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Church president, NAACP call for “racial harmony” in joint op-ed

FILE - President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, right, stands with Rev. Amos C. Brown during a press conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 17, 2018. Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — In an article written together and published by Medium, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and top leaders from the NAACP call for “racial harmony” starting in the home. 

“Unitedly we declare that the answers to racism, prejudice, discrimination and hate will not come from government or law enforcement alone. Solutions will come as we open our hearts to those whose lives are different than our own, as we work to build bonds of genuine friendship, and as we see each other as the brothers and sisters we are — for we are all children of a loving God,” the op-ed stated. 

Remembering George Floyd

Referring directly to the death of an unarmed black man in police custody in Minnesota, President Nelson joined NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, Chairman Leon Russell, and Chairman Emeritus of Religious Affairs Rev. Amos C. Brown in writing: “The wheels of justice should move fairly for all.” 

“We share deep sorrow for the senseless, heinous act of violence that needlessly took the life of George Floyd. We mourn with his family, friends and community. We likewise look on with sadness at the anger, hate, contempt and violence spilling onto America’s streets, devastating cities across the nation, and creating fear and anxiety in citizens across this great land,” they continued.

Church president and NAACP: love one another

The piece from the church president and leaders of the NAACP calls on parents and educators to teach children to follow the example of Jesus Christ to love one another.

“Teaching children to love all, and find the good in others, is more crucial than ever. Oneness is not sameness in America. We must all learn to value the differences,” the statement reads.

A long partnership

The op-ed is the latest development in a two-year long partnership between church leaders including President Nelson and the NAACP. At a national board meeting of the NAACP in Salt Lake City in 2018, President Nelson linked arms with Rev. Brown alongside Johnson and Leon Russell to call for racial harmony.

“It was more than just talk,” Rev. Brown said later in Detroit, when students graduated from a financial literacy program developed jointly by NAACP and church leaders.

In 2019, President Nelson addressed the NAACP in Detroit.

“May we go forward doing our best to exemplify the two great commandments — to love God and love each of His children. Arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder, may we strive to lift our brothers and sisters everywhere, in every way we can. This world will never be the same,” he said.

You can find the full op-ed on Medium.


Hear the conversation that Boyd Matheson had with Elder Gerard from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Rev. Theresa Dear from the NAACP here.

 

 
Hear the conversation that Dave and Dujanovic had with Deseret Book CEO Sheri Dew here.