Blog Archives

Maybe This Is Why They Say We’re Works-Centered


Last night, I participated in an Enrichment Night for another ward in our stake.  Apparently someone let it slip that I’ve been known to sing on occasion, so they asked me to perform a song as one of the 10 virgins in a simple musical presentation.

I don’t love Mormon pop music, but the song wasn’t so bad, and of course I’m happy to share my talents when I get the chance.

When I walked in and saw the purpose of the meeting, however, I became somewhat conflicted.  The theme was “Walk in the Light.”  They had set up 7 tables all decorated around different topics:

Emergency Preparedness
Family Relations
Physical Health
Personal Development
Mental Strength

Then they handed out a packet with this statement  in the introduction:

Sometimes it is difficult and overwhelming to think about all of the things we could be doing like: preparing our food storage, giving service etc.  So the Xth Ward Relief Society is hoping to help and support by focusing on our light in one area a month. … The lesson for the first Sunday of each month will focus on one of these areas and an enrichment activity will follow.  Setting attainable and realistic goals for each area can help us improve.

Match: Complete 2 goals in each [of the 7] area[s]
Candle: Complete the match plus 2 additional goals in each area
Lamp: Complete the candle plus 2 additional goals in each area

Here’s where I’m conflicted: each of these areas are worthwhile.  It’s nice to be spiritually-minded, prepared for emergencies, engaged in loving family activities, physically fit, service-oriented, personally fulfilled, and mentally strong.  And it’s nice to have support as you attempt self-improvement.

But I can’t help thinking we’re missing the forest for the trees here.  Far more important than any of these attributes is being Christ-centered.  And by focusing so much time, effort, and energy on peripheral goals, we are neglecting the core of the matter: a saving relationship with Jesus…and all the fruits that come out of it.

Call me touchy-feely, but it seems to me that the more we focus on the practical to-dos–and less on the core principles of the gospel, which are faith and repentance in the Lord Jesus Christ–the more we we become a religion about DOING SCHTUFF and less a place to worship our God and Savior.

What do you guys think?  Am I being over-sensitive here (we all know I have a hang-up about this issue to begin with)?  Or is there a solid reason for my conflicted response?