Tag Archives: WIIS

Grounded: Relating to Your Mormon Friends in Truth and Love

24 Sep

What is truth?  Does it matter?  If so, where do we go to find it?  Is Truth found in feelings or in facts?  And do the two ever coincide?  These questions mark one of the clearest boundaries between the LDS faith and traditional Christianity… and our answers to them can make a big difference in our ability both to stay grounded in our own faith and to clearly communicate that faith to others.

That is why the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies has taken over the task of marketing the “Grounded” youth group curriculum.  Throughout five sessions, young Christians will explore the fundamental differences between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity, finding answers to questions like these while at the same time learning the techniques necessary to develop fruitful and lasting friendships.  Throughout the series, youth are encouraged both to ask questions of their Mormon friends and to listen carefully to their answers while at the same time honestly and openly presenting their own faith.  Workbook devotions encourage teens to delve deeper into the Truth of God’s Word, enriching their spiritual life through both prayer and practical “good works”, while DVD interviews with LDS teens help students begin to see the world through the eyes of those whose theology and lifestyle often seem foreign to them.

Overall, I found that the materials took a refreshing approach to “sharing the truth in love” and believe that whether you study on your own, with your family, or in your youth group, the “Grounded” resources will help you learn to more effectively share your faith with your LDS friends!

The curriculum, including Leader’s Guide, Student Workbooks, and DVD segments is available for purchase through the Western Institute of Intercultural Studies.  I encourage you to “click” over and take a look!

Bridges: Helping Mormons Discover God’s Grace

17 Sep

Sharing God’s Grace and traditional Christianity with an LDS friend, neighbor, or family member can be a challenge and it doesn’t take most of us long to discover that if we’re going to present our faith clearly and effectively, we’re going to need some help… and possibly a new perspective.  That’s where “Bridges”, a curriculum distributed by the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies comes in.  In five sessions, participants begin to understand:

  • The Legacy of the LDS Church – How did it begin?  What shaped its culture and attitudes?  Which forces are influencing it as its members’ journey into the future?
  • The Theology of the LDS Church – How do its doctrines differ from traditional Christianity?  What influence do its teachings have upon the daily life of members?
  • The Journey out of the LDS Church – What obstacles face those who question and ultimately leave the church?  In what ways does traditional Christian community help or hinder these immigrants?
  • Bridging the Gap – How can Christians clarify key doctrines of the faith for those who use the same vocabulary, but assign it with different meanings?  How can our own “faith experience” aid believers in effectively sharing the Gospel with their LDS friend?
  • Community of Grace – In what ways can Christians help former LDS church members’ transition into Biblical Christianity?

Workbooks coupled with group discussion and DVD interviews with former LDS church members help students begin to thoughtfully process the difference between the Mormon faith and traditional Christianity while at the same time teaching believers to “speak the native language” of the Deseret.  Throughout the course, participants will learn to better understand what drives their LDS friends as they learn to more clearly and effectively communicate their own faith.

I highly recommend the curriculum to anyone who is ready to take on the adventure of sharing the Christian faith within the context of this unique culture!

Facilitator’s Guides, Student Workbook, and DVD material are available for purchase at: http://www.wiics.org/seminars/mormonism-adult-training.

Transitions: The Mormon Migration from Religion to Relationship

10 Sep

Those who have spent a large percentage of their lives in Utah and Southeast Idaho will be the first to tell you that Mormonism isn’t just a religion, it’s a culture.  The teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints influence everything from the family to the workplace, from volunteer organizations to government and, most times, in positive ways.

Unfortunately, this intertwining of religious belief with every-day life can become a hindrance to anyone who decides to sever their ties with the church.  As members of the LDS church take their first steps into traditional, Biblical Christianity, they are often accosted by sights, sounds, and philosophies which (at times) differ greatly from those with which they are familiar.  Wading through the positive and negative aspects of LDS culture and its relationship to the Truth frequently leaves these new believers feeling as though they are “immigrants in a foreign land”.

It is for this very reason that the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies has produced the Transitions curriculum.  The series explores not merely the differences between LDS and Biblical Christian culture and theology, but also the emotional aspect of leaving behind that with which a person is most familiar.  Through interviews with former Latter-day Saints, Transitions addresses the effects which a change in faith has upon one’s view of one’s self and one’s place within God’s story and provides hope for those who are facing this transition, themselves.

The curriculum also has something to offer those who are already in a relationship with Christ and are seeking to ease the pain experienced by members of the LDS church as they transition to Biblical Christianity.  In listening to these believers discuss the frustrations they encountered as they shared their new beliefs with family and watching as they commiserate about their struggle to find a place within a traditional Christian congregation, your eyes will be opened to the many ways in which both churches and individuals can help and support these new brothers and sisters in Christ.

I found the materials both helpful and informative and hope that you will do the same!

The curriculum can be previewed at http://www.ldstransitions.com/preview where it can be purchased for either individual or church use.

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