The Church of Jesus Christ claims to be the Restored Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and the “only true and living church on the face of the whole earth.” (D&C 1:30)
On the other hand, there are many in the world who would claim that the LDS Church is a false religion and because of our differing beliefs we are all destined for the fiery pit of hell. Which, of course, I do not accept.
But, it has always gotten me wondering, what if the Church wasn’t true.
What if, as some have claimed, the Prophet Joseph Smith did not have the First Vision and his teachings were not correct. What would that mean? In October Conference of 2002, President Hinckley, speaking of the First Vision said “It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did, then it is the most important and wonderful work under the heavens.”
Would it all be for nothing? Now granted, this is a hypothetical for me. I am a true believer and have a strong testimony of the Gospel and the Church. But, let’s look at the possibility.
What is the worst case scenario?
- I would have put more time into the Church than I really need to. After all, I have done the simple thing that most Christians ascribed to as “being saved.” I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and confessed my sins. So, I am covered there from a salvation perspective.
- I might have spent more money on tithing and offerings then I needed to. However, that money went to helping people, building chapels, giving aid to those in need. Not to enrich a minister and allow him to drive a Rolls and live in a big house.
- I might have spent too much time going to the Temple. But, on the other hand, I used the time to think about my connectedness with my past ancestors and appreciated their sacrifices. I spent considerable amount of time pondering the eternities and things about Heavenly Father and Jesus. I gave service to those who could not do for themselves. Maybe, I didn’t need to, but I was willing.
- Maybe, some of my concepts about Heavenly Father and Jesus are wrong. But, the bottom line is I sincerely worshiped them as best I understood. And since so many churches teach some many different things, will God condemn all of us who may not get it exactly right, but are sincere? I know that some hard core Christians would say yes. But, I would still believe in a merciful and just God. did I worship a “different Jesus?” I never understood that argument. Besides, I never could have gotten into the standard Christian concept of the Trinity. As far as I am concerned, it is not scriptural and makes no sense. I would have just stayed Jewish.
- Maybe, I missed out on a number of activities I could have done on Sunday, but didn’t. Yea, that’s probably true. But I never really regretted it. It’s nice to try to leave the world behind and think about other things. And be with family. Besides, we probably saved money not shopping on Sunday. Nothing has ever been so needed that we had to shop. Except maybe to buy gas to go to Church meetings….
- And finally, what about all those hours of service I rendered to others? Visiting them, working at various service projects at Church and in the community. Rushing to people’s aid whenever I could. Now, how can that be bad? It was the teachings of the Church that motivated me along with my love and admiration of the Savior. In any religion, this is looked upon as a worthwhile activity. So I doubt that I wasted me time in doing all of that. I have been enriched enormously for having participated in that service. I feel I always benefited more than those I helped.
So, while I have a strong testimony that the LDS Church is the Lord’s Church and that I am a firm believer, I do not consider that it would have been a waste of my time being a member if it wasn’t true. Not that I wouldn’t want an extra day a week and a 10% raise. It has all been worth it.
Tomorrow, June 6th is the 26th anniversary of my Baptism.