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President Nelson condemns racism, pleads for peace

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife Sister W

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife Sister Wendy Nelson share a laugh with the Rev. Theresa Dear and Dr. Amos Brown at the 110th annual national convention for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Detroit on Sunday, July 21, 2019.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Against a weekend backdrop of protests, riots and violence across the United States, President Russell M. Nelson posted a statement on social media condemning racism and pleading for peace.

“We join with many throughout this nation and around the world who are deeply saddened at recent evidences of racism and a blatant disregard for human life,” he wrote. 

“We abhor the reality that some would deny others respect and the most basic of freedoms because of the color of his or her skin. We are also saddened when these assaults on human dignity lead to escalating violence and unrest.”

President Nelson’s message addressed the death of George Floyd — a black man who died on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck while restraining him — and ensuing protests, riots and violence.

The Creator calls on all to abandon attitudes of prejudice against any group of God’s children, President Nelson wrote. “Any of us who has prejudice toward another race needs to repent!” 

President Nelson emphasized the Savior’s example of ministering to the excluded and marginalized during his earthly ministry. “As His followers, can we do anything less? The answer is no! We believe in freedom, kindness, and fairness for all of God’s children!

“Let us be clear. We are brothers and sisters, each of us the child of a loving Father in Heaven. His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, invites all to come unto Him — ‘black and white, bond and free, male and female.’ It behooves each of us to do whatever we can in our spheres of influence to preserve the dignity and respect every son and daughter of God deserves.”

Any nation can only be as great as its people, President Nelson continued. Citizens must cultivate a moral compass that helps them distinguish between right and wrong. 

“Illegal acts such as looting, defacing, or destroying public or private property cannot be tolerated. Never has one wrong been corrected by a second wrong. Evil has never been resolved by more evil,” he wrote. 

“We need to foster our faith in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. We need to foster a fundamental respect for the human dignity of every human soul, regardless of their color, creed, or cause. And we need to work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation.”

President Nelson concluded by urging all to come together for peace. “I plead with us to work together for peace, for mutual respect, and for an outpouring of love for all of God’s children.”

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