Does God Really Care About What Specific Religion We Choose or Don’t Choose?

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.

Till Next,
Samantha








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One thought on “Does God Really Care About What Specific Religion We Choose or Don’t Choose?

  1. Michael B says:

    Sam,

    I agree with you on a lot of what you said. Like you said, we're part of an extremely varied world with 6 billion unique individuals who all need different things. I think God helps us along the best He can- sometimes He's able to give us a lot at once, other times I think He gives us truth piece by piece. On my mission I heard an incredible testimony of a man who felt the Spirit (and described it just like we do!) as he was being baptized into a different church. I asked myself about this until I realized that God was leading him along and preparing him to continue to accept more truth. I also remember speaking multiple times with an incredibly faithful Muslim young man, and, though I was surprised, when he testified I felt the Spirit very strongly. He spoke truth, though, and he was testifying of his progression, so why wouldn't the Spirit witness to the truth of it?

    I guess I'm trying to say that you're right. I think He definitely does lead people to other Churches because that's what they need at that moment to prepare them to accept the Atonement, but that's not the end of the road, just like the LDS Church isn't the end of the road either. I think we're in the same boat, but I do think that, thanks to modern revelation, the LDS Church has a continuous flow of truth, but it's still not the WHOLE picture. I think it's the most we've got here on Earth, but clearly, there is a lot of truth in other places that we can learn from. Anyway, He leads some to other churches to help them prepare to accept greater light.

    The idea that we'll all be “Mormon” when we die and that only “Mormons” will go to heaven is stupid- all those who accept truth in its most undiluted, clear, and pure form (the Doctrine of Christ, but much more than we understand now!!) and then act on it by performing the necessary ordinances will be “saved”. I think that means a lot of people. And the only people that won't be there are people that would truly be happier not being there. That's the beauty of agency. I'm not sure about spending eternity with those we love and how that will work- but I know that we can't be held back by other's decisions to accept, or not accept, Christ. Like you said- all of us have different desires, so it wouldn't be fair to force me to live with a friend where he is happy, or to force this friend to live with me where I am happy but he is not. I don't know how that will work, but it will, somehow, and I am sure that if we want to feel the greatest joy possible, nothing, not anybody else's choices, will effect that. That's the promise. The technicalities aren't up to me, thank goodness.

    I am sure that families will be together, but, once again, I am not sure how it will work. My parents are divorced, and so the idea that somehow they will have to be sealed together again so I can be with them both doesn't really make sense, but I'm not at all worried about it. God has promised that He would work it all out. Things will be so different on the other side that I don't think we can try to fit it into our experiences here on Earth. We have to remember that this life is like a timeout, a pause, from what is really reality. Right now all the lights are very, very dim, and we're almost deaf, but when the lights come on and our hearing restored I am confident that it will all make sense.

    The greatest question is, in the end, are we moving closer to truth and its application, and thus growing closer to God, or are we growing away from it? That may mean something different for everyone, but we each have to decide it for myself. As for me, I'm sure I am where I need to be and that I'm going the right direction, but there will be much, much learning and work to do after this life.

    Thanks for some food for thought!
    Michael (Bollero!)

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