Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Constitutes the True Church

This last week you all had a number of articles to read in addition to the article of the week. I hope that you got a chance to read them all; I understand that we are busy people with a lot of things to do. If you were only able read a couple of them, I hope that you read the ones from the "Open Canon" post because those were certainly the most important. If you didn't, go back and read them.

This week's article is entitled, "What Constitutes the True Church" and was given in the April 1977 General Conference by Delbert L. Stapley. Elder Stapley was called to be an apostle on October 5, 1950 until his death on August 19, 1978.

Elder Stapley speaks about the one true church very succinctly and is very straightforward. Some of my favorite quotes are:

There is no logic or reason to the proposition that inconsistent teachings and differing doctrines can bring about the same results. If truth comes from one source—God—how can it be so diversely taught?

We know that all truth does emanate from God and is therefore unchangeable, consistent, and unified. Consequently, not all Christian churches with their dissimilar teachings can provide a fulness of truth.

We must learn the truth for a surety and not merely suppose we are right. It is our responsibility to know—and by the aid of the scriptures and the Holy Ghost one can know without any doubt.

One cannot prayerfully study the scriptures without gaining the knowledge and testimony that there is only one way to exaltation. The scriptures point the way very clearly. It must be God’s way and not man’s way, for God has said: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

The rewards are priceless for those honest in heart who seek the truth.

The doctrine taught in this article may be somewhat hard to swallow for some readers. However, the rewards are priceless for those honest in heart who seek the truth. The truth is found with God and His church, which is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is not a haughty, ignorant claim, it is merely a call to those who seek the truth but simply do not know where to find it. I do not wish to start arguments yet as always I will love to discuss any questions that may arise as a result of this post.

We declare that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored in our time. His original church was lost to the earth by apostasy. Through Joseph Smith, the founding prophet called of God in this modern dispensation, new revelation has come forth from God that has restored the original doctrines and ordinances which belong to the church of Jesus Christ.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church. It has the fulness of the gospel and continuing revelation and is lead by living apostles and prophets who are called of God and who were given authority from Christ set up by Him for our blessing and benefit. And as always, the call is to find out for yourself, ask God in the name of Christ if it be right.

God hears and answers prayers. This I know.