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Several years ago, I received an email from someone spouting off something or rather, trying to be negative about the Church. I can’t remember what it was exactly he said, but it was along the lines of the-church-is-a-cult-and-joe-smith-is-a-paedophile type of email. Anyhow, we wrote back and forth a few times, and at one point, he brought up how we use the term ‘gospel’ incorrectly. He used 1 Cor. 15:1&#8211l4 to point out that the term ‘gospel’ referred to Jesus’ dying, being buried and being resurrected.

It must have stuck with me because last night during companionship scripture study, I came across another scripture that seems to indicate the definition of ‘gospel’ is a bit more expansive.

And this is my gospel?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùrepentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom. (D&C 39:6)

So if the definition of ‘gospel’ extends to more than just the death, burial and resurrection of the Christ, perhaps that explains why we as members have gone so far to expand its definition to be synonymous with ‘the Church’.

9 thoughts on “Gospel

  1. Speaking literally, the “gospel” in Greek is the English “good news”. Good news of what? That Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah foretold by the OT. From that point on, you could add anything Jesus taught as being part of that, so the “gospel” really is pretty amorphous when used colloquially in English. Like the D&C quote you give, Jesus is the Christ and he enabled us to repent, be baptised, and recv the Holy Spirit so we might be sanctified, so thats a logically consistent extension. This is Jesus’ Church, so the “good news” is that the ancient church is restored and we have the Priesthood to administer the saving ordinaces that Jesus requires.

  2. Huh, well, I cannot recall ever hearing someone say that. If its commonplace, then I guess people have said it and I just havent paid any attention to it. I’ll have to pay a little closer attention I guess.

    Mission in Utah? Sorry about that. Must have been kind of wierd. I served in CA, and that was wierd.

    Yes, naturally, its wrong, but people say stuff thats wrong all the time. Why does this upset you so much, or “really get you going” as you say? I dunno, when people at church start droning on with canned mormon rhetoric my medula pushes the clutch and the grey matter slips into neutral, so they could be saying all sorts of stuff like this and I just totally miss it. Its like jargon, when people say “may no harm or accident befall us” when they pray, it just something that gets widely perpetuated via normative behavior.

  3. Kind of weird. It gets weirder the longer I’ve been away. I didn’t think it was all that weird when I was there. Maybe I was being assimilated.

    It gets me going because I am a stickler for semantics. ask anyone who knows me intimately and they will attest to my annoying habit of correcting grammar and questioning sentence structure.

  4. Oh, OK, if youre prone to nit-picking semantics, then stuff like that will drive you absolutely nuts. But, there is an awful lot of stuff like that floating around, like the way “literally” has been turned into an adverb and no longer means what it is supposed to mean, which is the height of irony. Might I suggest a healthy dose of embittered apathy? Its rather fashionable these days.

  5. OK, I paid careful attention to the use of the word “gospel” at Church yesteday and I am pleased to report I heard only one misuse of it in the manner you described. Unfortunately, it was the first talk in Sacrament Meeting, so it was rather widely broadcast, without any opportunity for me to shout her down (jk), but that was it. So, altogether, not too bad. I think I am going to re-engage my embittered apathy though.

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