A year or two ago, I began going back through the old conference addresses that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hosts on its website. Essentially, I added a talk a day to my reading and listening. It’s been a fun experience, and I’ve made it to 1977 already!
I was intrigued by a talk that President Kimball gave in a welfare session of conference. I went back to look it up on the website and found that he had given a talk with a similar theme the previous year.
He quoted the question pointedly asked in Luke 6:46, asking why we call the Savior Lord and ignore his commandments. It’s a question worth asking ourselves.
- If I go to church and look like I’m worshiping the Savior, I’m making a public statement that I consider him my lord. But, if I won’t keep basic commandments and ignore Christ the rest of the week, I’m a total hypocrite.
- If I knowingly commit sins and then try to cover them up and get away with it, Jesus is not my Lord, and I am a hypocrite.
I could continue this list for a long time, but I think I’ve made my point.
I used to think that the worst part about hypocrisy was that it wounded public and private opinion about the church and about Christians in general. While hypocrisy is definitely bad PR, God is able to accomplish His own work. He made that clear to the Israelites at the Red Sea, on the day of Christ’s resurrection, and countless other times.
No, the worst part of hypocrisy is that the result is lost potential and the regret that follows it.
To me, the choice is clear. (Notice that I didn’t say easy.)
In the end, though, no matter what we think and what we say, Christ is not our Lord if we are not obedient to him. If we have chosen our own path, it doesn’t matter how many times we went to church, if we served a mission, or anything else that we would consider a milestone, he has already told us that he will tell us to depart from him because we never knew him.