Being a disciple of Christ can be a bit ironic when one also belongs to THE true church of Christ. The irony arrives in the form of dual loyalties.
As I wrote in the previous un-blog I maintain that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is THE true church upon the earth. We know that we must remain faithful and valiant in Christ or the privilege of having the “fulness of the Gospel” will be taken away and given to some other people. (3 Nephi 16:10) No matter who the covenant people end up being, we know for sure that the church will be true and in direct sync with Christ’s will up to and including His return in glory. After that the church will undoubtedly evolve, since Christ will be the King of Kings (a political title) and Lord of Lords (a spiritual and religious role). The church, what ever it becomes, will evolve according to Christ’s will.
The point is, as a Disciple of Christ, my loyalties are to Christ, and since the LDS church is HIS church, I extend my fealty to Christ to the Church that bears His name.
When people within the church act in such a way that the are no longer acting for Christ (usually in small ways), then my loyalty remains with Christ’s Church, and whatever office may be involved, but does not follow the errant one in his or her deeds and acts. Only the person is lessened. In this way I am able to separate the people of the church, from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This dual loyalty has saved my soul a number of times. People can offend and injure me, but the church cannot.
I sometimes (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) think of “The Mormon Church” as a collection of people great and small, and the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS as a collection of doctrine and truths, principles and powers.
Having a “testimony” of this latter-day church is a glorious thing – but it must never be a greater virtue that your discipleship of Christ. The reason is, the church’s people will eventually mess up in some small way and hurt you. I say small because nothing people can do will have eternal consequence, whereas our reaction to their errors might. If you are a “disciple” of the church itself; if your “testimony” of the “true church” is the greatest force in your life, then you will eventually be slapped upside the head with something too great to endure with your “testimony” unshaken.
For this reason I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. Herein only lies safety and peace.