LDS Church, NAACP jointly call for racial harmony, end to prejudice

SALT LAKE CITY — The presidents of the LDS Church and NAACP stood together Thursday and called for an end to prejudice and greater racial and ethnic harmony during a historic news conference at the Church Administration Building near Temple Square.

The two organizations began to explore how their members can collaborate in areas like education and humanitarian work during meetings earlier Thursday morning, said President Russell M. Nelson, the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Derrick Johnson, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“Today, in unity with such capable and impressive leaders as the national officials of the NAACP, we are impressed to call on people of this nation, and indeed, the entire world, to demonstrate greater civility, racial and ethnic harmony and mutual respect,” President Nelson said.

Johnson said his organization admired and shared President Nelson’s optimism.

“Like the Latter-day Saints,” he said, “we believe all people, organizations and government representatives should come together to work through how to secure peace and happiness for all God’s children. Unitedly, we call on all people to work in greater harmony, civility and respect for the beliefs of others to achieve this supreme and universal goal.”

The LDS-NAACP summit is a first for the organizations. NAACP leadership is holding its quarterly national board meetings in Salt Lake City for the first time.

President Nelson and his two counselors in the church’s First Presidency met with Johnson and several of the NAACP’s national board members. They met near the Salt Lake Temple at the Church Administration Building, where President Nelson has his office. The news conference was held on the building’s first floor.

President Nelson began the news conference by saying that the idea all people are God’s children and therefore brothers and sisters remains a fundamental LDS doctrine.

He …read more

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