During testimony meeting, there are a lot of common phrases and sentiments, but the most common is the phrase “I know this church is true.”
Setting aside the “I know” portion of this statement, I want to take a look at what it means to say that this church – the Mormon church – is true. How is it true? What does that mean? Why do we say that? In this post I will specifically examine three important ways that the church is true.
The Church is True because it is led through revelation.
One day, when speaking with his disciples, Jesus asked them to basically lay it on the line and say out loud who this Jesus character really is. At first, apparently avoiding the question they say “well, some people say John, and some Elias, and some say you’re one of the prophets…” But Jesus was apparently not in the mood for this sort of answer.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Many interpret this passage to mean that by saying “upon this rock” Christ was referring to Peter, whose name meant “rock” in greek. While I think that Christ was clearly aware of this, seeing as he brought up Peter’s name, I think that the rock he was referring to was the action discussed in the previous sentence – the act of receiving guidance and truth through revelation. That is the rock upon which Christ based his church anciently, and it’s the foundation of the church today.
The Latter-day Saint religion is true because it is built on a foundation of revelation. From the first vision of Joseph Smith to the ongoing invitation spread by the missionary force for every single human being to receive their own revelation that the Book of Mormon is true, our church is saturated with revelation from God.
Revelation keeps us flexible, adaptable, and growing. When it seems the whole world is in turmoil, or that there’s no hope, we have an open conduit from a loving Heavenly Father to rely on. When the understanding of the world changes, our church can adapt to that understanding to continue to lead people to salvation.
The Church is True because it holds the priesthood of God.
Christ selected some of his disciples and, laying his hands upon them, gave them some portion of his power and authority. That priesthood so astonished them with its power that they returned from their proselytizing missions “with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” Can you imagine feeling that? Going out in the name of their master and finding that some of his impossible power had gone with them?
That power exists today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This church has that authority spoken of by Christ when he said to Peter that “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” That same sealing authority held by other ancient prophets such as Elijah. That authority allows the bonds of family to endure beyond the grave and into eternity. It is the authority by which baptism is made efficacious, and by which the Gift of the Holy Ghost is given.
I am a witness to this authority and power. I know that it is of God.
The Church is True because it leads to salvation.
Just as a true course leads to a final destination, the LDS church is true in that it leads us along the course we set before we even came to earth. Because of the revelation and priesthood held in this church, we know how to best navigate the challenges of mortal life, how to not only be saved by Christ, but how to be changed by him, and how to receive all that God the Father wishes to give us.
Life is not only about enduring till heaven. It’s about growth, change, and understanding. The lessons of mortality, when informed by the doctrine of Jesus Christ, will serve as a foundation for the life that is to come.
The Church teaches us how to make Christ our partner, our companion on this journey. With his help, all things work together for our eternal good. And we can come to know him more than we ever thought possible.
These are just three important ways that the church is true. What are some ways the church is true which are important to you?