In a time of racial division, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes a powerful stance against racism and white supremacy.
On August 12, 2017, Charlottesville, Virginia, erupted in chaos after a far-right protest and the resulting counterprotests became violent. Although a lot of confusion surrounded the events in Charlottesville, thankfully we have continuing revelation from modern-day prophets to help us know how to react when faced with issues of race and violence.
In response to the Charlottesville violence, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released an official statement. The statement expresses three main ideas:
1. A condemnation of racism
The statement boldly denounces racism, white supremacy, and white culture. In a warning to Church members who might subscribe to racist beliefs, the statement quotes President Gordon B. Hinckley: “No man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ.”
2. An expression of sadness for those who are suffering
The statement also conveys great sympathy for victims of racism, declaring, “Our prayers are with those who are suffering because of this intolerance and hatred.”
3. An invitation to love one another
Racism can only be overcome through increased love and understanding of one another. The statement encourages us to “treat one another with greater kindness, compassion and goodness.”
As we can see from this statement, racism has no place in the Church, so it shouldn’t occupy any place in our hearts. Let us follow the counsel of Church leaders and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us love our neighbors.
For more on the Church’s stance against racism, read the full statement: “Church Issues Statements on Situation in Charlottesville, Virginia.”
Source: Mormon Newsroom
—Katie Stanley, Mormon Insights
feature image by andrew robles
Find more insights
Want to know more about President Gordon B. Hinckley’s views about racial unity? Read his talk “The Need for Greater Kindness.”
The LDS Media Library has released a wonderful series called Race and the Priesthood. One video in the series, “We Come Together and Unite as One,” is especially fitting for issues regarding race, the Church, and love for one another.
For more on the Church’s historic and modern stances on race, read “Race and the Priesthood.”
I love that the Church made this statement; if there was any ambiguity about how the Church felt about race and racism before, it should certainly be clear now.