Shouldn’t there be one Church that is right for everyone?

by
November 8, 2010

I was watching the movie, “The Restoration”, which was released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints several years ago.  There is a particular scene in this movie that has caused me to contemplate the foundation upon which Christianity is built.

In this scene, young Joseph Smith is having a discussion with a minister about the correctness of various religions.  Joseph asks him how he can know which religion is the correct one, because their doctrines disagree.  The minister responds that each of us strives to find the answer that is right for us.  Joseph then asks the simple question, “but shouldn’t there be one answer that’s right for everyone?”

The question Joseph asked of this minister is a valid one.  Perhaps you have asked this question too.  Christ didn’t establish multiple, competing churches; why shouldn’t there be one Church that is “right for everyone?”

Joseph eventually went to God in prayer on a spring morning in 1820 to ask Him which of all the churches was the correct one.  God did answer him by visiting Joseph personally with his Son, Jesus Christ.  They told him that he shouldn’t join any of the churches, because while they all had some truth, they didn’t have all of it–truth had been lost over the centuries since the death of Christ’s apostles.  Through Joseph Smith, Christ restored His Church.  It is glorious and I am so thankful to be a part of it.  You can also be a part of Christ’s church and know the truth that is right for everyone.  If you would like to learn more about our church, please visit mormon.org.  You can also leave us a way to contact you through the, “ask a question” box on our side bar.

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3 Responses to “Shouldn’t there be one Church that is right for everyone?”

  1. “Shouldn’t there be one Church that is right for everyone?”

    As a Mormon, I honestly don’t feel that that the LDS Church is for everyone. If that’s what this post seems to imply, I just can’t bring myself to agree. Unless one takes a very broad and inclusive definition of “church” (as in “the body of Christ” similar to traditional Christianity), I just don’t think it’s accurate (or even possible) that one church (including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as presently constituted) can be right for everyone. Naturally there can be a nuanced discussion here as to what “right” means.

  2. Clean Cut, I think your implication is that not everyone “fits the mold” of the Church’s expectations, and I agree whole-heartedly. Some people need to undergo some drastic lifestyle changes to become Latter-day Saints.

    Ben was writing about the existence of true doctrine. If there were such a church that taught true doctrine, that doctrine would be true for everyone, regardless of whether they fit in. It would be “right for everyone” in the sense that it is correct, not in the sense that it will please everyone.

    The point isn’t that our Church is all-inclusive. The point is that it has true doctrine revealed to prophets. It is our responsibility to adapt our lives to that truth, not to adapt our beliefs to our lifestyles.

  3. Thanks for the clarification, Thaddeus. That makes sense–the point being that “true doctrine” is for everyone. I would agree with that.

    Although I don’t necessarily think we can state unequivocally that what is generally taught in the Church as “true doctrine” is necessarily that–meaning unconditionally true. We are constantly evolving in our understanding of “truth”–even the prophets, who also “see through a glass darkly”. Doctrines change to reflect our best understanding of “truth”. (Mild disclaimer: I’m defining “doctrines” as the equivalent of “teachings” here. I understand there are differing definitions of doctrine. See http://latterdayspence.blogspot.com/2010/03/differing-definitions-of-doctrine.html)

    I’m also mindful of the challenges of defining Mormon doctrine, especially as eloquently and thoughtfully captured by Loyd Ericson in this article by the same name: http://www.scribd.com/Element-3-12-4-Ericson/d/28422607