A Brief Introduction: LDS Curious Post 1

Intro - LDS Curious

This is the place to be if you are curious about the Restoration of the Gospel by Joseph Smith and/or have a desire to become more acquainted with what we believe for whatever reason, and you have read the General Introduction. This is a continuation of the General Introduction for those described.

I have used the term "the world" fairly loosely in the general Introduction and I feel the need to better define it. There is a story in the Book of Mormon about a dream. In this dream was a path leading to a tree. Hanging from the tree was delicious fruit--the most delicious above all others.

Along the path was an iron rod serving as a railing to keep followers of the path from falling into the waters of a filthy river running alongside the path. On the far side of the river from the path stood a large and spacious building. Many people hung out the doors and windows overlooking the path scoffing and ridiculing those walking the path.

Perhaps you can already see where this is going. The dream is interpreted to mean the following: The path is that path God has prescribed for us to walk and which provides the maximum amount of happiness and joy throughout life.

The tree and the fruit thereon is the love of God. The rod of iron is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which leads to the tree. The river of filthy water represents the sinful nature of the world and all those temptations constantly luring us away from goodness and true happiness.

The building is a further representation of the world and its organizations filled with people who scoff at those trying to walk the path of goodness. When I use the term "the world" I am referring to the filth of the river, the violence, brutality, deceit, and perversion it contains, and the ridicule of the people for those who walk the path.

Core Issues

Thereis no doubt that many who are not believers in the Restoration feel as ill about the state of the world as do Latter-day Saints. We are not alone in our disgust and we are glad not to be alone. But merely recognizing the problem does not produce a solution.

We have two issues to discuss to come to that end. They are the same two issues whether one is a Mormon, Historical Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, or any flavor over, under, sideways, or in between.

They are the core issues from which all other issues spring forth. Simply stated they are: 1)Where we came from; why we're here; and where we're going, if anywhere, after our mortal bodies die, and 2)Who was this Christ fellow, anyway? And why not Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, or for that matter, Brian?

By succinctly answering these questions, I hope to provide a view into Latter-day Saint doctrine sufficient to answer the curious but, more importantly, pique interest from seekers who have not yet found such answers elsewhere. This treatese will not replace our more formal missionary efforts and if you become more interested in the Church, you should contact our missionaries to hear more. (See www.mormon.org)

If you're here for an argument or to find ammunition to use against us, I can only offer my sincere hope that you would convince yourself of more fruitful endeavors. It is interesting to me that in some churches you'll actually find pamphlets preaching against the LDS Church and even from some pulpets. Joseph Smith responded better than I ever could: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." (11th Article of Faith) Enough said.

I'm going to answer all these questions in a more conversational tone rather than the format of a well-footnoted doctrinal theses. I think, for our purposes, it reads better. If you want all the related scripture, call the missionaries. Or gather a Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and The Doctrine and Covenants together and look it all up. Yes, Latter-day Saints do believe and use the Bible.

We mostly prefer the King James Version but others sometimes offer valuable insight. Some say it's more difficult than some of the more recent interpretations but I find that the more you read, and ask for the Spirit to be with you while you read, the easier and more beautiful it becomes. I love reading and being inspired by the great truths in the Bible. I could easily digress to that subject.

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