Building bridges between LDS and Jews

California Mormon Mark Paredes knew he was heading into charged territory when he embarked on a fireside tour to Europe -- a mission designed to answer questions and clear up misunderstandings about Mormons and Jews.

Paredes has long been concerned about the misperceptions he believes exist in the public's mind about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

So he launched a tour that included nine firesides in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia and Austria from August to mid-September. Earlier this year, he did a similar tour in Norway and Sweden.

Paredes, the president of the Los Angeles office of the Zionist Organization of America and a high councilor in the Santa Monica California Stake, believes he is being spiritually urged to speak in support of Jews and Judaism.

"I believe that Jews in Europe need to know who their friends are now more than ever," he said.

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