Faith, Fairness, and Religious Freedom

From an article by Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Elder Rasband begins by explaining what the Church means when it talks about religious freedom and why it is so vitally important for our individual futures and for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

What Do We Mean by Freedom for All?

However we choose to live and whatever choices we make, we all share a common humanity and desire for fairness and kindness. 

And What Do We Mean by Fairness for All?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stood consistently for freedom of choice and conscience. The Prophet Joseph Smith wrote, “We believe … that all men are created equal, and that all have the privilege of thinking for themselves upon all matters relative to conscience.” We believe in creating a space for everyone to live their conscience without infringing on the rights and safety of others. When the rights of one group collide with the rights of another, we must follow the principle of being as fair and sensitive to as many people as possible. Protecting conscience is about safeguarding the way someone thinks and feels and safeguarding that person’s right to act on those beliefs. 

What Can You Do to Support and Promote a Message of Fairness? Here are 3 tips.

1. Try to view others through a lens of fairness. 

  • Acknowledge that Heavenly Father loves all of His children equally.
  • Pray to feel His pure love both for yourself and for others.

2. Let fairness guide your treatment of others.

  • The Savior demonstrated perfectly how to reach out in love and encouragement while also holding firm to what we know to be true.
  • Remember the principle of agency. Respect the ability of others to make choices and ask that they extend to us the same courtesy.

3. Stand up for fairness if you see another’s rights being impeded.

  • Reach out to heal breaches and hurt without compromising the doctrine that is not ours to change.

Why Is It Important That We Be Actively Involved?

  • The opportunity to be involved in the political process is a privilege. Law and legislation play an important teaching role in shaping social and moral culture. 
  • In recent years the collective voice of groups who feel that religion should not play a role in political deliberation has grown louder. 
  • We need you to engage in dialogue regarding the complexities of this issue and find solutions for how to best extend fairness to everyone, including people of faith. These conversations need to be occurring in our schools, in our homes, and in our relationships with friends and coworkers. 

I leave with you my testimony and my witness that as you follow the invitation to reach out to others in a spirit of fairness, you will feel an increase in the Savior’s love for you and for all of Heavenly Father’s children. Your example of respect and fairness will open doors and create meaningful friendships that you will cherish throughout your life.

Read the full article here. 

Learn More