As Community of Christ, it is our desire to become a people that reflect God’s love for us. Our principles of the Worth of All Persons, Unity in Diversity and Blessings of Community are values we believe also reflect Australian values, where our community strives to create a place where respect, fairness and compassion are deep in our conscience.
Recent debate in the Australian community has caused many to feel distressed and concerned about their worth as equals in our society, and some debate has been contrary to our values. The opportunity for couples in same-sex relationships to experience the joy of marriage may be considered by the public through a plebiscite, and it is important to recognise that although there may be varying perspectives among us, we must respect each other in a way that upholds the worth of each individual.
Jesus stood for justice and compassion. When he saw acts of government or religious leaders preventing humanity to be at one with each other and with God, he spoke out. Although it was unpopular at times, he wept with those who wept, he sat with those who hurt, and represented those who were persecuted. As his disciples, this becomes our role.
As you consider your response, we encourage you to contemplate how your actions will promote a community embodying joy, hope, love and peace. We are reminded in Doctrine and Covenants 163:7c that “it is not pleasing to God when any passage of scripture is used to diminish or oppress races, genders, or classes of human beings. Much physical and emotional violence has been done to some of God’s beloved children through the misuse of scripture. The church is called to confess and repent of such attitudes and practices.”
Let this reminder frame our response in a compassionate and just way as we show our neighbour that they are loved.
Australian Mission Centre Leadership Team