Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Sister Susan Gong spoke at a worldwide devotional for young adults on January 10, 2021. Elder Gong shared three invitations that will help anyone become more valiant in their testimony of Christ.

The John A. Widtsoe Foundation | Darius Gray: A personal reflection on the June 1978 Revelation on the Priesthood on the Priesthood

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Darius Gray: A personal reflection on the June 1978 Revelation on the Priesthood

The John. A Widtsoe Foundation fosters crucial conversations about the Latter-day Saint tradition and its importance in today’s world. As we observe Black History Month, we wanted to invite you to revisit one of these conversations in particular–an evening with Darius Gray and Richard Turley.

Raised in a devout Christian home, Mr. Gray converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before the Priesthood ban was lifted for black members of the Church. His conversion and later baptism came after a distinct spiritual experience that left him with an unquestionable testimony of the Restored Gospel. Working with other pioneering black Mormons and with Latter-day Saint Apostles, Mr. Gray helped found the Genesis Group in Salt Lake City, the church’s official congregational unit for black Latter-day Saints. He was intimately involved with the Genesis group’s development and activities, and for many years, he served as its President. 

Mr. Gray’s journey to the Church is a story of testimony, courage, perseverance, and above all, hope. We hope you will find this conversation inspiring and uplifting.

The Fierce Urgency of Now

By Dr. Jacob Rennaker

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is a masterpiece that’s well worth re-visiting. It’s like a diamond—created under enormous pressure and precious beyond expression. Each time I come back to it, I’m dazzled by a different facet and find myself speechless. That’s how I know it’s part of something bigger and more beautiful than its individual words.

This time, when I re-read “I Have a Dream,” the following few lines jumped out at me:

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now…Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

The phrase “the fierce urgency of now” kept running through my mind until it crashed into a passage of scripture I had been reading earlier. In this story from the Book of Mormon, a group of poverty-stricken people come to a prophet for words of hope, strength, and comfort. Here’s what they’re told:

“Behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if [you] will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately…the great plan of redemption [will] be brought about unto you.” (Alma 34:31–32)…

To read the rest of this article, check out the Chapman University Fish Interfaith Center Blog

Upcoming Events

If you’d like a chance to ask our guests your own questions during our live Q&A conversations, make sure to register now to save your spot for our next event. See below for details.

The Come, Follow Me curriculum the week of March 14-20 will cover Genesis 42-50. In preparation for that week’s study, we’ll be hosting our next live virtual interfaith conversation and Q&A with Rabbi Annie Tucker discussing the story of Joseph in Egypt on February 27 at 5:00 pm PST.

If you’d like a chance to ask your questions to our special guest live, register now to join us on Sunday, February 27 at 5:00 pm PST!

We’ll also have the recordings available for replay during the scheduled Come, Follow Me week on our website in our Video library, and on Spotify podcasts (Apple Podcasts coming soon).

The John A. Widtsoe Foundation is deeply committed to elevating dialogue between members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other religious communities. This year’s Church-wide study of the Old Testament presents a unique opportunity for members to better understand and learn from our Jewish neighbors, who have engaged with these scriptures for thousands of years. Each month, Widtsoe Foundation Director Dr. Jacob Rennaker will host a live online conversation and Q&A with a leader or scholar from the Jewish community about an upcoming topic from the Church’s Come, Follow Me curriculum. . This series will serve to educate Latter-day Saints about the rich history of Jewish scriptural interpretation and application, while at the same time modeling meaningful interfaith conversations and empowering Latter-day Saints to do the same in their own communities.

*If you do not receive a confirmation email with the event information from Wix Events immediately following your registration, please check your email spam/trash folder, otherwise, feel free to contact information@widtsoefoundation.org with questions about registering for events.

We look forward to having you join us!

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