Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Religious Freedom

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns religious freedom or the freedom to worship according to one’s conscience. Religious freedom is so important that all people across the world should recognize its value and come together to preserve and promote it. Several of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have addressed this topic recently. The following quotes can be found here. 

            President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, spoke in Los Angeles, California, in April 2015 and said, “Church members seek to create goodwill among people of all religious beliefs, political persuasions, and of every race.”
            Continuing, President Uchtdorf said, “the effort to throw off traditions of distrust and pettiness and truly see one another with new eyes – see each other not as aliens or adversaries but as fellow travelers, brothers and sisters, and children of God – is one of the most challenging while at the same tie most rewarding and ennobling experiences of our human existence.”

            Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke in Argentina in October 2015 and said, “There should be no belligerence between religion and government. We all lose when an atmosphere of anger or hostility or contention prevails.”
            Continuing, Elder Oaks said, “Governments and their laws can provide the essential protections for believers and religious organizations and their activities.” He noted that religious principles, teachings, and organizations “can help create the conditions in which public laws and government institutions and their citizens can flourish” and “live together in happiness, harmony, and peace.

            Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke in London, England, in June 2015 and said, “By appealing to one’s deepest values, religions and religious organizations have a unique capacity to motivate people and, at the same time, cultivate attitudes of forgiveness, reconciliation, and a willingness to strive yet again for the ideal in their personal lives and in society.”

            Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in April 2015 in Portuguese. His audience included Muslims, Catholics, Adventists, Jews, Evangelicals, Latter-day Saints, native spiritualists, people of no particular faith, and others in a conference celebrating religious liberty. Elder Christofferson said, “Religious freedom is the cornerstone of peace in a world with many competing philosophies…. May we pursue peace by working together to preserve and protect the freedom of all people to hold and manifest a religion or belief of their choice, whether individually or in community with others, at home or abroad, in public or private, and in worship, observance, practice, and teaching.”

            These are just a few of the comments made by Apostles about religious freedom in a short period of time. Why do you think that Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ are so concerned about freedom to worship? I believe it is because they are seers and can see what is coming. They are warning the worship of the need to protect freedom of religion because the world will be in dire trouble if the people lose the right to worship as they desire. What can you do today to preserve and protect freedom of religion?

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