With increasingly diverse communities it is critical that we show respect for everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, social views or heritage. This principle of respect is not new. Nearly two thousand years ago Jesus Christ emphasised that the mark of true Christian discipleship includes looking outward:
‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said diversity was the Creator’s deliberate intention and that the Church – with congregations in more than 180 nations – has room for people from diverse cultures:
“It takes variety – sopranos and altos, baritones and basses – make rich music…When we disparage our uniqueness or try to conform to fictitious stereotypes – stereotypes driven by an insatiable consumer culture and idealised beyond any possible realisation by social media – we lose the richness of tone and timbre that God intended when He created a world of diversity.”
James A. Garfield, that little-known former US President, who himself had lived in a log cabin and grew up in poverty, said:
“I never meet a ragged boy in the street without feeling that I may owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned up under his coat.”
Let’s be respectful to all and look for the divine spark within everyone.
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