As a former Methodist with enduring abundant affection for Methodism (especially
the historic, committed version), I would agree with Arkansas gal and others
commenting here. The doctrinal differences between the LDS Church and Methodism
are actually not that important in terms of how we act each day. Both
traditions discourage bad habits, urge good works, and yet ultimately rely on
the saving grace of Christ's sacrifice. The differences with those who
reject Christianity on the whole as a "fairy tale" loom much larger.
It always puzzles me why today's Mormons insist on minimizing their unique
religious and cultural distinctives as some have done in their comments here.
Given the rich texture of Mormon History and culture - not to
mention a theological system so distinct that the title of "The Fourth Great
Abrahamic Religion" was proposed by Richard Land of the Southern Baptist
Convention - I would think that Mormons would be loudly declaring, "Oh no,
we're not Christians we're something different altogether: We're
Mormons!" Instead, Latter-day Saints insist on trying to squeeze
their square peg into a round hole that they have never fit and never will. Why
do Mormons value their distinctives so little that they're willing to sell
them for a porridge called, "Me too! I'm one like you!"' Yet when outsiders call them on this needless, unproductive, and
inaccurate line blurring they gets pounced on, denounced, and condemned by
Latter-day Saints. It's a real head scratcher! So to paraphrase
the late great James Brown, may I respectfully suggest that Mormons stop all
that and just say it loud: "I'm Mormon and I'm proud!"
@ex-mormonLighten up Francis...
I converted to the LDS Church 37 years ago and have been active since. Before
that I was Southern Baptist. From my experience, I believe LDS and other
Christian churches are more alike than different. I say that without
compromising my testimony of the Restored Gospel. I also believe we all should
work together on common causes and quit name calling and "holier than
thou" attitudes. To paraphrase a well known saying, "We must all hang
together or we surely will all hang separately."
@J-TX, I'm speaking the truth, I'm sorry if you take it as
divisiveness. Like I said, it's fine for different faiths to work together
for community causes.. but the differences between these two faiths should not
be blurred. To do so is an injustice to everyone concerned.
Speaking as an Evangelical Christian, we can most certainly join the LdS Church
in working toward commonly agreed social goals that are outside of, and that
don't cross theological lines. This is known as "Peaceful
Cobelligerence" which, in a religious context, simply means an alliance
between groups, which are normally opposed on doctrinal grounds, for a common
social goal. A good case study is how conservative Evangelical Christians and
the Roman Catholic Church allied in joint efforts to oppose abortion. However, if one or both parties confuse Peaceful Cobelligerence with
theological unity or implicit endorsement of the other group's theology or
doctrine then BOTH groups have a problem for their group distinctives are being
compromised. Unfortunately, this problem seems to be creeping into
how this event is being perceived. I know of many Evangelical groups who have
visited LdS Church Headquarters - some whom have met with General Authorities in
private meetings - those disagreement with LdS Theology and doctrine remained
unchanged afterward. I don't know but I would suspect that this
is yet another one of those cases.
I was raised a Presbyterian, but felt that I was predestined to become a
latter-day Saint. Actually my conversion was more serious than that, but I felt
that my upbringing and instruction in the scriptures was all good, and that
conversion to LDS was just a natural progression in a life dedicated to Christ.
I was particularly impressed with a young minister we had that taught us the
principle of tithing, although the congregation as a whole rejected the
Religious prejudice is just like racism. As long as people accentuate and
emphasize the differences, it will remain a divisive force. If the similarities
were emphasized, more people could get past the superficial differences and
focus on the fact that we are all children of God.Ex-Mormon, this is
why Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have careers.What are you gaining
from your divisiveness?
@Cat, no, actually it breaks my heart, I love my LDS family and friends and I
care about everyone's eternal destiny. I wish it were as simple as just,
different Christian denominations coming together, but the truth is, it's
I have found many worth while truths and common ground with all the faiths of my
friends. They wouldn't be my friends if there wasn't common ground to
begin with. I tell my friends they have many parts of the puzzle. We just have
the missing parts to the puzzle (LOL) and that is why I hope they will someday
read the Book of Mormon. A faithful LDS I know, says, "I learned many good
things in the Catholic Church...and then I learned there was more." There
is no need to undercut the good that people have. Just share and invite them to
learn more if they are interested. While sitting in a waiting room
one day, I picked up a religious pamphlet beside my chair. I found the most
interesting article. It read almost word for word as if it came from the Pearl
of Great Price. I spoke to someone from that religion and was very surprised to
learn that they, too, take their religious doctrine from the earliest verifiable
text. There were a few "missing pieces" but an excellent foundation for
Dear Ex-Mormon, Very sad. Does that make you feel better?
It's fine to be friends and do community service together, but there is no
spiritual fellowship between Born again Christians and Mormons, they worship
different Gods and they follow different gospels...
Loved the Southern Baptists in Alabama. Their jenerosity is in part why i gained
30 lbs on my mission despite the bike!
Wonderful story. It is so heartwarming to see churches work together. I came
from a variety of churches and am so happy to be a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been a member for 54 years now but I
remember many special experiences in the churches I attended as a child,
especially the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church. We all serve the same
I am always happy to see people working together for the good of all. This is
how the Savior would have it. What a nicely written article.
I have been a Mormon for 53 years, but recall my early days in the Presbyterian
Church with love and affection not only for Presbyterians, but all Protestants
and Catholics. Christians should not be fighting, but cooperating.
My how times have changed
I have similar story as Arkansas_gal and totally agree with her. This is really
great news reported.
Nicely done! Exciting stuff.
The LDS and Baptist church can collaborate on more than welfare. We have the
same beliefs about the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of marriage. Both
of these are under attack in the U.S. Also, freedom of religion is under attack
in the U.S.
@ Arkansas-gal. Great letter, thanks for writing it!
I love hearing about the collaboration between denominations! I come from
Baptist roots and I must tell you that when I joined the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints, I had a good Gospel foundation because of my Protestant
roots. I know that both parties came away with goodwill and a better
understanding of one another.