Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Converted to His Gospel through His Church

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Converted to His Gospel through His Church, by Donald L. Hallstrom
Of the Presidency of the Seventy

I would like to bear my testimony that I know the Church is true.

These words were heard a lot more often from small children in testimony meetings when I was growing up. Back then a parade of young people would go to the pulpit and share words that were whispered in their ears by parents or older siblings. These were fun times, especially when things were mispronounced ("bury my testimony") or the speaker didn't want to say what they were told ("No, I don't want to say that I love my brother!").

My daughter sharing her testimony at home

Nowadays testimonies of small children are fewer and farther between (I think there may have been a request for them to be shared in family home evenings, not fast and testimony meetings so others would have more time to share testimonies--or so there could be more uncomfortable silence spells).

In testimony meeting last week, I remembered Elder Hallstrom's talk whenever someone mentioned the words "Church" or "gospel." When saying that they know the Church is true, I would try to remember what the difference between Church and gospel were exactly, as taught by Elder Hallstrom. For there is a difference.

The gospel is the glorious plan of God in which we, as His children, are given the opportunity to receive all that the Father has.

The Church, on the other hand, is the organization established (and reestablished) by Christ with leaders, meetings, and humanitarian service: "The purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel."

I didn't share my testimony last week (from the pulpit, at least). If I did, I don't think I would have said, "I know the Church is true" like I did so many times as a small child. I don't know what I would have said, exactly, but I think it would have been something like, "I know this Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that God lives, loves us, and has a plan for us. I know that Jesus is the Christ."

See what I did there? It looks like I tried to marry "Church" and "gospel" by expounding their use to overlap a bit.

I'm grateful for what I learned from this talk. I hope I can remember the difference between "Church" and "gospel," as well as remember the importance of each. Armed with Elder Hallstrom's words, I think I will remember.

It's sort of like I'm a small child again, with words whispered in my ear, "the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel."

The main difference being that I'm more willing, now, to admit that I love my brother.

0 thoughts