Comments about ‘Tiffany Gee Lewis: Does the LDS Church complicate or simplify lives?’

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Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9 2013 7:00 a.m. MDT

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This article makes no sense. On the one hand the writer looks to the example of the Savior who spent his time preaching, praying and healing. On the other hand she speaks critically of the Church when asking us to use up some of our time reading the scriptures, praying and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Going to Church on Sundays for a three hour block was introduced to give us all more family time on the Sabbath. For many, before that, members were making fairly long trips to Church twice on a Sunday, and again through the week for a separate, weekly, Relief Society meeting etc.

We are dissuaded from having extra meetings on Sundays so as to provide more time for family. Likewise youth leaders have been asked not to have expensive, or too many, activities. The goal and effect of following these instructions is to free up more time not to complicate or monopolize our time.

Surely the little bit of time typically given to spiritual exercises in the home is well worth it and could be profitably increased all concentrating on the priorities of the simple Christian life.


The LDS church does absolutely complicate life in the sense that we are taught so many things to work on, even in just one church meetin. To be happy we have to set aside all but one or two things to focus on so that we can progress to the point where we can focus on some other goals.

Old Jake
Salt Lake City, UT

If you go to every church meeting they have you are probably unbalanced and not being a good parent.

It is your life. Stay in control of it.

The Church is their to help you not interfere. You need to use your own best judgement on what will help or hurt you and your family.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Meetings" (Bishopric, PEC, Councils, BYC, Presidency, Mutual, Scout, Activity Days, Planning, etc) can complicate your life. Living the Gospel never complicates your life.

American Fork, UT

Ha, I've always felt like we make things overly complicated in the church, the whole busy is more mentality. Few people have the time and ability to contemplate and meditate on life's truths and the gospel for any decent amount of time anymore. Perhaps it's just my strongly introverted personality, but I would almost always rather go to a quiet spot in the mountains and meditate on the gospel then go to yet another church activity or meeting.

That said I agree with the above poster, living the gospel standard and teachings simplifies your life in many ways.

sandy, ut

yes, both the church and the 'gospel' complicates lives. It doesn't do that to everybody, but I have seen many, myelf included.

Vancouver, WA

There is a balance in everyone's life that has to be hit. That does not change when called to heavy church responsibility. God does increase our capacity to serve when we are called, but there is, and will always be, more items on the "to do" list than there is time for. It sound to trite...but the only way to decide is spiritually. And...its not always the same answer for everyone...

St. George, UT

True spiritual progress requires quiet and focused awareness of the present moment. The more packed (and over-packed) our lives are, the harder it is for us to be mindful of anything at all. Thus, our deep spiritual progress and our peace and happiness are stunted. Just my opinion.

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

So your issue was that you thought one of the definitions of simple was to have free time on your hands? By looking up the word simple in the dictionary, your problem was resolved? What a great book the dictionary is.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

I think it is pretty clear that if one listed everything that a Church member could consider doing, journal, food storage, geneology, family history ect. plus normal Church responsibilities, it would take up more time than most people have to spare. The key is to not feel that you need to be doing all those things at once. One is not expected to run faster than they can, and every individule has to set their own pace. Otherwise, fatique and or discouragement could lead a member to chuck the whole program and run off to a cabin in the woods. I'm sure that is not what Church leaders would want to see.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

The mental gymnastics required to live in the (post) modern world yet continue to believe in religion is a mindset that is definitely more complicated (and convoluted) than is necessary or healthy.

Hence, the high incidence of anxiety, depression, and prescription drug abuse in Utah.

Brigham City, UT

Resting one day out of 7 should help; and thankfully the Bible promises us "health in navel and marrow to thy bones" (Proverbs 3:8) And some day soon poverty and homelessness will be eliminated, so you will be able to check those off your list of things not to worry about anymore. Actually, the scriptures never tell us to worry about anything, so you can cross that off the list too (of things not to worry about: worry). Every day that goes by, God and the faithful win, whereas for unbelievers, every day that passes, they are one day closer to the next life, in which they don't believe. Religious people live longer.

Eldersburg, MD

Something changes in a person who makes sacred covenants with God, having a firm determination to endure to the end of life. They begin and continue to develop a testimony of God's truth and knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost and their works.

But, life intervenes and it can be very easy to lose the eternal focus of God to become myopically drawn to life's daily plights and worldly allures. No matter where we are currently in this journey, it is important to never forget mortality is but a moment.

The works we do here to serve the Lord and become transformed by the power of His Atonement not only help us discern good and evil to repent and grow, but learn how to prioritize good, better, and best.

As we follow the prescribed counsel by ancient and latter day prophets, promises of lasting happiness, transformation, and progression can be realized. As this unfolds, it becomes better understood that eternal goals supersede mortal ambitions and concerns. That is how the Savior overcame the world and we likewise, can do so through His power. Nothing in the world is of greater worth than that which is eternal.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Some times you just have to turn it over to to the Lord. Remember what the Spirit of things is. It's a you matter thing.

Wilf 55

The simplicity or complexity of church life can also be very different as to where one lives. Compare living in Utah, where wards count many helping hands and where going to church and doing hometeaching happens in a small area, to most other places in the world where active members often fulfill three or four callings and must travel long distances. There, 70 to 80% of members turn inactive, many if not most because it becomes "too much". Yes, church membership requires sacrifice, but what if the cost in retention is so high?

west jordan , UT

I find that you just got to let some meetings go to the way side. If I went to every meeting that does not take place on Sunday I would not see much of my family and that would go against the goal of the church to strenghten families. I am not saying dont go to churhc on Sunday, but do you need to go to every fireside? When I was single in college I went to more meetings, now that I have my own family I would rather spend quiet time with them then go to a fireside. My kids are going to more meetings now that they are older and what to be around their friends, so I am glad I did not go to every meeting when they were small and wanted to spend time with me. When I am a empty nester then I might go to more meetings.

Gramma of 7
Lehi, Utah

This is perfectly said. Nobody ever told us life would be easy as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, as we follow and serve the Savior, it will be wonderful. Thanks so much for your thoughtful article.

Houston, TX

The Savior prayed constantly, but under the stress of His atoning sacrifice, "He prayed more earnestly." I find when I am stressed by the demands on my time from many sources, including Church callings, that I am led to "pray more earnestly." When I do, there is a spiritual inflow that expands my faith and ability to serve. This leads to spiritual growth and maturity. I have been blessed by my callings and church duties.

That said, I agree with a previous commentator who said that you have to choose concerning your schedule. Sometimes service to family or at work takes precedence to service in s specific meeting or calling.

Carson City, NV

This is what I've learned throughout a life of being inactive in the church and then being active. When I was inactive my life and time was filled with more meaningless things. Watching football, partying, etc. When I am active my life and time are filled with meaningful things. Going to church, still watch football,doing family history, teaching a Sunday school class. I'm not busier, but I am more fulfilled.

Brooklyn, NY

Like much of life, this question isn't easily answered with a tidy black or white conclusion. It's personal, it's fluid, and there is no right or wrong answer.

Whose life is more complicated a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a single mom trying to raise kids in the South Bronx? Is it better to live in the bliss of a happy, communal tribal village of a third world country or have the money to visit that country and then come back to this one and be stress about work, social changes, traffic, crime, politics, etc?

There is a wonderful lyric from a Bob Marley song, "Every man thinks that his burden is the heaviest". How true it is and that is why respect for fellow humans is so important. You never know what the person across the counter is experiencing behind closed doors.

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