish the Daynes book I just posted on, however….

    Since you resurrected the topic, I am curious if you go to church, and what are your reasons for going/not going?

  39. I go to church every sunday, have 3 callings, and pay a full tithe. I am in that group that is always at church and every church event. I figure that gives me the right to complain.

    I was actually referring to the Sabbath day and why its no longer from Sundown Friday thru Sundown Saturday.

  40. Forgot to mention that I go to church to stay married.

  41. As far as Sabbath Day observance on the 7th or 1st day, I think there is some pretty good scriptural support for the 1st day with the Acts and Hosea references in the original post. (I could provide other references too.) In comment #6, KC Kern says that the shift in Sabbath Day observance was due to Constantine’s influence, and perhaps that is the case. As I have studied Christianity of Christ’s time to Constantine, it is quite evident to me that beliefs diverged quite a bit, and most likely there were Christians who celebrated the Sabbath on both the 1st and 7th days. Perhaps Constantine settled the issue by persecuting the Gnostics and other heretical Christians out of existence. I’m certain that the issue probably wasn’t fully settled until Constantine, so I think I can accommodate scripture with KC’s version of events.

    So, Bishop Rick would you consider yourself New Order Mormon–that is a Mormon who attends church for social reasons, but rejects most of the core doctrines of the church? I’m impressed at your activity. Due to the ward split, I still don’t have a calling (working on 4 weeks now.) I’ve campaigned for the membership clerk in the new ward, but have no idea if that’s going to happen. As of last week, there are still 2 vacancies in the Elder’s quorum presidency, and I’m hoping those get filled by others. They did a big batch of primary callings, and I escaped the first round–I’m not sure what else is left.

  42. All of studies on Sabbath day observance have led me to Constantine. Seems that the workers were taking 2 days off work each week…Pagans Sunday (worshipping Sun god) and Christians Saturday (really sundown Fri to Sundown Sat). Since Pagans were in the majority at the time, Sunday won out. The scriptures you site can be interpreted many ways. They could be interpreted to support a Sunday switch, but I don’t believe this to be the case. My reason for not believing it is due mainly to the Constantine issue. He would not have had the need to force Christians to worship on Sunday (a Pagan day) if they were already worshiping on that day. Also, the phrase “break Bread” was used interchangeably with sup. It had nothing to do with the sacrament. I’m sure Paul met, supped and preached to congregations every day of the week. I will lend a level of plausibility to the Acts scripture, but I believe the evidence against is greater than for. I also believe the Hosea scripture is being taken out of context. The Hebrews were using any occasion they could come up with to celebrate (party) including the Sabbath, new moon, etc. My interpretation is that Hosea was predicting that these celebrations would end.

    I guess NOM or DAMU would best describe me. I have found that the best way not to get an EQ calling is to state that Home Teaching is a waste of time…of course you would have to believe that.

  43. Bishop Rick, Certainly Constantine was very influential in the change of the Sabbath. Christians were in the great minority, and it certainly was easier to change their Sabbath observance than the majority of Pagans, so from a practical standpoint, I can see Constantine’s decision in that direction. Part of me wonders if Constantine may have unknowingly been fulfilling Hosea’s prophecy.

    I’ve long complained that the KJV is terrible. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Blue Letter Bible, but I love this website for allowing multiple translations. It is pretty obvious to me that Hosea is comparing Israel to a prostitute, who will be stripped naked with all her lovers looking on. Verse 11 in the NLT says, “I will put an end to her annual festivals, her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days–all her appointed festivals. “ I interpret this to mean that not only will the Sabbath change, but other festivals like Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and other Jewish Festivals we no longer observe.

    The First Christians really didn’t identify themselves as Christians, but were merely another Jewish sect, especially at the beginning. Many important visions seem to have occurred on the 1st day of the week.

    Following his death on the cross, Jesus appeared to the disciples (minus Doubting Thomas) in John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.

    I think you should check out the Blue Letter Bible. The KJV of 1 Cor 16:2 says tithes are collected on the 1st day of the week, but the NLT version refers to this as the Lord’s Day.

    The Day of Pentecost occured on the 1st day. I’ll quote from Wikipedia: “According to Christian tradition, Pentecost is always seven weeks after Easter Sunday; that is to say, 50 days after Easter (inclusive of Easter Day). In other words, it falls on the eighth Sunday, counting Easter Day”

    I thought I remembered hearing that Peter’s vision (clean/unclean), and Saul’s vision on the Road to Damascus occurred on the 1st day, but I’m not finding references for that.

  44. MH, I’m not seeing it. I read the entire book of Hosea. The timelines don’t match up. All the prophecies speak of times prior to the 3rd century. Not to mention that Hosea sounds like a nut case that can’t make up his mind.

    The day these events landed on are not significant. There is no correlation made anywhere. Also, the Day of Pentecost predates even the birth of Jesus so that one is a stretch.

    When John 20:19 mentions it is evening on the first day of the week, is he talking about Saturday evening or Sunday evening? I would interpret this as Saturday evening since the Sabbath ends at Sundown on Saturday.

  45. Bishop Rick, how on earth do you get the idea that the Day of Pentecost predates the birth of Jesus? I have never heard that before. The Day of Pentecost is the seminal moment in history when the 12 Apostles take a leading role in governing the church. I can’t fathom how that occurred before Christ’s birth.

    When Mary came to the garden tomb, she came on the morning of the first day. Since the Jewish day goes from sundown to sundown, the morning of the first day would be Sunday morning. I would interpret the evening of the first day to be Sunday evening, but I can see how it could be interpreted on Saturday evening as well. I’ll have to consult an expert on Judaism to be sure.

    What do you mean the timelines in Hosea don’t match? (I don’t think most people are comfortable with the term “nutcase” when applied to the Biblical prophets, but if we’re going to go there, I think Ezekiel, John the Revelator, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel–as well as Hosea–all have some symbolism that is quite strange for modern readers.)

  46. The original Day of Pentecost refers to a Jewish festival commemorating Moses receiving the 10 Commandments. It was only later that it was associated with the 12 Apostles. That’s what I mean by predates, because it actually does.

    Nutcase was a term of endearment, but you have to admit, Hosea jumps around a bit.
    The timeline mentioned in Hosea seems to be referring to the time at hand which is long before 300 AD. If you read the entire book, its hard (for me at least) to conclude he was predicting Constantine’s declaration.

  47. Bishop Rick, I think you are slightly mischaracterizing the Day of Pentecost as occurring prior to Christ. I decided to look at Wikipedia to see if it had anything referencing what you said, and I found this.

    “Historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus, Pentecost now also commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Book of Acts, Chapter 2 in the New Testament. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as “the Church’s birthday”.

    In my mind, this is a bit like Passover/Easter. It isn’t really appropriate to say that Easter predates Christ as the Passover. Easter is the Christian version of the Passover Festival, but it does not pre-date Christ. Similarly, the Day of Pentecost seems to be the Christian version of Shavuot, but I don’t think it is accurate to say that Day of Pentecost predates Christ.

  48. OK, I see your point. Just because the day used to celebrate Pentecost is the same day used to celebrate Shavuot does not mean Pentecost = Shavuot.

    Interesting that you bring up Easter/Passover as a comparative example. Were you aware that Polycarp insisted that the resurrection celebration (not Easter) should be celebrated on the day it occurred (which was a movable date) and not on Sunday. Polycarp was an associate of the Apostle John and took that tradition from him. Both Polycarp and John disagreed with celebrating a sacred event on a Pagan holiday even though some Bishops in the Roman church suggested it should be on Sunday since that was the day of the week that the original event took place. It wasn’t until the council of Nicea that this event was declared to be celebrated on Sunday, and the name of Easter was associated much later as it was a Pagan event celebrating the Fertility goddess (ihstor) around the same time as Passover and the resurrection celebration.

    There is just too much evidence against a Sunday Sabbath for me, and only supposition supporting it.

    This is pretty comp

  49. I did not know that about Polycarp, but I have to say I’m not surprised. There has always been considerable debate about when to observe every Christian Holiday. That Wikipedia article on Pentecost discusses the different dates of observance for Easter as well as Pentecost between the Eastern Orthodox church, and the Western Catholic/Protestant churches. Christmas is another holiday that landed on a pagan holiday.

    I’m sure you’re aware that the church allows Mormons in Israel to observe the Sabbath on Saturday in Israel. As I recall the justification for this is that it is more important that we observe a day of rest, than which day the Sabbath is observed. Likewise, it is more important to partake of the sacrament, even if we use water instead of wine. I think the church employs similar reasoning for these two issues.

  50. How many more verses are in the Bible that state to “keep the commandments”. Even Jesus said several times throughout the New Testament, “if you love me, keep my commandments”. The Sabbath commandment (the seventh day of the week) starts with “REMEMBER”, because God knew it would be forgotten. I know when I start a request to someone with the word “Remember”, I don’t want it to be forgotten.Does the day really matter? ie. Mom to daughter, “Remember I have a doctor’s appointment Thursday!” Daughter shows up Friday to take mom to the doctor and comments, “Oh, I didn’t think it mattered”….Food for thought….

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