Where does the church fit for you

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.

Where does the church fit for you

The Church is true period
1
3%
The Church was true but has fallen away partially or completely
6
17%
The Church has some exclusive truth not had by others
8
22%
The Church has only those truths common to all religions
12
33%
The church is completely a construct of man
9
25%
 
Total votes: 36

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mercyngrace
Posts: 517
Joined: 18 Jan 2011, 12:26

Re: Where does the church fit for you

Post by mercyngrace » 21 Feb 2011, 14:01

I don't think I could ever say "The church is true" again. I'm not exactly sure what that even means. The church as an instituton which has undergone radical changes form its inception and continues to undergo changes routinely? The church as in the body of saints who are noticeably imperfect? The general leadership of the church who publicly acknowledge their own fallibility?

Do I think the church was restored by inspired means? Yes.
Do I think it is the only path to truth? No. Even our own theology allows for exaltation without ever entering an LDS building.
Do I believe the church has some exclusive truths that make it fundamentally superior to other religions? Yes.

And that's how I voted - some exclusive truths...
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

AmyJ
Posts: 659
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Where does the church fit for you

Post by AmyJ » 10 May 2018, 07:54

Bump

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Katzpur
Posts: 322
Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 08:40
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Where does the church fit for you

Post by Katzpur » 13 May 2018, 15:01

mercyngrace wrote:
21 Feb 2011, 14:01
Do I think the church was restored by inspired means? Yes.
Do I think it is the only path to truth? No. Even our own theology allows for exaltation without ever entering an LDS building.
Do I believe the church has some exclusive truths that make it fundamentally superior to other religions? Yes.

And that's how I voted - some exclusive truths...
So did you vote for "The Church was true but has fallen away partially or completely" and for "The Church has some exclusive truth not had by others"? Or just the second of these? I voted for those two. I'm thinking of starting a thread to explore these two options in more depth, but am kind of busy with other pressing issues right now, so I don't know how long it will be till I get around to it. But, in a nutshell, I'd have to say that I believe the Church founded by Joseph Smith was essentially a reestablishment of the ancient Church as instituted by Jesus Christ. I'm not all that sure that I can say the same about the Church that exists today. To the extent that Joseph Smith introduced certain doctrines that no other Christian Church has (i.e. our understanding of the nature of God, a pre-mortal existence for all of us, a time after death but prior to the resurrection when conversions and changes of heart can still take place), I believe we've still managed to hold on to certain exclusive truths.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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Katzpur
Posts: 322
Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 08:40
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Where does the church fit for you

Post by Katzpur » 13 May 2018, 15:04

I'm just curious as to why so many people voted for The Church has only those truths common to all religions, because the only such "truth" I can think of is that Jesus Christ was our Savior. True, that's a pretty big truth, but that's about all most Christians can actually agree on, so which truths (plural) are you all thinking of that we have in common with "all religions"?
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

nibbler
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Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Where does the church fit for you

Post by nibbler » 13 May 2018, 16:19

That depends. Is there a difference between:
  • A truth
  • A belief
  • A teaching
E.g. a church might have a semi-unique teaching but does that make it a "truth" other churches are missing? Could another church have a comparable teaching that uses a different story or rite that points to the same fundamental truth?

Example:

We do baptisms for the dead but people in China place food on an altar for the deceased. Is the actual baptism itself the truth or is there some more fundamental truth at the root of the practice, reverence towards ancestors, that is shared by many faiths but perhaps through different cultural practices?

I always get hung up on things like this. What does it mean for the church to be true? The thought of a church, any church, being "true" is kind of a foreign concept to me, so I didn't pick any of the options.

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dande48
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Re: Where does the church fit for you

Post by dande48 » 13 May 2018, 18:51

Katzpur wrote:
13 May 2018, 15:04
I'm just curious as to why so many people voted for The Church has only those truths common to all religions, because the only such "truth" I can think of is that Jesus Christ was our Savior. True, that's a pretty big truth, but that's about all most Christians can actually agree on, so which truths (plural) are you all thinking of that we have in common with "all religions"?
I wouldn't have put the Savior on that list, with there being so many non-Christian religions. Deep down, the purpose of all religions (few exceptions) is to bring about human flourishing; to help us to live happy and filfilling lives, cope with loss and hardship, and recognize and accept our eventual death. Many different religions have many different approaches to this, but there are some core "truths" we all share. Some of the universal truths are:

-Anger and peace cannot exist within the same person at the same time.
-You are small, fragile, selfish, and ofttimes an idiot. So is everybody else.
-Your life has meaning. You have value.
-Even in the worst of times, there is always something to be happy about.
-It's okay to cry.
-Your actions, for good or bad, forever affect the world around you.
-When you have done wrong, admit to it and say you are sorry.
-Work for a cause greater than yourself.
-Keep your promises.
-Avoid harming others.
-Show kindness whenever possible.
-It's okay to die.

Since my faith crisis, I've taken the view of the Buddhist mantra "There are many paths to God". I don't know the details, and I'm pretty sure no one does. TBH, Joseph Smith made quite a few theological shots in the dark, and missed more than his fair share. But he did teach many doctrines which, whether or not they are true, help many people to live happy and fulfilling lives. I don't believe in the Abrahamic God, or in a life after death, or that Jesus Christ was the Savior in the same sense as most Christians believe. I don't feel I need those beliefs for my life to have meaning, or to find happiness. But I don't fault anyone who does. The truth of the LDS Church doesn't matter so much to me anymore. Truth has very little value, if it doesn't inspire. And fiction can inspire greatly in spite of not being true. I wish we would focus on "truth" in the Church a little less. What matters is what comes after.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Where does the church fit for you

Post by Roy » 14 May 2018, 09:50

Many of these options had to do with truth and seemed to suggest that truth equated to eternal cosmic realities.

I am not sure that those sorts of truths (eternally unchanging fact) have anything to do with what we learn and do in church.

However, (like dande and nibbler have said) there are concepts in the church that are useful and help the adherent to have a more meaningful and purposeful life. Those concepts can be true in a different way. True as in useful or operating as designed. Many of these true concepts found in the church are shared in common with other churches. A few have a distinctive LDS flavor.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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