Photo Essay

Interfaith Gathering in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia


Recently "Mormons" from every congregation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia joined with people from other faiths at The Pure Life Society to commemorate a sacred time for one of the religious groups of the area. Members from the Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim groups joined together to harmoniously celebrate their friendship and respect for one another.  Dr. Amir Farid Isahak, Chairman of Interfaith Spiritual Fellowship taught the group some understanding of the Islamic tradition of Ramadan and they all shared Buka Puasa (breaking of the fast) together. After a meal, those in attendance joined Mother Mangalam in devotional time while building, growing and coming closer to one another.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strive to have a respect for the diverse beliefs and unique contributions of all the world’s faiths. Indeed a core belief of the church states "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith 1:11).

In that same spirit, Church President Thomas S. Monson made a plea during general conference, a semiannual worldwide meeting, for more religious understanding: “I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours” (April 2008 General Conference address). Latter-day Saints accept all sincere believers as equals in the pursuit of faith and in the great work of serving humanity.

The spiritual and physical needs of the world require goodwill and cooperation among different faiths. Each of them makes a valuable contribution to the larger community of believers. In the words of early Church apostle Orson F. Whitney, “God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people.” Thus, members of the Church do not view fellow believers around the world as adversaries or competitors, but as partners in the many causes for good in the world.

It is important to note that interfaith cooperation does not require doctrinal compromise. Though the Church asserts its ecclesiastical independence and recognizes its doctrinal differences, this does not prevent it from partnering with other faiths in charitable projects. These efforts are based on universal values. People of good faith do not need to have the exact same beliefs in order to accomplish great things in the service of their fellow human beings.

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