And here is my rant about how important it is never, never to use guilt as a motivating force to get people to come to a Church meeting or activity. Don't joke about their going to hell, don't drag them out of the apartments, don't create false pretenses for activities. We must be leaders, not herders. There are 3 main reasons for not guilting people: it's not Christian, it doesn't work, and it hurts our own spirituality.
First, remembering that talk "O Be Wise" that we read in preparation to Elder Ballard's arrival, it's not the most Christian method. As Elder B put it:
"I hope it goes without saying that guilt is not a proper motivational technique for leaders and teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must always motivate through love and sincere appreciation, not by creating guilt.'"
Secondly, it doesn't work. Many people who feel guilted into participating in an occasional Church activity may find that their hearts are increasingly hardened, their feelings towards the group leaders are embittered, and, most dangerously, their spirits feel a disconnect between their testimonies of the gospel and the experience they have with the earthly church.
Finally, the use of guilt (and any other type of physical or emotional manipulation) damages our own spirituality. In the familiar D&C 121:37 we read that when we use "compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness [...] the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is greived" and we cannot act as agents of God. That is just not worth putting warm bodies in the seats.
There are a lot of reasons why people don't go to every meeting and activity: some may have work shifts, some may have classes, some may feel they don't have friends in the ward, some may not have strong testimonies. But they should never be deterred from coming because they think that they are just a notch in our leadership belt. As Elder Soares more elegantly put it:
"The gospel of Jesus Christ is about people, not programs. Sometimes, in the haste of fulfilling our Church responsibilities, we spend too much time concentrating on programs, instead of focusing on people, and end up taking their real needs for granted. When things like that happen, we lose the perspective of our callings, neglect people, and prevent them from reaching their divine potential to gain eternal life."
Obviously, I feel strongly about it and how much I suspect the Lord cares about it. If you're looking for a rhetorical exigent, don't worry about it; it's mostly something that I think about a lot--that's how I knew all the quotes!--and not directed at any one(s) in particular. Nice thought, though, as we wrap up our semester-long callings.