We must recognize that there is a difference between tolerance and tolerate. Your gracious tolerance for an individual does not grant him or her license to do wrong, nor does your tolerance obligate you to tolerate his or her misdeed. That distinction is fundamental to an understanding of this vital virtue. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, May 1994, p. 69
May I offer an important note of caution. An erroneous assumption could be made that if a little of something is good, a lot must be better. No so! Overdoses of needed medication can be toxic. Boundless mercy could oppose justice. So tolerance, without limit, could lead to spineless permissiveness. . . .
Real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation – not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior. . . .
Together we may stand, intolerant of transgression but tolerant of neighbors with differences they hold sacred. Our beloved brothers and sisters throughout the world are all children of God. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, May 1994, p. 71
Not long ago the First Presidency and the Twelve issued a public statement from which I quote: “It is morally wrong for any person or group to deny anyone his or her inalienable dignity on the tragic and abhorrent theory of racial or cultural superiority.
“We call upon all people everywhere to recommit themselves to the time-honored ideals of tolerance and mutual respect. We sincerely believe that as we acknowledge one another with consideration and compassion we will discover that we can all peacefully coexist despite our deepest differences.” (Church News, 24 Oct. 1992, p. 4) — Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, May 1994, p. 71
The face of history is pocked by the ugly scars of intolerance. How different our world would be if all parents would teach their children tolerance and love. Men and women would respect their neighbors and the beliefs held sacred by them. No longer would ethnic jokes and cultural slurs be acceptable. The tongue of the tolerant speaks no guile. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, May 1994, p. 70
Teach your youngsters to pray so their communing will reach divine ears in the heavens and to be humble themselves but charitable with others’ arrogance and false pride and hypocrisies. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “What I Hope You Will Teach My Grandchildren,” Address to Seminary and Institute Personnel, BYU, July 11, 1966
We are all sons and daughters of God. We state in our Articles of Faith that “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith 1:11). . . . We must not be clannish. We must never adopt a holier-than-thou attitude. We must not be self-righteous. We must be magnanimous, and open, and friendly. We can keep our faith. We can practice our religion. We can cherish our method of worship without being offensive to others. I take this occasion to plead for a spirit of tolerance and neighborliness, of friendship and love toward those of other faiths. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert, July 22, 2001
The connection between seeking truth and increased understanding of others was one of the messages shared Sunday night by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a worldwide Church Educational System (CES) broadcast.
As you accept the responsibility to seek after truth with an open mind and a humble heart, you will become more tolerant of others, more open to listen, more prepared to understand, more inclined to build up instead of tearing down, and you will be more willing to go where God wants you to go,” President Uchtdorf said. — “President Uchtdorf: Seeking Truth Leads to Increased Understanding of Others,” CES Fireside, January 14, 2013
Finally, the spirit of our balance of truth and tolerance is applied in these words of President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“Let us reach out to those in our community who are not of our faith. Let us be good neighbors, kind and generous and gracious. Let us be involved in good community causes. There may be situations, there will be situations, where, with serious moral issues involved, we cannot bend on matters of principle. But in such instances we can politely disagree without being disagreeable. We can acknowledge the sincerity of those whose positions we cannot accept. We can speak of principles rather than personalities.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, Deseret Book Co., 1997, pp. 662.) — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Truth and Tolerance,” CES Fireside, September 11, 2011
We must not be clannish. We must never adopt a holier-than-thou attitude. We must not be self-righteous. We must be magnanimous, and open, and friendly. We can keep our faith. We can practice our religion. We can cherish our method of worship without being offensive to others. I take this occasion to plead for a spirit of tolerance and neighborliness, of friendship and love toward those of other faiths. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Pioneer Day Commemoration, July 2001