Tom Smart, Deseret News
FILE - LDS Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 18, 2008.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday issued a statement decrying racism and calling for peace, greater kindness and compassion following Saturday's rally in Virginia that spiraled into deadly violence.

"It is with great sadness and deep concern that we view the violence, conflict and tragedy of recent days in Charlottesville, Virginia. People of any faith, or of no faith at all, should be troubled by the increase of intolerance in both words and actions that we see everywhere.

"More than a decade ago, (then) church President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed the topic of racism when speaking to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He powerfully and clearly taught this principle: 'No man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ.'

"For members of the church, we reaffirm that teaching today and the Savior's admonition to love our neighbor.

"Our prayers are with those who are suffering because of this intolerance and hatred. We pray for peace and for understanding. Above all, we pray that we may treat one another with greater kindness, compassion and goodness."