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Open minds to diversity

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As I am not LDS, I am different from most Utahns — not better, not worse, just different, just a part of the vast diversity of life.

President Gordon B. Hinckley's words recently advocating tolerance between diverse people is a gift to us all, no matter what our faith. In a world divided by prejudice and bigotry often caused by the lack of understanding of one another's differences, his courageous stand for tolerance and magnanimity stands as a beacon of hope for humanity's future.

Inherent in the practice of tolerance is respect, respect for what is different from us. As Pres. Hinckley states, "We all are sons and daughters of God," and for this reason alone, we each deserve respect. The superficial differences of color, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, beliefs or other categories which we arbitrarily use to separate and divide us from "them" are deceptive obstacles on the road to tolerance.

We are all variations on the theme of humankind, and we can celebrate this diversity by trying to understand it, and working towards tolerance. Often we judge others out of fear or ignorance of the unknown or unexplored. But when we choose to face these unknowns head on, the fear soon vanishes.

We live what is in our hearts, and we teach our children by our example. If our example shows respect, tolerance and understanding of the diversity of human life, we are teaching our children well. Our efforts are not in vain.

Christina Gully