Nelson closes LDS conference with plea for racial unity

Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, seen during the close of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Oct. 4, 2020. | Photo courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ president issued another plea for members to help end racism, saying Sunday at the faith’s signature conference that God loves people of all races equally and that it pains him to see Black people suffer prejudice.

Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks during the faith’s general conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Oct. 4, 2020. | Photo courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St George News

Russell M. Nelson’s comments followed similar speeches by other top leaders Saturday at the conference that comes as many members live through a reckoning over racial injustice, especially in the U.S. following the May police killing of Black man George Floyd.

“God does not love one race more than another. His doctrine on this matter is clear,” Nelson said. “I assure you that your standing before God is not determined by the color of your skin.”

Members believe church presidents are living prophets who receive revelations from God.

This weekend’s twice-yearly conference is the second one held this year without an audience.

Since becoming president in 2018, the 96-year-old Nelson has called for racial harmony and launched a formal partnership with the NAACP.

“I grieve that our Black brothers and sisters the world over are enduring the pains of racism and prejudice,” Nelson said.

Written by BRADY McCOMBS Associated Press

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