'Covenant belonging' a key part of ministering, Elder Gong says at BYU Women's Conference

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  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2018 11:10 a.m.

    @Justin M,

    I apologize if my post sounded inflammatory. And I did notice at the end of your post attempting to transcend the popular version of the word charity to a much holier pure love note. But, my point was still to point out the silliness of making up a new phrase for something that already has a perfectly good word to it.

    As an example of why I feel strongly about it; let me make a silly analogy. What if I told you that I believe we all should use a "travel roller" in our lives. And then described this "travel roller" as a round object that can be turned around and around over the earth to help move things; best when used in pairs or fours with a seat on top to help us travel places.

    Wouldn't it be much better to use the word "wheels" even in a country that uses wheels for other things besides travel?

    I have no problem with what Elder Gong was teaching, and my post pointed out my understanding that others see the word differently. It just seems to me that the addition of a new phrase to replace the word charity just adds to the culture of misunderstanding; rather than teaching on a higher plane. So, I point out that there is already a better word for what he described.

  • Justin M Sacramento, CA
    May 6, 2018 8:51 p.m.


    Perhaps a closer look at what I wrote and how I ended my previous posting will reveal that you are mischaracterizing what I've said and where I ultimately ended up. Indeed I tried moving from the "charity as an action" reference to one of pure love. Not sure how you missed it, but perhaps it was too subtle.

    I would also suggest a less inflammatory response, and one that is filled with more patience. Not everyone has the "enlightenment" that you have, and it's not their fault. "Charity" within the current context has been used in examples that are understood by church members around the world as it relates to service for others, without any clarification otherwise. After all, who would seek to "clarify" what "charity" REALLY means to the exclusion of what others have been taught?

    From my understanding of the scriptures, each person is judged on the knowledge they have and what they did with it. Charity is certainly one area of judgement, since it will "not be well with them" if not integrated into our lives.

    Imagine a Lord working with imperfect people to accomplish great things - and done while we learn along the way to be more perfect beings...

    That's charity!

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2018 11:26 a.m.

    @Susan Quinton and @Justin M,

    The two of you make my case perfectly. You both have been taught to believe that "charity" is an act of giving something to someone, like giving food to the poor etc. You use the terms of "charity case" and "charity is given" and the like.

    Charity is NOT about giving or getting anything. It is NOT about focusing on the poor, less fortunate, or underprivileged.

    The scriptural term "charity" literally means "the pure love of Christ." Charity is a type of love for others; a love so strong that a man may give his life for another. My point is that the LDS culture (and many other religious and even non-religious world views) misuse the term "charity."

    It is my intention to bring the word "charity" back to its true meaning; because that love for others that is the strongest and greatest love of all; it is the love that binds us together; it is far more powerful than any "covenant" which we all tend to break to some degree or other.

    For a real lesson on what "charity" really means try memorizing and applying Moroni 7:45-47. Christ is the only one who has perfect charity; but He is our exemplar, we should focus more on charity for all mankind.

  • Justin M Sacramento, CA
    May 6, 2018 9:39 a.m.

    I think the comments with regards to charity are missing the underlying (and greater) message of service (and love) beyond that given to one another in an outward manner.

    I would also submit that those who often give charity are probably not the best receivers of charity.

    This is emphasizing the need to be vulnerable, humble, submissive (and yes charitable) and together we rise much higher. To many, charity is given (and received) on their terms, with convenience and control being (un)conscious components.

    A covenant in this context is not only our promises given to our Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, but in Their promises TO us. Part of our covenant include action in sharing the gospel to others in word and in deed. In return, blessings are promised - either directly from Them, or via service from others as well (some call this "good karma", a rather "detached" term - removing the interconnected service that MUST be there to even have it.)

    Perhaps see this as continuing revelation that helps turn our head towards a holier form of charity, rather than a conditional one - where we truly GIVE (and give up) of ourselves?

    A submission to/from Them and others.

    A PURE love.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 6, 2018 7:39 a.m.

    Home teaching needed a change because of the way it was being done in actual practice, not because off the name.

    So far, this new term/concept, "ministering", has not changed any actual practices.

    My same Home Teacher called and said he has been "assigned to minister to" my family, and wanted a time he could come visit.

    Nothing has changed!

  • Susan Quinton Draper, UT
    May 6, 2018 12:35 a.m.

    I’d rather feel like my neighbors and I (religious or not) all belong to a covenant...instead of being viewed as a charity case. Just my two humble cents.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    May 5, 2018 1:47 p.m.

    "Covenant belonging"? What is that? Yea,certainly a new term; almost like they wanted to make up a new term. Elder Gong basically described it as if it were the same as the scriptural word "charity."

    Why not just use the word charity? Charity is what enables us to minister to our fellow man. Charity has always been used to describe our love for others as God loves us. Rather than creating a new term that sounds way to clunky "covenant belonging" and not very descriptive; why not just focus on the term that everyone should already know which is "charity!"


    Oh I guess I forget, most Mormon's don't really know what "charity" really means... perhaps that is why they need to make up a new term.

  • Marigold Provo, UT
    May 5, 2018 8:34 a.m.

    Thank you for summarizing Elder and Sister Gong's talks and for the photographs. IMHO, the "sisters" attending (in person or via the internet) this yearly gathering are some of the world's finest examples of people wanting to do as the Savior demonstrated.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    May 5, 2018 7:21 a.m.

    From a psychological perspective it makes sense. You're going to connect better with people whose incentives are aligned with yours. In this case, everyone wants to get to heaven and everyone has the same basic blueprint in how to do it. So everyone is aligned.