This entry will be a relatively short one to share an observation. These three words (TRUTH, GOSPEL, CHRIST) and then the official name of the LDS church are all very powerful. They each can evoke strong emotion, passion, commitment and devotion.TRUTH means something that is a fact, that is reality, and that is a proven or verified principle or statement.
GOSPEL means literally, the good news of Christ’s atonement that brings salvation to mankind and his teachings while here on the earth.CHRIST means the title given to Jesus of Nazareth meaning “the anointed”
The CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS means the organized religion that proclaims to be Christ’s one and only true church in the world today.
As I listened to general conference and as I have been studying in preparation for the lesson that I will teach in High Priest’s Group this coming Sunday, I was struck by how we as Latter Day Saints use the words TRUTH, GOSPEL, and CHRIST as synonymous with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
When our LDS leaders teach our youth to stand up for truth, what those leaders are really saying is to stand up for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.When our LDS leaders tell people to have a testimony of the Gospel, what those leaders are really saying is to have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
When our LDS leaders tell people to follow Christ, what those leaders are really saying is to follow the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.Implications of this observation can lead to a wide range of commentary, and determine how we interact with others. I will save a few of those implications for a future post. However, let me just say, that while understanding these words as synonymous is intuitive for many active and faithful Latter Day Saints, there are many active & less active LDS, along with all non-LDS peoples who view those three words and the title of our church as not necessarily being synonymous. Rather they view them as having four different meanings. To say the least, whether we view them as synonymous or not will greatly impact our religious discourse, understanding and spiritual growth.
~ Bruce Fey