Scripture of the Month
And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Why Organized Religion?
A House of Order
To receive exaltation we must make covenants with the Lord through special ordinances performed by one who has the authority to do so. We know who can do it and how they should do it because "mine house is a house of order" (D&C 132:8). The Lord reveals everything we need to know through the proper channels: to the prophet for the whole church, to other leaders for their respective areas and callings, to parents for their families, and to individuals for their own lives. By following this order, we ensure that all the doctrine and ordinances we teach and perform are the same everywhere and reach everyone (Mosiah 6:3, 25:19-22).
Organized religion means organized people. We keep accurate and organized records for family history, temple work, missionary work, home and visiting teaching, finances, and more (Mosiah 6:1, Moroni 6:4). We divide the labor we need to accomplish through callings and service in different auxiliaries, missions, and programs. We are quick and efficient with our humanitarian aid. Having order through an established church helps us receive and keep our covenants, follow all the commandments, and bless and serve others.
A Support System
At baptism we covenanted to "bear one another's burdens . . . mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort" (Mosiah 18:8-9). We have also been commanded to "gather [our]selves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer" (Alma 6:6) , to "speak one with another concerning the welfare of [our] souls" (Moroni 6:5), and to "instruct and edify each other" (D&C 43:8).
The Lord knew we could not return to Him alone; we would need a support system. The first and ideal support is that of our families. But not everyone has a family, let alone a supportive one, so He gave us ward families to help us temporally and spiritually, to be a source of comfort and service. He organizes wards to ensure no one is forgotten, to bring together diverse people with specific strengths and weaknesses, and to keep order among a large group of people. Everyone is needed "that the system may be kept perfect" (D&C 84:110). Organized religion allows us to teach and care for one another as we help each other make it back to our Heavenly Father.
Discussion: How else does having an organized church help us achieve exaltation?