Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Honoring the Faith(s) of Our Non-Mormon Ancestors

Pres. Uchtdorf gave a talk in the April 2008 General Conference called "Faith of Our Father". In it he said:

When my own family contemplates the phrase “faith of our fathers,” often it is the Lutheran faith that comes to mind. For generations our ancestors belonged to that denomination. In fact, my son recently discovered that one of our family lines connects back to Martin Luther himself.

We honor and respect sincere souls from all religions, no matter where or when they lived, who have loved God, even without having the fulness of the gospel. We lift our voices in gratitude for their selflessness and courage. We embrace them as brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father.

We believe that it is a fundamental human right to worship “Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”


As the restored Church of Jesus Christ blossoms throughout the globe—now with more than 13 million members—“the faith of our fathers” has an expanded meaning. For some, it could refer to their family’s heritage in one of the hundreds of Christian faiths; for others, it could refer to Middle-Eastern, Asian, or African faiths and traditions.

I know the rest of that talk was a pretty standard interpretation of the Restored Gospel, but I really love the quotes above. Notice how Pres. Uchtdorf said "faiths and traditions" - not just "religions". We really should honor "sincere souls from all religions" - and I would add, "sincere souls who profess no religion".

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