Recently, I had a thought occur to me. Maybe God leads different people to different religions or out of them because He knows we are all so different and have different needs. People of all religions claim they KNOW their particular religion is the true one because they have had this experience or that feeling that has confirmed it to them. I have had lots of family and friends bear solemn testimony that they KNOW the Mormon church is true, and I believe them that THEY believe that. Their experiences and feelings are THEIRS to cherish.
I’ve also had evangelical Christians witness to me that they know Christ is their Savior, that He saved them and they KNOW that by His grace alone they are saved, and NOT of works.
How can two, or five, or a hundred different people with all types of beliefs all claim to KNOW that all these different beliefs are the correct ones? My theory right now is that truth comes in many shapes and sizes and so I think for each of those people, what they believe is true for them, and that’s is great for them.
I think some people really need religion and I think that is a beautiful thing for many.Some need rigorous structure and rules because it brings stability and certainty to their life. For others, those same rules are suffocating and restrictive and bring guilt and misery.
Some need to know the nature of God and want to know as much as possible about the next life because it brings them peace and comfort that death is not the end, that we will see family again, etc. Some don’t need that so specifically defined and choose to focus more on the here and now, without getting caught up in what is to come. I know many people who feel this way. Some really are okay with the ‘wait and see’ approach to the afterlife. I myself still believe, or have a feeling, that there is something beyond all of this, I just don’t have a solid definition in my mind of what that will be….and that is nothing new for me, even when I still held to Mormon belief I still had no idea what was coming. Does ANYONE? REALLY? Even among Mormons there is debate and differing opinions about how the plan of salvation really works. All I know is that it was never a very comforting doctrine for me. Families are forever……MAYBE. That is how I view the doctrine. If there is an afterlife, I’d like to believe I can be with anyone I want, regardless of their worthiness, whatever that even means.
Is is possible that God led me away from my religion? To me it is possible that God arranged for certain circumstances to occur that led me to start questioning. Maybe God knows as well as I do, that this religion just wasn’t working for me. Is it even remotely possible that God is behind all religion, and maybe even the lack of religion. Maybe He is behind secular humanism, agnosticism, and atheism because those ways of thinking work for some people. Is that so wrong to think?
All I know is that there are so many types of people in this world with different backgrounds and beliefs. Some people are really confident that they have the one truth, but I no longer hold to the idea that there is only one right way to believe or not believe. Diversity among humans is inherent in out nature. We are unique individuals. This is why I no longer believe it is possible that any one religion can claim to be the sole source of truth.
In my Mormon experience I often heard the thoughts expressed, “Aren’t we just SO BLESSED to have the one true gospel in our lives”, or when something tragic would happen, “Well at least WE know the plan of salvation”. I am glad that people find peace in their beliefs, but I often have felt that these kind of statements are a little bit prideful. That they are somehow better than the average person because they have these “truths”. I myself cannot think of many times where I would think or express thoughts like this. Maybe it is because I was never really that confident in my “knowledge” of having the one true gospel. Also, who am I to think my way of believing is the best way to do so?
I understand that many people will not agree with my current line of thinking, but for now, it is the only thing that makes any sense to me. I think that if God really understands each of us individually and what our needs are then He would understand why certain religions just don’t work for everyone, and how Mormonism just wasn’t working for me. For now, that has brought some clarity to my thoughts and some peace of mind, and that is a nice feeling to have. So I’m going with it for now.