In my participation in online gospel discussion I often come across the claim that the gospel is for everyone.  It is usually invoked in the context of criticizing the church or its’ members for not being inclusive enough in their acceptance of a wide enough range of beliefs and behaviors.  Taken to logical conclusions, this would lead to a doctrine of anything goes, where all beliefs and behaviors are equally valued and embraced.  While I do believe that the gospel is for everyone, I do not believe that a radical inclusion of any belief or behavior is what the Savior had in mind when he described his straight and narrow way that few will find.

To me, participation in the gospel is based on the individual being willing to change in order to follow its’ teachings.  This comes through faith, being born again, putting off the natural man, repentance, etc.  It does not come from demanding that the Savior change His teachings to include your erroneous beliefs and sinful behaviors.

Certainly the church and its’ members should be kind and welcoming to all.  We should also be patient as fellow saints and those who are considering becoming such work on their discipleship.  We should acknowledge that some people have unique circumstances that may make some aspects of gospel living difficult.  Our invitation to follow Christ should be universally extended to all.  And we should be sure the invitation is to follow Christ and his teachings, not to follow a radically inclusive wide and broad path.

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