Only one path to God

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Nov 2014, 18:08

Rsbenson wrote:I’ll try but that will be difficult. I’ve fought Mormons for forty years now. Sometimes I think they’ve never seen a verse of scripture. The ones I’ve dealt might have read them but it’s like they have never invoked a thought process. I think I’ll deal a little more with your doctrine section. That's mainly church, though. Blogging can be challenging.
Not to derail the thread, and perhaps an introduction on your part might accomplish what I desire (and it can be discussed there), but I don't understand what you mean by "fighting" Mormons. FWIW, for the most part we don't fight anyone here - Mormons or otherwise. We do have discussions, sometimes vigorous, but we tend to neither fight against or for the church. The mission is to StayLDS, though.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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Heber13
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Heber13 » 03 Nov 2014, 18:22

Rsbenson wrote:I’ll try but that will be difficult. I’ve fought Mormons for forty years now. Sometimes I think they’ve never seen a verse of scripture. The ones I’ve dealt might have read them but it’s like they have never invoked a thought process. I think I’ll deal a little more with your doctrine section. That's mainly church, though. Blogging can be challenging.
I'm happy to discuss it with you RSBenson. I love learning. I have read all the scriptures, and am not an expert. The scriptures sure read differently to me now than they did 10 years ago, and different then that 10 years before that or when I was on my mission.

Maybe you can first help me understand what you mean by this:
All the other ways are dangerous.
Sometimes I fail to understand where others are coming from until I understand what exactly is being said and talked about.

Can you give an example of a dangerous path so I know what you are referring to?

I appreciate your efforts to try. :thumbup:
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Rsbenson
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Rsbenson » 03 Nov 2014, 18:34

Heber13:
"There is only one path" - could be true...if you explain what path you're talking about.”
etc.,etc.

Who cares what I or anyone else thinks the path is? What I care about is what does Jesus say the strait path is? If he calls it strait, then it must be dangerous. He also calls it narrow. It’s easy to get off of. He also talks about a wide path that many people find and he tells us further that the narrow one leads to life and the wide path (hint, hint –all the other paths,……or does wide path mean a lot of narrow paths?) leads to death.

Heaven forbid I should try to teach you what the strait path is so let me give you a situation. It’s Sunday and instead of going to Church, I decide to take a walk in the woods and view God’s creations and....feel the Spirit,…I guess. Anyway. Strait path or wide path?

You teach me. What’s my view? My view is that I can’t believe I typed the predceding paragraph.
Last edited by Rsbenson on 03 Nov 2014, 18:35, edited 1 time in total.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Nov 2014, 18:35

Blogging can be challenging.


Amen. When all we have are words on a screen, it can be hard to understand fully - and to avoid misunderstanding. That's a big part of the reason we have discussions here and not debates.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Nov 2014, 18:42

That is a great example, Rsbenson - especially since there is nothing whatsoever in the Gospels that answers your question directly.

If we were to have a philosophical discussion, I could point out that if attending church causes someone to feel angry or suicidal or any other highly dangerous emotion, feeling the spirit on a walk in nature might be a better alternative - at the very least as a coping mechanism while trying to figure out how to feel the spirit in church, as well. I attend church every Sunday, so it's not an either/or for me - but I certainly can understand why someone might take a break for a while.

My point originally is that our theology is crystal clear when it comes to the question of whether there is only one path to God in this life - as that question generally is understood. We teach that anyone can belong to any religion or denomination (or to no religion) and still be exalted - and we prove our faith in that concept by doing temple work and leaving judgment to God. The key is worshiping according to the dictates of our consciences. Discussions of the next life and eventual acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have a valid place and importance, but, in practical terms, Mormonism teaches that there is more than one path to God as far as mortality is concerned.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Heber13 » 03 Nov 2014, 18:50

Rsbenson wrote:You teach me. What’s my view? My view is that I can’t believe I typed the predceding paragraph.
I doubt I have much to teach you. I was hoping you had something to teach me. I like learning from others' views.

But I'll share my view anyway...to quote Oaks again since I have that on my mind:
In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something.
Therefore...
It’s Sunday and instead of going to Church, I decide to take a walk in the woods and view God’s creations and....feel the Spirit,…I guess. Anyway. Strait path or wide path?
Strait path. Feeling the spirit, especially in nature, helps me become more like Christ.
Luke 6: 1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.
2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?
...
9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
...
12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
[Admin note: By the way, dude...drop the condescending "heaven forbid" (and "hint, hint") and keep trying the blogging thing with respect. You've been warned.]
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

nibbler
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by nibbler » 03 Nov 2014, 19:07

The only path back to god may very well be through Jesus but each of us is unique, we have to discover our own unique path that leads us to Jesus.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Nov 2014, 19:33

nibbler wrote:The only path back to god may very well be through Jesus but each of us is unique, we have to discover our own unique path that leads us to Jesus.
I logged on to say pretty much the same thing. Please take this in the way it's intended rsbenson: maybe it's not your job to teach us, perhaps it's our job to discover it on our own. That certainly doesn't mean your input is unimportant or can't help us discover - but it does mean that beating someone over the head with something is probably not going to help that person discover anything. Our soccer coach has a favorite thing he says to his players when something is not going right and there is a little discord: right message, wrong tone.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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Heber13
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Heber13 » 04 Nov 2014, 09:01

I am still interested on what people are thinking about when we say "one path". I know the traditional teaching...follow Christ and be baptized. I did that at 8 years old....sooo...what does it mean? Follow Christ by keeping commandments, which is to stay active in church and live by the rules the church teaches. OK. I get that concept. If the church helps us to become more like Christ, and that is the path to return to live with God, OK, I get that concept.

Maybe there is nothing else to discuss. That's just it.

But...it seems to me that we can try to understand these principles deeper, and gain a more clear perspective on what it means in our lives.

I have found many people outside the church who are absolutely good people to the core, and do way more to serve and love others, and seek God in their lives. My one friend, a 33rd level Mason and Presbyterian, was a loving friend who went to lunch with me during some of my biggest trials...and just wanted to remind me that God is aware of my trials, and He loves me, and it will all work out if I keep my faith. His love and friendship inspired me. I have given him a copy of the Book of Mormon, which he read. He is on his own path, and highly spiritual.

I would panic if I thought he was on a dangerous path and was a lost soul. I would want to shake him to tell him he needed a mormon baptism, and needed it now to get on the right path to God. But, he is at peace with God, and seems to know more about the scriptures than I do. So while I have shared my beliefs with him, he is doing well on his own path to finding God. And because mormonism allows temple work in proxy for the dead, he will have a chance, in this life or the next to gain all the blessings he is worthy of as God sees, if that is really necessary.

How can I view him on a dangerous path? His path is working well for him. And mormonism seems to teach me I don't need to worry, good people will have their opportunity for Glory and exaltation.

So is he not on the right path? Is he close to the path and will one day be taught it and can find the right path?

In short...a black and white "you're on the path or you are in dangerous paths" and there is no middle ground doesn't seem to fit reality to me. It's too simplistic. Unless we're using words differently.

The Lord taught the parable of the Good Samaritan. Which of the 3 who found the wounded was on the right path? I believe it was the one who did the right thing, and the others who held authority in the church were on a dangerous path. That is what Christ taught...our actions matter. What we are becoming matters.

The path is very abstract. Narrow is the way is a metaphor for us. I don't believe it means in the church. It means something deeper. Many who are in the church and not grasping the concepts will find they are not on the path. Many not in the church but live like Christ are on the path.

So there are many ways to live, and be on that path.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Nov 2014, 09:35

Heber, I wholeheartedly agree with you that people who are members of other churches can be more loving, charitable, Christlike than most members of our church. I don't see how any argument can be made that they are not on the right path or on a dangerous path.

My concept of the whole one path thing has evolved over the past few weeks. I think we tend to imagine one common path that we're all on - like a trail through the woods. Lehi's vision, I think, illustrates that idea. But what if it's not like that? What if the one path is the one path for each of us individually? That is, my one path is different than your one path if for no other reason than I started in a different place.

I know I've been stuck on Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy of late and beg your indulgence, but this is what has caused this evolution of thought. What if instead of envisioning a path through the woods we envision a path to the lighthouse from where we are at sea? In a case like that, all the ships or boats would be trying to reach the same place (the harbor) guided by the lighthouse. But is is also very possible that the lighthouse can be seen from at least 180 degrees or more. Two ships could be coming from opposite directions toward the lighthouse and still be on the one path that leads them there - but it is not the same path. Likewise, all of the other boats are also on a strait/straight/narrow path to the same place - even though their one correct path (or course) is different from every other boat's path. Then, if the lighthouse is Christ, He is the Way and the Light (and probably the Truth). And in such a case, it makes no difference which church we belong to as long as we are going toward the lighthouse.

I realize this does not fully address keeping the commandments or things like baptism and TGOTHG - but then again, I'm not a one true church guy anymore and see those things as more symbolic of our own willingness or commitment to follow Christ.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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