What is keeping more than 60 percent of Americans out of the pews?

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Quagthistle Hays, KS
    Sept. 20, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    There is some truth to what some have said about the 40% keeping the rest away. Often times, certain interpretations, opinions, and traditions are given weight in Churches when it is already well-known that that traditional interpretation is flawed. (Ex: Evolution vs. 7-day Creation, the latter of which, even Genesis doesn't fully agree with - read Gen. 2:4.) That makes many people see religion as small-minded, ignorant, and unwilling to embrace mere temporal truths which claiming to give grant spiritual ones. In that, perhaps, they make a decent point.

    However, as Elder Holland pointed out, "Except in the case of His one perfect Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating for Him, but he deals with it. So should we." No faith is filled with 100% perfect people. (Not all people sleep through meetings, either.) Church offers us a chance to meet together and discuss spiritual matters (hopefully, there is discussion - just reading out of the book stuff everyone already knows *is* terribly boring, I have to admit). In a world of materialism and pride, Church is a welcome respite, imho.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 19, 2013 5:00 a.m.


    While I agree that love and acceptance is the way of spiritual progression for a disciple of Christ, so too is the voice of warning that must be sounded in every nation, kindred, and tongue for the day of the Lord.

    The restoration of Christ's Church was meant to bring souls unto Christ, but its doctrine also stands as a witness against those whose hearts are hardened because they hear not the Sheppard’s voice nor know Him. There are definite consequences for those who refuse the Gospel of Jesus Christ as given by His Priesthood authority through His servants. As Christ's disciples, we are to testify of truth and do His works.

    There is sometimes a fine line between the compassion of love and the chastening hand that is necessary for people to repent and come unto Christ. The Lord demonstrates this in all the scriptures by loving people in various ways to help them the most.

    That is not to say the entries mentioned in your comments are justified as being Christ-like. Rather, there are multiple angles to consider with the commission Christ has given His disciples in these latter days of the world.

  • brokenclay Chandler, AZ
    Sept. 18, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    To pass off biblical teachings mockingly as bronze age fairy tales is first off a commission of the genetic fallacy (the temporal origin of the beliefs renders them suspect), and is second a prime example of cultural arrogance. It is a disturbingly typical attitude of modern westerners to look down their noses at the third world and the "temporally disadvantaged."

    Where in the New Testament did the Sabbath switch over to Sunday, the first day of the week? Sunday is called the Lord's Day, never the Sabbath-- in fact, Saturday is consistently referred to as the Sabbath in the NT writings. According to Hebrews 4:9, the Sabbath is fulfilled today through participation in the New Covenant. Christians worship on Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection, not the Sabbath.

    "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind" (Romans 14:5).

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 18, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    Think of the ten lepers Jesus healed and only one of them came back to thank him. That’s only 10%. If church attendance is at 40%, is that nothing for religious leaders to be grateful for?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 18, 2013 7:04 a.m.

    ‘What is keeping more than 60 percent of Americans out of the pews?’


    The other 40% IN the pews!

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 18, 2013 2:44 a.m.

    ‘What is keeping more than 60 percent of Americans out of the pews?’


  • GFuller Mattoon, IL
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:03 p.m.

    Consider what used to be required of a Christian. Think of what he/she had to give up of the world. Think of what he/she had to promise to do as a Christian. Think of the time requirement, etc. Then think of how even LDS leaders now sort of apologize for what they may ask of us.

    What is left to make us feel needed?

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    It seem to me, no one wants to listen to any one else but them self, any more.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 17, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    What a massive presupposition this article contains!

    The other 60% are believers (in Bronze Age fairytales) just like we are; they’re just too busy shopping… huh?

  • scwoz gambier, oh
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    The Sabbath is the Sabbath. It does not move to make life convenient for you. God is not second to extracurricular activities. He is God the Father, the Creator, the Maker of this Universe. I think we should be able to give him just a couple of hours’ time a week. It is great to have other activities during the week but Sabbath activities happen on the Sabbath for a reason. We are commanded of God. That should be good enough for any of the most ardent sports enthusiast. God Loves us and gives us our Agency but he does not change for us, we need to change for Him.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Why? Organized religion has become the "money changers" that Christ tossed out of the temple on their behinds. They've just regrouped now as modern "Christians".

    Oh, and the extremely boring services; has anybody not noticed that even the leaders on the stands in LDS services sleep through most of the meeting?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    I couldn't just be that the world has progressively become less religious, more sensual and more materialistic, that people don't want to be preached to, or read scriptures that condemn their ways. It couldn't be that every man walks after his own 'god" which he has made in his own image, that he doesn't want to retain God in his remembrance. Could it?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    So, a few weeks ago there was a story in this paper about some individuals who did not regularly attend a particular church service (whether or not they attended church services elsewhere was not mentioned). After they had taken their seats, an individual who regularly attended those particular church services raised a ruckus because the "interlopers" were sitting in "his" seat. This ruckus continued out into the parking lot where the regular attendee was arrested for assaulting the "interloper."

    Gee. I wonder why, when people are made to feel so welcome, they don't attend church more regularly?

    Perhaps the vanity and pride that needs to be addressed is the vanity and pride those sitting in the pews exhibit?

    After reading many of the comment threads on any story in this paper, why on earth would I want to go to church with a bunch of pharisees who draw near to God with their mouths but whose hearts are so far from Him that they act with spite and "holier than thou-ness" instead of love and acceptance? Why would I willingly subject myself to being shunned and treated like a leper?

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    I love the Book of Mormon -- it cuts through many of these philosophies that people make up about how being spiritual and not religious is good enough, or that a church is not even needed. Consider 2 Nephi 9:28:

    "[...] O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish."

    Here are a few reasons a church is needed (and not limited to):

    Moroni 6:5-6: "And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus."

    Also, Christ mentioned the following in 3 Nephi 18:22:

    "And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;"

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 17, 2013 5:29 a.m.

    It's been so long since God's Authority and Church have been on the earth. Corruption has caused people go astray with religions, churches, and doctrine. Many also hold false expectations for what God's true religion would appear like on the earth. That was the problem of Christ's day with the Jewish clergy that apostatized hundreds of years earlier.

    We also live in a day when the modern marvels of technology and touted intelligence of humanity has lured people away into complacency and pursuits that prevent them from seeking faith as in days of old when people had to depend on God for basic sustenance. Our entertainment driven culture is so immersed in virtual reality and idol worship that many don't care to know about God or disbelieve because all they see is examples of religious corruption and hypocrisy.

    Regardless, we will continue to witness a falling away of people from organized religion in general while God permits the world take pleasure in sin as prophesized. But, a day will come just as contained in the scriptures many times over, when people will no longer get pleasure from sin because they have become ripe for destruction.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:43 p.m.

    Reading these comments reminds me of the scriptures about pride.

  • ChristopherBlackwell Deming, NM
    Sept. 16, 2013 5:39 p.m.

    I think organized religion, be it Christian or other, puts a middle person between the believer and the God, that is not only not needed, but as that middle person and the organization gain wealth and political power come to the point that maintaining that wealth and power, or even increasing it, covers over the original message of the religion. True religion is about the person and their God, nothing more and nothing less. When you begin to see church leaders spending time with the rich and powerful, or politicians, then yo know they have lost the message of the religion.

  • BYR West Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    Failed promises. Incorrect expectations.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    Here is the answer.

    I don't need to be at church. That is the reason I'm not there

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 16, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    Religious hypocracy and better things to do sunday.

  • joseywales Park City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    To answer the question. Most of us have found that we don't need organized religion to feel close to God. I'm spiritual, not religious. Big difference. We still give to the needy, donate time and money to charities, and we even spend time as a family meditating, and reflecting on a higher power. We pray, we read the bible, spend time as a family almost nightly, yet we don't go to a ward anymore, we have found many new friends who share this same belief as us, there are many. Many of the younger generations have found organized religion restricting, and want to believe in God but without the weekly feel good meetings. We all need to realize you don't need a "calling" to be a good human. In fact, we have found that since we gave up our "cards", we have less stress in our lives, and we live as WE want to, not how others want us to. It's been very liberating and we have had more spiritual experiences in the last 5 years, than the previous 20 of our marriage.