These quotes have been sitting in my notebook for a while and a recent conversation with a friend brought them back to my attention. What I find remarkable is how nicely they fit together and convey this idea that all people on earth have been given a portion of God’s light and truth.
The Qur’an and Joseph quotes talk about a reconciliation in the afterlife when more will be revealed as to how this all works. Personally, I find these teachings bring great peace of mind and understanding when pondered.
I have found tremendous insights from other faith traditions around the world that have brought me closer to God and my fellow man.
The Book of Mormon
“…the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.”Alma 29:8
“We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you; our God and your God are one and the same” (29:46) “We have assigned a law and a path to each of you [Muslims, Jews, and Christians]. If God had so willed, He would have made you one community, but He wanted to test you through that which He has given you, so race to do good: you will all return to God and He will make clear to you the matters you differed about”Qur’an 5:48
“But while one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, causes “His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but, “according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil,” or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey, or India. He will judge them, “not according to what they have not, but according to what they have,” those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law. We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed, the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right.”Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 218
Lectures on Faith
[God] is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.Lecture 3:17
These are only a few examples and I’ll bet there are many, many more.
God has given each of us what he has seen fit that we should have. This includes Latter-day Saints that acknowledge that we are still awaiting further light. We lack the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, along with many other records that have yet to come forth. We must walk according to whatever limited light we possess along with the rest of the human family. No doubt that this light grows brighter as we all join together and share what we have.
This meshes well with what Brigham Young had to say about our duty:
It is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their Elder Brother, being at their head) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, … to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and bring it to Zion.”DBY, 248
Our Church believes in both revealing and assimilating truth. Sure, we have revelations, but look how we have assimilated the Bible that was essentially compiled and preserved by the Catholic church. It was not a new revelation to the Latter-day Saints, but an existing one that we claimed. The words and teachings of wise men and women are often quoted in General Conference and in our publications.
Though we have made great progress, I think we have only scratched the surface in what is truly possible.