Wednesday, May 7, 2014
# 43: Interfaith Efforts
Lately I've been noticing that the LDS Church has been doing a lot more interfaith efforts. For example, the LDS Church participated in a Bay Area Interfaith Group Honoring Christ Through Song and Service.
I think participating in events like this is a change in the right direction. And it is a change. I doubt this would have happened fifty years ago. It definitely would not have happened a hundred years ago, when Mormons were not so quick to identify themselves as "Christian."
But I think there's this slow and soft change among Mormons. It's a change toward a more mainstream Christianity. For example, in my ward, there are people who listen to Christian rock music. And then there's been some chatter lately among the Latter-Day Saints around here about the recent movies "God's Not Dead" and "Heaven is for Real." The Mormons I know think these are great movies. They acknowledge that there is some real spirituality coming from other Christian denominations. There's just a lot more understanding and mutual respect between Mormons and other Christians these days.
Sure, our scriptures of the Restoration still say, in Joseph Smith History verse 19, "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; that: they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."
But, in the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley, "I don't know if we teach that. I don't know if we emphasize it."
There's a lot of crazy stuff in the scriptures that never seems to get taught or emphasized. Like all of section 129, for example. You never hear about that section in seminary or Sunday School or General Conference or in the home teaching message or anywhere!
The same stuff happens in other Christian Churches. There's a lot of stuff in the Bible that gets ignored, like Joshua and his army being commanded by God to kill the men, women, and children who lived in the Promised Land. And the weird summoning ceremony in 1 Samuel chapter 28, where King Saul calls up the spirit of Samuel, the Prophet. That's a trippy chapter, man. I doubt you'll ever hear about it in a Christian church, unless you bring it up.
Anywho... the recent interfaith efforts being made by the LDS church are great. Maybe you can help the good work move along. Put your shoulder to the wheel!