Utah leaders, LDS Church, issue condolences on Mandela passing

WASHINGTON D.C.  – South Africa’s  former president, Nelson Mandela, died Thursday at the the age of 95. Mandela’s contributions as an advocate for equality and democracy are reknown, perhaps most for his opposition to apartheid in South Africa and pursuit of democracy there for all races. Mandela became the country’s first black president, he advocated for human rights worldwide and figured in the fight against AIDS afflicting the South African people.

Sen. Orrin Hatch issued the following statement today on the passing of Mandela:

Today, South Africa and the world lost one of its greatest leaders and freedom fighters with the passing of Nelson Mandela. From combatting the immoral apartheid regime to his time presiding over the country’s peaceful transition to democracy as President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s dignity, courage and conviction made him a lion among men. Who but Nelson Mandela could have healed such a wounded and divided nation through peaceful means – not violent retribution – and bring South Africa into the modern age where discrimination by race is not tolerated. To his family and the people of South Africa, the world mourns with you. The loss of such a great man will be felt and borne by us all.

Congressman Chris Stewart tweeted:

Nelson Mandela was such a courageous and special leader. My heart goes out to his family and the people of South Africa.

State Rep. Jason Chaffetz tweeted:

Few people in the history of the world have had a greater impact than President Mandela. May God bless him and his family.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement:

With the rest of the world, we mourn the passing of revered statesman Nelson Mandela. His courage, kindness and extraordinary moral leadership have been an example to all people. We express our love and sympathies to his family and the people of South Africa as they remember his extraordinary life.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • Baptism December 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

    To demonstrate its utter disrespect for Nelson Mandela, will the mormon church perform a baptism for the dead and claim Nelson Mandela as mormon. Proxy baptisms for the dead, claiming the dead would have wanted to baptized mormon, is the most disrespectful practice any religion could perform, about on par with the disgraceful acts of the westboro baptist church.

    • Craig December 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      It doesn’t matter. It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus mumbo jumbo. WHY anyone believes in such garbage as baptism for the dead is beyond me. These are the same people who believe in talking stones, magic glasses and magic underwear.. Ridiculous.

  • Lindsey December 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    A bit of a non sequitur isn’t that? But since the topic was raised, whether or not one believes in the practice of baptism for the dead (which is biblical by the way), there are only two possibilities. Either it’s based on true doctrine and is essential, or it’s a cultural tradition and merely a tribute and an honor. Consider the prayers offered for the dead by Catholics, Buddhists, and others. For that matter prayers for the living, especially those who do not believe in God. Are those acts to be discouraged?

    In any case, when Nelson Mandela is offered the choice of receiving baptismal blessings, it will most likely come through his family members. I would imagine that the growth of the LDS church in Africa will link many African saints to the late statesman, and their service and efforts for him will come from love and respect toward a member of their family. And if one understands the ordinance, the final choice belongs to the individual in whose name it is performed. So let Mandela decide, don’t assume you know.

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