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Why should someone join the church?


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From what I can tell there is a large spectrum of beliefs held by members of this forum, who I presume are mostly active members of the church.

It sort of reminds me of what Joseph Smith described about the state of Christianity on the eve of the restoration. Folks here understand the scriptures and doctrines so differently. It's like the teachings of the church are like a giant cafeteria with different people picking and choosing what they consider to be right and true. 

So I guess my question is with this great diversity of beliefs, why should someone join the church? What does the church today offer that can't be found anywhere else? 

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1 hour ago, Logan said:

 

So I guess my question is with this great diversity of beliefs, why should someone join the church? What does the church today offer that can't be found anywhere else? 

My answer: ultimately a person should join because they find Truth in the Church and feel Christ calling them to join.  Other reasons are subpar -- including to make spouse / family happy, because it's a good community, etc.  

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6 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

My answer: ultimately a person should join because they find Truth in the Church and feel Christ calling them to join.  Other reasons are subpar -- including to make spouse / family happy, because it's a good community, etc.  

Do you believe the church simply contains truth or is it the one and only true church upon the face of the earth?

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1 hour ago, Logan said:

Do you believe the church simply contains truth or is it the one and only true church upon the face of the earth?

I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone use that phrase in describing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Logan.  If you have, surely, it would be available in some source that the Church of Jesus Christ considers authoritative.  Do you have a reference?

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1 hour ago, Logan said:

Do you believe the church simply contains truth or is it the one and only true church upon the face of the earth?

It contains the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel, and is lead by a Prophet of God. However, it is a way of life, not just a Church, and it is not meant for everyone. We are a people who live our Faith, however not all here (on this website) are members, and not all actively take part. So please don’t judge the Church by the many posters here, that would be a mistake. Read the scriptures, read the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine & Covenants, as they are unique to our Faith, then pray to a loving God to receive an answer. Few Churches would just ask you to you pray, and have the confidence to do so.. We don’t just try and sell you on our merits alone. You will never here a “talk or sermon”, that threatens you with  “Hell Fire”, should you attend. In many Churches, you might (probably will) hear a “Fire and Brimstone” sermon, to instill within you the fear of Hell, when “Love” is what you should be taught. Anyway, enough about us here. if you are an honest seeker of truth, just invite the missionaries into your home, and they will only teach you of love.. Also should you attend, our talks are meant to lift you up, and teach of God’s love. You won’t hear any sermons meant to instill fear, and use Hell to covert you. So, “Nuff said”! 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Logan said:

From what I can tell there is a large spectrum of beliefs held by members of this forum, who I presume are mostly active members of the church.

The active participants herewith are not necessarily active members of the LDS Church.  Rather it is a collection or melange of odd malcontents, ex-Mormons, anti-Mormons, and non-Mormons, mixed with some active members.  None are normal members of any of those groups, and all seem to be very well informed and generally polite.

10 hours ago, Logan said:

It sort of reminds me of what Joseph Smith described about the state of Christianity on the eve of the restoration. Folks here understand the scriptures and doctrines so differently. It's like the teachings of the church are like a giant cafeteria with different people picking and choosing what they consider to be right and true. 

So I guess my question is with this great diversity of beliefs, why should someone join the church? What does the church today offer that can't be found anywhere else? 

The LDS Church generally eschews orthodoxy, and seems to greatly prefer orthopraxy.  Indeed, diversity of belief is irrelevant to the primary LDS Church function, which focuses on sacramental ordinances (ritual) to the near exclusion of everything else.  The main thrust of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just assumed, as  it is in mainstream Christianity, but is only a prelude to the temple focus of the Church.  That is, the LDS Church ignores theology and goes whole hog for the saving ordinances for both living and dead, which means all humankind.  In a very large world, that means a small cadre of the Lord's own chosen priests doggedly pursuing the salvation of humankind.  Only the LDS Church can offer that unique calling.  Not everyone is going to find that appealing.

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How much did Joseph Smith understand the state of Christiandom in Europe?  My understanding is he was quite keen when it came to the religious politics of his time.  In many ways the second great awakening caused far more harm than good.  Was around this time you saw orthodoxy in the various Protestant (liturgical ones) take a nose dive in places and the other ones embrace the politics of the time.  In that sense while someone may not join the LDS church I can see why many of us here would chose to be as on cordial terms as possible.  Much like Joseph Smith your prophet and leadership have had well over 100 years to watch the dumpster fire that is the American Christian experience get worse and turn into what it is today.  While I don't believe they are true (nor any Christian flavor for that matter) they are right in most of the temporal things I care about. Also, their families are among the most kind and stable I've seen here in the mainland.

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5 hours ago, Logan said:

Do you believe the church simply contains truth or is it the one and only true church upon the face of the earth?

Personally: I believe both.  That is contains truth and is Christ's only true church on the Earth.

I also acknowledge that other's have different views.  

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I don't believe that the church is the only true church, ever since a faith crisis. Just so you will now understand that I'm not a fully believing member when you read my posts and won't get frustrated thinking I am. 

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7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The active participants herewith are not necessarily active members of the LDS Church.  Rather it is a collection or melange of odd malcontents, ex-Mormons, anti-Mormons, and non-Mormons, mixed with some active members.  None are normal members of any of those groups, and all seem to be very well informed and generally polite.

Thank you for acknowledging me.

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I'm an active member and I see the church as the only one that uses the priesthood the way the Savior did during his time here.  

I also recognize that other churches are quite remarkable, as is ours. Our people are as flawed as every other church's people, and many people outside our church are better than many people inside our church. 

I think people should join if they are looking for hope and if they are moved upon by the spirit to do so. 

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10 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone use that phrase in describing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Logan.  If you have, surely, it would be available in some source that the Church of Jesus Christ considers authoritative.  Do you have a reference?

The Lord said it in D&C 1:29-30

And after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., might have power to translate through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon. 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

This scriptures has been quoted and interpreted to mean that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the whole earth countless times by the highest authorities in the church. 

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10 hours ago, rpn said:

Because it is only through the saving ordinances administered under our Heavenly Parents as delegated to Jesus Christ's church that they can return to live with THEM and our families, which has always been every mortal person's goal since the pre-existence when we opted in to that plan.  

Do you believe that these saving ordinances are only available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and not from any other source?

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10 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

It contains the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel, and is lead by a Prophet of God. However, it is a way of life, not just a Church, and it is not meant for everyone. We are a people who live our Faith, however not all here (on this website) are members, and not all actively take part. So please don’t judge the Church by the many posters here, that would be a mistake. Read the scriptures, read the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine & Covenants, as they are unique to our Faith, then pray to a loving God to receive an answer. Few Churches would just ask you to you pray, and have the confidence to do so.. We don’t just try and sell you on our merits alone. You will never here a “talk or sermon”, that threatens you with  “Hell Fire”, should you attend. In many Churches, you might (probably will) hear a “Fire and Brimstone” sermon, to instill within you the fear of Hell, when “Love” is what you should be taught. Anyway, enough about us here. if you are an honest seeker of truth, just invite the missionaries into your home, and they will only teach you of love.. Also should you attend, our talks are meant to lift you up, and teach of God’s love. You won’t hear any sermons meant to instill fear, and use Hell to covert you. So, “Nuff said”! 

 

 

 

Thanks for the response.

I should have been more clear. I'm a believing member of the church. I'm just curious with the wide range of beliefs on literally every topic here, what most of you all think is the reason why someone should join the church? When you do missionary work, what do you tell people about why they should forsake their old lives and join the church? 

You say we have a living prophet, yet many here seem to not hold his counsel in very high regard while others cling to his every word.

You mentioned the scriptures that are unique to our faith. Many here view them as allegorical while others view them literally. 

As far as hell, fire, and damnation speeches go, it's true that in the modern church we don't really have these anymore, but they certainly existed in days gone by and the scriptures are full of them. 

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10 hours ago, let’s roll said:

Because they have chosen to accept an invitation from Deity to do so.

Do you believe that God only tells people to join this church or does he tell them to join others, too?

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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

I'm an active member and I see the church as the only one that uses the priesthood the way the Savior did during his time here.  

I also recognize that other churches are quite remarkable, as is ours. Our people are as flawed as every other church's people, and many people outside our church are better than many people inside our church. 

I think people should join if they are looking for hope and if they are moved upon by the spirit to do so. 

Do you believe other churches also have valid priesthood authority or just our church?

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The active participants herewith are not necessarily active members of the LDS Church.  Rather it is a collection or melange of odd malcontents, ex-Mormons, anti-Mormons, and non-Mormons, mixed with some active members.  None are normal members of any of those groups, and all seem to be very well informed and generally polite.

So you're saying that at Mormon Dialogue and Discussion there aren't any normal believing Mormons? 

I find that hard to believe, but if true that would explain a lot. 

10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The LDS Church generally eschews orthodoxy, and seems to greatly prefer orthopraxy.  Indeed, diversity of belief is irrelevant to the primary LDS Church function, which focuses on sacramental ordinances (ritual) to the near exclusion of everything else.  The main thrust of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just assumed, as  it is in mainstream Christianity, but is only a prelude to the temple focus of the Church.  That is, the LDS Church ignores theology and goes whole hog for the saving ordinances for both living and dead, which means all humankind.  In a very large world, that means a small cadre of the Lord's own chosen priests doggedly pursuing the salvation of humankind.  Only the LDS Church can offer that unique calling.  Not everyone is going to find that appealing.

I don't know that I agree that the LDS church ignores theology. I think in modern times deeper theology (the meat) has been deempasized in favor of watered down theology (the milk), but this was not always so. 

Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and many other early church leaders gave great theological discourses. Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConckie were more modern theologians. 

The church has always emphasized commitment to the church and living the gospel over theological expertise, but our seminary, institute, primary, and Sunday school classes suggest to me that we still value theology, even if it's pretty watered down today. 

Edited by Logan
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2 hours ago, Logan said:

The Lord said it in D&C 1:29-30

And after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., might have power to translate through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon. 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

This scriptures has been quoted and interpreted to mean that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the whole earth countless times by the highest authorities in the church. 

As the verse you quote points out, it is not just "the only true church", but rather, "the only true and living church".  There's a big difference.  The "living church" is the only one on earth guided by revelation from God to apostles and prophets.  

And as you probably know, Joseph Smith acknowledge the existence of truth in other Christian denominations, mixed with error (see History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]).  But he also told us we should gather up all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up.  So the "only true and living church" doesn't have a monopoly on truth, but it embraces all truth, where ever it is found.

As to your question, "why should someone join the church? What does the church today offer that can't be found anywhere else?"  

The answer to that question, to me, is summed up in Ephesians 4:11-14:  The only true and living church offers:

Living apostles and prophets (etc.) which are:

  • For the perfecting of the saints
  • For the work of the ministry
  • For the edifying of the body of Christ

And these continue until:

  • We all come to a unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God
  • Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ

For these reasons:

  • So that we are no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. 

No other church on earth offers this.

And without this, the result may be chaos and confusion.

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2 hours ago, Logan said:

Do you believe that God only tells people to join this church or does he tell them to join others, too?

I believe God shares His wisdom with all who earnestly seek it.

Do you believe only members of the Church can keep the two great commandments?

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25 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

As the verse you quote points out, it is not just "the only true church", but rather, "the only true and living church".  There's a big difference.  The "living church" is the only one on earth guided by revelation from God to apostles and prophets.  

And as you probably know, Joseph Smith acknowledge the existence of truth in other Christian denominations, mixed with error (see History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]).  But he also told us we should gather up all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up.  So the "only true and living church" doesn't have a monopoly on truth, but it embraces all truth, where ever it is found.

As to your question, "why should someone join the church? What does the church today offer that can't be found anywhere else?"  

The answer to that question, to me, is summed up in Ephesians 4:11-14:  The only true and living church offers:

Living apostles and prophets (etc.) which are:

  • For the perfecting of the saints
  • For the work of the ministry
  • For the edifying of the body of Christ

And these continue until:

  • We all come to a unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God
  • Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ

For these reasons:

  • So that we are no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. 

No other church on earth offers this.

And without this, the result may be chaos and confusion.

Of course there is truth to be found in other religions, but according to LDS scripture and doctrine our church is the only true and living church for the reasons you just described.

However, I must conclude that if LDS online forums, such as this one, are any indication there a great many members of the church who are being tossed to and fro and carried with every wind of doctrine and that we as a church are not unified in the faith the way we ought to be. 

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19 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

I believe God shares His wisdom with all who earnestly seek it.

As do I, but that doesn't answer my question.

20 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Do you believe only members of the Church can keep the two great commandments?

I know some wonderful non-LDS Christians who love God and love their fellow man.

However, since they misunderstand the very nature and character of God and reject the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel, I don't believe that they truly love God with all of their hearts. I'm sure they think they do and they will be rewarded according to the desires of their hearts, but they won't be heirs of the Celestial Kingdom unless they accept the restored gospel. They will instead inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom of heaven, which is still a great reward, but not the greatest reward God offers us. 

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1 minute ago, Logan said:

However, I must conclude that if LDS online forums, such as this one, are any indication there a great many members of the church who are being tossed to and fro and carried with every wind of doctrine and that we as a church are not unified in the faith the way we ought to be. 

And there again lies the reason for the living apostles and prophets, and why they are to continue.  We're not all in the unity of the faith yet.

But don't assume that all the people that post on LDS online forums, such as this one, are active members of the church.  And not all topics discussed by active members of the church, where there are differences of opinion and varying viewpoints, carry the same weight.  Since we are encouraged to grow in truth, some of us are still working out how to understand the revelations we've been given and how to fill in the gaps where information is lacking.  There is much to be learned by sharing viewpoints, since we may not always consider possibilities that may be relevant.

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