Frameworks #3: What Is This Gospel of Which You Speak?

Posted on August 2, 2008 by

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Bear with me, I’ve only got one more of these after this one. But it’s certainly kind of you all to humor me.

So far I’ve talked in vague, general terms about the gospel. There’s a good reason for that — the gospel is kind of hard to define. How would you explain it, if someone asked you what that gospel is? Is it the church? Is it the priesthood? Is it the commandments, or the scriptures, or something more nebulous, like the atonement, or the plan of salvation?

Perhaps an easier approach would be to ask, “What does the gospel do?”

If a person wants to be saved from sin and death, can the gospel help with that? (That’s the easy one.)

If a person is confused about the purpose of life, can the gospel fix that?

If a person is friendless, can the gospel fix that?

If a person has no money, can the gospel fix that?

If a person is overweight, can the gospel fix that?

If a person is in a bad relationship, can the gospel fix that?

If a person is suffering from mental illness, can the gospel fix that?

If a person is uneducated, can the gospel fix that?

The answers to these questions depend on what you include in the words, “the gospel”. Take the example of Sister Monroe, who does daily scriptures and prayers, attends meetings, is active in her calling, and raising several children. Yet she finds no joy in it and suffers from depression. Does that mean that the gospel isn’t designed to address emotional issues, or does that mean that there’s more to the gospel than scripture and prayer? And if so, what is it?

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Posted in: Church