Yesterday was a great day for our church. Thanks to all of you who did such a wonderful job with all the extra things that helped us welcome Marie Osmond. She was very gracious in every way, staying until everyone who wanted to meet her had the chance. Several of you have shown me your picture taken with her. I have a very few tickets to her free concert tomorrow. Let me know if you would like to go.
I have been asked, “Why us?” It’s well known that Marie Osmond is LDS. Many of us remember the days when the LDS church actively discouraged their members from attending worship in other churches. Times are changing and I think that’s a very good thing.
Seven years of my early ministry were spent in Burley where the Latter-day Saints outnumber the people. The prevailing assumption back seemed to be that either they were going to convert us or we were going to convert them (though we knew that neither outcome was likely) and that we were engaged in an ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of the citizens of our community. I chose not to get involved with the “anti-Mormon” agenda of many of Burley’s churches. And I will never forget the kindness and the generosity of the LDS community when we built our new church.
The Nampa Ministerial Association has LDS representation. Some clergy don’t participate with us for that reason. It was through my friendship with Chris Given on the Ministerial Association that we were invited to host Marie Osmond and the other LDS guests yesterday.
We have our differences, no doubt, but we all love Jesus. The LDS church has been working hard in recent years to build bridges of cooperation and friendship with other churches. This overture is genuine and sincere. As they reach out to us, I am proud to reach back. There is a lot we can do together. The cause of Christ is served when all branches of his church model his love and work together to show that love to others.