I have a strong testimony that I have been baptized in to the true, restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that I am a daughter of God and that we are all His children. I believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the fullness of the gospel. I believe all Christian religions, and non-Christian religions (Jewish, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. ) for that matter have parts of the truth. I believe we should all unite and treat each other as children of God and the world would be a much better place! I will always be respectful of others beliefs and will fight for their freedom to believe them. I will share my testimony and the gospel with anyone who asks, but I will never pressure anyone to change their beliefs or make them feel uncomfortable about what they believe. And I will try to be an example of Christ to everyone I meet. I don't believe in "Bible Thumping" or "Bible Bashing" because contention is of the devil. I believe in discussing and learning from one another. In the homeschooling community we have the opportunity to spend time with lots of amazing Christian families and it has opened up some interesting conversations that could lead to "Bible bashing" but I don't let it. I have never felt offended, because I will not ever be offended for what I believe, but I have felt like some friends may be thinking I need to be saved. We are all saved!...but that is a discussion for another day.
I was having a discussion with a friend who was trying to convince me that I don't have faith in the Lord if I don't take Him literally in the first pages of the Old Testament. How can I say I believe any of it if I don't believe that the earth was created in 6, 24 hour days/ That is what she asked me. I tried to explain that I believe God's time (eternity) isn't the same as our 24 hour periods. He teaches us in ways that we can understand. No matter how much we know, we can not fully comprehend eternity. She went on to, pat my arm (or my leg...can't remember) and tell me that if I don't take that literally how can I believe in the rest of the scriptures and I needed to go home and really think about it and pray about it. I didn't really reply. She was worried she had offended me. I assured her she hadn't and went on to tell her that Christians all over the world believe and interpret the scriptures in different ways. Go to the 1st Baptist church and they will say one thing. Head over to the Methodists (or even another Baptist church) and the preacher will be saying something completely different about the same passage of scripture. That is okay because everyone is trying to be better and do better. What is not okay is when Christians try to discount or question other peoples beliefs in hurtful ways. We in this day and age of no praying or no "under Gods" need to be uniting together for a common good. I could have said (and maybe should have said) that I have in fact already prayed about it and have a strong testimony that His time is not our time. I was not offended. A little hurt that someone who knows me would think that I hadn't prayed about it, but not offended.
I keep thinking about this because she says she "takes the Lord at his word literally" but she believes that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all the same. That they are one being. If she takes the scriptures literally, which she told me she does, then how can she explain who is speaking from Heaven saying "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased", when Jesus was in the river Jordan being baptized by John the baptist? Jesus was still in the water, just having come straightway out of it, and it was spoken from Heaven...This is my beloved Son. I take that to literally mean Heavenly Father, Jesus' father, spoke from heaven. I know that the "Spirit of God descending like a dove..", was the Holy Ghost. I know that they are literally three separate individuals. I am not going to ask her about this unless the Spirit prompts me too, but in the meantime I have studied it more and know with even more assurance what I already knew. :)
I know there are things in the scriptures that we can and should take literally. I also know there are things in the scriptures that we need to study to learn the meaning behind. Parables for example. Not made to be taken literally-you have to look for the meaning.
Another thing I know is that believing in a "young earth" or an older one, will not effect my eternal salvation. What I do with my time on earth will. Some people may be judged for this very thing---if they are judging other people by it. Who do you think has decided it is a good idea to create this widening divide between people that are supposed to be loving one another? That division is not created in Heaven that is for sure.