Equality is a core principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Alma resigned as chief judge and dedicated himself to the ministry because of the inequality he saw among his people. Members of the church were becoming proud, wearing expensive clothing, being “scornful, one towards another,” and persecuting those who believed differently from them (Alma 4:6-8).
Those who were weakest suffered the most. As the people became more proud, they began to “[turn] their backs upon the needy, and the naked, and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted” (Alma 4:12).
In his sermon to the people of Zarahemla, Alma condemned these behaviors:
Is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?
Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!
Later in the sermon, he identified the false belief which motivated these behaviors: “Will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another?” (Alma 5:54).
Nephi had taught that “all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33). Jacob had condemned people who persecute others “because ye suppose that ye are better than they.” He had admonished his people, “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves” (Jacob 2:13, 17). And King Benjamin had emphasized to his people that even he, as the king, was no better than anyone else, “for I am also of the dust” (Mosiah 2:26).
This week, President Russell M. Nelson reiterated these principles in a social media post:
We need to foster a fundamental respect for the human dignity of every human soul, regardless of their color, creed, or cause.
And we need to work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation.
I plead with us to work together for peace, for mutual respect, and for an outpouring of love for all of God’s children.
(“President Nelson Shares Social Post about Racism and Calls for Respect for Human Dignity,” newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org, 1 June 2020)
Today, I will treat other people with more respect and with a commitment to equality.