PROVO- It’s not a secret that the LDS Church has had their relationship problems with other Christian denominations, but this weekend might have been a big step in strengthening those ties.
Methodists, Adventists, Nazarenes and many other faiths gathered at BYU with the LDS church to build a larger network and understand each other better.
Life after death, heaven and Jesus Christ’s role were just a few of the topics various Christian churches discussed over the span of three days at a religious conference held at BYU. Richard Mouw is the former president of California’s Fuller Theological Seminary and said having open discussion with the LDS church got him flak from fellow Evangelicals.
“I have been criticized a lot for cozying up to the LDS church, for not condemning them, but it doesn’t bother me that much anymore,” Mouw said.
He wasn’t the only one who has had trouble helping his own religion accept the LDS church as legitimate. Roman Catholic Professor Mathew N. Schmalz said he’s also trying to help his religion see past the Mormon stereotypes and understand the doctrine of the LDS church.
“They need to see Mormonism as a full religious tradition and not just a new tradition,” Schmalz said.
The Q and A section of the conference was also a great way to fill in the gaps of misunderstanding. People said they left the conference with new perspective on life beyond the grave, but also realized they have more in common than they thought.
“We need to take a step back and understand what people believe because there is a lot of truth in it,” BYU student Dallin Webb said.
Leaders said though they had many different opinions on doctrine, they all agreed they have heaven to look forward to. They also said the conference was such a success that they want to do another one in the future.