(Write on the board: "I know the Church is true," and "I know the gospel is true.")
We commonly say "I know the Church is true" and "I know the gospel is true" when we bear our testimonies. What do we really mean? Are they the same thing? What is the relationship between them if they are not the same? Once I heard a fairly knowledgeable speaker say that in his mind it was impossible to differentiate between them. Because he was smart and well-known, I thought he was right, but now I disagree.
THE CHURCH SET UP BY CHRIST
"And it came to pass that the disciples whom Jesus had chosen began from that time forth to baptize and to teach as many as did come unto them; and as many as were baptized in the name of Jesus were filled with the Holy Ghost. And many of them saw heard unspeakable things, which are not lawful to be written. And they taught, and did minister one to another; and they had all things common among them, every man dealing justly, one with another. And it came to pass that they did do all things even as Jesus had commanded them. And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the church of Christ." (3 Nephi 26:17-21)
Webster's definition of "church": A building for Christian worship, or a body of people in Christian worship. The word "church" is from the Greek kriakon or house of the Lord, which is from kyrios or lord.
In this instance Christ is referring to the body of people.
"And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses' name, then it be Moses' church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel. [This explains why the Brethren would like us to make clear that the name of our church is not “the Mormon Church.”]
"Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you." [Every ordinance and prayer we perform in the church is done in the name of Christ and through His priesthood.]
"And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it." (3 Nephi 27:8-10)