1. Asking if the Mormon Church is “true” is not the right question.
2. Mormons assume that belonging to the right church is the Primary Thing.
3. A church or religious group can be instrumental and helpful. It can sometimes even be necessary. But it can’t be the Primary Thing.
4. The Primary Thing is always and only about realizing a more loving, mature, inclusive relationship with God, with others, and ultimately with all things.
5. A church or religious group can be helpful to the degree it offers guidelines, rituals, doctrines, and traditions that “point” forward and beyond itself to the Primary Thing.
6. A church or religious group can become harmful if it distracts from the Primary Thing by pointing mostly to itself and its own particular guidelines, rituals, doctrines, and traditions.
7. Instead of asking if the Church is true, it might be better to be asking: Is the Mormon tradition “true enough”? Can it point forward and beyond itself to the Primary Thing? Can it provide a foundation for continued spiritual growth and development?
Every aspect of the church leads you to become closer to the Savior.
Does Jesus Christ fit in here somewhere, or is he not to be named?
How about #4 in light of Matthew 22 or John 13?
Jim, Number 4 is the exact mantra of the spiritual-but-not-religious crowd for whom “God” is an ambiguous entity (if an entity at all), the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are not compelling, and Jesus is lumped in as an equal with any number of other wise men and women – Joseph Smith likely not among them. Our missionaries can hardly go out to the world and testify that the Restoration is “true enough”.
There are many devoted, God-loving people who are now living or have lived on this earth who are going to find, at some point, that their progress toward the Primary Thing will absolutely require them to be baptized, by proxy if necessary, by and into the only organization recognized by Jesus Christ to perform that ordinance. I assume most, if not all, will do so and find the fullness of joy possible only by passing through that gate and progressing from there (2 Nep 31:17-18).
Yes. I love this.
Paul Tillich spoke of faith as ultimate concern. Your “primary thing” seems to be the same and resonates deeply.
For those asking about Jesus,I think that Jesus did the same, he pointed to the Primary Thing.
Yes! I can’t believe Jesus was ever about himself.
Jim: great insights. I essentially agree with you. I especially don’t like when we refer to the LDS church as “the only true church”. Many think that’s what it says in doctrine and covenants section 1, but it doesn’t. a couple of great benefits of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are (1) better understanding of God’s plan and attributes. (2) binding the human family together through family history and temple ordinances. But many churches lead many people in the direction of God, and that is a good thing.
Two of the best things in Mormonism.