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Comparing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Other Religions

Updated on December 3, 2021
Mark O Richardson profile image

Mark is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served a 2 year mission in East Tennessee and the surrounding areas.

My Approach

It would seem that there is more conflict in the world than ever before. I thought it may be good to focus on similarities instead of differences. This article takes a positive approach to how we can focus on common beliefs, specifically between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other religions. This church many similarities with other religions throughout the world.

George Albert Smith, 8th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
George Albert Smith, 8th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Source

My policy has always been one of friendship. The Latter-day Saints have had enemies enough. I respond with feelings of love and respect to my friends who have been critical of me and my religion. They are my brothers and sisters, and I can harbor no feelings of ill will against them.

— George Albert Smith

Guidelines Considering Beliefs of Others

Guidelines
1. Treat the beliefs of others with respect.
2. Observe customs of others when we are guests.
3. Never ridicule another person's manner of worship.
4. Avoid arguing & quarreling over religious ideas.
5. Be kind to representatives of other religions.
6. We will be judged according to how well we love our neighbor.

Our religion is between us and our God. The religion of others is between them and their God.

Latter-day Saints "owe respect to all churches and organizations that lead men to act more righteously than they otherwise might..."

— Gerald E. Jones

Eastern Religions-Asia

Many have the goal to be separate from the world, but continuously active in it. To those of religions in the East, the world is not concrete, so it has no identifiable beginning or end. Life is viewed through philosophical spectacles, not through historical ones. Each religious tradition has insights to offer.

If we want to communicate effectively with people of other cultures, it is not sufficient to just be conversational in their language, but we must be familiar with their religious beliefs. We must be aware not only of what we say, but also of what they hear. It is important to try to understand one another.

Eastern/Western ideas & religions contrast in many ways. Some believe that where we are born, our religion, and the language we learn is all by chance

West
East
Agressive
Pasive
Acts
Contemplates
Look to the Future
Focus on the past
On the Move
At Rest
Change the World
Accept the World as is
Impose its Will on the World
Live in Peace with Nature
Freedom of Speech, Articulation
Silence, meditation
Love, then Marry
Marry, then Love
Marriage=Happy End of Romance, a Contract
Begginning of a Love Affair, a Bond
Love is Vocal, Show Love
Love is Mute, Conceal Love
Want More
Have Less and Less
Crave the High Life
Conquer Desires
Poverty=Weakness
Poverty=Spiritual Elevation
Retire=Enjoy Fruits of Labor
Retire=Prepare for Hereafter, Renounce the World

Considerations

What rituals do I participate within my religion? What purposes and meanings are reflected with those activities? Is there a balance of physical and spiritual content in the religious life of the community? Is commitment determined more by observing external forms or by internal spiritual qualities?

Latter-day Saints have slipped into the dangerous complacency of the student who feels superior because he has the only answer book in class.

Brigham Young
Brigham Young | Source

Learn everything that the children of men know, and be prepared for the most refined society upon the face of the earth, then improve upon this until we are prepared and permitted to enter the society of the blessed..."

— Brigham Young

What could be more foolish than to reject such gifts because they are found outside the Church?...And how do [we] solve any problem? The first step for me is to discover what I do not know...I must search out the weak and defective spots in my knowledge...The next step is to find out [what it is] that I do not know but should; and thus I move forward in my quest, progressively laying bare dark new areas of ignorance...

— Hugh Nibley, Scholar

Other Thoughts

One of the best ways to clarify our own thinking is to set our beliefs over against other systems of thought or to see ourselves from a distance. What is unique about Latter-day Saint doctrine?

By examining ourselves and our religion within a global rather than a regional or religious frame, we find a message that we never before realized.

The restored gospel(Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) will be seen for what it is; the crown and capstone of all religious experiences.

To touch on a recent experience, I came across some articles that were what I consider to be against my beliefs/church/religion/faith. Against my better judgement, I engaged with others as I hoped to explain and defend my faith. I was sincere and cordial. But I learned that not everyone accepts ideas and concepts as I do. I am more creative/right-brained, so I am not as logical as some others may be.

When having a discussion, it is important for both parties to be willing to listen to each other. Some only want to get their point across and do not want to listen to you.

Personally, I hope to help anyone that has questions and is truly sincere. I am only speaking of my faith and not looking to attack other beliefs. I hope to build on common beliefs. It is important to respect others and not to mock them for how they believe or worship. It is unlikely that you will change anyone in a heated discussion. Only God can change people and He will only do it with love.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Mark Richardson

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