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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gospel vs. Church

Sunday is a day to theorize on things spiritual. I wanted to talk a little bit about the idea of Gospel teachings versus Church organizations. This is a general treatise, not specifically (except where stated) a commentary on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They are different things. They are not necessarily synonymous either. The Gospel is known as The Good News. The Good News is that we can be forgiven of our sins and reunited with God and with our families. This is all part of the Plan of God. This is not a random idea, it’s something He, or God, came up with way back when, or as I believe (and other Mormons, or LDS), before we were born. 

The Church, on the other hand, is only organized as a tool to help us serve one another. It is the launchpad for Preaching the Gospel, Perfecting the Saints (or members of God’s Kingdom on Earth, however you want to call that) and Redeeming the Dead. Those are the purposes of my church. Those were the purposes of the covenant made with our Father Abraham way back in the day as well. The idea of our "works" or our behavior being a reflection of how we can act for God toward others.

Sometimes when I hear people say they hate organized religion I wonder what their experience is. It’s sad to me that a “tool” of humans to be kind and be of service to one another is also used as something to hide behind to disguise hate, prejudice and evil deeds. A church that denies the Gospel is something else. It’s some kind of organization but if you are not perpetuating goodness then I don’t know what purpose you are serving.

Moral behavior should never ever be forced. Ever.

Many things have been and will probably continue to be done in the name of a church that is not in congruency with the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was a peace loving hippie type that embraced love of all mankind and no judgment (read the whole “cast the first stone” story)! His purpose is to spread the Good News that we can all be forgiven and move on with our progression.

Being good does have some rewards but not the kind you think and forgiveness is not earned, it’s given freely. We are obedient because we love Him. We are grateful to Him for this Gift. That’s what it’s supposed to be about. Sure, it’s a little more complicated than that but for the most part… yeah. That’s it.

Now. Go be a good human, please.

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