Public Issue

Church Supports Multi-faith Letter to Queensland Premier in Defence of Freedom of Religion Principles

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its support today of a multi-faith letter sent earlier this month to Queensland Premier, Steven Miles.

The letter outlines concerns held by many churches and faith communities regarding a draft anti-discrimination bill before the Queensland Parliament. If passed into law, it would adversely impact people of faith and religious organisations.

Members of the Mt Isa Branch, with Mayor Danielle Slade (second row, second left), and Primary children (seated in front).© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pacific Area President of the Church, Elder Peter F. Meurs, said, “We are grateful for our friends in other faiths for defending the freedom for churches and people of faith to practice their religions freely in Queensland. We too wish to encourage lawmakers to find ways to allow all Queenslanders to live according to their core beliefs and values.”

He added, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prizes the dignity of every human being. The Church’s President, Russell M. Nelson, has taught that ‘The Creator of us all calls on each of us to abandon attitudes of prejudice against any group of God’s children.’ Yet the Church needs legal protections to build religious identity and solidarity among its members by ensuring that shared religious doctrines and standards are believed and lived.”

Elder Meurs continued, “The Bill threatens the Church’s freedom to maintain and exercise its religion. It does not allow the Church or other faith communities to decide who is and who is not a member in good standing. It does not allow the Church to decide who meets the Church’s religious standards for entering the Brisbane Temple—an exceptionally sacred edifice where only the most faithful Church members go to receive religious ordinances (sacraments). Likewise, the Bill would prevent the Church from requiring its employees to be qualified for temple worship, so that the Church can pursue its religious mission with the aid of members who share the same commitment to Church teachings and standards.”

Read more about the Church’s general position on religious freedom here.

Elder Meurs said that “Church members who wish to share their feelings on this and other topical matters should do so in respectful and civil ways.”

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