True brotherhood develops bridges of understanding

Love neighbors, worldwide

Teach children love for all- Do not tolerate sin

Comprehending the true Fatherhood of God brings full appreciation of the true brotherhood of man, an understanding that inspires desire to build bridges of cooperation instead of walls of segregation, said Elder Russell M. Nelson.

Elder Nelson of the Council of the Twelve addressed the Sunday morning session on the subject of toleration and love.

The noble expression of religious tolerance found in the 11th Article of Faith is particularly poignant in light of the fact that its author, Joseph Smith, suffered persecution and finally martyrdom at the hands of the intolerant, he said.

"Our highest priorities in life are to love God and to love our neighbors," Elder Nelson explained. "That broadly includes neighbors in our own family, our community, our nation, and our world."

However, he said that "neighboring factions, whether they be identified as groups or gangs, schools or states, counties or countries often develop animosity. Such tendencies make me wonder: Cannot boundary lines exist without becoming battle lines? Could not people unite in waging war against the evils that beset mankind instead of waging war on each other? Sadly, the answers to these questions are often no."

He said the world would be so different if all parents taught their children "to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another; and to serve one another." (Mosiah 4:14-15.)

If such training occurred, continued Elder Nelson, children and parents around this globe would join in singing, "Fill our hearts with sweet forgiving; Teach us tolerance and love." (Hymns 172.

Elder Nelson said that within the Church, "differences in cultural background, language, gender, and facial features fade into insignificance as members lose themselves in service to their beloved Savior."

He cautioned, however, that "tolerance without limit could lead to spineless permissiveness. . . . Real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation - not acquiescence. Real love does not support self-destructing behavior.

"Our commitment to the Savior causes us to scorn sin, yet heed His commandment to love our neighbors. Each of us can help to make life in this world a more pleasant experience.

He quoted a statement of the First Presidency: "It is morally wrong for any person or group to deny anyone his or her inalienable dignity on the tragic and abhorrent theory of racial or cultural superiority. We call upon all people everywhere to recommit themselves to the time-honored ideals of tolerance and mutual respect. We sincerely believe that as we acknowledge one another with consideration and compassion we will discover that we can all peacefully coexist despite our deepest differences."

Elder Nelson concluded: "Together may we stand, intolerant of transgression but tolerant of neighbors with differences they hold sacred. Our beloved brother and sisters throughout the world are all children of God. He is our Father. His Son, Jesus, is the Christ. His Church has been restored to the earth in these latter days to bless all of God's children."

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