Comments about ‘Mormon-evangelical detente? Mouw, Zacharias to speak to LDS again’

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Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 8:00 a.m. MDT

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Glendora, CA

If this attempt at a "détente" had occurred ~2-4 years ago, then maybe the throngs of Evangelicals who sat-out the last presidential election, due to Romney's perceived "cult" Mormonism, would have voted for him. These same groups backed Rick Santorum's campaign, which forever damaged Mitt's 2nd presidential bid, simply because they would rather vote for a Catholic than a heretical Mormon. I heard this said from people in my area, here in So. Cal. One can only imagine what it was like in the bible belt. They, at this point, are feeling much more threatened by the Obama appointees who are eroding away at the religious freedoms we both enjoy.
I think it's a little too late to come begging for our leadership acumen, at this point. How sad and somewhat pathetic.

Morgan Hill, CA

People don't need to agree on all points of doctrine in order to recognize the good, the godliness, and the enlightenment which may be found in other religious faiths. Those who are honestly seeking after these things should recognize and appreciate people from other faiths who are striving to seek the same things. As a long-time LDS church member, I have had the privilege of studying and learning about various religions including Islam, the Sikh community, Eastern Orthodoxy, Zoroastrianism, the Baha'i Faith,and others, and have tried to set this same example for my children.

Houston, TX

I once had a very respectful conversation with a Baptist minister where we agreed not to debate but rather to discuss our faith in Christ. After I bore a fervent testimony of the Savior, His mission and the Plan of Salvation, the minister commented that I evidently had a living, vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. He then said that he didn't understand why we called ourselves Christians if we held unorthodox views of the Trinity. I replied that this is because we have a living, vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. He insisted that the word Christian was reserved for those who fit the orthodox view, but accepted a copy of The Book of Mormon and promised to read it. We both left the conversation with a better understanding.

orem, UT

As a family we attended a local evangelical church to give our kids an experience with another Christian faith. The pastor and his wife were very welcoming and warm to us even knowing we were LDS. The pastor jokingly said, "I know you Mormons work hard on Sundays. If you ever want a day of rest come worship with us and we'll take care of everything." We thought that was great. We told him it was tempting.

Christ did not condemn those who believed differently as much as he condemned hypocrites. We have the critical thing in common with evangelicals and that is a firm belief that without Christ we are nothing. It is so much more Christian to start there and build on that than argue over differences.

Murray, UT

I'll have a greater belief in this "detente" when evangelical leaders start inviting LDS speakers to their universities and conferences. So far, it seems most of the initiative is coming from the Mormons, and I don't see or hear much reciprocal action from the evangelical side. Well, at least some of them are accepting the LDS invitations--that's a start. When an LDS apostle is invited to speak at a major evangelical institution, then I'll be impressed.

Springville, UT

Mormons need to remember that Evangelicals will never see Mormons as Christians. While attempts to smooth the waters may be fine to some extent, I would caution not to get too cozy. Evangelicals will turn on Mormons when it is in their interest, and they will use Mormons for political purposes. From the perspective of ideology, if this is a sign of the Church moving more into the realm of conservativism, I am not happy. It is not wise nor inspired. Evangelical conservativism is not true Christianity. I would rather see the Church reach out to faiths from the other end of the spectrum, or at least from across the board. Ultimately,tying the Church to the conservative wing of those who profess to be Christian is doomed and effectively excludes those who have a more liberal view of the Gospel. In the long run, the Church will have marginalized itself at a time when it is on the cusp of being a true world wide religion.

Greeley, CO

@Esquire - so you don't believe in the leaders of the church?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

@kaladin: which church?

Tom in MS
Madison, MS

@Esquire - what about the great friendships we have with the Roman Catholics? And other faiths? This is just one section of the "Christian Faith", or "The Church" as they would put it. We have dialogue with many of the various sects. The Evangelicals would amount to just one of our large group of friends of other faiths. I think your thoughts are misdirected at best.

Salt Lake, Ut

The problem I see with these types of scenarios is that it implies that we are somehow obligated to appease one another and apologize for the beliefs we hold dear. Sure, the Mormon church professes to be the one and only, which may appear arrogant, but at the same time every other religion says Mormonism is false, so how is that any less arrogant? We all have the right to believe as we feel we should, so why can't we just leave it at that?

There are plenty of religions out there that most of us have never heard of. Do we really need to go out of our way to point out how wrong we think they are?

Live your life. Be a good person. Let others do the same.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

Coming from a non religion background one thing I noticed about the LDS Church was that they were not spending time trying to run down other peoples faith that differed from theirs. When I was investigating the LDS Church I began to get a lot of anti Mormon information. However I never had any Mormon who was teaching me go negative on any other churches. In Southern California where I was, there were whole ministries whose primary purpose seemed to be based on running down all the other churches like LDS, Jehovah's Witnesses, 7th Day Adventist, ect. To me, that did not feel like what a church should be spending it's time doing. "By their fruits you shall know them."


There really is no "conservative" or "liberal" Gospel. Christ's words are clear. It is us as humans who change things by including our personal opinions and feelings. I don't see that happeneing with any of the Prophets of the LDS Church. Each had his own focus, but the direction came from God.

This is why the Church always tells us at election time that the principles of the gospel can be found in the platforms of all major political parties. Too many of my fellow members want to either simplify things by combining their religion and their politics, or, worse yet, stretching their interpretation of the gospel to fit their political opinion.

Politics is temporal. The Gospel is eternal. Many democrats and republicans will end up in the Celestial Kingdom, but it will not be their party affiliation that got them there....

Cheyenne, WY

Agreed Fredex.
I think the main reason why many faiths are setting aside there bias'
is that many faith are worried about the freedom of religion so they are rallying together.
I had a friend who worked in the federal government. A common belief now is that the four-fathers trully meant" freedom from religion"
I don't know what that entails but it is worrisome.

The Solution
Dayton, OH

First of all, get rid of the us verse them mentality. Part of the reasons evangelicals don't see us as "Christians" is because we've spen so much time setting ourselves apart. We LDS are raised with a defense mechanism that we don't really trust people of other faiths, and we get defensive and easily offended over minor things. Obviously, I'm using big generalities here, but if you have been in the Church for very long, you know what I'm talking about.

A few years ago, I made a friend at work who is a true blue, born-again Baptist. When I first met him and he started asking questions about my beliefs, my red-alert radar subconsciously kicked in. Over time I found that he was genuinely interested in my faith, and I didn't need to suspect anything. We've had the most wonderful conversations, and through that he shared with me his view of what it means to be called and saved, and it was a beautiful experience. I love that man, and we are brothers in Christ.

Glendora, CA

@m g Scott
I hear you. I am also from So. Cal and a convert. I had the same experience.
Now, it appears that these same people are begging us to help them with our church's collective leadership acumen, in the midst of this perceived impending religious crisis. How ironic indeed. They certainly didn't want that "cult member" Romney though. Instead. These same people told me personally that they would rather "sit out" the election, than vote for a Mormon. It's pathetic.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Perhaps the Saints can make nice with the evangelicals, but why do they seek association with us? Are we values for integrity and Christian virtues, or are we simply seen as another voting block to be mined on Election Day?

Church members had the same choice a year ago: "peculiar people" OR just trying to be like everyone else, complete with material greed and disdain for the poor. The pharisees are gone, but the record shows us how to benefit from their bad example. Have we?

Glendale, AZ

"I know you Mormons work hard on Sundays. If you ever want a day of rest come worship with us and we'll take care of everything."

LOL! Great story, jeanie.

Salt Lake, Ut

"Evangelicals will never see Mormons as Christians."

Why does is matter what Evangelicals think of Mormons? It certainly doesn't matter what Muslims or Catholics think of Mormons.

Salt Lake, Ut

BeSmart wrote: A common belief now is that the four-fathers trully meant" freedom from religion"

What the forefathers truly meant was that government should keep its nose out of religion. The First Amendment states that congress shall make no law respecting religion. In other words, keep your nose out of it.

Cheyenne, WY

I agree with you again.
I just hope that our freedoms get maintained.
So I can believe and worship as I want.
And not worry about being interfered with
by government or other religions

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