Effects of the Apostacy and Validity of Beliefs of Other Christians
As of May 2007, the website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes the following information about the validity of the beliefs of other Christians, and the remainder of much truth on the earth despite the apostacy.
See the original post at this link:
Steve St. Clair
Effects of the Apostacy
Although Latter-day Saints believe that divine authority was lost in the ancient church after the death of the apostles and required a restoration by divine intervention, they do not dismiss or diminish the validity of other people’s religious experiences:
Much of the true doctrine taught by Jesus Christ is found in churches today.
Members of other churches who accept Jesus Christ and try to live by the principles he taught are entitled to divine guidance and inspiration in their lives.
Faithful Christians who are not Latter-day Saints still go to heaven, and those who live according to all the truth and light they have will open themselves to further light in the hereafter.
Anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world is a Christian, regardless of differences in theology.
The Bible is a revelation from God, of immense value for the powerful impact it has to change the lives of men and women. It is not diminished by the existence of additional scripture.
The Validity of Other People’s Religious Experiences
“The inquiry is frequently made of me, ‘Wherein do you differ from others in your religious views?’ In reality and essence we do not differ so far in our religious views, but that we could all drink into one principle of love. One of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’ is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.” Joseph Smith, quoted in History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2nded. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1949), 5:499.
“We have come not to take away from you the truth and virtue you possess. We have come not to find fault with you nor to criticize you. We have not come here to berate you. … Keep all the good that you have, and let us bring to you more good.” President George Albert Smith, quoted in Sharing the Gospel with Others, comp. Preston Nibley (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1948), 12-13; italics added.
“The line of priesthood authority was broken. But mankind was not left in total darkness or completely without revelation or inspiration. The idea that with the Crucifixion of Christ the heavens were closed and that they opened in the First Vision is not true. The Light of Christ would be everywhere present to attend the children of God; the Holy Ghost would visit seeking souls. The prayers of the righteous would not go unanswered.” Boyd K. Packer, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2005, 11.
“Informed Latter-day Saints do not argue that historic Christianity lost all truth or became completely corrupt. The orthodox churches may have lost the ‘fullness’ of the gospel, but they did not lose all of it nor even most of it. Many Evangelicals caricature or overstate the actual LDS view, which is that the orthodox churches are incomplete rather than corrupt. It is their postbiblical creeds that are identified in Joseph Smith’s first vision as an ‘abomination,’ but certainly not their individual members or their members’ biblical beliefs.” Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson, How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 61.
_uacct = “UA-2396761-1”;