As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I continue to look to the future with optimism and faith. Although the world now suffers great challenges, we all share certain needs: the ability to worship (or not worship) freely; to maintain faith in the strength and love of families; the ability to obtain education for ourselves and our children; a fervent desire for peaceful interaction even if we do not agree with one another.
In times of trial, rancor, and enmity, I believe that solutions can be found by turning to God. As Russell M. Nelson, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has said: “We can turn to Him for healing of our hearts, for strength where we are weak, and for help to do things we simply cannot do on our own.”
I believe that we are all sons and daughters of God regardless of our birth circumstances. During a speech at the NAACP Convention in Detroit in July of 2019, President Nelson said: “We are all connected, and we have a God-given responsibility to make life better for those around us. We don’t have to be alike or look alike to have love for each other. We don’t even have to agree with each other to love each other.”
I believe one of our key responsibilities is to learn about and to appreciate one another’s differences. While I realize we cannot change past history, I do believe that we can create a present history that will bring joy and understanding to future generations. As a wise Muslim sister told me when we were discussing the upheaval and animosity that was developing in some of our schools, “In school we give students an opportunity to express their thoughts and try to ease their anxiety. However, we cannot control what they hear in their own homes.” That is a powerful lesson to all of us. Change begins with each individual and within each household. I want to be part of that change. I want my family to continue that change as we build a new and better future that holds no racial or religious boundaries.
IFLC Board Member Karin Dains is Public affairs director of the Bloomfield Hills Stake (11 congregations) of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints
This is not an official statement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.