Service

(also see “Community”, “Lay clergy”, and “Purpose in life”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
To many believers, service is at the heart of the gospel. The church’s call to serve is a valuable mechanism for allowing us to grow and become like God. Church callings and assignments give opportunities for service that are enriching, satisfying, and provide opportunity for personal growth. Even though some of the service in the church seems petty or trite, the frequent opportunities for service in Mormonism help build connections and friendships that would not otherwise form.
 
Many believers serve because service can touch people’s hearts and lead them to accept the gospel.
 
Our baptismal covenants command us to serve, mourn with, and comfort others.
Although many nonbelievers who have experience in church service might remember the difficulties and annoyances associated with it, they also probably admit that church callings and assignments give opportunities for service that are enriching, satisfying, and provide opportunity for personal growth. Even though some of the service in the church seems petty or trite, the frequent opportunities for service in Mormonism help build connections and friendships that would not otherwise form.
 
Many nonbelievers admit that they struggle to find meaningful service opportunities when they stop going to church. Some people forget service entirely, and some ex-Mormons who leave the church find themselves very self-focused.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Service is often not very fun. It’s also very debatable how much good people are actually doing in the church with “service”. Giving people casseroles, cutting their grass, giving rides, and shoveling snow can only go so far. Are the service activities that Mormons are frequently engaged in actually meaningful? Does helping people move who can already afford movers make a difference? Does giving people food who can afford to eat out make a difference? Are there better types of service that we should be focusing on? Why can’t our church focus more on humanitarian aid and on service not related to proselytizing or strengthening ties to the institution?
The nonbeliever is likely to agree with the cons listed in the believing section, and they are not reproduced here for the sake of brevity.
 
For the nonbeliever, it is easy to contemplate how leaving the church might afford more time for service that is more meaningful and to engage the community in causes that are personally important. They might wish to join other churches or organizations that focus more on “no-strings attached” service.
 

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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