Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Seeing the Beauty in Other Religions and Denominations

I am "amazed" on a regular basis by other religions and movements - in a good and enlightening way. I think there is awesome value in them, and there is MUCH we as a church can learn from others.

I would love to see more passionate singing, more praise-centered talks, more diversity of activities for the youth, more focus on local, practical service for those not of our faith, etc. I am inspired by the Muslim dedication to prayer; I love the symbolism of Catholic mass; the meditation and focus on internal calm of Buddhism enthralls me; Confucius was an incredible prophet, imo; etc.

Comparative Religion was my favorite subject in college, specifically because I want to learn from others' perspectives. I even listened to the evangelical radio shows when I traveled in rural OH, since there almost always was something I could learn from the sermons - even those that included things that are diametrically opposed to some of the core principals that are taught in the LDS Church.

I believe Moroni's description of what comes from God as whatever inspires to do good and come to Christ includes much that can be found in other religions and denominations - especially when "coming to Christ" is understood as "becoming like Christ, even if there is no conscious understanding and acceptance of Christ". Given that belief, I love to study others and their religions and try to learn and grow from them.


Michael said...

Amen to this post. We need to pull in more of what is good and praiseworthy into our own worship tradition. We Latter-day Saints can be a boring bunch on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm OK with the boring, just not with the self righteousness.I'm not sure I've ever heard this point of view expressed in thirty years of membership,and busy-ness with other members invariably means that our experience of other organisations,let alone religions,is very limited.Hopefully things are changing.One of the least endearing aspects oif church membership is the siege mentality.

Patty said...

I totally agree! I would love to see some of the passion I see in other religions show up in our meetings sometimes. I think somewhere along the way we equated reverence and feeling the spirit with silence (and there are definitely times and places for that) but I think that sometimes feeling the spirit means that we sing out more loudly or are louder in declaring our beliefs.