The most recent U.S. Religious Landscape Survey had some very interested statistics about religious beliefs in the United States. The survey included categories such as how many people in the U.S. believe in God (87%), a break-down of the percentages of religions in the United States (Mormons are almost 2%), and more.
One category that I found interesting was that in the state of Utah (which has 58% Mormons) 49% of the people believe there is more than one way to interpret their religion.
I realize that some of those who participated in the survey may not have been LDS, but I assumed since there is the greatest majority of Mormons in Utah that the majority of those participating in the survey would be Mormon.
If this is true, I wonder which aspects of LDS doctrine or teachings people believe can be interpreted in various ways.
I’ve written before about the dangers in black and white thinking, and I think this survey shows others may agree with me.
For example, the Word of Wisdom can be interpreted in many ways. It is advised not to sleep longer than is needful, or to eat too much meat, but exactly how much is too much? That’s up for the individual to decide.
Other examples, at least for members of the LDS faith that many people believe should be pretty clear-cut include: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. However, those can be up for interpretation as well. One needs to have enough faith to confess Jesus as their Savior, repent for their sins, enter into the kingdom through baptism, receive the Holy Ghost, and remain faithful throughout their days. Seems pretty cut and dry, right? However, some people may believe they need to meet certain requirements to show faith where others feel they don’t, etc.
There could be more examples, including interpretation of attending church, serving in the church, serving one’s community, attending the temple, reading scriptures, following the prophet, interpreting scriptures, and the list goes on.
I’m curious to see what you as readers think. Do you believe there is more than one way to interpret the LDS faith, or is it pretty cut and dry?