Friday, March 6, 2009

Religions of the World

I just finished reading a book about world religions last week. In spite of the fact that it was very educational, I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it as an interesting and quick (for a textbook) read.

In reading this book, I discovered that there is much of goodness and truth in the religions of the world. I came to understand, in part, how the light of Christ is "in all things". And I gained a testimony that people all over the world have had their eyes enlightened by their Creator, who loves them.

I have come to appreciate the many founders of world religions. Just as I learned long ago to love the story of Joseph Smith and his quest to find--and then restore--truth to a floundering world, I now love the stories of many other enlightened leaders.

Like Buddha, who urged his followers to be freed from their worldly desires and seek spiritual knowledge instead.

Like Mohammad, who led an idolatrous people away from their false pantheon to the God of Abraham.

Like Confucius, who taught the importance and eternal nature of family relationships.

Like Zarathustra, who preached of one God, who could save His people from sin and death.

But of all the stories and all the philosophies, none impressed me so much as the story and teachings of Christ. Although I found some portion of His influence in all the religions I studied, there was only one that actually had a correct understanding of Him.

When I read the opening paragraphs of the chapter about Christianity, I felt the Spirit wash over me with great strength, testifying of His divinity and His glorious mission.

In that moment, I knew again that He really was the Son of God, a being of power and perfection, and that he died to atone for our sins. I knew that he really did rise again and can accomplish that same miracle for all of us. I knew that it is only through Him, the Only Way, that we can be made holy and worthy to enter our Father's presence.

Although it is important for the peoples of the world to practice moral thinking and behavior, it is imperative for them to believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. There is transformative power in learning of and accepting His atonement, power we all need. Because of this, Christianity offers the truth that really matters: the truth about Christ.

I am grateful to be a Christian.