Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
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mackay11
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Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by mackay11 » 01 Dec 2013, 01:24

Tiny degree by tiny degree, the gargantuan ocean liner of Mormonism alters tone and direction.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/12/becom ... t?lang=eng
A few years ago, a Presbyterian minister moved into my community wanting to serve all of her neighbors, not just her church congregation. As she reached out in our predominantly LDS neighborhood with friendliness, offers to help, and invitations to neighborhood parties, ward members began participating in her congregation’s service projects; together, she and neighbors of various faiths held a fundraiser that significantly helped an LDS family with dire medical expenses.

Apostle Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) stated, “God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. … It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people.”3 Great things can be accomplished when good people band together. Our neighborhood minister’s efforts led to the formation of a community interfaith committee that, along with our stake Relief Society, put on a women’s conference supplying hygiene kits and books to refugee agencies. These interfaith connections then enabled stake members to help a congregation feed a large refugee gathering and to step in when another church needed additional volunteers at a homeless shelter.

“We have a responsibility … to work cooperatively with other churches and organizations,” President Thomas S. Monson has told members,4 and this outreach has blessed the world beyond humanitarian service. In an address to Christian leaders in the United States, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described a series of LDS–Evangelical Christian dialogues held at Brigham Young University.5 One outcome of these conferences occurred when a prominent theologian apologized for mischaracterizations of the Mormon faith by some in his community.6 Of such bridge building Elder Holland said, “I cannot help but believe this to be part of a divine orchestration of events in these troubled times.”7
...
I gratefully follow up on anyone’s interest in learning about the Church, but I also know that we Latter-day Saints take Jesus’s charge seriously to love our neighbor, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and visit the imprisoned (see Matthew 25:34–36) without expecting the conversion of the recipient or those who serve with us. Sincere and respectful interfaith engagement never requires any group, including ours, to disavow its beliefs. Rather, it encourages participants to “contend against no church” (D&C 18:20) and “clothe [themselves] with the bond of charity” (D&C 88:125).
December 2013, Ensign
http://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/12/becom ... t?lang=eng

Roy
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by Roy » 01 Dec 2013, 15:47

I was so excited while reading this. Very nicely written.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Roy
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by Roy » 01 Dec 2013, 16:51

I really liked one of the quotes from Elder Holland:
In his address to Christian leaders, Elder Holland acknowledged the “risk associated with learning something new..... New insights always affect old perspectives, and thus some rethinking, rearranging, and restructuring of our worldviews is inevitable.”
I have modified it slightly to apply more generally than he perhaps intended. :twisted:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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journeygirl
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by journeygirl » 01 Dec 2013, 17:48

I was excited to see an article like this in the Ensign too. There wasn't any mention of working with other faiths to convert them. It was just about the benefits of putting our efforts together and learning from them. (Although some of the other articles in that issue were more the same old views, even with friendships for conversion stuff.)

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mom3
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by mom3 » 01 Dec 2013, 19:53

I love this. I may just show this one to the Bishop. He's been very supportive of our community efforts, but this would be a big jump forward. There are too many excellent universal topics in this to separate them out. I keep praying the tide will keep going this way.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Life_Journey_of_Matt
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by Life_Journey_of_Matt » 01 Dec 2013, 20:29

I came on here to post about this article since I loved it so much, but I had a feeling I wasn't the first one on here to see it. :thumbup:
I also know that we Latter-day Saints take Jesus’s charge seriously to love our neighbor, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and visit the imprisoned without expecting the conversion of the recipient or those who serve with us.
This seems to me to be the proper way to perform missionary work. Our hyperactive proselytizing is just not my cup of tea. (No, I don't actually drink tea. I know you all were thinking it, though. ;) )
"So oft in theologic wars / The disputants, I ween, / Rail on in utter ignorance / Of what each other mean / And prate about an Elephant / Not one of them has seen." -- from "The Blind Men and the Elephant" by John Godfrey Saxe

"The faith that stands on authority is not faith. The reliance on authority measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

My ongoing story: http://precariousironrod.com/

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mackay11
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Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by mackay11 » 02 Dec 2013, 00:18

The Sunday School lesson was on "Hastening the Work." I made the point that God's work is bigger than just growing the church. I referenced this article and mentioned that the new Pope was turning hearts back to Christianity and Christ's gospel. I then referenced this article suggesting it showed the church's growing maturity and quoted one of the quotes in more detail:
"Perhaps the Lord needs such men on the outside of His Church to help it along... They are among its auxiliaries, and can do more good for the cause where the Lord has placed them, than anywhere else. … Hence, some are drawn into the fold and receive a testimony of the truth; while others remain unconverted… God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of His great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous for any one people."
Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve

Quoted by President Ezra Taft Benson in 1972:
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/civi ... s?lang=eng

And more recently here on the church interfaith page:
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/interfaith

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Dec 2013, 22:13

I really like this article and have been seeing more and more things like it over the last few years.

Now, as cwald likes to say, if the members only will accept what they are being told now that is different than they were told in the past . . .

(It's really ironic, to me, that many of the members who are least open to continuing revelation and cultural change are the ones who are labeled as faithful and stalwart - and that they call others apostate for being open to continuing revelation and cultural change. Just saying. :shh: )
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by SamBee » 06 Dec 2013, 18:19

I would like to see interfaith charity work go on. Feel we should work with Salvation Army etc on homelessness, with other Christian charities on the likes of Philippines...

I was personally involved in getting our ward involved in interfaith activities. I think the benefits are goodwill and education - I'm not interested in converting them really or vice versa (which is what Bahais try to do...) or all the religions merging into an amorphous mess.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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mackay11
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Re: Becoming Better Saints through Interfaith Involvement

Post by mackay11 » 07 Dec 2013, 04:42

SamBee wrote:I would like to see interfaith charity work go on. Feel we should work with Salvation Army etc on homelessness, with other Christian charities on the likes of Philippines...

I was personally involved in getting our ward involved in interfaith activities. I think the benefits are goodwill and education - I'm not interested in converting them really or vice versa (which is what Bahais try to do...) or all the religions merging into an amorphous mess.
Having read this article and with my new call as branch mission leader I think I'm going to make interfaith activities one of my main focuses. There's a group of churches round here that collect food for the homeless. I'd love to put the missionaries to work doing that. Door-to-door food collections! (If they want to leave a book of mormon while they're doing it, fine).

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