Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Elder Quentin L. Cook May Be The First LDS Apostle To Blog, Publishes "Partnering With Our Friends of Other Faiths" On Patheos

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve

The Deseret News reports that Elder Quentin L. Cook, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, may be the first apostle to have published a weblog. Editors from the Patheos website, which is dedicated to religious and spiritual dialogue, asked the LDS Church to provide a written perspective on the future of Mormonism

On the Future of Mormonism page of Patheos, Elder Cook published an essay entitled "Partnering With Our Friends Of Other Faiths". Elder Cook's interest was triggered by the earlier appearance of Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at Brigham Young University, where he spoke to a crowd of 13,000 students about the importance of working together to preserve religious freedom.

Elder Cook notes that becoming partners in the defense of shared moral principles starts with sincere efforts by religious faiths to understand and learn from each other. He finds that when he accompanies other faith leaders on tours of our newly built temples during the open house, these religious leaders come to know and understand us better. Likewise, we also gain a greater understanding and appreciation for their beliefs. But collaboration does not lead to ecumenism; in short, Elder Cook advocates maintaining a balance between denominationalism and syncretism.

Elder Cook concludes by saying that the future of Mormonism in the public sphere will, in part, be a shared one as we work with other like-minded faiths to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ in reaching out to our fellow citizens.

Another official from the LDS Church, Michael Otterson, who serves as managing director of the Church's public affairs department, also contributed a post entitled "The Church's Reputation: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunity", in which he discusses the growing public fascination with Mormonism and how we can capitalize on the opportunity created for us to help the public break through remaining misconceptions about Mormons. One of the reasons I started Mormonism Unveiled was to contribute towards that goal.

While many believe this is the first time an LDS Apostle has published a blog, Scott Trotter, a spokesman for the church, said "We can't confirm whether this is the first time an apostle has communicated through a website. We just don't know." But it should be no surprise, since another apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard, encouraged members to blog and engage in Internet conversations in a speech in Hawaii in December 2007.

It's good to see the General Authorities begin to mix it up in the blogosphere. Don't expect it too often, for they're busy folk.

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