Delegates from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church—encouraged participants to find common ground with those of different cultures and religions during a recent worldwide conference on religious and cultural dialogue in Skopje, Macedonia. “We are all the children of God. We are all brothers and sisters,” said Manfred Schütze, the head of the 4-member delegation from The Church of Jesus Christ. [1]

People holding hands and walking up steep hill. Quote about commonality from Henry Eyring.The gathering—sponsored by the government of the Republic of Macedonia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)—brought together government officials, religious representatives and scholars. The world conference, which takes place every three years, focused on three topics: pluralistic societies and religious tolerance, living together by respecting diversity, and the contribution of media to the interreligious and intercultural dialogue. [1]

In addition, delegates from The Church of Jesus Christ emphasized the importance of freedom of worship and fair and accurate news reporting on religion at the World Conference on Dialogue Among Religions and Civilizations. Representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ were active participants at the 2010 and 2007 gatherings as well. [1] 

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ. The Eleventh Article of Faith (one of 13 statements outlining the basic beliefs and ordinances of The Church of Jesus Christ) says: “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.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) but not a delegate at the conference, said:

“Our commitment to freedom of religion and treating all people as sons and daughters of God is central to our doctrine. … Let me be clear that all voices need to be heard in the public square. Neither religious nor secular voices should be silenced. Furthermore, we should not expect that because some of our views emanate from religious principles, they will automatically be accepted or given preferential status. But it is also clear such views and values are entitled to be reviewed on their merits.” [2]

Respect for Those of Other Faiths, Laws of Other Lands

President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ, said:

“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.” [3]

Mutual respect of others and their beliefs creates a foundation upon which members of The Church of Jesus Christ and those of others faiths can work together, especially on humanitarian and disaster relief efforts. On both the worldwide and local levels, members of The Church of Jesus Christ join forces with members of other faiths to help those in need. The cooperative efforts benefit communities and citizens. A Mormon Newsroom Commentary stated:

“The spiritual and physical needs of the world require goodwill and cooperation among different faiths. Each of them makes a valuable contribution to the larger community of believers. In the words of early Church apostle Orson F. Whitney, ‘God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people.’” [4]

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ also believe in obeying the laws of the land wherever they are. In accordance with that belief, Church leaders work with the governments of nations to ensure they are following the laws of the land. They do not operate or send missionaries into locales where they are not allowed. And in the locales where they are, they follow the restrictions outlined by the government. Respect and obedience to the government’s laws helps the Church as a whole and members individually.

About Lisa M.
I am a wife and mother of 4 beautiful children in a small town in the mountains of Idaho. We ski as a family in the winter and camp, fish, and go to the beach in the summer. I’m a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I am grateful for the Savior and the blessings of the gospel in my life.

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