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COMPREHENSIVE, INCLUSIVE GOSPEL MESSAGE

SHARE COMPREHENSIVE, INCLUSIVE GOSPEL MESSAGE

Enlarge circle of love,

understandingEstablish peace and happiness

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is a global faith," President Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve testified in his Saturday morning address.

The gospel's message, he said, has been restored in the latter days, as in the beginning, to meet the fundamental needs of every person on earth, and to build brotherhood, preserve truth and save souls.

"As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we seek to bring all truth together," President Hunter said. "We seek to enlarge the circle of love and understanding among all the people of the earth. Thus we strive to establish peace and happiness, not only within Christianity but among all mankind."

He said that since the entire human race is "one family descended from a single God," all people on earth have a spiritual heritage leading back to God and all are "literally brothers and sisters in the family of God." With such divine pedigree, he noted, comes love capable of striking down prejudices based on race, language, economic or political standing, educational rank, or cultural background.

"In the gospel view, no man is alien," he said. "No one is to be denied. There is no underlying excuse for smugness, arrogance, or pride. . . . "

"Mormonism, so called, is a world religion, not simply because its members are now found throughout the world, but chiefly because it has a comprehensive and inclusive message based upon the acceptance of all truth, restored to meet the needs of all mankind.

"We believe there is a spiritual influence that emanates from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space. All men share an inheritance of divine light. God operates among His children in all nations and those who seek God are entitled to further light and knowledge, regardless of their race, nationality, or cultural traditions."

President Hunter observed that Latter-day Saints "have a positive and inclusive approach toward others who are not of our faith. . . . We . . . seek the true and the beautiful wherever it may be found. And we know that God has blessed all His children with goodness and light, in accordance with the conditions in which they find themselves."

President Hunter, in summary, said, "The validity and power of our faith is not bound by history, nationality, or culture. It is not the peculiar property of any one people or any one age. As Joseph Smith once said, `It is above the kingdoms of the world.'

"Ours is a perennial religion based on eternal, saving truth. Its message of love and brotherhood is lodged in scripture and in the revelations of the Lord to His living prophet. It embraces all truth. It circumscribes all wisdom - all that God has revealed to man, and all that He will yet reveal."