Mormons, Jews, Christians and Future Holocausts

For years I have watched a change of attitude in the Church towards traditional Christianity.  I haven’t understood the reason for it, nor have I been comfortable with it.  I joined the Church from a Baptist background, and if I had wanted to be a Protestant, I would have just remained a Baptist.  After all, we are the true Church, the only true Church.  A true church strongly implies false churches.  Sure, there is truth in all of them, but so what?  Even Satan worshippers have some truth.  They believe there is a Satan, just as we do.  They believe in keeping the commandments even though they are the devil’s commandments rather than the Lord’s.  They have scriptures just as we do.  And my guess is that their scriptures are just as inspired as ours even though the inspiration is from below.  There is truth in Buddhism, Islam, the Hindu faith, and Judaism.  There is even some truth in atheism.  I do not see how the denominations of traditional Christianity can be justified merely by asserting that they contain some truth.  They do not have the priesthood, revelation or prophets.  They teach copious amounts of false doctrine.  Perhaps of greatest importance is the undeniable fact that without the priesthood, they are unable to perform those essential ordinances without which it is impossible to obtain eternal life.  In the denominations of traditional Christianity there is no salvation.

But of greater significance to me, is the fact that the attitude of the Prophet Joseph Smith was negative concerning the “sectarians.” That was his term for the many denominations of traditional Christianity.  Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie, the primary inspiration of this blog, did not use the term “sectarian” so much as they referred to “apostate Christendom.”  But although the terms they used were not the same, their negative view of the Protestant and Catholic denominations were in the tradition of Joseph Smith as was my own because of the reasons for which I joined the Church.  I had obtained a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

After all, is not this a passage from our scripture?

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all awrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those bprofessors were all ccorrupt; that: “they ddraw near to me with their lips, but their ehearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the fcommandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the gpower thereof.” (Joseph Smith–History)

If traditional Christianity had not gone astray, there would have been no Great Apostasy and no need for a Restoration. Because of this teaching, and the attitudes of Joseph Smith and the early latter-day prophets, this change in LDS understanding and attitude towards the false churches has been a puzzle to me to me and a source of no small amount of distress.  Are these changes from God, or are they just false attitudes creeping into the Church?

Well, yesterday I had a thought that may have been from the Lord because I never thought it before, and it answered all my questions and set my heart at rest on this matter.  A young and brilliant attorney in my ward spoke in Sacrament Meeting, and at one point he spoke about the claim some sectarians make that we are not Christians.  I thought his remarks excellent.  Whether we are Christian or not depends on how one defines the term “Christian.”  If in the course of conversation with a Gentile we are using different definitions, of course there will be little or no true communication or understanding.

Whenever this topic of who is and is not Christian comes up, a nagging question comes up in my mind.  Why do we care what the they think?  There is a sense in which we are not Christians.  We are not heirs to the false doctrines and philosophies of traditional Christianity.   On the other hand, there is a sense in which they are not Christians.  How can one follow Jesus Christ while rejecting his prophets? That is exactly what the Protestants and Catholics do.  There is a sense in which we are the only Christians.  So why do we care what they think?  Joseph Smith didn’t.  He denounced those denominations as false churches all the days of his short life.  So did his successors until recently.

After the meeting I went up to this fellow and asked, “Why do we care?  Why do we care whether or not the false churches consider us to be Christian?  We are in this life to please God, not man.  His are the only opinions that matter.  He told me what I thought he would, something I have heard from dozens of other saints when I pose this question.  “We want the other churches to accepts us as Christians because of our missionary work.”  But that makes no sense.  When others join us from a Catholic or Protestant background as I did, we are ripe to become members of the Church because we have begun to doubt the teachings of the church in which we grew up.   Do our missionaries have a lot of success in baptizing nonmembers who are still convinced their church is right?  I doubt it very much.

Then during the Sunday School part of the block, I thought something I have never thought before.  We are living in a very difficult time for people of all faiths.  Just as the other churches are being persecuted on all sides by the atheists, agnostics and secularists, so are we.  The gays are mad at us, as are those who believe there can be a legitimate “choice” to kill an unborn child.  Others hate us because we love and defend our God-inspired Constitution.  Many despise religious tea party people because they remind the wicked that there is a difference between right and wrong.  The government controlled media portray those who believe in a far more negative light than those who keep their mouths shut about God.

But more importantly, this intolerance for those who are religious is increasing rapidly.  What will happen in the future?  Does persecution lie ahead, not only for the Mormons but for all those who believe in God?  Could there ever be another holocaust or genocide, this time not just targeting Jews but all who believe? I think it could happen.  There are a couple of reasons.

First, our scriptures proclaim that when Christ comes at the Second Coming, there will be few left upon the earth.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall akill you: and ye shall be bhated of all nations cfor my name’s sake.

And then shall many be aoffended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

And many afalse prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because ainiquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax bcold. (Matthew 24:9-12)

[…]

For then shall be great atribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those adays shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)

Also, the latter-day Prophet Bruce R. McConkie and others have said that the saints will endure greater persecutions ahead than those they have known in the past:

Nor are the days of our greatest sorrows and our deepest sufferings all behind us. They too lie ahead. We shall yet face greater perils, we shall yet be tested with more severe trials, and we shall yet weep more tears of sorrow than we have ever known before. (Bruce R. McConkie.  The Coming Tests and Trials and Glory.  General Conference, April 1980)

If these prophecies are true, and I believe they are.  Then all we who believe in God must stick together.  We need to forget our differences and focus on our mutual belief in God and his love for us.  For only his love and our faith in him will get us through the difficult times ahead.  Those who have taken the part of Satan, with or without realizing it,  can persecute all of us regardless of religious persuasion.  And they can persecute us with a great persecution, possibly unto death.  But as long as we remain faithful, we need not worry.  As long as we keep the promises we have made to God, he will protect us and sustain us in this life and in the life to come.

The bottom line for me, and what I learned from my contemplation is that because very difficult times lie ahead for all of us, we Latter-day Saints do not want to be alone against the terrors that evil men seek to inflict upon us.  We are all children of the same Heavenly Father, brothers and sisters.  And we need to love and care for each other amidst all the machinations of the secular world, the crusading atheists, and the worldly.

But not only that, the Latter-day Saints are very well organized.  They can do much for those of other faiths if they will let us and need our help.  In some cases we can provide some of the leadership that is needed for our spiritual and temporal survival.  We are strong in the Lord and can use that strength to love and serve others.

In any case, I am no longer puzzled or distressed that we are reaching out to the other churches.  We need friends both inside and outside of the Church.  We can help each other.  And we are going to need it.

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7 Responses to Mormons, Jews, Christians and Future Holocausts

  1. Rusty says:

    One more comment…I was in Israel for the Glenn Beck events the week of Aug. 24th. I was on a tour bus with about 30 people and was the only LDS person on the bus. At one point, because the tour guide asked if there were any Mormons, I raised my hand. I waited to see if anyone would attack me for being Mormon. Not one person did. In fact, I had a very nearly Zion experience with that group of people. They were good, kind, generous and helped and watched out for each other. We shared a great deal in common – a love for the Lord, a mourning for the changes in our country, a desire to be part of a change in the world, a determination to stand for the rights of Israel and the Jewish people to exist, etc. It was an awesome, life-changing experience and I feel that the Lord greatly blessed my life by helping me get to know some of those people. I got to share gospel principles as we talked, but everyone shared truths they had learned. I even met a woman who through her own study had figured out that our spirits existed long before this earth life. It was awesome and I know God will use some of those people as leaders in their churches in these last days. They are only prevented from seeing the truth because of the cunning deceptions of misguided or evil men. They will have their chance to learn the truth. In the meantime, they are doing their best to serve the Lord Jesus and they will be rewarded for it. They are standing up for the truth – how many Mormons can say the same thing?

    • Ray Sifdol says:

      Rusty,

      How about the rights of the Palestinian people to exist?! The return to Zion and the recreation of Israel was the bad idea of some 19th Century European Jews and their “end of the world” Christian supporters. It is ironic that ultra Orthodox Jews don’t believe in the existence of the State of Israel because it is secular, and Americanized, and that only the Messiah when he comes can establish Israel as a political and religious entity. However, if you are a “Mormon” (LDS) than don’t you believe that the end of the world as we know it and the restablishment of Eden on earth is going to be over in Missouri? Also why are you supporting an extreme right winger like Beck. Is it because he is a Mormon/LDS?

    • I am not Rusty, but your questions call to mind some of my own. What makes you think the Palestinians have a right to exist as a nation? They were never a nation before? Sure every human being has a right to exist. But that is not the same thing. They have always wanted to drive Israel into the sea and are obviously an enemy of Israel. Why should Israel consider any of their demands whatsoever unless they have the military might to back up those demands? They don’t. Mexico has more right to reclaim Arizona and California than the Palestinians have to be a nation. They never were a nation. They are a political construct put together by outsiders. Furthermore they are communists, or whatever those people are calling themselves these days.

    • Ray Sifdol says:

      Mr. Redelfs,

      You have a point. Then why does the United States of America have to support Israel? But since you are LDS I should already know the answer to that.

      Nothing like taking a bunch of biblical crap and matching it up with whatever emotional and psychological needs you people have.

      HOPE YOU READ THIS. I AM NOW REALLY DONE WITH YOUR SITE. THANKS FOR THE LECTURE.

  2. Rusty says:

    You finally made the “leap”, John. I know that when they come for Christians, they will come for Mormons and Baptists and Catholics and Lutherans, and all those who love and follow Jesus Christ and won’t deny Him. I’ve thought about this…even though we have more of the truth, we don’t always have greater faith…I’ve heard and seen great faith among our Christian brothers and sisters. Many of them truly love the Lord. And when the Lord commands us to be “one”, I think it could apply to us and our Christian brothers and sisters. If we are not “one” (in the courage to stand together for our freedom of religion – to stand for the Constitution and our God given rights), then we will fall one by one. The enemy of all righteousness will pick us off one by one. So, yes…it is important for us to stand by our Christian brothers and sisters and to love them and work with them – not to combine our religion with theirs, but to stand for those principles that are true and are under attack from all sides today.

  3. We can be the unique, the “only true and living Church” on the earth, and yet still hold common cause with other Church’s, even non-Christian ones. That way we accomplish at least two purposes; work together on common issues; and stand as a beacon of light to the world.

  4. Terry Anderson says:

    Thank you for your post. I agree with your bottom line remarks. I’m hoping the prophets were being rhetorical with their doomsday predictions because I’m not looking forward to being part of their fulfilment.

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