Evangelical preaches at Salt Lake Tabernacle (www.deseretnews.com, November 15, 2004).Taking the pulpit [in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for an “Evening of Friendship,”] to speak of the event’s historic nature, Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Mouw addressed a capacity crowd of several thousand, offering a stunningly candid apology to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and noting that “friendship has not come easily between our communities.” He dubbed the evening “historic” and apologized that Evangelicals “have often misrepresented the faith and beliefs of the Latter-day Saints.”
“Let me state it clearly. We evangelicals have sinned against you,” he said, adding both camps have tended to marginalize and simplify the others’ beliefs.
Historical animosity dating back to the founding of the LDS Church by Joseph Smith in 1830 has heightened in recent years between the two groups, particularly in the 1990s, when several high-profile evangelical leaders asserted that “Mormons are not Christians.”
Mouw noted the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birthday next December and several scholarly events planned to celebrate during the coming year. “I hope many in the evangelical community will take part in those events,” he said.
[TBC: This may be shocking to an evangelical only if he or she has been oblivious to the exponentially developing ecumenical movement in the U.S. and abroad. Richard Mouw was one of the signers of “Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.” Fuller Theological Seminary has led the way in compromising the faith through its various missions and church-growth endeavors. Its most famous grad, Rick Warren, Ph.D., in his Purpose-Driven, church-growth seminars, has made “welcome Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Jews and ordained women. ‘I’m not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials. I won’t try to change other denominations. Why be divisive?’”(“This evangelist has a ‘Purpose,’” by Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today, 7/21/2003)]