Building Bridges

From an address given on June 1, 2018, at “Be One,” the 40th anniversary celebration of the 1978 revelation on the priesthood.

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Centuries ago, an exacting lawyer asked the Savior:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”1

Again in 1831, this instruction was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, when the Lord said, “And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practice virtue and holiness before me.”

Then, by way of emphasis, He added, “And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself.”2

Russell M. Nelson

Photograph by Christina Smith

In the meridian of time and again in the latter days, the Lord has stressed His essential doctrine of equal opportunity for His children. And President Oaks has reminded us, “[The Lord] denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.”3

On every continent and across the isles of the sea, faithful people are being gathered into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Differences in culture, language, gender, race, and nationality fade into insignificance as the faithful enter the covenant path and come unto our beloved Redeemer.

Ultimately, we realize that only the comprehension of the true Fatherhood of God can bring full appreciation of the true brotherhood of men and the true sisterhood of women. That understanding inspires us with passionate desire to build bridges of cooperation instead of walls of segregation.

It is my prayer and blessing that I leave upon all who are listening that we may overcome any burdens of prejudice and walk uprightly with God—and with one another—in perfect peace and harmony.