Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (John 10:1)
I recently posted about the Nephite laws concerning unpaid debts and how the label “thief and robber” applied there.
Here we have another instance of the label “thief and a robber” used, this time applied by Jesus to those who do not enter by the door of the sheepfold and who try to get in some other way besides through Him (since He has said He is the door). This caused me to ask how trying to get into the kingdom of God some other way relates to stealing and how those separate definitions of “thief” and “robber” apply.
After some thought, I realized that just as the robber blatantly steals from you as you watch, those trying to get into the kingdom of heaven some other way besides through Christ are pretty open about how they think they can obtain salvation without doing it as set out by the prophets and the scriptures. They don’t see a need for Christ or they have a problem with any or all of the sacred ordinances—baptism, confirmation for the Holy Ghost, temple ordinances, etc., or they don’t see a need to repent. They insist to the messengers of salvation that they will get to heaven their own way, which seems like robbery of what is not rightfully theirs.
Also, just as thieves steal while one’s back is turned and the theft isn’t discovered until later, those who try to obtain salvation in heaven without Christ actually steal away their own chance for salvation, and they don’t find out it is gone until much later after they die.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s church on the earth today. The way to salvation has been revealed.
3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. (Articles of Faith 3-5)