How Wide Is The Divide?

August 24, 2008

Today in high priest group we discussed Elder Holland’s talk to the last General Conference entitled, “My Words Never Cease.”  In it he discusses the doctrine and scripture underlying the principle of continuing revelation and the concept of new scripture that adds to what we already have in the Bible.  During the discussion I became aware of two forces or ideas that were being expressed.  One is that we must teach the true gospel of Jesus Christ in such a manner that it does not offend anyone.  The other is that we must preach the truth even if some are offended because truth always offends some.

Which is it?  Must we preach truth even if some are going to be offended?  Or should we carefully avoid bringing up doctrinal differences with other faiths who might be offended in the interests of being accepted as mainstream or perhaps not so mainstream Christians?  Just how different are our doctrinal beliefs?  Or “how wide is the divide” as some have recently expressed it?  And if the divide is wide, if our beliefs are very different from those of traditional Christianity, how likely is it that we will be able to convince them that we are Christian even though we believe very differently?

Finally, is there any danger to the saints themselves in coming to believe there is very little difference between what we believe and what the evangelicals and other traditional Christians believe?  Is there any chance that some of our own members will become confused about doctrine and begin to think that “one church is as good as another” or that it isn’t really important to be a baptized Mormon if one is a sincere believer in a Protestant faith that is pretty much the same?