You know those times you go to a meeting, program, or activity that you feel the Spirit so strong or the message was so great that you come back home with this amazing feeling that your life has been changed and you have committed to becoming a better person? EFY is a good example of when this has happened to me. Now this is a week long camp but if you’ve ever gone, you know that by the time you come home, you are a different person. You want to be better so much that your heart feels like it’s on fire! I love those times I have felt this in my life. The times when I have felt the Spirit so strongly that it stays burning inside me and I am able to carry that feeling with me for an extended period of time and it makes me want to share it with the world. To shout from a mountain top that the GOSPEL IS TRUE! These are the times in my life that I am the happiest!
So I was thinking about how I can get these feelings on a regular basis in my life. I always think to myself that I have to attend some special fireside or listen to conference to have these amazing spiritual feasts but why not every single Sunday? Why don’t I feel this way after coming home from my church meetings every week? Well, having three little kids might have something to do with it, but there are some things I can do to help. So as I’ve been thinking about this over the last week, I decided to try 4 different things to help church be a more spiritual experience for me and last Sunday when I tried them, it worked!! I felt like I learned so much more then I normally do, I came home feeling the Spirit, and I simply felt HAPPY! I am excited to take the things I learned and apply them to my life and my families lives throughout the week. This is when I know I have had success, when I continue to think about things and carry them into my day to day life. When I want to climb onto that mountain top!
So here are 4 simple things that you can do to make church more meaningful:
1. Sing all the hymns. Music is one of the easiest ways to invite the Spirit in and we sing a lot in church. But how easy is it to just sing along with our lips singing the words but our minds are on something else. All of the hymns are so beautiful and if you really think about the words you are singing, and sing from your heart, the Spirit will be there with you. What a great way to start out your meetings!
2. Talk to people. That sounds easy but sometimes it’s easier to just go along, sit in your class, and not say anything. Sometimes it can be an effort and out of our comfort zone to go up and start talking to someone. I think this is one of the most important reasons we go to church. I mean if the church wanted to it could tell all it’s members that instead of going to church on Sunday, you just need to log onto the internet and listen to a message that they have prepared for you. But they don’t because they know how important it is that we meet together in our ward families. In order to serve others, we need to get to know them. It is all of our responsibilities to get to know the members in our ward. If you have the attitude that you feel angry because no one is talking to you at church, I want you to know that it is the adversary working on you and it is just as much your responsibility to get to know your ward members as it is theirs. The more we get to know the people in our ward, the easier it will be to serve them and the more love we will have for them. I know from experience that I feel so much more happier on the Sundays I have talked to many different members then when I just went and sat alone and stayed “comfortable” in my own quiet little corner.
3. Pre-read the lessons. When you take a minute to read the lessons before you go to church, you can really think about the lessons and how they relate to your life. You can also actively participate and share experiences or questions that you may have thought of. The more times you hear a message the more it will stay with you and the more you will learn from it.
4. Take notes. This is such a simple yet powerful way to learn from the Spirit at church. Bring a little notebook with you, and when you hear something that inspires you or that you really like, write it down. It is amazing how much better you listen when you are waiting to hear something to write in your little notebook! You will see that you want to write things down and you are just waiting to hear those ah ha moments. Writing things down makes them more meaningful to you. As you write down different messages you will find that you start to remember things better and the the Spirit will start speaking to you throughout your meetings. It is such an amazing feeling! It is also helpful when you have to prepare a talk or lesson to have this notebook to reference back to and remember things that you loved that you would like to share with others.