Have you been considering becoming a member of the LDS church, but are reluctant to meet with missionaries or start attending church? This was a question from one of our readers and I’ve spent some time pondering the question. As part of my response I’ve decided to include a few thoughts in this blog that might be useful for others. I realize that there are many reasons why someone would be reluctant to start attending the LDS church even if they are interested in becoming a member. You shouldn’t feel any pressure by attending a service. There are usually a few people at a church service held on Sundays that will notice a stranger and will make an attempt at introduction, whether you a member of the LDS church or not. If they happen to find out that you are only visiting for the first time you may here any number of responses reflecting the hope that you liked what you saw or felt and are welcome to come anytime. If you are more than a casual observer, you are likely to be invited to meet with missionaries who are full time temporary volunteers dedicated to teaching more about the LDS faith. You are not required, however, to meet with the missionaries. Though they are trained to teach and are commissioned to baptize they generally eschew the appearance of pressuring.
I know of instances where members not of the LDS faith regularly participated in LDS activities like organized sports and Scouting. There are a lot of benefits to attending church regularly. The church is divided up by geographic regions and members belong to congregations based on boundaries. The church is very logistical in that regard, but it proves useful. Congregations or ‘Wards’ as we call them are much like families and no one ward is exactly like another. As my Ward has changed over the years due to migration of fellow members and/or myself my experience has varied, but I have always felt some affinity for the Ward. Most of my life’s cherished experiences have been with people from my local Ward, but it sometimes takes an open mind, positive attitude, patience and work – perhaps more on that in another post. I’m not sure I’ve answered your question about what to do if you are interested in becoming a member, but are reluctant to attend church or meet with the missionaries. Thanks for the question. It caused me to pause and reflect on some good times!