sacred sabbaths: the gospel vs. the church

Oct 23, 2011

Last week at our church services we were taught the difference between being active in the gospel and being active in the church. I loved this talk! Brother Hallstrom said “We can be perfectly active in the church, fulfilling our callings and completing the tasks assigned to us, and not be active in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Isn’t that the truth?

In some ways, we have created our own modern-day Law of Moses with lists of things to do and not to do, places to go and not to go, foods to eat and not to eat, and endless minutia to fill up our days…and we can do all that without ever thinking of our Savior and His redemptive power. We can serve and clean and call and check off all the things on our “Good Christian” list without involving our hearts or striving to serve as He would serve.

I know because I have done it.

It is perfectly possible to serve in the church without communing with God.

It is perfectly possible to know all the answers about how to be a Christian without actually giving your soul to Him, without trusting Him to guide your life, without submitting to Him.

But doing so doesn’t compare to the fullness of joy we feel when we are actively seeking Him, loving Him, serving Him, and obeying Him.


He is the reason.

The everything.

And the church exists to bring us to Him.

Here is the difference:

The Church is the organization created to help us live the gospel. It is our temple, welfare, humanitarian, missionary, and local efforts. It is important work. It changes lives. It feeds people. It is good, but it is not sufficient.

The gospel is God’s plan of happiness for His children. It is that we are spirit children of heavenly parents who have been given a body and an opportunity to come to earth to learn and grow and make covenants with the goal of having a life like our heavenly parents. At the center of the gospel is Jesus Christ whose great atoning sacrifice makes this possible.

Some questions to ask ourselves are:

* How forgiving am I?

* How repentant am I?

* How much faith do I have?

* How charitable am I in my heart?

* What do I think of in my spare time?

* How connected do I feel to Jesus Christ?

* How connected do I feel to my Heavenly Father?

* How obedient am I to the promptings of the Holy Spirit?

* How willing am I to share the good news of the gospel with others?

These are good questions to keep me centered on what is essential and what the state of my heart is. I hope to be identified as a Christian woman by not only my outward actions, but my inward communion as well, for that is what really matters.

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  1. Tracy, thank you. This is a gorgeous expression of something very dear to my heart, and I needed the reminder today. Just lovely!

    • tracy

      Ahhh, Liz! Thank you for the kind words. God must have known you needed this message because He woke me up from up a lovely nap to get up and write out my thoughts. I was a tad hesitant to put them out there, but felt I should and now I know why!

      Love you!

      Are you coming to Make It For Maggie? We would love to see you!

  2. I’m called away to teach that weekend, or I’d be there with bells on! I hope it goes absolutely splendidly… it’s a fantastic line-up of workshops!!

    • tracy

      We really need more registrations, but it will all come together I am sure!

  3. Tasha

    This is a beautiful post. What a great reminder!