My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    

Comparative Religion

Divisions on this page:

   Introduction
   Original Religion
   Monotheism (One God)
      Judaism
      Christianity
         The Early Church
         The Great Apostasy
         The Roman Church
      Islam
         Sunni
         Shia
   Polytheism (Many Gods)
      Egyptian
      Babylonian
      Persian
      Greek
      Roman
   Other Religions
      Buddhism
         Theravada
         Mahayana
         Vajrayana
      Animism

INTRODUCTION:
Religion is always, at least partially, a matter of perspective. I find it helpful to look at another's religion, whenever possible, through the eyes of the individual believer. I, myself, have experienced several perspectives of different religions, having been raised an Evangelical Baptist; been a member of the Salvation Army; studied with Jehovah's Witnesses; tried Pentecostal, Seventh-day, and other churches; and finally, joined myself to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I still prefer to learn of another church from one who is a member, but consider what differences there may be between what that person believes and what their religion, if it has an official position, teaches.

ORIGINAL RELIGION:
The world's original religion is obviously debatable, but here, I will present my point of view. I do not accept the idea of mankind having evolved somehow from some "lower" animal. Man, in the persons of a real man Adam and a real woman Eve, was placed on earth at the beginning and to them was revealed the one true religion. They were taught man's relationship to God, his obligations to God, and the true form of worship: faith in Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the forgiveness of sins, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, obedience, service, and enduring all things well.

Our Biblical record of the time from the beginning until the Great Flood is brief and obviously incomplete, but Selections from the Book of Moses (in The Pearl of Great Price), especially the last part of Chapter 6, give us more detail concerning the nature of the original religion:
v.58 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:
v.59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;
v.60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;
v.61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.
v.62 And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.
v.63 And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.
v.64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.
v.65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.
v.66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;
v.67 And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.
v.68 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.
After the death of Adam (at 930 years), and a revival under the preaching of Enoch (the seventh from Adam), there was a general apostasy, resulting in God's sending the Flood, leaving only faithful Noah and his family of eight survivors to repopulate the earth. Noah's religion was the same as the original, but from there the story gets interesting, and it is the consequent history of religion which is really the topic of this page.

MONOTHEISM:
 
JUDAISM:
   Religion based on the Torah received from Moses (c.1400 or c.1200 BC) as a Prophet of Jehovah Elohim, The Writings and Poetry of subsequent prophets, and the Talmud, the body of civil and ceremonial law and legend.


CHRISTIANITY:
   Religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who taught between c.30 and c.33 AD that the Books of Moses (Jewish Torah) and Prophets of the Old Testament spoke of Him. He clarified and enlarged upon the Old Testament scriptures.
The Early Church:
 
The Great Apostasy:
 
The Roman Church:
 
ISLAM:
   The religion recieved from Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah.
Sunni:
 
Shia:
 
POLYTHEISM:
Before man was placed here on earth, our spirits lived with God, our Heavenly Father. There we had interactions with Him and with each other. There were "great ones", some known as archangels. When the decision was made to send our spirits to the earth to continue our growth in becoming like our Father, there was dissention and a war. Those who wanted their own way, led by Satan or Lucifer, were cast out of heaven onto the earth. It was he who tempted Eve in the Garden. It seems reasonable to me that men were taught the things that happened in heaven as we could not remember it. These things are reflected in many of the older polytheistic religions and their gods.
EGYPTIAN:
 
BABYLONIAN:
 
PERSIAN:
 
GREEK:
 
ROMAN:
 
OTHER RELIGION:
BUDDHISM:
   Founded by Siddartha Gautama (Buddha; c.563 c.460 BC), which teaches that the elimination of the self is the route to enlightenment.
Theravada (Non-Theistic Buddhism):
The oldest surviving Buddhist school (from c.250 BC). The predominant school of Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and parts of SW China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.

Mahayana (Theistic Buddhism):
The second surviving Buddhist school (from the first Century BC) when it spread from India to China, and from there throughout East Asia: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism):

ANIMISM:    The belief that plants and inanimate objects have souls.