Friday, January 11, 2008

Why are you committed?

My wife had an interesting experience at work yesterday. Many of the ladies she was having lunch with all had coffee. Someone had made a run to Cinnabon for their special brew. One of the women noticed that Wendy didn't get any and asked why?

She responded that she was LDS, and that she didn't drink tea or coffee. The other women responded, "You Mormons are very committed to your faith. All of the Mormons I know seem very committed to their faith. Why is that?"

I have my thoughts on the subject, which I will share eventually, but I'd like to throw that out for response first. If you're LDS, why do you think that members of the church are so committed, and if you're not LDS, what is your impression of the LDS people you know? Do they appear to live their religion, or not?


Mike (fka Horebite) said...

Two things come to mind.

First, we are more committed because our religion asks more of us than most other religions (with all due respect to other religions, and recognizing that there are many individuals in all religions that expect much of themselves). If you are not committed than you are likely to become inactive, in which case although technically a Mormon, you would not be as recognizable as a Mormon.

Secondly, since our beliefs are sometimes strange respective of our culture (such as the not drinking coffee and tea business), we stand out more. There are many people of other faiths who are committed, but don't face as much culture friction, and so don't stand out as much.

Keryn said...

I second Mike's comment, with a personal addition: I guess I'm so committed to the Church and the Gospel because there was such an emphasis on knowing for myself. This was a major theme while I was growing up, both from Church and from my parents. So even by the time I was fifteen, I KNEW the Gospel was true.

Hadz said...

I believe that there are many reasons why us Mormons are so committed to our faith. Our religion isnt one of convenience. ...meaning, you can't really be a "Sunday Mormon". There is too much required of us as members. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we have a great system of checks and balances that keep us on our toes and moving forward. For example, we are all encouraged to attend the Temple and have temple recommend interviews with our leaders to make sure that we are,in fact staying committed. We have home teaching responsibilities and church callings that engage every member in the work. And in most cases, we have loving, amazing leaders in our bishoprics and presidencies that encourage the members and follow up with them on their commitments. Now I am starting to ramble on, but it seems that as Mormons, we love our religion, we love the Savior and we love eachother enough to encourage one another.

Candace E. Salima said...

Spirituality comes at many levels for many people, just as it does for Mormons. But for those of us with deep testimonies of our faith and our Savior, Jesus Christ . . . it isn't a fly-by-night commitment. It's a soul deep, I know who I am, God lives commitment. And if you're commitment is that deep, you live your religion.

Dan and Wendy said...

Joseph Smith taught: "a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things." (Lectures on Faith, 6th lecture, paragraph 7)

I can look at my own life and see various levels of spiritual development. From early on in life, where I did what I was supposed to because my parents expected me to, and then as stated by others, because my love for my Savior motivates me to do something about it.

The Lord's system of "expecting" things of me, via callings, service, home teaching/visiting teaching, etc. is brilliant.

I see so many religions that don't expect anything from their congregants. I read recently of a church, whose pastor dresses up as a clown, because he believes people like clowns, (a potentially flawed assumption...), and that if they like the clown, maybe they'll like what he's preaching.

It is through serving others that I begin to see just how much the Lord has served me. As I feel the love He has for me, it helps me see others more like He sees them.

I'm grateful for my callings. I have yet to receive a calling that I think I'm the best member in the ward for, but I believe that is by design.

Thanks for all of your wonderful feedback on this subject.