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While emphasizing that religious freedom is a fundamental right of paramount importance, Elder Lance B. Wickman, general counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told an audience at BYU that “as citizens of this nation, we have a duty to work with our fellow countrymen to find workable solutions to vexing problems—including clashes of rights and fundamentally competing interests.”

Elder Wickman was the opening speaker at theBYU Religious Freedom Annual Review on July 7. The conference, which runs through July 8, provides a review of current challenges to religious freedom in the United States and around the world.

“Every person—including people of faith and their religious communities—should have enough space to live according to their core beliefs,” said Elder Wickman, an emeritus General Authority Seventy. “So long as they don’t harm the fundamental rights of others.”

Elder Wickman challenged the audience to learn how to get involved politically, socially and professionally to “both defend religious freedom as a fundamental right and to make appropriate compromises in the interest of fairness to others and peace.”

“We need to become more skilled in our ability to explain what religious freedom is and why it is so important. So I applaud you for coming,” Elder Wickman said. “Wisdom, fairness, and love for our religious freedoms require that we engage with our fellow citizens, reaching across serious cultural divides, and find common ground so that everyone can live together in freedom and peace.”

Read Elder Wickman’s full address