LDS Christianity: Differences that matter

Published: Sunday, Nov. 27 2011 10:00 p.m. MST

"Who has the right to decide whether a man or a woman is Christian?" Millet asked. "Who has the power to gaze into another person's soul and know their deepest desires, their eternal yearnings, the object and source of their faith?

"Almost without exception, evangelicals define one's Christianity theologically," Millet continued. "Latter-day Saints have a much more inclusive perspective and invite people to self-define. While doctrine does matter to us, we are far more prone to accept as evidence one's personal expression of belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and their desire to live peaceably with others and to treat people as Jesus taught us."

Rev. George Lower, who has lived in Utah for more than 30 years and is the pastor of the Orem Community Church, acknowledges the differences. But he thinks more attention should be focused on what can be shared by all who love, honor and revere Jesus Christ — regardless of the fine points of differentiating doctrine.

"Our two religions have basic beliefs that have very little in common," he said. "However, in our living we have much in common. We love God and thus we love other persons. Both religious communities have a prominent place for Jesus Christ. Both communities exhibit good works as they serve in their congregations and in their communities."

So the way Rev. Lower sees it, "whether you are an active member of your ward or an active member of your local Christian congregation, we need to work together to share Christ's love and compassion in a world that needs our ministry."

EMAIL: jwalker@desnews.com

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