Fellow member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
This weekend we were told by multiple leaders that racial prejudice against Black people has been a part of American history and is still a problem today. It is a problem world- wide.
We were told that, members of the Church, need to do more to root out racial prejudice.
President Oaks taught that the United States Constitution guarantees the right to peaceably assemble, or protest, to address grievances, and that there have indeed been injustices in the administration of current law. He taught that protest is an appropriate way to raise public awareness and seek a change in laws.
We do not condone violence or lawlessness.
This condemnation of violence includes the small number of protestors who have crossed over the line of civility, as well as those who violently seek to stop the protests- be they government deployed or vigilante.
That is what (though not all) our leaders taught.
Might I ask that we, the white members of the LDS church, do, or understand, two things:
First, that whatever we have done or been doing, we have been asked to do better.
Second, we, the white members, should not assume we know how racial prejudice works or how to fight it, and our initial focus in doing more should be,
to listen to Black people.
Let’s listen to the ones we know and those we don’t. Listen to the community, not just one person. Listen to those who are speaking up, especially those who are expressing hurt. Look at artwork and listen to music. Read articles and books. Listen with the intent to learn, not with the intent to be absolved.
Seek first to understand.
Then, I humbly ask that we direct our efforts at each other. We have been told that racial prejudice against Black people, as well as Latino, Asian, and others, is a problem- not that THEY are a problem.
So I suggest that we seek to improve ourselves before making suggestions or demands of others.