Tolerance is quite a large subject, so I will be focusing more on how tolerance has to do with kindness. While researching on for some talks for inspiration, I came across a talk called “Tolerance, the Beginning of Christlike Love” by Sister Ann N. Madsen from October 1983. Sister Madsen starts off her talk by recalling a memory of her childhood. She says, “One of my earliest childhood memories is of my father, who was a blessed peacemaker, settling disputes in our family by using a saying which meant ducks are different- or, in other words, each of us is unique, be tolerant. People are different, but thats not necessarily bad.” I feel like this is a very important saying that should be more present in our daily lives. Today, we are meeting people from lots of different places who are different than us. I remember when I first moved to the Netherlands in the 4th grade. I was very excited to start school because I thought that school was fun; my thoughts have changed over time. I thought that everybody would be like me, from America. When I walked in on the first day I felt like a stranger, not just because I was the only American in my grade, maybe even my whole school. The realization sunk in that I had moved away from my childhood home and my old friends that I had known forever, to a new place with new people, most of them from Britain, who thought that it was absurd to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I knew, as a 9 year old in 4th grade, that I was different. At the time I thought it wasn’t a nice thing to feel. Getting older, and moving back to America, made me appreciate how nice it was to be different. It felt nice to be unique, even if it was just in a school community. I know that my friends have showed kindness to me by knowing, understanding, and appreciating the fact that I am different. 
One way to be tolerant is to be kind, or having Christlike love. We know that two great commandments are to love God and to love our neighbors. These things should be our highest priorities in life. We read this in Matthew 22:37-39, which says, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Being kind to others is a key way to have tolerance. Just as Christ loved everyone, we should do the same. We all live on this earth together, and we are all children of God. Although it may be challenging, we must love our enemies too. Reading Matthew 5:43-45 we see the same, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth the rain rain on the just and on the unjust.”  To me, this means Heavenly father treats us all equally; he doesn’t give more privileges to the people who do good, so we should treat others equally too.
There are many things that can make tolerance difficult to have. In Sister Madsen’s Talk from October 1983, she goes on to say some challenges that we might face when trying to have tolerance or Christlike love. She says, “We separate ourselves from others by the differences we see. We feel comfortable with those who dress like we do, think like we do, and act like we do; and we feel uncomfortable with those who are different.” As much as I regret saying this, what Sister Madsen says is true. In our world today, I am finding myself feeling a little uncomfortable with some who are a little different than I am, which I am ashamed of. It should not be okay for us to judge others and take pity on them because they are different than we are. As members of the Church, we should be giving non-members or anyone else a warm welcome, instead of making them feel uncomfortable because they are different than we are. Sister Madsen also says, “Some differences don’t matter at all and should never divide us. Most cultural differences also fall into this category. We are a worldwide church and represent many different cultures. We cannot afford lapses into provincialism.” To those of you that don’t know, provincialism is where people view things with a very narrow mind. An example of that is thinking that others aren’t as good as you are, because they don’t do things the same way as you do.
Tolerance has both good and bad sides. When we have tolerance, we need to be careful. In an April 1998 talk called “What is Tolerance” by Russell M. Nelson, he says, “Tolerance is a virtue much needed in our turbulent world. But we must recognize that there is a difference between tolerance and tolerate. Your gracious tolerance for an individual does not grant him or her 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.” I definitely agree with what Elder Nelson says here. It is good if you tolerate someone’s differences, but it is not good if you allow yourself to tolerate what they are doing wrong. Many things today that we as members of the Church believe in are happening. If we tolerate these things, it isn’t making the world a better place. Instead we should do what is right, because things, no matter what they are, can have impacts on our lives.
I would like to end by reminding you all how much our Heavenly Father loves us. He loves us so much that he gave his life for us. He should be an example to us, not to take our lives for those we love, but to love everyone. D&C 133:52 says, “And now the year of my redeemed is come; and they shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that He has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever.”

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