Friday, April 24, 2015

Robert D. Hales on preserving religious liberty

Elder Robert D. Hales (1932- ) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
"Brothers and sisters, we are responsible to safeguard these sacred freedoms and rights for ourselves and our posterity. What can you and I do?
"First, we can become informed. Be aware of issues in your community that could have an impact on religious liberty.
"Second, in your individual capacity, join with others who share our commitment to religious freedom. Work side by side to protect religious freedom.
"Third, live your life to be a good example of what you believe—in word and deed. How we live our religion is far more important than what we may say about our religion.
"Our Savior's Second Coming is drawing nearer. Let us not delay in this great cause. Remember Captain Moroni, who hoisted the title of liberty inscribed with the words 'In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children' (Alma 46:12). Let us remember the people's response: exercising their agency, they 'came running together' with a covenant to act. (Alma 46:21.)
"My beloved brothers and sisters, don't walk! Run! Run to receive the blessings of agency by following the Holy Ghost and exercising the freedoms God has given us to do His will."
- Robert D. Hales, "Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom," General Conference, April 2015
Click here to read the full article

I always appreciate messages from leaders that include specific assignments or charges. Elder Hales provided such a message in the most recent conference. He first discussed the concept of religious freedom, suggesting "four cornerstones of religious freedom that we as Latter-day Saints must rely upon and protect." They include the freedom to believe, to share belief with others, to worship in religious organizations, and to live the tenets of our faith.

Religious liberty is threatened in our time. The challenge form Elder Hales was to be actively involved in working to preserve it. That is where the "charge" to us comes, in the three areas mentioned:

  • Be informed; understand the issues
  • Join with others in the community eager to help
  • Live as a good example of our religious principles
So that's the invitation, and this is the specific call to action with a promise:

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