What the church does well…

Recently, I have noticed that while I blog about problems (they’re just so much more interesting), I rarely blog about the reasons I appreciate my Mormon faith.  Yesterday, my ward had an open house for the community, and I had ample time to think of things our church does really, really well.  Here is a partial list:

1.  A church run by a lay clergy provides amazing opportunities for service.

2.  I appreciate that as a Young Women I had the chance to have older women as mentors and friends.

3.  I appreciate youth programs that enable young people to socialize in safe settings.

4.  Yes, I like singles wards.  My non-member friends are always amazed that I met my husband so easily.

5.  This church does a great job raising the kind of men women want to marry.

6.  We have so many common sense programs, doctrines, and ideas that help our families and the community: the Word of Wisdom, food storage, getting out of debt.

7.  We raise children who don’t swear and who know they should treat others with respect.

8.  We have coordinated Sunday School classes so that I can discuss with family in another state what I read for church.

9.  Tithing gives me an opportunity to provide for others to an extent that I would not do on my own.

10.  We tend to have parents that care about raising and educating their children well.

11.  Our genealogy resources are becoming more and more impressive.

The list could continue, but I encourage all of you to add what you think the church does a great job at.

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  1. We oarganzie and marshall resources in times of crisis like none other.

  2. We provide a (nearly) automatic community when you move into a new area.

    We encourage the sharing of spiritual (and thus, often, emotional) things by both men and women alike.

  3. On a good day at church, which this was, we get a glimpse of what eternity must be like.

  4. Eveningsun says:

    Except for self-criticism, the Church does just about everything well.

  5. We do a good job of giving Youth Leadership and Public Speaking opportunities.

    We do a great Job encouraging Family members to love one another.

  6. Mormons stress the importance of consideration of other people’s feelings. I’m not saying it always sticks, but I think that is a deep and important value to mormons, and by and large it is very prevalent in the culture.

  7. In our apartment building we have a good friend who is British, Jewish and a Columbia student. We kept inviting people over from church and we’d meet in the building lounge and he’d show up and be invited to eat and hang out with us. One of those times we invited people from a singles ward. He was very intrigued by the whole singles ward thing – saying something like “we ought to do that.” My response: “I thought you did.” Since he’s attended a bunch of our activities and met our friends multiple times, he seems to like the social aspects of our church congregations.

    Perhaps as a counterbalance I should add that he was a bit freaked out when at one of our get-togethers I pointed out that there were some sister missionaries nearby. Right off-the-cuff he said something like “missionaries to us are like the Dementors.”

  8. Matt Rasmussen says:

    You mentioned a lay clergy but to take it beyond that, different speakers – men and women – every week that are there to convey experiences and a genuine point of view instead of a professional speaker.

  9. “missionaries to us are like the Dementors.”


  10. The Church is amazing when it comes to organization –like cleaning buildings, ushering meetings, getting out information, meeting goals, planning activities, etc.

  11. moving everything but pianos

    providing meals for the sick and new mothers

    providing growth and leadership for average Joes and Janes

  12. welfare program
    scripture resources
    youth dances
    seminary program
    mormon ads
    you tube videos

  13. Larry the Cable Guy says:

    The church’s Missionary Department, with associated language training, is in a class by itself.

    Maybe not as big a deal, but the Distribution Centers (or online w/ free shipping) can get you a lot of pretty decent stuff at minimal cost. I’d say that publication and distribution is on the list of things we do well.

    We are also good at carpet. Besides the floor, we also know how to put it on chapel walls to cover the cinder blocks.

  14. Natalie,

    I don’t post very often, but this entry made me wonder if I live in the same town as you. This open house didn’t happen to be in Central Virginia did it?

  15. Potlucks

  16. my ward is going to have free food for two days in a row this coming weekend – can it get any better?

  17. It’s very good at preparing youth for the business world (e.g., dressing right; acting right; etiquette lessons with YM/YW, public speaking, conducting meetings, delegation, etc.,)

    Very practical.

  18. The wisdom of maintaining a congregation of manageable size (400-500 members) allows us to look after each other in so many ways. My non-member friends are always amazed at programs like home and visiting teaching where fellow church members are given the chance, and where we accept the responsiblity, to serve one another on a regular basis.

  19. I like the saving ordinances administered by the priesthood of God.

  20. Me, too.

  21. Carlos U. says:

    As a convert, I think the Church does the “Preaching the Gospel/Perfecting the Saints/Redeaming the dead” thing pretty well. It also does a great job of building supporting communities for those who want to be followers of Jesus Christs, be they states, cities, or wards and branches. You have no idea what having a community of like-minded and like-commited brothers and sisters feels to those of us who grew up without it but longed for it. It’s as if a beautifull dream has become reality.

    The last thing I want to say is that it does a great job of making sence of the scriptures and clarifying the spagetty bowl of theology you find out there.

  22. Oh, we make a pretty cool people. Before I decided to join, I loved Mormons… just thought they were such an amazing people, but I thought they were dead wrong when it came to theology…

  23. Except for self-criticism, the Church does just about everything well.

    If my experience being in ward councils and stake meetings is any measure, I think the Church does an amazing job of self-critique — behind closed doors. And perhaps that’s where some of it should stay.

    Do we really think meetings of the Twelve are not filled with serious, self-critical discussions about how to move forward?

  24. I agree with #23. In my experience a lot self-criticism does occur behind closed doors. Most of the time that is the best place for it.