Friday, April 1, 2011

Articles of Faith #11

"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"

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe in religious freedom.  We claim that right for ourselves and we don't try to stop anyone from exercising that right for themselves.  There are millions of different religious beliefs and no matter the faith, we, as a church, are accepting.  All are free to "worship how, where, or what they may". 

Now, as a missionary, I have been challenged on this point.  Some accuse me (and other missionaries) of trying to infringe upon that basic right of humanity.  They believe that we want to "force" everyone to believe what we believe.  In this I answer that we are following the example of Jesus Christ.  He did not force anyone to believe.  He did not encroach on any church's right to believe in whatever they wanted.  He simply taught the truth and invited people to accept and act on that truth.  In fact, we as missionaries, are not discouraging people to exercise their freedom of worship but actively and diligently encouraging others to use this freedom.  It is great to live in a society where we, as citizens, can gather all the information we want (scholastically and spiritually) and use that knowledge to act "according to the dictates of our own conscience".  Like Christ, we simply teach the truth and invite others to take advantage of this wonderful freedom that we have.

I know that Christ's church is restored.  I know that His priesthood is on the earth.  I know that God is merciful and will help us when we come to Him in prayer.  I pray that all can exercise their freedom of worship and do just that.

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