5 And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.
6 And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.
Some people wonder why it is important to participate in the church. If we worship God and endeavor to live good, honorable lives, isn’t that enough? Here are a few answers to that question:
- We all know how hard it is to discipline ourselves, particularly over time. In spite of our best intentions, we all pass through times in life where we feel distant from God. During those times, isn’t it a blessing to meet regularly with other people who share our faith, “to keep [us] in the right way”(Moroni 6:4)?
- God has bigger plans for us than we have for ourselves. He wants us to grow “from grace to grace” until we receive every blessing He has to give (D&C 93:13, 20). We can’t achieve that goal on our own. Worshipping alone might be more comfortable, but worshipping with others stretches us and enables us to “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
- The ordinances of the gospel serve an essential function in bringing the power of God into our lives. As we participate in the sacrament each Sunday, we make a public statement of our continuing commitment to move forward along “the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:18). That expression of faith unlocks the powers of heaven and qualifies us to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
- The church gives us opportunities to put the principles of the gospel into action in our lives. In the words of D. Todd Christofferson:
In the Church we not only learn divine doctrine; we also experience its application. As the body of Christ, the members of the Church minister to one another in the reality of day-to-day life. All of us are imperfect; we may offend and be offended. We often test one another with our personal idiosyncrasies. In the body of Christ, we have to go beyond concepts and exalted words and have a real “hands-on” experience as we learn to “live together in love” (“Why the Church” General Conference, October 2015).
Today, I will be grateful for the blessings I receive as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will thank my Heavenly Father for the growth and the stability I experience as a result of my fellowship with the saints (Ephesians 2:19).