Elder Nelson Speaks at Gathering of World’s Religions


Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve joined with hundreds of other religious leaders at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, held August 25 through September 5 in Chicago, Illinois, which included 170 main speakers, 500 seminars or lectures, 60 panel discussions, and a symposium. Elder Nelson was a speaker. He concluded his fifty-minute presentation by introducing a group of Primary children from the Chicago area who sang “I Am a Child of God.”

“Participation in the parliament came about as a result of an invitation received directly from the council that was planning this event,” Elder Nelson noted. “The First Presidency accepted the invitation and designated me as the representative.

“I considered it a real opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to delegates, the majority of whom were not Christian.

“While there, we signed nothing and gave up no independence, as we certainly are independent from all other religious institutions. However, goodwill and mutual understanding generally result when people of good intent meet one another and discuss their sacred beliefs in a courteous and accurate manner,” he concluded.

The purpose of the parliament was to promote understanding and cooperation among the world’s religious communities and institutions, to assess and renew the role of religion in personal spiritual growth and in facing the challenges of the global community, and to develop and encourage interfaith groups and programs.

At the conclusion of Elder Nelson’s address, a group of Primary children from the Chicago area sang “I Am a Child of God.”

More than five hundred copies of the Book of Mormon were distributed by volunteers manning the Church’s booth at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.