In mourning in the wake of the racist hate crime mass shooting in Buffalo, we are reminded of the words of Dallin H. Oaks at BYU a year and a half ago. “Black lives matter! That is an eternal truth.”
Reports are currently suggesting that the shooter engaged in this act specifically to kill black people because of the color of their skin because he was afraid his own race was losing power.
If these reports prove to be true, it is a despicable act. It mocks the Christian faith his despicable manifesto claims he wants to protect.
As Latter-day Saints, our scriptures teach of many anti-Christs who teach damnable philosophies, and then murder to try and make them come to fruition. This murderer then joins a list of anti-Christs—a man who pulls people away from Jesus by perverting the gospel of peace.
President Russell M. Nelson’s well-timed words the day after the attack remind us that we are all children of God. This senseless murder took the lives of ten children of God.
Rather than allow ourselves to be desensitized to the racism around us by the constant calls of those who have diluted this idea, we should each work to root out the hate, racism, and identity politics that motivated this killing from our nation, communities, and our own hearts.
The murderer hoped that his killings would intimidate those who looked like his victims. We pray this is not the case. We need all of our neighbors to feel comfortable, confident, and safe in their communities. We must do our best to stand shoulder to shoulder in ensuring that these intimidation tactics will not succeed.