Teach Your Children Well

The following appeared in BYU Magazine/Spring 2010.  It’s an article from the Family Focus section written by M. Sue Bergin.  Bergin highlights the need to teach our children (or in my case grandchildren) about other religions.

“One reason Latter-day Saints often give for learning about other religions is that it will make them better missionaries.  (James E.) Faulconer (current coholder of BYU’s Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding) believes that reason has value but carries a hazard.  “If we value people because we can convert them, that’s not valuing them or their belief.”  If we don’t pay true attention to what they believe, we deprive ourselves of deepening our faith about things they might understand better than we do, he says.”

“In his assignment with the Richard L. Evans Chair, Faulconer ha heard with new ears the pleas from Church leaders to learn about, respect, and value diverse faiths.  “They’re really emphatic that this is part of our mission–what we have to do–and it isn’t only for the purpose of gaining converts.  It’s for our own and our children’s edification and enrichment.””

I love this message.

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2 Responses to Teach Your Children Well

  1. Brad Carmack says:

    There are benefits to teaching children about other religions. I assert that adults benefit as well (http://bradcarmack.blogspot.com/2010/04/diversity-problem-restoration-religion.html).

  2. Roger Hansen says:

    According to presentation made by Dan Wotherspoon titled “Process Theology and Mormonism–Connections and Challenges” given at UVSC (now UVU) on 30 Mar 2006:

    “I attended the panel last week at BYU celebrating the publication of the proceedings of the “Worlds of Joseph Smith” symposium at the Library of Congress last May. During the discussion, Robert Millet identified the compliment we as Mormons feel when non-Mormons take our history seriously enough to attempt to understand and critique us. And he challenged Mormons to do the same, to pay others the compliment of getting to know their traditions and theologies and engage them in vigorous dialogue. Though he was also present that day, in a different forum that I encountered last week, Richard Bushman suggested that one benefit of hearing the thoughts of others, even critiques, is that it “sharpens our thinking,” that if we only hear ourselves think and the thoughts of those who agree with us, we will “fail to realize the real nature of” various controversies and “what we must do to effectively aargue our case.”

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