Cornering the market

Recently, in our blog, I wrote an essay on the virtues of Brigham Young. The only comment I received was some off-topic anti-mormon criticism of Joseph Smith. I rebutted his comment, and pointed out that I am not an unstudied or unintelligent person. I encouraged him to check out my brother’s site. Today, I read a couple of articles on his own log that had the exact criticism leveled in his comment to me, and others of a similar nature. Either he never bothered to check on how I felt, or he just disregarded my words. A little irritated at this, I commented on his article, though it is pending authorization before it will even be posted.

Other articles written on that blog have a rather self-righteous nature. Things have been said, such as if you are only 95% correct in your beliefs, you won’t make it to heaven. However, most of America is at least 50% off on their ideas. I can’t help but wonder at this phenomenon I have seen ever since my mission to Georgia. So many believe they are exactly right. They corner the market on truth. Certain things are essential to believe, or else no heaven for you. Then they all start finding faults and flaws in other’s belief systems. I am not referring just to Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses. I mean other Protestants. It seems that so many ultra-conservative evangelicals just love to exclude everyone they can. I recall reading a pamphlet that even claimed readers of the NASB and NRSV translations of the Bible were literally doomed to Hell (not just a little off course). It all is a game; a game where one can claim heaven for himself/herself, but exclude as many as possible. It makes me sad to see such harsh criticism of those around you, and with whom you even have so much in common.

One thing ultimately brings all these various self-appointed Heaven-goers together: a common distaste for the Latter-day Saints. I mean, they all dislike a few other churches as well, but despite all their criticism of each other, they still fall into the “Christian” category. Somehow, they decide that only a few specific groups are barred from that club, and their mutual differences are melted away. United by a common enemy.

I suppose their is a lesson or two to be learned. No one has a monopoly on truth, not even the Latter-day Saints. Brigham Young taught that there is truth to be learned in every religion. Also, we cannot look to exclude everyone else. We cannot decide who makes it past the pearly gates and who gets the brimstone bedwarmers. We must be accepting of all.

Any thoughts?

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