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TOM - According to my understanding, only celestial and terrestrial people/beings will live on earth during the millennium.
So, my question is about the resurrection of the just. When the Savior comes again to the earth and cleanses the earth from all unrighteousness and wickedness who are those that will rise to meet him when he comes? Who are those that will escape the destruction of the wicked? Will only celestial people be saved from destruction at that time? Or will celestial and terrestrial people be saved from that destruction alike?
I thought that only celestial people would be saved at his coming and that all terrestrial people would also be destroyed at his coming and suffer for their own sins in the spirit world and then be resurrected in their own due time during/throughout the millennium. Am I wrong?
My other question is about all the other religions in the world but I will ask it specifically about Islam.
How do we explain Islam and Mohammed and the Quran? Is God the author of any of it? I have often thought that if God knows which of his children won't make it back to him might he possibly create and allow other religions to exist to at least help those children who will not make it back to live as good of a life as they can?
There is so much similarity between our faith and the Islamic faith… Even the stories of Mohammed and Joseph. Can you help me understand the place of other religions in the grand scheme of things? How might a person argue that our church is true but that Islam is not. Those of the Islamic faith think that sharia law will one day govern the earth just as we believe that Christ will rule and reign personally upon the earth.
JOEL - Before Jesus comes He will cleanse the earth by fire destroying all the wicked people(those destined for the Telestial Kingdom)(D&C 101:24-25)
Everyone else (Celestial and Terrestrial beings) will survive this cleansing. The wicked shall be consumed and the righteous shall be as though they walked in the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar without a hair of their head singed. At His coming all the righteous people, living or dead, who are destined for the Celestial Kingdom, will be quickened or resurrected and be caught up to meet Him (D&C 76:50-70).
50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
63. These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.
This will leave those destined for the Terrestrial kingdom on the earth to witness the second coming of the Lord with His faithful saints. They will be resurrected or go through the instantaneous change and obtain their immortal state, sometime later during the Millennium, at their own appointed time.(D&C 88:99; D&C 76:71-80).
The only thing I can say about Islam (and any other religion) is that anything that is right and true has its origins from God. God is the author of all truth. Most all religions have some elements of truth whether it was proclaimed by popes, pastors, or prophets of God or even by scientists and philosophers of the world.
Joseph Smith said:
"And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;"
Elder B. H. Roberts (1857–1933) of the Seventy said:
“While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established for the instruction of men; and it is one of God’s instrumentalities for making known the truth yet he is not limited to that institution for such purposes, neither in time nor place. God raises up wise men and prophets here and there among all the children of men, of their own tongue and nationality, speaking to them through means that they can comprehend. … All the great teachers are servants of God; among all nations and in all ages. They are inspired men, appointed to instruct God’s children according to the conditions in the midst of which he finds them.”
(Defense of the Faith and the Saints, 2 vols. (1907), 1:512–13.)
So God does inspire people everywhere to learn and proclaim some truths. An excellent article about this subject is found in the August 2000 Ensign called "A Latter-day Saint Perspective on Muhammad"
The main difference between other religions and the LDS church is that we claim that we have all the truths that God has seen fit to bestow on us so far, while other religions contain some truths, but mixed with the philosophies of man. Unlike others we have had messengers sent from the presence of God or even the appearance of God Himself, to give instruction or in announcing divine truth intended for man's salvation. But I know of no way to successfully "argue" that our church is true compared to other religions; especially a non-Christian faith. They can make arguments for their own religion based on their scriptures and doctrines that to them are just as valid as we believe ours are. A person would have to first recognize for himself that his religion is lacking something he needs and then actively search for something else with an open mind.