Being a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has often meant I felt on the outside of Christianity. I grew up in a bubble in which I didn't know much about other's faiths. I knew most other faiths didn't consider me a Christian (despite the name of my church bearing Christ's name), and I knew there were some key differences between our religions.
What I didn't realize was just how closely our faiths actually were. Over the past five years I have become good friends with people strong in their own faiths. I have come to learn and understand more deeply what they believe. And I have come to know that in fact we stand very close - much closer than either of us would have believed.
I think the biggest difference is the willingness to talk about the deeper doctrines. My interaction with other Christian religions has mostly ended in the "Just believe in Christ and the rest is just details." While that may be the core truth, I am constantly amazed at how our differences are not all that different in the end.
What spurred these thoughts? A short television series called "Eternity: Where Do We Go From Here?" produced by a local Christian television program. My impression of the widely-held Christian belief of Heaven was simply a state of paradise, where all is beautiful, where we dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. My own belief was one of eternal progression, that the next life is a continuation of life and learning and creation, while dwelling with God in a state of happiness. As I watched this series, I was surprised to learn that I had grossly misunderstood the mainstream Christian belief about Heaven.
The more interaction I have with people of other faiths, the more I realize just how much we have in common. We each have misunderstandings about the other, and are amazed that we can sit and have discussions on faith and gospel topics and be in complete agreement with each other. Of course there are some differences, but more than not even the differences can be understood, if not reconciled.
Check out the video I saw on youtube: