Sign in to follow this  
jb789

Question about world religions

Recommended Posts

What are people's thoughts on the origin and nature of the world's religions, including Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism, etc?

I fully believe the LDS church is true and of God. At the same time, I've read a lot about Eastern religions (Buddhism, Taoism), and to be completely truthful, they've been a great help to me also, and I've found nothing in them that contradicts truth I've learned through the Book of Mormon, LDS teachings, etc. Indeed, at some level, they both seem very much compatible, teaching one to be a "peaceable follower of Christ", yet in the case of the Eastern philosophies, it's almost like they know the truth/have followed the light within themselves, yet know not from whence it comes (Christ).

What are other's thoughts on the validity/truthfullness of the world's religions? I've thought about this a great deal, and truly believe that people like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, etc, were very spiritual and inspired people, living in a time/place where the gospel was not restored. Like all religions (Christianity as well), the pure original teachings can be corrupted, turn into idol worship, lose their purity, etc. But, from my understanding, these other religions are truthful as well, perhaps without the "fullness" of the restored gospel, yet nonetheless inspired speak of truth.

Thoughts?

(Sorry for the two back to back forum questions, these thoughts just came to me now =))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is a particularly troubling one, from what I've seen. Some would say there is no correct answer. I will however say that there are some incorrect answers. In the Christ's teachings, we aren't taught to knock others' beliefs. Yet, it troubles me greatly, to see it done so often, explicitly and on a subliminal level. They are entitled to the way they feel is the right way, to live spiritually. It is the very core of our Agency.

Those that believe in God shouldn't find it necessary to speak evil others that also believe likewise, albeit differently. To do so is a testament, that your faith is seeded precariously. More so than anything, He looks deep into our hearts. Most especially, for Latter Day Saints, this is something everyone should be sympathetic to. Religious persecution occurs in many different ways. Being well-versed in the effect of it should make us sensitive to how others believe.

There are people that could be listening, when it occurs, and they don't hear the truth. They hear hate, fear, and lies; the 'power' of our adversaries, the anti-Godhead, that is even to say, the faithless. For as much power as He cast them out with; it isn't good for anyone that gives in to this deception. However, it is most clear, that one has, when all sorts of evil is spoken against those with opposing doctrines. In all eventuality, as much as some don't like to hear this, our Father even provides a way for other faiths or even a lack of faith, to know Him.

This is a very important thing to realize, for members of The Church of Jesus [the] Christ of Latter Day Saints; this doctrine does not mimic the Nicolaitans. Rather, it speaks volumes about His grace for all mankind, that He loves His Children, not one fellowship or another. Instead, what should be said, concerning His Church, is that we are privileged to divine revelation to know His Word, as He has revealed it to us. Not that we may trample upon those that love Him likewise, however they have come to think of what we profess has, is, and will be restored, from the Godhead to our fellowship, which bears His Son's name. It simply isn't any man's place, to decide for what or how God does or will judge. My words, proceeding from our Father, they are part of an epistle: turn from any wicked wantonness within, as He assembles the Host, which marches on and tramples the wicked.

Love,

T.J. Wood

The Love of God - Ensign Nov. 2009 - ensign

"Heavenly Father’s love for His children is the core message of the plan of happiness, which plan is made active through the Atonement of Jesus Christ—the greatest expression of love the world has ever known. 16

How clearly the Savior spoke when He said that every other commandment hangs upon the principle of love. 17 If we do not neglect the great laws—if we truly learn to love our Heavenly Father and our fellowman with all our heart, soul, and mind—all else will fall into place.

The divine love of God turns ordinary acts into extraordinary service. Divine love is the motive that transports simple words into sacred scripture. Divine love is the factor that transforms reluctant compliance with God’s commandments into blessed dedication and consecration.

Love is the guiding light that illuminates the disciple’s path and fills our daily walk with life, meaning, and wonder.

Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship.

Love is the way of the disciple.

I testify that God is in His heaven. He lives. He knows and loves you. He is mindful of you. He hears your prayers and knows the desires of your heart. He is filled with infinite love for you.

Let me conclude as I began, my dear brothers and sisters: what attribute should define us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Let us be known as a people who love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and who love our neighbor as ourselves. When we understand and practice these two great commandments in our families, in our wards and branches, in our nations, and in our daily lives, we will begin to understand what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus the Christ. Of this I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen." - President Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind how mankind has spread throughout the earth even before the scattering of the twelve tribes of Israel, each civilization, society and community taking with it whatever light and knowledge that it possessed from God, who taught Adam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are people's thoughts on the origin and nature of the world's religions, including Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism, etc?

I fully believe the LDS church is true and of God. At the same time, I've read a lot about Eastern religions (Buddhism, Taoism), and to be completely truthful, they've been a great help to me also, and I've found nothing in them that contradicts truth I've learned through the Book of Mormon, LDS teachings, etc. Indeed, at some level, they both seem very much compatible, teaching one to be a "peaceable follower of Christ", yet in the case of the Eastern philosophies, it's almost like they know the truth/have followed the light within themselves, yet know not from whence it comes (Christ).

I agree, although perhaps you forgot about the resurrection as taught by Alma the younger in the Book of Alma. There is an incompatibility there in regards to resurrection vs. reincarnation.

And there is a clear difference in the approach of eastern religions versus the approach of western religion, pertaining to enlightenment or salvation. The Eastern path typically involves a direct personal ascension to God, without much interaction with other people or institutions or whatever. Whereas the Western path necessitates creating a heaven on earth as a part of salvation.

Thus, Western seekers are required to join an institution and use that as a vehicle to assist in saving others along the way, even in a physical way. So we see things such as Mother Teresa going to India to save the poor and sick, where we see no Indian guru doing the same sort of thing.

What are other's thoughts on the validity/truthfullness of the world's religions? I've thought about this a great deal, and truly believe that people like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, etc, were very spiritual and inspired people, living in a time/place where the gospel was not restored. Like all religions (Christianity as well), the pure original teachings can be corrupted, turn into idol worship, lose their purity, etc. But, from my understanding, these other religions are truthful as well, perhaps without the "fullness" of the restored gospel, yet nonetheless inspired speak of truth.

Thoughts?

The Book of Mormon clearly states that God works with all people. I am sure that other religions throughout the world have truth and validity in their own spheres.

The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded

see only the differences.

-- Author Unknown

HiJolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, although perhaps you forgot about the resurrection as taught by Alma the younger in the Book of Alma. There is an incompatibility there in regards to resurrection vs. reincarnation.

And there is a clear difference in the approach of eastern religions versus the approach of western religion, pertaining to enlightenment or salvation. The Eastern path typically involves a direct personal ascension to God, without much interaction with other people or institutions or whatever. Whereas the Western path necessitates creating a heaven on earth as a part of salvation.

Thus, Western seekers are required to join an institution and use that as a vehicle to assist in saving others along the way, even in a physical way.

HiJolly

Definitely in agreement about Western seekers required to join an institution, and that organization intended to help them along the way. However, in the case of the Buddha, though he formed no formal organization, he did dedicate he life to helping others understand truth and the means to end suffering.

For reincarnation, correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand neither the Buddha himself (nor Lao Tzu) taught reincarnation as it's commonly thought of, meaning when we die we are literally reborn again. Rather, he taught that through right understanding/living the SPIRITUAL cycle of birth/death may be ended - that is, the cycles of attachment/disappointment, cravings, etc, may be ended. Whereas, if we don't achieve self-understanding, we will forever be slaves to our desires, and thus the spiritual cycle (duality) of pleasure/pain, hope/fear, ups/downs, etc, continues.

Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that literal reincarnation is a false understanding, one not taught originally by either Buddha or Lao Tzu. Kind of like Nicodemus, who thought the spiritual re-birth Jesus spoke of was meant to be literal/physical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think God speaks to people in their own language, so they can understand. Not just their "speaking" languge, but their cultural language. This may at least partly account for different religions containing so much truth. It may also argue for the advisability of listening to people of other, and seeing what we can learn from them, as well as what we can teach them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think God speaks to people in their own language, so they can understand. Not just their "speaking" languge, but their cultural language. This may at least partly account for different religions containing so much truth. It may also argue for the advisability of listening to people of other, and seeing what we can learn from them, as well as what we can teach them.

Agreed! Knowing this, then how does one reconcile this knowledge that the world's religions indeed (in their pure forms) are truthful, with the commonly taught LDS idea that our church is the "only true church"?

This has perplexed me for a while. In Joesph Smith's first vision, he was told none of the other Christian sects at his time were true, they were false. Yet no mention was made of other world religions, however, in LDS culture, we often take this revelation to Joseph Smith, then apply it to all world religions, deeming them (in my understanding incorrectly) to be false, and thus ours the only true religion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed! Knowing this, then how does one reconcile this knowledge that the world's religions indeed (in their pure forms) are truthful, with the commonly taught LDS idea that our church is the "only true church"?

You've created a dichotomy where there isn't one. The idea that we're the only true and living church (people always seem to leave off the living part) doesn't mean it can't contain truth. Despite what these other religions may be getting right they are missing some rather fundamental teachings concerning aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ... such as the gospel of Jesus Christ (that is to say the atonement of Jesus Christ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that literal reincarnation is a false understanding, one not taught originally by either Buddha or Lao Tzu. Kind of like Nicodemus, who thought the spiritual re-birth Jesus spoke of was meant to be literal/physical.

False understanding? It's possible, but ... Ask a Buddhist and see what they think. I don't think they'll buy it.

Reincarnation & Karma are big time believed all through the East. Jainists, Hindus, Taoists, Buddhists, etc.

As to whether the 'founders' taught it... I don't see that it matters.

HJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed! Knowing this, then how does one reconcile this knowledge that the world's religions indeed (in their pure forms) are truthful, with the commonly taught LDS idea that our church is the "only true church"?

This has perplexed me for a while. In Joesph Smith's first vision, he was told none of the other Christian sects at his time were true, they were false. Yet no mention was made of other world religions, however, in LDS culture, we often take this revelation to Joseph Smith, then apply it to all world religions, deeming them (in my understanding incorrectly) to be false, and thus ours the only true religion.

What does "only true church" mean? Does it mean that everything every other church teaches is completely false? Or does it mean something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've created a dichotomy where there isn't one. The idea that we're the only true and living church (people always seem to leave off the living part) doesn't mean it can't contain truth. Despite what these other religions may be getting right they are missing some rather fundamental teachings concerning aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ... such as the gospel of Jesus Christ (that is to say the atonement of Jesus Christ).

Precisely. Using an a priori argument, if a group that does believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ is problematic, all the more so one that doesn't believe in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've created a dichotomy where there isn't one. The idea that we're the only true and living church (people always seem to leave off the living part) doesn't mean it can't contain truth. Despite what these other religions may be getting right they are missing some rather fundamental teachings concerning aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ... such as the gospel of Jesus Christ (that is to say the atonement of Jesus Christ).

Agreed, certainly without Christ they are missing the cornerstone of the gospel.

I guess what I'm saying is, is it fair to say that other, non-Christian world religions, are also inspired by God? In my experience the answer would be a definite yes, but at times in LDS church meetings I feel like if I were to make a statement like that it would be vastly misunderstood, or perhaps outright rejected as impossible (people thinking God is a god of order, so how could he inspire different world religions?)

Again, I understand that Christ is an essential part of the gospel. My question is, despite this, are other world religions (particularly their founders) inspired by God themselves? Meaning they are not just the "philosophies of men", but are literally founded by very spiritual, choice children of God, perhaps some of the "noble and great ones" the scriptures speak of?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, certainly without Christ they are missing the cornerstone of the gospel.

I guess what I'm saying is, is it fair to say that other, non-Christian world religions, are also inspired by God? In my experience the answer would be a definite yes, but at times in LDS church meetings I feel like if I were to make a statement like that it would be vastly misunderstood, or perhaps outright rejected as impossible (people thinking God is a god of order, so how could he inspire different world religions?)

I'd feel fine saying that individuals were inspired and enlightened, if by nothing else by the light of Christ, and applied the light and knowledge they possessed. It really depends what you mean by inspired, in my mind saying Buddhism was inspired by God makes it seem as if God set out to create Buddhism. Where as saying Buddha was inspired and recognized eternal truths has Buddhism arising from an incomplete but nevertheless inspired principles. It's the difference between saying God inspired the creation of the Lutheran Church and saying God inspired Martin Luther (which, incidentally is an idea stated in The Restoration pamphlet handed out by missionaries) and him using and teaching those inspired principles and the Lutheran Church being an outgrowth of that.

Is the distinction making sense? Or does it only exist in my mind?

Edited by Dravin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, certainly without Christ they are missing the cornerstone of the gospel.

I guess what I'm saying is, is it fair to say that other, non-Christian world religions, are also inspired by God? In my experience the answer would be a definite yes, but at times in LDS church meetings I feel like if I were to make a statement like that it would be vastly misunderstood, or perhaps outright rejected as impossible (people thinking God is a god of order, so how could he inspire different world religions?)

Again, I understand that Christ is an essential part of the gospel. My question is, despite this, are other world religions (particularly their founders) inspired by God themselves? Meaning they are not just the "philosophies of men", but are literally founded by very spiritual, choice children of God, perhaps some of the "noble and great ones" the scriptures speak of?

Of course people of other religions can be and are inspired by God. To think otherwise is just prideful. Our own scriptures tell us that the founding fathers of the United States were inspired by God- that the constitution is an inspired document- but these men were not LDS. We ALL have within us the "light of Christ" and can be led by His inspiration. Were it not so, people would not ever even convert to the faith, as they would not be able to feel His inspiration to do so.

I believe that ALL "light, knowledge, and truth" comes from God. So anyone who has made any discovery of truth- be it scientific, philosophical, religious, or otherwise, was somehow, in some way inspired by God. They may not all credit such inspiration to our creator, but that is where it comes from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have herd people claim to feel the spirit in places other than the LDS church/temple and wonder if that means the Church isn't true. Just because other things brought on the Spirit.

We have a Church. We believe it contains the fullness of the gospel. I don't believe for a minute that means we are somehow a better, more worthy people than anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are people's thoughts on the origin and nature of the world's religions, including Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism, etc?

I fully believe the LDS church is true and of God. At the same time, I've read a lot about Eastern religions (Buddhism, Taoism), and to be completely truthful, they've been a great help to me also, and I've found nothing in them that contradicts truth I've learned through the Book of Mormon, LDS teachings, etc.

I don't mean to knock Eastern religions, but they fall short in ways and are plain wrong in others. They don't address the pre-existence (neither do other Christian churches, though), they are completely wrong about who God is (very important), they have no concept of the Atonement, and their ideas of the afterlife are incorrect. In short, they don't don't teach correct principals about salvation. Of course, I do appreciate their good qualities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind how mankind has spread throughout the earth even before the scattering of the twelve tribes of Israel, each civilization, society and community taking with it whatever light and knowledge that it possessed from God, who taught Adam.

AMEN! There is NO religion that pre-dates Christianity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have herd people claim to feel the spirit in places other than the LDS church/temple and wonder if that means the Church isn't true. Just because other things brought on the Spirit.

We have a Church. We believe it contains the fullness of the gospel. I don't believe for a minute that means we are somehow a better, more worthy people than anyone else.

The Church is just one source of truth. We believe it has the fulness of the gospel, meaning all the ordinances necessary for exaltation. That does not mean we have all of the truth, though.

God can send the Spirit to testify to anyone of Jesus Christ, whether they embrace Mormonism or not. Alma 29:8 tells us that God gives to all people the amount of truth and light they are ready and willing to receive. IOW, they can also feel peace and joy in embracing that portion of the truth they accept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AMEN! There is NO religion that pre-dates Christianity.

Huh???? I guess you mean that Adam was a Christian and so there always has been? Or could there not have been pre-Adamites that had other religions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh???? I guess you mean that Adam was a Christian and so there always has been? Or could there not have been pre-Adamites that had other religions?

Absolutely. Of course Adam was a Christian! Jehovah is the God of the Old Testament.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But does that make Adam a Christian? The term was not used until thousands of years later among Nephites and in the Middle East, even the early believers didn't call themselves that. You are mistaking Adam's faith in Christ with Adam being referred by a term that did not exist at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But does that make Adam a Christian? The term was not used until thousands of years later among Nephites and in the Middle East, even the early believers didn't call themselves that. You are mistaking Adam's faith in Christ with Adam being referred by a term that did not exist at the time.

I made no mistake. It doesn't matter if Adam was labeled specifically as a "Christian." He had the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is important to us about the writings of Moses, as we now have them in the Pearl of Great Price, is that they completely revolutionize the concept of a Christian Era growing out of a patriarchal past. They show that Adam and those before the flood had the fulness of the everlasting gospel, the same gospel in all its parts that we have. They worshipped the Father in the name of Christ by the power of the Spirit, as we do. They held the holy priesthood, were married for time and all eternity, and by faith wrought many mighty miracles. http://www.lds.org/ensign/1985/12/come-hear-the-voice-of-the-lord?lang=eng

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam, the Archangel - Ensign Nov. 1980 - ensign

On a warm summer day I visited the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman in the state of Missouri. I had looked forward to this visit with keen anticipation, for I had never been there before.

The place was beautiful: The fields were green, the hills were rolling, the entire landscape was something to remember.

But more impressive than the landscape was the significance of the place, for here Adam lived—and Eve—and their family. The stupendous importance of it all weighed heavily upon me.

Here is where the human race began. This we are told by revelation. (See Moses 1:34; D&C 107:53; D&C 84:16.)

Adam and Eve knew God personally. They saw him and talked with him. They were taught the gospel of Jesus Christ even in that early time—which was long before the Lord’s earthly ministry, for Jesus had been appointed to be the Savior during our premortal existence.

The plan of salvation, therefore, was instituted among these first human beings, Adam and Eve and their children. Angels taught them. The family believed. They were baptized and began to serve God. (See Moses 5.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But does that make Adam a Christian? The term was not used until thousands of years later among Nephites and in the Middle East, even the early believers didn't call themselves that. You are mistaking Adam's faith in Christ with Adam being referred by a term that did not exist at the time.

Whether the term existed in his time or not is irrelevant. What the term describes is relevant, and it does describe Adam. Therefore Adam was a Christian, regardless of whether or not he would have used the term.

Edited by jerome1232

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this