The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a new 35-page pamphlet designed to enhance understanding between those of Muslim and Latter-day Saint faiths.
Beginning Thursday, Jan. 20, ”Muslims and Latter-day Saints: Beliefs, Values, and Lifestyles” is available online at ChurchofJesusChrist.org in six languages — Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Spanish and Turkish, with German and Russian versions will come later.
The same resource in the same languages is also found in the Gospel Library app, opening first “Books and Lessons” and then the “Interfaith Relations” section.
The document’s introduction states: “At a time when societies and religious believers want and need mutual understanding, this pamphlet:
- “Signifies a conscientious effort to provide dignity and tolerance for Muslim and Latter-day Saint believers.
- “Represents hours of conversation and study by religious scholars and others, including Muslims from diverse backgrounds. It recognizes that no individual scholar or religious imam, or group of scholars or imams, can represent all of Islam.
- “Does not interpret the Qur’an. It does seek to understand some Islamic tenets and practices as explained by Muslim scholars and religious leaders and to portray these tenets in a positive and engaging manner.
- “Illustrates common themes found in Islamic and Latter-day Saint beliefs and practices but does not make judgments regarding these beliefs or practices.
- “Seeks to provide mutual understanding while requesting forbearance and patience if any of its words or efforts fall short of that intent.”
“For example: Both Latter-day Saints and Muslims have sincerely held beliefs like faith in God, prophets, scriptures and holy places. We share common values like the importance of family, chastity and helping those in need. The lifestyles of followers of both faiths include practices such as prayer, fasting and protecting our physical health.
“The common beliefs, values and practices in both faiths extend beyond any political, ethnic or cultural boundaries.”
Pamphlet sections note some of the shared beliefs:
- Faith in God: Faith in an omniscient and omnipotent God is a foundational belief of Muslims and Latter-day Saints. Both express their faith in God in thought, word and action.
- Prophets: Muslims and Latter-day Saints believe in the vital role of prophets to provide guidance from God.
- Jesus Christ: Muslims and Latter-day Saints share many beliefs about Jesus Christ. He plays an important, though different, role for both groups.
- Scriptures: Revelation from God given through messengers as scripture is the foundation for learning God’s will, keeping commitments and participating in faithful worship.
- Prayer: Human beings must communicate with God through daily prayer, with prayer central to both faiths.
- Chastity: God delights in purity and chastity.
- The role of women: Women are essential in society and in the home.
- Family: The family is the fundamental unit of society and an essential source of joy.
Church leaders frequently associate with Muslim leaders. This includes President Russell M. Nelson’s visit in 2019 with Muslim leaders in New Zealand to make a donation to rebuild their mosques damaged in terrorist attacks. In the same year, Elder Gong met with a Muslim leader while in Asia and Oceania. Elder Bednar has gathered in the past two years with leaders from Sudan in their country and on Temple Square. And Elder Ronald A. Rasband began a relationship with several Muslim leaders at the 2021 G20 Interfaith Forum in Italy.