One true church?
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On November 1, 1831 (one year after the church was restored) the Lord himself revealed that this is…
“…the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased…”
I believe and belong to this church because of my own experiences with God and witnesses from the Holy Ghost that its true.
But what about other people who say the same thing about their church?
Dozens, if not hundreds, of churches or religions may claim the same thing themselves.
And millions of people have said, do say, and will say the same thing about a personal witness from God and/or the Holy Ghost.
Shouldn’t there be no conflicting answers like that? How do you reconcile this?
My personal response starts with understanding the universal path to salvation. I think it’s well summarized in the third, fourth, and fifth articles of faith.
3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
Everyone needs the atonement of Christ, faith and repentance, as well as baptism and the gift of the holy ghost performed by someone with authority to do so. After this context…
The key to reconciling these questions is in the “timing.”
Ultimately everybody needs the same principles and ordinances for salvation, and sometimes in the bigger picture, other religions or faiths may be part of the path for someone to get there.
Yes, I believe our Heavenly Parents will answer someone’s sincere prayer about the truthfulness of another church or religion. And yes, I believe they may answer affirmatively. That may give some people the experiences they need to become what our Heavenly Parents want them to become and to prepare them to receive the fullness of Christ’s gospel.
Because it’s more important how we arrive than when.
Elder Holland taught that our Heavenly Parents’…
“…concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “the only true and living church” that provides all the principles and ordinances needed for salvation, but not everybody will or needs to receive these principles and ordinances soon or even in this life.
It can happen in the next life too. The gospel is preached to and ordinances are performed for people who have passed away.
“For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6)
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29)
Is there one true path?
There is one straight and narrow path through Christ. We all need to follow His example and reconcile ourselves with Him. There are, however, many ways to get to that one path in the first place.
All affirmative answers from our Heavenly Parents help bring us closer to Christ, and to the principles and ordinances needed for salvation, whether it’s in the short or long run :)
My recent HWN has been pondering the meaning of “one true path.”
p.s. It’s been two months since my last post 😬 So here are some updates :)
I went on a backpacking/camping trip to Lake Catherine the beginning of August. And we got within about 30 feet of a moose!
I had a scare of getting coronavirus, but it came back negative!
The results came back the day before my brother’s wedding! 😅 Fortunately, I heard back with enough time to attend!
I was also in California for less than 48 hours to attend his reception there (and go to the beach 🏖 🏝 😉)
My dad, siblings, siblings-in-law, nieces/nephew, and I made a video to wish our mom a happy birthday :) We all watched it together over a zoom call.
My roommates, some friends, and I performed in a couple outdoor concerts. And Paul, McKay, and I saw Tenet — our first movie theater experience in 6 months!
I was in a pickleball tournament with lots of friends a couple weekends ago:)
Some friends and I did a Backstreet Boys lip-sync at our ward talent show. Video forthcoming!