Church News and Events

Elder Oaks to Be Honored for Defending Religious Freedom

  • 9 January 2013

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve will be honored next year by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Elder Oaks will receive the Canterbury Medal, the organization’s highest honor, given each year to “one stalwart defender of religious freedom.” He will receive the award on May 16 at a ceremony at the Pierre Hotel in New York.

A video announcement on YouTube features Elder Oaks making these comments:

“Religious freedom is fundamental to the existence of our nation. It’s—along with free speech—the most fundamental civil right and civil liberty. As I see some slippage in the public regard for religion and in the legal basis for religious freedom, I am alarmed.

“My message is directed to religious leaders with a proposal that it would be well for Catholics and Protestants of all description and Muslims and Mormons and others interested in the things we’ve been discussing to unite and stand together on the essential principle of religious freedom.

“What unites us in religion is far more important than what divides us in the capacity to speak up for religious freedom.”

Captions on the video note that Elder Oaks was a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1957–58, a professor at the University of Chicago in 1961–71, and a justice of the Utah Supreme Court in 1981–84.