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Some people wouldn’t consider Mormonism a world religion…but it is. Mormonism is Christianity at its core. It’s a restoration of the Church that Christ established when He was on the earth. What really makes the church unique is the fact that it’s the only religion on earth that I know of that tries to embrace all of the other world religions for the truth that is contained within them.
When I was in college I took a world religion class and loved every minute of it. The professor was an Evangelical PhD of religion. I think it was the best grade I ever received in a college class. The class provided a deep analysis of the roots and teachings of the great religions in the world.
Every single class, my friend and I would look at each other in amazement as the doctrines of the Mormon Church were taught over and over again. Primal religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in all its 40,000 different denominational variations. Each of them containing pieces of truth.
It makes all kinds of sense if you think about it. In the beginning, God gave the gospel to Adam and Eve. They taught their children the fullness of the gospel and there was only one “Church” on the earth at that time. Who can dispute that?
Over the years, some of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve started to fall away from the teachings of the church resulting in various tribes and people being scattered across the earth. These people started civilizations of their own but still retained their innate desire to worship a deity, so…they started their own religions. Many of these individuals, being good people, took the traditions that were passed down by their “fathers” and built a belief system based on their recollections of the traditions. Those traditions became appealing to the people in their geographic region.
I remember when this religion professor first started teaching us about the traditions of the Australian Aborigine, one of the oldest known primal religions. Apparently their roots go back to a creation event they call “The Dreaming”. It was when their God-like/Angelic ancestors came to earth and “gave rise to the lay of the land, the animals, and customs/teachings before the humans inhabited it.” It was also interesting when I heard that they had various “rituals” that were required in order for them to understand “The Dreaming”.
Then I opened up the Mormon understanding of the creation out of the Pearl of Great Price and read this: “And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell.”
Whoa! That’s cool. How could it be that a primal religion that goes back almost to the beginning of recorded history and Mormonism could have such similar beliefs about creation? Pre-mortal Gods/angels organizing already existing materials into an earth for us to dwell on? Mormons embrace that kind of stuff…not condemn it!
How about Hindu’s understanding of a pre-mortal existence? They have “karma” as the results of pre mortal actions. Mormons have “call and prepared” before the foundations of this earth just as the Jeremiah was “ordained” before he came to earth. (Jer 1:5)
Those are just a couple examples. I could go religion by religion for pages upon pages and pull out the pieces of truth that match up with Mormon Doctrine. Study the religions of the world and visit some of their temples and synagogues and then attend the LDS temple a few times and your head will be spinning from the undeniable parallels you’ll see with the religions of the world. I don’t know of another religion in the world that is so interested in other belief systems and so ready to accept their teachings as inspired from God.
Truly…Mormonism is universal in its scope and in its adoption of truth.
Mormonism seeks to do just one thing. Search the world for truth and then embrace it whether it is found in the Texas mega-church or in the Tibetan desert. Mormons don’t slam the door in another persons face or create literature to slam other religions…because they genuinely feel a common bond with so many of the truths found within those other religions.
A few years ago…Gordon B. Hinckley was asked to speak at a convention of the Religion Newswriters of America. After his talk he was asked, “What are you going to do when 15,000 or 20,000 Baptists visit you in Salt Lake City next summer and try to proselytize you?”
He replied, “We are going to welcome them. We are going to do everything we can to make them feel at home. These are our brethren and sisters. They accuse us of not being Christian. I hope that our people will try to show them, by the very manner in which they act, that we are truly disciples of the Lord.”
Then he said this simple phrase that really captures the essence of Mormonism: “Bring all the good that you have and let us see if we can add to it.”
That is Mormonism. The most all-embracing religion in the world.