All that "extra time" I used to have before I joined the Church was
typically filled with video games, pornography, and intellectually stimulating
but spiritually unproductive TV shows and movies. I'm quite grateful that
my life is not so "simple" anymore. People should take a step back and
realize what a blessing it is to have the meaningful and active lifestyle that
being a member of the Church provides—not taking it all for granted and
murmuring like so many cultural Mormons do. The world is vacuous and shallow;
there is nothing in it that can fill one's time better than what the Church
has to offer.
@Wilf 55I went to the site you referred to. I discovered it to be very
academic and intellectual. Nevertheless, I believe it has an undergirding
anti-Mormon agenda.Academic research can hardly explain what happens
in the hearts of the converted. We as members are asked to reach out to the
less-active. In so doing their (and our) lives are blessed. And the
less-active often are just that, less-active, still with a testimony, but for
one reason or another, not participating. It is not surprising to me
that there are varying retention statistics throughout the world. The Lord
never told us that all would remain active. Different circumstances throughout
the world would affect the retention rate. One cannot over-generalize.
For me, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints simplifies my
life. I am taught true principles by leaders who know. When I obey the
commandments and counsel given, time and again, my life is blessed. When I
obey, I avoid the inevitable heartache of the consequences of sin and my
conscience is clear. I will be forever grateful for the Lord's
instructions. He loves me and all His children.
The church bureaucracy is different than the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel
is the good news and it is simple. Jesus summed it up when He said that
"His" commandments were to love God and others. The church really is
here to provide authority to perform ordinances. All the rest is just
opportunities to grow by loving others and giving up our lives to find them.
Unfortunately, every auxiliary program in the church thinks theirs is the most
important so it grows into a monster and no one with authority stops it or
cancels it. Quit babbling about how we should balance our time blah blah blah
and make some serious changes to church programs that are time wasters. And
please just say straight out that much of this stuff we are asked to do is
useless and goes unchecked. Just take scouts for instance. A program that
isn't even part of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The time and
resources to support it is staggering.
Fall is busy for us for many of the same reasons: School, food storage, and even
ward choir. When we begin to feel overwhelmed then we often find a need to take
a moment to reconsider our priorities and to evaluate if each activity we
participate in is bringing us closer to our goals or not. Attending
Sacrament, Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society, I feel, definitely is.
From there we work through those things which occupy our time. Quite often we
discover too much time being spent with television or social media. In
moderation things are not bad, but we easily allow our pet projects to overwhelm
us and to compensate, some delete from their lives the things which were most
critical.Get rid of the clutter, unplug the TV and skip some of the
The benefits I get personally from my membership in the LDS church far outweigh
the complication it introduces in my life. It is well with the price.
Does the LDS Church complicate or simplify lives?Let's see.
The answer is yes.The teachings simplify our lives, but the
meetings.....I'm talking about the non-worship meetings and meetings and
meetings....We need to have workshops on how to run an effective
45-minute meeting. We would get a lot more done.
It gives a LOT of rules to live by. Some such as don't start smolking are
EXTREMLY beneficial. Others such as girls are not to wear more than one set of
earrings and don't wear clothes without sleeves or skirts above the knee
are annoying and restrictive. So is go to church EVERY Sunday and no shopping on
Yes, it complicates life for the gay person, just like it *complicates* life for
the adulterer, the thief, and any other person who breaks serious commandments.
If there is not repentance, I suppose the person's life could get
complicated. What I don't get is when a person commits those sins and then
expects the church to change its doctrine to make the person feel better. And
they won't *let it alone*.
rwl123 asks about the figures of LDS activity worldwide in connection with
complexity and simplicity of living the gospel. A web search on 'LDS church
activity and growth' provides answers (comment rules forbid me to give
links). See also the difference between church reported membership and the
census results on religious affiliation in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and the
Philippines, as published by BYU professor Tim Heaton. The perfect stats would
come from the church in figures of average attendance in sacrament meeting, but
the church does not release those. Retention is a major concern for church
leaders, in particular outside of the U.S. The causes for inactivity are
various, but the weight of church demands are a definite factor. Think also of
the challenge of part-member families - which often constitute the majority of
the members in some areas.
"Be ye therefore perfect". How much more complicated can it be?
ScientistWe get it. You hate religion, are an athiest, and are
happy only when running down other peoples faith. Now may I direct you to the
Salt Lake Tribune. That's where you will find the most like minded folks
who will be glad to wallow with you in your need to be nothing but negative.
Spier Rico,Dang it, you just described me to a T. But I
wouldn't have it any other way! He who the Lord calls, him will the Lord
make equal to the task! That I do believe. Where much is given, much is
expected. And if we trust in Him, He will surely never fail us.
At times do I have to sacrifice things I want to do in order to fulfill my
callings? Yes. Is that bad? No. Why? Because I am serving others. Does that mean
there is very little me time? Yes. Do I still have plenty of time to be with my
family? Yes. Do I sometimes skip extra meetings so I can be with my family? Yes.
Does paying tithing make affording things more difficult? Yes. Does it also make
me budget and cut unnecessary selfish desires? Yes. Do I sometimes grumble when
I have an extra duty added to my plate? Yes. When I serve despite my occasional
protestations do I feel good afterwards? Yes.
Complicate or simplify?It definitely puts more demands on time. It
can be difficult to be a leader, own/run a business and spend time with
family.It definitely puts more demand on resources. Where does UT
rank in forclosures and bankruptcies? It definitely complicates
life for people who are gay, those that don't fit the "mold" and
those that love them.
It's simple... Learn the forgotten art of saying "no". The church
is made for us, not us for the church.
Life is complicated by the things we try to do in parallel to what we want to do
most of all...
Question: "Does the LDS Church complicate or simplify lives?" Answer: "The Church simplifies complicated lives!"
Many of President Uchtdorf’s talks echo the same sentiment of prioritizing
our work. Yes, our leaders are aware of the problem. The Book of Mormon also
teaches not to run faster than we have strength (see Mosiah 4:27). Speaking to
Joseph, The Doctrine and Covenants teach us:“Do not run faster
or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to
translate; but be diligent unto the end.” (Doctrine and Covenants 10:4)From this I learn that speed and diligence are NOT the same things and
that the Lord will provide. He is in change and will provide (or not) the
energy. Diligence requires a day by day effort, not the Indy 500.In
other words, there have been several general authorities over the years who have
taught us not to get in the “thick of thin things”, but to do those
things that matter most. The general authorities who used this alliterative
phrase include A. Theodore Tuttle, Thomas S. Monson, and H. Burke Peterson.
@Wilf 55SALT LAKE CITY, UT*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?*Where do you get your figures? I lived in the East many years, and yes,
it was a bit more difficult to home teach and get to church because of
distances, but, looking back, the Lord compensated. I had a church
leader back there explain it very similarly to how President Uchtdorf does. The
leader explained that we do indeed have more than we can do, but that is because
the Lord wants us to have to pick and prioritize. We have to learn to work on
the most important things. This having to prioritize/choose IS part of the
plan. Just a thought. But it makes sense to me.
To hear my colleagues cuss their various imposed assignments at the church it
does sound like it complicates life.
Well said. Thank you for a beautiful gem of thought that rang true and
brightened my day. I'm sharing this article with my family members
The only problem we have is that there are always those individuals who attempt
to "magnify their callings" at the expense of everyone else's time
and energy. Good church leaders have fewer meetings which are
actually shorter, because they are more effective. Good leaders encourage others
and then trust them to accomplish tasks. Good leaders recognize their own
humanity and are secure in themselves. They don't expect superhuman
perfectionism from us mortals.
Why do we think simple is good?Growth comes from discomfort. I
never grew an inch in life without a challenge of some type.If your goal
is to remain static and passive then off you go. My problem is not
the complications of the "church" but rather the way the demands are
placed upon us in the social context - as if missing the Ward Party is the
equivalent of treason or passing on a calling is equal to a fully denial of the
truth.Life is a project to be managed, worked on and experienced.
Sometimes the road is hard and step, other times is is smooth. At times simple
and at others so complicated and busy it seems impossible to manage. No worry - just keep moving forward, love your fellow man and take a vacation
once in a while. And I don't mean to Hawaii - Sometimes you just have to
look the "leader" in the eye and say no thank you - right now I am just
going to be part of the audience. and don't forget to breathe
- oh and the dry cleaning, and to get your oil changed, and to call you Mother,
For an LDS academic, the church does indeed complicate one's life unless
one is willing to put away any attempt to try and reconcile the sensible with
the nonsensical. Much of the doublethink we see and hear from many Mormon
apologists only serves to perpetuate such difficulties for many member scholars
who have been trained to think critically and avoid errors in reasoning. When
challenged, the old fallback to strictly rely on faith over thought seems to be
nothing more than an evasive prescription for avoiding the obvious.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
yes, both the church and the 'gospel' complicates lives. It
doesn't do that to everybody, but I have seen many, myelf included.
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.
"Meetings" (Bishopric, PEC, Councils, BYC, Presidency, Mutual, Scout,
Activity Days, Planning, etc) can complicate your life. Living the Gospel never
complicates your life.
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.
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.
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.