A lot has been said regarding Barack Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Media pundits and oppositional candidates continue to focus on this relationship and ask why Obama does not completely separate himself from the Rev. Wright.

It is my feeling Obama has adequately addressed this issue. In addressing it, he gave an inspiring and important speech regarding the issue of race in this country. But this situation is, more generally, a prime example of the complexity of human nature and human relationships. It demonstrates the reality that no one is completely good or completely bad. The Rev. Wright was a compassionate and service-oriented mentor who greatly influenced Obama.

Members of the LDS Church should understand this situation well. If compiled, the racist comments of 19th- and 20th-century church leaders would be equally divisive and objectionable. Were these opinions wrong and should they be rejected? Absolutely! Should LDS members feel compelled to completely reject someone like Brigham Young? I would say no. Why? Because these men, in many other aspects of life, demonstrated great determination, faith and wisdom that is valuable and can be admired.

Jason Barlow

Salt Lake City