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Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks speaks of truth, respect

By Samantha DeLaCerda

Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Sept. 11 2011 11:41 p.m. MDT

Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke about three absolute truths in a CES fireside Sunday. held in the Marriott Center on Brigham Young University Campus.

Jonathan Hardy

PROVO — "We believe in absolute truth, including the existence of God and the right and wrong established by His commandments," said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a Church Educational System broadcast on Sept. 11.

Elder Oaks said there is a challenge that each person faces with living in a "godless and increasingly amoral world." Because of this challenge all have the responsibility to speak of the existence of God and that His commandments establish absolute truths.

He said there are three absolute truths individuals who believe in God usually share: people are brothers and sisters under God, taught within their religions to love and to do good to one another; living with differences is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us we must do and tolerance and respect for others does not cause us to abandon our commitment to truths and covenants.

Elder Oaks said tolerance and truth are like a two-sided coin, saying tolerance or respect is on one side of the coin, but that truth is on the other.

He also said there are four governing principles to maintaining truth and tolerance in the public square: when believers take their views into the public square they must seek inspiration from the Lord and be selective and wise in choosing which principles to promote; when choosing to promote a position methods and advocacy should be tolerant of opinions and positions of those who do not share similar beliefs; believers should not be deterred by the charge that they are trying to legislate morality and "believers should not shrink from seeking laws to maintain public conditions or policies that assist them in practicing the requirements of their faith where those conditions or policies are also favorable to the public health, safety, or morals."

"We are enriched by associations with different peoples, which remind us of the wonderful diversity of the children of God. But diversities in cultures and values also challenge us to identify what can be embraced as consistent with our gospel culture and values and what cannot," he said.

It is a challenge to live in a world where there is mutual respect for others' differences he said.

"I describe these principles to you young adults because you are current members and future leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ, and you will need to decide these kinds of questions sooner than you think," Elder Oaks said. "You need to understand how our efforts in the public square are informed by the balance between truth and tolerance."

Sister Kristen M. Oaks also spoke at Sunday's devotional.

email: sdelacerda@desnews.com

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