Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ravi Zacharias, a prominent evangelical Christian, will be speaking the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square Saturday, January 18, 2014. Zacharias will also address students and faculty at Brigham Young University and meet with Mormon officials.
Ravi Zacharias: Christians must work on selves, world will follow
Speech » The speaker made his second appearance at historic LDS Tabernacle.
First Published Jan 19 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Jan 19 2014 01:01 am

Evangelist Ravi Zacharias told 3,500 gathered at the LDS Tabernacle Saturday that Christians will never change the disintegrating culture until they get right with God.

"The world out there is caught in this vortex of relativism," said Zacharias.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But, he said, "We will never change the outside until we are changed within."

He urged the audience — mostly evangelicals, but some Mormons as well — to make the word and worship of God central to their lives.

"Once we do that," Zacharias said, "the world will see the beauty that is Christ and want to follow him."

Zacharias is one of the evangelical Christian world’s most popular preachers and was making a repeat visit to the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square.

When he first preached there in November of 2004, Zacharias was the first non-LDS speaker from the Tabernacle’s pulpit in 105 years.

The Standing Together network of Utah evangelical churches invited Zacharias both times. Thirty-one evangelical churches and ministries distributed free tickets. Most seats were filled Saturday night.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, joked before Zacharias spoke that some might believe, upon seeing evangelicals and Mormons together, that the apocalypse has arrived.

He said the night was not an ecumenical gathering in which beliefs are compromised.

story continues below
story continues below

"Each of us is who we are and we believe what we believe," Holland said.

But, Holland said, in a world increasingly losing its religious moorings, it’s imperative that the extended Christian community join together to offer the answers to what ails "society and the soul."

Zacharias did not directly discuss cultural issues that unify most evangelicals and Mormons, such as opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. His speech was titled "Lessons from History, Building a Nation Under God," but it was more a sermon than a history lesson.

He drew parallels between the hedonistic, child-slaughtering culture described in the Bible’s book of Second Kings and today’s world.

"Take a look at society today and ask yourself. What are we doing to our children? … We are eliminating them by the millions. I shudder to think what has happened to our reason."

The world also has lost the sense of the sacred union between a man and woman, he said. "It’s gone with the wind, trivialized, profanized."

Bob Pershe, of Park City, who attends Mountain Life Church, said he was struck by Zacharias’s appeal to the personal rather than political movements.

"What struck me was his call to focus on the word of God as the basis for everything we do," said Pershe. "It was more of a personal appeal for us to grasp onto, to believe we’ve been redeemed."

Zacharias was born in India in 1946 and immigrated to Canada with his family 20 years later. His conversion to Christianity came at age 17, when he was hospitalized and recuperating from a suicide attempt.

A prolific author and worldwide speaker, he founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, a non-denominational ministry based in Atlanta. It also has offices in Canada, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong.


Twitter: @KristenMoulton

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.