Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Religious State

Do you live in a religious state? Or just a religious state of mind? Or are you actually just an atheist or apathetic? Whatever the case, you can find out where your state ranks among the nation for religiosity -based on worship attendance, frequency of prayer and belief in God - by going here.

Interestingly, Utah - probably most infamous for the high density of LDS folks is ranked 12th overall. Utah, whilst it continues to get an influx of non-LDS people because of its economy and quality of life, has a population where 72 percent claim membership in the LDS church.

As a pretty active member of the church my whole life, I have to admit I was disappointed in our (Utah's) rank at 12th.

While Utah does hold 2nd place in attendance to worship services it is 10th in both frequency of prayer and belief in God.

Growing up in the church there is a great deal of importance given to daily scripture study and having personal and family prayer often. At our church services, it isn't hard to have there be about 6-8 prayers given during the three hours of sunday school, sacrament and Relief Society/ Priesthood meetings.

But what good is church attendance if our heart isn't in it? As an LDS people or as Christian people in general, I think now is an excellent time to begin renewing our relationship with God. It's time to re-evaluate what we are doing to strengthen our faith. How often do you pray? How often do you ponder the scriptures? Do you go to church because it is expected or because you are eager to renew your covenants with your Heavenly Father?

Though I knew it was bad, my dear home state of Oregon was even lower on the list than I thought (it squeaked out at 40th out of 45 ranked states). But, on the upside, for those who live there, what a good opportunity to be an instrument for good and example to our friends and neighbors.

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