Comments about ‘Evangelical leader says commonality with Mormons deeper than differences’

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Published: Saturday, Nov. 16 2013 7:45 p.m. MST

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RG
Buena Vista, VA

@vidanuevatx
LDS DO believe in the Biblical Jesus. But, it is important that we understand that Jesus gave us the Bible; the Bible did not give us Jesus. Too many people misunderstand the Bible and then let their misunderstandings define Jesus. Rather, let us learn all we can about Jesus from all sources, including modern revelation through current prophets, and then our conception of Jesus is much more accurate.

mubando
Chattanooga, TN

There are commonalities -- during my hubby's military career, we often ended up over the course of the evening with other non-drinkers -- generally Southern Baptists!-]

We lived throughout the South, are now retired there. We've seen the fruits of anti-Mormon evangelism -- kids ridiculed by classmates, missionaries abused, anti-Mormon preaching at the corner church, cult section of Bible bookstore full of anti-Mormon literature, being told we can't be considered Christian.

Southern Saints are undeterred. There's no such thing as bad publicity. People of goodwill are made curious by all the fuss about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. OTOH, there's a lot of water under the bridge. Maybe the realization that promoting the values of faith is more effective than marginalizing that of others.

I've often wondered about better cooperation among those who share common values of faith, family, and freedom. I welcome cooperation in the spirit of our LDS 11th Article of Faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

randyclapper
Elyria, OH

Well, to the best of my recollection, I've never heard a church leader demonize other religions/faiths. Whereas, there is a very long history of intolerance, demonization, and yes, even persecution, from those of other Christian faiths, and it still continues, to a degree, to this day. With that said, I am glad to see some softening voices from that direction. Still, I have to wonder if it is motovated solely by the desire to have allies to combat the anti-religious (and specifically, the anti-Christian) movements of our current society.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

This overture of smacks of desperation. Fundamentalism is in retreat and religions are losing their power over governments.

Evangelicals and Mormons have precisely two things in common: They each think of themselves as Christians, and they don't much like where they see the world around them going. Their only real commonalities are founded on what they don't approve of, not what they believe it.

What needs to happen is for the public to watch Baptists, Pentecostals, Catholics and Mormons sit at a table and discuss their various beliefs about what is and is not scripture, the age of the Earth, the origin of humans, whether or not there are living prophets, the nature of God, what happens to souls when the body dies, etc.

The moment that conversation begins this theme that "we're more alike than you think" will disappear like a puff of steam.

mdp
Bountiful, utah

I really could not care less what evangelicals chose to believe in- they also have their own free agency to follow as they will. Bottom line though, choose them by their fruits- who practices love and acceptance, who practices hate and division contrary to Christ's teaching.

PJ in WI
Waukesha, WI

One of the best summaries of the Christian faith is the Apostles Creed. It was created hundreds of years ago and has stood the test of time. Can a Mormon say they believe what it says?

gittalopctbi
Glendale, AZ

I, for one, wouldn't mind sitting down and having a root beer summit with this man. :)

gittalopctbi
Glendale, AZ

@PJ in WI Yes, as a Mormon I can say I believe what the Apostle's Creed says. So what is your point, exactly?

Esquire
Springville, UT

One cannot judge the whole of the Evangelical movement by the words, deeds and demeanor of one scholar. There is no question that there is a common interest between the Evangelicals and Mormons. But they are, by definition, mutually exclusive.

I have seen a lot of articles lately about the cozying up with Evangelicals. Why? Is the Church working on forming a conservative political alliance of some sort? Is it drifting into the Evangelical camp? Are we seeing a trial balloon of some sort? Where is this going?

Little Andy
Tremonton, UT

I think all the christian churches need to join hands to fight the real enemy. Satin and his angels.

Gia Asher
Martinsvlle, IN

Isn't this a good thing?

Clifton Palmer McLendon
Gilmer, TX

“These are the things we need to be talking about rather than shouting at each other and demonizing each other.”

All of the demonizing I have heard is from sectarians directed toward Latter-day Saints.

twspears6007
Bakersfield, CA

It is fruitless to compare the LDS Church with other religions. We are in every meaning of Gods word the restored Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. We believe in Revelations, Prophets , Miracle's, Priesthood led authority in governing the will of God and his son Jesus Christ. Have all revelations stopped? The LDS Church faith tells the world that it is not so and revelations will continue eternally, redeemably, and accountable. There can never be a change in the LDS doctrine without revelations from God. The LDS Church believes that there is no other way around doctrine changes except through the Prophets. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

EternalPerspective
Eldersburg, MD

What was the state of Judaism when Jesus preached the pureness of His Gospel? Were there not many divisions? How many recognized the long awaited Messiah, whose outward appearance was a lowly carpenter's son, and miracles were rationalized away because he taught sinners / outcasts and was labeled a winebibber, devil, blasphemer, etc.?

Look at the history of Christianity and how it has split into so many different dominations since early AD. Look at the wars fought over those differences of interpretation from the same Bible.

Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand. Where was God's authority and truth? Wouldn't it have to be restored?

How is today any different? All dominations of creedal and reformation Christianity are divided and being supplanted by worldly philosophies.

Wouldn't God, being unchangeable, repeat the same patterns the world cannot see when restoring His Church and covenant people once again in our day?

Every book of the Bible was new scripture at the time God called a living prophet and made covenants with those who followed him.

Why not today? Quite simply, the world hates pure religion as it hated Jesus Christ when He came not as they perceived...

Flashback
Kearns, UT

I just love the term "Biblical Jesus" that the Catholics and Protestants use against Mormons. Obviously the Protestants broke away from the Catholic church for a reason, but they kept the core beliefs. So which is it? The Catholic Church is either right (according to them) or wrong (according to the Protestants). Mormons believe that the truth was lost due to the aposatasy of the early church after the second century and through the dark ages. Mormons believe in a restoration of all things. What could be simpler?

Obviously the "Biblical Jesus" is someone that doesn't exist. He was made up by religionists way, way back. Now before you all weep, wail, nash your teeth and pray for me, read on.

Jesus is the SON of God, the Savior of the world. He created this world under the direction of his FATHER who is God. They are not the same person. I just read in Mark 9:7 at the Mount of Transfiguration where someone said, "This is my beloved Son: hear him." Did Christ throw his voice? This is why we need ongoing revelation. To clear up the mis-information about the "Biblical Jesus".

RepresentBlue
West Jordan, UT

This goes both ways. Member of the LDS faith need to remember to show respect and appreciation for other faiths. The way things are going in this country, I am grateful for any faith that preaches faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. The second chapter of Ether tells us, in no uncertain terms, what will happen to us if we reject Him.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

When hearts are softened, minds are opened. Those who hearts soften and minds open are much more willing to hear the truths of the restored gospel which will help build upon the faith and knowledge they already have. Lies cannot long defame when those hearts open to the truth. Many have joined the Church when they have been shown that the things they have been taught about the LDS are wrong and even slanderous. I pray for the softening of the hearts of these people because many of them are good and righteous people who are ready to receive the fullness of the restored gospel.

Buddyroe
Sherwood, OR

Sorry the commonalities are not sufficient.
While we share significant cultural ties to which LDS contribute significant quality, there exists an ecclesiastical chasm.
The basic presuppositions are quite different which leads to diverse conclusions (origins, end times, salvation, ordinances).
The Holy Bible is one bridge to this gap providing a common glossary of words.
Because our presuppositions are so different the meanings of words take on a significant diverse understanding.
We are able to converse on a broad range of ecclesiastical matters but we can't come to meaningful agreements.
LDS also use exclusive standard works which cannot bridge our gap in any way.
Likewise are drastic differences in ceremonies and ordinances and their meaning.
We both have weaknesses that seem to be undermining our respective churches at an increasing rate but those weaknesses are not the same except perhaps where they overlap culturally.
Let us enjoy and uplift each others cultural friendship and just leave it at that.

The Solution
Dayton, OH

The war against religion, specifically against Christians, is real. The whole point of the collaboration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with Evangelical religions is to form a coalition to fight against those who would take away our freedoms of worshipping the way we feel is correct. We do not want a government to overstep its bounds and force us (Christians) to take part in practices that are directly against our beliefs.

In order to accomplish this, we need to learn how to work together with each other and quit focusing on our differences. That's what this is all about. We are not changing our doctrinal beliefs and we are not asking any other faith to do so either.

It is obvious that we LDS have just as much animosity toward mainstream Christians as they do toward us. Let it go and unite in the cause of freedom.

Rockyrd
Gilbert, AZ

I am very surprised at the number of negative comments regarding this article. As members of the Church we should be about building bridges where ever we can, not tearing them down. I give three cheers for Dr. Mouw and other evangelicals who are willing to engage, talk and work with us. There are many.

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