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Many Paths To Christ???


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Several posters here on this forum have expounded the theory that there are multiple paths to Christ. I can find but little if any scriptural support for a multiple paths theology. Rather, I find that the opposite is true. However, I am open to a course correction if someone can find scriptures that will support such a doctrine.

This verse from D&C Section one has been presented to explore the possibility that there is more than one true church.
"30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—"

The idea being that there are indeed more than one "true" church, but at the time, there was only one true church with which the Lord was "well pleased", with the implication that there were other true churches at the time with which the Lord was less than well pleased. The grammar and punctuation of that verse does not lend itself to that interpretation as it is presently written. Has someone had a revelation that the puntuation is incorrect?


In April of 1830, Joseph Knight Sr. received this revelation via Joseph Smith Jr.
"And, behold, it is your duty to unite with the true church, and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the laborer. Amen." (D&C 23:7)

Here Joseph Knight Sr. is being commanded to joint "the true church." This is singular. There is no date given for the revelation, except that it was in the month of April of 1830. Joseph Knight Sr. did not join the church until June of that year. But he did join the fledgling church that would become known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Again, I have found no support for this viewpoint from other scriptures. It is this type of reasoning, this type of scriptural interpretation that has led us from one church, one denomination, to some 39000 different denominations today that profess Christianity. Are they all be right?

This goes against the revelation recorded by Joseph Smith in his first vision, which goes:
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

Of course one can quote this scripture for some type of support.
Luke 9:
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is afor us.


But then, there is the contradictory statement recorded by both Matthew and Luke.
Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.


And then there is the "rest of the story:"
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 aAnd then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


The many paths idea is also denied several places in the scriptures by Jesus himself when he said:
For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. (D&C 132:22)

He says something very similar to the Jews in Matthew 7:14 and to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 14:14.

I think, hope that we all agree that through Christ is the only way to Heavenly Father.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It is true, according to LDS theology, that there are many paths to the telestial a terrestral kingdoms. A person can get to either of those kingdoms, but to get to the celestial kingdom, there is only one path that has been revealed. That is through the saving ordinances available through the Church of Jesus Christ.

It is also true that there are many who have lived upon this earth who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they will eventually have that opportunity and be able to choose their path.

At this point, I just do not see a scriptural basis for a "many paths to Christ" doctrine. I am awaiting further enlightenment.

Glenn

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One thing is is that Christ wants us to be his disciples but the lessons to be learned and how we learn them are all different. he expects us to be disciples but what he expects is different. Recall the story of the Rich Young Ruler how Christ asked him to give his all yet in the next chapter, I think, Zaccheus was blessed for giving half of his stuff

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It is also true that there are many who have lived upon this earth who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they will eventually have that opportunity and be able to choose their path.

This seems a little understated. Currently in the fullness of times a whopping 0.2% of God's children are members of his church. Probably half of the world's population live in areas with no access to God's ordinances. Now consider that the church was restored in 1830. So from a LDS perspective there was no authorized church from circa 100 to 1830. And since the Jews didn't proselytize most people before Christ had no option to be in God's church either.

So given this how important can it be to God to have everyone in His church?

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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Joseph Smith said:


While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard. … He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but, ‘according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil,’ or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey, or India. … We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed, the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right.

When I say there are multiple paths back to our Father, (*I don't say multiple paths to Christ as outlined in the opening post*) I mean that as each individual strives to follow the light that they are given they will be judged accordingly whether they path they follow is in the church or out of it.  The church provides what may be essential ordinances, but these will be performed for the whole human family regardless of whether they were members of His church during their lifetime or not.

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The two greatest commandments are love God and love thy neighbour, neither of which demands the presence of a church, let alone the true and living one.

However I do believe there are few more effective organizations for giving us opportunities to do both in our everyday lives.

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Sorry ... Don't have a lot of time and haven't read the whole thread (I've got a meeting in a couple minutes) but I look at it like this: Only one path will get you all the way there, but many paths will get you most of the way there. :)

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Several posters here on this forum have expounded the theory that there are multiple paths to Christ. I can find but little if any scriptural support for a multiple paths theology. Rather, I find that the opposite is true. However, I am open to a course correction if someone can find scriptures that will support such a doctrine.

This verse from D&C Section one has been presented to explore the possibility that there is more than one true church.

"30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—"

The idea being that there are indeed more than one "true" church, but at the time, there was only one true church with which the Lord was "well pleased", with the implication that there were other true churches at the time with which the Lord was less than well pleased. The grammar and punctuation of that verse does not lend itself to that interpretation as it is presently written. Has someone had a revelation that the puntuation is incorrect?

In April of 1830, Joseph Knight Sr. received this revelation via Joseph Smith Jr.

"And, behold, it is your duty to unite with the true church, and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the laborer. Amen." (D&C 23:7)

Here Joseph Knight Sr. is being commanded to joint "the true church." This is singular. There is no date given for the revelation, except that it was in the month of April of 1830. Joseph Knight Sr. did not join the church until June of that year. But he did join the fledgling church that would become known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Again, I have found no support for this viewpoint from other scriptures. It is this type of reasoning, this type of scriptural interpretation that has led us from one church, one denomination, to some 39000 different denominations today that profess Christianity. Are they all be right?

This goes against the revelation recorded by Joseph Smith in his first vision, which goes:

19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

Of course one can quote this scripture for some type of support.

Luke 9:

49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.

50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is afor us.

But then, there is the contradictory statement recorded by both Matthew and Luke.

Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

And then there is the "rest of the story:"

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 aAnd then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The many paths idea is also denied several places in the scriptures by Jesus himself when he said:

For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. (D&C 132:22)

He says something very similar to the Jews in Matthew 7:14 and to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 14:14.

I think, hope that we all agree that through Christ is the only way to Heavenly Father.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It is true, according to LDS theology, that there are many paths to the telestial a terrestral kingdoms. A person can get to either of those kingdoms, but to get to the celestial kingdom, there is only one path that has been revealed. That is through the saving ordinances available through the Church of Jesus Christ.

It is also true that there are many who have lived upon this earth who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they will eventually have that opportunity and be able to choose their path.

At this point, I just do not see a scriptural basis for a "many paths to Christ" doctrine. I am awaiting further enlightenment.

Glenn

 

Good question.

 

You talk about Christ, the church and the celestial kingdom.  For my first observation, I would not completely equate these three items.  So to ask, "One path to Christ?", "One true church?", "One path to the celestial kingdom?" are three distinct questions, for me and my approach anyway.

 

My approach is not that I think about one path or many paths--I don't think that either way.

 

It is that I trust that my heavenly Father is able to teach his own children (even by another method than the Church), and I trust my fellow brothers and sisters on this earth with their own journey for which they are accountable (even if their own journey takes them through another church or way of thinking).

 

When I read scriptures, the only person I need to examine in light of those scriptures, is myself.  The scriptures are not tools for helping me to decide who out there is and is not going to 'make it', with the assumption of security that I will be 'making it' (although I am secure, I have arrived at the secure knowledge and comfort, that I belong to my heavenly Father, but that's a different paradigm).

 

Thus, when I cross paths with people, my opportunity is not to tell them that they are wrong.  It is to affirm all that is right in them and succor their weaknesses and encourage their love and their mercies and victories.  If they are Hindu, for example, it is my opportunity to be their neighbor, sister and help them to be the best Hindu possible.  If I have a relationship like this with that person, and if they can see my example about what I believe, then I am confident (as I have experienced this) that there will be plenty of times when they might ask questions about what I believe, and I can share.  And I will do the same--because I want to learn about Hinduism, that blessing that God granted the world (for example).

 

If I cross paths with someone who will not or cannot listen to 'further light' as I understand it, then that is just it--they are not in a condition to listen, and I will cast my pearls before swine so to speak.  So again, it is not to try to win a theological argument, which I have never met anyone who responds to that.  It is just to ask them--"Are you happy and satisfied in your life? Yes? Wonderful!" and ask them to teach ME.  And if they say, "No," then maybe there is a way to offer what brings me happiness and peace.

 

While theologically it may (or may not) be said that Baptists (for example) have got it wrong, there is practical, interpersonal reason to approach human beings that way, in my paradigm.  Rather, Baptists have it right!  So much right!  Why are our eyes only seeing the wrong?

 

When the Book of Mormon speaks of the church (or way) of the Lamb, I feel this is far more inclusive and universal than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  That to say there is one God is to include all just men and women who are living the light they know.

 

I do not know what kind of celestial kingdom you conceive of, but for me, the 'celestial kingdom' will unfold in real time on this planet in our societies.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the main leaven of this world (in my understanding) that will be the catalyst of the peace, love, safety and unity of all peoples.  But we will bless the lives of all regardless of sect, because our main unity is being a family of our heavenly Father regardless of sect.  As we move to a time of peace, it will not be required that people join the Church to enjoy happiness (although it might be imagined that there would naturally be a high rate of this), rather the freedom of conscience of each individual to choose their beliefs and exercise their agency will be affirmed.

 

As far as coming to Christ, my paradigm is much more than Jesus of Nazareth as Christ.  We are all Christ, as our covenant makes plain.  Thus there IS only 'one path' to Christ since Christ, the body of Christ as taught in the scriptures, is that which is clean and loving.  So no one, even if we were baptized, who lives a selfish, unclean life, can enjoy.  And anyone, who obeys the laws of God (cleanliness, kindness, honesty, etc) is living Christ.  It is like the parable of the ten virgins--Christ is not something that can be given, we each have to have the oil in the lamp, we each have to choose, act and create.  And there IS only one Christ, in this way.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

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Sorry ... Don't have a lot of time and haven't read the whole thread (I've got a meeting in a couple minutes) but I look at it like this: Only one path will get you all the way there, but many paths will get you most of the way there. :)

Precisely said. Well done.
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...

At this point, I just do not see a scriptural basis for a "many paths to Christ" doctrine. I am awaiting further enlightenment.

Glenn

"Many paths" is implicit in our individual existences. No two of us are exactly alike, believe alike or proceed into eternity alike. Belonging to a singular org does not change any of this. We only have contact with "God", nothing and nobody else. Our thoughts are alone with "God", and sometimes we wonder if our thoughts are "God thinking" as us. Or not, depending, on if you've had that concept enter your thoughts before now.

 

Imho, "many paths" is inevitable. That does not mean that there are many moralities or many relativities or many permissible permutations in our collective pursuit of Joy. So when Jesus says forbid him not and then later says it is forbidden, he's not being contradictory. He is seeing the intent, the desire, as the singular "path" to follow him. The dogmatic org and its singular ordinances and doctrines and usages are not "the path", but rather the intent of the heart is the path, and if it is seeking "God" and righteousness, then that is indeed a singular path that anyone can follow no matter which, if any, religion they also adhere to....

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He is "the way, the truth and the life". Their may only be one path, but he uses many means to get us there. I am the father of four and grandfather of seven, I will use any means necessary to keep them close, to keep the loving and to keep them believing. I have to believe that Jesus loves each of us to do the same, until he can get us on the narrow path. I wrote a poem about this once...it is a poor attempt to illustrate this, let's just hope I can find it...it requires me sitting up at a desktop, but I think I can. My post will show an edit because right now I am typing on an IPAD.

Here's hoping...

 

 

The Path

I embark upon a journey,
It's purpose well defined.
Is it in the physical
Or only in my mind?

The path now lies before me
A path which is my own,
Though others walk beside me
This path I walk alone.

For some the path is different
For all the path unique,
The proud it maketh humble
The strong it maketh weak.

Millions go before me
And yet I am the first,
To walk along the path
Driven only by my thirst.

In search of living water
Once found at Jacob's well.
That I may thrist no more
My doubts and fears dispelled.

To fill the void inside me
With that of greatest worth,
To find the hidden treasure
For which I came to earth.

Tho' blinded by the darkness
The Light, I still can see.
Tho' deafened by the silence
His voice still calls to me.

"Give unto me thy burdens
For you this is the test.
To put thy faith in Me,
That I may give you rest".

"The path now lies before thee
True it is thine own,
Just follow in my footsteps
The path will lead you home".

William E Lee

Copyright 1997

Edited by Bill “Papa” Lee
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The two greatest commandments are love God and love thy neighbour, neither of which demands the presence of a church, let alone the true and living one.

However I do believe there are few more effective organizations for giving us opportunities to do both in our everyday lives.

Lovely way of putting it.

I think the "many paths to Christ" metaphor is almost right, but I tend to use a different metaphor. There is clearly only one path idenified in the scriptures. "I am the way, the truth and the light. No man cometh unto the father but by me."

But if there is only one path, and a narrow gate to get onto it, that would suggest that once on the path there is some travelling to be done. I would suggest that the church is mode of transport along that path.

Alma and The Lord in the Americas have something good to say about this:

Alma 29:7 "Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth? 8 For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true."

3 Nep 16:1-3 "...I have other sheep, which are not of this land... they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd..."

Edited by canard78
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Thanks for all of the input. It is helpful to me to get a better understanding of the other viewpoints. I do not disagree with anything I have read thus far.

 

Glenn

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I think, hope that we all agree that through Christ is the only way to Heavenly Father.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I see many as many paths to Christ as there are spirit children—each takes his own life's path to bowing the knee and confessing Him. But after that, Jesus is the only path to the Father, by whose power we are lifted up, resurrected, judged and exalted.

 

Anything that can be construed as an appendage to Jesus’ Atonement, from the Light of Christ that governs all things and enlightens the minds of all God’s children (including any good in any of the world’s religions or traditions) to the witness of the Holy host to the work of the temples, contributes to that path, no matter how divergent those paths may seem one from the other. He still draws all men unto Him, and then only He can take us further from there.

 

Exaltation is on only one path, meaning baptism and the other ordinances which are offered the living and the dead, or Jesus Himself, “the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Him.”

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I've posted on "true and living" and "well pleased" many times in the past.  Since D&C 1:6 says that what follows is a formal declaration "mine authority and the authority of my servants," D&C 1 bears close and careful reading.  I note that it is expressly non-exclusive with respect to revelation (v18, v34) and virtue, and openly declares the weakness of the LDS and the limitations of their knowledge (v24-27), and the conditions upon which further revelation comes (v26, 28). All of that that rules out a reading of only correct, or only perfect, or only truth, or only virtue.  It is simply the only well pleasing gathering, relative to the presence of revelation, priesthood, ordinances and covenants.  The Biblical uses of "true vine", true treasure, truth and life, living waters, living bread, "living way...through the veil" (Heb. 10:20), and so forth, all demonstrate that true and living refer to revelation priesthood authority, ordinances, covenants, and temple.

 

D&C 23 is not a formal statement of authority, but a statement to an individual.  What does true church mean?

 

The report in the 1838 account of Joseph's vision talks about creeds as abominable.  It helps to see what Joseph Smith himself said about the problem with creeds.  "creeds set up stakes, and say, "Hitherto thou shalt come, and no further'; which I cannot subscribe to." (TPJS, 327).

 

The issue is not so much with false beliefs, because all of us have them.  All of us lack omniscience.  All hold false ideas.  The issue with whether we will repent.  Static creeds bind a person to a static state of knowledge and place them beyond repentance.  What could be more abominable than that?

 

"It dont [sic] prove that a man is not a good man because he believes false doctrine"; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center Monograph, 1980), 183-84.

 

Regarding, 50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

 
Notice that the context here is doing good.  In the superficially contradictory statements, notice that the context is different.  In those cases, Jesus is addressing his formally appointed missionaries.  His priesthood holders.
.
Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
 
Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
 
The "I never knew you" statement has the same context o fpriesthood authority.
 
Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no man cometh to Father but by him.  Yet, he also says that "All things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world unto man are the typifying of him." (2 Nephi 11:4)  That is behind Nephi later statement that "he remembereth the heathen" (2 Nephi 26:33, a wonderful statement in a culture in which "godless heathen" is a common cliche).   Joseph Smith often taught that God adapts himself to our capacity to understand.  Nephi says "For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their understanding."  (2 Nephi 31:2).  As Alma 29:8  says, "the Lord doth grant unto all nations...all that he seeth fit that they should have."
 
FWIW
 
Kevin Christensen
Bethel Park, PA
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The two greatest commandments are love God and love thy neighbour, neither of which demands the presence of a church, let alone the true and living one.

However I do believe there are few more effective organizations for giving us opportunities to do both in our everyday lives.

You don't think the presence of the true and living one is required?  I vehemently disagree!  Jesus the Bond of all creation, Jesus the God of the Old Testament who is the All Consuming Fire, he isn't required?  Does anyone think they are able to love God with ALL their heart, soul, mind, and strength or TRULY love his neighbor as himself without the indwelling presence of Christ poured out into his being?

 

  I spent this morning in sacrament meeting listening to testimonies and talks about "doing the right things" and "obeying the commandments", saving oneself by "living the gospel", trying to be more "spiritual" to better oneself in daily life, etc.  Jesus the Savior, Yahweh incarnate, was offhandedly mentioned at the end of each talk and testimony.

 

 I've been a convert to the LDS Church for 20 years from a born-again Christian background, and I'm more and more concerned why it is that the one true church on the face of the earth consistently produces members who treat Jesus as some self help guru.  "We love you Heavenly Father and we obey all your commandments and attend all the meetings and we love Joseph Smith and the Prophet and the Church is TRUUUUUU!  Oh, and by the way, thanks Jesus for dying!"  And the LDS wonder how others can call them non-Christians.  Rant Done.

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Many paths to the gate (baptism), one path after.  It would be premature of us to judge a man's path in this life, they are all potentially right.  It is not so much the path, but the heart that matters.  All paths will eventually lead to the gait, but only the heart will lead through the gait. 

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You don't think the presence of the true and living one is required?  I vehemently disagree!  Jesus the Bond of all creation, Jesus the God of the Old Testament who is the All Consuming Fire, he isn't required?  Does anyone think they are able to love God with ALL their heart, soul, mind, and strength or TRULY love his neighbor as himself without the indwelling presence of Christ poured out into his being?

I think you misunderstand me.  When I say "the true and living one" I am referring to the LDS Church****, not Christ (the Church is referred to this way in the D&C).  Not having the Church does not equal not having Christ.  All of creation testifies of God and Christ according to the scriptures.  And the Spirit can influence those out of the Church as well as those in it to seek God or else there would never be any baptisms of converts.

 

If you disagree with me, then I would like to understand how you understand how all those who lived during times when the Church was not on the earth or are living now in areas where they will never encounter a missionary have managed to grow in love for God and Christ?

 

*****if you reread my post, you will note I said "a church" and then followed it by "let alone the true and living one"..."one" here referring back to "church", thus meaning the "true and living church", thus meaning the LDS faith.

 

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/1.30?lang=eng#29

Edited by calmoriah
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He is "the way, the truth and the life". Their may only be one path, but he uses many means to get us there. I am the father of four and grandfather of seven, I will use any means necessary to keep them close, to keep the loving and to keep them believing. I have to believe that Jesus loves each of us to do the same, until he can get us on the narrow path. I wrote a poem about this once...it is a poor attempt to illustrate this, let's just hope I can find it...it requires me sitting up at a desktop, but I think I can. My post will show an edit because right now I am typing on an IPAD.

Here's hoping...

 

 

The Path

I embark upon a journey,

It's purpose well defined.

Is it in the physical

Or only in my mind?

The path now lies before me

A path which is my own,

Though others walk beside me

This path I walk alone.

For some the path is different

For all the path unique,

The proud it maketh humble

The strong it maketh weak.

Millions go before me

And yet I am the first,

To walk along the path

Driven only by my thirst.

In search of living water

Once found at Jacob's well.

That I may thrist no more

My doubts and fears dispelled.

To fill the void inside me

With that of greatest worth,

To find the hidden treasure

For which I came to earth.

Tho' blinded by the darkness

The Light, I still can see.

Tho' deafened by the silence

His voice still calls to me.

"Give unto me thy burdens

For you this is the test.

To put thy faith in Me,

That I may give you rest".

"The path now lies before thee

True it is thine own,

Just follow in my footsteps

The path will lead you home".

William E Lee

Copyright 1997

I like it. What inspired it Pa Pa?...

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I think you misunderstand me.  When I say "the true and living one" I am referring to the LDS Church****, not Christ (the Church is referred to this way in the D&C).  Not having the Church does not equal not having Christ.  All of creation testifies of God and Christ according to the scriptures.  And the Spirit can influence those out of the Church as well as those in it to seek God or else there would never be any baptisms of converts.

 

If you disagree with me, then I would like to understand how you understand how all those who lived during times when the Church was not on the earth or are living now in areas where they will never encounter a missionary have managed to grow in love for God and Christ?

 

*****if you reread my post, you will note I said "a church" and then followed it by "let alone the true and living one"..."one" here referring back to "church", thus meaning the "true and living church", thus meaning the LDS faith.

 

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/1.30?lang=eng#29

Sorry, I guess I was primed to read it the way I did because of my experience this morning.

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Sorry, I guess I was primed to read it the way I did because of my experience this morning.

No problem.  Glad it was cleared up.

 

It would be very shocking to read something thinking that it meant we could obey God's commandments without God's help.

Edited by calmoriah
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Hmmm... to be more precise.... I think there are many starting path, but only one ending path which can lead to Christ.  Some of us may be more perfect in some things than others, and more weak in some things than others.  But ultimately, in the end, we will all have to learn the same things.  So while we all may not start on the same journey, in order to receive all that Christ has and has promised us if we follow him, we all must eventually converge onto the path he has specified for us to follow.  Obviously, there is disagreement as to where that is, which is why it is so important to have the Spirit and communication with your Heavenly Father.  Else, it is really easy to get lost down forbidden paths.

 

EDIT:  Oh darn, this is what I get for not reading many posts.  Calmoriah basically said all that I was going to XD.

Edited by TAO
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I've posted on "true and living" and "well pleased" many times in the past. Since D&C 1:6 says that what follows is a formal declaration "mine authority and the authority of my servants," D&C 1 bears close and careful reading. I note that it is expressly non-exclusive with respect to revelation (v18, v34) and virtue, and openly declares the weakness of the LDS and the limitations of their knowledge (v24-27), and the conditions upon which further revelation comes (v26, 28). All of that that rules out a reading of only correct, or only perfect, or only truth, or only virtue. It is simply the only well pleasing gathering, relative to the presence of revelation, priesthood, ordinances and covenants. The Biblical uses of "true vine", true treasure, truth and life, living waters, living bread, "living way...through the veil" (Heb. 10:20), and so forth, all demonstrate that true and living refer to revelation priesthood authority, ordinances, covenants, and temple.

D&C 23 is not a formal statement of authority, but a statement to an individual. What does true church mean?

The report in the 1838 account of Joseph's vision talks about creeds as abominable. It helps to see what Joseph Smith himself said about the problem with creeds. "creeds set up stakes, and say, "Hitherto thou shalt come, and no further'; which I cannot subscribe to." (TPJS, 327).

The issue is not so much with false beliefs, because all of us have them. All of us lack omniscience. All hold false ideas. The issue with whether we will repent. Static creeds bind a person to a static state of knowledge and place them beyond repentance. What could be more abominable than that?

"It dont [sic] prove that a man is not a good man because he believes false doctrine"; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center Monograph, 1980), 183-84.

Regarding, 50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

Notice that the context here is doing good. In the superficially contradictory statements, notice that the context is different. In those cases, Jesus is addressing his formally appointed missionaries. His priesthood holders.

.

Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

The "I never knew you" statement has the same context o fpriesthood authority.

Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no man cometh to Father but by him. Yet, he also says that "All things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world unto man are the typifying of him." (2 Nephi 11:4) That is behind Nephi later statement that "he remembereth the heathen" (2 Nephi 26:33, a wonderful statement in a culture in which "godless heathen" is a common cliche). Joseph Smith often taught that God adapts himself to our capacity to understand. Nephi says "For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their understanding." (2 Nephi 31:2). As Alma 29:8 says, "the Lord doth grant unto all nations...all that he seeth fit that they should have."

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

I'm so pleased you joined the conversation. I was hoping you would. This one is being saved for future reference. Thanks.

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Several posters here on this forum have expounded the theory that there are multiple paths to Christ. I can find but little if any scriptural support for a multiple paths theology. Rather, I find that the opposite is true. However, I am open to a course correction if someone can find scriptures that will support such a doctrine.

The problem is of course that this entire way of thinking begs the question- that means it is a circular argument.

 

You assume there is one path to Christ, you consult the scriptures which say there is only one path, and then are surprised that none of those scriptures say there are many paths to Christ.

 

It's like asking a Democrat to prove their case using only Republican sources, or a Muslim to use the Koran to prove Christianity.

 

Can you see how that is not going to work?

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I am not saying it is NOT the "true path" - I think it is.  But you are not going to convince anyone of that using only your own sources.  The Book of Mormon proves Joseph is a prophet- that's nice and it's true

 

The point though is what happens if you don't already believe those things?

 

How can someone who doesn't know the truth find it unless they look for it?  If you are convinced there is only one path, you will never look elsewhere and become insular and closed to all the truth God has to offer.

 

If I believed that about Catholicism, I would have never found Mormonism.

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