Why Holiday Churches are so Small
Somehow, in the midst of our best attempts as leaders to challenge the powers and principalities, we have inherently set up a dynamic whereby we’ve locked ourselves out of claiming power. We are supposed to confront power, aren’t we? Name it, shame it, reframe it, but certainly don’t claim it. So how can we claim what we also condemn? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Despair and anxiety have always been an intrinsic part of life on Earth. In times of darkness, Christians have sought the encouraging words of scripture to provide strength, wisdom, and guidance about the love and truth of God. We are reminded of this when we seek counsel and encouragement from the Bible.
Despite the misfortunes we may experience, there is always an opportunity to choose love and rise above resentment and fear. The Bible was created to remind us of such truth and to encourage us to believe in the goodness of life and God.
- Fear not, for I am with you;
- I will strengthen you, I will help you;
- Do not fear or be in dread of them;
- No temptation has overtaken you;
If you’ve never left the church before, it’s hard to comprehend the experience. You must understand that it’s almost impossible to just “leave” the church. For most of us, the church is embedded in who we are. It’s part of our character and our identity. Mormonism is enmeshed in our values, our morals, our family relationships, and our friendships. People leave church for many reasons.
Some have been deeply hurt or offended by other members of the church. Some feel deceived and betrayed by the church because of inaccuracies. Some have been deeply wounded by the actions of leaders or official church policies that affect people they love.
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Others doubt because of the imperfect actions of our founding prophet, Joseph Smith. And many just plain don’t feel like they fit in. Now you have a small glimpse into the pain most people go through when they begin to leave the church. With that in mind, consider how much more painful it would be to go through these struggles, deal with the seemingly endless wave of emotions, and suffer through these trials while.
People you’ve learned on and trusted your entire life suddenly start distancing themselves from you, avoiding you, pitying you, judging you, or criticizing your character and your choices. Some have been deeply wounded by the actions of leaders or official church policies that affect people they love. Others doubt because of the imperfect actions of our founding prophet, Joseph Smith. And many just plain don’t feel like they fit in.