Relations between different religions can be difficult, but the blessings of working together can be enormous.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit and worship with members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. I was at the worship service on assignment from my world religions professor, and I was, admittedly, a little nervous. I had been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since birth, so I had never attended another religious service before and was not sure what to expect. However, despite my initial hesitance, I found the experience incredibly beautiful; though the method of worship was different, many of the beliefs taught in and the spirit of the meeting were the same as mine. I learned that though the world is full of many religions, we are not so different as we seem, and we’re fighting for very similar things. Later, as I read President Gordon B. Hinckley’s talk “We Bear Witness of Him,” I gained insight on how we should interact with other religions to increase faith and goodness in the world.
President Hinckley says, “We can respect other religions, and must do so. We must recognize the great good they accomplish.
. . . We can and do work with those of other religions in the defense of those values which have made our civilization great and our society distinctive.” President Hinckley’s words align with the United Nations’ efforts to bring different faiths together in World Interfaith Harmony Week. This event, which takes place at the beginning of February is “a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.” It also reflects the LDS Church’s recent efforts to protect religious freedom. Ultimately, our similarities outweigh our differences, and by working together to defend our beliefs and freedoms, we can better ourselves and the world.
Source: LDS General Conference
—Sarah Bennett, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
To discover ways you can help protect religious freedom, check out “Lift Where You Stand,” by Elder D. Todd Christofferson.
Learn about the statistics of Mormon interfaith relations by reading “Major Study of Religion Has Much to Say About Mormons,” by Ryan Tobler.