Reasons I Love The Church of Jesus Christ #1: It’s True

Reasons I Love The Church of Jesus Christ #1: It’s True October 19, 2018

Every Friday, I plan to publish a post about one reason I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

By design, these posts won’t focus on the miraculous claims the Church makes. They will focus on the everyday ways the Church benefits me and encourages me to live a meaningful life.

I hope to focus on the community, health, and other practical benefits of the Church.

But before I do that, I want to start with the foundation. I believe it. I believe all of it.

Abstract first vision painting
The First Vision, J. Leo Fairbanks

If you ask me what I think happened to Joseph Smith in the grove near his home in the Spring of 1820, I believe that God appeared to him and told him to listen to Jesus. And that Jesus then told him not to join any Church.

It is a wild belief, so far outside ordinary experience, that I would expect any rational listener to respond with slack-jawed confusion.

“You mean you believe it as a metaphor?” No

“You mean you believe not that it happened, but that it teaches true principles?” No

“You mean you believe it’s a good story, that’s had positive effects?” No

Bright abstract painting of the first vision
Honoring Joseph Smith’s First Vision, Richard W. Linford

I believe it happened. I believe in real gold plates, and real angels, and real miracles, and real prophets.

I believe life is more than what you can measure.

In the midst of America’s Second Great Awakening, Divinity touched the messy mundane humanity of Joseph Smith to teach the world how to be redeemed. And I love this because it teaches me through both example and word that I can be redeemed.

If God can turn a troublemaker into a prophet, He can turn me into a saint.

And if I believe the impossible happened in that forest, then I have to be open to the impossible happening to me and everyone around me every day.

Believing it’s true keeps me curious, hopeful, awed, focused, and grounded.

I love the Church of Jesus Christ for twelve-hundred reasons. I also believe it’s true.

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • noel

    Are you familiar with the problems of the Book of Abraham?

  • Kiwi57

    Noel, are you able to make a coherent argument as to how the perceived problems of the BofA have any relevance to the First Vision?

  • noel

    it seems someone I have blocked for being rude is trying to solve any problems u might have. Have a look at this https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/Research_Archives/Translation%20and%20Historicity%20of%20the%20Book%20of%20Abraham%20final-2.pdf and of course check anything Dr Gee has written.He is in the Religious Education Department at BYU

  • noel

    Many people have left the LDS church over the Book of Abraham question. Often they attempt to find solutions at Fair Mormon and makes things worse.. Check this site out https://book-of-abraham-facsimile-no-3.my-free.website/ Find a book on Egyptology in your local library. You will find Smith’s interpretations are way off. The Egyptian goddess Maat is bringing the deased a nam called Hor (Smith calles him a waiter) and the black person a slave (which is actually the Egyptian god Anubis before the person on the throne which is Osirus, (Osiris is the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld and Judge of the Dead, brother-husband to Isis, and one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt. The name `Osiris’ is the Latinized form of the Egyptian Usir which is interpreted as ‘powerful’ or ‘mighty’) https://www.google.com.au/search?q=isis+goddess&rlz=1C1AVFC_enAU787AU787&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjio4Ws95PeAhUTgUsFHck0BPMQ_AUIDigB&biw=1366&bih=657#imgrc=EsT5ETPJi_5S4M:

  • Kiwi57

    None of which has anything at all to do with the topic at hand, does it?

  • Kiwi57

    You blocked someone for being rude? Isn’t that a little bit ironic?

  • noel

    Mormon missionaries interrupt people in malls, homes and libraries basically telling eventually that the pastors in their church have no authority to baptize and heal. They argue that the true church was lost with an apostasy. They then tell you that the true church was restored in the 1800s by Joseph Smith.All Smith’s claims can be refuted, thousands leave after examining the true origins of the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham. You can find their testimonies in Mormonstories. Should I listen to the missionaries and waste my time and money in something that could possibly be false? Some old egyptian called Hor would have been amazed at what some future religion made of his simple funerary documents. And poor old Anubis had his snout chopped off.https://book-of-abraham-facsimile-no-3.my-free.website/

  • Kiwi57

    Another drive-by stream-of-consciousness offering from Noel. Have you ever thought about trying to write something relevant to the topic at hand?

    You know perfectly well that the anti-Mormon propaganda you spout has been thoroughly refuted. Were you ever going to tell anyone that?

  • Kiwi57

    Noel declares that Latter-day Saints who defend the truth claims of restored Christianity are deceivers when they assert that the Book of Abraham is not a scholarly translation of Joseph Smith papyri I, XI and X. He then triumphantly refutes them by flourishing the opinions of non-Mormon scholars who deny that the Book of Abraham is a scholarly translation of Joseph Smith papyri I, XI and X!

  • Delta 14

    Hi Christopher… Is the belief that “the MORMON church is 100% true” a rational belief? Think about it… In order to believe this, you would also have to believe that it is Christ’s only true church… then the church would have to be perfect and that the Prophet and/or Apostles are infallible. The problem with this belief is that only one little falsehood in church teachings proves that the whole church isn’t true. The problem is that there are so many false teachings and beliefs that no rational person would conclude that the church is 100% true.

    It would be rational for you to state that you believe that the church is “good” and that there are “some truths” that are wonderful and that you believe. It would also be rational and acceptable to state that “You hope the church is true and that hope gives you faith that the church is true”. However, the statement that “I testify that the church is true” is a violation of the 9th commandment “thou shalt not bear a false witness…”. Proverbs 6:16-19 goes on to say that one of the things that Lord hates is “a false witness who breathes out lies”.

    Testifying that the church is true implies that you have a sure knowledge… in other words, you know for a fact that it is true. In all due respect, only a fraud or a moral idiot would make such a statement. I can respect someone who says that they hope the church is true or that they have faith in the church. God doesn’t require you to believe anything that you don’t know for a fact is true. However, you can hope for something that you don’t know for a fact is true if it is good and if you believe that it would please God. This type of faith is good, but it is also spoiled when people are fraudulent about it. Don’t be a fraud!

  • Delta 14

    Kiwi57 is a cult troll. He has never adequately refuted any of the Mormon problems that exist. He pretends to be an expert but in reality he is a clown.

  • rthomastn

    No Kiwi57, the so-called “anti-Mormon propaganda” has been APOLOGETICALLY refuted by FAIR and other Mormon, oops I mean The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, apologists. There is a huge difference. And no, the apologetic refutations stink, IMHO.

  • rthomastn

    Wow, where do I start? The “First Vision”, which Gordon Hinckley says the Mormon religion stands on or falls on, yet for some strange reason, JS never even mentions it to ANYONE for at least 12 years after it supposedly happened. Not his family, not his friends, not even the “preachers” he declares he spoke to about it in his 1838 version!! No where is found in the Palmyra region of the 1820’s ANYTHING like JS said happened to him. He says he was reviled and persecuted for saying that he had this “vision” yet not a single mention of it is found in any newspaper of the day??? His family never heard of this vision for over 12 years??? The evidence shows that he only produced this story AFTER there is ample evidence of an uprising of apostacy in the Kirtland area of Saints! Some members were claiming divine revelation that superceded JS and so he suddenly comes up with this First Vision account! He had to find a way to trump the apostates’ claims! That doesn’t make you wonder why?? If your religion depends on the truth of this “vision”, why is it not the cornerstone of the Church from DAY ONE???? Sorry, the First Vision has plenty of problems…

  • MoreMan

    Chris….having been a member of the “Mormon” Church for over 60 years before I found the truth and left it, I can understand how you too have absorbed the “brain-washing” without question as so many of us did. For starters, do you realize there are over 9 different versions of the “First Version”. It’s highly unlikely that any of them actually happened. If you really do love “The Church” as you say you do, then love it for the good things it might be providing in your life….no smoking, no caffeine, no premarital sex, or any other quality you feel enhances your life. But please, don’t love it just because….. “I believe it happened. I believe in real gold plates, and real angels, and real miracles, and real prophets.” There is simply too much fraud, lies, and deceit in Mormonism for you to be “testifying” of its truthfulness. You are testifying that “the world is flat” because “the brethren” told you so and you simply haven’t learned or accepted the fact that it is actually “round”. But testifying that it is “flat” will NEVER make it “round.”

  • Kiwi57

    Yes, when believing Latter-day Saint scholars defend the truth claims of the Church of Jesus Christ, they are doing “apologetics.” The Greek word “apologia” simply means “defence.” So a PhD candidate defending her dissertation in front of her committee is an “apologist” for that dissertation. And Noel is an “apologist” for his own world view. And you are an “apologist” for your own kind of uninformed anti-Mormon bigotry.

    The assumption that “apologetic” is some kind of pejorative is an advertisement of ignorance.

  • Kiwi57

    You have badly garbled your so-called “problems,” and you have failed entirely to address the question you purport to be answering.

    And the record is not nearly as bare as you suppose.

    Sorry.

  • Kiwi57

    D14: “In order to believe this, you would also have to believe that it is Christ’s only true church… then the church would have to be perfect and that the Prophet and/or Apostles are infallible.”

    No. He doesn’t have to believe that at all, because that doesn’t follow from the premise.

    D14: “The problem with this belief is that only one little falsehood in church teachings proves that the whole church isn’t true.”

    Indeed, that is the intent of the straw man argument.

    However, it fails.

    D14: “However, the statement that ‘I testify that the church is true’ is a violation of the 9th commandment ‘thou shalt not bear a false witness…’.”

    No. It is not.

    Furthermore, you know that it is not, because of the way you so dishonestly trimmed your quote. The actual commandment is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

    It appears to be you who is violating that commandment.

    Your host, whose mind you are so rudely and arrogantly presuming to read, claims simply to believe that the Church is true.

    Why do you feel a need to “correct” him? Why does that threaten your world view?

  • Delta 14

    Kiwi57… Just to confirm your argument… In Point 1 your argument is that the Mormon church IS NOT Christ’s only true church, either/or that the church ISN’T perfect, either/or the prophet/apostles AREN’T infallible? Therefore we agree completely but I wonder how Christopher feels about it?

    In Point 2 regarding “thou shalt not bear false witness”. We have had this argument before and you exposed your immoral under-belly the last time we had this conversation. Your argument that “not bearing false witness” isn’t a violation of the commandment as long as your neighbor isn’t involved is laughable. In fact, I am rolling on the floor with laughter. Your argument fails because you don’t know whether a neighbor read this or not. False testimonies born at fast and testimony meetings are among neighbors. Almost every time a testimony is given you can assume that it is done among neighbors most of the time. While you claim that I purposefully trimmed my quote, also note that I provided a quote from Proverbs that doesn’t include the “against thy neighbor” specificity. It is widely taught among scholars of all religions that the specificity of “against thy neighbor” was not intended to exclude others. In other words… that part of the commandment is not relevant to our conversation and was left out for brevity. Kiwi57 – you will go to any lengths to worm your way out of a moral quandary. I wonder if Christopher believes that its ok to bear a false witness if your neighbor isn’t involved? You should ask him.

    Regarding Point 3 – Christopher can believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and the Mormon church for all I care. However, I think that what you are doing isn’t fair to Christopher who seemingly wants not engage with other perspectives by sharing on this blog. I think Christopher can handle it by himself and he doesn’t need you or your apologetics. I seriously doubt that Christopher would agree with your apologetics anyway. Maybe you should ask him before commenting.

    Personally I believe that Kiwi57’s apologetics have done more harm to the Mormon church than any doubter could ever do on this blog. My question to Kiwi57 – How many people have you run out of the church with your sociopathetic apologetics?

  • Delta 14

    Kiwi57 – You are such an idiot. Are we now to believe that Joseph Smith was a “Scholar” and qualified to translate ancient language? Maybe Joseph Smith has scholarly credentials that none of us know about but the enlightened Kiwi57. The truth is that Joseph Smith has zero scholarly credentials. That’s all we need to know. If I was still LDS I would be leaving the church so fast – there has never been a more obvious fraud than Kiwi57.

    It is more likely that the Book of Abraham was revealed to Joseph Smith through his peep stone by a nefarious spiritual entity – likely a corrupt watcher angel or Nephi-lim. Google it!

  • Delta 14

    Let’s start with the fact that Joseph Smith has zero credentials and no education in ancient language. Can anyone tell me if JS graduated from Kindergarten? Hmmmm!

  • Kiwi57

    D14: “Kiwi57… Just to confirm your argument… In Point 1 your argument is that the Mormon church IS NOT Christ’s only true church, either/or that the church ISN’T perfect, either/or the prophet/apostles AREN’T infallible? Therefore we agree completely but I wonder how Christopher feels about it?”

    Wrong.

    But thanks for playing.

    Your assumptions don’t follow from the premise. The Church doesn’t have to be entirely free from error in order to be Christ’s true Church. That’s a straw man argument that has no validity.

    You clearly missed the point about bearing false witness. The fact is that you made an accusation that you have no good faith basis to believe is true; ergo, you bore false witness against Christopher, who by the scriptural definition, is your neighbour.

    D14: “Personally I believe that Kiwi57’s apologetics have done more harm to the Mormon church than any doubter could ever do on this blog. My question to Kiwi57 – How many people have you run out of the church with your sociopathetic apologetics?”

    Could you be any more transparently manipulative if you tried?

  • Kiwi57

    D14: “Kiwi57 – You are such an idiot.”

    At last you speak on a topic on which you are informed.

    D14: “Are we now to believe that Joseph Smith was a ‘Scholar’ and qualified to translate ancient language?”

    No. And nothing I wrote could lead any reasonable person to even suspect that I was saying anything like that.

    D14: “It is more likely that the Book of Abraham was revealed to Joseph Smith through his peep stone by a nefarious spiritual entity – likely a corrupt watcher angel or Nephi-lim. Google it!”

    You were born in the wrong century, D14. You should have been a medieval witch-finder.

  • Kiwi57

    Can anyone tell me if D14 has graduated from his mother’s basement?

  • Delta 14

    Kiwi57… You are finally making me laugh instead of making me want to beat my own head in. Speaking of witches, where is the only place I know that you can aquire a peep/seer stone? You guessed it… a supply house for witches and warlocks. Or the upper room of the SLC temple. #RunAwayLDS

  • Delta 14

    Kiwi57 – So now your argument is that the Mormon church doesn’t have to be ALL true to be Christs true church. So the church can be false and still be true. WOW… where did you say you got your Ph.D? I wonder how Christopher and the GA’s would feel about that?

    Your reading comprehension is slipping Kiwi57. You will notice that I purposefully did not accuse Christopher of bearing false witness nor did I say that he “testified” that the church was true. I started with a proposition about bearing false witness and then encouraged him and all “don’t be a fraud” at the end. The truth is that I liked the fact the Christopher just said he believed without the irrational “testify” thread. So Christopher did good… you on the other hand failed as always!

    I know a great remedial reading tutor that can help you with your reading comprehension. She really helped my 4th grade grandson turn it around last year! You still haven’t disclosed to us all how many people have left the church because of your trolling these threads? Only a Sociopath would comment on every thread like you do and your comments don’t reflect well on the church! I’m surprised your stake president hasn’t taken you aside and asked you to cool it!

  • Delta 14

    About 20 years ago my kids dressed up as Mormon missionaries for Halloween. It scared the *!#? out of everyone. People still talk about it. “Remember the year your kids dressed up as Mormon missionaries for Halloween?”. or “that was the year your kids dressed up as Mormon missionaries for Halloween”. Enough already.

  • Kiwi57

    Laugh; beat your head in; I don’t mind either way, just so long as it distracts you from organising your fellow fanatics into a torches-and-pitchforks mob of the kind that “Chrisjuns” like yourself are wont to form, in the face of religious views you can’t tolerate.

    At least Loftes Tryk was original.

  • Kiwi57

    D14: “Kiwi57 – So now your argument is that the Mormon church doesn’t have to be ALL true to be Christs true church.”

    Here’s what we’re going to do: I’ll tell you what my argument is, and you will restrain your desperate need to control both sides of the debate.

    Again: my argument is that the Church doesn’t have to be entirely free from error in order to be Christ’s true Church. That’s a straw man argument that has no validity.

    I see you’ve edited your original comment to include a reference to Proverbs 6. You should definitely read that passage, since you are mentioned in it at least four times.

    D14: “You still haven’t disclosed to us all how many people have left the church because of your trolling these threads?”

    See, you’re bearing false witness again. I’m not trolling here; you obviously are. And the answer, of course, is none.

    Does the thought that I might be more effective at turning people away from the Church of Jesus Christ make you jealous? It needn’t; I don’t do that, and neither – despite your worst efforts – do you.

    I was in Salt Lake City for Conference. I’ll tell you what I told one of the street screechers: thank you for proving Joseph Smith to be a true prophet.

  • Delta 14

    Trolling: “make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.” You are the only person that I can see who comments on every single thread with deliberately offensive and provocative comments. BTW… the Proverbs quote in the original post was not “added” to the original – it was always there.

    Furthermore, your entire defense is nothing but red herrings, ad hominem attacks, and strawman yourself. You can’t even address the simple issues without losing your cool! How does anyone have a rational conversation with a paranoid sociopath? You have commented on and insulted every person in this blog with ad hominem, red herrings, and strawmen throughout. I can’t help it if the answers uncover the absurdity of your own logic. BTW, I suggest that you refrain from attaching “strawman” labels to your own positions.

    I am just trying to understand your argument by restating your position and taking it to the next logical step to demonstrate the absurdity of it. That is not a strawman by the way and it is not controlling both sides of the argument either. I suggest you start thinking a little deeper. Instead of name calling maybe you could take the thread to the next logical step – if you have one to share. Although I doubt you are capable of it.

    I have one question for you Kiwi57… Is there any crime that JS could have committed that would have stripped him of his prophetic mantle?

  • Kiwi57

    D14: “How does anyone have a rational conversation with a paranoid sociopath?”

    You mean – like someone who rants about “cults” and “nephilim?”

    D14: “I have one question for you Kiwi57… Is there any crime that JS could have committed that would have stripped him of his prophetic mantle?”

    There is no valid argument to be made from hypotheticals.

    I have a question for you, D14: Is there any accusation that could be made against Joseph that would be too preposterous for you to believe?

  • Delta 14

    You are killing me Kiwi57. First you tell me that “there is no valid argument to be made from hypotheticals… then you ask me a hypothetical. Your genius is astonishing!

    I will entertain your question though. What accusations were you thinking about? It would help if you could list them and we could address them one by one?