Prophet calls for tolerance, kindness toward those who don't share LDS beliefs

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 29, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    read Moroni ch 7 regarding charity. I think this says it all.

  • Frankness TALLAHASSEE, FL
    April 12, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    I haven't listened to the Beck program for a while, but I was driving to a meeting yesterday flipping the dial. The importance Jewish Rabbi on the Beck show was talking about the of distinguishing a good christian from a nonpracting christian, mormon..., atheist from a bad on.

    He said, "we live in a time where what we do is far more indicative of who we are than what we say or believe....I think this applies in matters of race, gender, politics, religion, etc. I think he summed it up rather succinctly. We should choose to consume or not consume accordingly.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    April 11, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    I believe members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly do strive to live the principles of the Gospel. We are not perfect and do not pretend so. And because we believe in God and Jesus Christ and strive to pattern our lives and actions after them unfortunately we are condemned, misunderstood and treated shabbily sometimes. But God and Jesus Christ were also treated this way. There will always be those (even members not active) and non-members who will choose not to understand what we believe also not accepting us for who we are. I've always thought they were like that because they just didn't understand why we believe what we do. I feel bad for those who have not been taught the Truth and continue to hope that some day there will be peace, kindness, love and we'll love and forgive them in spite of their weaknesses and imperfections..because we are not perfect.And the Lord expects us to set an example.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    April 11, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    Re: Baccus0902

    I'm a convert myself, went on a mission, have had periods of inactivity, ect. But I never looked to any other Church, because from the first time I gained my spiritual witness that the Joseph Smith story was true, I knew that there was no other reason to look further. The only thing I'll say to you is, there are not that many possibilities to look at. For instance, the first question is a 50/50 question. Is there a God or not. Then is Jesus his son or not. Then does Jesus have a true church or not. Then if there is a true church, is it the Catholic or LDS, or some other. I have absolute faith in the LDS Church and its leaders. My seeking the purpose of life is over. Now I'm trying to achieve it.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    April 11, 2013 4:52 a.m.

    To follow up. I love being a disciple of Christ, I love serving others, I love doing all as a a member of the LDS Church. During the recent US Presidential Election and subsequent election results, a few of my fellow LDS said some awful political things. Our mutual friends on Facebook who are not LDS saw the posts and were appalled. None of them are interested in hearing about the LDS Church because their perceptions of Mormons is one of a nasty and disagreeable people. Everyone needs to take a step back and realize their political posting not only represent themselves but how some view the LDS Church, fair or unfair. There is nothing in the doctrine of Christ that condones using his name to badmouth political candidates.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    April 10, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    @ m.g.scott

    I converted to the church in 1974. Before that, I was looking for a church to join. I had left the Catholic Church and was attending services at different denominations. It took me awhile to accept the LDS church but eventually I did. I served my mission, was very active in the church for several years.

    I guess, some LDS would say that I was baptized but not converted, because I always had some nagging doubts in the back of my head.

    Before, during and after the LDS church in my life, I have studied the gospel and absolutely any religion that have crossed my path. Some of the doctrine of the LDS church still is able to elevate my heart and spirit. Yet, I still can find a powerful spirit in a Catholic Mass or other type of religious service.

    The only true church in the world? I have heard many people say that in the LDS church. However, that doesn't make it necessarily so. I sincerely wish it did.

    This last conference, any difference in the meaning of the word "tolerance" between Elder Packer and President Monson?

    If there is a difference? Why?

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    April 10, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    The LDS Church has always claimed to be the only true church in the world because of the restoration of priesthood and such. At our conferences our General Authorities do not get up there and say "My church is better than your church." Instead we would only say that we can provide more of the gospel of Jesus Christ to your lives. I think Brigham Young said something about helping people who are Baptists be better Baptists, or Catholics be better Catholics. But the LDS Church has never shyed away from proclaiming that they have the truth and authority of Christ. I'd think that a Catholic for instance should/would believe that their Church has just as much truth and authority. As for the Protestants, I can see your problem with both the Catholics and the Mormons. I as a LDS respect your faith in Christ. I just think that you could have more. That is what the LDS Church offers, take it or leave it. Your choice, but thousands of missionaries will try to provide the opportunity per Mark 16:15.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    I think, during Sunday school, as they taught us about who we are, I began to believe that we are all the same and nobody told me I had to worry about what religion a person was or what color of skin. In my mind, we were always the same. So, I have a hard time, as an adult, when I see so much that goes against what I learned. we were meant to share our lives and grow from that. People of other faiths can give us so much. I believe the greatest thing we can do is to give love to others and receive it also. It is so easy to let things get in the way.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    April 9, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    Bill - I have noticed your conversations and I must correct you. No it isn't a matter of fact. It is your opinion based on what you have been taught. There is no way to verify that fact. Please don't come back with the spirit because that same spirit teaches catholics that the pope has a direct line from Peter, the first pope. So no, you cannot state that as fact. You are entitled to your opinions, but your opinions don't equal fact.

    Open Minded Mormon

    Do you mean the faithful saints in the 1800's, that drank beer, smoked cigars, and used coffee and tea? Yes I agree, that would be great to be more like them.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    April 9, 2013 12:38 p.m.

    Brahmabull: The largest problem is when it said with intolerance or belittling. Neither one of the comments you mentioned even came close to that. Catholics look at the Pope as infallible, in other words what he says goes with out question. Many LDS do the same with our Prophets but when one really looks at what is said there are more important matters that indeed require tolerance and kindness. None of what was said is unkind. I have heard very few references that have ever been mentioned. One that was said for years was that the Catholic Church is the abomnible Church. I can see where that comes from when one reads the Book of Mormon. However, read it carefully and one sees that is not what it is saying. Just because I agree with the comments doesn't mean they were wrong. To me they spoke very clear doctrine. A 12 year old deacon can weld more power than a thousand Popes or arch-bishops can. Why because of the Priesthood Authority he holds. That is not an unkind statement. It is a matter of fact.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    April 9, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    Grace's comments seem to illustrate a profound degree of "biblical ignorance" of her own, if she believed the words of a bunch of anti-Mormon hatemongers over the testimony of living prophets. Every doctrine of Mormonism is firmly and solidly grounded in scripture. I have come to learn that myself as a convert to the church and it shocks me how many of these supposedly Bible-believing Christians embrace doctrines that are wholly contrary to what the Bible teaches. A selective interpretation of the writings of the Apostle Paul, the embrace of unbiblical doctrines like the Trinity and Priesthood of All Believers, and ignoring virtually the entire Old Testament do not indicate strong reverence for the Bible, as most Mormons have. But that has been the basis of Protestantism for centuries. Without living prophets there is no true church. The Bible makes that abundantly clear.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    April 9, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    This is very hard counsel to follow when there is so much intolerance and hostility towards our own beliefs. But Jesus and the first apostles went through far worse. I suppose we should be grateful.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 9, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    IMHO -

    I find the Amish to be the best "Christian".
    and, I find Hindus to be living better examples of "Christian" lives than most Christians.
    The Muslims running a very close neck-and-neck 2nd place to them.

    For Latter-Day Saints, who I believe have the most correct and truest "Doctrine" from God,
    I find the "actions" of the Latter-Day Saints (Utah Mormons) to be sub-par, out of sorts, and falling behind.

    As stated just days ago in General Conference, by the Brethern, and multiple times -
    the Latter-Day Saints living in extreme poverty in the developing World,
    THEY are the truest Saints...

    Incidently, there's is the most in common example of the early "faithful" Saints of the 1830's-1880's.

    We should be looking at them for our examples -- just as the Bretheren said.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    Only when the horribly intolerant things said in LDS scripture (e.g., Joseph Smith History 1:19) are officially removed from the canon will anyone have reason to take statements about tolerance seriously.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    April 9, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    @ Grace
    As a seeker of truth, I have to tell you that among the many denominations so called Christians. The LDS Church is the one that most research for truth. In the name of truth, I also have to say that there is a lot of myths in the LDS teachings.

    About the Bible, the more I read the Bible and about the Bible the more I realize that is a book with some beautiful teachings and some horrend action on the part of its god and his followers.

    I think the LDS church and its member have a long way to go. But don't we all? To think that evangelicals and/or catholics, Jehova's Witnesses are better Christians, that is highly arguable..... may be individually but not as an organization.

    I believe and trust God with all my heart and I see his work all around me.

    Personally, I see the work and spirit of God in all faiths (Islam, Hinduism, etc)and people of good will ( even atheists). It is we, who in our weakness attemp to look for validation believing that my church is better than your church.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 9, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    Bill - I was not offended at the comment, because I am not catholic. I was shocked at the comment because it is a rediculous statement to make. Do you think catholics talke about how their pope has more authority than president Monson? I doubt it. The fact that you think that it was an appropriate comment to make in church definately shows that there is a problem.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 9, 2013 10:22 a.m.


    Yes and Yes.

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Whew. Lots of folks straining at gnats here, forgetting "the weightier matters of the law--judgment, mercy, and faith . . ."

  • sharrona layton, UT
    April 8, 2013 9:11 p.m.

    RE:Twin Lights. I know the inspired version better than any of my evangelical friends.
    Did you know the first 6 chapters of Genesis(JST)contains 311 verses, while the Septuagint and Masoretic texts each contain 184 verses?
    JS adds 27 verses. Yet there over 120 N.T. quotes which support the Septuagint and Masoretic texts.
    Do you believe(Genesis 50:33 JST)? “That seer… his name shall be called Joseph(Smith), and it shall be after the name of his father. JS:, prophecy about himself”. NOT found in Greek LXX(Apostles Bible).

    RE: Ebed , The LDS are taught to be tolerant of others. It is enshrined in our 11th Article of Faith. The 11th Article of faith,1850 Edition, ”We believe in the literal resurrection of the body, and that in Christ will rise first, and that the rest of the dead live not again. until the thousand years are expired.”

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    April 8, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    Brahmabull: I find nothing wrong with the comments pertaining to the Pope nor do I find anything wrong with what Joseph Smith had to say. Both are factual with our doctrine. If you find them demining then again YOU choose to be offended. That is a choice that one makes. We all say or do things that some find offense with. Again it is a choice to be offended. FOr myself I know what they said is true but may have not been the best tack. I also do not always use the best tack but again one must choose to be offended.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 8, 2013 5:38 p.m.


    I am certain I know the inspired version better than any of my evangelical friends.

    April 8, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    L Valfre,

    Joseph Smith seldom mentioned Catholicism but when he did it wasn't negative. For example:

    "[the] old Catholic Church is worth more than all [the other churches]—here is a princ[iple]. of logic–that men have no more sense–I will illustrate [with] an old apple tree—here jumps off a branch & says I am the true tree. & you are corrupt–if the whole tree is corrupt how can any true thing come out of it — the charr[character] of the old ones have always been sland[ere]d. by all apos[tates] since the world began" (Thomas Bullock manuscript)

    The LDS are taught to be tolerant of others. It is enshrined in our 11th Article of Faith:

    "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 8, 2013 4:16 p.m.


    Less than 2 years ago in my stake conference a high ranking church member stated something to the affect of how great it was that the Aaronic priesthood holders have more authority than the pope in Rome.... Not only is that an inflammatory remark, but if I was a catholic investigator in the congregation at the time I would have walked out. These comments do still exist. They may be getting less and less, but they do still happen. Plus, how do we know that a 12 year old has more authority? Mormons teach it, but don't know it for sure...

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    April 8, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    L Valfre,

    Joseph Smith lived in a very different time when preachers were viciously contending with each other for converts, even preaching that other denominations would go to hell. People were straight forward, not caring if they offended people. Joseph used a lot more tact but he was also the prophet to bring forth the ancient truths and explain the reality of the current situation. We do teach that the Catholic Church is not a continuation of the ancient church and that must be understand for people to see why a restoration was needed.

    In the last few decades, our church leaders have spoken more and more of using gentle, kind words with other Christians and not to address anything from the pulpit. Some members are negative and needed to hear the prophets admonition on this. My point was to stand up against anti-Mormons coming on here and throwing stones before reviewing their own practices of negativity toward Mormons.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    April 8, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    RE: Mountanman additional scriptures other than the Bible. The Hebrew Bible,600 years before Jesus was born, the Prophet Jeremiah said God would make a New Covenant(N.T.) with Israel. (Jeremiah 31 verses 31-34 ).
    Paul, wrote: … the good news of Messiah. It is the power of God to save people from their sins, for everyone who has faith, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." (Romans 1:16).

    A Marvelous Work and Wonder, a Modern Translation. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB.
    Is 29:14 is not a prophecy about the Bom But God will punish the Jews for spiritual wickedness; He will remove their discernment from their hearts. Fulfilled in that they rejected Christ.

    RE: Twin Lights, I know the Bible better than many of my evangelical friends. How about the Inspired version?
    Is 29:14 JST, But the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS).verse 16 by the power of Christ, verse 17,..the three witnesses. Not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls , Septuagint or KJV.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    April 8, 2013 12:35 p.m.


    "I have never heard a negative word about other churches preached from an LDS pulpit. We are taught not to do that."

    What did Joseph Smith have to say about Catholicism again?

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    April 8, 2013 12:10 p.m.


    While what you say is true, having grown up attending other denominations, almost all of of those churches occasionally attacked Mormons from the pulpit. When I was nine I asked the minister if I could have just a few minutes the next week to address his 45 minute anti-Mormon rant that day. I explained that it was only fair but he, of course, didn't agree. I have never heard a negative word about other churches preached from an LDS pulpit. We are taught not to do that.

    Yes, we can and must do better but we shine a light on actively improving our attitude and conversations with other religions. How I would have loved it if that had been the standard practice in the churches I grew up attending, 3 of which cast me out when they learned I was a Mormon. As a 14 year-old, I was thrown out of a Christian church and called an anti-Christ even though I begged them to leave the issue alone and pointed out that I had not said a word about my LDS beliefs and shown nothing but respect for theirs. I had learned arguing gains nothing.

  • troyboy1 Danville, KY
    April 8, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    As a Mormon turned believing in no religion, I will find it very interesting to see all of the Mormon social media posts that are praiseworthy, yet I post something deemed as an Atheist (non militant, more humanist) post and see the backlash from Mormon friends and family. The tenet of Mormonism is to say that they are being tolerant and loving, but the missionary program presumes people want to hear, and they never relent. Tolerance is respecting others beliefs or lack thereof and not bothering us "heathens" with continued testimony on Facebook, and allowing other views. I hope members of the church follow Monson's counsel and not Packer's limited view of tolerance.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    April 8, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    My fellow LDS need to take heed of President Monson's words. I have had too many people express no willingness to hear about the Gospel because of some people's harsh words regarding politics. Being a disciple of Christ does not give one permission to be disagreeable and nasty. I believe I will be held accountable for those I help point the direction of the Gospel too, I also believe I will be responsible if I drive people away.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 8, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    @ Grace. In the spirit of tolerance, I want to say that I read Walter Martin's book and all I had to do was to insert Christ and early Christians into all the points he made against Mormons being cultists and I found remarkable exact comparisons. Every point he used to defame the LDS church would have exactly fit Christ and the early Christians! My favorite was Martin's point that "new cults have additional scriptures other than the Bible". Early Christians added 4 Gospels, 21 epistles and a book of Revelation to the existing word of God. Therefore, according to Martin, early Christians and Jesus were cultists. And to every point Martin made, the exact same thing could be said of the early Christians and Jesus Christ. Great company to be in!

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    April 8, 2013 10:29 a.m.


    I grew up attending other churches because my anti-Mormon father did not allow us to attend or join the LDS Church. My father often left anti-Mormon books and pamphlets. I researched the content and it strengthened my testimony tremendously and learned their methods of pulling things out of context and twisting meanings. You say Mormons are "Terminally Biblically-ignorant". I had constant discussions with ministers and others about the Bible and never lost an argument but I finally learned that it never did any good. Contention drives away the Spirit and without that, no good can be done and they become angry when one uses the Bible to show the truth. Even though I had remained gentle and calm, only love and patience helps.

    My biggest issue with your comment regards your words about our lack of kindness, our abysmal ignorance, etc. Your words are judgmental and hateful. You do not practice what you preach.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 8, 2013 10:20 a.m.


    Yes some are defensive. True also of many evangelicals as well.

    But “terminally Biblically-ignorant and not capable of solid rational theological debate”? Please. I know the Bible better than many of my evangelical friends.

    Just to be clear, I (and many I know) can certainly “discern other Christian dogmas that preceded 1830 by centuries.” It is, in part, because of those dogmas that we are in the church today.

    Other than that, I guess this is where I apply that “kindness and understanding towards others".

    God bless you and yours.

  • Grace Bakersfield, CA
    April 8, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    I should add that all my family, leaders and former professors were very diligent and sincere in seeking to answer my questions and critiques. I feel part of the problem was mainly in our general disinterest and non-scholarly education of other denominations. That remains true 25 years later. Just send out a 10-question survey to 100 members and you will be shocked at the ignorance, prejudice and confusion- irrespective of position or elite degrees. (I can't even get the 10 questions posted, let alone answered here.)

    I could never understand why the form-letters referred me to my Bishop, when they often had fewer years membership or study than I did. With all the modern technology listed in this article, it is obvious that the Church can answer on-line/directly to any inquisitors. Why rely on teenage missionaries or BYU publishing professors?

    It is disingenuous to publish books by esteemed BYU professors on controversial subjects, only to have the eternal caveat that "these are the personal opinions", etc of the writer. Seeking to absolve the SLC leaders' input on controversial issues has been a huge eye-opener to outsiders. Own all your doctrines.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 8, 2013 10:05 a.m.


    "....Not only did we not have an authentic Biblical foundation, we could not discern other Christian dogmas that preceeded 1830 by centuries...."

    My view is that all Christian denominations have an authentic Biblical foundation. And they all selectively interpret the Bible to justify their respective theologies and doctrines. I agree that LDS appreciation of the rich and variegated 2,000 year history of Christianity leaves a lot to be desired.

    The LDS Church has come a long way in 183 years. I am confident that as the world changes in successive generations there will come new perspectives and deeper appreciations on all sides.

  • Grace Bakersfield, CA
    April 8, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    Despite the lovely Conference talks and comments here, despite the many good works/programs/charity of the LDS, these comment sites prove that LDS remain a very defensive lot, terminally Biblically-ignorant and not capable of solid rational theological debate.

    I still pray for "my people". After 35 years in the Church as a 6th generation LDS, at the top of every calling & service project in every auxillary, including stake callings, BYU-educated and a church teacher, I thought I knew my Mormon theology. When I read the "anti-Mormon" books to disprove the ex-LDS and studied deeper, I found the "Maze of Mormonism" (Dr. Walter Martin) to be spot-on. Not only did we not have an authentic Biblical foundation, we could not discern other Christian dogmas that preceeded 1830 by centuries.

    Instead of finding 'kindness and understanding towards others", I discovered deep antipathy and abysmal ignorance in all ranks, including our intellectual groups. I've lost count of the myriad of opinions given from leaders and Church brethren in SLC. The form letters were the typical response. The "Ask your Bishop" bandade a non-starter.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 8, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Whether or not non-Mormons regard the LDS as Christians is not as important as Mormons accepting them as fellow Christians whose religious heritage deserves reverence. The tolerance and kindness President Monson calls for are essential steps in loving our neighbors as ourselves.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 8, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Where ever you go or where you are. Whether their alive or dead your friends are with you. There in your heart or on your mind. There will be remembered.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 8, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    I not all that concern about what anyone thinks about what I say, Belief is only what I can count on or depend on. It doesn't mater how good or bad of people my friends are their my friends. Their who I count on and depend on. I'm their friend and I try to do my best to be there for them. That is [to me] the Spirit of things. The name of the Spirit is Jesus. I believe in the spirit of things. Spring is hear and time to resurrect the friendship that has been cooped up all winter. I believe in; the you mater thing. Call it Jesus or the spirit of things. It's what I count on and depend on.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    April 8, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    It's simple, practice much more humility, and listen to that still small voice.

  • Proud L.D. S. Huntington Beach, CA
    April 7, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    I really enjoyed all the talks. I liked Pres. Monson's talk at the end of conference. I think that most people are tolerant of others and what they believe. I think that it works both ways though. I guess it depends on how you were raised and were you are from when you talk about respecting others religions and beliefs. I'm thankful that I learned that long ago.

  • RetNav94 Moreno Valley, CA
    April 7, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    In order to get respect from other religions, we must respect theirs. We must be very patient.

  • Ophelia Bountiful, UT
    April 7, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    My heart was filled with peace throughout Elder Holland's touching, beautiful talk. Thank you, Elder Holland!

  • Ophelia Bountiful, UT
    April 7, 2013 8:20 p.m.

    So very grateful for his loving, caring words. Thank you, President Monson!