The 11th Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as the Mormons, states:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. (Articles of Faith 1:11)

President Thomas S. Monson MormonThis is something President Thomas S. Monson, the 16th called prophet of these modern times, has taken to heart. In the last General Conference, he stated:

“I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours.”

President Monson has made a point of always welcoming and fostering good, solid relationships, as well as friendships, with the leaders of other faiths. He’s a good, kind and friendly man. It is a natural extension of who he is and he has asked that Mormons keep in mind the struggle we had, and still have, in being respected for believing in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. In keeping that in mind, it should help us to have kinder feelings and thoughts toward friends of other faiths, for indeed, that is who they are, friends.

Indeed, his counselor, a living Apostle of Jesus Christ, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, also in the last General Conference, reinforced that request with:

“We honor and respect sincere souls from all religions, no matter where or when they lived, who have loved God, even without having the fullness of the gospel. We lift our voices in gratitude for their selflessness and courage. We embrace them as brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father. … He hears the prayers of the humble and sincere of every nation, tongue, and people. He grants light to those who seek and honor Him and are willing to obey His commandments.”

In a news release dated April 18, 2008, the LDS Newsroom reported:

The late Krister Stendahl, emeritus Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm and professor emeritus of Harvard Divinity School, established three rules for religious understanding:

(1) When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies;
(2) don’t compare your best to their worst; and
(3) leave room for “holy envy” by finding elements in other faiths to emulate.

These principles foster relationships between religions that build trust and lay the groundwork for charitable efforts. (LDS Newsroom)

Good points for all of us to live by. Indeed, it does us no good, anyone, to fight over the difference in beliefs. It is much more important to unite over our common beliefs. “It is important to note that interfaith cooperation does not require doctrinal compromise.” (LDS Newsroom, “Respect for Diversity of Faiths“, April 18, 2008)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has united with Catholic Relief Services to relieve human suffering, as well as joining with the Islamic Relief Worldwide and the Islamic Society of Great Salt Lake to accomplish the same purpose. This is something we are always willing to do, and indeed have sent tens, of thousands, of millions of tons of relief supplies across the world. It matters not the country, culture or religious differences, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, under the direction of The First Presidency, always steps up when the children of God, regardless of their geographical location or religion, always steps up to fulfill the admonition of Jesus Christ, which is to “Feed my Sheep.” The Savior had in mind that His followers teach His Gospel to the world, but He also intended that we care for our fellow man. His prophet simply follows that admonition. It is an added benefit that it is, as stated before, that this is a natural extension of this man that is the living prophet of God today.

President Monson has called on all Latter-day Saints, Mormons, to follow his example in respecting the diversity of faiths which exist across the world. We, as has he, need to reach out to neighbors of all religions and foster friendships while respecting the differences in our beliefs.

The command to “Love Thy Neighbor” did not distinguish between faiths. Jesus Christ simply asked us to love everyone, as has His prophet, Thomas S. Monson.

Source: “Respect for Diversity of Faiths,” LDS Newsroom, April 18, 2008

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