Amplifying President Russell M. Nelson’s Message of Gratitude and Hope

Brett G. Scharffs is Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law, BYU Law School

This article is related to President Russell M. Nelson’s address on the Healing Power of Gratitude​ (November 20, 2020).

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier today, President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared with the world a message of hope and gratitude. This is a man whom I revere as a prophet of God, and his message is genuinely universal and will be meaningful to all people of faith and, indeed I believe, to all people. I invite you to view it and to share his message at #GiveThanks.

President Nelson shared a poignant personal experience. As a doctor, he had worked on developing the first heart-lung machine used in open-heart surgeries. Decades later, “My wife Dantzel and I were sitting on the sofa holding hands while we watched television. Suddenly, she collapsed. Despite being well- trained to treat the very thing that ended her life, I could not save my own wife.” He then described the pain of losing two of his nine daughters to cancer, noting quietly, “No parent is prepared to lose a child.”

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Registration and Deregistration of Religious or Belief Communities and Security

Elizabeth A. Clark is Associate Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Regional Advisor for Europe at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Presentation at the Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief (November 16, 2020, Warsaw, Poland)

In working with government officials and others around the world, I often hear arguments along these lines: religion and religious extremists pose an existential threat to our country. Freedom of religion or belief is a luxury we cannot afford [1]. We have a responsibility to our people to screen out religious groups that are extremist or a danger to the community. We need to have laws limiting registration and banning extremist groups. Our national security depends on it.

Although this has a certain logic, empirical research shows that this argument turns out to have it backward.  Using registration as a means of screening out new, unknown, or potentially threatening religious groups has been shown to undermine security and increase the likelihood of religion-related violence.

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The G20 Interfaith Forum: Past and Future

JoAnne Wadsworth is Communications Consultant for the G20 Interfaith Association and Acting Editor of the “Viewpoints” blog

The G20 Interfaith Forum took its first breath in a small café next to a synagogue near the bottom of the planet in early 2013. Brisbane, Australia was gearing up to host the following year’s G20 Summit meetings, and Dr. Brian Adams was brainstorming with a colleague, searching for a way for his organization to get involved.

“What about an interfaith forum?” Adams’ Jewish colleague, Ari Heber, asked.

Something clicked, and an idea was born.

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