Craig Cardon with the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Conversation with the Rabbi

Episode 5

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Published on:

22nd Apr 2021

"How Do We Seek Out Truth?" with Craig Cardon, President of the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Rabbi Michael Beyo and Dr. Adrian McIntyre talk with Craig Cardon, President of the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, about faith, trust, and seeking the truth.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide faith of over 16 million members, with over 30,000 congregations in more than 160 countries and territories. Each of these congregations is led by non-paid leaders selected from the congregation who serve on a limited-time, volunteer basis. The Church provides gospel resources and programs in over 110 languages. It also operates several universities; a religious education program for youth and young adults with enrollment of more than 400,000 in 170 countries; FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogical organization; and Latter-day Saint Charities, a vast humanitarian aid program that provides nearly $1 billion annually in worldwide relief. The Church’s worldwide headquarters are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Craig Cardon was sustained as the President of the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2020. He has previously served as a stake executive secretary, bishop, bishopric counselor, stake high councilor, and elder’s quorum president. President Cardon is an owner and managing partner of the Cardon Hiatt Companies, a private business and real estate investment firm with holdings throughout the United States. He currently serves on the boards of various private real estate, finance, petroleum companies, and philanthropic entities. President Cardon married Aimee L. Dean in July 1998. They are the parents of six children. He received his juris doctorate from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in 2002 and was licensed by the State Bar of Arizona to practice law on October 22, 2002.

Additional Resources:

Conversation with the Rabbi is a project of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, neighborhood organization that has served individuals and families inclusive of all races, religions, and cultures since 1972. Visit us online at https://www.evjcc.org

The show is recorded and produced in the studio of PHX.fm, the leading independent B2B online radio station and podcast studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more at https://phx.fm

Transcript
Announcer:

From PHX.fm, this is Conversation with the Rabbi, featuring open honest dialogue, and sometimes unconventional perspectives on the world we all share.

Adrian McIntyre:

Welcome to another Conversation with the Rabbi. I'm Adrian McIntyre, joined as always by the host of this show, Rabbi Michael Beyo, CEO of the East Valley JCC. Hi, Rabbi Beyo.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

How are you, Adrian? Thank you for being here with us.

Adrian McIntyre:

Well, thank you. You are the reason for this show and for these conversations. I'm inspired by your commitment as both a religious leader, but also a businessman to make conversation a central part of our contemporary life. That's something we believe profoundly in, it's a commitment that I know you share. We're joined for this conversation by Craig Cardon, who is the Stake President of the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Welcome Craig.

Craig Cardon:

Good morning. Thank you.

Adrian McIntyre:

Thank you for being here. You lead a community that is complex multi-faceted historical, and here in the contemporary world, navigating many of the things that other communities of faith or communities of commitment are facing. Why don't you start off this conversation with a bit of a background on you on the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to get us into the world for folks who may not be familiar with who you are, who you serve and how that all plays out.

Craig Cardon:

Thank you. Well, first let me just say what an honor it is to be on this podcast, and I appreciate having been invited. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approximately 16 million members throughout the world. It is divided into then smaller groups and it's all by by location. And so for example, there are thousands of stakes throughout the world and stakes are made up of several wards. And so in our stake, as an example, there are eight wards. Each ward is made up of around 300 people and one branch, and that's usually a smaller congregation. And so in our stake, the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake, there are approximately 2,500 members. And so those are similar numbers. Stakes are usually somewhere around 3000 members throughout the world and usually have six to 12 wards within a stake. And so as you do that math, you'll see that generally each stake has somewhere around 3000 members. And so in Queen Creek, there are, boy I should probably know this, but I believe there are somewhere either seven or eight different stakes in just Queen Creek. Arizona and the East Valley especially, seems to have a higher concentration of members of the church, and it's a joy to just be part of the community.

Adrian McIntyre:

Now you are a member of a worldwide organization with communities congregations all around the world, delivering programs and over 110 languages. You have some international experience yourself as do many members of your church. You mentioned before we went on the air that you actually spent some time in the rabbi's hometown of Milano, Italy. Craig, talk a little bit about the global dimension of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Craig Cardon:

We are taught and we learned from the savior Jesus Christ that the gospel of Jesus Christ will go throughout the whole world. And that is a mandate and something that we pursue as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So much so that a young men when they turn approximately 18, prepare for missions are preparing before that and go on a full-time service missions, as well as young women, when they're 19 years old. I currently have a son who is serving in Tennessee on a mission, a full-time mission, and a daughter in Pocatello, Idaho. Now they're both state side at the moment due to the pandemic. My son was actually originally called to be in Brazil and we're hoping and believing that some point he'll get there, he just barely started his mission. But I also served a mission, as you mentioned in Milan Italy, and throughout these missions, these young men and young women dedicate their lives full-time, young men for two years and young women for a year and a half to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a great blessing and opportunity not only to serve, there are many opportunities to just serve throughout the community that they're in, but also to teach others about the gospel as well as become more converted yourself. And if I had to say for me, that was probably one of the greatest blessings for me was just to have my faith strengthened and my testimony grow of what I was teaching.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Thank you very much, President Cardon for being here. I was completely ignorant of your faith, I knew that it existed, but I was ignorant about it until I came here, to the East Valley, and I met a number of members of your community, Steve Bishop, Ruben Huntington and then eventually I met President Smith, became a very dear friend of mine, and actually he will be also a host in our podcast in a few weeks to come. My question is, could you tell to those who don't know, tell us a little bit about the history and specifically about the history of persecution of your community? Because a lot of people don't know that in America, in the 1800 in Missouri, there was a proclamation for extermination of people of your faith. So could you tell us more about that?

Craig Cardon:

Yes. Let me start with Joseph Smith, I'm sure you've heard that name. In 1820, he was a young boy, approximately 14 years old who was searching to know how could he be saved. And in that time in America, there were many different teachers of religion and many professing all based on the Bible, what that someone had to do to be saved. And this boy Joseph was raised in a religious home and was taught from the Bible by his parents and desired to know what did he need to do. And so one night he was reading in James 1:5, where he was taught that if you ask God, he'll answer you. And so at that time, he decided to go and to ask God. And so he went into a Grove of trees near his home and prayed, and it was there that he was visited by Heavenly Father in Jesus Christ and told not to join any of the other churches but instead that through him, the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ would be restored. And that at the time after Christ's death and after the death of all the apostles, there was a time of apostasy where the priesthood authority was taken from the earth and was going to be restored and subsequently was restored through Joseph Smith. He was also taught later on about another book of scripture that he was led to find golden plates, which then he was helped in translating, which is now called the Book of Mormon. And Mormon was the prophet in the Book of Mormon who abridged the plates, put all the writings of the various prophets together, which is why it's called the Book of Mormon and thus you've also heard us called Mormons. But you can imagine that with a boy young, who has that experience then goes to share it with the world and there are many because of his teachings, even many religious leaders who are not happy with what he's teaching and are not happy with a declaration that there is one true gospel of Jesus Christ to be taught. And so the persecution begins and it is at that time then that as members of the church, they begin to relive their religion and have certain views that don't always go along with the political views of the people in the areas, and so are persecuted from going from place to place, including as you mentioned, Missouri, where an extermination order was given that you could kill a Mormon onsite. And it was with that, that the members of the church, and it was after the death, the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother Hiram, they were killed in Carthage Jail, that after that Brigham Young was the senior apostle and became the leader of the church and directed the saints to go West, which is when they then went to go settle, Salt Lake and Utah and become to establish a people there.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

I know that members of your faith, you view yourself, and please correct me if I am expressing it in the wrong way, but you view yourself as re-establishing the covenant between God and Abraham. Right?

Craig Cardon:

Correct.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

And so I know that your temples, for example, are built following the Jewish temple that existed in Jerusalem and a lot of your clothes and practices and rituals, they're to retell or relive those practices that existed in the temple in Jerusalem. Is that correct?

Craig Cardon:

I would say, even to remind us of covenants that we make. And so the practices of the ordinances that we participate in the temple, as well as outside the temple of baptism of the sacrament on sacrament meetings, those ordinances are where we make and renew covenants with our Heavenly Father.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

I really appreciate everything that you are explaining for those who are not familiar with your faith, but let me ask you some probing questions. On the one hand, you are a small religion just like the Jewish people. We are a small religion, but one of our differences is that we don't go out to proselytize. We don't go out to missions to inspire people to become Jewish, and your church does that. And at the same time, you provide a lot of help to anyone irrespective of their faith and religion. So how do you reconcile these two approaches that I find within your church, on the one hand you help everybody whoever needs help you help them, and on the other end, you want to change who they are.

Craig Cardon:

Oh, Rabbi, you're being very kind in your expression, and we do. Service to others and to the community in general, regardless of whether or not someone is a member of the church is a guiding principle. We're always looking to seek out the poor and the needy and to help. Your question the way you phrased it, of we seek to help and look to help everyone in the same way we're looking to change. I would use a different word than change. We are seeking, I know on my mission, we are seeking to find those who have a desire to know more, to take what they have, the knowledge that they have, and then learn more about what has been revealed and an important part of this as I started with Joseph Smith is that since Joseph Smith, just like the profits of old, Moses, et cetera, that there are prophets on the earth today who continue to reveal to us the will of Heavenly Father and his plan, what we refer to as the plan of salvation, or the plan of happiness plan of redemption, that teaches us where we came from, why we're here on earth and where we're going to go after we die. And so our desire is not to take away things from people, but instead to add knowledge and simply to share that knowledge and then invite a person, to pray and to know for themselves, by receiving the feeling of truth from the Holy Ghost about whether or not what we're teaching is true. Does that help explain that?

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Yeah, for sure. It's just that, I know that, for example, in your past there were some deep controversies over some practices of the church to even convert, postmortem, members of the Jewish faith to Mormonism. My understanding is that that has been discontinued for many years. Coming from a tradition that we don't proselytize, I am wondering, what inspires you to go out and proselytize? What is it within yourself that makes you want to do that?

Craig Cardon:

What a great question. We have been taught by the savior that we are to take the gospel to all the world, so that I would tell you is the main reason we feel that we're following the teachings of Jesus Christ by going out and teaching others. And to address, and to comment on your talk about the temple ordinances of specifically baptisms for the dead, you are absolutely right that that is a practice and it was a practice and continues to be for ancestors of members of the church. And in that practice, it helps to understand a little bit what our beliefs on what happens after death. We believe that when you die, your spirit goes to what is called the spirit world. And there, for those who have already been taught the gospel and have chosen to live righteously, they are organized to be able to go and teach others, similar to what we do here on earth with our missionaries of going in and teaching throughout the world. And then those who may be never have heard about Jesus Christ or God, or even of religion, they have an opportunity there to be taught, now just like we are taught here on earth, that in order to follow Jesus Christ, we need to participate in ordinances like baptism, and then further ordinances in the temple. We also then would have an opportunity and the people there in the spirit world need to have the opportunity to participate in those same ordinances. And so those ordinances are done in the temple for those who are dead vicariously. However, it is completely up to the agency of the person in the spirit world, whether to accept that ordinance or not, it is not something that then we feel mandates them to accept something that they didn't want.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

It's very interesting. The more religions are different, the more they are similar on many respect. Your tradition is very much based it seems to me on blind faith, you have ever faith that everything that you believe in is absolute truth, which is very similar to many other traditions. How do you reconcile that tension between faith and reason?

Craig Cardon:

Yeah, I'm not sure. I understand exactly. I've heard the term blind faith many times, and I think it's used differently. And so let me just tell you what I understand and answer your question of how do I reconcile faith and reason. As a member the church, and even throughout my life, I have had many opportunities to hear a teaching and to then ask Heavenly Father through prayer just as Joseph Smith did, if it's true. And I can tell you, and it's tough to explain it. I've heard it said that it's like explaining what the taste of salt is. Is that feeling that comes when the Holy Ghost confirms truth is something I cannot deny. So for example, in my reading the book of Mormon, throughout reading it, and especially at the end, and I just had this experience again, I've read the book of Mormon several times in my life and continue to do so, I read it daily. And just recently with our prophet President Nelson, inviting us to read the book of Mormon through all the way again, at the very end of the book of Mormon, I found myself in our temple and I was in a special room. I said, "This is what we call the celestial room." I was at the very end of the book of Mormon, Moroni 10, is the very last chapter. And I read that chapter in the book of Mormon and then prayed to know again, is this truly the Word of God? Is it another Testament of Jesus Christ? And received an impression that I cannot deny that came from our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost confirming to me that the book of Mormon truly is the Word of God. And so I look at that and I see other things that are of a scientific nature or something maybe that I can prove. And for me, those two things are just as real. So my reason also kicks in and says, what I felt is undeniably from God and it continues to bless my life. The evidence of what I believe is so wonderful and has blessed my life, has blessed my family's life in such marvelous ways that I continue to see how it is indeed the truth.

Adrian McIntyre:

I have a question for both of you as the awkward anthropologist in the room -- and one who, by the way, I think it's quite relevant, I should add ... I was born in Loma Linda, California, and raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Protestant offshoot that has its roots in New England in the early 1800s. I find it interesting, so let me put this to both of you, Rabbi Beyo, the Torah was given to the Jewish people by Moses 3,300 years ago, something like that. I'm not a Jewish scholar, forgive me. The Prophet Muhammad began to receive his revelations in ... he died in 632, that was the final recitation that led to the Quran. It was written down later. Craig Cardon has talked about Joseph Smith and the golden plates in the 1820s. My own historical community -- I'm not an active participant in it -- believes that Ellen White began to receive revelation from God in the 1840s and so on. So we have a wide variety of traditions and communities here that trace themselves, in many cases share a view of that original revelation, if you will. Not sure if that's the word that's used in the Jewish tradition, Rabbi, but in any case, look back to the same source, the original covenant between Abraham and God, and they've taken it in several different directions. Muslims believe that their revelation is the last of the prophets. Of course, there have been many prophets after that, that have spawned many other movements. Both of you, how do you view this multiplicity of expressions and reconcile it with the fact that each one of these traditions of faith believes there's is the correct one?

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

From my perspective, and I do not claim to speak for the entire Jewish people, I speak from my understanding. Within the Jewish people as you know there are many different approaches and I can speak about all of them, but you asked my personal belief system. So first of all, as you rightly said, we follow the Torah of Moshe. We don't follow the Torah of God. Our tradition is a rabbinical tradition. We don't do what is written in the Torah. We do what our rabbis have taught us for the last 2000 years that we need to do. And the Torah is our foundational texts, but we don't do what is written in the Torah, we do what our rabbis tell us to do. And this is a major difference with every other tradition that you have mentioned, because in every other tradition, the thought process is that the text that I hold in my hand is the truth from God, undeniable from God, and this is the only truth. In our tradition in the way that I understand it, and many others naturally, we have a tradition that has been established over the centuries by our rabbis, and it can change and it did change over time. And that's why we have these agreements among rabbis, and that's okay. And that's why often our approaches may be different between orthodoxy and reform and conservative because we follow rabbis. And nobody claims that what we do is what God wants, what we do is what our rabbis teach us that is the closest that we can get to what God wants, because nobody can know what God wants. Let me just add one more line, because this is a very large topic and very important topic. I always say it's like being in the middle of the desert and you want to reach the oasis. I have a map that was drawn over experience over 2,500 years. Is it the only way to reach the oasis? No, you can reach the oasis also without a map, you can be very good and reach it without, and you may have a different map. Maybe your map has some mistakes or maybe it doesn't have mistakes. I don't know. But I have my map, and I'll follow my map. And maybe you have your map. Ultimately we all want to reach the oasis.

Adrian McIntyre:

That's a very powerful metaphor. Certainly the history of Christianity has seen tension around this key issue you raised rabbi between whether or not one's relationship with God is mediated by religious authorities or whether it's direct, and certainly even the emergence of Protestantism was on this key question. There are also schools of Islamic law that would say that you have this mediation versus others that would say you have direct. Go ahead.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

The rabbis are not mediators. No. Your relationship with God is direct between you and God. The rabbis tell you what to do, because ours is a religion of doing more than a religion off faith.

Adrian McIntyre:

That's a very helpful clarification.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

In our religion, one of our major texts is the Shema, where it says, love your God with all your heart, with all your mind, in the morning, when you go to sleep, et cetera, et cetera. Now, what does that mean? That I need to meditate? Do I need to go in the middle of the forest or the mountains here in Arizona and meditate? No, it's about what I do. As an example that I bring in, then I will love to hear President Cardon also, I always say, when parents want to show love for their kids, they don't tell their kids, "Honey, I love you dearly. I love you with all my heart. I'm going to go out in the desert and meditate about it. I'm going to go out in the mountain and really sink deeply how much I love you. And I really love you." In the meantime, if we were to do this with our kids, they will die starving. What do we do? How do we show that we love our kids? We wake up early in the morning and we go to work and we work maybe one jobs or two jobs or three jobs, and we don't sleep at night and we have nightmares and we go through challenges through life, that is how we show that we love them. Yes, also hugging and kissing, but it's the hard work that we do that really shows our kids that we love them.

Adrian McIntyre:

President Cardon, many prophets, many revelations, many sacred texts, how do you view this array of religious expression and your position within it?

Craig Cardon:

Well, first let me say, I love the Jewish tradition and the way that read the Rabbi answered that question. I keep wanting to say faith, but what a beautiful religion and tradition it is, but thank you.

Adrian McIntyre:

“Practice” is a word I find for myself when I'm trying to describe things of that nature, he's speaking about actions in the world, practices.

Craig Cardon:

Yes. Thank you. That's a great word for it. To help with our understanding of answering that question, it helps to start with understanding why we're here on earth and to do that you have to understand a little bit of where we came from. And so when we were in heaven, before we came here to earth and were born, we were intelligences with our Heavenly Father and he taught us what he called the plan of salvation. And in that plan, the savior Jesus Christ plays a central role. He was going to come to the earth, live a perfect life and sacrifice himself so that if we or when, we all make mistakes, we could repent and become again like our Heavenly Father. And so that plan was presented to us. And when that plan was presented, there was also another plan presented by who we now call Satan. And he said, "I'll make sure everyone gets back, but they're not going to have any agency, and I say Satan, won all the glory." And so when those plans were presented, one-third of us who were there, one-third of the children of our Heavenly Father chose Satan's plan. And the remaining two-thirds said, "I'll go to earth and I'll be tried." And so the purpose of coming to earth for those who chose to follow Heavenly Father's plan was basically on its most basic form, twofold, number one, to receive a body because we needed to receive a body to become like our savior and our Heavenly Father. And then second, to be tried, to learn right from wrong and to choose what is right. And so whenever I hear of people who are faithful, I've got to tell you, it brings me so much joy regardless of the religion. I am thankful that there are those throughout the world who continue to have a belief in a higher being. And so when I am talking to you gentlemen, as well as to others, boy, I just feel strengthened to being around you, and I'm hopeful for our future generations. Again, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also find great joy in what we have learned and our understanding that there is a prophet on the earth today who can teach us how to find the greatest joy to do the will of our Heavenly Father. And it takes many expressions and actions of faith. Faith is both belief and action. And so the savior taught when he was on the earth, if you love me, keep my commandments.

Craig Cardon:

And so in its purest form, when we're doing what we can to keep the commandments of God and doing it under our best understanding, we are showing our love to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. We're also promised many blessings, although I would suggest possibly a lower form of a reason to do something, there are blessings that come with following the commandments and doing what we're taught. And as we go throughout the world and continue to teach the gospel, we are trying to add the joy, teach the joy that we find in the gospel of Jesus Christ and knowing that there is a prophet on the earth today who teaches what Heavenly Father would have us know.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

President Cardon, let me ask you a question. You speak a lot about faith and it's beautiful to hear your faith that you have in your religion, in what you believe in, and I agree with you that the world would be maybe a better place if more people believed in certain values. But let me ask you, would you say that there is a difference between faith in God and trust in God?

Craig Cardon:

I'll admit, I don't know that I've thought in those terms right up front, but is there a difference? In my mind those two definitely correlate.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Okay. So how do you view the American dollar is I think the only currency in the world that as a statement, it says in God we trust, what would you make of that?

Craig Cardon:

I would make that America was founded on Judeo-Christian values and so in an attempt to honor those values that was placed on our currency, similar to our saying, under God, in the pledge of allegiance.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

It's very interesting because America is a one of the democracy that its people are most observed religious in one way form or another. I don't know of many other democracies, liberal democracies that there is such a huge linkage between faith in government than in America where such as deep religious statement, like in God we trust, is on the on the bill. The way that I've always said it is that a trust is about doing and faith is more a cerebral concept. And I would like to understand from your point of view, I noted one of the differences between your faith and other Christian faiths is the doing. You have a lot of similarities in this to Judaism that in your faith, there is certain foods that you're not allowed to eat, there is certain drinks you're not allowed to drink, there is certain clothes that you have to wear. Could you speak about that a little bit?

Craig Cardon:

Yeah, certainly. I'll start with a different example of tithing. So as I mentioned, faith is both action and belief, and tithing is a great example of that. Because we are asked to pay 10% of our earnings, of our income to the church. And it's with those funds that then these church buildings are built and temples are built and even that the poor and needy are cared for, although there are even other opportunities to contribute to the poor and needy. But through that faith of that action, we are showing again, our Heavenly Father that we love him. Now, you brought up the example of the word of wisdom, which is the health, maybe called the code of health of eating good foods for us, fruits, nuts, staying away from things that are harmful. So with that, we feel that again, it's a commandment from God, but for our blessing, and we exercise faith that we will be blessed with health as we keep that commandment. You also brought up the special clothes that we wear, the garments that we receive when we go to the temple and that we're then authorized to wear. I've heard it explained, like a wedding ring that you wear to remind you of the vows and promises you made when you were married to your spouse, garments are a representation that remind us every day as we put them on and as we wear them throughout the day, of the covenants that we've made with God and to remain true to those covenants.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

I know that we have just a few minutes left, allow me and I hope that you don't get upset with me, to ask a heretic question. And this is a question that I have asked myself many times over the years. And the question goes like this, what if everything that I was taught was not true? What if I were to receive today, let's call it a revelation, Eureka moment, where I were to know 100% that everything that I had been taught about my religion was fabricated by somebody, would I still behave according to my tradition, allow me to ask you the same question.

Craig Cardon:

Rabbi, thank you for that question, I appreciate it. In fact, I believe it's very relevant because I know that there are people who have experienced similar feelings and asking for me personally, it's tough to know without going through those specific feelings, but I can tell you this, I know that the way that I have lived has absolutely blessed my life and blessed me to be a better husband, a better father, a better businessman, as you know, this is a lay ministry, this is something I do on the side, which I often can take a lot of time. But it is a great blessing to me and it has blessed my family. And so without actually being in those circumstances, but knowing others who have had maybe a question of faith to where they have decided to pull back in the case from our church somewhat, I can tell you, they are still dear friends, and there are many faith/traditions that they continue because they've seen how it blesses their life. And so with that, again, it's difficult to say without being in the circumstance, but I can tell you, this has been such a blessing to my life. I feel like it's a pure and wonderful way to live. That it would be very tough for me to do away with those practices.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Thank you for your candor and I appreciate very much what you're saying, because I think that ultimately boils down to something that I share with you very much, which is certain practices. Certain practices that make us hopefully better human beings, better husbands, better friends, better leaders, better members of our community, which all of these practices also help us create a wonderful community. And I have to say that I have had the pleasure of being welcomed in your services in churches and places of worships, and I had the honor and pleasure of meeting many members of your community, and you have wonderful communities. Allow me to say another heretic statement, somebody very dear to me said, "If they did not believe in Jesus, I would become a Mormon." Please take it with a good intention that he comes wrong.

Craig Cardon:

You can't see me, but I have a great smile.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Because again, you are able to create wonderful communities and wonderful families then that I think ultimately is what God wants.

Craig Cardon:

Rabbi, thank you. You have been very complimentary, and let me tell you that we have felt evidenced by even here today, that I'm here with you today, this is your invitation and what a great and sweet experience this is. And we have felt even a great love and kindness from you as well. So thank you and from your community.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Thank you very much. And hopefully once this pandemic goes away, we'll be able to get together again and create fellowship again.

Craig Cardon:

I look forward to that day.

Adrian McIntyre:

Craig Cardon is Stake President of the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Rabbi Michael Beyo, CEO of the East Valley Jewish Community Center. Thank you both for an enriching and inspiring conversation.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Thank you very much.

Craig Cardon:

Thank you.

Adrian McIntyre:

If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe to Conversation with the Rabbi on your favorite podcast app. You can also find the latest episodes online at ConversationWithTheRabbi.com. For all of us here at PHX.fm, I'm Adrian McIntyre. Thanks for listening, and please join us for the next Conversation with the Rabbi.

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About the Podcast

Conversation with the Rabbi
Rabbi Michael Beyo, CEO of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, talks with an eclectic mix of faith-based and secular leaders from around the world.
In an era of political division and polarized debate, we are losing our ability to hear each other. The volume of our disagreements is at an all-time high, while our ability to communicate with kindness and empathy is at an all-time low. This podcast seeks to change that by engaging people from different backgrounds and beliefs in good old-fashioned conversation.

Listen in as Rabbi Michael Beyo and anthropologist Dr. Adrian McIntyre spend time listening, sharing, and discovering common ground in an effort to understand and appreciate the wondrous diversity of our human family. From interfaith dialogues to discussions with business and nonprofit leaders, this podcast shines a spotlight on the different ways we can learn to live, work, and worship together in a contentious and conflicted world.

We invite you to use these conversations as a lens to open up new understandings of self and the other, to develop empathy for diverse viewpoints, and to explore what is possible when we listen to others with respect.

Conversation with the Rabbi is a project of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, neighborhood organization that has served individuals and families inclusive of all races, religions, and cultures since 1972. Visit us online at https://www.evjcc.org

The show is recorded and produced in the studio of PHX.fm, the leading independent B2B online radio station and podcast studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more at https://phx.fm

About your hosts

Rabbi Michael Beyo

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Rabbi Michael Beyo is CEO of the East Valley Jewish Community Center in Chandler, Arizona. He was born in Milan, Italy and has lived in Italy, England, France, Israel, and the United States. An Orthodox Jewish scholar with a successful career providing religious guidance to all the Jewish denominations, he was ordained as a rabbi in Israel, where he earned three Rabbinical Ordinations of the highest honor. In 2015 Rabbi Beyo moved to Arizona from Atlanta, where he had served as the Chief Development Officer for Hillel of Georgia, overseeing 12 colleges and universities. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director and Rabbi of Boston University Hillel, as well as the Jewish Chaplain for Boston University. Rabbi Beyo brings over 25 years of professional, entrepreneurial and non-profit experience in education, cultural, humanitarian, social and religious sectors. He successfully ran several start-ups in Israel before dedicating his career to the nonprofit world.

Adrian McIntyre, PhD

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Dr. Adrian McIntyre is a social scientist, storytelling strategist, and internationally recognized authority on effective communication. His on-air experience began in 1978 at the age of five as a co-host of "The Happy Day Express," the longest-running children's radio program in California history. Adrian earned his PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Fulbright scholar and National Science Foundation research fellow. He spent nearly a decade in the Middle East and Africa as a researcher, journalist, and media spokesperson for two of the largest humanitarian relief agencies in the world. Today he advises and trains entrepreneurs, executives, and corporate teams on high-performance communication, the power of storytelling, and how to leverage digital media to build a personal leadership brand.