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I have been looking into joining the Church for around 6 months. What is some advice you could give me what to do next. I have started reading the book of Mormon, have spoken to missionaries online (I've not felt ready to meet in person), and have been to Church once with a friend who is a member. I don't like to rush into things and would like to know what people think are the best aspects of being in the Church and also what are some thing to consider (good and bad) before taking the step

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1 hour ago, Phoenix7093 said:

I have been looking into joining the Church for around 6 months. What is some advice you could give me what to do next. I have started reading the book of Mormon, have spoken to missionaries online (I've not felt ready to meet in person), and have been to Church once with a friend who is a member. I don't like to rush into things and would like to know what people think are the best aspects of being in the Church and also what are some thing to consider (good and bad) before taking the step

Welcome my friend! 

i'm a convert, so I sort of know where you are coming from. The best advice I can give you is slow down, go at your own pace, and never stop praying. Continue to research the church and read the Book of Mormon! 

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2 hours ago, Phoenix7093 said:

I have been looking into joining the Church for around 6 months. What is some advice you could give me what to do next. I have started reading the book of Mormon, have spoken to missionaries online (I've not felt ready to meet in person), and have been to Church once with a friend who is a member. I don't like to rush into things and would like to know what people think are the best aspects of being in the Church and also what are some thing to consider (good and bad) before taking the step

Howdy!

I have several favorite parts of the Gospel.   The first is the Plan of Salvation: just knowing the purpose, direction, and value of everything.  Plus it's stressing on our own agency and the power of God.  Second would be... well, I'm a scientist.  I like experiments: testing and hypothesis and seeing the results.  Testing scripture, testing prayer, testing fruit, and having those all turn wonderful results, that I good for me.  Third: I like the simultaneous stress of having a God whom speaks to the world (Prophets, continuing revelation, etc), while also just as much speaking to each of us individually (answering prayer, personal revelation, etc).    

 

As to my advice on the next step: you're on the right track keep going.  Don't let people rush you, but also if you feel the Savior saying "come, follow me" don't dawdle.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

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12 hours ago, Phoenix7093 said:

...would like to know what people think are the best aspects of being in the Church...

To be honest, if you're looking for the mundane aspects (sociality, good sermons, good culture, etc...) then this church isn't anything new.  I've visited other churches that my friends have gone to.  And (given that my friends go to fairly conservative churches -- no rock music, no "propserity gospel" etc.) they are not much different other than the doctrines taught.

For me, the main reason I personally keep going is that I know it is the truth.  It doesn't matter how pleasant or unpleasant the experience is (I've found it usually pleasant) I want to be guided by the truth.  And I feel the Holy Ghost telling me that I need to continue on the path.

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The best aspect of being a member of the Church is having the understanding and conviction impressed upon me by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's true Church and is the only church on the face of the earth with access to all tools necessary to prepare me, my family, and the rest of mankind, to have eternal life in the presence of God.

Because of this knowledge, I would attend services even if everyone in the Church disliked me and treated me poorly.

My number one piece of advice to you would be to read the Book of Mormon specifically seeking a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost to know that it is true, and to humbly and sincerely ask God in prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ to bestow such a witness and knowledge upon you, so that you may have a true testimony that can withstand the coming storm.

Edited by person0

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13 minutes ago, person0 said:

Because of this knowledge, I would attend services even if everyone in the Church disliked me and treated me poorly.

Has that ever happened to you? How did you deal with it? Not being rude, not starting a fight. Genuinely curious, your answer might help some of us out. 

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28 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Has that ever happened to you? How did you deal with it? Not being rude, not starting a fight. Genuinely curious, your answer might help some of us out. 

I can't say that it has happened to the level that some others have experienced.  As a youth I was the 'annoying kid' with all that comes with that, so I suppose it happened then.  The good thing is that, although I am very extroverted and enjoy interpersonal relationships, I also find it easy enough to enjoy time alone and engage myself in something I find interesting, which I did a lot back then.  I also had a strong testimony as a youth, so that helped as well.

As an adult I don't really fit in all that well, but I couldn't say that people dislike me or treat me poorly.  I can say, however, that I don't benefit a whole lot from the social aspect of church.  I go, do my calling, and leave.  We attend church functions and get together's, but people often are chattering about stuff I just don't care for much, like sports or the newest pyramid scheme.  I can talk about my kids all day long, so that sometimes makes for decent conversation; if we get invited somewhere, it is most often because one of our kids is friends with another kid.

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33 minutes ago, person0 said:

I can't say that it has happened to the level that some others have experienced.  As a youth I was the 'annoying kid' with all that comes with that, so I suppose it happened then.  The good thing is that, although I am very extroverted and enjoy interpersonal relationships, I also find it easy enough to enjoy time alone and engage myself in something I find interesting, which I did a lot back then.  I also had a strong testimony as a youth, so that helped as well.

As an adult I don't really fit in all that well, but I couldn't say that people dislike me or treat me poorly.  I can say, however, that I don't benefit a whole lot from the social aspect of church.  I go, do my calling, and leave.  We attend church functions and get together's, but people often are chattering about stuff I just don't care for much, like sports or the newest pyramid scheme.  I can talk about my kids all day long, so that sometimes makes for decent conversation; if we get invited somewhere, it is most often because one of our kids is friends with another kid.

Very fascinating. Thank you for the response. 

And the pyramid scheme stuff drives me crazy too. I'm blown away by how many people (99% women. Sorry) are involved in one, especially in the church. 

Edited by MormonGator

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2 hours ago, person0 said:

Because of this knowledge, I would attend services even if everyone in the Church disliked me and treated me poorly.

I like to believe I would do the same, but I know myself well enough to wonder how true this would be for me. A month, sure. A year, maybe. But I fear that at some point my native immaturity and resentfulness might catch up with me.

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5 minutes ago, Vort said:

I like to believe I would do the same, but I know myself well enough to wonder how true this would be for me. A month, sure. A year, maybe. But I fear that at some point my native immaturity and resentfulness might catch up with me.

That, and we don't know how we'd act until placed in that specific situation. 

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4 minutes ago, Vort said:

I like to believe I would do the same, but I know myself well enough to wonder how true this would be for me. A month, sure. A year, maybe. But I fear that at some point my native immaturity and resentfulness might catch up with me.

Hehe I hear that.

For me I have been trying to change my mindset from "What am I getting?" to "How am I serving?"  And the more I think about it having 2ish hours a week where my "Service to my fellow man" is pretty well defined and I've had lots of practice with is kind of awesome.

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37 minutes ago, Vort said:

I like to believe I would do the same, but I know myself well enough to wonder how true this would be for me. A month, sure. A year, maybe. But I fear that at some point my native immaturity and resentfulness might catch up with me.

I was under the impression that you were the poster child for such a scenario; you mean to tell me there's people at church who like you 😕?

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6 minutes ago, person0 said:

I was under the impression that you were the poster child for such a scenario; you mean to tell me there's people at church who like you 😕?

I am constantly amazed that members of my former and present wards seem genuinely to like me. Helps me feel like I might actually one day be a denizen of Zion.

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21 minutes ago, Vort said:

I am constantly amazed that members of my former and present wards seem genuinely to like me. Helps me feel like I might actually one day be a denizen of Zion.

I would hope so!  I tend to get along with just about anyone who has similar opinions, or who isn't scared off by a light-hearted yet spirited discussion of differences.  I think I would get along decently with most of the people in this forum.  From what I can tell, @Anddenex is the forum member most similarly opined to me when looking at all aspects, and also shares at least a few similar interests.  You rank well too 😁.  I think @MormonGator can get along with just about everyone because he's mastered the art of shrugging things off and not taking life too seriously, but I wonder if people have a more difficult time taking to him than he does to them.  Regardless, you'd all be welcome for cards/games at my house on Friday nights 😀.

NOTE:  In case it somehow wasn't obvious, my previous post was in jest.

Edited by person0

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Thank you for your responses. It's quite a scary feeling to try stepping into a world I don't really know alot about and like most social situations, assuming there will be some kind of resentment, or isolation by being "the new person" but its encouraging hearing honest opinions that aren't actually that daunting! 

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12 minutes ago, person0 said:

 Regardless, you'd both be welcome for cards/games at my house on Friday nights 😀.

Can I bring whiskey? 

11 minutes ago, Phoenix7093 said:

Thank you for your responses. It's quite a scary feeling to try stepping into a world I don't really know alot about and like most social situations, assuming there will be some kind of resentment, or isolation by being "the new person" but its encouraging hearing honest opinions that aren't actually that daunting! 

In 99% of wards you'll be embraced and loved. When I joined I sort of clung to the missionaries at first because I knew them the best. Within about three weeks I was able to form relationships with the members.  

Edited by MormonGator

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Just now, person0 said:

Of course!  We can set it as the centerpiece, in it's NRFB glory.  🙂

Speaking of joining the church, the first dinner I had at a members house, I saw a bottle of Jack Daniels above his fridge. He said he used it "for cooking."  

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20 hours ago, Phoenix7093 said:

I have been looking into joining the Church for around 6 months. What is some advice you could give me what to do next. I have started reading the book of Mormon, have spoken to missionaries online (I've not felt ready to meet in person), and have been to Church once with a friend who is a member. I don't like to rush into things and would like to know what people think are the best aspects of being in the Church and also what are some thing to consider (good and bad) before taking the step

I think others have provided some insightful thoughts regarding joining the Church, and I will see if I can potentially add anything helpful to your journey.

1) There are two gifts of the Spirit and one often appears to be overlooked, and by some groups it is mocked. The first is that some are given the gift to "know" by the Spirit that this is the Lord's Church. This is the Lord's gospel.

The second is that some are given to know through their belief in other people's words. Both witnesses will lead a person to exaltation as long as we act in faith, hope, charity, and endure to the end.

Once you know the truth by either the first or the second gift of the Spirit, I wouldn't hesitate joining the Church.

2) Please continue reading the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart and mind. If you haven't yet, read the Book of Mormon all the way through, and sincerely and with real intent accept the invitation from Moroni to pray.

All my children have read the Book of Mormon in its entirety before they have been baptized. All my children have accepted Moroni's invitation to pray and all of them thus far have received an answer. What I find interesting is how they each have felt a different fruit of the Spirit letting them know its true. My fourth child was baptized 4 months after he turned 8 because he had not finished the Book of Mormon. Baptism isn't a right of passage. It is a testament/covenant that I am willing to love and keep God's commandments to the end.

3) Remember, every member of the Church is at different levels of spirituality. Here is what I have witnessed in the Lord's Church:

  • There are members who are traditional members. They were born in the Church, they haven't felt the music (enjoy this video so you know what I am meaning).
  • There are members of the Church who are very knowledgeable, spiritual, and are a good example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
  • There are members who are over-zealous and can lead toward religious hobbies. (religious hobbies is something we want to avoid ourselves)
  • There are progressive members who care more about being politically correct than following the prophet.
  • There are ex-members, who are no longer followers of Christ's true gospel, which begs the question from Christ to his disciples, "Will you also go away"? or something to that nature Christ asked.

So, when a person joins the Church, like all others (like my mom and dad who are converts), they will have to decide for themselves what type of member they will become. Remember, there are many called and few are chosen. Choose to be chosen.

4) We choose to be offended. Like @person0 shared, if we truly have received witness, if we truly love our Savior (and that is the motivation behind our actions), then no matter how we feel the ward treats us we will still be faithful and attend.

Sadly, I had an experience that lasted for a few years where a leader had something against me. It was interesting how easily this man influenced others. I was at one point uninvited from meetings that I was supposed to attend. This was the first time I ever asked to be released from a calling. I looked at it this way, "If you remove me from magnifying my calling and meetings I am supposed to attend, then you obviously don't need me in the calling." I was released and called to the primary. Best calling ever! If I could I would only serve as a primary teacher for 8-10 olds, as this is the most rewarding calling -- in my book -- ever! I loved watching how easily the Spirit worked on these young members.

I also found it interesting that when this individual moved out of our ward how all of a sudden leaders were saying, once again, just ask the Anddenex family they will get it done. So, one person can influence people against other people. If that happens, always remember why we attend Church. I do not attend Church so that a bishop, a leader, or anyone else is my friend. I attend Church simply because of one reason -- I love my Master, my Savior. He died for me. I will serve him, even if people who are supposed to love me, do not.

What am I saying? No one in the Church is perfect -- no one. Don't expect it. If you come to Church to serve our Master/Savior, then you will be just fine. Remember, his love is greater than everyone else combined, and learn to trust in that love that is received through the power of the Holy Ghost.

5) Accept every calling you receive no matter how hard. Remember the following verse of scripture: Ether 12:27.

6) Growth in the Church, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, is accomplished through service, through continued reading of scriptures, and through honoring the covenants we have made.

7) It is OK not to rush into anything, as long as we are sincerely doing what is required and are willing to act when the Spirit bears witness. If the Spirit has already bore witness to you, then act, don't wait. Remember the day of Pentecost and how thousands were baptized after one day. I am not saying, go rush and be baptized. I am saying, if the Spirit has born witness, you know it has born witness, then act and obey. You will be blessed for your obedience even if you still feel nervous or afraid. Those are natural feelings that come upon us all.

A good read for you might be "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence" : https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2000/03/cast-not-away-therefore-your-confidence?lang=eng

The best aspect of being in the Church -- IT IS TRUE. This is Christ's Church. This is his gospel. This is the path to exaltation to be with the Father and the Son and with our families. That is the best aspect.

The next best aspect, is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, constant companionship, that provides comfort, knowledge, and justification. We have a member of the Godhead as our companion. Learn to trust in His voice, which is God's voice, and his voice alone. This voice will never, ever, lead you astray. It will always bear witness of truth.

Another aspect, you can meet some wonderful, honest, good hearted people who will be friends for life.

Well, I think that suffices dear friend.

 

Edited by Anddenex

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6 hours ago, Phoenix7093 said:

Thank you for your responses. It's quite a scary feeling to try stepping into a world I don't really know alot about and like most social situations, assuming there will be some kind of resentment, or isolation by being "the new person" but its encouraging hearing honest opinions that aren't actually that daunting! 

No resentment at all-- we love new people and questions, particularly real-from-the-heart ones!

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18 hours ago, Phoenix7093 said:

Thank you for your responses. It's quite a scary feeling to try stepping into a world I don't really know alot about and like most social situations, assuming there will be some kind of resentment, or isolation by being "the new person" but its encouraging hearing honest opinions that aren't actually that daunting! 

The Church loves new people.  Depending on where you live, you could get an incredible amount of support.

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