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JON - Thanks for all the work you do. My question this time deals with the Islomish Faith. As LDS I know that we believe that Mahammad was a great leader maybe a prophet. That the Islom faith derives from Abraham and Hagar and Ishmael. So we have a strong relationship to that point. Question: How do we feel about the Islom faith. Did it go through the same transistion as the BOM people, Bible and all good parts have been pulled, lost and pollution of the religon and apostasy. Then Restoration was for us all?

JOEL - I wouldn't go so far as saying that the church believes that Muhammad was a prophet; although many have recognized some similarities between his life and the life of Joseph Smith. Church leaders have however said that we should always respect the god-inspired good that various world religious leaders have done for their adherants and the world in general.

In 1855, George A. Smith delivered an address in which he provided a remarkably accurate picture of Islam for his time. He taught, among other things, that Muhammad descended from a noble line and that he was a direct descendant of Ishmael, son of Abraham. He pointed out that "there was nothing in his [Muhammad's] religion to license iniquity or corruption; he preached the moral doctrines which the Savior taught." Elder Smith accurately sketched Muhammad's life and basic teachings and concluded his description of Muhammad: "Now this man descended from Abraham and was no doubt raised up by God on purpose to scourge the world for their idolatry." (Journal of Discourses, 3:31-32)

Elder Howard W. Hunter stated: "The Church has an interest in all of Abraham's descendants, and we should remember that the history of the Arabs goes back to Abraham through his son Ishmael." He spoke of his concern that Latter-day Saints not give the impression that the Church favors the goals of the Jews over those of the Arabs: "Both the Jews and the Arabs are children of our Father. They are both children of promise, and as a church we do not take sides. We have love for and an interest in each. The purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring about love, unity, and brotherhood of the highest order." (Hunter, That We Might Have Joy, 74-75)

On February 15, 1978 the First Presidency, declared in an official statement titled "God’s Love for All Mankind" that “the “great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals”.

Aside from acknowledging that Muhammad “received a portion of God’s light,” church leaders have made no specific comments for or against him or the Islam faith. What has been emphasized is the need to look for God’s inspiration and the good in other faiths, and to build bridges of faith and understanding between the Church and those of other faiths.

I don't know so much about the history of the Islamic faith, but the restoration was indeed intended for all people of the world regardless of their current beliefs.

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