Editorial: Diversity on campus calls for tolerance

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    BYU’s campus is diverse in culture but not in doctrine. Most students have been taught by the hymn to “Love one another,” which implies that all people are part of the gospel family and should be treated as such. Yet there is a disease spreading called intolerance.

    Students that attend BYU have grown up in the church or had some kind of religious influence, but that influence varies depending on where they grew up and how they were raised.

    President Hinckley said during his Sunday morning address of general conference that in 1947, 50 percent of church members lived in Utah compared with only 15 percent today. With more than half of the 11 million members of the church living outside of the United States, diversity and individuality should be accepted.

    It seems that more students are worrying too much about what their peers are doing and not enough about what they are doing. The prophet has the authority to direct and counsel the church, but individual members do not. The beauty of the church is that it encourages free agency. The members have been given guidelines to follow, but they need to govern themselves.

    It is not the responsibility of each student to monitor the acts of those around them. It seems ridiculous that students are concerned with the type of backpack girls carry or the attire a student chooses to wear when they run off-campus when there are more important and significant matters at hand.

    The gospel is the same no matter where a member goes or comes from, but the church can often be different depending on the atmosphere and age of the church in the area. Students who grew up in places where wards and branches were small will perceive the world and issues differently than those who were surrounded by members in their communities and schools.

    Because this campus has students from around the world speaking many different languages and bringing with them beautiful and interesting cultures, the students here should be more tolerant of those backgrounds. Those differences should be celebrated not criticized.

    Whether they are French, Tongan, Chilean, or American, all students have the same beliefs and goals in mind. If all members are uniform in doctrine and principle, then why is it so difficult to accept them for who they are and where they come from?

    So instead of judging someone for how many earrings they have in their ears or because they watch rated-R movies, ask yourself if you have the right to cast the first stone.

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