I believe the general ideas of "spirituality" and "character development" are almost indistinguishable. If we accept Jesus not just as Savior and Redeemer but also as the Master Teacher and Perfect Example, and if we envision "godhood" as a "condition" of being like God, then it makes sense to me that the entire purpose of life can be wrapped up in that goal - to become more godlike - to pursue divine character development. Therefore, identifying what that means at the most basic, practical level and pursuing it makes sense to me as the most fundamental mission of mortality.
My moment of epiphany, if you will, came when I realized that this pursuit is very, very different than church activity. I think when we decouple the two and examine each separately, it is MUCH easier to see the true benefit of each - and that is the first step toward embracing each, in my opinion. For example, "spirituality" and "righteousness" are personal pursuits, at the most basic level; church activity, on the other hand, is a communal activity.
Even that distinction alone can remove much of what I believe to be the problem associated for many with church activity - since I think many members expect church activity to be the primary vehicle for personal righteousness and/or spirituality. I just see the purpose for that activity very differently, so I am not disappointed when I am not "spiritually enlightened" in my meetings - even though often I am spiritually enlightened at Church.
I tackle spiritual enlightenment outside of church activity; I attend church for very different reasons.
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