1. When I joined the church I have noticed that I always hear members of our church when bearing their testimonies saying “I know this to be the ONLY TRUE church in the face of the earth”. Is this statement true and does it mean that other churches are “false”?2. A coleague of mine wanted so badly to join the church and I organised missionaries in my area to visit her but because she was single, young and staying alone in a flat, they said they could not go and teach her as it is not advised by the church. I felt that she missed out as she was so much interested in learning and joining.

Anonymous from East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa,



3 Responses to “1. When I joined the church I have noticed that I always hea…”


El Santo Gringo
February 20, 2012

Hi friend. Excellent question, one I’ve been meaning to answer for some time. When members of the LDS Church say that the church is true, they don’t mean that other churches are entirely false, and they don’t mean that Mormons know everything there is to know about God. Consider these quotes:

“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.” – First-Presidency message, 1978.

“I say this to [people of other faiths]: you develop all the good you can. We have no animosity toward any other church. We do not oppose other churches. We never speak negatively of other churches. We say to people: you bring all the good that you have, and let us see if we can add to it.” – President Gordon B. Hinckley

“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” – ninth Article of Faith

When Mormons say the church is true, they mean that the church has the same divine authority (“priesthood”) that the church in Christ’s time had. They mean that the modern Church of Jesus Christ has the same access to God through personal, prophetic, and apostolic revelations that was had in Christ’s ancient church. Other churches teach many true principles; it is wrong to deny or minimize the truths that others have. But in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are fortunate to have access to the “fullness” of Christ’s ancient gospel and authority.

Regarding teaching your friend, I think your missionaries may be confused. It is true that mission rules encourage missionaries to avoid being alone with single women whenever possible, but if you have someone who wishes to learn about the gospel, she must be taught! Perhaps your friend could be taught in a member’s home or in the chapel itself. Be sure to pursue this with the missionaries. Feel free to get the bishop involved if necessary. Everyone, including your friend, should have the opportunity to hear the gospel message.

Best of luck to you, sister.

Jeff
February 20, 2012

Anon, thanks for asking. These are both great questions.

First of all, you mention people’s testimonies that the Church of Jesus Christ is “the only true Church.” Now, that doesn’t mean that all other churches are bad; far from it. There is good in every church, and every church helps people come closer to Christ in one way or another. However, there is only one Church on Earth that not only embraces *all* truth, but has the means and authority by which to receive it: The Church of Jesus Christ (the one He, Himself, personally heads) of Latter-day Saints (the faithful members of the Church throughout the world).

Secondly, you mention your friend’s experience with the missionaries. What you’re referring to is a Church-wide rule: that missionaries may not teach single members of the opposite sex, unless accompanied by a local Church member of the same sex as the missionaries. While there is nothing doctrinal about this rule, per se, it’s just common sense: the last thing the missionaries need is to be accused of impropriety, or even to actually engage therein. By having another Church member there to chaperone, they can keep both themselves and those they teach safe from even the appearance of evil.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous
February 19, 2012

To protect the missionaries, your friend can meet them in a public place not in her apartment. I’m sure The Church has facilities (buildings) that might help provide acomidations, or a public park or shopping center. Not a real problem if your friend can be flexable. Or just send the sister missionaries over.

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