principally excerpts/highlights from http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/respect-for-diversity-of-faiths
-for official church doctrine see lds.org or ldsnewsroom.org or mormon.org
–Current church leaders words trump former church leaders’ words
-When we come across something potentially offensive from what an LDS church leader has said, it’s helpful to get a background knowledge about why they are saying what they are, and to get a general understanding of LDS doctrine and beliefs.
–“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” (Articles of Faith 1:11).
-“We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours.” Latter-day Saints accept all sincere believers as equals in the pursuit of faith and in the great work of serving humanity.” TSM current LDS church president see http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/respect-for-diversity-of-faiths
– President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, the highest governing body of the Church, declared: “We honor and respect sincere souls from all religions, no matter where or when they lived, who have loved God, even without having the fullness of the gospel. We lift our voices in gratitude for their selflessness and courage. We embrace them as brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father. … He hears the prayers of the humble and sincere of every nation, tongue, and people. He grants light to those who seek and honor Him and are willing to obey His commandments.” see http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/respect-for-diversity-of-faiths
-Krister Stendahl, emeritus Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm and professor emeritus of Harvard Divinity School, established three rules for religious understanding: (1) When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies; (2) don’t compare your best to their worst; and (3) leave room for “holy envy” by finding elements in other faiths to emulate. see http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/respect-for-diversity-of-faiths
-early Church apostle Orson F. Whitney, “God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people.” see http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/respect-for-diversity-of-faiths
-“[we] need not diminish the mandate of Christ to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a separation between charitable efforts and doctrinal tenets, while at the same time-sharing mutual concern for those in need. People of good faith do not need to have the exact same beliefs in order to accomplish great things in the service of their fellow human beings.” see http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/respect-for-diversity-of-faiths
-befriend those different than you. Jesus spent time with people who had different values than himself. He knew that was part of being one of God’s people, that you live “in but not of the world”. Among all types of people, but not breaking our agreements with the Lord on how we will eat, sleep, etc. Jesus spoke of a man who helped another wounded on a roadside, the good Samaritan, who helped the man on the dangerous road despite the possibility of getting shanked.
-we’re counseled to choose positive influences for who we will have as our closest friends. People who will help us live our standards, not mock us or try to persuade us to do things we do not believe in doing.
-The Holy Ghost has a distinct role of warning us of danger when such is present, rely on that guidance (President Packer recent General Conference Address 2013?)
– Joseph Smith taught that only those who persist in rejecting truth will remain in hell. All the rest will be lifted out of hell. This is one of the most liberal views on salvation ever taught.
-The following is a set of ideas presented in “The Crucible of Doubt” by Teryl Givens about people not in the church who do great work for God, that even during the great apostacy, though priesthood was lost, the church sort of hid in the wilderness, believers existed and tried to worship God and find truth even though they didn’t have the priesthood: Joseph Smith said that the restoration of the church was that it was coming forth “out of the wilderness”. In the book of revelation, it says the dragon chased the woman into the wilderness where it hid for a time. This was like the apostasy. The Catholic church held onto the doctrine that the living and the dead have lots to do with each other. The doctrine of purgatory is like our doctrine of the spirit world. The church came out of the wilderness. It didn’t disappear entirely, God still blessed people and revealed things to people, just the ordinances and priesthood authority were gone. Yes, we have more than them, and what we have is essential, and all will eventually hear it. But what they have is still important. God didn’t take a nap for 1600 years, he was always reaching out to those who would listen. Like Elijah hiding in the cave. Like wandering Mormon. D&C 49:8 8 “Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent, for all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, holy men that ye know not of.” These holy men may well have been the reformers and good people of the dark ages, who didn’t enjoy formal church organization authority and doctrine, but who tried to uphold the teachings of the scriptures in public and in private. JST Rev. 12:4-5, 7: “4 And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman which was delivered, ready to devour her child after it was born. 5 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years. 7 And the dragon prevailed not against Michael, neither the child, nor the woman which was the church of God, who had been delivered of her pains, and brought forth the kingdom of our God and his Christ.” This suggests that the church wasn’t entirely extinguished, that though the authority and ordinances needed for salvation were gone, good people who loved the scriptures were still blessed. Consider the inspiring poetry, art, and music God spoke to them through, which still speaks to us. Its unwise to tell others that the restored church has a monopoly on truth.
Some thoughts on joining the church:
On deciding to join the church, leaving behind the Roman Catholic church, holding back due to logical questions, and not being able to just follow feelings since one can even has good feelings while reading parts of the Quran:
A brief response:
Wish I had more time to talk with you but I’m in finals week. Feel free to message me sometime. So the Quran has lots of truth, that’s why much of it feels good, it just doesn’t have the complete perspective & authority to accompany that complete perspective. as for logical issues with the church, that’s hard because often the logic of man is foolish compared to the wisdom of god, and since his ways are higher than ours, that can get tricky. but a good through investigation is defiantly the way to go; from what I understand, Brigham Young, the prototypical member of the church, took 2 years to investigate it before he concluded it was correct to join. Here’s a hint, he based those 2 years investigation by studying the book of Mormon. It sounds like you have a long journey of searching. god bless you brother for wanting to find answers to important questions. I am a member of the church and have had many of my questions answered. the ones that aren’t answered I’ve been blessed with comfort about, so i can handle being in the church without every question being fully flushed out. one cool resource the church is publishing is called “the joseph smith papers”. Its everything JS wrote. It reveals strengths and even weaknesses of JS, for example JS had a temper. But many people do, and God can work with imperfect people. I studied biblical Hebrew at BYU for the past 5 years and found many delightful things from doing that. the dead sea scrolls are also an excellent resource, and have many things supporting the church in them. if you want to research this, look at publications by Donald parry, he is a church member and is on the international council of interpreters working on translating the dead sea scrolls, he teaches Hebrew at BYU, and he adores the old and new testament.
Also regarding the Roman Catholic church and the latter-day saints of Jesus Christ church, read James E Talmage chapter 40 I think it is, in his book ‘Jesus the Christ’, the chapter is called ‘the long night of apostacy’, it’s about the loss of priesthood authority in the early church, and the need for it to be restored in a modern church by Jesus and the original apostles, which is what we see in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. You can read that text free by searching for it at churchofjesuschrist.org