5 ways other religions have made me a better Mormon

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  • cindyb CASPER, WY
    Dec. 16, 2014 9:34 p.m.

    As a convert tot the LDS church I grew up in a small community of very few Mormons. Our community was filled with caring service minded people. We had an ecumenical youth group. In fact it was at that group that I first heard the testimony of LDS missionaries. My parents and grandparents were good people of faith and devotion and still are. I belonged to the Masonic youth organization for girls called Job's Daughters. It was there that I felt such a sweet spirit that has always stayed with me during trials. It was there that I learned how powerful good music can be in touching hearts for good. It was also there that I knew of the unconditional love of our leaders who gave so much of their lives to our large bethel (local group of girls). I really don't know that I would have been prepared to receive further light an knowledge without the foundation I received in my wonderful religious training as a girl who was not LDS.

  • toddybear Chester, 00
    Dec. 16, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    I have belonged to a number of Christian denominations over the years. Mostly I learnt little from them. When I was about 60, I realised I knew little more than I did when I was going to a Baptist Sunday school. Now it is so changed as I understand the Gospel so much better and feel confident and knowledgeable.

  • Mediamaiden Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    I offer up several levels of understanding which continue to make me a better human being: family, kindergarten, elementary school, high school, church school, all-denomination church camp, and last but not least, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to which I flourish further while I continue my eclectic journey and savor all combined into one (me). I am now above most constraints of humankind and more like the free spirit kind within us all and are meant to become again in human flesh. I say, "In due time" - precept upon precept.

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    Dec. 15, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Nice article. I can speak from personal experience about at least some of this. One of my good friends from work tells about how when she was in school, her study group ended up being all Mormons and Muslims. (She was the Muslim.) They just got along really well because they all had the same kinds of standards and felt comfortable with each other.

    antodav: I think we all understand that there is bad as well as good in all religions. After a beautiful article about the good in other religions, I don't understand why you feel the need to list the bad.
    A Quaker: There are many things I admire about your religion. Please don't hold Donn's comments against Mormons - I am not sure that he even is LDS.

  • donn layton, UT
    Dec. 15, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    RE: A Quaker. So you agree with the Bahá'í Faith which includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ,and Muhammad? “Or all roads lead to God.” VS,

    (Jesus)"I am the way and the truth and the life. ’No one comes to the Father except through me.”(John 14:6)
    "Whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them(John 3:36)“.

    Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'.( Mt 10:34) Jesus did not come to bring a Social peace to a world that is living in sin and in disobedience to God.

    And,(Paul).we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.(Eph 2:3).

    For the message of the (atonement)cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.(1Cor 1:18)

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 13, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    Agreed!

    I am not a "Utah Mormon".
    As such -- it has truly been a blessing to live amongst God's the "other" sheep.

    They hear his voice,
    Their is One Lord, and One Shepard.

    Mormon, Buddhist, Islam, Jew, Hindi, Catholic, etc.

    BTW -- I have found far better "Christians" outside of Utah, than in it.
    Something to think about...

  • Elsleuith Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 13, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    In many cases people outside the church do a better job than we inside the church do. The news event of the Amish school shooting the subsequent forgiveness is a case in point.

    Another is the dedication to health in the Seventh-day Adventist church. I think we as a people could enjoy better health if we were as dedicated to good health as they are. This is not a competition. The Lord honors anyone and everyone who follows scripture.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Dec. 13, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    Catholicism's focus on "antiquity" & ritual can be, at best, distracting, to the extent that the actual Gospel message (particularly the Atonement) is lost--and Peter was not the first pope.

    Protestantism's focus on salvation by grace alone can cause one to believe what one does in this life is completely irrelevant to salvation, and that commandments are optional, leading to hypocrisy.

    Jews have made important scientific & cultural contributions, but their financial & political influence is disproportionate to their size as either an ethnic or a religious group, and not always positive.

    Buddhism is comparatively benign, with much consistent with LDS teachings, but it still has no concept of sin, salvation, grace, or an atonement--which is precisely why many liberal, "New Age" Westerners embrace it.

    Islam certainly is devoted to God & family, but it also has the troubling concept of jihad and lacks any concept of unrighteous dominion.

    The 11th Article of Faith professes support for religious freedom, but doesn't draw moral equivalencies or promote the attitude that all religions are equally correct and true. Latter-Day Saints believe in taking what is good from all other belief systems, but that often also requires discarding what is bad.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    Moroni 7:16-20

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Dec. 12, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    @donn: This is the typical lack of respect that some denominations are often famous for exhibiting to each other.

    Here's the deal. You don't get to argue Quaker theology with me, any more than I get to argue LDS theology with you. If you can find something in Quakerism that appeals to you, you're welcome to adopt it. If you can't, then that's fine, too. But, don't start denigrating other denominations or preaching your own theology unbidden. That's just unfriendly.

    Obviously, we've read the Bible, too. It's not so much that we reject your telling of your interpretation of those sections as we find other parts more compelling and useful for a good, devout and ethical life and have ordered our beliefs accordingly.

    Christians need to learn to respect other Christian denominations and other religions. That doesn't include arguing that other people worship God in the wrong way, or that people who don't believe in God are Godless. People who live good lives, ruled by consideration and modesty, without pestering Him or expecting heavenly rewards, are probably His favorite children. They may not have Him, but He has them.

  • donn layton, UT
    Dec. 12, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    RE: A Quaker He created us, in His image no less, then how could some of Him not be present in every person?

    Why God allowed the Fall. The origin of evil. God has thought fit to allow evil to exist in order that he may show his mercy, grace, and compassion. If man had never fallen there would have been no opportunity of showing divine mercy. But by permitting evil, mysterious as it seems, God's works of grace, mercy, and wisdom in saving sinners have been wonderfully manifested to all his creatures. The redeeming of the church= ‘Elect sinners’.

    Without the fall we should have known nothing of the Cross and the Gospel."

    The Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself. The unregenerate live in the opposite manner. While “goats” can indeed perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose,to honor and worship God.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Dec. 12, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    What I wish the author and all religions could take from Quakerism (the religion mentioned sixth in Brigham Young's list), is our belief that there is That of God in each and every person, which premise leads to our Testimony of Equality. It is our duty to treat all persons as our equals and to treat them with the respect that we ourselves would appreciate receiving.

    In all discussions of dogma, doctrine and morality, this is too often lacking. We Christians are often too quick to condemn others -- especially those who disagree with us or who live according to different rules. We must all learn to, if not love each other, than at least respect each other's right to make our own choices and live our own ethical lives.

    It is not necessary for a person to follow a religion or believe in God to carry within them what we call "That of God." For if we believe He created us, in His image no less, then how could some of Him not be present in every person?

  • donn layton, UT
    Dec. 12, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    RE: Evangelical Christianity’s focus grace(Salvation by Grace) . “Amazing Grace,, how sweet the sound, That saved a Wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. T'was Grace that taught my heart to Fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear The hour I first believed."

    For by ‘Grace’ you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. (Ephesians 2:8-10).

    “The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that He is holy, just, and righteous.

  • Doc Meek SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Dec. 12, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    Dear Nate Sharp,

    Thank you for revealing your inner convictions about the value of the faith of others in religious traditions different from yours.

    I was blessed to be raised in a small town in British Columbia, Canada, and often we did not have an organized branch of our church in our town. Sometimes we would hold services in our home, and for extended periods of time we attended other churches faithfully. Even as a child I became very aware of the good faith and love of God in all venues and all lives.

    The testimony of these others (both in words and by example) taught me irrevocably the substance of goodness in most people, religion or no religion. I was so fortunate as a teenager to be able to hang out with good kids from all faith traditions.

    I was blessed to be raised by parents who were/are faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and who had the goodness, wisdom, and common sense to take all of us kids to other churches on a regular basis.

    We are all children of God, aren't we?

  • Dot Smithfield, UT
    Dec. 12, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    I lived outside of Utah for many years. It is my feeling that all Utahans need to live outside the state's borders for at least a year -- to have their eyes opened to the goodness of so many other people and their beliefs. I love my LDS church, but I agree with other commenters that there is much to be learned from other religions. Oftentimes, other religions are much more sharing and vocal about their love of Christ and God, where we seem to keep it internalized. I loved listening to them and how they were not afraid to vocalize their love and beliefs.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 12, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    Caring for others. Kindness. Charity. Humaneness. Respect.

    All variations on the Golden Rule, which is coded into our genes. No religion required.

    We can and will be good without gods. This is demonstrated daily by nonbelievers and by the millions (billions?) who profess belief, but behave as nonbelievers nonetheless.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 11, 2014 8:13 p.m.

    It's all in your head. What you read and the people you listen to and hang out with programs who you are. Think, what if there wasn't righteous organizations. I have my own mantra. It's this.

    Every day and in every way, I'm getting better and better. Negativity can not effect my mind body or Spirit. I have a friend in Jesus and I accept life, the way to wisdom and the truth. I will protect my liberty an family and I will pursue happiness. But by the Grace of God go I. I'm more than enough.

    Can I get an Amen?

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 11, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    Me thinks Mr Sharp is very prayful addressing his Deity with five Children all under ten years of age. Best of luck to him during this Holiday Season.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Dec. 11, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    Since high school, I have enjoyed studying about different religions of the world - what they believe, how they began, and what they mean in the lives of their members. This has included, in particular, learning about the Eastern Orthodox Christians, Islam, the Sikh community, and Baha'i faith, amongst others. I have come to know several members of the Baha'i community and have had the privilege of giving some fireside-type presentations about the similarities between their faith and ours (LDS). In learning about another religion, whether I agree with all of their beliefs or not, I try to look for that which is "Virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy," and I usually seem to find it.