G20 Interfaith Forum in Italy: why Elder Rasband is optimistic
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BOLOGNA, Italy – After Ronald A. Rasband spoke at the G20 Interfaith Forum here on Monday, I had the opportunity to interview him alongside Doug Wilks, editor of Deseret News.
Because the theme of the forum was “Time to Heal”, Doug asked him, “Can the world be healed? “
Brother Rasband had previously expressed his good humor, calling himself “an optimist 10 times”, and was encouraged by his meetings during the forum with government and religious leaders around the world.
“And to be here and to have these visits and to have heads of state, a patriarch and others who want to visit the church and talk about things that could lead to action, I’m very optimistic, ”he said.
He answered the question about healing the world with a statement and an experience.
“The great healer is Jesus Christ the Lord,” Elder Rasband said. ” I am optimistic. I believe that healing can take place if people humble themselves and draw near to God the Father, who is our common father, and to Jesus Christ, his son.
Elder Rasband had spoken at a forum session with several other speakers, and noted their repeated concerns about the rise of hate speech around the world. He spoke passionately about the violence and depredation against the early Latter-day Saints.
“Yes, ladies and gentlemen, an extermination order in the United States of America,” he said during his presentation, his deep voice echoing against the walls of a stone hall at Palazzo Re Enzo, 775 year old medieval red building. brick palace.
The international audience audibly gasped.
“There were visible heads turned,” said Jack N. Gerard, General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Church’s Department of Communications.
During our interview a few hours later, Elder Rasband spoke of the experience and of a decision he made as he neared the end of his talk.
“I had an interesting time today,” he said, “and it had to do with how I was going to end my speech. I had already listened to seven other speakers. None of them them never closed in any way according to the tradition of faith, in the name of God or whatever. When it occurred to me, I had a moment of, ‘ Am I just saying thank you to this group, or am I ending In the name of Jesus Christ? ‘ And I remembered who I was, and I thought, ‘The Lord would have me say his name to conclude this message.’ And that’s what I did, and I was the only speaker today who called on the name of the Lord or even of the Godhead that I know of. I felt that was a very important thing. to declare his name, ‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
“So I am optimistic,” he continued. “I am optimistic about a recovery, but I also know the signs of the times and I know the challenges that are going to arise today. But we can certainly be healers. We can certainly have this message and encourage others to do so with us, all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. “
Correction: Last week’s email incorrectly stated that the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is currently a member of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. He served on the board from 2008 to 2020.
My recent stories
The calamity of world hunger is spiraling out of control. Here’s how Latter-day Saint charities responded (September 14)
In Italy, Brother Rasband says to the religious leaders of the world: “The world needs us” (September 13)
G20 Interfaith Forum is about connections and global problem solving, religious leaders say (September 12)
What i read
A judge allowed the church’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss the lawsuit brought by James Huntsman, who left the church and then wanted his tithing contributions returned. According to Cornell Law School, summary judgment usually means that the petition has shown “that no real problem of material fact exists.”
A BYU professor tries to help a family leave Afghanistan.
My friend Jeff Call, who wrote a wonderful report on Tanner McKee while on a mission in Brazil, has now written about the splash McKee does as a missionary quarterback returning to Stanford.
The BYU student who disfigured LGBTQ chalk art is no longer enrolled in school.
A reporter had a special surprise tour during the open house at the Pocatello Idaho temple.
Brother Rasband told the story of America’s persecution of Latter-day Saints in the 1800s. This story from a British newspaper recalls the persecution in England.
On September 11, tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints participated in community service projects nationwide to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragic attacks on the United States.
The church has agreed to pay the Boy Scouts of America $ 250 million for a $ 1 billion fund for those who have filed sexual abuse complaints.
The Caldor fire indeed burned down the Tragedy Springs, Calif., Site that commemorates the deaths of three members of the Mormon Battalion, as I wrote a few weeks ago. The graves, stone cairn, and plaque at the site have survived, but surrounding trees have burned down.
Elder Lance B. Wickman published a first-hand account of the attack on the Pentagon and the flight from Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.
President Russell M. Nelson turned 97.
The Boston Red Sox teach deep breathing to every hitter in their organization (paywall).
ESPN has released a long look at the problems in the NCAA. One of the great quotes is from a Latter-day Saint:
“Being a university president right now is like having a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle at your door every morning, then the next morning you get another 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and it’s totally different,” he said. West Virginia University President Gordon Gee said on June 22 in Dallas after a playoff expansion meeting. “I have been university president for 41 years. I have never faced a pandemic, I have never faced all the confusions in terms of varsity athletics. I have never dealt with all mental health issues. Our students are under enormous pressure. The country is in a way upside down in its political configuration. As university president, we are in the middle of the storm. We catch javelins and we don’t know where they came from.
The Athletic (paywall) posted a preview of BYU leaving the West Coast Conference for the Big 12. WCC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez explained how BYU fits into the WCC despite being different from other faith-based schools in the conference:
Especially if one of those options includes a revamped WCC. The league has long been firm in its membership profile, including private denominational schools on the West Coast (Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, Portland, Santa Clara, San Diego, San Francisco, and Loyola Marymount are all Catholic schools; Pepperdine is affiliated with the Church of Christ) and Pacific is a Methodist institution. That’s what made BYU, despite football’s “800-pound gorilla,” as Nevarez calls it, a good choice. “When they said, ‘We can’t play on Sunday,’” she said, “our league was like, ‘OK! “”