Grace’s Defense of the Church
Grace’s Defense of the Church
About five years ago one Sunday morning I received a phone call from a relative asking this question, “Grace, why do people say such disparaging things about your church?” Such as, you’re not Christian, an occult, you worship Joseph Smith, to name a few?”
I was also, or I should say, the Church I belong to was being attacked by folks on FB, so, in response to some of these questions/attacks I responded thus:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in very deed CHRISTIAN. The Church of Jesus Christ has been RESTORED with all of God’s power and authority in this the last dispensation of time through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the same Church that Christ Himself established when He was on the earth.
The Lord had in mind a “Restitution of all things” and moved upon Peter to so prophesy to those who had crucified Him: (Acts 3:19-21) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord: And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of RESTITUTION of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Let us analyze this promise:
1. That their great sin might be forgiven.
2. That the Lord would send to them again that same Jesus which had been before preached unto them.
3.That there would be a RESTORATION of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
It was the time of such a complete Restitution that Paul must have had in mind when he wrote to the Ephesians 1:9-10.
There were many questions the sectarians could not answer. They all translate scripture differently. There were subjects in the Bible I would read about, such as Priesthood, Christ’s apostles who performed the same miracles He did, sealing power, baptism for the dead, the different degrees of glory, the Holy Ghost, prophets and apostles. They use the scripture in Revelation to try and prove we’re not to have added scripture/revelation, Revelation 22:19. Then I would read where Moses gave the same admonition in Deuteronomy 4:2.
One morning I was on my knees reading my Bible and feeling so confused. It was during these times when the Spirit began working in my heart and life, revealing to me what is TRUTH.
I told this relative who called me that Satan knows where the Truth is and he is doing all in his power to thwart/hinder the work but he cannot because it is not man’s church. Satan is not concerned about any of those other denominations out there. He so persecuted the Church in the New Testament. He so persecuted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all of the disciples and apostles. Christ was called the son of a devil. Paul was told he was mad, so, it is nothing new.
I love this quote by Joseph Smith: “No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” History of the Church, 4:540
The two great injunctions of the Savior to all His children: love and serve God and love and serve our fellow men.
To be strengthened by God, by His Spirit, means to overcome the tendencies to criticize and to strive continually to improve inward weaknesses and not merely the outward appearances.
I love this beautiful talk by Mark E Petersen, “Signs of the True Church.”
Our wonderful Henry B Eyring: ” The True and Living Church”
Many years ago I was visiting my Uncle Amos and family. He was not a member of any denomination at that time but he loved the Bible and enjoyed discussing scripture. It was on this visit that Uncle Amos asked me a very interesting question, one about which I had never thought. “Grace, when people die who have never heard the name, Jesus Christ, what happens to them?” Being a devout Baptist I replied, “They will go to hell, it is our responsibility to take the gospel to them and if we fail their blood will be on our hands.” Uncle Amos responded, “I do not believe such a doctrine. The God I know would never do such a thing.” Needless to say when I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and heard the beautiful doctrine of Salvation for the dead I thought of my Uncle Amos. I was once in a revival meeting where the evangelist was agonizing about his father who died without praying the sinner’s prayer and that he was eternally lost, his soul is in hell.
So, my dear Uncle Amos believed that the God he knew was a just God and if He is a just God then He must have a plan. He does have a most beautiful plan.