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March 10, 2007


Joseph Price

If you don't mind, as things come to me I'm just going to dump them on you. I don't have that many LDS people I can talk to about this stuff. I'm really excited about your program. I'm going to see if I can get it going here in my stake. I don't know if you have heard of the Daybreak development here in South Jordan, UT, but among many other neat things, it aspires to be a truly diverse place where neighbors interact like they did once-upon-a-time. Anyway, your program should fit right in here. One tidbit that really inspires me is the following from the Gospel Principles manual we use to teach the recently baptized. I believe it's under-emphasized. The ramifications of it are pretty important from a "Know Your Neighbor" standpoint. That is, the idea that Non-LDS will serve in Christ's millennial government. What I find inspiring is the idea that after the "wicked" are gone and only the righteous remain that a plurality of religions will not only still be here but will play an essential part in society. I think that we as a church can learn a lot from this fact. I find it exciting. Here's the quote.

Chapter 44: The Millennium,” Gospel Principles, 282

Jesus Christ will not only lead the Church during the Millennium, but he will also be in charge of the political government. This government will be based on principles of righteousness and will preserve the basic rights and freedoms of all people. Mortals, both members of the Church and nonmembers, will hold government positions (see Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 2:310).

Whitney Johnson

Dear Joseph --

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

On the topic of how insensitive saying something like "the only true church" can be, you may want to take a look "It's Terrific to Be Specific" written by my co-blogger Dana King.

Should you get more information regarding "The Doctrine of Inclusion" please do share with us. More on this topic, can only be good.

I did do a search on your bridging initiative. Seems to have been some great conversations taking place. Looking forward to your documentary -- please let all of us know.

My best,


Joseph Price

I agree with Brother Bushman. I have been involved in the "Bridging the Religious Divide" initiative that launched in Salt Lake City in Nov. 2004. I wonder what response he got to his letter. It's deeply offensive to some people to hear that we're part of the "only true church". I believe it's incongruent to claim that in light of scriptures like D&C 10:52-70 which state clearly that the Lord's church pre-existed the establishment of the LDS Church in 1830.
At the very least that phrase should not be tossed around casually and some effort should be made to explain in what sense it may be true. On Sunday in Elders Quorum the teacher said that we are perhaps the only church that believes in revelation. In truth you'd be hard pressed to find a Christian denomination that doesn't. If anything our expression of such limited because of hierarchical contraints, while other sects aren't. It's these kinds of misunderstandings that I think justify a change in emphasis in our teaching. I understand there is something on the horizon with the working title "The Doctrine of Inclusion" which friends of mine who have access to Elder Bateman have mentioned, though what form it may take is unclear. Also, at a recent multi-stake conference broadcast in Sandy, UT Elder Ballard spoke of befriending our neighbors even if they have no interest in investigating the Church. My small dialog group left over from the "Bridging" intitiative are producing a documentary about the first signs of hope we have seen in our conversations. We consist of 2 active LDS, a Presbyterian, a Jew and a Lutheran, all of whom have experienced the unique and painful interreligious and even interfamily dynamics here in Utah. Good things are beginning to happen! Not the least of which is this blog. Thank you so much. Let me know what I can do to help.

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