One of my instructors reminded her students that Civil Rights Day is a great day to help us remember the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in establishing racial equality. It is also a wonderful time to express gratitude for Dr. King’s efforts in establishing civil rights for all people in the United States. All humans are children of God and worthy of respect. In addition, it is a good day to show gratitude for religious freedom in America.
The Prophet Joseph Smith: “If … I have been willing to die for a `Mormon,’ … I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of … any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.
“If a love of liberty which inspires my soul – civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 345).
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to stand in defense of people of other religions. In response to Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims entering the United States, the Church issued a statement on December 8, 2015, defending Muslims, and part of that statement says: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in regard to party politics and election campaigns. However, it is not neutral in relation to religious freedom.” The statement also gives several examples of times when Mormons and Muslims worked together to support marriage, family, and religious freedom.