SALT LAKE CITY — The presidents of the LDS Church and NAACP stood together Thursday and called for an end to prejudice and greater racial and ethnic harmony during a historic news conference at the Church Administration Building near Temple Square.
The two organizations began to explore how their members can collaborate in areas like education and humanitarian work during meetings earlier Thursday morning, said President Russell M. Nelson, the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Derrick Johnson, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“Today, in unity with such capable and impressive leaders as the national officials of the NAACP, we are impressed to call on people of this nation, and indeed, the entire world, to demonstrate greater civility, racial and ethnic harmony and mutual respect,” President Nelson said.
Johnson said his organization admired and shared President Nelson’s optimism.
“Like the Latter-day Saints,” he said, “we believe all people, organizations and government representatives should come together to work through how to secure peace and happiness for all God’s children. Unitedly, we call on all people to work in greater harmony, civility and respect for the beliefs of others to achieve this supreme and universal goal.”
The LDS-NAACP summit is a first for the organizations. NAACP leadership is holding its quarterly national board meetings in Salt Lake City for the first time.
President Nelson and his two counselors in the church’s First Presidency met with Johnson and several of the NAACP’s national board members. They met near the Salt Lake Temple at the Church Administration Building, where President Nelson has his office. The news conference was held on the building’s first floor.
President Nelson began the news conference by saying that the idea all people are God’s children and therefore brothers and sisters remains a fundamental LDS doctrine.
He said the church and NAACP are exploring how to work together to lift “our brothers and sisters who need our help, just as our Savior, Jesus Christ, would have us do.”
“Together we invite all people, organizations and governments to work with greater civility,” he added, “eliminating prejudice of all kinds and focusing more on the many areas and interests that we all have in common. As we lead our people to work cooperatively, we will all achieve the respect, regard and blessings that God seeks for all of His children.”
Johnson complimented the LDS Church for what he called good faith …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News