President Dallin H. Oaks explained that the “great and abominable church” represents “any philosophy or organization that opposes belief in God. And the ‘captivity’ into which this ‘church’ seeks to bring the saints will not be so much physical confinement as the captivity of false ideas.”
False ideas are insidious because they take can sneak into our minds and take root before we even realize our faith is being tested. We all likely have a false idea or two growing in our hearts. Do you find yourself believing any of these false ideas?
- I cannot actually know if Jesus is my Savior.
- It doesn’t matter what I do now because Jesus will save me later.
- My actions and choices do not matter as long as I don’t hurt others.
- I am not good enough to be loved by God.
- God will never forgive me for the mistakes I’ve made.
- To protect my faith I must avoid those who think differently than I do.
- God’s grace is only available after I’ve worked as hard and as perfectly as I possibly can.
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ doesn’t apply to me.
- God can’t know me individually.
- Jesus was just a good man who lived a good life.
- With so much suffering in the world, God can’t really be our loving Father.
- Forgiving others means pretending nothing bad happened to you.
- Obedience to God restricts my freedom.
What false ideas would you add to this list? By identifying some of the thoughts that may keep us in captivity, we can start our path to freedom through God’s glorious truths.