Elder William K. Jackson: ‘The Culture of Christ’

General Authority Seventy

Notable quotes:

“An over-fixation on one’s cultural identity may lead to the rejection of worthwhile — even godly — ideas, attributes and behavior.”
“The culture of Christ helps us to see ourselves as we really are, and when seen through the lens of eternity, tempered with righteousness, it serves to increase our ability to fulfill the great plan of happiness.”
“We can, indeed, all cherish the best of our individual earthly cultures and still be full participants in the oldest culture of them all — the original, the eternal culture that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Summary points:

  • The culture of Christ, which is founded on the Savior’s teachings, is the original culture to which each person belongs.
  • When joining the culture of Christ, it is necessary to leave behind anything in one’s old culture that is inconsistent with Christ.
  • By bringing that which is consistent with truth and righteousness from their old lives, new members can assist in uniting all as one in the society of heaven.

Talk summary: 

The world is home to a great diversity of people and cultures. However, “An over-fixation on one’s cultural identity may lead to the rejection of worthwhile — even godly — ideas, attributes and behavior.”

Many of the world’s problems are a result of clashes between differing ideas and customs arising from culture. “But virtually all conflict and chaos would quickly fade if the world would only accept its original culture, the one we all possessed not so very long ago.” This “greatest of all cultures” is founded on the Savior’s teachings and is available to everyone today.

The “culture of Christ” is grounded in testimony that Heavenly Father exists and loves each one of His children. It is a culture of revelation centered on the word of God, that champions the principle of agency, and is governed by the priesthood. It is a culture of learning and study, faith and obedience, prayer, and covenants and ordinances.

“In the culture of Christ, women are elevated to their proper and eternal status,” and the sanctity of the family is sanctioned.

There is perspective, eternal focus and direction in the culture of Christ.

Becoming part of the “greatest of all cultures” requires change. “The prophets have taught that it is necessary to leave behind anything in our old cultures that is inconsistent with the culture of Christ.”

This doesn’t mean leaving behind everything when one joins the Church. Bringing that which is consistent with truth and righteousness from one’s old life serves only to enhance fellowship with the Saints and assists in uniting all as one.

“We can, indeed, all cherish the best of our individual earthly cultures and still be full participants in the oldest culture of them all — the original, the eternal culture that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

About the speaker:

  • Elder William K. Jackson was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Ojai, California.
  • He married Ann Kesler in the Los Angeles California Temple in 1977; they are the parents of eight children, three of whom are adopted from India, Nepal and Cambodia.
  • Elder Jackon’s work as a regional medical officer with the U.S. Foreign Service took him and his family around the world for over 20 years. They have lived in Australia, India, South Africa, Singapore and Ethiopia.
  • Elder Jackson served as president of the India New Delhi Mission from 2009-2012.