"And they came unto Alma; and the one who was the foremost among them said unto him: Behold, what shall these my brethren do, for they are despised of all men because of their poverty, yea, and more especially by our priests; for they have cast us out of our synagogues which we have labored abundantly to build with our own hands; and they have cast us out because of our exceeding poverty; and we have no place to worship our God; and behold, what shall we do?"
This intrigues me today because I think that it is something that we all do sometimes. We mentally limit ourselves to what we are familiar with. It's like Dr. Seuss' Sneetches... they wanted to go to the cool hot dog and marshmallow roasting party, and they couldn't because they had no stars. Mentally, they were trapped in wanting to be like the other group... having what they had. But, why not just have your own Marshmallow roast? And the people in this verse are understandably concerned, because they spent a lot of effort to build churches which they are now unable to attend. But, why not worship someplace else? I think we often get caught up in the injustice of it all, and feel excluded from the amazing things that others get to do because they are richer or cooler or have more stars. But there are always cool things to do that are available with less wealth, or trendiness, or stars. :) And, especially for the people in this verse, there is always a place to worship our God. None of us have to go to church to do that. :) Not that I am knocking church at all, or saying that it is optional according to God. :) It isn't. When no one is locking us out, we should be there. It is a great place to meet with other people that believe and build our faith and testimonies... and taking the sacrament and being humble enough to go there and learn from the spirit is good. Church attendance is a massively spiritually important part of our week, and shows our love for and respect for God. Just, if we get into a situation where we're completely unable to attend... there are still so many things that we can do to worship and build that long-term relationship with God. Our relationship with God is built in talking to him every day. We can work on building a relationship with him, and listen and try to live as he desires us to live. Indeed, if the only time we ever think about God is once a week at church, we're missing out on something just as vital as church... maybe even more so.
Today, let's worship God wherever we are. Let's praise him and thank him profusely for his intercession in our lives, and for all that he does for us, every day. Let's talk to him openly, and let him help us work out a plan for our lives, and listen to what he wants for us.