What Church Leaders Are Saying about Why We Need the Church
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“What Church Leaders Are Saying about Why We Need the Church,” Ensign, March 2020

200 Years of Light: 1820–2020

What Church Leaders Are Saying about Why We Need the Church

Stain Glass Art of The Church - Singing

Illustrations by David Green

To Create a Community of Saints

“It is important to recognize that God’s ultimate purpose is our progress. His desire is that we continue ‘from grace to grace, until [we receive] a fulness’ [Doctrine and Covenants 93:13] of all He can give. That requires more than simply being nice or feeling spiritual. It requires faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism of water and of the Spirit, and enduring in faith to the end. One cannot fully achieve this in isolation, so a major reason the Lord has a church is to create a community of Saints that will sustain one another in the ‘strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life’ [2 Nephi 31:18].”1

—Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

“Girls and boys, young women and young men, sisters and brothers, we are on this journey together. In order to reach our sublime destiny, we need each other, and we need to be unified. The Lord has commanded us, ‘Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine’ [Doctrine and Covenants 38:27].”2

—Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency

To Care for the Needy

“Since its origins 175 years ago, the purpose of the Relief Society has been to minister to ‘the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow and the orphan, and … the exercise of all benevolent purposes.’ Today, the Relief Society is the oldest and one of the largest women’s organizations in the world, with more than 7 million members across the globe. Its purposes, however, remain the same: to increase faith, strengthen the family, and relieve suffering. …

“… When you can mobilize 7 million women, each doing what they can according to their own time and resources, there is no limit to what they can achieve.”3

—Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President

“There is a second major reason the Savior works through a church, His Church, and that is to achieve needful things that cannot be accomplished by individuals or smaller groups. One clear example is dealing with poverty. It is true that as individuals and families we look after the physical needs of others. … But together in the Church, the ability to care for the poor and needy is multiplied to meet the broader need, and hoped-for self-reliance is made a reality for very many.”4

—Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Stain Glass Art of The Church - Prophet

To Have Living Prophets and Apostles

“I have served under the keys and directions of six prophets and Church Presidents, from Spencer W. Kimball to Russell M. Nelson. I testify that each one of them was and is God’s chosen prophet. They have taught us essential principles about the Church and the gospel and doctrine of Christ. President Nelson is carrying the Lord’s work forward at a breathtaking pace. I say ‘breathtaking’ because he’s the only one of the Apostles who is older than me, and I am having a difficult time keeping up with him!”5

—President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

“Why are we so willing to follow the voice of our prophet? For those diligently seeking eternal life, the prophet’s voice brings spiritual safety in very turbulent times. …

“Anchoring our souls to the Lord Jesus Christ requires listening to those He sends. Following the prophet in a world of commotion is like being wrapped in a soothing, warm blanket on a freezing cold day.”6

—Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

To Teach and Preserve Doctrine

“As we feast on and live by every word of God and teach only true doctrine by the power of the Holy Ghost, we will discover the Lord changing our hearts and the hearts of those we teach. I thank God each day for the change His word has brought to my heart and for teachers who taught me true doctrine with power and authority.”7

—Brother Douglas D. Holmes, First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency

“In the Church today, just as anciently, establishing the doctrine of Christ or correcting doctrinal deviations is a matter of divine revelation to those the Lord endows with apostolic authority.”8

—Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

To Spread the Gospel

“During this past year, I have had the exciting opportunity to be deeply involved with the worldwide missionary activities of the Church. …

“In whatever ways seem natural and normal to you, share with people why Jesus Christ and His Church are important to you. Invite them to ‘come and see’ [John 1:46; emphasis added]. Then encourage them to come and help. There are numerous opportunities for people to help in our Church.

“Pray not only for the missionaries to find the elect. Pray daily with all your heart that you will find those who will come and see, come and help, and come and stay.9

—Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Stain Glass Art of The Church - Baptism

To Provide Ordinances and Covenants

“Our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness includes the doctrine, the ordinances, the covenants, and the exceeding great and precious promises whereby we can become partakers of the divine nature. His plan defines our eternal identity and the pathway we must follow to learn, change, grow, and ultimately dwell with Him forever. …

“Priesthood ordinances and sacred covenants are essential in this ongoing process of spiritual rebirth; they also are the means God has appointed whereby we receive His exceeding great and precious promises.”10

—Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

To Establish the Kingdom of God

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth. …

“The chief cornerstone and building block of the Church and for our lives is Jesus Christ. This is His Church. President Nelson is His prophet.”11

—Bishop Dean M. Davies, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

To Prepare the World for the Second Coming

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is uniquely empowered and commissioned to accomplish the necessary preparations for the Lord’s Second Coming; indeed, it was restored for that purpose. Can you find anywhere else a people who embrace the present era as the prophesied ‘dispensation of the fulness of times,’ in which God has purposed to ‘gather together in one all things in Christ’? [Ephesians 1:10]. If you don’t find here a community intent on accomplishing what needs to be accomplished for both the living and the dead to prepare for that day, if you don’t find here an organization willing to commit vast amounts of time and funds to the gathering and preparation of a covenant people ready to receive the Lord, you won’t find it anywhere.”12

—Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles