(Courtesy of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries/Ben Ian May)
Christian apologist and writer Ravi Zacharias addressed 3,500 evangelicals and Mormons at the LDS Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, asking that people from the two faiths stand together to oppose "relativism" and "lost morality."
The two-day "Freedom and Friendship" event held last Friday and Saturday marked the second time that Zacharias had spoken at the Tabernacle. The apologist's first meeting occurred 10 years ago, when he became the first non-Mormon speaker in the Tabernacle in 105 years.
Zacharias' focused on how Christians and Mormons should make sense of a culture that increasingly relies on a "pragmatic philosophy with no accountability," during his talk on Saturday.
Opening with the story of King Manasseh, found in both 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, Zacharias pointed to the story as an example of the "dangers of relativism and lost morality," reported KSL.
"When you only do whatever works, really nothing works...We must build our lives upon things that are eternal," the apologist said.
"We talk so much about one's rights, that we talk so little about what is actually right. It's an alarming trend. … There is only one angle at which you can stand straight and many, many different angles at which you can fall," Zacharias added.
Zacharias also put the onus on evangelicals and Mormons to first change themselves—through reading the Bible and asking God to "make you right with Him" before seeking to change culture."
"Once we do that, the world will see the beauty that is Christ and want to follow him," he said, reported The Salt Lake City Tribune.
Zacharias' talk was presented by Standing Together, a coalition of evangelical Churches who seek to "be a catalyst for uniting the Utah Christian community through relational efforts of prayer, worship, and strategic evangelism."
Among its outreach efforts are organizing "LDS/evangelical scholarly dialogues" and providing "resources for interfaith dialogue." The coalition also helped organize Zacharias' 2004 event.
Standing Together President Rev. Gregory Johnson told audience members on Saturday that the conference was an opportunity for Mormons and Christians to gather and acknowledge their common interests.
"Tonight is another night for us to meet … not as warring factions, but as friends," said Johnson."We have significant theological differences. We don't undermine that, but tonight is an opportunity to hear from a great Christian leader to hear about a topic we all care about — freedom of religion."
Church elder and former president of Brigham Young University Jeffrey Holland introduced Zacharias and credited Mormons' and Christians' "shared love for the Lord Jesus Christ" for bringing them together "in true brotherhood and sisterhood tonight and always."
"While thus standing together, we also stand for our love of and need for the religious freedom that guarantees our right to teach and live by the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Holland said.