On Ensuring That an Organization We Choose to Follow is Worthy of Our Adherence, and on the Truth Claims of the Church of Jesus Christ Vis-a-vis Other Faiths
By Ken K. Gourdin
Another poster responded to the foregoing post by cautioning that first, one should ensure that the organization he chooses to follow is worthy of such adherence. In many ways, that decision is a subjective judgement.
Of course, I think adherence to the tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the best thing going, faith-wise. If I did not, of course, I would not be a Latter-day Saint. As I indicated, if anyone were to ask me why I believe that being a Latter-day Saint is the best thing going, I hope I would be ready with an answer. However (and I’m fairly certain you agree, Scott; I’m simply pointing this out for any observers of the dialogue) I cannot demand that anyone accept my paradigm. To do so, rhetorically, would be the rough equivalent of attempting to impart Living Water through a fire hose set at full blast. In general, I think, with only the rarest of exceptions, that, whatever one’s faith, a life of faith is deeper, richer, more meaningful, and, in many ways, more productive than a life without faith. Though, as I also said, even if one is not religious, if he believes in doing good to and for others and in making life as good as he can make it for himself and for those around him for as long as he can before (from his perspective) succumbing to the void, more power to him. That glass is at least half full; half a loaf is better than none; [insert-cliche-here]; et cetera.
Later, I added:
Largely (in fact, I’m hard pressed to think of any exceptions off hand at the moment) what is worthy of one’s adherence is a decision only he can make. I may disagree with that determination. If he asks for my opinion, I might point out factors I think are relevant to the decision, but unless, somehow, it violates the law, infringes upon the rights or the welfare of others, and so on, that will be the end of my involvement, as it should be.
Another poster asked, “Is it possible for a faithful member of the Church to believe it is the best thing going without believing it is the only thing going?”
While I do believe there are certain unique features of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which set it apart from other faiths, I believe that God is pleased when sincere believers of many faiths (indeed, when those of most all faiths) do their best to do what they believe he wants them to do: “Inasmuch as men do good [and that includes men and women of varying faith traditions, as well as sincere men and women who profess no faith, but who believe in making life as good as they can make it for themselves and for those around them before (from their perspective) “succumbing to the void”] they shall in nowise lose their reward” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:28).