Next month, President Russell M. Nelson will receive the Gandhi-King-Mandela Peace Prize awarded by the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel of Morehouse College next month for his work to encourage racial harmony and acceptance among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and people around the world.
Morehouse College is a historically black school in Atlanta founded in 1867 and “is the only historically black college or university dedicated to the development of men into leaders,” according to its website.
According to Morehouse, this award is given to “a person who promotes positive social transformation through nonviolent means. The individuals use their global leadership to affirm peace, justice, diversity and pluralism.”
The award is named in remembrance of human and civil rights leaders Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
President Nelson was chosen as the inaugural recipient of this award due to his “courage and unifying leadership.” Since he was sustained and set apart as the 17 president of the Church in 2018, President Nelson has worked to promote equality and formed an alliance with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.
In July 2019, President Nelson spoke at the annual convention of the NAACP and encouraged love and acceptance among all people regardless of differences, racial or otherwise. Read his full remarks at the convention on the Church website.
President Nelson continues to address these issues by working with the NAACP to create self-reliance classes to address issues in inner cities, and donating $3 million to the United Negro College Fund to provide scholarships to Black college students.
In his October 2020 general conference address “Let God Prevail,” President Nelson emphasizes the love God has for all of His children regardless of race or ethnicity and encourages members of the Church to abandon prejudice.
“I grieve that our Black brothers and sisters the world over are enduring the pains of racism and prejudice,” President Nelson said in his talk. “Today I call upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children.”
He will accept the award on April 13 at 7 p.m. at King Chapel on the Morehouse campus via broadcast. Local general authorities will attend in person and will be joined by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square virtually. Local community members and Latter-day Saints are invited to attend.