Notes taken from Elder Richard G Scott talk given on
May 17, 1992 Layton Northridge Stake Priesthood Meeting
Elder Scott started by explaining that he had been on the phone to South America to a branch president who had gone to the church building that day and had found a note giving the names of several leaders of the church in that area and startign that if they proceeded to hold church that day that those people on the list would be killed. He stated that we in the safety of the Wasatch Mountains have no idea of the challenges the members in other parts of the world are experiencing. Is it possible that we are too comfortable? He also said he did not really know why he was in our stake conference; that it was a last minute change of assignment, and that he usually does not come to Utah Stake Conferences unless there is something necessary to teach or a major change to make.
Elder Scott then wrote on the blackboard "COME UNTO CH _ _ _ _ " and then said "Brethren, I am concerned about a very serious problem in the church and it is that we have been teaching each other to Come unto What? We said he feared we have been teaching each other to Come Unto Church, when we should have been teaching each other to Come unto Christ. He stated thtat he has attended many Testimony Meetings and Sacrament Meetings letely where the members will bear testimony that they believe the church is true, but hardly anyone ever testifies that they believe in Christ, nor do they tell of their love for Christ.
Then he drew a picture on the Blackboard like the one pictured here:
He asked the Priesthood leaders present in the meeting, "Where on this picture are you (as a Leader) supposed to be in relation to Christ and one of His Children?" One of the brethern said, "We should be behind the member helping him to come unto Christ." and another brother said, "We should be at his side bringing him with us."
Elder Scott said those were good thought, but then quoted President Harold B Lee when he said that if you want to lift someone, you must be on higher spiritual ground. Therefore Priesthood leaders should be on higher ground, but he drew the leader's figure off to the side helping the member. He said, "Now here is the point I want to make. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF BETWEEN CHRIST AND ONE OF HIS CHILDREN, so that you block the path. AND DO NOT PUT THE CHURCH IN THE PLACE OF CHRIST."
He elaborated on how we as leaders are really servants, to teach other how to establish "A DIRECT LINK TO CHRIST". He explained that the real purpose of the Church was to bring the members unto Christ and that our only purpose as leaders was to serve the members by teachign them how to get to Christ and to live the fulness of the Gospel. Elder Scott emphasized that a righteous priesthood leader always strives to lead people to Christ and never to look to himself as a source of truth. He also pointed out how leading or helping other to Christ, brings both the peope he helps and himself to the source of revelation and truth. He warned strongly against anyone who, through thinking they were in a powerful position, might begin to block the way to Christ, by teaching that the people had to go through himself or other leaders to get to Christ. He then explained how we establish that direct link to Christ is by direct communication with Him through personal revelation, the rock upon which our own personal salvation is built.
to be continued.
I came across this a few weeks ago while preparing a lesson. I thought it fit well with the message of you're last few posts.
"A few years ago I received a letter from a man who said he had attended an LDS testimony meeting and listened to seventeen testimonies without hearing the Savior mentioned or referred to in any way. He also wrote that the following Sunday he listened to a priesthood lesson, a Gospel Doctrine lesson, and seven sacrament meeting speakers without hearing any reference to Jesus Christ (see Ensign, Nov. 1990, p. 30). Some may have considered that report an exaggeration or an extreme case. The similar accounts I have received in subsequent letters persuade me that this was not an isolated experience. In too many of our classes, in too many of our worship services, we are not teaching of Christ and testifying of Christ in the way we should. This is one way we are failing to 'remember the new covenant.'"(Dalin H. Oaks March 1994, Ensign)
If one reads the BoM very carefully, one will discover that the purpose of the church is to bring people to "The Gate" (2 Nephi 31:17) into the straight and narrow way. "The Gate" consists of "the baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost."
The Keeper of the Gate is Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 9:41) "and HE employeth no servant there". It is the Savior who baptizes HIS people with Fire and the Holy Ghost (Matt.3:11).
According to some GA's, 99% of the church has not received the BFHG, and therefore have not found the straight and narrow path that allows one to "Come Unto Christ". They are among those spoken of in 1 Nephi 8:21 as "numberless concourses of people, many of who are pressing forward that they might obtain the path" which leads unto the Tree of Life. Unfortunately, many of those pressing forward "lose their way", that they wander off and are lost.
There is much to repent of and much to do...and the time for the Savior to bring again Zion draweth near. Pondering these things may lead to a greater understanding of what it means to "work out one's salvation with fear and trembling".
The disappointing thing is that this talk is over 20 years old. I don't believe this content would be given by any of the FP/Q12 in a general meeting today. The only thing that has happened in the ensuing years is that we have become MORE Follow the Prophet(s) and the idea of following Christ is just given lip service.
These points (and the drawings) are close to what I saw Elder Scott teach in the Provo MTC in 2004. I do not recall anything about come unto church vs. Christ, but he did draw the second picture and tell us we were to bring people unto Christ, not unto ourselves or leaders.
I wonder why Elder Scott has not taught this more publicly as it is clearly something he believes and is clearly important?
I have also experienced what Elder Oaks reported in the above quote. It is maddening.
It's become impossible to follow Christ if one follows the Prophet, or visa versa. LDS Prophets today preach contrary to Christ and thus most all members don't even seem to know what Christ actually taught, and thus they don't see how opposite the Church is from the Church Christ established.
It's near impossible to find someone today who really believes in Christ and lives his teachings.
Thank you for sharing this. If you listen to Elder Scott's conference addresses, he is teaching us how to connect to God, how to be "fiercely loyal" to use Pres. Hinkleys words to ONE WIFE. I have yet to hear him, say follow the prophet. I have yet to hear him, teach anything but how to come to Christ. I didn't realize this earlier in my life, but over the years, and no accident he came to our mission and I met him personally, the spirit has given me a sacred feeling towards Elder Scott.
Thank you for this post! I wish all the LDS church leaders espoused the same view as what Elder Scott taught here in 1992. He taught wise and good principles. Now, 22 years later, it seems that the LDS church is more concerned with "following the prophet", a flawed mortal man, than they are in following Jesus Christ. I detest prophet worship. Leaders would do well to deflect ALL attention to He who is Mighty to Save, for salvation can come from no one else.
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