My son is on what I call a quest for the truth. He has no doubt that there is a God but does not accept Christ as his Savior yet. He has posed the question to me that if Christ is truly the son of God then why do so few people on the earth know of Him. I told him that because of eternal progression that all people will have the chance to know and accept Him. He told me that he knows that he may not get to the Celestial Kingdom if he does not accept Christ in this life but that he could still attain some degree of glory.
I just finished reading a book “Believing Christ” and it also said that even people who are hostile towards the gospel but are good people can attain a terrestrial glory. Is this true? What other insight can you give me as to why so few people know Him? I’ve also told him that the more knowledge you have the more you are responsible for. Thanks for any new insight
It is true that the terrestrial kingdom is reserved for the good people of the earth who do not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. It is curious that your son seems to accept the revelations of Joseph Smith regarding the three degrees of glory, but says that he does not accept the Savior. This is somewhat illogical and demonstrates that the problem may not be with the intellectual questions that he poses, but very likely with his behavior, which may not be consistent with the principles of the gospel
The answer to the question that your son posed is a simple one. The knowledge of Christ is revealed to man by the Holy Spirit that sheds itself forth on all those who are just and true. Without the Spirit no man can know that Jesus is the Christ. We read in 1 Corinthians,
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:9-14)
Your son will only accept the Savior after he begins doing the will of the Savior. If he becomes humble and teachable, with a sincere desire to learn the truth, and if he lives the kind of life that would permit the Holy Spirit to influence him, his problem would be solved. The big problem with many young people is that they somehow feel obligated to follow the ways of the world and find acceptance among their piers who live unsavory lives, rather than be obedient to parents and church leaders who really care for their welfare.
So perhaps your focus should not be on trying to answer the specific questions that he poses, but rather to help him adjust to living in accordance with the Lord’s commandments (which I’m sure that you do). I just feel that as soon as you satisfy one question of doubt another will take its place, as such questions are often used as a screen to justify aberrant behavior.