What a Church Leaflet Taught Me About the "Most Thrilling Discovery in Life"


My son traveled to London recently. He had not been back since he accompanied me as a 4-year-old when I taught in a Brigham Young University Study Abroad program. I recommended that he visit St. Martin-in-the-Fields, one of my favorite London destinations.

This Church of England edifice was built between 1722 and 1726, is dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, and anchors the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square. One of London’s most famous churches, it is especially known and respected for its work with youths and homeless people. It is a beautiful structure — inside and out — hosts lovely evening candlelight concerts, and the crypt houses the obligatory gift shop and a reasonably priced restaurant for those seeking a solid, tasty meal.

When Matt returned home, he handed me a small brochure he picked up at St-Martin-in-the-Fields. I found it quite compelling and worthy of contemplation. The small leaflet begins by announcing a great truth, “The most important and most thrilling discovery in life is finding the way home to God.” It goes on to suggest four “signposts” that point us home to God, with supporting Bible verses:

• The first is “Love: God’s heart toward you.” It describes God’s desire to cleanse us of sin, “He longs to give you peace of mind and heart, purpose for living and assurance of a home in heaven with him.” The scripture, 1 John 4:10, is a reminder that “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

• Second, “Forgiveness and fellowship: Your need for God” describes each person’s intrinsic need to be “forgiven by God and restored to fellowship with him.” This thought was followed by a powerful insight, “The mad pursuit after pleasure and possessions is often an unconscious search for God.”

It is a sublime insight, indicative of each person’s inherent, inbred yearning after God, emanating from the divinity within each of us. Yet far too often, in our quest, we are deceived by Satan into embracing his fraudulent counterfeit: pleasure, possessions, power, control or whatever form our false gods take. Inevitably, they do not satisfy and thus the “mad quest,” a continuing and fruitless pursuit after pleasure and possessing, which can never fulfill each person’s inner need of God.

• Third is “Jesus Christ: God’s provision for you." “As the eternal Son of God He lived a perfect, sinless life. His death is the sacrifice God accepts to pay for all your sins.” In John 14:6, we read, “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes unto the Father, but by me” (see John 14:6).

• Fourth is “Repentance and faith: Your commitment to Christ.” “What does it mean to commit yourself to Christ? First it means repenting or turning away from your old way of living. … It also means transferring ownership of your life to Jesus Christ” (see “Do you know the way home to God,” Victory Tracts, Hayes Press, 2017).

Certainly, the essence of discipleship, of coming unto Christ, is embodied in this last phrase, “transferring ownership of your life to Jesus Christ.”

But what does this mean? Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained, “Many people hear the word disciple and think it means only 'follower.' But genuine discipleship is a state of being. This suggests more than studying and applying a list of individual attributes. Disciples live so that the characteristics of Christ are woven into the fiber of their beings. … A disciple is one who has been baptized and is willing to take upon him or her the name of the Savior and follow him. A disciple strives to become as he is by keeping his commandments in mortality. … I testify that the efforts we make to become disciples of our Savior are truly added upon until we are 'possessed' of his love. This love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ” (“Becoming a Disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ,” by Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2017).

I count this small booklet a treasure. It reminds me of Jesus’ constant love for each of us, how much we need him, that his Atonement made provision for us to be forgiven of our sins, and that only as we “transfer” our life to him, as we seek to become like him, will we realize the joy and peace God intends for each of his earthly children.

Lead image of the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Shutterstock.

Kristine Frederickson writes on topics that affect members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide. She teaches part-time at BYU. Her views are her own. Email: kfrederickson.desnews@gmail.com

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