Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, received a world peace prize on behalf of the Church in the MIT World Peace University, in India, on Aug 14.
According to Mormon Newsroom, Christofferson received the Philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize on behalf of the 16 million members of the Church.
“The relationship with this community under the guidance of Mr. Christofferson and others will be a unique future for following and showing the pathway of peace and harmony to mankind,” said Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad, founder, and president of MIT World Peace University, to Mormon Newsroom.
The Church is known worldwide for its humanitarian programs. Mormon Newsroom reported that the Church has donated almost $2 billion to help millions of people in almost 200 countries.
Michael Nobel, a great-grandnephew of the founder of the Nobel Peace Prize, joined the World Peace Prize Committee as they gave Elder Christofferson the prize named after Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara, who was a revered 13th century Hindu philosopher, according to Deseret News.
“The world today, with all its problems, it needs you, the church you represent and your work,” Nobel said to Deseret News. “It needs you more than ever. Thank you, Elder Christofferson, and my sincere thanks to your organization for continuing your work.”
Deseret News reported that Christofferson, in his acceptance speech, said that religion can bring many benefits to the family and the communities in the countries that protect religious freedom.
“Countries with strong traditions of religious freedom tend to be not only more stable and safe, but more prosperous,” he said, according to Deseret News. “A recent study reached the remarkable conclusion that the presence of religious freedom in a country is one of only three factors significantly associated with global economic growth.”
Christofferson said that if more officials recognized the importance of religious freedom, the world would be better economically and in safety, according to Deseret News.
“We may speak different languages or come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, but we are all united in our desire to lift people in need,” Christofferson said in a Facebook post after the event. “As we put our faith into action and join our efforts with others, we hope to bring peace and goodwill to humankind.”