Why Are There So Many Religions?

There are wonderful people who do wonderful things from all faiths. M. Russell Ballard, a current apostle and leader in our church, said this: “I am inspired by the wonderful things being done by my learned and committed colleagues from other faith groups all around the world. These are noble men and women who have dedicated their lives to their faith, and the world is a better place because of them. They bring comfort to the sick, peace to the troubled, and hope to the weary and downtrodden. I am convinced that God works through them to bless the lives of His children in remarkable ways.” (M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, pg. 26).

However, while we can find good people anywhere, God did not make innumerable religions. As the Bible says in 1 Cor. 14:33, “God is not the author of confusion…” A closer look at the basic beliefs of varying world religions will show a wide range of opinions on core religious principles. For example, Christianity says that Jesus is the Son of God. Jews believe the Messiah hasn’t come yet. Muslims, Buddhists, etc. don’t believe in a Messiah at all. There are plenty of examples just within Christianity itself: Should baptism be by sprinkling or by immersion?  Did the authority to act in Christ’s name continue down to Catholicism or was it lost with the death of the apostles?  Do you have to get permission to act in Christ’s name at all?  How does one receive that authority?

Paul taught the Ephesians that there is only “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). It’s our responsibility to find the truth and live it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims that the authority to act in God’s name was lost with the death of Christ’s apostles. It further proclaims that, that authority has been restored through a modern prophet and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His one and only true church on the earth today – with all of the truth, authority, and teachings necessary to live with God again after we die. We are invited to study the Church’s teachings and then pray and ask God whether what we’ve learned is true. We are promised an answer: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:4-5)