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Loving Others and Living with Differences
Transcript of Loving Others and Living with Differences
When our positions do not prevail,
we should accept unfavorable results graciously and
practice civility with our adversaries.
In any event, we should be persons of goodwill toward all,
Rejecting persecution of any kind, including persecution based on
Religious Belief or Nonbelief
Differences in Sexual Orientation.
B.Y.U. Alumnus & President
Less than 20 Years Later
U. of Chicago Law School
Ranked 5th in the Nation
Why is it so difficult to have Christ-like love for one another?
His followers cannot do that if they associate only
with those who share their beliefs and practices.
It is difficult because we must live among those who do not share our
beliefs and values and covenant obligations.
We are to live in the world but not be of the world.
We must live in the world because, as Jesus taught in a parable,
His kingdom is
whose function is to
raise the whole mass by its influence
(see Luke 13:21; Matthew 13:33; see also 1 Corinthians 5:6–8).
President Thomas S. Monson taught us last April
“love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.
His life was a legacy of love.”
Is this easy or hard?
“There shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
“Behold, this is … my doctrine, that such things should be done away”
3 Nephi 11:28–30
Firm in the Truth
Applying these Principles
Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Loving Others and
Living with Differences
General Conference - October, 2014
Saturday Afternoon Session
Candy vs. Traffic Lights
Even as we seek to be meek and to avoid contention, we must not compromise or dilute our commitment to the truths we understand.
We must not surrender our positions or our values.
The gospel of Jesus Christ and the covenants we have made inevitably cast us as combatants in the eternal contest between truth and error.
There is no middle ground in that contest.
In dedicated spaces, like
Houses of Worship
Our Own Homes
…we should teach the truth and the commandments
plainly and thoroughly as we understand them from
the plan of salvation revealed in the restored gospel.
In public, what religious persons say and do involves other considerations.
The free exercise of religion covers most public actions, but it is subject to qualifications necessary to accommodate the beliefs and practices of others.
Laws can prohibit behavior that is
Generally recognized as wrong or unacceptable, like
…even when done by extremists in the name of religion.
Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable.
Since no particular group has a monopoly on all that is wise, beautiful and just, everyone can learn from everyone else. Our experiences have gaps that need to be bridged, and our perspectives have blind spots that need to be filled. We find meaning in human connection when we climb out of ourselves and discover the dignity of others, even if we disagree.
Difference & Dignity (Mormon Newsroom - October, 2014)
Words that May Be
Firm in Information
Can Be Soft in Spirit.
Craig Zwick (April, 2014)
We challenge all youth to avoid
Language and practices that deliberately inflict pain on others.
All of these violate the Savior’s command to love one another.
I counseled her to keep doing all the right things and to
be patient and kind with her husband.
About a month later she wrote me as follows:
Well, I thought that the 12 years was a good show of patience, but I didn’t know if I was being very kind about it. So, I practiced real hard for over a month, and he got baptized.
Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting.
Her letter continued,
I am even trying to be kinder now because we are working on a temple sealing this year!
Six years later she wrote me another letter:
My husband was [just] called and set apart as
the bishop [of our ward].
I begin with what our young children learn in their play activities.
Too often non-Mormons here in Utah have been offended and alienated by some of our members who will not allow their children to be friends with children of other faiths.
Surely we can teach our children values and standards of behavior without having them distance themselves or show disrespect to any who are different.
In so many relationships and circumstances in life, we must live with differences.
Where vital, our side of these differences should not be denied or abandoned,
but as followers of Christ we should live peacefully with others who do not share our values or accept the teachings upon which they are based.
As difficult as it is to live in the turmoil surrounding us, our Savior’s command
to love one another as He loves us is probably our greatest challenge.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People