Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Report on the Mormon Living Room Dialogue

mormon living room

Ruth Ellen Homer greets guests as they arrive for a Living Room Dialogue. Photo by Jeanelle Adamak.

When CIC guests arrived at the Mormon Living Room Dialogue on February 18, 2016 they found homemade, whole wheat bread with molasses in it waiting for them. As part of a presentation about the 1830’s founding of the church, hostess Ruth Ellen Homer served food that rural families in early America could have produced.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in western New York state and then moved to Kirtland, Ohio. This Christian church acquired the nickname “Mormon” from the Book of Mormon, a scripture written by prophets in the ancient Americas and translated by the gift of God by a modern prophet, Joseph Smith. Joseph was the first president of the church.

While constructing their first temple in Kirtland, church members learned that both temples and homes are sacred places. A temple is the house of the Lord, and a home shelters a family as they keep God’s commandments and plan to live together in heaven.

For Mormon couples, the goal of marriage in a temple is central because the ceremony allows them to be together in heaven with their family. This connection between temples, homes, and eternal families was a central part of the recent open house for the new Indianapolis Temple.

Latter-day Saints center family life on efforts to build faith, create order, encourage learning, and give glory to God. Every day there is family prayer and scripture study, and Family Home Evening is held as a weekly time to be together. Families also fast once a month and give the money saved to provide for the needy.

Children are taught to prepare for full time missionary service after high school, and teenagers attend early morning seminary classes each school day. These often start at 6:00 a.m.

The evening concluded with a tour of the basement, where ingredients for the homemade bread and other simple meals are kept. Mormons like to be ready for anything from ice storms to economic downturns and are happy to show others how to prepare.

This Mormon Dialogue was the fourth one held by the CIC Education Committee, and more are planned. The next Dialogue will be on May 19, 2016 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at an Eastern Orthodox home. The address and other details will be posted soon on the CIC website.

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