News Release

Victorian Mormons Take Interactive Role in Interfaith Relations

"What happens when you bring together worshippers from the Mormon and Baha'i faiths? Answer: Yarra's first interfaith network." Thus begins an article in yesterday's Melbourne Leader newspaper.

"Baha'i member Ray Hehr and Mormon Mark Bender share an interest in dialogue between religions so, following a chance meeting at a Multicultural Commission forum last year, they formed the City of Yarra Interfaith Network," the newspaper reports.

"We were both interested in getting an active network in Yarra given it is such a culturally and religiously diverse city," Mr Bender told the Melbourne Leader.

The article continues: "With six faiths already represented - Baha'i, Buddhism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Islam, Quaker Religious Society of Friends and the Uniting Church - Mr Bender said he hoped others would get involved."

"I think we can make our community a better place the more we know about one another and the more willing we are to work together," Mr Bender said.

To read the full article, click here

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' media website,, states the following regarding the Church's approach to interfaith relations:

A respect for the diverse beliefs and unique contributions of all the world's faiths is one of the hallmarks of Mormonism. From the earliest days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith elevated the principle of religious liberty and tolerance: "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.

Emphasizing God's love for all people, not just those of one religion, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, the highest governing body of the Church, declared: "We honor and respect sincere souls from all religions, no matter where or when they lived, who have loved God, even without having the fullness of the gospel. We lift our voices in gratitude for their selflessness and courage. We embrace them as brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father. ... He hears the prayers of the humble and sincere of every nation, tongue, and people. He grants light to those who seek and honor Him and are willing to obey His commandments" (April 2008 General Conference address).


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