Just to show "I do get it," let me clarify my position.
First off, there was a Great Apostasy. The Lord began sending light and
truth down to prepare the way for the restoration through Joseph Smith.
The fulness of the gospel was restored through the living prophets.
The Church is different than all other Churches for two reasons: we have
fuller truths, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and we have authority of God.
We have the truths and authority to exalt, to give a fulness of
Now, let me explain the Great Apostasy. It was a loss of authority, and
much truth was lost, also. However, people still have the light of Christ
to guide them (as well as the Holy Ghost) to give them some saving
truths. These truths are enough to save most in a kingdom of glory. If
the world had been in a total apostasy of Satanic darkness, there would
have been nothing but sons of perdition and no one to save.
God wants all his children to be exalted, but accepts giving his children
what level of light they are willing to receive. Though other Churches do
not exalt, they can help save. If a Baptist or Muslim church can help a
person live a terrestrial life, that person has received a great
blessing. Hopefully that person would later accept the fuller truths in
the LDS Church.
I understand your viewpoint, John. And I agree with it in many ways.
However, I do not see the point of using vinegar all the time. The other
day, I was with the Elders teaching a young woman the second discussion.
We were discussing baptism, and she asked if she needed to be rebaptized,
as her old minister had baptized her and he was one of the greatest men
in her life. He had helped her turn her life around from living a life of
drugs and teen pregnancy, into a wholesome life as a stay at home mother
Should we have told her that her old minister was an apostate and his
baptism was of Satan? Yeah, that would have gone far in getting her
converted, eh? Vinegar. Instead, we explained that many ministers do
much good work, yet there has always been a question of authority between
Catholics and Protestants. In the LDS Church, we know that the Lord gave
his priesthood authority to Joseph Smith, so there isn't any question on
authority. She was satisfied with the answer and has accepted baptism for
I know these other religions cannot exalt. That is what we are here for.
Yet, I do recognize the good they do, just as Brigham Young, Spencer
Kimball and other prophets have noted. The prophets know there was an
apostasy. They condemn false doctrines, as I do. But they don't go around
with a chip on their shoulder, either. They teach our truths without
seeking to offend. Alma said to be bold without overbearing. That is my
goal, to teach the truths of God without offending.
Gerald/gary Smith gszion1 @juno.com http://www
"No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free." -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To those who defend apostate sects:
You just don't get it. There was a Great Apostasy during the first two
centuries of the Christian era. It was caused by the devil and his
followers introducing false doctrine. The apostasy was complete. The
priesthood was taken from the earth. The churches not only lost their
right to perform the saving ordinances, but they also began to teach
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