Good morning, my name is my Moses Escobar. We have been enriched by the talks given thus far. Sister Ashley Brown talk about decision making. The power to choose and how she uses the strength for youth guidelines to help her make better decisions in her life. Sister Malinda Klumker did a wonderful job in explaining “Why the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints]” helps us carry out His [Jesus Christ] work. Today, I will add to Sister Klumker’s remarks regarding the reason why we have a Church or Organized religion.
• Question: Why do we need a church or organized religion?
• Question: Why did Jesus Christ organized His church in the old times and then Restored His church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days saints, in 1830 through the Prophet Joseph Smith?
In the October 2015 during General Conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson answered this same question. “Why The Church.” He said: “It is worth pausing to consider why Jesus Christ chooses to use a church, His Church, to carry out His and His Father’s work.” The sole purpose of the plan of Salvation is to bring to pass immortality and eternal life to all of his children. It has always been from the beginning of the world, that we must preach the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ; and administer the ordinances of salvation—in other words, to bring people to Christ. How does His Church accomplish the Lord’s purposes? It is important to recognize that God’s ultimate purpose is our progress. This requires more than just simply being nice or feeling spiritual.
· It requires faith in Jesus Christ
· Baptism of water and of the Spirit
· Enduring in faith to the end.
Elder Christopherson explains that we cannot fully achieve these principles and ordinances in isolation; so, a major reason the Lord has a church is to create a community of Saints that will sustain one another in the “straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life.” In the ancient Church the saints “did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls” [Moroni 6:5] “and to hear the word of the Lord.” [4 Nephi 1:12] Uniting ourselves to the body of Christ – The Church – is an important part of taking His name upon us. [3 Nephi 25: 5-7] So it is in the Church today. Joined in faith, we teach and edify one another and strive to help one another come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. [Ephesians 4:13] Today, as Saints in these latter-days and as members of the Church, we minister to one another in the reality of day-to-day life. We go beyond concepts and exalted words and have a real “hands-on” experience as we learn to “live together in love.” [Doctrine and Covenants 42:45] Today, as Saints in these latter-days and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are not concerned only with self; rather, we are all called to serve and love others. By serving and loving each other, we strive for conversion to Jesus Christ, not his church; the church is only a tool that helps us and facilitates our conversion to Jesus Christ. Our wards and branches are a very good mean to allow us to meet weekly for an opportunity to renew our sacred covenants; it is a great platform that helps us schedule a time and place to leave the world behind and delight ourselves in the Lord by parting the of the sacrament. According to Section 1.3 of the CHURCH MANUAL: the purpose of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints is to enable individuals and families to do the work of salvation; and to help gain exaltation.
Similar to what was described in EPHESIANS 4:11-13, the church today provides us with a living prophet, apostles, pastors, teachers for us to strive towards perfection. The Church manual lists 7 main reasons of why Jesus Christ restored His Church today.
(1) Priesthood authority and Keys. Through the priesthood, God accomplishes the work of salvation and exaltation. The priesthood authority and keys needed to direct God’s work on earth were restored to the Prophet Joseph Smith. These keys are held by Church leaders today. They call and authorize others to assist in God’s work.
(2) Covenants and Ordinances. In Heavenly Father’s plan, we make covenants as we receive the ordinances of salvation and exaltation, such as baptism. These covenants and ordinances are essential for us to become more like God and return to dwell in His presence.
(3) A living prophet to guide us in these trouble times. Through His chosen prophets, God reveals truth and provides inspired guidance and warnings. This guidance helps us enter and remain on the path leading to eternal life.
(4) Scriptures, including modern scriptures given through General Conference. Under the direction of the Lord’s prophets and apostles, the Church provides and preserves the word of God as found in the holy scriptures. The scriptures testify of Christ, teach His gospel, and help us exercise faith in Him.
(5) Gospel learning and teaching support. The Church supports individuals and families in their responsibility to learn the truths of the gospel and teach these truths to family members and others
(6) Service and leadership opportunities. Through callings and assignments in the Church, God gives members opportunities to serve and lead. The Church provides structure to help care for members in need and to give humanitarian relief to others
(7) A community of saints. As a community of Saints in these latter days, Church members gather regularly to worship God and to remember the Savior by partaking of the sacrament. Members also care for and minister to one another.
The ability to care for the poor and needy is multiplied to meet the broader need, and hoped-for self-reliance is made a reality for very many. Further, the Church, its Relief Societies, and its priesthood quorums have the capacity to provide relief to many people in many places affected by natural disasters, war, and persecution. Without the capabilities of His Church in place, the Savior’s commission to take the gospel to all the world could not be realized. There would not be the apostolic keys, the structure, the financial means, and the devotion and sacrifice of thousands upon thousands of missionaries needed to carry out the work. The Church can build and operate temples, houses of the Lord, where vital ordinances and covenants may be administered. In Summary, I testify to you that it is a blessing to be able to have organized religion, a church, His Church, in this latter-days. I assure you that my life has been so much easier because of the support that I have received from members of His Church. I am extremely grateful that the Church gives me a venue where I can covenant with my Lord and Savior. Covenants that I have made in the temple of the Lord have brought me closer to Jesus Christ. I feel blessed, happy, and grateful that Our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, Restored His Church in these later-days. I testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.