Another reprint from Mormon Matters.
One stumbling block to communication between Mormons and other types of Christians is our use of the word “church” — sometimes at least — as a synonym for “religion.” The word “church,” as used in the New Testament, meant an assembly or congregation. (Presumably the entire body of believers in Jesus in the case of the New Testament.) Modernly the word “church” has also come to mean the building that congregation meets in, as well as the specific denomination that congregation is aligned with. By comparison, the word “religion” usually refers to a set of beliefs about the nature of the universe. Even an atheist is a religion in this sense. Mormons sometimes use “church” and “religion” more or less interchangeably because of our belief in a restoration of a set of beliefs simultaneously with a restoration of authority.
As a Baptist once told me: “It’s the utmost of arrogance that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons think they are the only true Church! As a Baptist I don’t believe we’re the only true Church!”
I’ve heard many Mormons opine that such a statement can’t be true. Do they really think there are several different sets of religious beliefs that get one to heaven?