“How Can I Help Overcome Prejudice?” Liahona, September 2021
1. Look inside first. We can commit to recognizing within ourselves and abandoning any “attitudes and actions of prejudice.”1
President Russell M. Nelson said, “Any of us who has prejudice toward another race needs to repent!”2
2. Seek to understand. Take the time to listen to those who have experienced prejudice. This can include reliable books, movies, and news reports about the topic.3
Darius Gray, a prominent African American member and Church leader, observed, “If we endeavored to truly hear from those we consider as ‘the other,’ and if our honest focus was to let them share of their lives, their histories, their families, their hopes, and their pains, not only would we gain a greater understanding, but this practice would go a long way toward healing the wounds of racism.”4
3. Speak up. If you hear someone share a false or negative idea about race, speak up in a kind but clear way.
President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we must do better to help root out racism.”5
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “We are invited to change the world for the better, from the inside out, one person, one family, one neighborhood at a time.’’6
1. Forgive, and gain a friend. When we are hurt by the actions of others, we can teach and forgive and seek to build a relationship.
While serving as an Area Seventy, Elder Fred A. ‘Tony” Parker said: “When I’ve been a victim of racism, I’ve found success in meeting it head-on, forgiving the individual and addressing the issue. If someone says something to hurt my feelings, I need to find a way to help him understand why that hurt. It is an opportunity not only to forgive but to build a relationship so that the person doesn’t just look at Tony Parker as an African-American but as a child of God. Jesus taught forgiveness (see Matthew 18:21–35), and He taught us when we have been offended to take it to the individual and work it out (see Matthew 18:15).”7
2. Learn helpful lessons from hurtful experiences (see Doctrine and Covenants 122:7).
The Reverend Amos C. Brown tells a story about Howard Washington Thurman. Howard lived next to a woman who mistreated his family because they were Black—even throwing manure from her chicken coop into the Thurmans’ yard.
When the woman fell ill, Howard’s mother took her some soup and roses. With gratitude, the woman asked where the flowers had come from. Mrs. Thurman explained, “While you were throwing the chicken manure, God was preparing the soil.”
“That’s what we’ve got to do in the midst of evil,” Reverend Brown said. “Take the manure but have the faith in God to use it to grow a garden of roses.”8
3. Turn to Christ for healing and guidance. Trusting the Savior with your pain and following Him can bring peace.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that in addition to redeeming us from sin by satisfying the demands that justice has upon us, Jesus Christ “also satisfies the debt justice owes to us by healing and compensating us for any suffering we innocently endure.”9
The Savior provides the perfect example for us to follow. He taught us what to do when offended (see Matthew 18:15), persecuted (see Matthew 5:38–48), and even unjustly condemned to death (see Luke 23:34).