NAACP leadership in attendance at the meeting included right to left, Leon W. Russell, Chairman, board of directors; Derrick Johnson, President, NAACP, Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, Counselors,President Dallin H. Oaks,and Henry B. Eyring, Rev. Dr. Amos Brown NAACP Chairman of Interfaith Relations and Jeanetta Williams, local Utah branch president. Photo by Gay Plair Cobb.
The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the national leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are calling for greater civility and racial harmony.
Senior church leaders and the NAACP released a joint statement Thursday morning following a meeting in the church administration building on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
“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,” said President Russell M. Nelson, who was joined by his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to affirm its fundamental doctrine—and our heartfelt conviction—that all people are God’s precious children and therefore brothers and sisters,” said President Nelson.
“We compliment The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its good faith efforts to bless not only its members, but people throughout the United States and, indeed, the world in so many ways,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP.
“These include humanitarian and welfare services, pioneering work in higher education and promoting the dignity of all people as children of God,” he said.
The NAACP and church leaders are exploring a possible service project where local members of each organization can work together, as the church does with a number of organizations. Current plans are being considered to increase education and wage improvement among members of a mutually identified community.
Said President Nelson, “Together we invite all people, organizations, and governments to work with greater civility, eliminating prejudice of all kinds, and focusing more on the many areas and interests that we all have in common. As we lead our people to work cooperatively, we will all achieve the respect, regard, and blessings that God seeks for all of His children.
Derrick Johnson said, “Like the Latter-day Saints, 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.”
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