As teachers in the Lord's church this is an excellent reminder for all of us---no matter what subject we are teaching, that the Savior must ALWAYS be the foundation for our discussion. If we don't focus on Him, our lessons are woefully lacking. Every principle we teach has it's foundation in our Savior. Every lesson should carry to the hearts of the hearers a witness of his divinity and His goodness to us.
It was actually a visiting local authority (I think it was a local seventy but not 100% sure on that. I was still struggling to understand the hierarchy of church leadership at the time) who had gave the talk, who probably had no idea beforehand that a baby blessing would be happening. It wasn’t false doctrines that he was preaching, but he did include an apparently famous list in Latter Day Saint culture of all the bad things that will happen if you don’t follow the prophet. (I don’t recall who the list was originally being quoted from). I remember thinking at the time, “I don’t disagree with the things he’s saying, but this is really not the message I hoped my parents would hear today.” As a still fairly new convert, I didn’t even know how to begin doing damage control with my parents. They were unwilling to come to my second child’s baby blessing. I pray that one day we can help them have a better understanding of what we believe and that their hearts will eventually soften towards the church.
It is unfortunate when false doctrine ( "once the prophet has spoken, all members must simply accept his counsel without any questions or doubts") is taught in sacrament meeting and the person conducting the meeting does not correct the problem. It is a difficult, delicate job, but it really needs to be taken more seriously. The First Presidency officially spoke out about this particular false doctrine over 50 years ago--why is it still being repeated? and not being challenged when it is repeated??
All the friend had to do was say he is Christ's prophet, and when we follow him we are following Christ, just as they who followed Peter and the other apostles were in actuality following Christ.
It reminds me of the duty we have as members ever to remember the mission of the church " To invite all to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him" in our lives and as we prepare the talks. Jesus Christ is the unshakable foundation of our church (members) WHOM we must always think and talk about.
Every Sacrament talk should start with the assumption that a nonmember is in attendance; even a new memeber or an inactive or struggling member may be there. It is not a BYU Religion Lecture. The pattern is set with General Talks. It is in essence a spiritual thought which directs the audience to the source of truth and happiness. No matter the topic assigned we need to always, and can bring it to centre on faith in Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation. Personally, I have feared when bringing a nonmember to church wondering who will the speaker be. I have heard Sacrament talks on ‘Calling and Election Sure’; Chiasmus; Seer Stones; Plural Marriage; and symbolism of the Endowment. Not that the talks were not interesting but it is not the proper place for such topics. As I am sure many have been told ‘consider your audience and not your own ego’.
Thoughtful article on how we should more accurately explain our faith in sacrament meetings...we always need to be aware that visitors can be in the congregation and while we don't need to water down our beliefs we need to be able to explain them in light of our correct doctrine and not use simplified catch phrases...that non-members don't understand. Sadly I have found that often non-member relatives do look for something to be offended about and all we can do is love them and live the gospel more fully in our daily lives....the Savior's teachings and example are what soften all hearts.
The fact the someone said we follow the prophet blindly doesn't mean it is gospel. People make mistakes, they are also still learning. I feel the women could have used that sacrament meeting to share further information about the church and clear up any misconceptions.
Amen, I have been encouraging linking every talk and lesson to the Root for years
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