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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The Scientist
Provo, UT

m.g. Scott wrote:

"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.

Other than the irony of your comment itself "running down" other Churches, have you never heard Mormons preach about "The Great Apostasy?" Have you never read in the official scriptures, the Doctrine and Covenants:

"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight: that those professors were all corrupt . . ." (See also Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 1, p. 5-6).

Or this:

"What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 270.)

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@The Scientist quoted the Lord as saying all their creeds were an abomination. The Lord also said "For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven." (D&C 1:31-32).

The Lord views anything other than the pure truth to be an abomination, for He is a God of truth and cannot lie. He is the Source of salvation, so He can say it any way that He wants to. He just wants us to repent and be forgiven.

Brother Lawrence - Kaysville
Kaysville, UT

Let me explain my background and position. I have a college degree in Comparative Religion and have served three LDS missions, serving twice on ministerial associations in Colorado and Pennsylvania as representative of the Church in their various communities. I've also travelled to the US-Mexico border with a multi-faith group studying immigration issues and how different religious groups help in various needs of immigrants and their impact on community resources; and I've worked with Habitat for Humanity and other groups that have warily allowed a Mormon to join them in activities for the good of the community. This is all to the good, as I see it.

These associations have brought both satisfaction and heartache, because real differences persist, and our doctrines are clear, as The Scientist noted in his comments earlier. If we, and traditional Christian and Orthodox churches, did not believe our own positions that we are "the true Church," we would lose our identity in a wild theological jumble and prove our lack of commitment to our faith. Most of us feel we have made covenants which do not allow for equivocation, even while we attempt to "play nice" with others. (Continued...)

Brother Lawrence - Kaysville
Kaysville, UT

What all this boils down to is that it's grand to be nice and work with others for the betterment of our communities at large, but that doctrinal differences will still be there in the background to strain relationships and keep us separate. Other churches are losing members to the "Mormons" and we sometimes lose members as well, though at a much lower percentage, as studies have shown. Some of our LDS writings clearly point out that "we are right and they are wrong," and anti-Mormon literature basically is saying the same in reverse, while nit-picking about LDS doctrines and taking LDS quotations out of context in ways that seem to us to be wrong-headed while deliberately attacking things we believe to be true in various hurtful ways.

I particularly wonder, in the present course of dialogues, whether Ravi Zacharias will now repudiate his earlier published comments against the "Mormons" made in the book, "Kingdom of the Cults" which he co-wrote with Walter Martin. Of course not! To do so is as unlikely as for the LDS Church to edit the Joseph Smith story to make it more evangelically-friendly. (Continued...)

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

2nd try

I'm not purposely trying to be disruptive here, but I wonder what Jesus thought of the "evangelicals" of his day; what was his attitude toward them? I think the New Testament provides ample evidence that Jesus had no time for the evangelicals of his day and did not care to associate or align with them. For most of my life it seems like we have followed Jesus' example. So I'm interested in why we now seem to be taking a different path?

surferlou
Albuquerque, NM

I have been angered many times by members of Lutheran, Evangelical, and Baptist faith's who proclaim Mormons are not Christian. I think it's huge that a leader of another faith would address the LDS church and proclaim his faith "sinned" against the LDS church. There will never be complete acceptance of each other's tenets, but there ought to be mutual respect and appreciation for the broader things we all believe in common: faith in Christ, and be good to one another. Is that so hard?

Brother Lawrence - Kaysville
Kaysville, UT

As a Christian, I love all - even those in other faiths who occasionally attack sacred things I hold dear and which hurt to hear expressed - because Jesus set the example and told us to do likewise. My life has been transformed because of God the Father's divine Plan of Salvation, Christ the Lord's teachings, the writings of inspired men and women of these latter days, but mostly through the unarguable witness of the Holy Ghost so many times in my life that to question them would be ludicrous, and to deny them would place me in opposition against God and His Gospel.

While not trying in any way to attack others, our clear declaration of faith-commitments invariably appear to some to be back-handed attacks or counter-attacks on them and their beliefs. If we're "right," that's all there is to it; and if we claim others are "wrong" in any way, it only accentuates the line that is drawn between us.

Nonetheless, we can and should work with others, differences or difficulties aside, to improve matters when possible, and join in opposition against potentially damaging issues in society which confuse or destroy faith.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

morpunkt

Just between you and me, since you brought it up. I've thought a lot about why Romney did not become President of the U.S. I feel that had he become the leader of the "Great Satan" as the U.S. is looked upon by so many, that there could have been a horrible backlash and danger to the Church worldwide. With Temples going up all over and now some 80 thousand missionairies worldwide, the target factor would have risen tremendously on the Church simply as a way to get the President. Imagine the pressure Romney would have been under if a Temple were invaded and taken over by some anti American group. Or worse imagine the pressure to compromise with terriorists holding missionaries hostage. To a man like Mitt, those would have been like his own children being held. It would have been awful. In some ways Iam glad he will not be put in that position. Maybe the work of the Church going forward is just so much more important than who the President is. Just a thought.

Brother Lawrence - Kaysville
Kaysville, UT

At any rate, there have been many thoughtful - and, occasionally, funny - comments here. We Latter-day Saints, as a religious group and as individuals, have long considered the impact we have on other religions, and their impact on us. Many of us in dialogues such as this, in an effort to be fair and impartial, hedge our comments with, "Religious differences aside..." and then go on to extrapolate on commonalities in areas of mutual concern where all could benefit from cooperation. In general, this is a wonderful thing, with many future friendships blooming on the horizon. Honestly, however, it also means that some of other faiths will end up joining the LDS Church, and some LDS members will leave the Church or, at least temporarily, begin worshiping elsewhere. This will bring hurt feelings to families and congregations on both sides. We cannot want to see loved ones "leave the faith," even while we admit the value of following our conscience. Harsh feelings and words often follow these changes, instead of caring dialogue to soften the blow of what clearly seem to be the abandonment of previous commitments and community. Inherent Christian commitment is stretched to the maximum at these times.

junkgeek
Agua Dulce, TX

I guess this is good, but I'm not sure that it really impacts our worship.

sharrona
layton, UT

@ Understanding Evangelical, Greek for "gospel": (evangelion), eu- "good" and angelion "message", the message of Jesus Christ.

RE: Brother Lawrence - God said unto Moses,” I am “(the BEING) )HE WHO IS (ho on): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, HE WHO IS hath sent me unto you. (LXX Exodus 3:14).
(Jesus)… you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that “I (ego)am(eimi)” he, you will die in your sins.”(John 8:24) Jesus is saying, He is God (the son) it’s She’ol for those who deny it.
.. the love of God, because he laid down his life for us….(1John 3:16 KJV) God on the cross.

RE: m.g. scott, “Soft Answers to Hard Questions”, Darl Andersen book provides ways to convince Christian pastors that Mormons are Christians, too.
The first objective is to convert a member of the Christian church to Mormonism then convince the Pastor to work with Mormons on a community project. “We could win[take] a thousand converts by greater access to members of his church.”

appdancer
murfreesboro, rutherford co., TN

I am a member of First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro, TN. I am horrified that Albert Mohler came to speak on the BYU campus, only to tell those Mormons present that they were not going to heaven. How arrogant and disrespectful can a guy be?? I am ASHAMED of his remarks and I want to apologize. I am NOT HIS KIND OF BAPTIST!! It's not for me - or for him - to decide who goes and who does not go to heaven!!!

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Detente? Who says religion doesn't divide us? It sure does.

Bob K
porland, OR

Make no mistake, there is no way that evangelicals who are fanatics about taking the Bible's every word literally are going to accept people who have additional books, and doctrinal differences. Millions of them view the lds people as (fill in the blank w/ rude word).

The lds church is admired by the evans for the ability to put across social issues and for the qualities of its membership

They may need you to help meet common goals, but are unlikely to ever respect or accept you. The lds have to decide if "being taken on dates because you are pretty, but never getting to meet the parents" is an acceptable status for you.

U-tar
Woodland Hills, UT

Evangelicals can believe any thing they want, hold any view they want, including negative views towards Mormons. The fact remains, it shows they really don"t practice what they preach and it certainly does not make them the gatekeepers to salvation.

newslady
Orem, UT

Esquire - I truly understand your concern about the LDS church being perceived negatively if the leaders focus exclusively on friendships with ultraconservative fundamentalist Christians. If there could be any group more negatively perceived than Latter-day Saints, that group would be it.

But I do think that, even in the midst of the new "evangelical moment" in Mormondom, there have also been moments that aligned the leadership of the church or BYU with individuals from other ideological perspectives. For example, Senator Harry Reid has also spoken at BYU. Several leaders of the church attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The leaders of the church have joined with other faiths in their relief efforts for people undergoing various hardships.

The public sphere contains voices from multiple perspectives when it comes to moral questions even as basic as whether people should get married or just live together. I think that the leaders of the church like it when they find other voices in the public sphere that can sing in harmony with the songs they are singing.

Bob K
porland, OR

BeSmart
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.
.... 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.

Please do not worry -- it means "the ability of a person not to have another person's religion effect them or be pushed on them", ie;
1-- Laws are made by the Constitution, not what someone's church wants
2-- People do not have to listen to religious preaching at work, in the Army, etc.
3-- No one has the right to break public accommodation laws because of his beliefs.
etc (if you are open to the public, you serve everyone) If religious person A can refuse to serve Gays, B can refuse to serve mormons, C can refuse Filipinos. What a mess we would have!

The Forefathers meant that everyone should be free to practice or not practice religions.

If religious people can make laws that limit the rights of other citizens who believe differently, we would be one step from Mussolini.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Keep religion out of government and keep politics out of religion and we will all be better off.

FredEx
Salt Lake, Ut

If anyone can answer this question accurately and honestly, I'll shut up and leave this alone: Why do Evangelicals get to define what constitutes a Christian?

mpschmitt
Boston, MA

I am a Latter-day Saint with a deep appreciation of the richness and spiritual examples of other Christians (particularly those among the evangelical community). I have been uplifted and strengthened by good friends from a number of Christian denominations. They each have an abiding faith and a genuine relationship with their Savior. God's hand is evident. They feel God's love in their lives and are guided to righteous choices. They are good fathers and mothers. They are dutiful children. They are true friends. I have also been blessed by Christian writers and musicians of other denominations whose work has made a difference in my spiritual life. All who have a sincere relationship with Christ will be led from truth to truth until we all come together in that unity of the faith that God intended. We can learn from and be strengthened by one another and appreciate the truths the Holy Spirit communicates to our souls. Jesus said it best: "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you". I believe in the restoration of the Gospel, which teaches me we are all God's precious children.

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