Disclaimers | Links | Search | Contact
Son of God
Anointed One
Teacher and Exemplar
Suffering Savior
Risen Lord
Friend and Companion
The Second Coming
Christ as Female
Christ as Cosmic Force
The Sacrament
The Church of Christ
One in Christ

The Church of Christ

As the term is used in the Book of Mormon, the church of Christ are all who have been baptized (Mosiah 18:16-17; 3 Ne. 26:21). The Doctrine and Covenants defines the church broadly as all who repent and come to Christ (D&C 10:67-68). B. H. Roberts taught that in a certain sense, everything which promotes truth and righteousness is part of Christ's church.

The baptized are organized into local communities for collective worship and mutual support. These communities meet at least weekly, on the Lord's day, to pray, to take the the sacrament, to be nourished by God's word, and to speak to one another about the welfare of their souls (Moro. 6:4-6; D&C 59:9-12). The church are encouraged to conduct their meetings as led by the Spirit (Moro. 6:9). Certain members are assigned to lead and teach, but ultimately all members are called to teach one another, so that all may be edified of all (D&C 88:77, 122).

Having received Christ's Spirit through baptism, the church are Christ's body: as the spirit animates the body, so Christ acts in and through the baptized (1 Cor. 12:12-27). The church as an institution provides an instrument by which the baptized organize themselves to carry out Christ's work in the world. The church's work includes a charge to impart temporally and spiritually to all in need, whether in or out of the church—to the poor, the hungry, the sick (Mosiah 18:29; Alma 1:30; Morm. 8:35-39).

Charles W. Penrose: We find by looking through the New Testament, the nature of the Church, the power within it. . . . When [the Saints] were baptized into Christ's Church they were all baptized by one spirit into one body, they became united, they were organized after the pattern of heaven, and the Holy Spirit ran through the whole body. . . . Every part of the body of the Church was actuated by the same spirit and the same influence, and that was the power in their midst . . .
Journal of Discourses 25:332-33

B. H. Roberts: All that makes for truth, for righteousness, is of God; it constitutes the kingdom of righteousness—the empire of Jehovah; and, in a certain sense at least, constitutes the Church of Christ. . . . [T]he spirit of the Lord's commandments to His servants and the dictates of right reason would suggest that we seek to enlarge this kingdom of righteousness both by recognizing such truths as it possesses and seeking the friendship and co-operation of the righteous men and women who constitute its membership.
Conference Report, April 1906, 15

John A. Witdsoe: The aim of the Church, organized for human good, is to make [people] happy.
Program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1937), 17

John A. Witdsoe: Whatever pertains to human welfare must be the concern of the Church. The function of the Church is all inclusive, comprehensive; hence all issues of life must receive its careful consideration. Whatever concerns man is the concern of the Church, whether of earth or heaven, whether of this or a future life.
Priesthood and Church Government (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939), 177

Lowell L. Bennion: The purpose of the Church is the purpose of the Gospel; the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to help men achieve the very purpose of life. The purpose of life is joy through self-realization of our full nature as a child of God. . . . The Church also has a social mission. It is here to build up the kingdom of God by establishing a society of men who will live as God requires them to live. The Church, as a body of people, endowed with the gifts and powers of Deity, is here to represent God and Christ on the earth.
An Introduction to the Gospel (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1959), 209-10

This website is an independent effort to discern the Spirit's voice in LDS teaching. The site is not sponsored by the LDS Church. Quotations from the teachings of any individual should not be taken to imply that the individual does or would endorse this website or other statements made here.