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 salvation. 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 and wife. 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 next month. 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. K'aya K'ama, Gerald/gary Smith gszion1 @juno.com http://www .geocities.com/rameumptom/index.html "No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe JWR: 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 false doctrine. ________________________________________________________________ Sign Up for Juno Platinum Internet Access Today Only $9.95 per month! Visit www.juno.com ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ==^================================================================ This email was sent to: email@example.com EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n.YXJjaGl2 Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/register ==^================================================================