Would the World be Better Off with Only the LDS Church?


clbent04
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Mankind is prone to seek the divine. Thousands of religions have been created to try to explain life.

But what if Mormonism was the only religion ever founded? Would the world be better off only having 16 million Mormons and the rest of the world population not believing in anything else?

Do other religions make this world a better place? Or do the religious divisions we have created amongst ourselves create more of a negative impact than positive?

Is it better for the world to believe in something rather than nothing at all if they don’t have the LDS Church in their lives?

Edited by clbent04
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Obviously an LDS would say yes, which is fine and totally understandable.

If it even needs to be said, we should remember that a Catholic would say the world should be Catholic, an atheist would say the world should be atheist, a Muslim would say...you get my drift. 
 

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1 hour ago, clbent04 said:

Mankind is prone to seek the divine. Thousands of religions have been created to try to explain life.

But what if Mormonism was the only religion ever founded? Would the world be better off only having 16 million Mormons and the rest of the world population not believing in anything else?

Do other religions make this world a better place? Or do the religious divisions we have created amongst ourselves create more of a negative impact than positive?

Is it better for the world to believe in something rather than nothing at all if they don’t have the LDS Church in their lives?

The world would be a better place if the people were all faithful Latter-day Saints. 
 

as it stands now, if the Restored Church was the only option of a Christian faith, I imagine there would be a lot more persecution and we would be worst off.

It has more to do with the people than the available Christian organizations.

Edited by Fether
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1 hour ago, clbent04 said:

Mankind is prone to seek the divine. Thousands of religions have been created to try to explain life.

But what if Mormonism was the only religion ever founded? Would the world be better off only having 16 million Mormons and the rest of the world population not believing in anything else?

Do other religions make this world a better place? Or do the religious divisions we have created amongst ourselves create more of a negative impact than positive?

Is it better for the world to believe in something rather than nothing at all if they don’t have the LDS Church in their lives?

From an LDS perspective, the first human was a “Latter-day Saint”; and he taught his kids to be “Latter-day Saints”.  But some of those kids rejected the “LDS Church” to varying degrees.  Over time other churches arose—some as the result of deliberately rejecting the truth and trying to make hard doctrines more palatable; but others as a good-faith effort to pursue truths that their founders sensed had been lost.

Would the world be better off if no one had ever apostatized in the first place?  Yes.

Do these other churches, by virtue of their ministry to people who would otherwise be unchurched, make the world a better place and bring people closer to the Divine than they would otherwise be in those churches’ absence?  Also, yes.

Can those generally-good churches turn into liabilities to the extent that their members become so attached to them as institutions that they reject greater light and knowledge when it is finally presented to them?  Also, yes.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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2 hours ago, Fether said:

The world would be a better place if the people were all faithful Latter-day Saints. 

I agree with this, but at the same time, the thought of a world full of faithful Latter-day Saints gives me anxiety probably because imagining Church culture at a worldwide level seems like a twilight zone I would never want to enter.  

But I would also agree that the world would be a better place if everyone was adherent and faithful to any religion that promotes good.  We are so far away from achieving that kind of unity with any religion that I won't even try to speculate at how much good one religion would bring over another with worldwide faithfulness.  

2 hours ago, Fether said:

as it stands now, if the Restored Church was the only option of a Christian faith, I imagine there would be a lot more persecution and we would be worst off.

It has more to do with the people than the available Christian organizations.

Yes, good point, and I'd say not just Christian organizations, but any organization that promotes good.

Edited by clbent04
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2 hours ago, LDSGator said:

Obviously an LDS would say yes, which is fine and totally understandable.

If it even needs to be said, we should remember that a Catholic would say the world should be Catholic, an atheist would say the world should be atheist, a Muslim would say...you get my drift. 

I agree there is a religious tendency to do just this.  But if the rest of the world didn't believe anything and the only religious followers were the current 16 million Mormons, this world would be worse off.  If we can't have ideal for now, we should accept good over the absence of no good at all.

Not appreciating the good other churches offer is along the same lines of the general belief across many religions that if you're not a member of a particular church, you and the rest of the world are doomed to hell.  That's an incredibly closed-minded view to embrace, a view I consider to be entirely ridiculous. 

It amazes me that people who claim to believe in a just and merciful God can make that claim with a straight face as they write the rest of the world off to hell.  I think such an asinine view would have members of other faiths flock to the LDS Church in droves for the much more merciful position the LDS Church takes on the salvation of others who aren't members of the Church, but apparently the world at large is ignorant and not very pensive around this particular belief.

With all the woke movements going around, the next PR campaign for the Church should be #AllSoulsMatter.

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3 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Can those generally-good churches turn into liabilities to the extent that their members become so attached to them as institutions that they reject greater light and knowledge when it is finally presented to them?  Also, yes.

All good points, but considering your last point here, I think it would be a very small percentage of good-hearted people who would fall into the category of settling for an okay plan over God's perfect plan.  Most people who are faithful members of religions outside the LDS Church aren't thinking, "boy, that Mormon Church has too many standards, I'm just gonna settle on being a faithful adherent to Church XYZ."  Most are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have of how they're supposed to live their lives.  It's not so much a matter of willingly embracing something substandard to God's plan.  They believe what they believe and have different life experiences than members of the LDS Church.

I think anyone who lives an honorable life and is a seeker of good would naturally follow the higher light when they are presented with it.  For most in this life who are good hearted and not members of the Church, the larger percentage of them will fall into the category of never having an fair opportunity to recognize and embrace the gospel.  I believe very few in the category of the good hearted will willingly turn away from submitting to God's plan and instead say, "You know, that's a nice plan, and now that I know it's true without a shadow of doubt, I still prefer my religious ideologies I came across on Earth with the extremely limited visibility I had to the intricacies of God's plan."

Edited by clbent04
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1 hour ago, clbent04 said:

I agree with this, but at the same time, the thought of a world full of faithful Latter-day Saints gives me anxiety probably because imagining Church culture at a worldwide level seems like a twilight zone I would never want to enter.  

Theoretically, if everyone is a faithful saint, there shouldn’t be any of that troublesome culture

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20 minutes ago, Fether said:

Theoretically, if everyone is a faithful saint, there shouldn’t be any of that troublesome culture

Before getting to a worldwide following, can we just somehow agree to get ahead of the mindless repetition of "I know this Church is true"?  I just don't know if I could cope with that on a worldwide level.

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34 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Before getting to a worldwide following, can we just somehow agree to get ahead of the mindless repetition of "I know this Church is true"?  I just don't know if I could cope with that on a worldwide level.

I believe you have a you problem. 

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2 hours ago, clbent04 said:

That's an incredibly closed-minded view to embrace, a view I consider to be entirely ridiculous. 

Good, I’m glad we agree. Like you, I pray salvation is available to everyone. Even @mirkwood
 

 

2 hours ago, clbent04 said:

It amazes me that people who claim to believe in a just and merciful God can make that claim with a straight face as they write the rest of the world off to hell

Yup. 
 

 

2 hours ago, clbent04 said:

apparently the world at large is ignorant and not very pensive around this particular belief.

LDS are a minuscule population of the world.  15 million out of 7,6 billion. Like you, I strongly believe that a just and loving God wants to save everyone.
 

And we aren’t alone. This isn’t 1966 anymore. Heck, Elder Tom Perry rebuilt a protestant church in Japan after World War 2. So don’t worry about this. Focus on your own salvation instead of worrying about others. However admirable that might be. 

Edited by LDSGator
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1 hour ago, clbent04 said:

All good points, but considering your last point here, I think it would be a very small percentage of good-hearted people who would fall into the category of settling for an okay plan over God's perfect plan.  Most people who are faithful members of religions outside the LDS Church aren't thinking, "boy, that Mormon Church has too many standards, I'm just gonna settle on being a faithful adherent to Church XYZ."  Most are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have of how they're supposed to live their lives.  It's not so much a matter of willingly embracing something substandard to God's plan.  They believe what they believe and have different life experiences than members of the LDS Church.

I think anyone who lives an honorable life and is a seeker of good would naturally follow the higher light when they are presented with it.  For most in this life who are good hearted and not members of the Church, the larger percentage of them will fall into the category of never having an fair opportunity to recognize and embrace the gospel.  I believe very few in the category of the good hearted will willingly turn away from submitting to God's plan and instead say, "You know, that's a nice plan, and now that I know it's true without a shadow of doubt, I still prefer my religious ideologies I came across on Earth with the extremely limited visibility I had to the intricacies of God's plan."

I would respectfully disagree.  My dad grew up out of the Church—he converted, but my aunts and uncles on that side are still non-members while also being some of the most decent, honorable, good-hearted, Christ-loving people I know. But they are also fiercely devoted to their own churches—they have no beef with Mormonism; but they’re content where they are, and our more unique doctrines don’t particularly resonate with them.  I would love to see them embrace the Church; but as it is D&C 76:75-77 describes them very well.

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58 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Brett Favre himself in the flesh... or did someone hack your account to resurrect you?

So I'm tentatively dipping my toes back in the water here and there and your response is to try and embarrass and shame me? Am I reading this right? 

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35 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

So I'm tentatively dipping my toes back in the water here and there and your response is to try and embarrass and shame me? Am I reading this right? 

What a tease

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2 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Before getting to a worldwide following, can we just somehow agree to get ahead of the mindless repetition of "I know this Church is true"?  I just don't know if I could cope with that on a worldwide level.

This is just one step some take in their journey to a mature testimony. It’s not a bad things to teach people to say, nor is it wrong if this is the wording people us interpret their feelings for the church. I too feel it is a bit of a cliche and often times doesn’t mean anything, but it is still a step people take on their journey to a full testimony 

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

This is just one step some take in their journey to a mature testimony. It’s not a bad things to teach people to say, nor is it wrong if this is the wording people us interpret their feelings for the church. I too feel it is a bit of a cliche and often times doesn’t mean anything, but it is still a step people take on their journey to a full testimony 

My biggest issue with the phrase is it all too often lends itself to the human tendency of group think.  Is it good that someone develops their testimony in the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  Yes.  But does it have to be done with that phrase?  No.  

Speaking from experience, until I was 23 and received spiritual knowledge of the gospel, I too fell victim to using that phrase baselessly.  Did I feel sincere when I said it?  Yes, because leaders in the Church had previously told me all I needed to experience in order to say something like that was to have had positive experiences in the Church.  And of course I had positive experiences.  I grew up in the Church.  It was positive for me to be around friends and family on a Sunday just as it was positive for me to be around them any other day of the week.

But I didn't have a personal foundation of truthfulness of the gospel. Did I enjoy feeling accepted by a group of fellow members whenever I said "I know this Church is true" in a testimony?  Yes.  Did I maybe say that specific phrase with slightest motives of wanting to be accepted as a young man within the LDS Church over the sole motive of proclaiming the gospel for God's glory?  Yes. 

Speaking from personal experience of having grown up in the Church, I feel strongly that group think should be avoided with those kind of phrases.  Could members use that phrase sincerely and mean every word of it with the sole motive of proclaiming the gospel for God's glory?  Of course, but all too often that specific phrase lends itself to mindless, baseless group think.  How am I to know when someone uses that phrase one way versus another?  I can't.  I can only speak from personal experience of having grown up in the Church as well as accounts from friends and acquaintances who are affiliated with the Church.

The Spirit is able to testify to me much more effectively when I'm listening to someone proclaim the truthfulness of the gospel in their own unique, mindful way. And yes, I've felt the Spirit when that phrase "I know this Church is true" has been used, but I've also not felt the Spirit many times when it has.

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1 hour ago, clbent04 said:

Speaking from personal experience of having grown up in the Church, I feel strongly that group think should be avoided with those kind of phrases.  Could members use that phrase sincerely and mean every word of it with the sole motive of proclaiming the gospel for God's glory?  Of course, but all too often that specific phrase lends itself to mindless, baseless group think.  How am I to know when someone uses that phrase one way versus another?  I can't.  I can only speak from personal experience of having grown up in the Church as well as accounts from friends and acquaintances who are affiliated with the Church.

The Spirit is able to testify to me much more effectively when I'm listening to someone proclaim the truthfulness of the gospel in their own unique, mindful way. And yes, I've felt the Spirit when that phrase "I know this Church is true" has been used, but I've also not felt the Spirit many times when it has.

I do agree there is truth in all you say. I think social pressure is a huge force in our church… in fact it was church social pressure that got me to give up pornography exactly 3 months before I could put my papers in. the exact amount of time you need to be clean before the bishop oks the application process. Nothing prior was strong enough to get me to quit.
 

Here is the thing. It isn’t your duty to judge between a truthful testimony and a groupthink statement. The purposes of a testimony are to help you grow in said testimony, be forgiven of your sins, and to strengthen others. If you are young in the gospel (not in age, but understanding), saying “I know the church is true” is a fine way to grow in that testimony and one day change that. The best way to change that is to teach the gospel and instill a love of growth, or even challenging the use of that statement to those who may be ready for it.

We should avoid accusing those who use it of being mindless or succumbing to group think.

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1 hour ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Seriously. What is your objective here? Are you upset I'm here or something. You're being exceedingly rude and it sure doesn't feel called for. Did I offend you somehow?

Why are you so sensitive to me referencing you to Brett Farve coming out of retirement? Chillax, hombre

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9 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Why are you so sensitive to me referencing you to Brett Farve coming out of retirement? Chillax, hombre

Here's an idea. If you want me to "chillax", don't be intentionally rude to me. You went out of your way to hunt down the post from 2 years ago where I said I wasn't going to be involved moving forward because of the progressive nature of the articles being published. Feeling like the articles are less egregious 2 years later, I've re-engaged a bit. But for some reason you feel it's necessary to try and point out that I was lying or faking it or something. And then you continue to harp on it the next time you engage with me, and then double down on the rudeness when I question you on it.

How do you really expect me to take that?

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23 hours ago, clbent04 said:
On 8/8/2021 at 9:23 AM, Fether said:

The world would be a better place if the people were all faithful Latter-day Saints. 

I agree with this, but at the same time, the thought of a world full of faithful Latter-day Saints gives me anxiety probably because imagining Church culture at a worldwide level seems like a twilight zone I would never want to enter.

The term for a world filled with faithful men and women who both make and keep sacred covenants with God is "Zion", or "the celestial kingdom", or "heaven", or something of the sort. Maybe you're right about it being a place you "would never want to enter", but I suspect you are mistaken.

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