We are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sunrise and the Seattle Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

April 2022 General Conference Talk
~ Reyna I. Aburto – Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency~

The Church is more than the buildings and the ecclesiastical structure; the Church is us, the members, with Christ at the head and the prophet as His mouthpiece

There is no doubt that the general authorities have advised members of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to move away from the term Mormon and Mormonism. Instead, we are advised to refer to ourselves as Latter-day Saint Christians or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to no longer use LDS or Mormon as a frame of reference. This is consistent with a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith at Far West, Missouri in April 26, 1838:

For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations; And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.

Doctrine and Covenants Section 115:4-6

Not only does the revelation provide us the name of the Church – it also gives us insight that it will become a light that is a standard for all nations. Second, those who gather will do so for a defense and refuge from the storm and wrath to come. And it is with this understanding that we consider the message Sister Reyna I. Aburto presented at the Saturday morning session of general conference.

Sister Aburto opens with her own personal experience of recently being separated with a toddler and how she attended Church – after receiving an invitation:

After receiving an invitation to “come and see,” I attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the first time at the age of 26. I had recently separated from my first husband. I had a three-year-old boy. And I felt powerless with fear. When I entered the building, I was filled with warmth as I perceived the faith and joy of the people surrounding me. It was truly “a refuge from the storm.” Three weeks later, I made the baptismal covenant with my Heavenly Father and started my journey as a disciple of Christ, although my life has not been perfect along that journey.

She continues in sharing her thoughts on how it was possible for her to receive these eternal blessings – both temporal and spiritual – because of elements related to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The restoration of the Gospel and the missionary efforts, a meetinghouse, ecclesiastical structure, and devoted covenanted members … ready to embrace me and my son as we were brought to the savior, “nourished by the good word of God,” and given opportunities to serve.

Sister Aburto mentions the purpose of the Church and how it meets our own personal spiritual and temporal needs:

She also shares an experience of a friend who was struggling financially and receiving assistance from the bishop. This – because of members faithfully giving fast offerings to help assist those who are struggling. Her observation is spot on:

My fellow disciples of Christ, let us not underestimate the marvelous work the Lord is doing through us, His Church, despite our shortcomings. Sometimes we are givers and sometimes we are receivers, but we are all one family in Christ. His Church is the structure He has given to guide and bless us as we worship Him and serve each other.

We tend to forget the importance of how we are all bound in fellowship with one another as we are bound in fellowship with Christ. It is how we are joined and held together in Christ so that we are able to be ministered to as well as reach out and minister to others. It is in this perspective and understanding that she correlates the heart and spirit of both the Relief Society and the Priesthood Quorums of the Church:

Relief society is not limited to a room in a building, a Sunday lesson, an activity, or a presidency at the local or general level. Relief society is the covenant women of the Church. It is us – each of us and all of us. It is our “global community of compassion and service”. Anywhere and everywhere, we go, we are always part of Relief Society as we strive to fulfill its divine purpose, which is for women to accomplish God’s work in individual as well as collective ways by providing relief: “relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance – relief of all that hinders…joy and progress.”

This appears to counter the predominate feminist movement in which many feel that women are treated less than, or inferior, to the men of the Church.

She also shares her thoughts on the relevance of the priesthood organization of the Church:

Similar belonging exists in elders’ quorums and organizations of the Church for all ages, including our children and youth. …

Quoting the Savior:

Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

Doctrine and Covenants Section 10:67, 69

We are definitely privileged to belong to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. To be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this – the dispensation of the fulness of times. United, as Sister Aburto shares, in faith, hearts, strengths, minds, and hands in order for our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, to perform mighty miracles.

What is the call to action and invitation for us today? Sister Aburto gives us some invitation and take aways:

  • To bring one another to the knowledge and relationship of understanding and knowing who Jesus Christ is
  • To minister to those who are sick and afflicted – the use of priesthood authority to provide blessings of counsel, encouragement, healing, and other needed
  • Pay our tithing faithfully to continue to build up the Kingdom of God here on earth to provide more meetinghouses for others to worship and fellowship
  • Pay fast offerings faithfully to help care for and minister to those struggling and in need of temporal assistance
  • Temple worship, endowments, and ordinances for our Ancestors to afford them an opportunity to partake of the blessings of Salvation and Exaltation
  • Renewing our covenants in fellowship and sharing of our testimonies, messages of inspiration and hope, and grow in understanding and knowledge of the principle truths of the Gospel

It is through us – members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where we are able to bring the message of hope, the message of healing, and to encourage one another. To engage in missionary work and be of service to our neighbors in the hopes of giving them an invitation to come and see and to hopefully come unto Christ and partake in the blessings of the Restored Gospel.

Please use the comment to share your thoughts on this message. What does it mean to be privileged to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How has your faith increased? What ways have you received blessings from the ministering and fellowship of others?

For those who are not of the Latter-day Saint Christian faith – what are some of your questions regarding what we believe? Are you open to receive the invitation to come and see what we are all about and how we may be able to minister to your own temporal and spiritual needs?

Are you struggling in your own faith? Have doubts, questions, or any concerns that feel have gone unanswered? Do you need prayer, healing, or guidance in your life at the present moment? Use the feedback form to send a private message if you are not wanting to share public information.

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