People with different religious views often focus on their differences and push each other far apart. What would happen if we focused on how we are alike?
In a speech given at BYU, Barbara Culatta gave seven tips to help us accept those who believe differently than we do. She offered the following advice:
- Look for commonalities.
- Accept people where they are.
- Reflect on the goodness in other religions.
- See differences and weaknesses as part of life.
- Value what we can learn for others.
- Give a soft response when criticized.
In other words, we should treat people with Christlike love. As followers of Christ, we are striving to make the world a better place. To do this, we must understand how to love and accept each other despite our differences.
Christ’s love can help bridge differences, creating friendships in even the most unlikely of places. In March 2019, President Russell M. Nelson visited the Vatican and met with His Holiness, Pope Francis. After the meeting, President Nelson said that Pope Francis was a “sweet, wonderful man.” When asked about the differences between their religions, President Nelson said, “the differences in doctrine are real and they’re important, but they’re not nearly as important as the things we have in common—our concern for human suffering, the importance of religious liberty for all of society, and the importance of building bridges of friendship instead of building walls of segregation.”
President Nelson is a wonderful example of how to love and accept others wholeheartedly, even when we disagree. As members of Christ’s church in the last days, we need to remember this in our everyday lives. Regardless of what others believe, we can follow Sister Culatta’s tips and President Nelson’s example by always showing others Christlike love and respect.
Read Barbara Culatta’s full speech “Loving Our Neighbor: Tolerance and Acceptance as We Come Together in Knowing Christ.”
Source: BYU Speeches
—Robbyn Merrell, Mormon Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY CHERYL HOLT
Find more insights
Watch “We Aren’t God’s Only People” on Mormon Channel or by reading Elder Bednar’s talk “Gather Together in One All Things in Christ.”
Read about President Nelson’s visit to the Vatican.