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Question

Dear Gramps,

I have recently received many invitations from my friends who go to different churches to go to church with them. Is this a good idea? I don’t want to miss sacrament meeting, but I don’t want to be rude to my friends because I have invited them to church with me. I don’t want to be unfair by declining their invitations because if I am going to invite them to my church it seems like they always invite me to their church. What should I do? Should I stop going to other churches with my friends? Should I keep inviting them to church with me?

Kaitlin

 

Answer

Dear Kaitlin,

Visiting other churches and exploring different religions can be a wonderful eye opening experience that I recommend we all do from time to time. It helps you learn more about the beliefs of others and you will become more understanding and empathetic. You will also be able to view our own beliefs from a different perspective and develop a greater appreciation for the gospel. Many missions around the world encourage their missionaries to have cultural experiences by visiting other churches so they can better relate to the people they teach.

Visiting other churches with non-LDS friends will be a good example to them and may encourage them to likewise visit our church. I often find that showing interest in other people’s beliefs earns you their interest in return. Consider the parable of “The Two Lamps” in the following article:

Three Parables—The Unwise Bee, the Owl Express, and Two Lamps

As you visit other churches be careful not forget your own covenants. It is still important that you attend your own ward each Sunday. Attending other churches can never substitute for the renewal of your baptismal covenant when you take the sacrament. If there is a time conflict, you could possibly attend another LDS ward that is scheduled at a different time but I would not make a habit of this. You should explain to your friends why you feel it is so important not to miss your own service. This will show them that you do not take your faith lightly and that you have a strong love and devotion to our Savior. I hope this helps.

Gramps

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