Posted by: Jay | April 24, 2007

Tell me your church history

I am very interested to know about other faiths. Particularly, I would like to know how your church came to be. Who was the founder (other than Jesus Christ)? Why did they feel it necessary to start a “new” church? I ask these questions because Mormons are very aware of their history, who started it and his reasons, but when I ask my Christian friends these same questions they just flat out don’t know. Perhaps it is because their church has a much longer history than that of the LDS Church. I don’t really know why people don’t find it important to know the roots of their church’s past, maybe you could comment on that as well. This doesn’t have to be limited to Christian religions, please share if you are Muslim, Buddhist, etc.

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Responses

  1. Jay, let me just say that you are truly a wonderful and blessed soul! I know I am posting on an old post but it is the one that I felt to be the most appropriate. I thank you for creating this blog as it has been amazing to read through your touching journey. I found it online today and read the entire thing in one sitting. First let me respond to this post and then I will get on to some other thoughts.

    I am a member of the Baha’i Faith, a world religion which seeks to unite all the peoples and races of the world as one human family. We believe in the sanctity of the Bible and revere Jesus Christ as the Son of God. We believe that God has made an eternal Covenant with the people that he will never leave us alone for too long and will guide us by sending his Messengers from Heaven when humanity is in the most need. We consider Abraham, Moses and Jesus, as well as Zoroaster, Krishna, and Muhammad, to have been the Manifestations of God on this Earth in previous Dispensations. Each one had a unique station, and Jesus was the Son of God who taught the concept of Salvation through Faith and Repentance, combined with His Atonement. We believe that the most recent Manifestation of God is Baha’u’llah, a man from Iran, who lived from 1817-1892. We believe that He, along with his John the Baptist-like Forerunner, the Bab, fulfill the prohecies of all religions by first appearing in 1844, coming to dwell on Mount Carmel, originating from between the Tigris and Euphrates, etc.

    The Bab, who had been part of a charismatic movement within Islam at the time, received his revelation and declared his mission in 1844, he gained many followers during his short ministry and they were fiercely persecuted, many thousands were martyred, along with the Bab himself, in 1850. The purpose of the Bab’s coming was to “prepare the way of the Lord” so that the Son could return in the Glory of the Father as was prophesied in the Bible.

    The Babis (followers of the Bab) kept believing and waiting and working towards the future. There were some who came forward with claims to be the Promised One, but their corruption and greed was quickly exposed.

    One Babi came to be especially revered among the Believers. He had been a wealthy child who turned down a position in the court of the King to help the sick and the opressed. He eventually was given the title “Baha’u’llah” or Glory of God by God in a revelation given to him while he was imprisoned for being a Babi. In 1863 he told a select few that he had received this revelation, and 3 years later publicly declared it. Throughout his life he was exiled from Tehran to Baghdad to Constantinople to Adrianople and finally to Akka, Israel because everywhere he went he gained new followers and this frightened the ruling clergy. He spent his last days under house arrest in Israel, across the bay from Mt. Carmel.

    Now that I’ve taken care of that, I have other things to discuss with you. My husband and I consider ourselves students of religion. I am fascinated by religion, particularly Christianity and Mormonism, and my husband has a degree in Religious Studies from the University of Wisconsin with specialties in Islam and Buddhism. Independent Investigation of Truth is in fact one of the key principles of the Baha’i Faith, we are encouraged to find truth for ourselves and learn about other faiths. I have long wanted to learn more about the LDS church, and have gotten tidbits from people I knew and on the internet, and then two missionaries knocked on my door.

    The missionaries are two wonderful girls that have been visiting me for around 3 months now. I have been reading the Book of Mormon and am currently halfway through Alma. The missionaries have given me a “quad pack” so I can investigate further. We had treated the discussions as times of sharing and learning. I have learned a lot and asked many questions, about the Book of Mormon and LDS Doctrine, and have not received answers I have been satisfied with. I always ask in the most respectful manner possible and wish no harm or disrespect upon these beautiful souls. I am a very scientifically minded individual, so the questions always come back to proof. I ask the missionaries where the proof of the Book of Mormon is and where is this church discussed in the Bible and how can the priesthood ban be justified and where is the DNA evidence, and I get one of two answers: We don’t know, God is just too much for us to understand, we have to accept it because it’s revelation; or pray and you’ll know it’s true.

    I struggle with this concept of prayer being the only proof. I believe very strongly that science and religion must agree or one is in the wrong. I have also read the prophecies from the Bible, the Quran and other Holy Books, and see that all or them were fulfilled by Baha’u’llah. Nowhere have I seen a prophecy that a man would come and dig up plates from a previously unheard of civilization in the Americas that were Christians and restore the priesthood before the return of Christ. If there is such a thing I would truly be interested, but the missionaries have told me that no such thing exists. I also do not believe that a religion that is the True Church would have been allowed by God to keep an entire race of God’s Children from the priesthood for so long and in modern times, no less, especially when science tells me that Jesus Christ and everyone in the Bible would have had dark skin and would have looked like an Arab or would have been black. This last point is honestly one of the things that breaks my heart about a church that is full of such beautiful souls.

    Just this week one of the missionaries told me that I know the Book of Mormon better than she does now and begged me to pray to know that it is true. I told her I would. I am honest and have kept my promise. I have asked God all my questions. I do believe that through psychology one who prays can convince themselves of anything, so I keep my questions open ended so that God can give me His answer. What keeps coming back to me is that there must be more proof than prayer, and I keep getting waves of light that say “Baha’u’llah.” I feel like this is my answer.

    I am sorry for leaving such a long first post, but I was just so full of thoughts after reading your blog I had to. I am wondering what your thoughts are on prayer being enough proof and things like that. Also, I am open to any questions about the Baha’i Faith. We do go door to door on occasion and I’m sure there are Baha’is in your area who would be happy to have an open-minded discussion with you. God is Most Glorious. Peace.


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