LDS leaders condemn terrorism, discrimination

President Gordon B. Hinckley smiles while holding his wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley. (Photo courtesy of Mormon Newsroom)
President Gordon B. Hinckley smiles while holding his daughter Virginia H. Pearce. (Mormon Newsroom)

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are among many who are condemning violent terrorist attacks.

Following the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave a speech reiterating that “we are people of peace.”

“We are followers of the Christ who was and is the Prince of Peace,” President Hinckley said during his address. “But there are times when we must stand up for right and decency, for freedom and civilization.”

Although the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks happened 15 years ago, many church leaders continue to actively speak out against violence and terrorist activity. In a press conference held at church headquarters on Jan. 27, 2015, Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke of the importance of protecting religious freedom.

“We call on local, state and the federal government to serve all of their people by passing legislation that protects vital religious freedoms for individuals, families, churches and other faith groups,” Elder Oaks said.

In response to the recent takeover of a government building in Burns, Oregon, LDS spokesman Eric Hawkins told the Deseret News, “We are privileged to live in a nation where conflicts with government or private groups can — and should — be settled using peaceful means, according to the laws of the land.”

Church leaders are also emphasizing that while these terrorist attacks are indeed savage, it does not give members a green light to stereotype or discriminant against anyone. Church leaders continue to encourage members to love their neighbors and not let the violent acts of few change people’s attitudes.

“We must not judge the people of any nation or region because of the irresponsible, cowardly acts of terrorism perpetrated by a few,” said Elder Ballard in a talk titled “Duties, Rewards, and Risks.”

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