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October 18, 2021 9:51 pm
Viewpoint program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism responded by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 is a research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith manner that expresses gentleness and respect.
And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism so glad to be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM, but we also have as our guest this week, Pastor Scott McKinney. Scott is the pastor of Centerpoint church in Orem, Utah which is in Utah County, south of Salt Lake County and Scott's been here for a number of years has a lot of experience ministering to not only Christians that come to Utah to live but also reaching out to the LDS culture as well and yesterday Scott, you are talking about your background and your father and you didn't mention though. Even though your father was in the Air Force he actually precedes the Air Force because he was a fighter pilot in China during World War II because the Air Force didn't become the Air Force until 1947 stories they have to tell about that very briefly while Mike was larger-than-life figure ferocity started back for the LSU Tigers back in 19 1940, 1941 was an honorable mention All-American merit that was that was huge for us as boys to have our dad. We we followed in his footsteps. We all played high school football college football. My dad he was.
He was a fighter pilot in China beyond China.
He stated the Air Force had a 27 year Air Force career activity Army air Corps became the Air Force and my dad is my dad was very strict and typical of a lot of military parents. You know the thing about my dad loved us. He just he loved us and passed away back in the 2009 actually have that. It was great to have him move up here to Utah the last years of his life, and my mom was so good to have the merit have been part of our church is one thing that my dad would my dad become a Christian. He was confined to a wheelchair. The end of his life. But after every sermon he will, but come up to me and say son that is the best sermon that I ever heard i.e. say that every week I would say better than last week. Even better power of having an I will never forget what we may become Utah rolled down the window and I you little choked up thinking about this, but each rolled down the window saying goodbye to one another. I and all four kids packed in the Toyota van. He just gave me a look and and tell me love me and that he believed in me and that we need. We need that in life and I know that's the that's the kind of thing is a legacy I want to pass on to my own kids. That's what I want to pass on people in our church is and I love you. I believe it and people need definitely the greatest generation. I remember I had the honor of doing a memorial service for man, a woman had asked me to do this or her father just passed away. He would get converted out of Mormonism as well and when I arrived to the chapel to to do the service. I saw his bomber jacket there along with a lot of his ribbons and stuff and I did not realize at the time, but this man was a tailgunner in a B 24 Liberator and I do so man what an honor to do this and it is certainly an experience I'll never forget your wife Sarah is kind of reluctant to come to Utah and you talked about that and yesterday show but now you're here, you're here now in Utah you get here in 1989. So you got quite a few years under your belt. There Scott, but you tell a story in the introduction to your book and again the book is keep showing up Utah pastors journey, you can catch it on Amazon in the introduction. This is what you say I want to relate this and then you can talk about you sick several years after we moved to Utah I was in John Wayne Airport in Southern California waiting for my luggage. I found myself standing alone next to Rick Majerus the men's basketball coach at the University of Utah. Majerus might've been one of the most well-known residents of Utah during the 1990s. In fact, he coached at the U between 1989 in 2004, he had quite quite a reputation.
Here and as you say, the units were having an amazing run.
Majerus was to put it mildly, a character you had a way of quote, telling it like it is our bags took a long time arriving and we ended up in a conversation, I wanted to talk about the youth basketball program but Majerus didn't seem interested in talking about himself. He wanted to know about me yes what I did for a living. I told him I was a pastor at a church just a few miles away from Brigham Young University.
The youth's archrival, he looked at me and said, tough gig, and there is a way that stood out for me is because I remember being in Utah many years ago and someone telling me about ministering in Utah County and I remember using those same words tough gig Utah County is a bit difficult and you're right in the middle of it. Why would you say that Utah County would be a tougher gig.
And let's say anywhere else in the state of Utah. Well, it is the Centerpoint spiritual center point of this culture and in a lot of reasons we were known as Evangelical free Church back in 1989, but when we moved our new location we change the name to Centerpoint in one of the reasons why we want to make Jesus that are part of our lives and make a note from the center point of Utah Valley but we recognize that we're doing that from the center point of a religious culture that is incredibly dominant in every way. Everywhere you look that's what you see, that is what you experience is that the the LDS culture. The LDS church here is ubiquitous about that word but and it is a shocking thing for people when they come here they move into the area. They're not LBS it's disorienting to be in the midst of a place where one space is best dominant because there's no other place in the United States like this I would have let me go back to my wife. She was to move here. The Lord did something in her life and I think this is really important that we work a couple of weeks after talking about moving here in presenting the opportunity and everything she grabbed me by the arm and she said let's go, and I mentioned earlier about having a dad that believe in me, even more importantly, have a wife who believed in me and that she is an amazing one. I cannot go any further in this broadcast without just thanking the Lord for her and everything that she is meant to. May our family to this ministry that's that's great to hear because I think if you're going to have a successful ministry, especially in Utah you have to have a very good woman behind you, and I certainly praise God for mine and I know Eric and I both have have women behind us, that we thank God for every single day that your church is about half a mile south of Utah Valley University. You say that that's the largest university in the state with nearly 40,000 40,000 now, but you're not far from BYU Brigham Young University and in BYU has about 34,000 students and as you mentioned over 99% of them are Latter Day Saints 90 say something in your introduction that I find fascinating.
I think is absolutely true. I want you elaborate on it. You say you are less than 5 miles from the missionary training center. What we call a. The MTC were LDS missionaries are trying to go on missions all over the world and then you say not all Mormons live here, but almost all Mormons have ties here.
Explain your listeners what you mean by that. Things are happens when people converted when people are raising the LDS church. If you're if you're new to the LDS church, and you convert the tide you have a place like BYU or the tide you have to the missionary training center.
There is something that usually happens in your life that connects you with this area you're going to marry into a family or you have a family that some of your relatives are going to live.
Every Mormon has connections to this place. Family reunions are huge. In the summer here in Utah on it just part of life. Everybody has a sense of connection here and if you don't I it if you don't develop that sense of connection as an LBS person I would sense that maybe your tide of the church isn't really all that strong, but that's been my experience with every Mormon seem to have that I know has a connection. I think you're right about that, and you also mentioned that the practical effect of that is that in Utah County.
People just assume that everyone is Mormon. I experience that even living in Salt Lake County, you overhear conversations as you stand in line in the grocery store where people talk of quote unquote primary relief Society, Young men's young women's and who is being called to be the next bishop.
There is talk about sons and daughters being called to serve a mission, and who is getting married in the temple you have in quotation marks. The church seems to be a part of the air we breathe and the water we drink. When I give a talk on what life is like in the state of Utah and I'm talking about the demographics I kid about that.
I say you know when you're listening to the news and you hear the newscaster talk about the church you know they're not talking about yours and you kind of get used to that living here and you're absolutely correct, Scott. I don't know how many times you hear people talking about the kids going on missions and they do they talk about who's the bishop and they talk about things that are going on in the church. If you're familiar with the terminology you know what they're talking about. I can imagine a lot of people coming here are not being familiar with that might wonder where am I what are they even talk about but you're absolutely correct on that so it it is entirely a different culture. I tell people being a missionary in Utah is kind of like being in a foreign country. Although we somewhat speak the same language, even in that area. We have our differences as well, but we use words and get different definitions of those words we use the words of faith similar words and we have different definitions for those words because we have different sources of authority, but that that's just part of me there's a familiarity that I think you have the people here. They live a life of faith. We live a life there are certain experiences you have, I think, is people of faith.
There is no you just cannot get away from the idea that were outsiders in this religious culture that we don't belong to. You have to learn to live with as somebody in Utah County and I would have. There was an article in the Tribune about 24 years ago said Utah County is getting more Mormon, more LBS. And while the rest of you guys getting less than an eye. My sense is that Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, the Ogden area at Park city probably it's not as LDS as it used to be, but Utah County has changed in a number ways is still the center point still very much the church dominates every aspect of life, and I would agree with that tomorrow. We want to talk about some of those differences, and again I want to cite from your introduction.
We been talking to Pastor Scott McKinney. He's the pastor Centerpoint church in Orem, Utah, and he's written a book titled keep showing up Utah pastors journey.
I would strongly encourage you to check this book out it's on Amazon just put in the title. Keep showing up Utah pastors journey you'll be able to read the introduction to the book as well as the afterword discussion I want to continue this conversation in tomorrow show. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request your free newsletter is a research we hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint Mormon is