When Mormons study information that challenges their testimony, they eventually, usually, lose faith in Joseph Smith's prophetic calling. They also lose faith in the historicity of the Book of Mormon, the doctrine of "one true church" and other teachings that are founded on the traditional Restoration narrative. After this traditional Mormon testimony crumbles, far too many Mormons lose faith in God altogether. Too many Mormons quit believing in Christ. "After all," these disenchanted Mormons think, "if I once had such passionate feelings about Joseph Smith, and I was wrong, I was probably wrong about Jesus Christ, too."
Well I'm here to tell you that you weren't wrong about Jesus Christ. Jesus has always been reaching out to you. He has often communicated to you through the church of your youth, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The LDS Church was one of many imperfect mediums through which the perfect God, Jesus, was calling you home. I testify that He is real, He loves you, and that He is the one true God.
And even if He isn't the one true God, it's best to live your life as if He is. A belief in Christ has worked for a lot of other people.
Even if you don't believe in Christ's divinity, at least read his teachings, apply them into your life, and see how things go. I think things will go well. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all lived like Jesus Christ?
Ultimately, though, we're missing parts about Christ's ministry if we only accept him as a simple moral teacher. He claimed to be divine. He claimed to have power to forgive sins. He said, "Before Abraham, I AM," identifying Himself as the One who gave the Law of Moses. He claimed to have a kingdom "not of this world." He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one cometh unto the Father but by me." What are we to make of these claims? We ignore them at our peril.
I choose to believe them. I choose to believe in the story of Jesus.
God is a jealous God. He allows room for a multitude of traditions and churches; I believe he inspires a multitude of traditions and churches. But the Ultimate Truth does not allow room for a multitude of gods. There is only one God, and that is Jesus Christ.
Look, you can't practice all the religions at the same time. You can respect all religions, you can appreciate them in theory, but when the rubber hits the road, you have have to pick one religion and stick with it. What church are you going to this Sunday? What church are you going to take your kids to? These are real choices you have to make. It's fine to study the religions of the world in a college class, but you cannot practice all the religions of the world.
For a religion to really work in your life, you have to pick one and stick with it. Please stick with Christianity. Find a Christian Church that encourages you to live a moral lifestyle, has a good youth program, has a faithful community of believers who will pray for you and look out for you. Find a Christian Church that sings about Christ, prays in the name of Christ, reads scriptures about Christ, tells stories about Christ, and leads you closer to Christ.
Hmmm... do these qualifications remind you of any church you know? Maybe the one you grew up with?
The Mormon Church is a good Christian church. I can't picture Christ being upset with us for staying LDS (even though we don't believe in the Church anymore.) I think he'll be happy about it.
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