Is the “17 Points of the True Church” a true story
The “17 points of the true church” is a story often heard in sacrament meeting talks. The story goes like this: Five friends attending college hear Albert Einstein speak. Einstein gives his belief in God. The five friends return to their dorm and begin to map out what the “true” church of God would have to include. Eventually the friends come up with 17 points of the true church. They all separate. World War II happens. Years later they all meet up (one had died in the war). The four had gone off to find the “true” church based on their research. All four had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Here is what we know to be true about this story. It was first told by Floyd Weston. He claims that he was one of the four college students. He attended Cal Tech and Albert Einstein did speak there (although some claim that Weston was a student several years after the Einstein visit). Floyd Weston never denied the story and died still claiming the story to be true. The life event was even mentioned in his obituary.
Floyd Weston’s account of the story is the only historical proof we have of this story. None of the other three people involved in the story have ever come forward to back up the story.
Overall, it makes little difference for the LDS Church whether Weston’s story is true or made up. The “17 Points” story has never been used in any official Church publications or adopted by the Church in any other way. The claims of the restored gospel stand independent of Weston’s 17 points.
“17 Points” is thus a resource that may be interesting to Latter-day Saints, but will most likely never be proven beyond the word and testimony of Floyd Weston.