So far, the year 2012 has been a riveting year for this pivotal Eastern Idaho community situated on the northern stretch of the I-15 LDS corridor.
First, we had the opportunity to listen live to Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, in a packed-out, standing-room-only gymnasium at Skyline High School. The cheers for Mitt were deafening. I could have reached out and touched the man, an individual who recently spoke at the commencement of Liberty University – one of the largest evangelical campuses in America. I hope Mitt, who is LDS, will beat Barak this November.
Secondly, those of all different religious backgrounds were invited and had the privilege to hear ex-LDS bishop Earl Erskine speak to a Saturday night audience (and through Sunday) in the large Calvary Chapel sanctuary. This man had never before been featured in an evangelical worship service of that nature. On Saturday night, he spoke softly and haltingly in his speech. I have never seen anything like it.
And if that has not been enough to supercharge our city with electricity, thirdly, on Wednesday, 7:00 pm, June 13, 2012, less than four weeks from today, Greg Johnson (founder of Standing Together) and Dr. Robert Millet will be on stage at the downtown Colonial Theater to have a historic public conversation in Idaho Falls, Idaho about the respective faiths of evangelicalism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This will have nothing to do with American governmental politics but everything to do with what these two affable men have promoted as convicted civility in their gospel discussions. For some time in town, we have had an evangelical ministry, Share the Son Ministries, (which I highly recommend) lovingly and respectively seek to discuss LDS and evangelical doctrinal differences in order to obtain clarity and further evangelistic strategies, but this is the first time we have had a prominent LDS man and an ordained Baptist minister share the platform together in a public event.
Undoubtedly, there will be a large representation of LDS leadership at this event. I desire to meet as many of the men as possible. The event is free to the public. Concerning your attendance, one evangelical brother in town, Larry Hall, is a chief architect for helping arrange this event. He has about 450 tickets available. To request your block of tickets, email him at LarryJHall@hotmail.com. He will send you a confirmation about reserving your tickets, how to pick them up, and a request to contact if there is a cancellation.
As you consider the dynamics of a dialogue like this, whether you are evangelical or LDS, I would encourage you to pick up the book, Bridging the Divide: The Continuing Conversation Between A Mormon and An Evangelical (Monkfish, 2007). Read this book and you will come with even more questions on June 13. They touch on subjects that are vital to me: The nature of God, the Trinity, mankind’s sin, and the gospel.
See you all in downtown Idaho Falls soon,