Esperanza and I were reading the Book of Mormon this evening and I came upon a chapter that just doesn't seem to harmonize with current list and Church attitudes towards other churches. Aren't we supposed to "liken" the scriptures unto ourselves? Sometimes it is pretty hard.

2 Nephi Chapter 28
Many false churches shall be built up in the last days---They shall teach false and vain and foolish doctrines---Apostasy shall abound because of false teachers---The devil shall rage in the hearts of men---He shall teach all manner of false doctrines.


3. For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord's; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord's' and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord---


9. Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.

10. And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.

11. Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted.

I understood all of this when I left the Baptist Church. That is why I became a Mormon. But today if I say anything like the Lord is saying in this chapter of 2 Nephi, I get a big argument and someone invariably starts talking about how these other churches prepare people for our missionaries.

Well, I don't see it that way. These other churches are the whole reason there was a Great Apostasy in the first place. These false churches are the only reason there was any need for a Restoration. They don't prepare others for membership in our Church, except possibly by setting a bad example, one to be avoided by converting to Mormonism. They do the very best they can to prepare their members to slam their doors in our faces when our missionaries come knocking.

Where have I gone wrong? Why can't I get all luvy-duvy towards these other churches the way so many of my fellow saints are? Why does 2 Nephi 28 seem so true to me and all the "go along to get along" talk that I hear among my fellow saints sounds so much like a slick politician that wants everybody to like him? I'm sick of hearing about how much truth there is in these other churches. I want to hear someone call them what they are: false churches. That is what the Book of Mormon calls them.

Hate the sin and love the sinner. I understand that. But why do I have to be accepting of a false church in order to be loving towards its deluded, lied to, and oppressed members?

I can love a Catholic without loving his church. The same goes for a Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Buddhist or Moslem.

Reading 2 Nephi 28 and then reading these Internet email discussion lists, Zion included, causes me considerable cognitive dissonance.

"While we cannot agree with others on certain matters, we
must never be disagreeable. We must be friendly,
soft-spoken, neighborly, and understanding." (President
Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2003)
All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR

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