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Not much to add to the title. I would like to know the Latter-day Saints' definition of a true follower of Christ, that is to say, what features are considered by them to be essential for a person to be qualified as a faithful disciple of Christ, who walks according to the perfect will of God. And as a follow-up question, I would like to know if they believe that these essential features can be found outside of Latter-day Saints, in Christians from other denominations or groups.


Regarding the related question Do LDS believers not accept any others who self-identify as 'Christian'?, it lacks the emphasis on a more formal definition of what it means to be a true follower of Christ, from a Latter-day Saint perspective, in terms of essential features.

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  • @NigelJ - do you mean the question about Jehovah's Witnesses? Yes, that was intentional. Sep 1 '21 at 17:19
  • My mistake. I didn't read closely enough and I thought they were identical.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 1 '21 at 17:21
  • I agree with @Nigel that it looks like a duplicate. What missing angles/aspects you are hoping to get if you look at the answers to Nigel's question? The answer seems to be basically "true Christian" follow what's common to mainstream Christianity except when it differs within LDS, and they also need to do LDS specific ordinances. Outside LDS, self-identify Christian CANNOT be "true Christian" but can have lesser glory and opportunity to "upgrade" later. Sep 1 '21 at 17:52
  • @GratefulDisciple - see last edit. Sep 1 '21 at 20:19
  • @KorvinStarmast - see last edit. Sep 1 '21 at 20:20
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The in my opinion most appropriate definition of what constitutes a follower of Jesus Christ is simply this:

D&C 41:5

5 He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple

see also Disciple

Regarding other churches, this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley sums it up well:

“Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service”

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  • Can you disambiguate what is meant by my law in the D&C 41:5 quote? Are there disciples obeying this law in other denominations? Yes or no? Sep 2 '21 at 16:13
  • 2
    @SpiritRealmInvestigator The point I was trying to make is the intent. A follower is someone actually trying to follow. The law received by other denominations is what is in the Bible. I came across lots of catholics who proudly told me they were catholic, but not practicing. For you to judge how much of a discipleship that is. To be fair, the law mentioned here is of course the modern-day revelations, and the audience is the members of the church (see verse 3). But the same sentiment can be found in the New Testament, I just thought this one is nice and clear.
    – kutschkem
    Sep 2 '21 at 16:40
  • see also law, but I agree with kutschkem statement/answer
    – depperm
    Sep 2 '21 at 16:45
  • @kutschkem - In other words, would you say that the other denominations can at best have "partial" disciples, because they are at best obeying an incomplete revelation, but not the perfect, complete, up-to-date revelation from God that LDS have? In other words, "complete" disciples can only be found among LDS, correct? Sep 2 '21 at 16:46
  • 1
    @SpiritRealmInvestigator Very simple, and somewhat innocent, example: A LDS drinking coffee is disobeying a commandment they have committed to keep (the Word of Wisdom, through baptism). No one in their right mind would say another Christian would sin if they did the same. They didn't covenant the same. There is nothing morally wrong with drinking coffee. There is everything wrong with drinking coffee despite believing God told you not to do it.
    – kutschkem
    Sep 2 '21 at 17:02

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