Whose Church is it, anyway?

imageWhen the LDS church was organized on April 6, 1830, it’s official name was The Church of Christ.  Four years later, in 1834, it’s moniker was changed to The Church of Latter-day Saints.  The final name alteration occurred in 1838.  By revelation received through Joseph Smith, we are now known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What is the meaning of the phrase “of Jesus Christ?” My understanding is that it signifies the church belongs to Jesus.  This is His church.  Well, that sounds pretty good to me.  After all, I’ve decided to follow His teachings and example.  What better place to worship than in the church that belongs to him.

So, what is the meaning of the phrase “of Latter-day Saints.”  I’m going to interpret it the very same way.  The church belongs to the Latter-day Saints, the citizens of this restored organization!

Man, do I like that.  The church belongs both to Jesus and to His followers.  No wonder He instituted the Law of Common Consent.  We are partners in church ownership and church GOVERNANCE.  “All things must be done . . . by common consent in the church.”

This is not the church of prophets or apostles, of seers or revelators.  We have them.  And, of course, they are a vital part of church GOVERNANCE.  But, the church does not belong to them.  Rather, it belongs to the rank-n-file citizenship & to the Lord.

This opens a whole new perspective on the Law of Common Consent.  We are fellow citizens in the Household of God.  How much more important this makes the regimen of our quarterly voting to express approval or disapproval to the leaders the Lord has put in place.

Today, I have a greater love for my church.  Jesus values me and my opinion as an equity partner in his earthly organization.

8 thoughts on “Whose Church is it, anyway?

  1. NOT! You need to grasp that you (a subject) have no equity partner opinion; your vote does not matter. The Mormon “Jesus” does not value anyone. But you are correct in that it is an “earthly” corporate organization; and “his” only in the aspect the corporation is run exclusively by men, the old boy’s network.

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    1. Your note is noted! And in my case, it’s really, really appreciated. Thanks.
      P.S. I’m an old boy, too. But, out-of-network.

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  2. “Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man’s enslavement and all the horrors it entails.” ~Emma Goldman When the power to enact Law is combined with the power to control mens minds and their ownership of property the self is lost and enslavement is the result. The Church that we know does all three things. This call for ownership is doomed. Any organization that enacts Universal Laws and enforces those Laws using Mind controlling doctrine of submission, obedience and sacrifice must be challenged and opposed.

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      1. 1. I love to see the temple.
        I’m going there someday
        To feel the Holy Spirit,
        To listen and to pray.
        For the temple is a house of God,
        A place of love and beauty.
        I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
        This is my sacred duty.
        2. I love to see the temple.
        I’ll go inside someday.
        I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
        I’ll promise to obey.
        For the temple is a holy place
        Where we are sealed together.
        As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
        A fam’ly is forever.

        Obedience requires Laws and Laws are received in the Covenants of Obedience and Sacrifice given to and altered only by highest Authority. These authorities also enforce the Laws, even upon people that have not covenanted to submit to these Laws. (Chastity) (Gospel) etc. Property is ceded at the age of majority. Let the children sing the slavery song.

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    1. Richard, I get your initial response. In fact, I’m finding that most members in the church view it the same way.

      But, this comparison doesn’t work for me. In a democracy, we wouldn’t ever refer to the citizens as the tail that wags the dog. The citizens are supposed to vote and infuence the direction of their institution.

      The church is not a democracy. The citizens(members) don’t select the leaders. But, Jesus has set up a check-and-balance on the leaders that He puts in place. It’s called the Law of Common Consent. This is a super important principle of the restoration. Unfortunately, is it mostly disregarded and diminished today.

      The leadership is COMMANDED to get the opinions of the general membership 4 times a year. All things in the church are supposed to be done by common consent. We are NOT doing that. The leadership is making decisions that are driving members out….MY FRIENDS. When I say that I’m going to stand up for what I believe is right, I mean what I say. I’m calling a spade a spade. If policies and actions run counter to the teachings of my Savior and hurt people, I’m calling the policies and actions out. Based on common consent and the gospel of Jesus Christ, I feel an obligation to do so. As a result, I voted OPPOSED in the past 3 conferences; General, Ward and Stake. I do this because I love Christ, his church, and his leaders. I especially love my friends who have left and are considering leaving.

      In good conscience, I can not stand by silently any longer. After my first opposed vote I had a long conversation with the Stake Pres and Bishop. Great conversation. They are good with where I’m coming from. At stake conference, there was a visiting general authority 70. I was seated directly in front of him, 3 rows back in the chapel. We had a very cordial conversation afterwards. It was Elder Steven Snow, who is also the church historian. I think he understands common consent better than most.

      The next time a friend leaves, is hurt, is damaged, or marginalized, I don’t want to be swearing in my head, that I wish I had not been silent. I’ve chosen to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. His leaders are important, but they aren’t my god. They are fallible men. Jesus knows that. That’s why he wants the entire church membership to be part of the church governance.

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