As a missionary – and in the years since – a common reason people gave for rejecting us and generally chosing not to follow a religion or believe that God is real is because they did not need God to be a “good person.”
I’m not going to talk about being a good person today and whether or not that should be the highest accomplishment that we reach for. I’ll save that for another post. What I would like to point out is that no matter who we are, where we live, or what we believe without God – specifically without Jesus Christ – it would impossible for any of us to be “a good person.”
In 2 Nephi 2 – Lehi teaches his son Jacob about the great opposition of all things. The sum total of his teachings come to this: that without God we would not exist, that without Him there could be no good or evil, and without this opposition our existence would not be possible.
In Moroni 7 we learn that “the Spirit [or light] of Christ is given to every [person]” which shows all of us “all things what [we] should do.” (2 Nephi 32:5) Mormon further teaches that this “light of Christ” is what shows us the difference between good and evil – and that because of this light we can judge clearly how to choose between the two.
If those passages are not clear enough, in Ether 4:12 Jesus Himself says that “whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good.” In other words, without Jesus Christ – the Son of God – good could not exist in the world and we would be wholely incapable of doing good or being a good person.
So. The next time you feel to think that you are being “a good person,” remember that regardless of whether or not you choose to believe in Him, without the Savior of mankind (who we know to be Jesus Christ) giving to us His Spirit and His light and leading us to all good we would be completely incapable of being or doing good.