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Mormonism and other religions/Growth of the Church
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- Question: Why would the true church of Jesus Christ be comprised of only a small percentage of the population of the Earth?
Question: Why would the true church of Jesus Christ be comprised of only a small percentage of the population of the Earth?
Christ specifically mentioned to His followers that they were the "salt of the earth"
No matter how many member of the Church there may be at any time in history, it appears that being the smaller number among a larger population has long been the problem of the Gospel. This may be why Christ specifically mentioned to His followers that they were the "salt of the earth." To modern English speakers, that idiom is used to mean good, average people, but that wasn't what Christ meant. He was speaking to very few who believed him. Those who believed were to do for the earth what salt does to a pot of stew or soup. A little seasoning nevertheless plays an important part.
And again he said, Wherefore unto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Christ never answered the specific question of why there were so few believers, but he did tell those few believers that they played an important role and that few would find his true path to salvation (Matthew 7:14; 1 Nephi 8:20 (19-24); 3 Nephi 27: 33; D&C 22:4 (1-4); 43:7)
An angel showed Nephi a vision of the last days and the Church numbers were described as few in comparison to the rest of the world
In 1 Nephi 14:12, an angel shows Nephi a vision of the last days and the Church numbers were described as few in comparison to the rest of the world.There's no reason to believe that Latter-day Saints will ever outnumber the largest religions based on this vision. Remember that when the gospel is finally preached in all the world, the Second Coming will occur and the end of the current condition will follow. Latter-day Saints believe that all mankind will have an opportunity to hear the Gospel but that most of the population of the Earth will hear it in the Spirit World. Those who had no opportunity to hear it in mortality will have that opportunity then. When you consider the small minority of the earth's population throughout all of history that even knew about Jesus Christ, it should not surprise us that many in our day will not hear about Him either. Latter-day Saints believe that God is just and is concerned about all of His children. He will see to it that all mankind are taught and judged justly.
Many of the goals of the Plan of Salvation are achieved even without being a member of the Church
Among the most important "purposes of life" according to the Plan of Salvation are the following:
- Receiving a physical body.
- Experiencing trials, pain, and other challenges, and having the opportunity to try to overcome them.
- Experiencing joy and happiness.
- Developing Christlike attributes.
Developing Christ-like attributes is vital to our eternal happiness and development, and living a mortal life accelerates us along that path. All of these experiences are perfectly and regularly attainable without being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In fact, they are perfectly attainable without even being a Christian. For some, they are even attainable without believing in God.
That being said, there are tangible and extremely advantageous benefits to being a member of the LDS Church, and more specifically of knowing and understanding why we are here. Those advantages, though, are not necessary for a successful experience in mortality. The saving ordinances and covenants we make through proper priesthood authority accelerate and magnify our purposes for being here, and eventually they will be available to all people whether in mortality or post-mortality. In the meantime, billions of people are here living out the plan of salvation with a bit of ignorance about it, but happily and successfully nonetheless.