Evangelical leaders, Mormons unite in message of faith

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  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    RE: Tators, Those people usually don't understand what the Atonement of Christ really is, why it was made, and to what end is it's totally necessity for their salvation.

    'A-tone-ment' is fanciful English word and not a N. T. word. rendered 'reconciliation' in Rom 5:11 in most translations and according to Vine should be rendered 'reconciliation' always.

    (Luther,Calvin ) The atonement of Christ as being a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice that satisfied the demands of God’s justice upon sin. With His sacrifice, Christ paid the penalty of man’s sin, bringing forgiveness, imputing righteousness, and reconciling man to God.

    Those who hold this view believe that every aspect of man—his mind, will, and emotions—have been corrupted by sin and that man is totally depraved and spiritually dead.

    This view holds that Christ’s death paid the penalty for sin and that through faith man can receive Christ’s substitution as payment for sin. This view of the atonement aligns most accurately with Scripture in its view of sin, the nature of man, and the results of the death of Christ on the cross.

    E.g.. (The sacrificial system of the Jewish temple),

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    What this tells me is that people who are Christian, regardless of denomination, have much in common in basic values. With the world/U.S. going so secular and value free in recent times, more and more people of religious values are going to need to come together on issues rather than be in opposition due to doctrinal differences. Hopefully it will be a two way street.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:06 p.m.

    @ Tators

    Constitutional trespasses, past and present:
    Mandated prayer in publicly-funded schools
    Federal recognition of Christian holidays (Christmas; Good Friday)
    Nativity scenes on government property
    Ten Commandments posted in government buildings
    References to “God” in Pledge of Allegiance and on money

    Privileges (now being challenged):
    Governmental recognition and sanction of all beliefs and actions represented above
    Violating with near impunity the religious freedom of non-Christians as a consequence
    Immunity from criticism and critical scrutiny of Christian theology and dogma
    Undue influence in government and governmental policy

    “Particularly white Christians” was not intended as contentious, inimical, or even judgmental, but rather as objectively factual.

    Neither religion nor a belief in gods is required to be moral.

    As to your belief in “Christ’s personal declaration,” it is met with equal force by my belief that there are no gods. Similarly your conviction that you know “the one right way” is met with my equally strong conviction that life is a lot more beautiful and amazing without the oppressive filter of religion.

    Under our Constitution, these beliefs are EQUAL.

    This is my 4th, thus last, post here. You get the last word.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    @ junkgeek:

    You missed the primary context of this article. The issue isn't about Mormon rights, though the meeting took place in a Mormon building. It's about ALL different Christian denominations' rights that are gradually being eroded.

    A few examples...

    The latest: Obamacare mandates force business owners to pay for insurance services that violate their faith (abortion, contraceptives, etc)... even if none of their employees need those particular coverages.

    Grade school kids have recently been kicked out of school for carrying a copy of the Bible in their shoulder-bags.

    Non-denominational prayers are no longer allowed in public... even with just a small group and nobody having any objections to it.

    It's now easier to display pornography than it is a religious symbol in public.

    Many municipalities will no longer allow Christmas trees and/or allow schools to sing Chrismas carols... even during Christmas.

    Government employees (and even many store employees) are no longer allowed to say "Merry Christmas" to fellow employees and/or customers.

    Military personnel can no longer approach a fellow soldier about his religion... even if the approached has no objection.

    These are just a few examples of an ever growing list.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    @ Karen R:

    Please give several explicit examples of the "many unconstitutional things that Christians got away with" in our country for so long. If there are so many things (as you contend), then naming several should be easy. Please be specific.

    And as a natural followup, please explain what "privileges" (rather than rights) that Christians are now losing... as you wrote. In so doing, please explain the differences between a privilege and a right, per your understanding of those concepts.

    And why do you differentiate between "white Christians" and Christians in general? It would seem you are trying to be contentious and inimical in using several disjunctive statements about Christianity in our country.

    BTW: As you said, "there is more than one way to approach life and find meaning in it".
    That is true, particularly in a temporal sense. But there truly is only one way (God's way) and one path (a narrow one at that) that leads to everlasting and eternal life... beyond our temporal sphere.
    To deny that in light of Christ's personal declaration and sacrifice is a rationalization, and perhaps even a self justification... and nothing more, unless simply mired in moral ignorance.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    There are many commenting about how good intentions is the answer and all that is necessary. Those people usually don't understand what the Atonement of Christ really is, why it was made, and to what end is it's totally necessity for their salvation.

    It's not enough to just assume you know. Many even confuse it with the crucifixion of Christ... though they were 2 different acts and primarily for 2 different purposes.

    The Atonement was and is the greatest event in the history of our world... though only a small percentage of people yet realize it. When accepted, it opens the door for individuals to be rectified and rejoined back to God the Father. It's what makes Christ literally our Savior.

    As Christ said in Matthew 7:14, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life. And few there be that find it."

    In verse 22 he adds, "Many will say, 'Lord, have we not prophesied and done many wonderful works in your name?' And I will profess to them, 'I never knew you: depart from me."

    Good intentions and deeds are not enough by themselves. More is required.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    RE: Free Agency,Most Jews don't believe that the Bible. What about the Jewish feasts of Lev 23?

    The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks), and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the N.T.

    The final three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period. i.e..

    Passover (Lev 23:5) – The Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.

    First Fruits (Lev 23:10) – The Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Cor 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead.

  • Luvutah TORREY, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    Truth is very simple. There is ONLY love. Practice daily. All else is fear, or one of its many disguises.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:30 a.m.


    I think the real question is whether we are acting in harmony with what Christ taught. His prayer for his followers was that they "would be one" as He - Christ - is with His Father. So rather than invalidating Christianity, I would say we just need to live up to the standard and expectation of Christ.

    As for the Atheists, the greatest wars in the last century (most deaths of any century) were started by and indeed fought between fellow Atheists - Stalin vs. Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. WWI was about colonies, industrial rivalry, etc. Not religion. Besides, this whole focus of American and British Atheists on religious war is wholly Western-centric and largely ignores broader history.

    Hatred and war is a just a sickness - a plague - of mankind. I'm not saying wars haven't been religious based, but rather that hatred starts war. God does not. God wants us to live in peace.

    You know that....

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    I enjoy occasions such as this. In the normal days of life, other Christians focus too much on how I differ from them, without opening their heart or expressing patience or acceptance for the idea of someone worshipping Christ without holding to arbitrary creeds or agreements. There is so much common ground, and there are so many shared views and beliefs that are inntegral and necessary.

    More and more we see that those who aren't explicitly for God seem to array themselves specifically against him, especially in the developed world. History shows us where that inevitably leads.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Jan. 21, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    Can I share some situations where religious freedoms are truly being threatened in the U.S.A: If I am a wedding photographer or a wedding caterer and I refuse for religious reasons to accept same-sex customers I may face fines and/or prosecution. If I am a parent who insists on being informed when homosexuality is being taught to my children, certain jurisdictions refuse me the right to be informed so I may withdraw my children that day. These are only a few real situations where my religious freedoms are denied. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Jan. 20, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    I can't think, yet, of a single right Mormons have that's being threatened.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:52 p.m.


    Your Biblical quotes don't represent the full spectrum of Judaism. Most Jews don't believe that the Bible is "the inerrant Word of God," so a verse written in the Iron Age is certainly not going to be taken as Holy Writ by most of us if it doesn't resonate with us. Especially since Judaism, like Mormonism, believes in ongoing revelation.

    Judaism considers the feelings and acts of one's heart, if they're loving, to have more authority than any formal doctrine. That's why the majority of Jews are, for example, supporters of gays and gay marriage.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    I don’t think it’s freedom that Christians are losing. I think it’s privilege. Christians – particularly white Christians – used to run the show in our country. They got away with many unconstitutional things simply by virtue of numbers and ignorance. We just know too much now and more and more people are learning that there is no one way to approach one’s life. There is no one way that provides lasting meaning.

    And so Christians are now being challenged to justify their privileged status and when they cannot, they are losing it. To some this feels like persecution or a loss of freedom. Personally, I think what they’re experiencing is the uncomfortable distance that must be traveled from “superior” to “equal.”

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    RE: Free Agency But as my own religion, Judaism ,And I *wholeheartedly* agree with you that it's terrible to teach a child that s/he's inherently bad.

    (Psalm 51:5 NIV) I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    (Psalm 58:3 NLT): These wicked people are born sinners; even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.

    (1Cor 1:18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

  • skrekk Dane, WI
    Jan. 20, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    Can anyone cite an example of the "religious freedom being lost" that Mormon Elder Holland referred to?

    Denying minorities the services of your business isn't "religious freedom", nor is denying minorities the legal right to marry.

    Seriously, does anyone have an actual example where religious freedom has been denied in the US?

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 20, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Nice to have this article and "christian gathering" to make us think about the circumstances around us.

    I like to (carefully) introduce the idea that comes with Christ when he said :...for he that is not against us. is on our part...

    We should be realistic in seeing the people around us in church as being of very different in faith and opinion, same goes among Christians and the world with all the features of philosophies and opinions. That would mean a grouping together of a common people with same ideas would be contraproductive in a way.

    To be straight forward, I tend more to support missionary work for to find individuals and families, rather than gather together the "Nephites" against the Lamanites.
    We all know how that ended.
    Just saying.

  • brian of ohio Kent, OH
    Jan. 20, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    @pacnwmom, I certainly could be wrong, --- Still, By being LDS you sustain the Prophets and apostles and being directed of God I assume. WHen they stand up in conference and say our religious freedoms are being taken, it seems like as someone inspired of God that you would just take that at face value if nothing else. Call that blind obedience, or call it faith, or call it I have listened to what they say in the past and know it to be true, so I believe this as well. Either way, its easy to see that freedoms in general are being taken very slowly, (or sometimes not so slowly and that should be alarming). Inlcuding religious freemdoms. You can't pray in public anymore hardly. Try it. Go to a public meeting and request that the meeting start with a prayer. If we are free to practice, and government can't support/OR deny any religion. Out of respect you would think people would allow you to. Not so. Prayer can't be in our government :(

    Any way I look at it, your point of view is kindof shocking to me.

  • brian of ohio Kent, OH
    Jan. 20, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    freedom is being taken in all forms. For instance birth control. You might say it is someones right to use it. Fine, but let them pay for it or go get it, or choose that option in their healthcare. Instead we are forced to provide it against our moral values(RELIGION).
    @ karen - you misunderstand religion with that point of view. There are many good Atheists out there, many of my friends are. However Christian religions preach one way to salvation, and that is through Christ, Not that there is only one way to be good. There are many many many ways to be good and do Good. Like being a doctor vs being a dentist. Both good professions, both ways you can serve and help others. However, all people still need Christ regardless of how much good they do because we have ALL fallen short. Atheists are trying to do it alone which is fine, whereas I believe God blesses those who listen and obey him with ADDITIONAL help that maybe an Atheist would not receive.
    -God gives strength(would say more but at limit), not condemns.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 20, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    @ Danite

    "We live it times where all faith based groups will face major challenges politically. It's already starting to happen."

    If your goal is preserve the First Amendment's promise of religious liberty, then I would advise you to join forces with atheists. Religionists convinced that their way is the one right way are their own worst enemy when it comes to religious freedom.

  • pacnwmom Vancouver, WA
    Jan. 20, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    I'm not sure what religious freedom everyone is proclaiming is being lost. I haven't heard of anyone being denied to right to worship in the United States. It was a Latter-day Saint family that had to petition the Supreme Court to take prayer from schools because "Christian" kids were harassing their Mormon children with their "prayers." Public institutional support of religion is going away, but (as I live in the Unchurched Northwest) the opportunities to share and exercise our faith are absolutely still omnipresent in America. The government in the US (states) intervenes when people deny their dying children medication for religious reasons. Now, throughout the world, that is another story, there are so many oppressed by different religions and religious leaders. I'm grateful to be a Latter-day Saint and able to share my faith through words personally and published via the Internet.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 20, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    Growing up as a devoted LDS and seeing the promiscuity, double life and confusion of people like me who were also homosexuals. I remember praying for "healing", direction and a refuge.

    I prayed that the LDS church would provide all that. It didn't happen!. The AIDS crisis shaked society to its core and LGBT people have to re-examine their lives and "alone" come to the acknowledgment that being in hiding was not healthy.

    Monogamy and faithfulness was the answer. Now we feel free to be ourselves, all the vices that came from living in obscurity are finally coming to an end. We know feel free to love, have families, live monogamous lives and be proud of what we are.

    I feel that our Heavenly Father rejoices in our new found freedom and fulfillment.

    It is sad that the LDS church and the Evangelicals are colluding together and feeling that their freedom are under threat because people dare to be happy and dare to claim that the "shepherds have failed".

    IMHO the LDS church still have time to rectify its position and establish itself as the Zion to ALL children of God.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    @Karen R.

    Thank you for a wonderful posting. I'm always suspicious of any religion which claims to be the "only way to God." After all, we see God as "the Creator"--and what true Creator only provides, or tolerates, "one way?"

    And I agree that the goal of many religions is replication. I smile at the way the heavily-proselytizing religions keep proclaiming their updated numbers and using phrases like "the fastest growing." As if sheer numbers somehow proved that theirs is "the one true religion."

    But as my own religion, Judaism (which doesn't proselytize because it believes there are many ways to God) teaches, "Numbers don't count."

    And I *wholeheartedly* agree with you that it's terrible to teach a child that s/he's inherently bad. Thank you again for your breath of fresh air.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:51 a.m.


    I understand (and already knew) your point that Zacharias, as an evangelical Christian, is going to preach Christianity as "the way" (out of our society's ills).

    But you may not have understood my point. When you aim to remedy the ills of "society" (which includes many people who don't share Zacharias' faith), it doesn't work to say, "My religion is the answer for everyone." Because people who share his values--but not his religion--will be turned off.

    If he really wants to work toward having a shift in our society rather than merely proselytize, he needs to acknowledge and respect the beliefs of others who have found their own "way" for their lives. Not just welcome the commonalities between his faith and Christians of a different faith (in this case, Mormons), but welcome his commonalities with those who aren't Christian, and have no desire to be Christian.

    Otherwise, he's just preaching to the choir in his talks.

    BTW, I wasn't "offended," I was just pointing out why what he's doing won't work. And I wasn't being "politically correct," I was being (I believe) logical.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    @ Danite, nice in theory, but I don't buy it in practice. Conservative Christians (particularly Southern) are more cynical than that - I have lots of experience with them. Over-identification with conservativism will pigeon-hole the Church, marginalize it, and weaken its mission. It is a grave, short-sighted mistake to go down this road.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 8:53 a.m.


    Dear friend I think the point is precisely "political convenience" as you call it. We live it times where all faith based groups will face major challenges politically. It's already starting to happen. So the idea is not that Latter-day Saints go and join evangelical coalitions based on theology but that we stand together in a common cause....and that's truly a political one. That's what this is about, let's not miss the key motivational force here.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 20, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    Can't we all just get along? Perhaps our fellow Christians are changing their attitudes toward the Latter Day Saints because they are experiencing declining membership while the LDS church continues to grow. Better to have friends than enemies in a world where secularist persecution is growing. Whatever the reason(s), we should love each other as brothers and sisters! I am glad to see the LDS Church reach out and they to the LDS. Its what Jesus would do! Hopefully all Christians are becoming more like our Christ!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    Faith yes, doctrine no. The thing that makes the LDS faith unique is that is eschews the rest of Christianity. Cozying up to conservative Christian groups undermines that position. The drift towards a close relationship to a groupt that doesn't even think that the LDS are even Christians, I don't know what it really accomplishes except for political convenience, and that is not a good trend for a church that positions itself as the true church of Christ.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 20, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    @ Danite

    I don't think the goal of any religion is goodness. I think it is replication. If it was goodness, the claim to be the one and only way would be unnecessary. There is no one right way to be good.

    People are (mostly) good because it's to our benefit to be good. Things work better for ourselves and our communities when we agree not to harm each other and when we cooperate with each other. Religions hijack this truth and claim the credit.

    I personally think religions do more harm than good, but I also understand the human need to unite beneath a common banner. But please drop the claims that one banner is the only true one. This is an inherently divisive statement and has created and continues to create unnecessary strife. I'd also appreciate it if religions would stop teaching vulnerable, defenseless children that they are inherently bad. What a terrible thing to do to a child.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Jan. 20, 2014 12:00 a.m.

    I understand your logic, but I state the sad reality of fact.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Jan. 19, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    It appears events like these have been happening for some time. How do you learn about when these events are being held so you can plan to go to them? For some reason, I only learn of them after the fact. Is this an annual event? Do you need to have tickets, if so how do you get them?

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2014 4:48 p.m.


    What you state is only reality if we make it that way. Today is a new day with new challenges and we must stand together and focus on what unites us (and there is al lot) we cannot focus on past issues with the challenges at hand. Let's not be victims.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    @Free Agency,

    Zacharias is a Christian Pastor and as such believes that Christ is not merely "a" way but "the" way. Christian theology is clear on this point and it was taught without reservation by Christ Himself. There is no need to be offended by a Christian preaching Christianity. We accept the virtuous and moral things found in other religions and embrace all truth but what you argue is for Christians to stop preaching their most core beliefs.

    If you disagree with Christianity that's fine, embrace what truths you find there and disregard the rest but don't expect Zacharias or other Christians to abandon their doctrine to fit your political correct standards....that's what's got all religions into the conundrum in which we find ourselves. Dear friend, let us stand together as a force for goodness, our common goal, and not try to change the most sacred elements of what makes us good in the first place.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Jan. 19, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    With the endless plethora of anti-Mormon sentiment from non-LDS religious institutions, it will take a millennia to mend the damage done to unite us, unfortunately.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 19, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    "We talk so much about one's rights, that we talk so little about what is actually right"

    Brilliantly stated

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    Zacharias, like many evangelicals, points out the ills of society--which I agree are plentiful.

    But then he offers Christianity as the *only* solution. Can he not imagine that there are non-Christians who fully agree with him about living upright lives, not just doing "whatever works at the moment," and who have deep moral and spiritual values that they've dedicated their lives to? And they don't "need Jesus"?

    I truly believe that if we promoted the core values of love, compassion, integrity, responsibility, non-exploitation of others, etc., without regard to what your particular religion is--or even if you have none at all--we'd have much more hope of a turnaround in our society. But the moment someone proclaims, "My religion is the Only Truth," you lose a lot of people--especially the young, who are so hungry today for real values.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 19, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    I frankly don't believe the world has moved away from "the right," despite Mr. Zacharias's views. I see a world where people are freer and more prosperous than ever, where poor nations are emerging from poverty on their own and with our help, where people who used to cower in the shadows have more opportunity than ever. The America of my childhood was a fearful place by comparison to the America of today, where I now see young people of all races and religions happily working together toward the future. In my youth we feared the commies, the bomb, and each other. Not anymore. Even the crime rate is in free fall. Yes, there are simmering problems everywhere, but as MLK says, the arc of justice is swinging the right direction.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Jan. 19, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    I look forward to a day when we all come to a unity of faith. With events like these maybe we're getting a little closer. At least giving opportunity to speak and to hear one another. We have much more in common of what we do believe than what we don't. I don't understand the differences between each group, but sometimes I think it is a matter of using different words to describe the same thing or that there are a few people who want there to be differences when there don't need to be. It would be neat if they would broadcast some of these events so that more people can hear what is being shared.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 19, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    Truth is Relativity, It's the books you read and the people your with. Prayer keeps us in touch with with people in our hearts. All the laws can't change what is in your heart. The truth shalt set you free when you open your heart and listen.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 18, 2014 11:55 p.m.

    Looking from the outside of a christian world, it seems a little bit funny that none of this loving and supporting among christians has happen much earlier in history ?!

    One could argue, that loving your neighbor would include christians as well.
    But it did not in time past, and so it did not among the Muslims and many other religious manifestations. So we wonder what the Non-Christian world and atheists should think about religion in general, having had no example to follow some unity. Bang ?!

    I would like to here from the next speaker an apology about this.
    Uniting in faith now is wonderful, but having some clue to how to approach our brethren among the non-believers would be uplifting.

    We are (all christians alike) too bussy to defend faith, instead of understanding others that have real complaints for a far failed religion in past history.
    Explaining is needed, not building more walls.

    Be asured there are many that will change mind, if they can get some logic in this universal mess of religion. We owe this to people, but little is done to help them.
    But may be I am lost here, who would know better ?