Religion and Pain

God honors agency – our freedom to choose – so much that He has allowed people to desecrate His name in the worst of ways. We see this all the time. Even right now, there are people who are conspiring to kill innocent unknown enemies in their name of their supposed god.

As a person of faith, I’m so irritated by these wolves in sheep clothing. So many people are turned off by any mention of faith because of those who mask their wickedness in “religion.”

We learn in 1 Nephi:

“And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.

And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.

And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.

And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.

And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.

And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.” – 1 Nephi 13:4-9

Now – this section of scriptures doesn’t refer to any specific church. This “church” refers to anything that seeks to destroy God’s church – His gospel, His love, His hope.

Note what we learn about this “church”:

  • It is abominable
  • The devil is the founder of it (obviously that means it isn’t really God’s church, so we shouldn’t judge God based on a church founded by Satan
  • It slays the saints of God – destroying that which is actually good
  • It values riches and the praise of the world more than God or people

This “great and abominable church” has been a problem for so many people throughout all of history, and I believe that it is probable Satan’s greatest deception – doing all of this evil the name of a so-called God. No wonder so many people are turned off by religion.

But, in truth, the gospel of the Savior, Jesus Christ is good news. It elevates. It is Christ’s church. It brings us life and joy. It doesn’t value the praise of men or the riches of the world. It values the true abundant life – rich with blessings and joy.

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