Recently, more than 60 members and friends of the York Interfaith Group, met at York Medical Society Rooms to consider the afterlife. Included in the audience were the Imam (Muslim), Senior Nuns (Bar Convent), Rabbi (Progressive Jews) and other faith leaders including Buddhist, Hindu, Protestant, Catholic, Quaker and Bahá’í. Some audience members were agnostics, seeking answers to life’s deepest questions. As would be expected, warmth and respect were apparent between the various speakers. This was one of a series of events as similar interfaith dialogues occur monthly, where different faiths can present their beliefs about a given topic.
This event was organised by Mark Cosens, multi-stake Public Affairs Director in York. 95 year-old Joyce Pickard (Quaker) chaired the discussion, which followed on from a special birthday party held in her honour, and attended by the Lord Mayor of York, the Sherriff of York and their consorts.
One of the presenters was Keith Bishop, National Interfaith Advisor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spoke about death not being the end, preliminary and final judgements, destinations in the spirit world (paradise or spirit prison), resurrection through Jesus Christ and opportunities for afterlife progression. He read from the Book of Mormon to help illustrate the doctrine that he was teaching.
Interfaith events are excellent opportunities for church representatives to clarify beliefs and tactfully testify of truth and create a good impression. They are also occasions when the Holy Spirit can touch hearts, inspire minds, prompt further questions and help brothers and sisters from other faiths to better understand The Lord’s Church and its members.