Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hypocrisy in the Church


I love it!! :)

There are various reasons as to why people choose to not attend church. I have found that a common reason for choosing to not attend is because “All churches are full of Hypocrites”. This is something that I have a hard time understanding. Yes, there are most definitely hypocrites in every church. But aren’t we all hypocrites in one way or another? I have a hard time understanding why some people expect church goers to be perfect just because they attend church. I am not trying to excuse sin, but we need to understand that church goers are not perfect nor will they ever be. There are people in every church who say and do stupid things. There are people in every church who will offend others. There are people in every church who may go to church every Sunday but then don’t abide by the teachings of their church during the week. Yes, there are hypocrites in every church. But…so what?? Why would we choose to make that our problem?? Their sins and imperfections are between them and God. Not between us and them. Why do we sometimes allow people to get between us and God? I am reminded of the quote, “When you let a hypocrite stand between you and God, who is closer to God??” It’s something to think about. There may be church goers who are hypocrites, but what better place for a hypocrite to be than church?? Isn’t that where they should be? Church goers don’t claim to be perfect.  It’s important for us to remember that church IS for imperfect people. The purpose of church is to HELP imperfect people (including hypocrites) become better.

This is one of my very favorite quotes because it teaches an important point:

“The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other.… We are here with the same purpose: to learn to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves” (Joseph B. Wirthlin)

Let’s remember that we are NOT accountable to God for the actions of others. When it is time for us to stand before God, we will only be responsible for our own actions. And while here on earth, if we choose to let any thing or any person (including hypocrites) come between us and Him, we will be held accountable for that. None of us are perfect, so let’s stop judging and labeling others as hypocrites. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2) We ALL fall short sometimes.  We ALL sin.  As hard as it can be sometimes, we need to take our critical eyes off the sin of others and focus on our own need for improvement and forgiveness.

"We have a choice. We can seek for the bad in others. Or we can make peace and work to extend to others the understanding, fairness, and forgiveness we so desperately desire for ourselves. It is our choice; for whatever we seek, that we will certainly find." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

If you happen to be one of those who choose to not go to church because there are hypocrites in the church, I would hope that you would reconsider. Please don’t use the failings of others as an excuse for wavering in your own devotion to God. Most churches, although full of imperfect people, are also full of wonderful, service oriented, Christian people. For me personally, church is a wonderful place to be. I need church. I need that weekly spiritual rejuvenation. I need that opportunity to become closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I truly gain strength from attending church each Sunday. I know that there are many people who feel that they can fulfill their spiritual needs without attending church. I personally believe that everyone can benefit from attending a good church. Through experience I have learned that there are simply some blessings and opportunities that can only come as a result of being part of a church. Don’t miss out on those wonderful opportunities. 


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Smile

Top 10 Reasons to Smile
By Mark Stibich, Ph.D., Guide
Updated February 04, 2010

Smiling is a great way to make yourself stand out while helping your body to function better. Smile to improve your health, your stress level, and your attractiveness. Smiling is just one fun way to live longer.

1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive

We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away -- but a smile draws them in

2. Smiling Changes Our Mood

Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There's a good chance your mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.

3. Smiling Is Contagious

When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.

4. Smiling Relieves Stress

Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you'll be better able to take action.

5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.

6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure

When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?

7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin

Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.

8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger

The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don't go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day -- you'll look younger and feel better.

9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful

Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.

10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It's hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that "Life is Good!" Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.

Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

I'm so grateful for the healing power of the Atonement and for the Peace of God that each of us are entitled to if we so desire.