LDS general authorities encourage acceptance and understanding

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held its 187th Semiannual General Conference last weekend, and millions around the world tuned in to hear the words of general authorities and officers in the Church.

Many Latter-day Saints view general conference as a source of divine inspiration, guidance and revelation.

“It’s a great time to revitalize faith,” Tyler Liddiard, a business management major, said. “I feel we often forget about the things that matter most in life, and conference helps refocus attention on what’s really important.”

One theme reiterated throughout the conference by several speakers was the need to be kind and accepting towards everyone.

“We are all equal before God,” Quentin L. Cook, an LDS apostle, said in Saturday afternoon’s session. “Anyone who claims superiority under the Father’s plan because of characteristics like race, sex, nationality, language, or economic circumstances, is morally wrong.”

Russell Ballard, another LDS apostle, also emphasized the topic in his address Sunday afternoon.

“We need to embrace God’s children compassionately and eliminate any prejudice, including racism, sexism, or nationalism,” Ballard said.

Rachel Webb, a UVU junior, agrees with the importance of both remarks.

“We are all humans, and are all going through this experience of life together,” Webb said. “It is our obligation to help, love and support one another unconditionally, regardless of things like race, nationality or economic standing. We need to be the change the world desperately needs to see.”

Craig Zwick, an emeritus member of the Seventy, also urged members Sunday morning to see past their own perceptions and be more understanding of those around them.

“Truly loving others requires the ongoing practice of accepting the best efforts of people whose life experiences and limitations we may never fully know,” Zwick counseled.

“I agree with Elder Zwick,” Braxton Vandertoolen, a public relations major, said. “If we all took an extra second to understand where someone is coming from, I believe we’d view them in a completely different light. I think we would be more patient, forgiving and loving; we’d find ourselves offering our help rather than judging, name calling or being ignorant. This world would a better place if we all took a little more time to understand one another.”

(Photo by Parker Jardine)