Seventeen Points of the True Church
by Floyd Weston
I had an experience as a young man that I shall never forget. At college one day, some friends and I heard that Albert Einstein, the great scientist, was speaking to a faculty group. We attended the lecture and enjoyed his remarks very much. However, I didn’t comprehend everything he said, but I did understand his concluding remark.
He said, “Gentlemen, the deeper that I delve into the sciences of this universe, the more clearly I believe that one God or force or influence has organized all of it for our discovery.”
We walked quietly back to the dormitory and commenced discussing religion. There were five of us. Four of us belonged to different religions, and one was a professed atheist. One of the group was a brilliant fellow named Jim. He had a photographic mind. lie could take a hook, read the words on a pane, close the book, and recite verbatim what he had read.
When we started to discuss religion as a result of having heard Dr. Einstein’s remarks, Jim when to the drawer of the dormitory and he took out a Bible. Then he went into the hallway where he found a large chalkboard and maneuvered it into our room. Next, he took the Bible and went through it page by page. He was convinced that our Heavenly Father was and Is a just God. He was convinced that in some of the 800 or so different beliefs and sects listed in the almanac that one represented the truth and the whole truth. He took a page of the Bible at a time and went to work on this chalkboard. It took hint almost eight weeks; he had both sides of the chalkboard filled. Then he asked a secretary to come in, write down the Information, summarize it, and type it on a five-by-seven card. He gave each of us a card and presented a plan to us. He said, “I have taken from the Bible all the evidences I could locate that would help a person identify the true Church. I’m convinced that Jesus Christ was sent here to organize his Church, and I believe that it is somewhere on the earth today.”
So every Wednesday night and every Sunday, we went out looking for this Church. We visited the various churches, but none of them had what we were searching for. Some of the points that Jim had written down on our cards were that the true church would accept the scriptures, it would not have a paid ministry; it would have the proper authority from God; and it would claim to be the true church.
Not long after receiving the card, I decided to check out of school and train to become a paratrooper. While I was training, I had a wonderful experience I will share with you. I kept my five-by-seven card in my footlocker. On Sundays, I would occasionally attend one of the Protestant churches. As I would ride the bus to the outskirts of town to attend the church meetings, I noticed a group of fellows on board that I recognized as being in my class of paratrooper trainees. They would get off and go into a little brownstone church. They were a tremendous group. I never saw any of them with a cigarette in his mouth. I never heard a foul or obscene word or suggestive story from any of them. As I looked over their records, I noticed that they were all from the West. They were always laughing, having a tremendous time, and everyone liked them.
They had one young fellow, a little short farm boy from Utah, who seemed to be their leader. I was talking with him one day just as he was preparing to jump from their plane.
There had been a rather serious accident that morning with one of the trainees and I asked this farm boy how he felt about it.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” he said. “I know the answers to the three questions.”
I thought, What’s he talking about? I said, “What questions?”
And he said, “Unless you can answer three questions before you leave the earth, in great measure you have wasted your life.”
About that time, the red light came on, and the little buzzer started sounding. I had to get ready to send him on his jump. All the time, I was wondering what on earth he was talking about.
The next evening I found out where he lived. As I walked into the barracks, he saw me coming and passed the word around. He was shining his boots. I walked up and said, “Hey, listen.”
And he said, “What is it, Sarge?”
I said, “Tell me, what are these three questions?”
“Oh, don’t you know? Well, number one, where did you come from before you came to earth?”
I thought, How silly can you be!
“Number two, why are you here? And number three, where are you going after you leave here?”
I said, “Anyone can answer. Wait a minute. I don’t know. I don’t know!”
Subsequently, I had other conversations with this young man and his companions. I had my five-by-seven card, and I asked them all the questions. As I progressed down through all the classifications of the true church, my heart beat harder. The church described by these men agreed with every single point on the card. I came to know for a surety that they were teaching me the truth and I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A while later, I went through California on a furlough. The Church was having a conference at a stake center. As I walked in, I saw an Air Force captain. I looked again. It was Jim. He said, “What are you doing here?”
I said, “Well, this is my church too!”
The thing I want to tell you is that all four of us who were left (one was killed in the war) armed with our five-by-seven cards found the same church. There might be some who would call this coincidental, but I know it wasn’t.
While I was investigating the church, the young trainees pointed out from the scriptures that there would be another record that would be joined with the Bible. They showed me this other record.
I learned that gaining an understanding of the gospel was not a problem, only a process. The trainees said, “Don’t take our word for it,” when they handed me the new record, The Book of Mormon. They showed me a verse of scripture I will never forget: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true. and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moron] 10:4).
This impressed me. I didn’t have to take anybody’s word for it. I asked, and I received an answer. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I testify to you that the gospel is here upon the earth. I was looking for a church that had apostles, teachers, deacons and prophets. I found it. There’s only one Church on the earth that has a Quorum of Twelve Apostles and that follows the Bible. I bear you my testimony that it is the truth and will bring you joy and that you will be able to bring this joy to other men. If you accept this truth, your entire family and posterity will rise up and call you blessed. I bear my testimony to you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
The Seventeen Points of the true Church written on the 3X5 cards are listed below.
1. Will recognize the Holy Trinity as separate Persons.
a. Will Know the identity of God (Father), Jesus Christ (Son) and the Holy Ghost (Spirit).
b. Jesus Christ will be recognized as Head of the Church.
2. Will accept the Holy Bible in its entirety of which some parts of the record are missing.
3. Will contain the same offices.
a. Twelve apostles are mandatory.
b. Prophets, teachers, elders, evangelists, bishops, deacons, high priests, saints.
4. Officers will be “Called of God.”
a. College degree or license insufficient.
b. Royal Priesthood.
c. Can be married.
5. Will have an unpaid Ministry.
6. Members will be workers in the Church. Women included in activities.
7. Baptism will be mandatory.
a. Probably by immersion.
b. Must be authorized.
8. Will believe in the Virgin Birth.
9. Will believe in literal resurrection.
10. Will honor Sunday as the Sabbath.
11. Will receive continuous revelation.
12. Will be payer of tithes.
13. Will partake of the Sacrament of the Lord.
14. Will believe in immortality and a heaven and a hell.
15. Will have miraculous occurrences, healings, visions, tongues, prophecies.
16. Will teach that Jesus Christ will come again.
17. Will be persecuted for beliefs.