This article is Part 6 of Sister Natalie Shawver’s series “Born and Raised”…Or Not.
Sister Wendy Giannetti was only 17 years old when she first walked into The Church of Jesus Christ. Sister Brianne Gehly? A year younger. Brothers Bob Batson and Frank Natoli were 18 and 19, respectively.
Although these handful of saints met our beloved gem in their teens, we hear of others meeting the church at any age — there’s no wrong time to learn about the Gospel.
And when they meet the church, these individuals notice something different. Something that separates us from the others. Something that doesn’t make us “better” than the other denominations that worship together each Sunday, but instead, something that makes us “peculiar” and hopefully aligned and attuned to Christ.
“I’ve always felt as though I’ve found the pearl that Jesus speaks of in the parable (Matthew 13:46). I found salvation through Christ. For me, the restoration of the gospel makes us special because we not only have the authority and priesthood of Jesus Christ, but we also have a unique responsibility expressed in our mission, vision and purpose as a church.” – Brother Frank Natoli, Branch 1, Detroit, Michigan.
We are unique — and we are quick to embrace the uniqueness, just as He taught.
“Our Church is different from other churches of this world. The Church of Jesus Christ is peculiar in the sense of it not changing because the world is changing. The church should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and should not alter them to people not liking what Christ taught.” – Sister Brianne Gehly, Erie, Pennsylvania
Whether it’s believing in the Book of Mormon (we’re in the minority there), the special love of the Saints (we’re scattered around the world, always willing to meet someone new), honoring the ordinances exactly as Christ established them (no pools or sprinklings for us), we stand out. And isn’t that what He wants us to do?
We may not always be liked for our distinctive ways, but He reminds us that while “ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake…he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22) and “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation; a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.