Okay--I guess I've had enough of a holiday blogging break, soooo.....
Today, we had our testimony meeting and a sister I don't ever remember seeing before gave her testimony. It seemed like she has been inactive for a while and is starting to work her way back into activity, or at least see if that's what she wants to do. She said several things that were thought provoking to me.
1--"God loves me as I am"--absolutely correct! Heavenly Father loves us as we are. I believe He also loves our desire to grow and progress. He understands our hearts and as someone else said today at church "when we give Him our best, we get His best in return". I have been trying to be more like that. To accept people how they are instead of wishing they would hurry up and move on to the next step already. That is rude and insensitive of me and something I hope to be able to change.
2--"If I don't wear a skirt to church, I am sinning."--I disagree with this one. It is custom to wear our best clothes to church. I'm not sure it's a sin if we don't though. This issue doesn't bother me in the slightest. As long as people are dressed modestly, I'm pretty much just happy that they're there and hope they feel The Spirit. I wear my Sunday clothes to church because I believe it is what Heavenly Father would have me do and I want to please Him. Not because I'm afraid of Him or am trying to make appearances, but because I love Him. That is something I don't want to change about myself. I want to please those I love, and I love my Heavenly Father.
3--"I can worship God from home."--again, absolutely true. However, I have a deep need to learn from others and help to bear their burdens and have them help to bear mine. I gain comfort from knowing that others are struggling and striving and doing the best they can even when its hard. I love the hugs. I love the crying. I love the lessons and the parts of themselves the teachers bring into them. Again, I believe this is what Heavenly Father would have us to do. Are there people there who are not as righteous as they present themselves to be? Yes. Are there people there who hurt my feelings and make me uncomfortable? Yes. Am I one of those people? I hope not, but I very well may be for some. I come in spite of those who hurt me, judge me, etc, etc, etc and I hope others do too.
4-A recurring theme throughout her testimony was "why do we go to church". As I have thought about this, I think there are many reasons why I go to church. But the most prominent one I can think of is love. Giving it, receiving it, everything about it. I believe my weeks go better when I have attended church. Partaking of the sacrament and renewing of covenants aside, I have my thoughts and goals for the week from the experience of my Sunday worship. I have wonderful experiences and examples to follow and I am grateful just for the opportunity to go and learn something and feel my Heavenly Father's love for me and for others.