Appendix B: The Church
The Augustus Barto O'Barr and Lola May Peppers Family
HTML Version 2.0
copyright 1995 by Gerald L. O'Barr
Written by Gerald L. O'Barr, 1995
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is exactly what it is named. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, as He has given it to us in these the latter days. To fully understand the Church, or to "know" the church, requires one to know the Savior.
How do you come to know the Savior? He has told us how: by doing the things that He does. He loves us. If we would love one another, as He loves, then we would come to know the things that He knows, and we would soon come to know the Savior.
The Church is true. As with all truth, all truth supports all other truth. Therefore, if you have any truth, if there is any knowledge that you know that you have, then that truth that you have will be found to be in support of the Church and the principles that it teaches. Are you a scientist? Do you have extensive knowledge of health, or of government, or of social needs, or of any other expertise? Then you will find that the position of the church on those issues will be correct and acceptable to you. This is the power of truth.
This Church is guided by revelation. This is the only Church which is guided by revelation. Any Church can claim to be guided by revelation, but this Church, by its fruit, is thus guided. Scripture (our Doctrine and Covenants) is being written today just as it was in the Old Testament days and in the New Testament days. God has not changed.
Now even though the Church is the only church that is guided by revelation, it does not mean that revelation does not exist outside the Church. All men, as men, receive revelations from God. These revelations (thoughts sent by God which enters into one's mind) are not often recognized as being from Him, but these blessings do occur quite often. We are always free to respond to these thoughts as we will. We are even free to claim these thoughts as our own, or we can give thanks to God for them. But if we reject these good thoughts, then we judge ourselves: We bring judgement upon ourselves for having turned away from the good. Therefore, revelation is a true principle, it is present upon the earth, and it is in full used by those who lead the Church.
We have said a few things about truth. One thing that must be stated is that this truth is not the "way" into the Church. It is a matter of the heart. The truth will never work to keep one out of the Church, but our heart is the key to our acts. The question that must be asked, do you care about God and the things of God? Do you love others because you really love them, or because you think that God, or someone else, wants you to love them? These are the kinds of questions that one must ask themselves, and they will determine what one does, especially when one has no other knowledge to do otherwise.
This life is a test. The test is what do you do when you do not have full knowledge. What one does, when one does not have reasons to do one thing or another, is a real test of what kind of a person they are or what they might want to be. This is a good test. It is often said to be a test of faith. And so it is. One's faith is anything in which they have hope. If we hope for fairness, and hope for goodness, then in that thing it will be easy for us to exercise our faith, for that is what we really want, and we would be willing to act in that thing even if no proof exists. And so we pass the test. Isn't it neat!
The Church provides a framework in which we can grow and develop all the attributes that are desired by God. If we individually seek for the same things that God desires, then we will find them in the Church. The question is never "proof" or a "convince me" attitude. It is pure and simple love and the enjoyment of the blessings of God. They are available to all. All are invited in. None are turned away except those that are not willing to keep the simple commandments of God.