The True Church: a conversation

Overheard while eavesdropping in the Deseret Diner:

First speaker (let’s call him Adam): I’m not a member of your church, as you know, but I’ve lived among Mormons for most of my life, talked with missionaries, attended lots of meetings with friends. Done a lot of reading. There’s so much I admire about your church– its moral teachings, its family life, its community. And its genuine faith in Jesus Christ. (I’m an Evangelical, and this is important to me.) I don’t know of a church these days that does as much to spread the basic Gospel message– through your missionaries and on-line videos and all.

But there’s one thing about Mormons that really bothers me– that is, your insistence that yours is “the only true church,” as I’ve often heard it put. Why do you have to say that? Mormons are annoyed when some Evangelicals say that you’re aren’t Christians. And understandably so. But don’t you see that you provoke this, and that you’re basically doing the same thing, when you say that yours is the only true church– or at least the only church with “the fullness of the Gospel”– and that in order to achieve exaltation everyone will have to join your church, in the next world if not in this one?  This tenet actually undermines your efforts to spread the basic Christian message, I think, because people see your Christian videos or whatever and think, “That’s good, but they’re just using it to try to get people to join their church.”  I’m not saying the suspicion is fair, but some people do think that.

Second speaker (call her Eve): You know, I agree. I am a member– an active member– and there’s so much about this church that I love. But I don’t see why it isn’t enough to believe that the church’s doctrines and moral teachings come from God, and that the church is guided by God, through leaders who are called of God. It makes me uncomfortable when members stand up in Testimony Meeting or Gospel Doctrine class and say they know this is the only true church, or when they make disparaging comments or snide jokes about other churches. This doesn’t happen as often as it used to, fortunately, and usually I think these are good-hearted people who mean no offense. But I really wish we could just get over the competitive, exclusivist thing, and join in full communion with the Christian community.

Third speaker (let’s call him, oh, . . .Nephi): I understand what you’re both saying. And I appreciate the sentiment. But I think you’re falling into a characteristic modern confusion. People these days don’t want to offend– that’s to their credit, mostly– and so they want to say, “Well, I think my belief is good and true, but your contrary belief may be equally good and true.” But that just isn’t logical. If X is true, then a contrary idea Y is necessarily false– or at least not as completely true.

And this logic holds for Gospel truths just as it does for mathematical or scientific or other truths. It’s been that way from the beginning. Polytheistic pagans in the Greek and Roman worlds would have been happy enough to accept Jesus Christ as a divinity– as one god in the pantheon. One emperor even put up a statue of Jesus in his private chapel, alongside statues of Abraham, Orpheus, and Apollonius. That seemed to the pagans to be open-minded and tolerant. But Christians couldn’t accept that kind of acceptance. Because they understood that to say that Jesus was one god along with Zeus and Apollo and company would be in essence to deny Jesus– to deny him as the God they believed him to be.

Adam: Hmm. . . Interesting, but I’m not sure this is the same thing. As I mentioned, I’m an Evangelical. A Baptist, as it happens. I have friends who are devout Methodists, and Presbyterians, and Lutherans. We all believe that we are being taught the Gospel in our churches. But we don’t feel we have to say that the others don’t have the Gospel. I might prefer the style of worship in my own church; my Lutheran friends probably prefer the Lutheran liturgy. We might even think that the teachings of our denominations– about baptism, say, or the ordination of women– are preferable, or more faithful to the Bible, than the teachings of other denominations. But we don’t have to claim that ours is “the only true church.” And we don’t have to deny that salvation can be found– through faith, and God’s grace– in any of these churches.

Even my Catholic friends wouldn’t claim that kind of exclusivity for their church–

Nephi: Are you sure about that?

Adam: Well, . . .no, actually. Maybe the conservative Catholics would. I’m not sure. But they do accept the baptisms of most other Christian faiths. (Not yours, I’m afraid.) And they have doctrines– about degrees of communion, and so forth– that let them extend fellowship to other Christians.

It may be that at one time most Christian denominations claimed to be “the true church.” That’s the way it was when your church was getting started; at least, your founder Joseph Smith surely perceived things that way. So it’s understandable that back then, Mormons would have claimed to be “the true church,” just as other sects did. But by now yours seems to be one of the few churches that still insists on that. At a time when Christians here and around the world need to strive for greater solidarity, this seems unfortunate.

Eve: Amen. And for me, I’d have to say that the “only true church” idea creates a sort of gulf between me and my Christian friends, even though we treat each other respectfully. In my mind anyway.  And it creates a kind of barrier that makes it more difficult to appreciate and draw on the richness of the whole Christian tradition– and especially difficult to share aspects of that Christian tradition with my Mormon brothers and sisters. I can read and learn from Mother Theresa or Julian of Norwich. But start quoting them in Gospel Doctrine class and people would immediately be suspicious.

Nephi: I appreciate what you’re saying. But I think that for some things– some institutions, some ideas– the inclusivity you want is possible. For other things, it just isn’t; it would be contradictory– self-dissolving, in a sense– to embrace that kind of inclusivity. So you can say that your university is wonderful– or your state, . . . or your spouse– without denying that other universities or states or spouses may be equally wonderful. But you can’t say to someone “I accept your claim to be the Queen of England, but I also accept other people’s claim to be the Queen of England.” Because there can only be one Queen of England. So to accept someone else’s claim is to deny the first person’s claim.

Eve: Okay, but why is a church necessarily in the exclusivist class?

Nephi: I don’t think a church is necessarily in that class. It depends on the church. If your church says, “Our central mission is to faithfully teach the Bible,” then there’s no reason why you can’t allow that other churches are doing that as well. As well as or maybe even better than you are.

But the Mormon church– the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints– claims a lot more than that. Our self-understanding is based on a particular narrative. You both know the story. Jesus founded a church. It fell away into apostasy– disappeared from the earth. (Although vestiges and fragments remained– and you know that we always acknowledge lots of truth in other churches). Then Joseph Smith was called to restore the true church in its fullness.

If that’s our self-understanding– and I think it is– then we can’t just say, “Oh, and by the way, all the other Christian churches are true too,” because to say that would be to contradict and dissolve our own story. To cut the ground out from under our feet. And we would thereby lose our reason for being. We might as well just take down our tent and go home. So, like it or not, we pretty much have to say that we’re the only true church in the fullest sense.

And, incidentally, it’s not as if I have some psychological need for superiority– some need to say “My church is better than yours.” As a matter of fact, I’m as uncomfortable with that as you are; I’d be happy enough to join peaceably in full Christian communion, as you put it. But given our self-understanding, our church is basically an all-or-nothing proposition. So I think that this exclusive truth claim is something we’re stuck with, like it or not.

Adam and Eve (in unison): Okay, but here’s the question: is there any reason why this particular story– the apostasy-restoration story– has to be the Mormon story? That this story has to define what you (Adam speaking)/we (Eve speaking) are as a church? Couldn’t there be some other story or self-understanding that would still provide the church with a reason for being, as you put it, but that could be more inclusive?

Nephi: Well, the apostasy-restoration narrative is the story, or at least has been. Could we just replace it with some other story? I’m skeptical. Do you have some proposal?

The conversation continued, but at this point the eavesdropper had to leave to meet his companion for a ministering visit. So he never learned whether Adam, Eve, and Nephi came up with another viable story or not.

29 comments for “The True Church: a conversation

  1. Great post, Steve. My only issue is with the very end. We don’t determine truth, we can only accept or reject it. How is entertaining new “proposals” anything but an exercise in pride?

  2. Good point, Bryan. But one could also argue that changing one’s long-held beliefs in order to be more inclusive is an exercise in humility. One could further argue that the Church’s recent disavowals of previous racist beliefs is a case in point.

  3. As your Nephi suggests, the notion that we are the one “true and living Church” of Christ is a core part of history and our modern doctrine. I don’t think we can can or should change it. But we can recognize that there is enormous good in Christian Churches regardless of denomination (and in other faiths, and in communities not of faith such Humanist communities). We can and should increasingly work together. But as to the core message of truth, I do not see a way to change without losing something essential.

  4. Daniel, certainly we want to avoid losing something essential, but it seems that essentiality is a highly subjective quality. The OP author recently posted some thoughts on this very topic.

    I don’t doubt that jettisoning exclusivity would be a dealbreaker for many members. (See “Nephi” in the OP.) On the other hand, *retaining* exclusivity may be a dealbreaker for some members. (See “Eve” in the OP.)

  5. Daniel, certainly we want to avoid losing something essential, but it seems that essentiality is a highly subjective quality. The OP author recently posted some thoughts on this very topic.

    I don’t doubt that jettisoning exclusivity would be a dealbreaker for many members, e.g. Nephi. On the other hand, *retaining* exclusivity may be a dealbreaker for some members, e.g. Eve.

  6. Exclusivity seems to be pretty well baked into the Church, unless the stories of Heavenly visitations by John the Baptist and Peter, James and John, and Moroni and all the rest are going to start meaning a lot less than they used to.

  7. I really resonate with Adam and Eve’s in unison at the end of the OP. That is a great and highly important question facing the modern LDS Church it seems to me. It would require a grand reconceptulalization of the Restoration. The Community of Christ did this, why can’t we? I’m a member of the LDS Church. It seems to me culturally, anthropologically in the modern world the exclusivist claims are no longer tenable, relevant, and able to reach the majority of people in their need. I see it as religion’s role (the leaders and the whole community) to meet us all in our felt, cultural need and make religion relevant. Otherwise it seems exclusivist “Nephi” truth claims just won’t mean much to more and more and more people. Seems relatively clear that is how it is going, that is the cultural zeitgeist. I’m not religiously and spiritually fed by the exclusivity claims, that is no longer what is special, meaningful, helpful, practice, and uplifting for me. But there is much in Mormonism that is.

  8. Could we drop the claim that in order to receive salvation you must be baptized into this church?

    We could still keep the narrative that the fullness of Christ’s teachings are in this church, but teach that salvation comes by following Christ’s admonition to have faith, be baptized, and follow him. I feel like acknowledging that salvation comes through Christ and not through a particular church would go a long way with other denominations…it would certainly help with a lot of the questions I have.

  9. Concerning the First Vision, Joseph Smith said: “I have been induced to write this history, to disabuse the public mind, and put all inquirers after truth in possession of the facts…I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!…I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right and which I should join… I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'”

    May I profoundly state the obvious: there’s not a lot of wiggle room there.

  10. I think rickpowers is right that, on its face, the quotation he gives from the 1838 First Vision account doesn’t seem to allow for much wiggle room. But the matter is complicated, isn’t it?, because the church’s current attitude toward other Christian churches already departs drastically from the position suggested by that quotation. I would say that the stance commonly taken by church leaders today toward other Christian churches is basically this: “We claim to possess the ‘fullness of the Gospel’ and the authority to perform ordinances like baptism– but we respect you and your efforts; we want to work together with you when possible; we acknowledge the large amount of Gospel truth contained in your teachings.” That’s a far cry from holding that they are “all wrong” and “all corrupt” and that their “creeds” are an “abomination.”

  11. Maybe back in 1820 it was true that ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’, but is it still true today?

    Alternatively, is that description now true of our church?

  12. This is how I attempt to square the circle, on the question of “the true church.” This has worked for me; I realize that it might not be enough, for others.

    The reason I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that, in my opinion, God did things through Joseph Smith that He did not do through through other people and churches. I am aware that some Latter-day Saints on this blog do not accept the “orthodox” interpretations of these things, but I believe that :

    1. The Father and the Son appeared to Joseph;
    2. The Book of Mormon is the word of God;
    3. Joseph received priesthood keys through John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John, and those keys have continued down through the current Church President; and
    4. He provided us with the sealing ordinances of the temple, that prepare the way for everyone who has ever lived to return to God, if he or she chooses.

    While I seek courteous and friendly relations with other faiths, I do NOT want to be part of the “mainstream” Christian tradition. I think Joseph Smith offered a better way—not perfect, not exclusionary, but better:

    I do not feel the need to get bogged down in details about conflicting FV accounts, or how historical the BOM is. To me, such efforts are like peeling the layers of an onion.

    I also do not claim that the Mormon Church is the “one and only true Church,” because God so obviously works His will through other people and churches. I can accept other churches as true, because they contain truth and God works through them. I simply believe that the Mormon Church has MORE truth. Not ALL the truth, just more. That also does not mean that the Mormon Church does not contain non-divine elements. It also does NOT mean that people of different faiths will not be saved.

    So I tell my evangelical friends that this is why I became a Mormon. If I did not think this way, I could well have become a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a non-denominational Christian. Let us agree and make common cause where we can, and be civil when we disagree, and try to understand each other’s perspectives. I like GBH’s approach to people who look at the Church: take the good you already have, and let us add to it. If you choose not to, well, then, let us not judge one another.

    Christ does NOT expect us all to think exactly alike.

    This is not just a question of differing Christian perspectives. I have had many conversations with believing, practicing Muslims: some have been uplifting and productive; others have run up against the brick wall that I have experienced with Evangelicals who insist I am going to hell. My answer is that THEY have no right to limit the love of God.

  13. I’m also one who think that the claim to be the one true church is constitutive of everything we are as a church. If the Bible is sufficient, there’s no need for the Book of Mormon or continuing revelation; if Luther’s theory of priesthood is correct, there’s no need for the restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods; if family ties are dissolved by death, then there is no need for a giant edifice of temple liturgy and ritual as the pinnacle of our ordinances to document their eternal permanence. Without exclusivist claims, none of this would make sense.

    But I also like Kant’s argument. The world is better off with churches trying to demonstrate their truth – giving rise to all the things that Adam says he admires – than with churches who have no such aspiration. Let’s continue trying to outdo each other in good works and righteous living, rather than giving up the struggle as somehow divisive.

  14. The “only true church” thing derives from D&C 1:30, which I read differently than most members. Most start after the 3rd comma and stop at the 4th (“the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”). I, in contrast, continue through the next three commas (“with which I, the Lord, am well pleased”). Read together, that implies that there are other true and living churches–perhaps even true and living churches with which the Lord is pleased. But only one with which he is “well pleased.”

    What does it mean for a church to be “true?” To me, a true church can deliver what it promises. And what does it mean for a church to be “living?” To me, a living church accepts new light and knowledge line upon line and precept upon precept. My definition of “living” would exclude the Amish, various orthodox Jewish sects, and arguably any church that holds to sola scriptura, but include Roman Catholics and most mainline Protestant churches. My definition of “true,” however, is more ambiguous. A lot of Christian churches promise something that to Mormons looks a lot like the Terrestrial Kingdom. Can they deliver that? I believe that many can and will. And that makes them true. Thus, the number of “true and living” churches is distinctly greater than one.

    So why, then, is the Lord only “well-pleased” with one? The usual answer–“We have the only valid authority to perform ordinances”–is unsatisfying because it is tautological. I believe the Lord gave us the authority because he was well-pleased with the church, not the other way around. I think that the conversant named “Adam” inadvertently hit upon the real reason when he stated our position as “in order to achieve exaltation everyone will have to join your church.” To which I would respond “And how would your church have us achieve exaltation?” And the truthful answer would be “It wouldn’t, because we don’t believe that there is such a thing as exaltation–only salvation.” And that is the crux of why this church is the only true and living church with which the Lord is well-pleased–because we are the only church preaching exaltation. Can we deliver it? Well, it has been a glacially slow process. But how can any church deliver it if it doesn’t even preach it?

  15. I can’t see the church without the restored true church claim. But I see that as irrelavent if we are not a moral beacon. Mitt Romney did a lot for the image of the church, but if members continue to defend Trump we show ourselves as having no moral judgement. Especially after he was let off by the senate, and is now getting rid of anyone who did not give an oath of alligance to him, he is becoming more vindictive and less attractive to be associated with.
    I hope we have conference talks about the problem of being associated with trump immorality.

    We also have to stop discriminating against gays and women.

    As a missionary we

    As a missionary we talked about being lead by prophets. Surely a prophet should be leading the people to moral judgement, whatever the consequences. Like Romney.

    A prophet who is a moral beacon in America today would stand out as true.

  16. The church must be the restored gospel of Christ.

    In the present world it must do this by showing moral leadership. Mitt Romney has shown the way. This made an impression of integrity throughout the world. If you say this is the true church but there is no evidence of moral leadership, your claim is hollow.

    I think now that the impeachment is done, we are going to see an enabled and vindictive Trump, attacking any who will not swear alligance to Trump. A prophet of God could speak in the next conference about not supporting/enabling immorality from our leader.

    We could behave like Christs true church and denounce immorality.

    Of course we should get our house in order and stop discriminating against gays and women first.

  17. Hi, Geoff -Aus,

    With the rains in Australia, I hope some normalcy and routine has returned, and your daughter is safe.

  18. Steven Smith: I’d be interested in a Venn Diagram. So we have the large circle of all truth and inside that circle is the truth contained in the LDS church. The question I have is about the circles of the other faiths inside the general truth circle. Do they intersect with the LDS circle in some ways or must their entire truths (actual truths) be contained completely within the LDS circle? Meaning, that all religious/Gospel/spiritual known truth (however we define this truth) on earth is contained within the LDS circle or can there exist, however small, truths that the LDS church does not have or acknowledge yet exist on the earth in other faiths or belief systems?

  19. President Nelson has said that April, 2020 will be like no other conference, with emphasis on the First Vision and other events that are “the very foundations”. It will be interesting to see what transpires and in what ways it relates to the discussion taking place here. In some ways Steven’s and Chad’s topics the last two weeks have laid open some topics that might be examined and possibly clarified for 21st Century Saints (wow, that almost sounds sci fi). Thanks, you two.

    As Pres. Russell M. Nelson’s commented last year: “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you’re just seeing the beginning. . . Wait till next year, and then the next year. Eat your vitamin pills. Get some rest. It’s going to be exciting.”

  20. I don’t think we can argue that Joseph Smith didn’t interpret the inspiration / revelation he received from God in the first vision (1838 account) and in D&C 1:30 to be very exclusionary. But, he was creating a new organization that had to be differentiated to be successful, so I don’t think he was thinking about the words choices for any ecumenical advantage. I agree with SDS, Last Lemming, Daniel Ortner and others’ posts above. In perspective: We are working to prepare the earth for Christ’s return which will usher in the Millennium where all those of at least a terrestrial nature (the good of the world) will remain. Therefore, the vast majority of people are not being prepared by the LDS Church, but by all good churches and faith traditions that help mankind rise above a telestial state. Granted, the LDS Church has the keys for needed ordinances, particularly for exaltation, is preparing temples for some of the necessary millennial work and are per-capita doing much in advancing the cause, but we as a people should be more grateful to and openly join arms with all faith traditions acknowledging their significant effort and accomplishments in lifting so many of the world (100’s of times more than we do as LDS), in our common cause to prepare the earth and its people for Christ’s coming.

  21. I’ve expressed before that I feel like the apostasy-restoration narrative (and the claims of exclusivity that comes with it) are an important part of our Church’s foundation. To go back on that would undermine a lot of our purposes for existing. That being said, I do feel that there are things in our beliefs that can be emphasized that would lead to us being more respectful of other people’s religions and learning from them.

    One is the idea B. H. Roberts suggested in his interpretation of the Church of the Lamb of God in Nephi’s vision–that God’s kingdom includes the Church, but that all people who are working for good and serving Him are also part of a larger church or kingdom of God.

    Another is the 1978 First Presidency statement of God’s love for all his children, which states that: “The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals.” It still holds, however, that “We also declare that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored to His Church in our day, provides the only way to a mortal life of happiness and a fullness of joy forever. For those who have not received this gospel, the opportunity will come to them in the life hereafter if not in this life.” See

    A third is to be aware that while we seek to include all truths in our beliefs as a Church (at least that’s what Joseph Smith and Brigham Young indicated), we haven’t got there yet and we should keep seeking. I think PoNyman touched on this with his Venn diagram thought. There are riches to be found in studying how other religions understand God’s will that help deepen and broaden our perspectives of how God is at work in the world.

    A fourth is to think about exaltation. I understand it to be more of a condition where you’ve become like God in your attributes than simply passing a bar or a checklist of ordinances (see for an example of a general authority talking about it this way). If that’s the case, then any church or philosophy that facilitates that process can be understood as helping God’s plan for His children. For some reason or another, the ordinances are necessary along the way to get there, which is why the restored Church and priesthood authority are still necessary, but other churches do a lot of work along that path towards the final goal.

    I’m sure there are more ways to understand other religions (and the apostasy) in ways that sill hold up our claims but opens up greater opportunities to respect and love our brothers and sisters of different faiths through our beliefs.

  22. In his talk Two Great Commandments, October 2019, El Oaks said “After suffering and repenting for violations of the laws we have been taught, we are all destined for a kingdom of glory.” This seems to lay groundwork for a discussion that most of God’s children will receive some type of salvation. I believe that the only way to receive the full and complete benefits of the Atonement is thru baptism with correct authority and making and keeping other priesthood covenants. I think the Church’s exclusivity claims are only for people who want to receive the fulness of God’s blessings. I believe that our friends of other faiths will get exactly what they are hoping for, looking for, and expecting. They will get an eternity to worship Christ in a state of happiness and glory without pain, sorrow, sickness or death. They will be single, but part of God’s great family.

  23. In Moroni 7:16 Mormon instructs: For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

    So I believe other churches that teach Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and teach people to keep His commandments are of God. And I prefer President Hinckley’s invitation to bring your truth and see if we can add to it.

  24. Fun discussion. Thanks for writing this up. Lots of good food for thought. I’ll be mulling over the following for a while: Does the claim to be the true and living church necessarily imply “My church is better than yours”? Could the true and living church have things to learn from non-true or non-living churches? Could the true and living church actually be worse than a non-true or non-living church?

  25. Even if there is truth in a certain principle, is it always necessary to loudly proclaim that principle in all settings? Perhaps different principles can be shared in different settings, tempered with measures of long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, and so forth?

  26. Ji, Thanks for your concerns. The daughter is safely home and back at work. The rain is extreme like the fires, and we are now having flooding. In our area there are 4 chapels, this Sunday 2 of them flooded, the rain was so extreme.

    There being 3 degrees of glory most of the world will be in one. I believe for there to be justice there has to be movement between them.
    I also believe that the reason we are here is to learn to love our fellows as God does. But good members have for years believed they were here to learn obedience. I believe I can love and have no more disposition to do evil. But I don’t see the step from obedience to love. In fact you can discriminate obediently, and do all sorts of evil things obediently, but whether you can love obediently? And its not just about loving but becoming a person who is loving.
    So there must be a reeducation time for those who faithfully spent their lives striving to become the wrong thing, whether they were good mormons or catholics or whatever.
    I am just not sure how you repent if you obediently spent your life defending/advocating discrimination like racism, sexism, or homophobia, as most of us do unquestiongly. Because these are not just lack of love but active opposite of love.
    And then from my wifes point of view. She does an incredible amount of service/love, but says if exaltation involves being eternally pregnant that will not be glorious, and I agree.
    So there must be movement/progress between degrees of glory, and there must be a better way of producing spirits, which will help women to enjoy exaltation, and also mean gay couples can do exaltation just as well.

  27. Geoff-auss, I totally agree with your insights. I, like your wife, also dont think we will eternally be pregnant as women. I would not be surprised that Heavenly Mother is the master creator, who CREATES spirits from refined eternal matter, just like her heavenly husband created the earth and its inhabitants from dirt. Lately I am happy to not know anything for sure anymore (some call it faithcrisis) because it leaves me in a place of love and wonder. Anything is possible, any scenario is valid because we ALL dont know for sure how things will play out. All I know is that love is the key. It has and always be. If my leaders start focussing on something else to be more important and sit on top of many billions of dollars that could be spent to do so much good in this world, I dont need to follow their lead. I move in the direction the spirit leads me towards. Even if that is to leave the organisation called church.
    And I will be just fine.

  28. The following article on this topic may be helpful for people to read: Dallin H. Oaks, “The Only True and Living Church,” New Era, August 2011.

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