I love Bruce R. McConkie because he always spoke the plain truth. He didn’t sugarcoat it. He taught it bluntly in words that could not be mistaken. And because he feared God more than man, he didn’t worry about who it offended. He knew that the truth would never offend those who love truth, and no amount of sugarcoating would keep those who hate the truth from being offended. Elder Neal A. Maxwell once wrote,
“There is little or no spiritual progress when individuals, in the words of President Marion G. Romney, ‘try to serve the Lord without offending the devil’ (Ensign, October 1983, p. 6)(Neal A. Maxwell, But for a Small Moment, p.124).
Keeping this in mind, what do you think about the following from Mormon Doctrine? Is it truth spoken plainly, or is it false doctrine?
ChristianityChristianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fulness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom. In these circles it is believed and taught that Christianity had its beginning with the mortal ministry of our Lord. Actually, of course, Adam was the first Christian, for both he and the saints of all ages have rejoiced in the very doctrines of salvation restored to earth by our Lord in his ministry.
True believers in Christ, both in America among the Nephites and in the old world beginning in apostolic times, were called Christians. (Alma 46:13-16; 48:10; Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16.) Probably the name was applied first in derision, but it found ready acceptance among the members of the Church because they rejoice in the privilege of taking upon themselves “the name of Christ, or Christians” (Alma 46:15.)
As the day of the great apostasy set in, the term Christian continued to be applied to the supposed followers of Christ, even though in reality they had departed from the true doctrines. Today those who purport to believe in Christ though they may not actually accept him as the Son of God, are called Christians.
The first Nephite reference to Christians in the Book of Mormon is dated about 73 B.C. in what the sectarian world would call the pre-Christian era. But since the doctrine of Christ has been taught in successive dispensations from the days of Adam to the present, either the very name Christian or some equally expressive synonym has been applied to the saints of the Most High of all ages.
As one who grew up an ecumenical Protestant in a number of different denominations, I just love the way Elder McConkie expresses the truth here.