Standing Together put on its 2nd National Student Dialogue Conference this past weekend. The conference was at UVU. It started Friday night and went all day Saturday as well. Students came in from all over the USA. Both Mormons and Evangelicals. There were 8 speakers. 4 Latter Day Saints and 4 Evangelical Christians. There was question/answer time after all the speakers and then 2 sessions of round table discussions that consisted of about half and half mormons and evangelicals sitting and talking. It was really cool. I've been spending a lot of time this year researching evangelical Christianity so it was interesting to sit at these tables and feel like I have a pretty good understanding of both faiths.
By Saturday night I was exhausted because while I really enjoy these types of discussions it gets pretty intense being in a room with 300 people who are all there to talk religion. It's a great concept though. Too many people are scared to sit and talk to people who are 'different' and this was really helpful to just learn how to talk and come to an understanding on some things and also accept that we won't always agree on other things.
I believe God is relational and not so much denominational. I'm not saying that I'm going all Unitarian and that I think all roads lead to heaven, but I do feel that God will be a little more tolerant than maybe we believe or have been taught. I know some Mormons and some Evangelicals that won't agree with me in this belief, and that's ok, I might be wrong. But I feel that anyone who is genuine in their desire to find truth will not go straight to hell just because they didn't have the "whole truth" or they "rejected truth" in this life.
By Sunday morning most of the students were gone. But 4 students from Fuller Seminary in Southern California stayed til yesterday. So Sunday night my parents had Paul and I and the 4 grad students up for dinner. It was a lot of fun. They really appreciated just having a relaxing fun evening to just unwind a bit. We still talked religion a bit, but had a lot of good laughs as well.
Finally yesterday Paul and I had a little down time. We went for a walk at Liberty Park and sat talked for a couple hours. We also went to Park City and walked around, did some window shopping and had dinner on Main Street. It had been a busy couple weeks of us both being out of town and then getting ready for the conference. It was some much needed catch up time!