Eureka! I think I’ve inadvertently stumbled across a brilliant less-active member reactivation strategy! Like many great scientific breakthroughs, this, too, was entirely by accident.

Yesterday I went home teaching with my home-teaching companion, a guy who just started attending church regularly for the first time in his life about a year ago. We have one actively attending family on our list, and about 5 families who haven’t been to church for years. My companion usually prepares some kind of baked goods to bring for the families, but this time he decided to change things up a little and brought nice bottles of sparkling cider.

We made the rounds and gave each family a bottle. As we finished and parted company, he gave me a leftover bottle for my family. “Very nice,” I thought. “My kids will love this.” As we had dinner I poured a glass for everyone, and we all merrily imbibed. As I began drinking, I noticed it smelled and tasted oddly like beer (er, or what I’ve been told beer tastes like), but figured that surely my companion wouldn’t have bought alcoholic cider. We all drank a bit more, and then my wife checked the bottle. Sure enough: the cider had the same alcoholic content as most beers.

After recovering from the fact that I had essentially just treated my family to a round of beers, I began to think about our less-active home teaching families. It dawned on me that we might be onto something big, and that my companion’s selection of beverage ironically might be the key to a dramatic increase in sacrament meeting attendance in our ward.

First, the families must have been puzzled. “What? I thought the Church didn’t allow its members to drink alcohol? Interesting. Things must have changed since I last attended. I wonder what else has changed?” Out of sheer curiosity, those who had stopped attending for Word of Wisdom reasons will show up next Sunday, just to see what’s going.

But it’s not just the Word of Wisdom folks. Disaffected feminists’ curiosity will be piqued. “Well, if they’ve changed the Word of Wisdom, maybe women can now hold the Priesthood. I guess I better attend next Sunday to find out.”

And even those who dislike the Law of Chastity might hold out some hope that if the Church now allows the consumption of alcohol, perhaps it has become a little more lenient in other areas.

Once people start showing up back at church, there’s no telling what might happen. I think the end clearly justifies the means here. All in favor, please raise a glass for the new reactivation strategy!