Evangelicals Seeking to Convert Mormons, but in a Nicer Way

 

 

The Jordan River Utah Temple
of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints
(click to enlarge)

 

I don’t think that Evangelical Protestant and Latter-day Saint ideas on the relationship between grace and works are quite as far apart as most Evangelical Protestants and many Latter-day Saints imagine, but, to the extent that we disagree, I think that the Evangelicals are wrong.  (Big surprise!)  However, that’s a topic for another time — and probably more for a book than for a blog entry.  (The dispute over grace, or faith, and works has been raging between Catholics and Protestants, and various kinds of Protestants, and Mormons and certain kinds of Protestants for several centuries now, and I’m unlikely to put an end to it until at least late July, after I return from England and can devote a few minutes to the matter.  What the article too easily refers to as “traditional Christian emphasis on grace alone” suggests a consensus where, actually, no consensus exists, not even among non-Mormons.)

 

But there are, as this article by my friend Peggy Fletcher Stack recounts, some Idaho-based Evangelicals currently visiting Utah in an attempt to convince Mormons that we need to become Christians(c) by, among other things, accepting their particular understanding of grace and works.

 

Oh well.  I hope they have a good time.

 

What interested me as much as anything about the article is its mention of John Morehouse, who is my opposite number as “custodian” of the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy — an organization on whose board I sit and for which I’m now the custodian of the Mormon Chapter.

 

There are, I think, really good things that are going to be coming down the pike over the next four-to-twelve months from the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy.  Watch this space — or, even better, watch here — for news.

 

 

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  • RaymondSwenson

    I have always wondered about the attacks on Mormonism by “faith without works” Evangelicals who assert that a Mormon’s efforts to do good will not count in saving us. They generally claim that salvation only requires a declaration of faith in the saving grace of Christ. Since every Mormon has done that at least.once when we were baptized, why shouldn’t we meet those minimum qualifications? I have been told by some Evangelicals that once we meet the minimum qualifications, we are saved no matter our sins either before or after our declaration of faith. Since Evangelicals believe that my efforts at personal righteousness are sinful, why aren’t those sins wiped away like the post-faith ordinary sins of an Evangelical? And once I am saved, I don’t need to join their church. In fact, apparently a lot of Evangelicals have figured that out and don’t see a need to attend church any more.

    For those Evangelicals who are concerned with doctrines that reject the life we are called to by Jesus, our disagreement in this area seems to be more a matter of semantics. There are lots of other issues, but lots of Evangelicals don’t think that people who persist in a sinful life are really saved.

    Of course, based on D&C 76 we believe the good people among the Evangelicals are going to have immortality in the presence of Christ, so we don’t deny they will be saved in about they way they expect to be.

    • brotheroflogan

      Raymond, that’s exactly what I have been thinking. Evangelicals will get the kind of heaven they believe in . Although they may have to go to spirit prison for a time before hand.
      I was debating with an evangelical Christian over whether we will be married in heaven. He said that in heaven he’d see his wife and love her, but they’d just be friends. Sounds like the terrestrial kingdom to me. (But I believe they’ll both accept the gospel in the right time and receive all of the blessings of the celestial kingdom).


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