Monday, April 6, 2009

Words of Modern Day Apostles and Prophets: Boyd K. Packer

"A few weeks ago I was returning from the East with President Hinckley. We conversed with a passenger who said something to the effect that all churches lead to heaven. How often have you heard that—the parallel path to heaven philosophy?
They claim one church is not really better than another, just different. Eventually the paths will converge. One is, therefore, quite as safe in any church as in any other.

While this seems to be very generous, it just cannot be true.

I find it so interesting that those who condemn us reject the parallel path philosophy themselves when it comes to non-Christian religions.
For if they do not, they have no reason to accept the Lord as our Redeemer or regard the Atonement as essential. And what could they do with his statement that "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned"? (Mark 16:16.)

While the converging path idea is very appealing, it really is not reasonable.
Suppose schools were operated on that philosophy, with each discipline a separate path leading to the same diploma. No matter whether you study or not, pass the tests or not, all would be given the same diploma—the one of their choice.
Without qualifying, one could choose the diploma of an attorney, an engineer, a medical doctor.

Surely you would not submit yourself to surgery under the hands of a graduate of that kind of school!

But it does not work that way. It cannot work that way—not in education, not in spiritual matters. There are essential ordinances just as there are required courses. There are prescribed standards of worthiness. If we resist them, avoid them, or fail them, we will not enter in with those who complete the course."
Boyd K. Packer, "The Only True Church," Ensign, Nov 1985, 80


Looney said...

I have run into two kinds of multiple path people. One is the western kind that usually ends up treating Jesus as a martyr, while downgrading the atoning work of the cross. The other kind are the Chinese who try to use Christianity as an add-on/accessory to some flavor of Buddhism. Do you have much experience with either group?

Delirious said...

I think the group I tend to find most is the group that thinks that the SAvior's atonement is a free one way ticket to heaven with no effort on their part except to believe. They don't even believe that keeping the commandments is really necessary. This kind of belief really does fit the multi-path view because if there are no requirements except to believe, then it doesn't matter to what religion you belong.

My experience with Asians is quite similar to what you said. They worship Jesus Christ, but also worship their ancestors. It's like they believe in God, but want to cover all their bases just in case.....

The people that I taught on my mission in Taiwan embraced the Gospel fully. They traded in their ancestor worship altars to follow our teaching of doing geneology and temple ordinances for our ancestors. They accepted this form of honoring and helping their ancestors in place of ancestor worship.