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Dear Gramps

I have followed your site for many years and have enjoyed your comments> My question is very simple. How do we as members respond to non-members who say that it doesn’t matter who you worship we all have the same God. I don’t believe we do thanks

Rick

 

Answer

 

Rick,

When I served a mission the opening paragraph of the missionary discussions said something to this nature, “Most people believe in a Supreme being, even though they call him by different names. We know that God lives. We want to share with you our feelings about him….As our Father, God loves us…He prepared a plan that will bring us joy in this life and eternal life with him.” In the Book of Mormon (source) we are able to read the following encounter with Ammon and the King Lamoni. Ammon asks Lamoni the following question, “Believest thou that there is a God?” Lamoni’s answer is that he doesn’t know what Ammon is talking about, and then Ammon asks a different question, “Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?” Lamoni’s response is in the affirmative, and then Ammon says, “This is God.”

This whole interaction between Ammon and King Lamoni appears to confirm the desire in the old missionary discussions. First, commonality is established. Lamoni believed in a Supreme being he called the “Great Spirit.” Ammon then says, “This is God,” the same God he believes in, and now Ammon is going to teach Lamoni aspects of God that he is now ready to hear and listen to.

If a person doesn’t have any desire to further know the truth, content with what they have, then nothing we say will change their mind; however, in these scenarios it is important that we share what we know to be true. We can respond by saying, “Yes (in light of Ammon’s context with Lamoni), we do believe in the same God; although, we do not agree that it doesn’t matter which teaching of this God you believe in and worship. We may believe in the same God, and we want to add more truth and understanding that you may also enjoy eternal life.”

A question we might ask ourselves also, “How do we respond to members of the Church who have misunderstandings of doctrine, and believe they are OK and that it doesn’t matter”?  I would put forth that we respond with the same amount of love in hopes that we might help them understand truths that will bless their life (although not always easy). We can only share truth, and then allow them to accept or reject what we share, but at least they have been informed and have received an invitation to more fully come unto Christ.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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