News Release

Latter-day Saint Speaks at Interfaith Event Hosted by Pope Francis

“We can create a world where love prevails, where families are strengthened and where all God's children find hope, acceptance, purpose and peace,” says Sister Tuvshinjargal “Tuvshin” Gombo

Pope Francis invited representatives of other faiths to an ecumenical gathering in the Hun Theater in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on the morning of Sunday, September 3, 2023.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were among the attendees, which also included other Christians and representatives of the Mongolian Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Shinto traditions.

“The reconciled and prosperous humanity that we, as followers of different religions, seek to promote is … symbolized by this harmony, togetherness and openness to the transcendent,” Pope Francis said. “And this, in turn, inspires a commitment of justice and peace, grounded in our relations to the divine. In this sense, dear brothers and sisters, we share a great responsibility, especially in this period of history, for we are called to testify to the teachings we profess by the way we act. We must not contradict them and thus become a cause of scandal. … In this regard, I would like to reassure you that the Catholic Church desires to follow this path, firmly convinced of the importance of ecumenical, interreligious and cultural dialogue.”

Latter-day Saint Tuvshinjargal “Tuvshin” Gombo was one of a dozen others invited to speak at the interfaith gathering. “We are brothers and sisters, all children of the same Eternal Father,” Tuvshin said. “At the center of our belief system is Jesus Christ Himself. He is ‘the way, the truth, and the life,’ and His teachings are the guiding light that illuminates our path.”

Some of those fundamental teachings, Tuvshin said, are to “love one another, to seek understanding and compassion, and to strive for harmony amidst our diversity. His teachings inspire us to protect and cherish our families, to ensure the well-being of children and to strengthen marriages.”

Tuvshin said the shelter of the Mongolian ger (a traditional nomadic dwelling) is a symbol for Latter-day Saints in Mongolia of their commitment to follow Christ — the source of unity and peace.

“In doing so, we rely on each other like the nomads on the steppe and symbolically welcome each other to stay for the night in our ger and treat each other to milk tea, food, and airag,” Tuvshin said. “In our shared journey, which can be challenging at times, we can create a world where love prevails, where families are strengthened and where all God’s children find hope, acceptance, purpose and peace.”

Tuvshin’s comments begin at the 45:25 mark of the video

The Church of Jesus Christ invites everyone to follow Christ’s example, Tuvshin said.

“He is our exemplar of love, forgiveness and selflessness,” she said. “He showed us how to care for the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed, just as the ger shelters those in need. By emulating His life, we aim to create a society that reflects His teachings of inclusivity, justice, freedom and compassion.”

The interfaith gathering was a part of Pope Francis’s five-day journey in Mongolia (August 31–September 4).

Past interfaith dialogue between Catholics and Latter-day Saints includes Church President Russell M. Nelson and President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican in 2019. Five years before that, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency greeted Pope Francis during a Vatican summit on marriage. In 2010, President M. Russell Ballard visited the Vatican. And in 1995, then-president Gordon B. Hinckley gave a copy of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism to the Vatican Library.

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