"Ask a Neighbor" series gives students an opportunity to learn about other faiths

Students gathered Tuesday night in the HUB Multipurpose Room for the “Ask a Neighbor” discussion, an opportunity for students to engage in an interfaith dialogue with Darrell Moseley, Spokane Washington Stake President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Moseley joined the church at age 18, and has since then become a leader in the church.

Moseley was chosen to be a stake president last June. As a stake president, Moseley is the leader of the Spokane wards, which are congregations grouped together geographically.

The students in attendance asked Moseley questions and listened as he shared the beliefs and practices of his church.

The conversation covered a wide range of topics relevant to the Latter-day Saints faith including ward boundaries, drinking caffeine, gender roles in the church, diversity, missions, scripture and more. One audience member asked Moseley to talk about the temple of their church.

“We look at the temple as another place of worship,” Moseley said. “It’s reserved; not all members of the church can go there, only those who pay the highest devotions to the church, who are in tune with everything the church is doing, obeying all the commandments, and the covenants, are welcome to go in the temple.”

Moseley later explained that temple access is determined through an interview process with a bishop and stake president of the church. Members who meet the requirements are given a temple recommend card, which gives them access to the temple for two years assuming they stay true to the commandments.

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about repentance,” Moseley said. “If someone does something wrong that would cause them to lose their temple recommend, they should go to their bishop, who would work through the repentance process with them and get them back their temple recommend.”

The discussion was the first event of the “Know your Neighbors” interfaith dialogue series launched this spring. The series allows Whitworth students to actively engage with people of other faiths from around the Spokane community.

The event is coordinated by Ross Watts, Whitworth director of service learning and community engagement, and campus pastor Mindy Smith.

“One of things that we were interested to do was to create a space on campus where students could learn a little bit about other faiths because that might reduce some of the fear of the unknown,” Watts said.

The long-term plan for the series is that students will begin with “Ask a Neighbor,” which are on-campus discussions with people of other faiths from churches around the Spokane community, and then attend “Meet your Neighbors,” events with the Spokane Interfaith Council, which offers open houses at places of worship around Spokane, and then finally “Be a Neighbor,” which would ask students to complete a service project with people of different faiths.

“The series is a set of opportunities for Whitworth students to engage with somebody from a different faith and become comfortable around them,” Watts said. The next “Ask a Neighbor” discussion will be Tuesday, April 19, at 8 a.m. in the HUB chambers. Students will have the chance to speak with Amer Ahmed, an intercultural diversity consultant, about his Islamic faith.

 

Contact Kailee Carneau at kcarneau17@my.whitworth.edu

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