Being 'living members' of a 'living Church'

In an April 1987 general conference address, Elder Howard W. Hunter, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke of Section One in the Doctrine and Covenants, in which the Lord revealed that this is the "only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth." Elder Hunter said that then the Lord added, "with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually." (D&C 1:30.)

Elder Hunter said: "This should raise a question in our minds of eternal significance: We know that this is the true and living church institutionally, but am I a true and living member individually?"This question may appear as a play on the words of the Lord when He said this is the true and living church. When I ask, Am I a true and living member?' my question is,Am I deeply and fully dedicated to keeping the covenants I have made with the Lord? Am I totally committed to live the gospel and be a doer of the word and not a hearer only? Do I live my religion? Will I remain true? Do I stand firm against Satan's temptations?' He is seeking to cause us to lose our way in a storm of derision and a tide of sophistry. We can have victory, however, by responding to that inner voice calling `stand firm!'

"To answer affirmatively the question, `Am I a living member?' confirms our commitment. It means that we now and always will love God and our neighbors as ourselves. It means our actions will reflect who we are and what we believe. It means that we are every day Christians, walking as Christ would have us walk.

"Living members are those who strive to have a total commitment. They follow the admonition of Nephi who wrote:

" `And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

" `Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.' (2 Ne. 31:19-20.)

"Living members recognize their duty to press forward. They are baptized as a first step of their living journey. It is a sign to God, to angels, and to heaven that they will follow God's will. We especially welcome those of you throughout the world who have recently taken upon yourselves these covenants. We express our love for you and want you to know of our concern for you and all members everywhere. We welcome you into the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Latter-day Saints. The word saint does not mean that any of us is perfect. What it does mean is that we are all trying, all serving, and all vowing to stand firm in the faith."

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