What If

mormon baptismI saw a comment on reddit.com today in which a faithful member said, in essence, “we know the catholic church is in apostasy because they changed baptism to use sprinkling instead of immersion…”

An insightful commentator replied with “I think if God inspired the prophets to change baptism from immersion to sprinkling that would be ok.”

Heber C. Kimball once said that the Church had yet to pass through some very close places and that those who were living on borrowed light would not be able to stand when those days came. I wonder if this sort of thing – changes in policy, for example – is one of the trials God has ordained for the established church.

Which has led me to ask myself some questions – some “what ifs” to test myself by.

Would the church still be true if we started practicing baptism by symbolism and sprinkling?

What if the word of wisdom was revealed to be not a commandment any more, but just good advice?

What if the priesthood was given to women?

What if the church one day said gay marriages were acceptable? Would you doubt the Lord was with his church?

See what I mean? Each possible change can have a winnowing effect on the membership. If a person’s testimony isn’t secure – isn’t grounded in personal revelation that God is with his church – then even little changes could blow members away.

Here are some more what ifs:

What if the church suddenly gave the priesthood to black men after years of teaching they could not hold it?

What if the church started changing the temple ordinances to be more symbolic, or to involve less standing up for the sake of the elderly, would you wonder if the church is still true?

What if the church taught that homosexual behavior is a sin and that it would be better for a gay person to remain single and celibate than to be in a gay marriage?

What if the church refused to allow women to hold the priesthood, and instead taught that women and men have different roles?

What if the church asked for money, but then wouldn’t tell you what was being done with that money?

What if the church is led by men who make mistakes?

Is the church true then?

Do any of these “What Ifs” give you a little twinge or make you uncomfortable? Each of us faces these and hundreds of other questions as we examine our faith. If your testimony of the reality of God leading the LDS church is based on anything other than personal revelation, you are at risk. Conversely, if your life is based on political ideals or cultural ideals instead of the principle of revealed truth, you are at risk.

The world moves, and the people who build their foundation upon it are shaken out of the church.

You’ve probably seen it before – friends and family who get stuck on one little topic. One little item that they simply can’t let go of. Eventually they start to wonder why the church doesn’t fit the mold they “know” is correct. They begin to judge the church by the world’s principles instead of examining the principles of the world through the lens of the gospel.

The world can shake and shudder as it shifts from view to view, but the truth of the saving grace of Christ and salvation administered through Christ’s church will not change. The world moves, and we in the church are on a firm foundation.

The truth is that God is with his church. He leads it as he sees fit for the benefit of his children. He will not leave us. You can know this to be true. The revelation and the assurance are there for you to have. If you struggle, hold on. Answers and understanding will come. Have faith that the Lord is in control and will bring you into the light.


Greg is a business owner, writer, husband and father. (not in that order, though.)

Posted in Authority, Baptism, doctrine, my thoughts

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