Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mormonism is Uniquely Inclusive

If you ask many Protestants whether or not Buddhists and Muslims and Jews can be saved and dwell with God, the vast majority will say, "No." On the other hand, if you ask that same question to nearly all Mormons, they will say, "Yes," - and they will say it about evangelicals, as well, who are rabidly condemning them (as Mormons) to Hell. The only other "major" Christian denomination that is as inclusive as Mormonism perhaps is the Unitarian Universalists. The fact that most Protestants who oppose the Mormon Church do so partially because they think WE teach that only Mormons will be saved (as opposed to their own beliefs that only Christians will be saved) simply highlights how people can take any teaching and twist it beyond recognition.

Mormonism can be interpreted to be as exclusionary as one wants to make it - and as inclusive as someone else wants to make it. That is true of those outside the Church, but it also is as true of those inside it. Hence, the ability of someone like Elder Corbridge to give a talk a couple of years ago that is way too exclusionary for my liking - and the ability of someone like Elder Wirthlin to address the same general topic in a way that resonates deep in my soul. Personally, I like the fact that such diversity is available in the Church, even as I cringe slightly when I hear and read the words of those whose phraseology I question.


Richard Alger said...

I concur.

Unknown said...

I don't think we emphasize this particular belief enough; too often, the teaching emphasized is that it is only by going through our particular rituals, ceremonies, and covenants that we can be saved.

I think if we placed more emphasis on acceptance, patience, trust, and inclusivity, this wouldn't be misunderstood nearly as much as it currently is.

Papa D said...

Dominic, in the wise words of Rich Alger, "I concur."

Anonymous said...

Is mormonism inclusive?All I have heard from the pulpit over the years would suggest otherwise,and I've always felt pretty lonely in suggesting otherwise.

My understanding is that participation in sacred ordinances,and living the associated covenants,is what qualifies us for eternal life.This particular teaching causes me a great deal of personal grief,because of my own family situation.Please,do enlighten me.

Papa D said...

Anonymous, honestly, it depends on how the message is presented. As I said in the post, it can be as inclusive or exclusive as individuals make it.

To say it differently, members can make it very exclusive if that is how they focus on it, but the theology itself (what I call "pure Mormonism") allows every single person who has been born a chance at both salvation and exaltation - and it doesn't get any more inclusive than that.

Finally, not letting us judge and leaving it in the hands of God solidifies it in my mind.